DVD Releases for the week of November 28, 2021


STARTING THIS WEEK (New releases):

“SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS”: A box-office powerhouse even during the time of the coronavirus pandemic, this Marvel Studios fantasy-adventure follows the comic-book-inspired quest of Shang-Chi (played by Simu Liu) to make peace with the past he’s chosen to hide as he faces down his estranged father (Tony Leung), the chief of the dangerous Ten Rings organization that comes after the title hero … forcing him into action. Ben Kingsley has a particularly fun supporting role that lets him take jabs at the acting profession, with Awkwafina, Meng’er Zhang and Michelle Yeoh also in the cast — and as often is the case with Marvel movies, watch until the very end for some surprise appearances. The film also has been made available on Disney+. DVD extras: two “making-of” documentaries; audio commentary by director and co-writer Destin Daniel Cretton and co-writer Dave Callahan; deleted scenes; outtakes. *** (PG-13: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray, 4K Ultra HD and Digital)


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

“MALIGNANT”: A veteran of the modern horror genre, James Wan (“The Conjuring,” “Saw”) sticks with it as the director of this terror tale, casting Annabelle Wallis — who had her own earlier flirtation with the category opposite Tom Cruise in a remake of “The Mummy” — as a woman who realizes that her dreams actually are her reality, involving vicious murders and connecting to her childhood (with Mckenna Grace playing the younger incarnation of the character). She undergoes hypnosis as authorities try to stop the wave of killings, but that may end up only making matters worse. Maddie Hasson (“Mr. Mercedes”), George Young (“Containment”), Michole Briana White, Jean Louisa Kelly (“Uncle Buck”), Jacqueline McKenzie, Jake Abel and Ingrid Bisu also appear in the thriller, for which Wan helped develop the story. DVD extra: “making-of” documentary. *** (R: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray, Digital and On Demand)


“REDS”: If anyone had any doubts about Warren Beatty’s skills as a filmmaker, the Motion Picture Academy didn’t when he oversaw this lengthy 1981 epic — making its Blu-ray debut in a Beatty-supervised transfer to mark its 40th anniversary — since he was awarded an Oscar for directing the film. He also co-wrote and produced the drama in which he stars as John Reed, an American journalist who risks everything (including his romance with a socialite played by Diane Keaton) by immersing himself in the World War I-era Russian Revolution. Maureen Stapleton earned an Academy Award as writer Emma Goldman in a sterling cast that also includes Jack Nicholson (as playwright Eugene O‘Neill), Gene Hackman, Edward Herrmann, Paul Sorvino, William Daniels and moviemaker Jerzy Kosinski. As detailed in the hour-plus of bonus content, the movie popularized the concept of on-camera testimonials by witnesses who were present for the actual events detailed in the script. **** (PG: AS, N, P)


“TROLLS: HOLIDAY IN HARMONY”: The animated “Trolls” feature films have been yielding occasional television specials, and this is the latest, coming to home video just a few days after its debut on NBC. Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake reprise their voice roles from the movies as Queen Poppy and Branch, who find themselves in a dilemma faced by so many at holiday time … determining what to get when each draws the other’s name in a gift swap. Meanwhile, Tiny Diamond (Kenan Thompson, who also had the part in “Trolls World Tour”) has creative trouble in trying to come up with the ideal seasonal rap for his father. The tale incorporates four original songs; Rachel Bloom (“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”), Ron Funches and Kunal Nayyar (“The Big Bang Theory”) are among other voice-cast returnees. *** (Not rated) (Also on Digital)


“HEAVEN CAN WAIT”: Another Warren Beatty classic also makes its way to Blu-ray for the first time, with the star also serving as co-director (with co-star Buck Henry) and co-writer (with Elaine May) of the 1978 update of “Here Comes Mr. Jordan.” Beatty plays an NFL quarterback whose life is ended prematurely, prompting heavenly emissaries (the aforementioned Henry and James Mason) to try to make up for the error by placing his soul into the body of a tycoon … but the latter is targeted for murder by his wife and her lover (Dyan Cannon, Charles Grodin). If this sounds complicated, part of the movie’s magic is that it isn’t as it plays out; the excellent cast also includes Beatty’s “Shampoo” colleagues Julie Christie and Jack Warden, as well as Vincent Gardenia. **** (PG: AS, P, V)


“FREUD”: Also known as “Freud: The Secret Passion,” director John Huston’s 1962 profile of the legendary and controversial psychologist makes its American debut on home video, with Montgomery Clift in the title role of the hysteria-specialist doctor who used hypnosis as one of his principal treatment techniques. His probe of the subconscious mind of one patient (Susannah York) eventually prompted him to examine his own neuroses, to the concern of many of his peers. Larry Parks, Susan Kohner and David McCallum are in the supporting cast. Like Freud himself, the movie — developed from a concept by iconic philosopher and writer Jean-Paul Sartre — widely was deemed to be ahead of its time, with 20 minutes cut by the studio (Universal) from Huston’s original version; that footage has been restored here. Film historian Tim Lucas contributes an audio commentary detailing the picture’s history. *** (Not rated: AS) (Also on Blu-ray)

COMING SOON (Upcoming releases):

“CRY MACHO” (Dec. 7)

“WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT” (4K Ultra HD) (Dec. 7)

“THE LAST DUEL” (Dec. 14)

“VENOM: LET THERE BE CARNAGE” (Dec. 14)

“THE MANY SAINTS OF NEWARK” (Dec. 21)

“THE FRENCH DISPATCH” (Dec. 28)


“Cry Macho”

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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