New to DVD and On Demand Releases for June 7 - 13
Releasing this week:
"Kingsman: The Secret Service": The spy game gets some twists from someone it would be expected of -- director and co-screenwriter Matthew Vaughn ("Kick-Ass'') -- in this fun, comic-book-inspired adventure, with its surprises indicated by the fact that the normally staid Colin Firth sees some of the action. He plays a veteran Secret Service operative involved in recruiting a street-smart youth (Taron Egerton) for global espionage work. Samuel L. Jackson, who's been doing more heroic duty lately as Nick Fury in various Marvel projects, is the villain of this piece; Michael Caine, Mark Strong, Jack Davenport ("Smash'') and Mark Hamill also star. (R: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray)
"Project Almanac": It's never smart to mess with history, but if everyone followed that suggestion, certain movies wouldn't exist -- including this one. Teenage friends build and use a time machine, and their knowledge of the past and the present day enables them to turn things to their advantage ... with calamitous results, inevitably. Stars include Jonny Weston, Sofia Black-D'Elia ("The Messengers''), Sam Lerner and Amy Landecker. "Transformers'' master Michael Bay is among the film's producers. (PG-13: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
"The Duff": Seen recently on the series "Parenthood,'' Mae Whitman makes an engaging heroine in this comedy about a high-school student who rebels against the social role her peers have cast her in. She finds out that even her friends regard her as a sidekick, so she decides to make a name for herself with the help of a popular, athletic peer (Robbie Amell, "The Flash''). The adaptation of Kody Keplinger's novel also features Allison Janney, Bella Thorne ("Shake It Up!''), Ken Jeong ("Community''), Romany Malco and Skyler Samuels. (PG-13: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
Also Releasing this week:
"Thunderbirds: The Complete Series'': A globally popular adventure show comes to Blu-ray ... and though it "stars'' marionettes, it can't really be labeled a children's show, since it has had plenty of adult admirers through the years as well. Producer Gerry Anderson largely built his stable of "Supermarionation'' series on the saga of the heroic Tracy family, dedicated to protecting the oppressed (and operating from their own island!) by using a fleet of visionary vehicles suitable for any atmosphere. The program's popularity was confirmed by a couple of feature-film spinoffs. Scott Tracy is voiced by Shane Rimmer, a fixture of James Bond movies in a variety of roles. DVD extras: "making-of'' documentary; publicity brochure. (Not rated: V)
"The Last Ship: The Complete First Season": Soon to start Season 2 on TNT, this drama series -- which counts Michael Bay among its producers -- is indeed about what is presumably the last naval ship in operation after a pandemic wipes out much of the world's population. Eric Dane stars as the leader of the crew, which must determine a way to save those still unaffected by the disease. Rhona Mitra, Adam Baldwin ("Chuck'') and Travis Van Winkle also are cast regulars in the show, based on a novel by William Brinkley and featuring Alfre Woodard in a guest turn as a presidential adviser ... before she played the president in "State of Affairs.'' (Not rated: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray)
"Beautiful & Twisted": Rob Lowe has worked against his famously good looks in several Lifetime true-crime movies, and this drama is the most recent one, casting him as Ben Novack Jr. -- the heir to Miami's Fontainebleau hotel. Under the disapproving eye of his socially connected mother (Candice Bergen), Ben and his stripper wife Nancy (Paz Vega, "Spanglish'') have a co-dependent relationship that ends with his murder. The subsequent police probe uncovers details of the marriage that increasingly make Nancy look like the culprit. Lowe also is an executive producer of the film. (Not rated: AS, P, V)
"The Last Unicorn" (1982): A new "Enchanted Edition'' revisits the animated fantasy about a unicorn seeking others of its kind; voices include Jeff Bridges and Angela Lansbury. *** (Also on Blu-ray)
"Chappie"' (June 16): A stolen, futuristic police robot becomes a threat when it's enabled to think for itself; Hugh Jackman stars in writer-director Neill Blomkamp's sci-fi thriller. (R: N, P, V)
"Run All Night" (June 16): To protect his son, a veteran hit man (Liam Neeson) must oppose his underworld-kingpin friend (Ed Harris). (R: AS, P, V)
"Unfinished Business" (June 16): Several businessmen (Vince Vaughn, Dave Franco, Tom Wilkinson) run into endless complications while trying to close a deal in Europe. (R: AS, N, P)
"The Lazarus Effect" (June 16): Medical researchers find a way to resurrect the deceased; Mark Duplass and Olivia Wilde star. (PG-13: AS, P, V)
"Danny Collins" (June 30): Al Pacino plays a literal rock star who reassesses his life after receiving a special letter. (R: AS, N, P)
"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)
TOP 10 DVD RENTALS (week ending ending May 3, courtesy of Rentrak)
1) "The Wedding Ringer"
4) "The Gambler"
6) "Exodus: Gods and Kings"
7) "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies"
8) "Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb"
10) "Big Hero 6"
FAMILY VIEWING GUIDE KEY: AS, adult situations; N, nudity; P, profanity; V, violence; GV, particularly graphic violence.
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