New to DVD and On Demand Releases for June 25 - July 1

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25 June 2017
VIEW FROM THE COUCH
By Jay Bobbin Zap2it
(Ratings for each film begin with a "star'' rating -- one star meaning "poor,'' four meaning "excellent'' -- followed by the Motion Picture Association of America rating, and then by a family-viewing guide, the key for which appears below.)

 
Releasing this Week:
T2 Trainspotting
"T2 Trainspotting": A lot has happened to the careers of those who were involved in the original, critically acclaimed 1996 drama "Trainspotting'' -- director Danny Boyle ("Slumdog Millionaire''), stars Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller ("Elementary'') and Robert Carlyle ("Once Upon a Time''), etc. -- and that lends an interesting subtext to this way-later sequel. It's also 20 years later in the plot here, as Mark (McGregor) returns to his Scottish home and reunites with the crew he hung out with in the drug culture, but old wounds also are reopened by the regathering. Cast returnees also include Ewen Bremner and Kelly Macdonald. *** (R: AS, N, P, V)
CHiPs"CHiPs'': California Highway Patrol officers Jon Baker and Frank "Ponch'' Poncherello -- respectively played by Dax Shepard, also the update's writer-director, and Michael Pena -- are back on the roads in this reboot of the television series, partially a satire but still with enough police action to satisfy genre fans. New to the force and to each other here, the cops initially have a tough time reconciling their very different styles, but they do that in time to try to solve a crime that may involve one of their peers. Co-stars include Kristen Bell (the real-life Mrs, Shepard), Vincent D'Onofrio and Adam Brody ("The O.C.''). DVD extra: "making-of'' documentary. *** (R: AS, P, N, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
CHiPs"Power Rangers": The franchise gets a reboot in this special-effects-laden (of course) adventure that makes a new group of teens the title Rangers, who are identified individually by the color of their outfits. Elizabeth Banks gets to do a good amount of scene-chewing as Rita Repulsa, a former Power Ranger who has crossed over to the dark side and threatens the world ... starting with the new generation of powerful heroes and heroines. Bryan Cranston clearly is also in it for the fun of it by turning up here, with Bill Hader supplying the voice of robot Alpha 5. While the movie is aimed at a new generation, it offers some nice tastes of nostalgia for those who remember what a pop-culture craze the original version was. *** (PG-13: P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
Prison Break: The Event Series"Prison Break: The Event Series": One of Fox's staple dramas for several years recently got a continuation long afterward, with creator-producer Paul T. Scheuring and much of the original cast returning. Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell -- who worked together in the interim on The CW's superhero shows -- reunite as brothers Michael Scofield (thought to be dead as this version opens) and Lincoln Burrows, who find themselves in another challenge to break out of incarceration. Co-stars Sarah Wayne Callies, Robert Knepper, Paul Adelstein, Amaury Nolasco and Rockmond Dunbar also are back, with Mark Feuerstein ("Royal Pains'') and Augustus Prew ("Pure Genius'') among newcomers. *** (Not rated: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray)


Also Releasing this Week:
Masterpiece: King Charles III"Masterpiece: King Charles III'': With the passing of title star Tim Pigott-Smith ("The Jewel in the Crown'') before it first aired, the television debut of this version of playwright Mike Bartlett's drama was somewhat bittersweet. Members of the Broadway cast are featured as the piece envisions Prince Charles' ascension to England's throne in the future, which comes after his long wait for that event. It's also projected that his vision for the monarchy doesn't agree with that of others, making for conflict -- and some intensely played scenes -- in the palace. Oliver Chris and Richard Goulding play Princes William and Harry, with Charlotte Riley as Kate Middleton. *** (Not rated: P)
Absolutely Anything"Absolutely Anything": The last film work Robin Williams did was as the voice of a dog in this comedy-fantasy. Said canine belongs to a schoolteacher (Simon Pegg, of the "Star Trek'' and "Mission: Impossible'' movies) who becomes the pawn of space aliens trying to determine whether the human race is worth preserving. He's given unusual powers, and how he uses them will spell whether mankind survives. Kate Beckinsale, Eddie Izzard and Rob Riggle also star in the movie, directed and co-written by Terry Jones, who enlisted his Monty Python colleagues -- John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle and Michael Palin -- to supply the voices of the aliens. *** (R: AS, N, P)


Upcoming Releases:
"Song to Song" (July 4): Writer-director Terrence Malick's drama examines relationships in the Austin, Texas, music world; Ryan Gosling and Natalie Portman star. (Also on Blu-ray)
"Homicide: Life on the Street -- The Complete Series" (July 4): One of the most acclaimed drama series in television history gets a home-video relaunch; stars include Andre Braugher and Melissa Leo. (Not rated: AS, P, V)
"The Lost City of Z" (July 11): Explorer Percy Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam) vanishes while investigating evidence of an unknown civilization in the Amazon. (PG-13: AS, N, P, V)
"Free Fire" (July 18): A weapons deal devolves quickly into an armed battle among those involved; Brie Larson, Armie Hammer and Sharlto Copley star. (R: AS, P, V)
"T.J. Hooker: The Complete Series" (July 18): William Shatner plays the veteran police officer, with Adrian Zmed and Heather Locklear as the rookies he's teamed with. (Not rated: V)
"Billy Jack: The Complete Collection" (July 25): Even the pre-"Billy Jack'' drama "Born Losers'' is included in this set; Tom Laughlin plays the maverick hero. (PG: AS, P, V)
"Big Little Lies" (Aug. 1): Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman and Shailene Woodley star in the HBO drama about secrets among women in a coastal California town. (Not rated: AS, N, P, V)


Oldies But Goodies:
"The Pink Panther" (1964): The Blake Edwards-directed comedy that introduced Peter Sellers as Inspector Jacques Clouseau is now part of a "Film Collection'' of the series on Blu-ray. ***
"Starsky & Hutch" (2004): Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson play the police-detective partners in a spoofy take on the television crime drama. ***
"Trespass" (1992): Firemen (Bill Paxton, William Sadler) get dangerous surprises from their treasure hunt in director Walter Hill's melodrama, making its Blu-ray debut. ***


TOP 10 DVD & Blu-Ray Rentals
(Week ending June 11, 2017, Courtesy of
comScore)

1)  "A Dog's Purpose"
2)  "Beauty and the Beast"
3)  "The Shack"
4)  "The Great Wall"
5)  "Split"
6)  "50 Shades Darker"
7)  "Fist Fight"
8)  "XXX: Return of Xander Cage"
9)  "Hidden Figures"
10)  "Why Him?"


FAMILY VIEWING GUIDE KEY: AS, adult situations; N, nudity; P, profanity; V, violence; GV, particularly graphic violence
 
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