DVD Releases for the week of May 15, 2022

STARTING THIS WEEK (New releases):

“Licorice Pizza”

“LICORICE PIZZA”: Filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson justifiably earned wide acclaim for this affecting coming-of-age tale, which picked up three Oscar nominations including best picture. Alana Haim, one of the siblings in the music group Haim, and Cooper Hoffman (son of Philip Seymour Hoffman) make their movie debuts as two young people whose relationship develops over a convoluted course that involves their careers — particularly hers — in early-1970s California. Movie producer Jon Peters figures into the plot, as played by Bradley Cooper; in fact, many of the characters either are real people or figures based on such stars as William Holden and Lucille Ball. Hoffman’s alter ego is a version of Gary Goetzman, a former child actor (“Yours, Mine and Ours”) who became Tom Hanks’ production partner. Sean Penn, Tom Waits, John Michael Higgins and Christine Ebersole also are featured. DVD extras: deleted scene; camera tests. **** (R: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray, Digital and On Demand)

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

“SUCCESSION: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON”: One of the most acclaimed series currently on television resumes, with this set of episodes opening as patriarch Logan Roy (Brian Cox) makes a big decision about his involvement in the family business going forward. He consults many people he trusts in determining the company’s future — particularly in terms of who should lead the day-to-day operations — while some of the Roy relatives take steps to try to ensure they’ll come out on top. Expectedly with this HBO drama, some big surprises are in store. Jeremy Strong, Matthew Macfadyen, Sarah Snook, Kieran Culkin, Alan Ruck, Peter Friedman and Nicholas Braun also continue their roles. **** (Not rated: AS, P)

“INFINITE”: Chiwetel Ejiofor is having a big year in the sci-fi space, given his current Showtime series version of “The Man Who Fell to Earth” as well as this action-fantasy tale directed by Antoine Fuqua. However, the central part here goes to Mark Wahlberg — also a producer of the picture, and previously a Fuqua collaborator on “Training Day” and “Shooter” — as a man who has apparent memories of events he can’t recall having experienced before. They turn out to be thoughts of past lives he’s lived, shown to him by members of a secret society he’s brought into … and he must work with the other members to save humanity from another “Infinite” (Ejiofor) who’s bent on destroying it. Sophie Cookson, Toby Jones and Dylan O’Brien also star in the film, which got its initial release on Paramount+ after the pandemic delayed its theatrical debut. *** (PG-13: AS, P, V) (Also on  Blu-ray, 4K Ultra HD, Digital and On Demand)

“ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK”: Now on 4K Ultra HD for the first time, director John Carpenter’s inventive 1981 fantasy gave Kurt Russell — with whom Carpenter had made the TV movie “Elvis” — a career-redefining role as Snake Plissken, a convict of the then-near future who’s given a shot at amnesty if he rescues the U.S. president (Donald Pleasence) from Manhattan, which has been turned into a walled-off prison. Not only is the clock ticking, set to 24 hours, but Plissken is carrying a small explosive implanted in his system that may be triggered if he doesn’t succeed. Lee Van Cleef plays the lawman who gives the rebel-spirited Plissken his marching orders; the great cast also includes Isaac Hayes, Adrienne Barbeau, Ernest Borgnine, Season Hubley and Harry Dean Stanton. Carpenter also co-composed the minimalist music score. ** (R: AS, P, V)

“BEVERLY HILLS COP II”: The huge success of Eddie Murphy’s original action-comedy turn as Axel Foley demanded a sequel, and it got one equally as fast and funny with this 1987 follow-up, new on 4K Ultra HD. Foley heads back to the West Coast from Detroit to probe the shooting of his police-chief friend (Ronny Cox), and his uncovering of illegal arms dealing puts him and his California detective pals (Judge Reinhold, John Ashton) back in the line of fire. Jurgen Prochnow, Brigitte Nielsen and Dean Stockwell are on the side of the bad guys here,and Playboy icon Hugh Hefner has an amusing cameo; Paul Reiser and Gil Hill also return from the first picture. Bob Seger, George Michael and James Ingram are among those on the soundtrack. *** (R: AS, P, V)

“NOVA: AUGMENTED”: Televised several months ago on the PBS science series, this episode traces the efforts by biophysicist Hugh Herr to create sophisticated replacement limbs controlled by brainpower. Herr wasn’t only an observer of the situation, having lost his own legs as the result of a climbing mishap in his teens. Unhappy with the prosthetics he was given, he set out to improve upon them … and having done that, he hasn’t stopped advancing since, leading him to partner with a climber and a prominent Boston surgeon to develop even more natural artificial limbs. Herr offers plentiful comment on the professional accomplishments that have resulted — and that continue — from his personal quest. *** (Not rated)

COMING SOON (Upcoming releases):

“THE BATMAN” (May 24)


“THE BOYS SEASONS 1 & 2” (May 31)

“1776” (4K Ultra HD) (May 31)



“The Batman”

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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