New to DVD and On Demand Releases for May 21 - 27

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21 May 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:
Logan
"Logan": Hugh Jackman apparently bids farewell to his "X-Men'' alter ego -- not a spoiler, since he said very openly that he had wanted to finish the role -- in this well-crafted, neatly played adventure that reunites the actor with James Mangold, who also directed him in "The Wolverine.'' Banished to relative isolation with other remaining mutants, Logan gets his claws out again to help a super-powered youngster (Dafne Keen) evade villains who want her DNA. Patrick Stewart also makes an effective, and affecting, return as Professor Charles Xavier; other co-stars include Stephen Merchant, Richard E. Grant and Eriq La Salle ("ER''). *** (R: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
Get Out"Get Out": Jordan Peele -- half of comedy's Key and Peele -- scored a major hit as a writer-director with this genre-bending melodrama, which follows an interracial couple (played by Daniel Kaluuya and "Girls'' co-star Allison Williams) on their weekend getaway to visit the woman's parents (Catherine Keener and "The West Wing'' alum Bradley Whitford). Bizarre circumstances and behaviors eventually suggest to the boyfriend that his hosts may not be who they initially seem -- and that if he doesn't follow someone else's very forceful advice to "get out'' while he can, he could be doomed. DVD extras: "making-of'' documentary; audio commentary by Peele; deleted scenes; alternate ending; Q&A session with Peele and the cast. *** (R: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
The Great Wall"The Great Wall": After finding about as much action as he can in modern times, thanks primarily to his "Bourne'' capers, Matt Damon goes ancient in this adventure that is among the costliest productions yet made in China. Indeed, most of the rest of the cast is foreign (with Willem Dafoe a notable exception) as Damon plays a mercenary who's among the warriors battling fearsome creatures at the title structure, and the special effects are impressive even if much of the story will seem familiar to anyone who's seen even one other movie in this genre. Zhang Yimou ("Raise the Red Lantern'') directed the project. *** (PG-13: V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

Masterpiece: Dark Angel"Masterpiece: Dark Angel": In the same week PBS broadcasts it, this true drama gives "Downton Abbey'' alum Joanne Froggatt -- that show's Anna, reuniting here with director Brian Percival from that series -- the very different role of Mary Ann Cotton, a Victorian-era serial killer. Men who loved her were prime targets of her dastardly deeds, which she accomplished by hiding arsenic in cups of tea. As a measure of how successful she was, it's estimated that she was responsible for more people's deaths than Jack the Ripper was. Co-stars include "Downton Abbey'' colleague Thomas Howes plus Alun Armstrong, Sam Hoare and Laura Morgan. *** (Not rated: AS)

Also Releasing this Week:
"Outsiders: Season Two": Barring a sale of the series for a third season elsewhere, this set actually can be called "Outsiders: The Final Season,'' since WGN America has canceled the drama about warring Appalachian factions -- some of them within the same clan. The leader now is G'win (Gillian Alexy), who tries to bring Asa, Hasil and Lil Foster (Joe Anderson, Kyle Gallner, Ryan Hurst) back into the fold to help prevent Sheriff Wade Houghton (Thomas M. Wright) and coal officials from gaining control of the mountain. David Morse, Christina Jackson and Francie Swift also star. DVD extras: deleted scenes. *** (Not rated: AS, P, V)
"XX'': How scary can women be? They get our vote in this anthology of horror tales by four female filmmakers. A youngster stops eating after seeing what a fellow train passenger is transporting in a box; a woman tries to hide her newly deceased husband's body during their daughter's birthday party; four explorers cross paths with a lethal creature in the desert; and in the final segment, written and directed by Karyn Kusama ("Girlfight''), a single mother is forced to reach a crushing conclusion about her son. Cast members include Melanie Lynskey ("Togetherness''), Christina Kirk ("Powerless'') and Sheila Vand ("24: Legacy''). *** (R: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)


Upcoming Releases:
"Before I Fall" (May 30): A young woman (Zoey Deutch) keeps experiencing the circumstances of what evidently was her final day, over and over. (PG-13: AS, P, V) "Collide" (May 30): Trying to save his ill girlfriend (Felicity Jones), a young man (Nicholas Hoult) is caught between two enemies (Anthony Hopkins, Ben Kingsley). (PG-13: AS, P, V)

"Fist Fight'' (May 30): After one teacher (Charlie Day) causes the firing of another (Ice Cube), an after-school bout between them is in the offing. (R: AS, N, P)
"Hart to Hart: The Complete Series" (May 30): The entire five-season run of the Robert Wagner-Stefanie Powers mystery show is compiled in a new boxed set. (Not rated: AS, V)
"A Cure for Wellness" (June 6): A company man (Dane DeHaan) heads for the Swiss Alps to retrieve his boss from a spa that isn't what it seems. (R: AS, N, P, V)
"John Wick: Chapter 2" (June 13): The ex-assassin (Keanu Reeves) goes to Italy when another killer wants his own sister eliminated; Reeves' ``Matrix'' colleague Laurence Fishburne co-stars. (R: AS, N, P, V)
"The Lego Batman Movie" (June 13): Will Arnett voices the title character as the Joker (voice of Zach Galifianakis) threatens Gotham City once again. (PG: AS)


Oldies But Goodies:
"The Bourne Identity" (2002): An amnesiac (Matt Damon) slowly remembers that he's a highly trained CIA veteran in this franchise-launching adventure. *** (Also on Blu-ray)
"Terms of Endearment" (1983): Director James L. Brooks' comedy-drama, with Oscar-winning turns by Shirley MacLaine and Jack Nicholson, finally comes to Blu-ray. ****
"X-Men'' (2000): The first of the many live-action adventures based on the Marvel Comics series stars Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry and Patrick Stewart. *** (Also on Blu-ray)


TOP 10 DVD & Blu-Ray Rentals
(Week ending May 1, 2017, Courtesy of
comScore)

1)  "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story"
2)  "Why Him?"
3)  "Fantastic Beasts and Where to FindThem"
4)  "Sing"
5)  "La La Land"
6)  "Guardians of the Galaxy"
7)  "Assasin's Creed"
8)  "Gold"
9)  "Monster Trucks"
10)  "Collateral Beauty"


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