New to DVD and On Demand Releases for June 28 - July 4
By Jay Bobbin
Releasing this week:
"Get Hard": The differing comedic styles of Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart are the main sources of humor in this tale of a financial manager (Ferrell) being sent to prison for unethical practices. He decides he'd better toughen up before he gets there, so he seeks advice from a man (Hart) he presumes to be an ex-con -- which turns out not to be the case, but they become allies anyway. Debuting director Etan Cohen co-wrote the script, which aims for social commentary among the laughs; co-stars include Tip "T.I.'' Harris, Alison Brie ("Community'') and Craig T. Nelson. DVD extras: outtakes. (R: AS, N, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
"Danny Collins": Al Pacino memorably played music impresario Phil Spector in an HBO project, and he shows a different view of the industry in this comedy that casts him in the title role of a literal rock star. Having gotten comfortable with the perks that come with fame, Danny is jostled into rediscovering his creativity when he receives a long-delayed letter from a surprising sender ... John Lennon. Pacino clearly is the star here, but writer-director Dan Fogelman's cast also includes Annette Bening, Jennifer Garner, Christopher Plummer, Bobby Cannavale and television's forthcoming "Supergirl,'' Melissa Benoist. DVD extras: "making-of'' documentary; Danny Collins "album covers.'' (R: AS, N, P) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
"The Gunman": As the title suggests, action is the byword for Sean Penn in this melodrama, on which he also was a producer. He plays a Special Forces veteran (Sean Penn) targeted by a former colleague, sending him fleeing across Africa and Europe in a bid to survive the squad of assassins pursuing him. Director Pierre Morel, who guided Liam Neeson through a screen image transformation in the original "Taken,'' attempts the same with Penn here; the high-caliber supporting cast includes Javier Bardem, Idris Elba, Mark Rylance and Ray Winstone. (R: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
Also Releasing this week:
"All the Wrong Reasons": Cory Monteith ("Glee'') had one of his last roles in writer-director Gia Milani's tale of several big-box-store workers. Monteith plays the site's manager, with Karine Vanasse ("Revenge'') as his wife, an employee who's having a hard time coping with a personal tragedy. Her emotional unavailability leads him to become close to a cashier (Emily Hampshire, "Rookie Blue''), and a new hire (Kevin Zegers) ends up affecting all of them. (Not rated: AS, P)
"NOVA: Invisible Universe Revealed": If anything could reveal an invisible universe, it likely would be the Hubble Space Telescope, the history of which is traced in this episode of the PBS science series. Though its value has become well-known over the past quarter-century, its beginnings hardly were auspicious, with many deeming the project a failure -- until a repair mission in orbit corrected the situation, allowing stunning images and information to be sent back to Earth and to enable astronomers to have a greatly enriched understanding of the cosmos. *** (Not rated)
"Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter": Cinematic fantasy becomes reality for a woman (played by Rinko Kikuchi) who thinks the fictional movie "Fargo'' presented true events in this acclaimed film by director David Zellner. Deciding to find the picture's suitcase filled with stolen money, Kumiko leaves her drab Tokyo office job and sets out for North Dakota to find and claim the cash. Alexander Payne ("Nebraska'') executive-produced this fanciful picture, which does include "Fargo'' clips as it gets a Blu-ray release. (Not rated: AS) (Also on On Demand)
"House of Cards: Volume Three'' (July 7): Now the U.S. president, Francis Underwood (Kevin Spacey) takes his scheming to an entirely different level. (Not rated: AS, P, V)
"The Jinx: The Life ad Deaths of Robert Durst" (July 7): The recent HBO documentary miniseries that ended quite controversially comes to DVD and Blu-ray. (Not rated: AS, P)
"The Longest Ride" (July 14): Rebounding from an injury, a rodeo rider (Scott Eastwood) falls for an art student (Britt Robertson) in this Nicholas Sparks story. (PG-13: AS, N, P, V)
"The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" (July 14): Richard Gere joins returnees Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and Bill Nighy in the seriocomic sequel. (PG: AS, P)
"Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2" (July 14): While attending a convention in Las Vegas, Blart (Kevin James) opposes would-be art thieves. (PG: P, V)
"Insurgent" (Aug. 4): The ``Divergent'' sequel finds Tris (Shailene Woodley) trying to find respite while being hunted by enemies, physically and psychically. (PG-13: AS, P, V)
TOP 10 DVD RENTALS (week ending ending May 24, courtesy of Rentrak)
1) "Taklen 3"
2) "The Wedding Ringer"
3) "The Gambler"
6) "The Cobbler"
7) "Hot Tub Time Machine 2"
FAMILY VIEWING GUIDE KEY: AS, adult situations; N, nudity; P, profanity; V, violence; GV, particularly graphic violence.