DVD Releases for the week of September 19, 2021

STARTING THIS WEEK (New releases):

Emma Stone in “Cruella”


“CRUELLA”: The chief nemesis of the title characters in “101 Dalmatians” gets a revised focus in this clever, live-action Disney offering that casts Emma Stone in the title role. Positioned as an aspiring designer in 1970s London, the then-Cruella-to-be makes her mark with a scheming fashion-world staple (Emma Thompson), setting events in motion that will result in the rise of one of the most famous of all Disney villainesses. Joel Fry, Paul Walter Hauser (“Richard Jewell”) and Mark Strong are among co-stars. Also an executive producer here — along with Glenn Close, who was an earlier screen Cruella de Vil — Stone recently signed up to make a sequel to the film, which enjoyed sizable success both in theaters and on Disney+ (for an additional fee) in its simultaneous release. *** (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.

“F9”: Anyone who’s seen any movie in the “Fast and the Furious” franchise knows what to expect, but it’s always a kick to see how much bigger the vehicular stunts get with each chapter … and on that count, this latest one expectedly doesn’t disappoint. Dom Toretto (played by Vin Diesel, of course) has an unsettling family reunion when his long-absent brother (John Cena) resurfaces as a master assassin, forcing Dom to determine whether blood is thicker than what he may have to do to protect others. Fans of Jordana Brewster’s Mia should be pleased to see how much she’s given to do here; returnees also include Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Nathalie Emmanuel, Helen Mirren, Charlize Theron and Kurt Russell. Also back is director Justin Lin, handling his fifth installment in the series here, and a “Director’s Cut” of the movie is included along with the theatrical-release version. DVD extras: six “making-of” documentaries; audio commentary by Lin; outtakes. *** (PG-13: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray, 4K Ultra HD, Digital and On Demand)

“THE BLACKLIST: THE COMPLETE EIGHTH SEASON”: If not everything changes for the NBC drama series when its next season begins, a lot certainly will … as anyone who sees this set through to the end surely will realize. Raymond “Red” Reddington and Liz Keen (James Spader, Megan Boone) are more at odds than ever, and she has an advantage in that she’s allied with her Russian-spy mother (Laila Robins) in her efforts to learn the truth about her background … and possibly bring down Reddington in the process. Actor Andrew McCarthy directed several of the episodes. It’s significant that this was the last season to have the active services of the show’s creator, since Jon Bokenkamp has left the staff. Harry Lennix, Diego Klattenhoff and Amir Arison also star. DVD extras: “making-of” documentary; deleted scenes; outtakes. *** (Not rated: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray)

“A CLOCKWORK ORANGE”: A title that many cinephiles likely have been eager to have on 4K Ultra HD, this famously controversial, Stanley Kubrick-directed classic makes its debut in that format. In the visually striking 1971 adaptation of Anthony Burgess’ novel, Malcolm McDowell plays Alex, the Beethoven-loving leader of a futuristic youth gang who undergoes behavioral reconditioning after being apprehended for his crimes; retrained to despise the violence he used to commit, he gets a rude awakening from the other side of the coin when he’s released back into society. Among the special features is an audio commentary with McDowell, who also reflects on making the film in one of the included documentaries, plus a 2000 retrospective special made by England’s Channel 4. The picture originally was released in America with an “X” rating. **** (R: AS, N, P, V)

“RESIDENT ALIEN: SEASON ONE”: Considerable acclaim met this Syfy series based on a comic book about an extraterrestrial — played by fantasy-project staple Alan Tudyk (“Firefly”) — who comes to Earth and assumes the image and identity of a small-town doctor. The irony is that while he poses as a healer, his mission is to erase manind, but his involvement in a murder case makes him question the ruies he has lived by. A second season of the show has been ordered … and though it’s a tour de force for the hugely entertaining Tudyk, the cast also includes Sara Tomko, Corey Reynolds, Alice Wetterlund and Levi Fiehler. *** (Not rated: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray)

“THE EQUALIZER: SEASON ONE”: After the original Edward Woodward television version and Denzel Washington’s two movie reboots, this concept has gotten another major revision from Queen Latifah as star and executive producer of this CBS drama, which got a big post-Super Bowl launch and now is about to begin its second season. She plays Robyn McCall, a New York-based CIA veteran who reapplies her skills to help people who are in trouble “equalize” their dilemmas. Also a working mother, she attracts the interest — and not necessarily in a good way — of a police detective (Tory Kittles) who wants to know much more about the self-styled defender who regularly takes the law into her own hands. Chris Noth plays a then-and-now ally of McCall, with Lorraine Toussaint as her aunt and Adam Goldberg as an expert hacker. The late Richard Lindheim, who co-created the original show, helped develop this update. *** (Not rated: AS, P, V)

COMING SOON (Upcoming releases):




“THE STAND” (Oct. 5)

“FREE GUY” (Oct. 12)



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.

Pin It on Pinterest