DVD Releases for the week of June 26, 2022

STARTING THIS WEEK (New releases):

“FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE SECRETS OF DUMBLEDORE”: The movie version of the J.K. Rowling storytelling empire continues with this fantasy, with a screenplay co-written by Rowling herself. Eddie Redmayne reprises the role of Newt Scamander, the authority on magic who is enlisted by Professor Dumbledore of “Harry Potter” fame (played here by Jude Law) to assemble a team of wizards and witches to stop the biggest enemy of individuals of their type, evil influencer Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen). Dumbledore tries to stay out of the heat of battle himself, but he ultimately may not be able to. Directed by David Yates — who also guided the first two “Fantastic Beasts” films and a number of the “Harry Potter” pictures — this tale also features Ezra Miller, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol and Katherine Waterston. DVD extra: “making-of” documentary. *** (PG-13: 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.

“FIRESTARTER”: Originally made into a movie in 1984 — when it seemed that a film based on a Stephen King novel was being released almost every week — this melodrama got a recent remake casting Zac Efron as the father of a youngster (Ryan Kiera Armstrong) with a fearsome power, enabling her to set whatever she wants ablaze at will. Others want to harness that ability for their own sinister purposes, putting the dad and daughter on the run … but as she gets older, she’s having a harder time keeping her dangerous trait in check. Gloria Reuben (“ER”), Kurtwood Smith (“That ‘70s Show”), Sydney Lemmon (“Fear the Walking Dead”) and Michael Greyeyes also are featured. DVD extras: four “making-of” documentaries; audio commentary by director Keith Thomas; deleted and extended scenes; outtakes; alternate ending. *** (R: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray, Digital and On Demand)

“MOTHERING SUNDAY”: A film-festival favorite last year, director Eva Husson’s drama casts Odessa Young as a maid in the mid-1920s who takes full advantage of the absence of her employers (played by an Oscar-winning duo, Colin Firth and Olivia Colman). She spends quality time with her secret love (Josh O’Connor), a privileged young man who happens to be engaged to a childhood friend of hers. The situation takes unexpected turns that impact all concerned. The impressive cast also includes another Academy Award recipient, Glenda Jackson … who actually won two of those honors as best actress. *** (R: AS, N, P) (Also on Blu-ray, Digital and On Demand)

“THE A-TEAM: THE COMPLETE SERIES”: One of the most popular action shows of the 1980s gets a Blu-ray release, with George Peppard playing the leader of a group of troubleshooters. Former Special Forces officers, they’re convicted of a crime they didn’t commit, but they escape and try to clear their names while helping others. The series cemented the popularity and fame of Mr. T, seen here not long after making his initial mark in “Rocky III”; Dirk Benedict and Dwight Schultz play the other members of the team, with Melinda Culea and Marla Heasley doing different stints as reporters who aid the quartet. Robert Vaughn joined the Stephen J. Cannell-produced show late in its run as a CIA official who becomes the team’s boss. *** (Not rated: AS, V)

“THE FIRST WIVES CLUB”: Goldie Hawn, Diane Keaton and Bette Midler form the “club” in this terrifically entertaining comedy from director (and “WKRP in Cincinnati” mentor) Hugh Wilson, making its Blu-ray debut as part of the “Paramount Presents” series. The actresses play former friends who overcome the disputes they’ve had to band together and “get everything” financially from the husbands who have unceremoniously dumped them. As they formulate and execute their plan, the picture — which makes great use of trendy New York locations— is packed with a parade of familiar faces including Sarah Jessica Parker, Maggie Smith, Eileen Heckart, Victor Garber, Dan Hedaya, Marcia Gay Harden, Rob Reiner, Stockard Channing and Elizabeth Berkley. The disc also has a “Filmmaker Focus” feature on screenwriter Robert Harling, who adapted Olivia Goldsmith’s best seller for the film. *** (PG: AS, P)

“BOOMERANG”: Eddie Murphy went for something beyond action and snappy one-liners with this romantic comedy, marking its 30th anniversary by making its Blu-ray debut. The star plays a socially popular advertising executive who lives the good life both in and out of the office, but he starts to question some of his choices when he falls for his flashy new boss (Robin Givens) … and then for an earnest schoolteacher (Halle Berry). Also a producer of the picture through his own company, Murphy surrounds himself with a terrific cast that also includes David Alan Grier, Martin Lawrence, Grace Jones, Eartha Kitt, Geoffrey Holder and (in a relatively minor but still noticeable role) Chris Rock. Special features include deleted and extended scenes, plus an audio commentary by director Reginald Hudlin. *** (R: AS, N, P)

COMING SOON (Upcoming releases):






“THE LOST CITY” (July 26)

“Everything Everywhere All at Once”

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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