DVD Releases for the week of July 3, 2022

STARTING THIS WEEK (New releases):

“Downton Abbey: A New Era”

“DOWNTON ABBEY: A NEW ERA”: The success of the first movie spun off from the internationally popular television series all but guaranteed there would be a second, and it takes many of the familiar characters to the South of France to get a good look at a villa newly inherited by the Dowager Countess, a.k.a. Violet Crawley (Maggie Smith). Meanwhile, Downton Abbey is sought as the production site for a silent movie. Written by series creator Julian Fellowes, this film was directed by Simon Curtis … who has family ties to the project, since he’s the husband of co-star Elizabeth McGovern. Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Joanne Froggatt, Jim Carter, Laura Carmichael, Allen Leech and Phyllis Logan also return from the original cast, with Imelda Staunton reprising her part from the first movie. Hugh Dancy, Dominic West and Nathalie Baye are among newcomers this time. DVD extras: six “making-of” documentaries; audio commentary by Curtis. *** (PG: AS) (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.

“EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE”: The so-called “multiverse” of parallel worlds has been getting a big movie workout lately, thanks to the latest “Doctor Strange” film as well as this well-reviewed fantasy that gives the central role to Michelle Yeoh (“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”). She plays a woman who has her own problems with citizenship and parenthood when she’s informed that she is the only person who can save the world … thrusting her into alternate realities she must reconcile to be successful in her surprising mission. The film also features Jenny Slate, Harry Shum Jr. (“Glee”), Jamie Lee Curtis and veteran character actor James Hong. DVD extras; theatrical trailer; two “making-of” documentaries; audio commentary by writer-directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert; deleted scenes; outtakes; music video. *** (R: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray, 4K Ultra HD, Digital and On Demand)

“ZERO CONTACT”: The potential perils of accumulating data without knowing how or where it will be used — or by whom — are examined in this melodrama that gets a big shot of star power from Oscar winner and acting legend Anthony Hopkins as the mastermind behind a program that gathers such information. An artificial intelligence wants to put it to its own use, attempting to enlist several people including the Hopkins character’s son (Chris Brochu) to help. Sinister events occur at the would-be assistants’ homes, making them wonder if they should get involved … or if they’ll survive if they don’t. There’s a reason the story is so computer-based: The film was made virtually at the crux of the coronavirus pandemic, weaving together segments culled from 17 different countries. DVD extra: theatrical trailer. ** (R: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray, Digital and On Demand)

“MONSTROUS”: Though she’s had her encounters with the otherworldly in her roles, particularly in her days as “Addams Family” member Wednesday, Christina Ricci gets closer again to what can be the monstrosity of being human — as in “Monster” and television’s “Yellowjackets” — in this melodrama. She plays a woman trying to evade her abusive ex-husband and bringing her young son (Santino Barnard) along as she flees, but her damaged psyche and her former spouse’s pursuit of her take their toll. Colleen Camp also stars. *** (PG-13: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

“PLANET CALIFORNIA”: As the title of this PBS documentary might suggest, the “Planet Earth” approach of using crystal-clear camera work to highlight natural sights of various locations Is applied specifically to America’s Golden State here. That goes not only for the topography but also the wildlife that can be found in California, which is mentioned frequently for what happens in its more populous and urban areas, but which also holds vast areas less ruled by people and more conducive to the animal kingdom showcased by this program. *** (Not rated)

“THE WEDDING VEIL: LEGACY”: This final installment of a movie trilogy shown recently on Hallmark Channel again unites three of that outlet’s most popular actresses — Alison Sweeney, Lacey Chabert and Autumn Reeser. This conclusion focuses on the Sweeney character, an auction-house official who wants to keep a certain artifact out of the hands of a private buyer. She may get help from a restaurateur (Victor Webster) who is catering one of her events, though a recent breakup has her determined not to get involved personally with the man. The title veil, which has worked wonders for her friends romantically, might make the situation turn out otherwise. Kevin McGarry (“When Calls the Heart”) also appears. *** (Not rated: AS)

COMING SOON (Upcoming releases):






“THE LOST CITY” (July 26)

“The Beatles: Get Back”

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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