DVD Releases for the week of October 31, 2021

STARTING THIS WEEK (New releases):

Emma Corrin in “The Crown”

“THE CROWN: THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON”: After its hugely impressive showing at the latest Primetime Emmy Awards, this most recent round of the much-praised Netflix saga about the British royals comes to home video. Named outstanding drama series, it also took honors for actors Olivia Colman, Josh O’Connor, Tobias Menzies and Gillian Anderson, and also for directing, writing (for series creator Peter Morgan) and editing. Colman continues as Queen Elizabeth — whose life is depicted from 1947 to contemporary times here — with Menzies as Prince Philip, O’Connor as Prince Charles and Anderson as Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Emma Corrin, who also was Emmy-nominated, portrays Lady Diana Spencer … who, of course, cast a new light on the monarchy as her own aims and wishes didn’t necessarily match those of dwellers of Buckingham Palace. Emerald Fennell, who earned acclaim (and an Oscar) for her creative work on the movie “Promising Young Woman,” appears as Camilla Parker Bowles. **** (Not rated: AS, P)

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

“PAW PATROL: THE MOVIE”: Popular from their animated Nickelodeon series, the computer-animated pups saw big-screen action for the first time in this tale that finds them determined to save Adventure City from their longtime nemesis, Mayor Humdinger (voice of Ron Pardo). His plans for improvements go expectedly wrong, prompting Chase (voice of Iain Armitage, “Young Sheldon”) and his cohorts — including new ally Liberty (voice of Marsai Martin, “black-ish”) — to do their best to counter the nasty weather that the mayor has brought on with a gone-haywire device. The voice cast also includes fellow “black-ish” veteran Yara Shahidi, Kim Kardashian West, Randall Park (“Fresh Off the Boat”), Dax Shepard, Tyler Perry and Jimmy Kimmel. *** (G) (Also on Blu-ray, Digital and On Demand)

“SEX AND THE CITY: THE COMPLETE SERIES + 2 MOVIE COLLECTION”: With the sequel series “And Just Like That … ” destined to arrive before long, it’s a good time — as it makes its debut on Blu-ray — to catch up on the stylishly popular, Candace Bushnell-based series that made iconic characters of female New York friends Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha (played by Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon, Kristin Davis and Kim Cattrall) amid their many romantic and professional misadventures. Also included in the set are the two feature-film spinoffs (which have been on Blu-ray previously); all of the content here also is a showcase for terrific supporting players including the late Willie Garson, seen as Carrie’s confidant Stanford Blatch. Chris Noth is prominent as Carrie’s true love “Mr. Big,” with Evan Handler, David Eigenberg (“Chicago Fire”) and Mario Cantone also are notable among the frequent players. Many of the special features carry over from the earlier DVD release of the series, such as deleted scenes and episode commentaries by executive producer Michael Patrick King, who also directed the two movies. **** (Not rated or R, varying by series or movie: AS, N, P)

“THE GUNS OF NAVARONE”: One of the all-time-great adventure movies, based on a novel by genre staple Alistair MacLean, marks its 60th anniversary with its debut in the 4K Ultra HD format. The potent combination of Gregory Peck, David Niven and Anthony Quinn leads the cast as World War II operatives sent to disable the title weapons, long-range field guns under the control of Nazi officers — with thousands of British soldiers at the mercy of that considerable firepower. A possible traitor is among the perils the heroes contend with. Anthony Quayle, Stanley Baker, Irene Papas, James Darren, Gia Scala, Richard Harris (in one of his earliest screen roles) and later filmmaker Bryan Forbes also are featured, and the many special features include an audio commentary by director J. Lee Thompson and a message from producer and screenwriter Carl Foreman. **** (Not rated: V)

“THE ORIGINAL CHRISTMAS SPECIALS COLLECTION”: With the holidays approaching, this gathering of five of the perennially popular Rankin-Bass animated (either traditional or stop-motion “Animagic”) specials for the season is offered in a Steelbook limited edition on Blu-ray. Of course, the set couldn’t be without “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “Frosty the Snowman,” two programs it just wouldn’t be the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas without. “The Little Drummer Boy,” “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town” and “Cricket on the Hearth” round out the selections, and the talents involved represent a who’s-who of entertainment history …with Jimmy Durante, Fred Astaire, Mickey Rooney, Burl Ives, Danny Thomas, Greer Garson, Jackie Vernon, Jose Ferrer and Keenan Wynn among the participants. **** (Not rated)

“THE SHEIK”: While studios have been dipping into their catalogs even more with the slowdown of recent titles during the coronavirus-pandemic period, it still isn’t too often that you see a new home-video release that dates back a full 100 years. Starring someone who then was destined to be one of the most popular actors of the time, the legendary Rudolph Valentino, the drama has gone through an extensive restoration — particularly necessary for a silent film — for its Blu-ray debut as part of the “Paramount Presents” series. Valentino has the title role as an Arabian leader whose attraction to an Englishwoman (Agnes Ayres) results in his abduction of her, and though she tries to resist him, she ultimately can’t. That theme may not sit comfortably with some viewers in current times, and that’s addressed in a new featurette included on the disc. Also notable in the cast are George Waggner, who went on to become a top TV director (“Batman,” “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.”), and Adolphe Menjou. *** (Not rated: AS, V)

COMING SOON (Upcoming releases):







“Emily in Paris”

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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