DVD Releases for the week of September 25, 2022

STARTING THIS WEEK (New releases):

Chris Hemsworth in “Thor: Love and Thunder”

“THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER”: With Taika Waititi (“Thor: Ragnarok”) as the director again, the title Marvel character confronts challenges outside himself as well as within in this entertaining adventure. Chris Hemsworth returns as the Norse god, whose journey of self-discovery is interrupted by a powerful enemy (Christian Bale). Thor can’t accomplish the mission alone, though, so he relies on helpers including his former flame Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) … who has some mighty surprises for him. Russell Crowe, Tessa Thompson and filmmaker Waititi (who also co-wrote the script) are in the cast as well. DVD extras: three “making-of” documentaries; audio commentary by Waititi; deleted scenes; outtakes. ** (PG-13: 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.

“THE MUNSTERS”: The 1960s sitcom about a somewhat monstrous family remains a classic, but how the clan came to be is recounted in this prequel movie from someone well-known for his taste for the unusual, writer-director Rob Zombie. Jeff Daniel Phillips and Sheri Moon Zombie (Rob’s wife) play Herman and Lily, who accept each other’s out-of-the-ordinary nature in starting a romance that Lily’s vampirish father doesn’t approve of. Veteran talents Sylvester McCoy (“Doctor Who”) and Catherine Schell also appear, as does “Elvira” herself, Cassandra Peterson. Likely of special interest to the “Munsters” faithful, the series’ Butch Patrick and Pat Priest turn up as well. DVD extras: “making-of” documentary; audio commentary by Rob Zombie. *** (PG: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray, Digital and On Demand)

“MAYOR OF KINGSTOWN: SEASON ONE”: Created by “Yellowstone’s” Taylor Sheridan and co-star Hugh Dillon (“Flashpoint”), this grim but effective Paramount+ drama series casts Jeremy Renner (“The Avengers”) as Mike McLusky, the mayor of a prison-centric Michigan town where the law doesn’t always rule. A delicate balance results among politicians, police officers, guards, convicts and McLusky and his own relatives. The cast also includes Emmy winner Kyle Chandler (“Friday Night Lights”), two-time Oscar winner Dianne Wiest, Taylor Handley, Emma Laird and Tobi Bamtefa. The pilot episode’s director, Antoine Fuqua (“Training Day”), is an executive producer (along with Sheridan, Dillon and Renner) of the show that counts MTV’s production arm among its makers. It has been renewed for a second season. *** (AS, N, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray)

“THE WAR OF THE WORLDS”/“WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE”: Two of producer George Pal’s sci-fi classics from the 1950s are paired in a new 4K Ultra HD release. Based on the legendary H.G. Wells story that has fueled various movies and television series since, “The War of the Worlds” boasts Oscar-winning special effects and casts Gene Barry and Ann Robinson as two of the people on the run from alien invaders when Martians launch an attack on Earth. “When Worlds Collide” finds experts designing a giant ark to get a group of people off our planet, in a bid to prevent an imminent collision between Earth and a renegade star; Richard Derr, Barbara Rush, Peter Hansen (later of TV’s “General Hospital”) and John Hoyt are featured. *** (Not rated: V)

“NOVA: ULTIMATE SPACE TELESCOPE”: Presented recently by the PBS science series, this episode was quite up-to-the-minute, since included images taken by the James Webb Space Telescope had been released by NASA only the day before the telecast. That was a culmination of more than two decades of work in developing an instrument that would outdo the famed Hubble Space Telescope not only in size and power, but also in flexibility … since it had to fit inside a rocket bringing it to its destination, then unfold and adapt to the needed shape and dimensions for it to accomplish its mission. The launch was delayed by Hurricane Harvey, among other factors, before finally lifting off successfully last Christmas Day. *** (Not rated)

“THE LOST WORLD: THE COMPLETE SERIES”: Popular in syndication during its three-year run, this loose adaptation of the classic premise by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle — a U.S.-Canada-Australia co-production — takes the members of an early-20th-century expedition to a prehistoric land they’re trying to prove the existence of. They’re assisted in their quest to survive by a young woman (Jennifer O’Dell) who raised herself in the highly challenging atmosphere after her parents vanished. The special effects here may not be top-level, but they’re still fun. Peter McCauley, Rachel Blakely and William Snow also star. *** (Not rated: V)

COMING SOON (Upcoming releases):




“FALL” (Oct. 18)



“DC’s League of Super Pets”

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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