DVD Releases for the week of Feb. 28 2021

Hilary Swank in “Fatale”

“FATALE”: Double Oscar winner Hilary Swank made a previous stab at the image of a femme fatale – in the period piece “The Black Dahlia” — but she puts a very contemporary twist on the concept (and is fun to watch doing that) in this melodrama, which had whatever theatrical release was possible during the past holiday season. Swank plays a police detective who turns out to be the one-night stand a married sports agent (Michael Ealy) recently had during a business trip, and their connection becomes more complicated when she investigates a break-in at the man’s home. A divorced mother, she’s scheming to regain custody of her daughter … and that may not be the only plotting that she’s up to, as the latest object of her affection discovers fairly quickly. Mike Colter (“Evil”), Geoffrey Owens and Danny Pino also are in director Deon Taylor’s cast.  *** (R: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

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

STARTING THIS WEEK (New releases):

“MONSTER HUNTER”: After working with him on the “Resident Evil” franchise, Milla Jovovich reunited with filmmaker Paul W.S. Anderson (who happens to be her real-life husband) for this adaptation of another popular video game. She plays a military captain transported with the rest of her unit by a ferociously powerful sandstorm to an alternate world, which is populated by bizarre creatures that quickly decimate her team. She’s left almost on her own, since she partners with The Hunter (Tony Jaa), someone who’s used to battling such monsters … but that’s still far from a guarantee of her survival. Meagan Good, Diego Boneta and Ron Perlman also appear, but the true stars here are behind the scenes, given all the unique imagery they have to present. DVD extras: three “making-of” documentaries; deleted scenes. *** (PG-13: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray, 4K Ultra HD and On Demand)

“DOCTOR WHO: REVOLUTION OF THE DALEKS”: The latest edition of the iconic sci-fi series’ traditional holiday-season episode returns former cast member John Barrowman, who starred in the spinoff “Torchwood,” to the franchise. The latest Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) is whiling away time in an alien prison, leaving her cohorts (Bradley Walsh, Mandip Gill, Tosin Cole) on their own to handle a situation that apparently involves an enemy Dalek. They ultimately could use a helping hand, and that’s where Captain Jack Harkness (Barrowman) comes in. Chris Noth also is back for an appearance, with Dame Harriet Walter joining the cast. *** (Not rated: AS, V) (Also on Blu-ray)

“ZAPPA”: With that title, there’s pretty much only one person this documentary — directed by Alex Winter, of “Bill & Ted” acting fame — could be about, as the personal, professional and political lives and times of the famously unconventional Frank Zappa are recounted. To be sure, there’s plenty of focus on his ever-unpredictable music, encompassing the time he spent with the group The Mothers of Invention, thanks in sufficient part to material furnished by the Zappa family trust (who allowed Winter access to Zappa’s own archives). Interviewees include Zappa’s widow, Gail, and a number of his performing colleagues and peers. Such fellow icons as David Bowie, Mick Jagger and all four principal Beatles are seen in clips. *** (Not rated: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

“THE BEST OF CHER”: As the iconic singer-actress’ many fans will attest, a lot of what she’s done over the course of her career could qualify for the title of this release. The documentary dates back to her rise to musical fame in the 1960s with then-husband Sonny Bono, marked by such hits as “The Beat Goes On” and “I Got You Babe,” and proceeds through her solo stardom that saw her eventually win a best-actress Oscar for “Moonstruck” (and also saw the couple divorce, though they would collaborate professionally again after that). As reaffirmed recently by her participation in events surrounding the presidential inauguration, the much-imitated but never equaled Cher remains a show-business force unlike any other. *** (Not rated)

“CHEER! RALLY! KILL! 5-FILM COLLECTION”: In recent years, Lifetime and Lifetime Movie Network have made a popular franchise out of frequently repeated cheerleaders-in-peril stories, and several of those tales are composed in this set. The titles are on the order of “Undercover Cheerleader” — with Kayla Wallace as a teen who has an ulterior motive for making the squad — and “Identity Theft oi a Cheerleader,” in which an older woman (Maiara Walsh) poses as a student in a bid for the glory days she never had when she was in school. Also included is “The Wrong Cheerleader,” an entry in star and producer Vivica A. Fox’s “Wrong” series, featuring Cristine Prosperi as a new pom-pom carrier who attracts the attention of a dangerous suitor. The other dramas here are “The Secret Lives of Cheerleaders” and “The Cheerleader Escort.” ***  (Not rated: AS, P, V)

COMING SOON (Upcoming releases):

“Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia”






“THE TEN COMMANDMENTS” (4K Ultra HD) (March 30

Jay Bobbin

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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