DVD Releases for the week of August 7, 2022

STARTING THIS WEEK (New releases):

“Sonic the Hedgehog 2”

“SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 2”: The video-game-originated title character, voiced by Ben Schwartz, is back to try to foil the sinister Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey) once more in this sequel that again combines animation and live action in a comedy-adventure that’s pretty much for all ages. The villain and his new cohort seek an emerald that will give vast power to its holder — and cause great problems for virtually everyone else, so Sonic leaves the life he’s settled into to stop the plot. James Marsden, Tika Sumpter and Adam Pally also return, with Shemar Moore (“S.W.A.T.”) joining the cast. The picture is one of this year’s top box-office hits to date. *** (PG: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray, 4K Ultra HD, Digital and On Demand)

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

“HEAT”: One of the most acclaimed crime dramas of modern times, writer-director Michael Mann’s lengthy but excitingly paced 1995 saga makes its debut in the 4K Ultra HD format … coinciding with the publication of a “Heat 2” novel that Mann co-authored. While Al Pacino and Robert De Niro both were in “The Godfather, Part Ii,” they didn’t actually appear on the screen together before the now-legendary scene that comes midway through this tale of a Los Angeles police-unit leader (Pacino) determined to catch a bank-robbing career criminal (De Niro) who has no hesitation to eliminate anyone who gets in his way. The huge, terrific cast also includes Val Kilmer, Tom Sizemore, Amy Brenneman, Diane Venora, Jon Voight, Wes Studi, Mykelti Williamson, Ashley Judd, Dennis Haysbert and a very young Natalie Portman. This “Ultimate Collector’s Edition” includes an audio commentary by Mann carried over from previous home-video editions. *** (R: AS, P, V)

“MEN”: This melodrama likely isn’t what you might think it is from the title, which is underscored by the fact that its maker is Alex Garland, the director behind such unusual projects as “Ex Machina” and “Annihilation.” Jessie Buckley, who was Oscar-nominated for “The Lost Daughter,” stars as a woman trying to recover from a tragedy by seeking isolation in the English countryside … but she soon finds that she isn’t alone, in a decidedly terrifying way. Rory Kinnear, who played M’s assistant Tanner to Daniel Craig’s James Bond, also is featured. *** (R: AS, N, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

“THE GREEN PLANET”: The latest of the documentary series hosted and narrated by the esteemed Sir David Attenborough, this very recent PBS presentation — originated by England’s BBC — examines aspects of the natural world, but this time from the standpoint of plants rather than animals. The five episodes explore the different TV atmospheres that nurture different sorts of plant life, also detailing the special sort of “communication” that exists between plants and ways in which it ultimately benefits mankind. The program uses sophisticated cinematography techniques, including high-speed cinematography, to show what it talks about. **** (Not rated) (Also on 4K Ultra HD)

“HOT SEAT”: The 1994 movie “Blown Away” has an early scene at which a worker is at the mercy of a specially an FX dangerously rigged computer station, and this suspense tale expands on that concept. Kevin Dillon (“Entourage”) plays a cyber expert whose professional knowledge gets him only so far when an extortionist activates a bomb strapped to his chair, threatening to detonate it unless he cooperated in staging a theft online. Mel Gibson also stars as an explosives-expert police officer trying to save the man, who eventually gets framed as the mastermind behind the whole plot. Shannen Doherty and Chad Michael Murray are in the cast as well. *** (R: AS, P, V) ( Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

“GULLIVER RETURNS”: This animated tale incorporating Jonathan Swift’s long-famous premise and characters comes from an interesting source, since Volodymyr Zelensky — the President of Ukraine, who certainly had been prominent in international headlines lately — was among the creators of this sequel’s story. It probably isn’t hard to guess the theme, which finds the relatively diminutive residents of Lilliput summoning the towering (to them, anyway) Gulliver to return to their land and help them deal with a new crisis. Wayne Grayson voices the title character in the production, which involved a Ukraine-based studio. *** (Not rated)

COMING SOON (Upcoming releases):




“1883” (Aug. 30)



“South Park”

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

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