DVD Releases for the week of November 14, 2021


STARTING THIS WEEK (New releases):

“Jungle Cruise”

“JUNGLE CRUISE: In a time when the fortunes of movies released in theaters haven’t been guaranteed, this Disney adventure-comedy — which had its debut delayed by almost two years, in part because of the coronavirus pandemic — was one of the bigger success stories at the box office (even with simultaneous showings, for an extra fee, on Disney+), to the extent that a sequel has been ordered. Adapted from the same-named ride at the Disney theme parks, the more family-friendly parallel to “The African Queen” casts Dwayne Johnson as a boat captain who takes a scientist and her brother (Emily Blunt, Jack Whitehall) on their early-1900s quest to find a tree that allegedly has special healing powers. They face various perils, of human making and otherwise, along their route. Edgar Ramirez, Jesse Plemons (“Friday Night Lights”) and Paul Giamatti (“Billions”) are among co-stars. DVD extras: four “making-of” documentaries; deleted scenes; outtakes; pop-up trivia. *** (PG-13: 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.

“CANDYMAN”: A horror classic is revisited in this remake, with the title character’s name again prompting terror when it’s invoked, bringing a lethal legend back. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (“Watchmen”) plays a visual artist compelled to find out what the history of Candyman is all about … an ill-advised pursuit, as new victims find out soon enough. Oscar winner Jordan Peele (“Get Out”) produced and co-wrote this Nia DaCosta-directed update, which also features Teyonah Parris (“WandaVision”) and Colman Domingo (“Euphoria”). DVD extras: seven “making-of” documentaries; deleted and extended scenes; alternate ending. *** (R: AS, P, GV) (Also on Blu-ray, 4K Ultra HD, Digital and On Demand)


“THE EYES OF TAMMY FAYE”: Jessica Chastain might not be the immediate thought to play Tammy Faye Bakker, but the actress continues to demonstrate her versatility by taking the title role of the televangelist in this drama. Similarly, former “Spider-Man” Andrew Garfield is a surprising choice to portray husband Jim Bakker, but both stars acquit themselves well in the recollection of the couple’s rise to fame … and the consequent scandal that did as much, if not more, to make them household names. Chastain also was a producer of the film inspired by a same-named documentary and directed by Michael Showalter (“Wet Hot American Summer”); co-stars include Cherry Jones, Vincent D’Onofrio and Sam Jaeger. DVD extra: “making-of” documentary. *** (PG-13: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray, Digital and On Demand)


“THE BEE GEES: HOW CAN YOU MEND A BROKEN HEART”: Almost a year after it debuted on HBO, longtime Steven Spielberg associate Frank Marshall’s excellent documentary about one of the most successful groups in music history arrives on home video. A wealth of clips details the rise of siblings Barry, Maurice and Robin Gibb to international popularity in the 1960s with such singles as “To Love Somebody” and “Massachusetts,” then reinventing themselves with the huge-selling soundtrack to the movie “Saturday Night Fever” and continuing to ride their renewed fame into the 1980s with more hits. Of course, the trio’s tunes form a big part of the content here, while interviews with such musical peers as Eric Clapton and Justin Timberlake also are included. So are comments from “To Sir, With Love” singer-actress Lulu, who was Maurice Gibb’s wife for several years. **** (Not rated: AS, P) (Also om Blu-ray)


“IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE”: Not only is this Frank Capra-directed 1946 classic one of the most beloved of all holiday-season attractions, it also is one of the most reissued titles in home-video history, with a new presentation making its way to the market every couple of years or so. This time, the 75th anniversary of the picture is marked with a Blu-ray release in Steelbook casing. James Stewart makes the perfect George Bailey, the hapless Bedford Falls citizen whose experience of seeing how life would be without him has been echoed by countless TV-series episodes. Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore and — as wing-earning angel Clarence — Henry Travers lend great support. The package includes both black-and-white and colorized versions of the film, plus 10 recipe cards from “It’s a Wonderful Life: The Official Bailey Family Cookbook.” **** (Not rated: AS)


“RAGTIME”: Director Milos Forman’s superb 1981 adaptation of the E.L. Doctorow novel, which puts spins on early 20th-century history, commemorates its 40th anniversary with its debut on Blu-ray as part of the “Paramount Presents” series. It supplied the last major big-screen role for an entertainment legend — James Cagney, playing New York’s police commissioner, who tries to negotiate a racially charged situation involving a gifted pianist (Howard E. Rollins Jr.) who takes a stand against bigotry. That’s just one of the stories in a patchwork that also involves a famous love-triangle murder (with Elizabeth McGovern as the object of that situation), magician Harry Houdini (played by Jeffrey DeMunn, lately of “Billions”), architect Stanford White (portrayed by writer Norman Mailer) and Booker T. Washington (Moses Gunn). The large cast also includes Brad Dourif, Mary Steenburgen, Donald O’Connor, Mandy Patinkin, Debbie Allen, Jeff Daniels, Robert Joy and (in an early bit part) Samuel L. Jackson. **** (PG: AS, V)

COMING SOON (Upcoming releases):

“TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY” (4K Ultra HD Steelbook) (Nov. 23)

“HEAVEN CAN WAIT” (Blu-ray) (Nov. 30)

“MALIGNANT” (Nov. 30)

“REDS” (Blu-ray) (Nov. 30)

“SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS” (Nov. 30)

“HAROLD AND MAUDE” (Blu-ray) (Dec. 7)


“Terminator 2: Judgment Day”

 

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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