New to DVD and On Demand Releases for May 13 - 19

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17 May 2018
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:
Black Panther"Black Panther": More than a movie, a true phenomenon, the highest-grossing superhero movie of all time casts Chadwick Boseman as the Marvel character. He's the prince of a kingdom called Wakanda that needs defenders from outside invaders -- one of them tellingly named Killmonger and played by "Creed'' star Michael B. Jordan, in a fine reunion with director and co-writer Ryan Coogler. Though the film has the requisite special effects and frantic battles, it also has a lot more in terms of depicting family relationships and the essence of an entire culture. Letitia Wright is especially fun as Black Panther's lively sister, who supplies him with an array of weapons. The first-rate cast also includes Martin Freeman, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Andy Serkis, Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o ("12 Years a Slave'') and "Get Out'' Oscar nominee Daniel Kaluuya. **** (PG-13: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
The Bold Type:Season OneThe Bold Type:Season One"The Bold Type: Season One": One of last summer's new cable hits, this Freeform drama series revolves around the personal and professional lives of three New York-based fashion-magazine co-workers played by "American Idol'' alum Katie Stevens, Aisha Dee and Meghann Fahy. Though some elements hold to traditions of prime-time soaps -- one of the trio (Fahy) secretly is involved with an attorney for the publisher (Sam Page) -- the show also touches on such relevant social matters as same-sex relationships and women's health. In an attractive and appealing cast, Melora Hardin ("The Office'') also is notable as the high-powered but empathetic magazine boss. Season 2 begins its telecasts next month. *** (Not rated: AS. P)
Cocaine Godmother"Cocaine Godmother": Some may have been surprised that Oscar and Tony winner Catherine Zeta-Jones headlined this made-for-Lifetime movie earlier this year, but that's where she found the creative support for a true story she had nurtured for some time. Quite gritty by the cable network's standards, the movie casts her as Griselda Blanco, a mother of three who took to the drug trade quickly ... then became a major, murderous Miami cocaine smuggler using unlikely "mules'' to transport her wares, and gaining notoriety as "The Black Widow.'' Noted cinematographer Guillermo Navarro ("Pan's Labyrinth,'' "Pacific Rim'') is the director. *** (Not rated: AS, P, V) `
The Forgiven"The Forgiven": Oscar winner Forest Whitaker takes the role of Archbishop Desmond Tutu in this fact-inspired drama, directed and co-written by Roland Joffe ("The Killing Fields'') and based on the iconic leader's encounter -- while he's heading the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, following South Africa's apartheid era -- with a convicted murderer (Eric Bana) who may be eligible for amnesty. Their meeting in a maximum-security prison in Cape Town becomes a genuine, very vocal battle of wills. *** (R: AS, P, V) (Also on On Demand)

Also Releasing this Week:

NOVA: Prediction by the Numbers"NOVA: Prediction by the Numbers": Simply by their nature, predictions are dicey things -- since, despite whatever percentages might be placed on their being accurate, there's almost always a chance that they won't be. This recent episode of the venerable PBS science series questions why some forecasts of events hit their marks while others don't, using examples such as that known from the baseball-themed book and movie "Moneyball.'' Predictions that are generated by computer, without the human factor being involved, get particular attention here. *** (Not rated)
The Honor List"The Honor List": The senior year of high school draws several former friends -- including one played by "Pretty Little Liars'' alum Sasha Pieterse -- back together, via a tragedy, in this drama. Despite the very different directions they've taken, their shared sadness prompts them to tackle a long-ago-created bucket list of things they hope to accomplish before graduation. Also in the ensemble cast are Meghan Rienks, Karrueche Tran ("Claws'') and Arden Cho ("Teen Wolf''). *** (PG-13: AS, N, P) (Also on On Demand)

Upcoming Releases:

"The 15:17 to Paris'' (May 22): Director Clint Eastwood casts the actual heroes as themselves in re-creating the true story of three Americans who foiled a terrorist attack aboard a European train. (PG-13: AS, P, V)
"A Fistful of Dollars" (May 22): Director Sergio Leone's Western, which made Clint Eastwood a global superstar, gets a home-video reintroduction in its 4K restoration. (R: P, V)
"Game Night" (May 22): A game becomes far too real for several friends in this comedy-mystery; Jason Bateman, Rachel McAdams and Kyle Chandler star. (R: AS, P, V)
"Little Women" (May 22): Televised by PBS, the latest version of the Louisa May Alcott classic comes to home video; the cast includes Angela Lansbury and Emily Watson. (Not rated: AS)
"Red Sparrow" (May 22): Jennifer Lawrence plays a Russian ballerina turned lethal spy, and she gets ever dirtier and adopts more disguises as she settles into the espionage game. (R: AS, N, P, V)
"Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Singles Collection" (May 22): The holiday pseudo-classic "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians'' is included in this grouping of several earlier releases. (Not rated)
"I'm Dying Up Here: Season One" (May 29): With Jim Carrey among its executive producers, the Showtime drama series probes the world of stand-up comedy; stars include Melissa Leo and Michael Angarano. (Not rated: AS, P)

Oldies But Goodies:

"Die Hard" (1988): The Bruce Willis-starring action classic marks its 30th anniversary by making its debut in the 4K Ultra HD format; Alan Rickman plays the leader of the skyscraper-overtaking villains. (R: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray)
"It's Alive" (1974): Writer-director Larry Cohen's cult-classic thriller about a nightmare of a baby -- very literally -- is packaged with its two sequels in a new Blu-ray set. ***
"Traffic" (2000): The cast of Steven Soderbergh's Oscar-winning drama includes Catherine Zeta-Jones as the wife of a captured drug kingpin (Steven Bauer). **** (Also on Blu-ray)

TOP 10 DVD & Blu-Ray Rentals
(Week ending May 6, 2018, Courtesy of 

 1 "12 Strong"
 2 "Den of Thieves"
 3 "The Commuter"
 4 "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle"
 5 "Peter Rabbit"
 6 "The Greatest Showman"
 7 "The Maze Runner: Death Cure"
 8 "Star Wars: The Last Jedi"
 9 "Hostiles"
10 "Thor: Ragnarok"

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

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