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.)
"Ghostbusters": An all-female team of spectre fighters -- played by Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon -- is "who ya gonna call'' in this update of the classic mix of laughs and scares. Surprisingly, the often risque actresses and director/co-screenwriter Paul Feig ("Bridesmaids'') keep things pretty tame, at least in the theatrical version (there's added footage in the home video release) ... but the result still is entertaining enough, with plenty of the requisite special effects. Chris Hemsworth supplies male eye candy as the ladies' receptionist, and if you're hoping for cameos by original cast members, you won't be disappointed. DVD extras: three "making-of'' documentaries; audio commentary by cast and crew members; photo gallery. *** (PG-13 and unrated versions: AS) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
"The Twilight Zone: The Complete Series": Devotees of Rod Serling's classic, much-acclaimed anthology show can immerse themselves in all five seasons, 75 hours-plus worth of imaginative storytelling that encompasses a parade of notable actors and some of the most legendary episodes in television history. William Shatner (as a rightfully terrified airplane passenger in a particularly memorable story, "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet'') and Leonard Nimoy were among those who appeared here, before they boarded "Star Trek'' together. Robert Redford, Lee Marvin, Telly Savalas, Elizabeth Montgomery, Art Carney, Burgess Meredith, Cliff Robertson, Burt Reynolds, Charles Bronson, Robert Duvall, Jack Klugman and Don Rickles are among the many other notables seen here -- and of course, there is the revered Serling, whose brilliance as a writer comes through in the story introductions and the scripts he contributed to the program. Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson and Earl Hamner Jr. ("The Waltons'') also supplied teleplays. **** (Not rated: AS, V)
"The Infiltrator": Told in the Netflix drama "Narcos,'' the saga of drug kingpin Pablo Escobar gets another take in this true drama boasting yet another distinctive performance by Bryan Cranston (also an executive producer of the project). He plays a federal agent who takes a big risk by going undercover and getting close to Escobar's second-in-command (Benjamin Bratt), moving cautiously to dismantle the operations of several other drug lords, too -- along with those who laundered money for them. Diane Kruger and John Leguizamo also star as the Cranston character`s associates. Amy Ryan appears as well. DVD extras: two documentaries; audio commentary by Cranston and producer-director Brad Furman; deleted scenes. *** (R: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
"Approaching the Unknown": Take some of "The Martian,'' add a dose of "Gravity,'' and you get this outer-space drama that's largely a tour de force for star Mark Strong ("Sherlock Holmes''). He plays an astronaut en route to Mars when he learns another space traveler is in trouble, and he diverts from his mission to undertake an attempted rescue ... seriously depleting his resources in the process. Luke Wilson and Sanaa Lathan also appear, but there's no question that Strong is the driving force here, very much to his credit. *** (R: P)
Also releasing this week:
"The Legend of Tarzan": It tries a while for the loincloth to come out, but rest assured that it eventually does in this latest retelling of the saga of Edgar Rice Burroughs' jungle hero. "True Blood'' alum Alexander Skargsard certainly has the physique for the part, though it's concealed at first as the character lives a privileged life as Lord Greystoke. He returns to the Congo on official business ... supposedly, since it turns out he's really being manipulated by an enemy (Christoph Waltz) who also puts Tarzan's true love Jane (Margot Robbie, "Suicide Squad'') in peril. Though the story isn't anything you haven't seen before if you're a fan of the franchise, "Harry Potter''-alum director David Yates mounts it handsomely. Samuel L. Jackson, Djimon Houjnsou and Jim Broadbent also appear. *** DVD extras: five "making-of'' documentaries. (PG-13: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
"Ice Age: Collision Course": Plenty of sci-fi movies have placed Earth in danger, but what if the ultimate threat to the planet was caused by ... Scrat (voice of Chris Wedge)? His latest effort to protect his cherished acorn sends an asteroid toward terra firma in this continuation of the animated series that also serves as an entertaining spin on a very familiar genre. Manny, Diego and Sid (voices of returnees Ray Romano, Denis Leary and John Leguizamo) try to figure out how to keep the ultimate disaster from befalling themselves and everyone they know. Queen Latifah, Jennifer Lopez, Simon Pegg, Wanda Sykes and Josh Peck are among other voice-cast members who are back, with Michael Strahan, Nick Offerman and Melissa Rauch ("The Big Bang Theory'') among the newcomers. DVD extras: seven making-of documentaries; photo gallery. *** (PG: AS) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
"Alice Through the Looking Glass" (Oct. 18): Alice (Mia Wasikowska) returns to Wonderland to help the depressed Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp). (PG: P, V)
"Cafe Society" (Oct. 18): Woody Allen's comedy-drama follows a 1930s East Coaster (Jesse Eisenberg) to Hollywood and back; Blake Lively and Kristen Stewart also star. (PG-13: AS, P, V)
"Independence Day: Resurgence" (Oct. 18): Twenty years later, aliens invade Earth again; Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman return, and Liam Hemsworth joins the cast. (PG-13: P, V)
"Lights Out" (Oct. 25): A woman (Teresa Palmer) fears her younger brother is facing the same terror that made her question her sanity. (PG-13: AS, P, V)
"Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders" (Nov. 1): This new animated feature boasts the voices of 1960s "Batman'' television-series stars Adam West, Burt Ward and Julie Newmar. (PG: AS, V)
"Billions: Season One" (Nov. 8): A federal attorney (Paul Giamatti) sets his sights on the hedge-fund king (Damian Lewis) who employs the lawyer's wife (Maggie Siff). (Not rated: AS, N, P)
TOP 10 DVD & Blu-Ray Rentals
(Week ending September 25, 2016, Courtesy of comScore)
1) "Captain America: Civil War"
2) "TMNT: Out Of The Shadows"
3) "Now You See Me 2"
4) "The Jungle Book"
5) "The Huntsman: Winter's War"
6) "Money Monster"
7) "Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice"
8) "Nice Guys"
9) "The Boss"
10) "Angry Birds Movie"
FAMILY VIEWING GUIDE KEY: AS, adult situations; N, nudity; P, profanity; V, violence; GV, particularly graphic violence