New to DVD and On Demand Releases for October 22 - 28

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22 October 2017
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:
War for the Planet of the Apes"War for the Planet of the Apes'': The futuristic battle between simians and humans continues to rage in returning director Matt Reeves' latest contribution to the sci-fi franchise. Though he'd prefer peace over conflict, ape Caesar (Andy Serkis, turning in yet another remarkable portrayal while unrecognizable in a character guise) sees no choice but to lead a battle against the troops of a hawkish colonel (a totally committed Woody Harrelson) who has caused him some very personal losses. Steve Zahn (as "Bad Ape''), Amiah Miller, Toby Kebbell and Judy Greer also star in the familiar-feeling but still effective story. *** (PG-13: AS, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
The Emoji Movie"The Emoji Movie": You've used them (probably) to let others on social media know how you're feeling, and now, they have their own animated film. T.J. Miller voices one emoji who represents more than one emotion, causing him a big problem as he tries to whittle down that range and fit in. James Corden and Anna Faris ("Mom'') voice his friends who try to help him as they all attempt to keep from being deleted -- quite literally. For those not familiar with the emoji world, the movie actually could serve as an educational primer of sorts. Christina Aguilera, Sofia Vergara ("Modern Family''), comic Steven Wright, Maya Rudolph, Sean Hayes, Rachael Ray (as Spam ... ha!) and the unmistakable Patrick Stewart also are heard. DVD extras: "making-of'' documentaries; audio commentary by director Tony Leondis and animators; "Puppy!'' short subject; drawing lessons. *** (PG: AS) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

Personal Shopper"Personal Shopper" Going directly to the specialty-brand Criterion Collection for its home-video debut, this moody drama from French filmmaker Olivier Assayas (who received a best director award at the Cannes Film Festival for this) casts Kristen Stewart -- a good fit for such a story -- as the title assistant. Living in Paris, she tries to deal with her grief over her twin brother's recent death by tapping into her abilities as a medium to try to make contact with him. The informed text messages she starts receiving from someone she doesn't know unsettle her even more. DVD extras: audio commentary by Assayas; press conference with cast and crew members; essay. *** (R: AS, P) (Also on On Demand)

Also Releasing this Week:

"An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power": Former Vice President Al Gore again addresses climate change in this sequel to his 2006 documentary, which did much to heighten general awareness of the situation and the pursuit of renewable energy sources. The film became even timelier upon its summer release after President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement, promoting the filmmakers to re-edit the film before it hit theater screens to incorporate that development. This ultimately didn't get the same degree of attention as the original film, but its home-video debut could boost that. *** (PG: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
"Annabelle: Creation": `Tis the season for horror on home video, thus the arrival of this prequel to a 2014 chiller (and continuation of the "Conjuring'' franchise) that continues to make the possessed title doll the source of terror. More than a decade after their daughter's death, the doll's creator and his wife (played by Anthony LaPaglia and Miranda Otto) take in a nun (Stephanie Sigman, "Spectre'') and several children from a just-closed orphanage -- and as might be expected, the newcomers soon get much more than they bargained for. Talitha Bateman and Lulu Wilson portray two of the principal youngsters in the tale, which does provide some jolts. Original "Annabelle'' screenwriter Gary Dauberman returned for this edition, and Annabelle Wallis ("The Mummy'') has a cameo in her role from the first picture. *** (R: P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
"Where's the Money?": A modern treasure hunt of sorts fuels this comedy about a South Central man (Andrew Bachelor) bent on recovering the robbery loot that his father and uncle (Mike Epps, Terry Crews) stashed in what now is a university frat house. To get to the money, he vies to join the fraternity, which would make him its first black member -- but the uncle and a mobster (Method Man) also want to reach the cash first. Logan Paul, Kat Graham ("The Vampire Diaries''), Allen Maldonado and ``Parks and Recreation'' alum Retta also appear. DVD extras: "making-of'' documentary; video commentary by cast members and director Scott Zabielski; deleted scenes; outtakes. *** (R: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

Upcoming Releases:

"The Dark Tower" (Oct. 31): Two men (Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey) clash over the force that keeps the universe in one piece in the Stephen King story. (PG-13: P, V)
"Kidnap" (Oct. 31): A woman (Halle Berry) takes matters into her own hands to save her abducted son; Jason George co-stars. (R: P, V)
"Orphan Black: The Complete Series" (Oct. 31): Tatiana Maslany wraps up her much-praised performance -- actually, make that "performances'' -- as mutually protective clones. (Not rated: AS, P, V)
"Westworld: Season One" (Nov. 7): The HBO-series reimagining of the fantasy about a resort populated by lifelike robots stars Anthony Hopkins, Evan Rachel Wood and Thandie Newton. (Not rated: AS, N, P, V)
"Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets" (Nov. 21): In director Luc Besson's fantasy-adventure, a futuristic law enforcer (Dane DeHaan) tries to keep a metropolis -- and the whole universe -- together. (PG-13: AS, P, V)
"Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life" (Nov. 28): Changes in seasons mean changes for Lorelai and Rory (Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel) in this sequel miniseries. (Not rated: AS, P)

Oldies But Goodies:

"Child's Play" (1988): When it comes to lethal dolls on screen, Chucky remains the king, as suggested by this initial thriller in the series. *** (Also on Blu-ray)
"Planet of the Apes" (1968): Charlton Heston stars as an astronaut who lands you-know-where in the original sci-fi classic. **** (Also on Blu-ray)
"Ted" (2012): One of the many treats of director and co-writer Seth MacFarlane's comedy about a living stuffed bear is Patrick Stewart's distinctive narration. *** (Also on Blu-ray)

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

1)  "Wonder Woman"
2)  "Transformers: The Last Knight"
3)  "47 Meters Down"
4)  "Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie"
5)  "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2"
6)  "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales"
7)  "Baywatch"
8)  "Rough Night"
9)  "The Big Sick"
10)  "The Boss Baby"

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

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