New to DVD and On Demand Releases for September 27 - October 3
Releasing this week:
"Avengers: Age of Ultron'': Here's a great reason to test your home entertainment set-up's sound system, an expectedly loud and busy chapter in the Marvel movie franchise that's especially notable for the sly performance of James Spader. He literally gives voice to the titular Ultron, a powerful new enemy unwittingly generated by Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) -- alias Iron Man -- in a bid to create an army of global defenders. Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Falcon (Anthony Mackie) also are drawn back into battle to save the world from the villain. Joss Whedon wrote and directed the saga, with Samuel L. Jackson, Don Cheadle, Paul Bettany, Cobie Smulders and (as "Agent Carter'') Hayley Atwell among other returnees. New cast members also include Elizabeth Olsen and Stellan Skarsgard. (PG-13: P, V) (Also on Blu-ray)
"Spy'': Melissa McCarthy has one of the most successful outings of her movie career thus far by reuniting with "Bridesmaids'' and "The Heat'' director Paul Feig for this fun comedy, casting her as a CIA analyst who becomes a surprisingly effective field agent when more-experienced colleagues (Jude Law, Jason Statham) are taken out of action. Her search for a nuclear device puts her on the trail of its inventor's daughter (fellow "Bridesmaids'' alum Rose Byrne) as the web of espionage gets ever more complex. Allison Janney, Bobby Cannavale, Miranda Hart, Morena Baccarin ("Homeland'') and Curtis "50 Cent'' Jackson also appear, but first and foremost, this is a terrific showcase for McCarthy. DVD extras: two "making-of'' documentaries; audio commentary by Feig and crew members; photo gallery. (R and unrated versions: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray)
"Entourage": The HBO inside-Hollywood comedy series resumes with this feature-film version from franchise mentor Doug Ellin, which co-star Emmanuelle Chriqui termed as being "like the best-ever episode'' ... and for fans of the show, she's right. Actor Vince's (Adrian Grenier) film-directing debut causes concern for agent turned studio chief Ari (Jeremy Piven), so the son (Haley Joel Osment) of a financial backer (Billy Bob Thornton) goes to the set to oversee things. The members of Vince's ``entourage'' (fellow returnees Kevin Dillon, Kevin Connolly and Jerry Ferrara) have new dilemmas of their own. Rex Lee, Constance Zimmer ("UnREAL'') and Perrey Reeves also reprise their roles, with producer Mark Wahlberg, Liam Neeson, Jessica Alba, Tom Brady and George Takei among the numerous cameos. DVD extras: deleted scenes. (R: AS, N, P) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
"Great Performances: Driving Miss Daisy": Two icons of acting, Angela Lansbury and James Earl Jones, are teamed in this excellent production of Alfred Uhry's Pulitzer Prize-winning play (which, of course, fueled an Oscar-winning 1989 movie). Recorded in 2013 in Melbourne, Australia, the comedy-drama finds the son (Boyd Gaines) of a senior citizen (Lansbury) hiring a chauffeur (Jones) for her. Though their connection starts off being shaky, cantankerous Daisy and her well-meaning driver Hoke transcend their differences to forge a mutually beneficial friendship. While keeping the focus on the expectedly expert performances, the minimal props are used very well here; note the "car.'' (Not rated: AS)
Also Releasing this week:
"Jane the Virgin: The Complete First Season": Talk about twists of fate: Miami hotel worker Jane (Golden Globe Award winner Gina Rodriguez) -- who has vowed not to become an unwed mother like her own mom (Andrea Navedo) -- ends up artificially inseminated by accident as this seriocomic, critically praised adaptation of a telenovela begins. The resulting complications are numerous not only for Jane, but also for her fiance (Brett Dier) as well as for the biological father and his wife (Justin Baldoni, Yael Grobglas). Jaime Camil and Ivonne Coll also star in the series, which has opened up new business for The CW (where it soon will start its second season). (Not rated: AS, P)
"Poltergeist": The original Steven Spielberg-produced, Tobe Hooper-directed version still rules, but this remake -- written by a Pulitzer Prize winner, David Lindsay-Abaire ("Rabbit Hole'') -- is at least well-cast as it makes a go of updating the classic haunted-house tale. Sam Rockwell and Rosemarie DeWitt now play the couple whose youngest child (Kennedi Clements) is spirited away by spectres, prompting the distraught parents to recruit paranormal experts (Jane Adams, Jared Harris) in a desperate bid to retrieve their daughter. Sam Raimi produced the film. DVD extras: theatrical trailers; alternate ending; photo gallery. (PG-13: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
"Insidious Chapter 3" (Oct. 6): Paranormal sleuths try to help a teen (Stefanie Scott) who's convinced her late mother is reaching out to her. (PG-13: AS, P, V)
"Magic Mike XXL" (Oct. 6): Mike (Channing Tatum) and his former male-stripper peers reunite for a final performance; Matt Bomer and Joe Manganiello also return. (R: AS, N, P)
"Me and Earl and the Dying Girl" (Oct. 6): A teen (Thomas Mann) gets plenty of life lessons from his new friendship with an ill classmate (Olivia Cooke). (PG-13: AS, P)
"San Andreas" (Oct. 13): A rescue pilot and his estranged wife (Dwayne Johnson, Carla Gugino) try to save their daughter when ``the big one'' hits California. (PG-13: AS, P, V)
"Tomorrowland" (Oct. 13): An inventor and a young woman (George Clooney, Britt Robertson) are united by their shared thoughts of a unique place. (PG: P, V)
"Terminator Genisys" (Nov.10): He'll be back, all right: Arnold Schwarzenegger returns in a reboot of the sci-fi saga. (PG-13: N, P, V)
TOP 10 DVD RENTALS (week ending ending August 23, courtesy of Rentrak Corp.)
1) "Get Hard"
2) "The Divergent Series: Insurgent"
3) "Hot Pursuit"
4) "The Longest Ride"
5) "Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2"
7) "Kingsman: The Secret Service"
8) "Unfinished Business"
9) "The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel"
10) "Run All Night"
FAMILY VIEWING GUIDE KEY: AS, adult situations; N, nudity; P, profanity; V, violence; GV, particularly graphic violence.
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