DVD Releases for the week of September 5, 2021


STARTING THIS WEEK (New releases):

“Zack Snyder’s Justice League”

“ZACK SNYDER’S JUSTICE LEAGUE”: The reason director Snyder’s name is in the title of this version of the 2017 superhero adventure, which was completed then by Joss Whedon (who co-wrote the script) for the picture’s original run, is that a personal tragedy prompted Snyder to step away from the project after several months of filming. Fans clamored to see the edition that was completely under Snyder’s control … and this is it, clocking in at four hours and having initially debuted on HBO Max earlier this year. The saga brings many DC Comics icons together after the apparent death of Superman — and we’ll merely mention that Henry Cavill is listed in the credits here — with Batman and Wonder Woman (Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot) leading the charge to make that grouping happen. However, each member has his or her inner conflicts to resolve before all of them truly can become an effective team against multiple enemies. Jason Momoa’s Aquaman, Ezra Miller’s The Flash and Ray Fisher’s Cyborg also are present, with Amy Adams, Jeremy Irons, Diane Lane, Connie Nielsen and J.K. Simmons reprising their roles from other DC film ventures. *** (R: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD)


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

“STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL 4-MOVIE COLLECTION”: Many fans of the ever-popular franchise have been waiting for this, the release of the feature films in 4K Ultra HD. With this set encompassing the initial quartet that starred William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy and television’s original starship “crew,” that video format surely services the films very well, given their bounty of special effects. That’s definitely true of the Robert Wise-directed first movie, which has its critics, but there’s little denying the kick to be had from watching James T. Kirk (Shatner, of course) gaze in wonderment upon seeing the refitted Enterprise for the first time upon his return to it. “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan,” “Star Trek III: The Search for Spock” and “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home” (the last two directed by Nimoy as well) also are included. DeForest Kelley, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, James Doohan and Walter Koenig also are back on board — and among co-stars, Ricardo Montalban notably reprises his TV role as Khan in the second film (which also features Kirstie Alley as Vulcan officer Saavik). *** (G and PG, varying by title: AS, V)


“VERTIGO”: Originally released in 4K Ultra HD a year ago in a collection that also included “Rear Window,” “Psycho” and “The Birds,” this Alfred Hitchcock-directed masterpiece now gets a stand-alone edition in that format. In his fourth collaboration with the filmmaker, James Stewart is superb as a San Francisco police detective turned private eye who develops an obsession with a woman (Kim Novak) whose husband (Tom Helmore) has hired him to follow her. Tragedy results, and then confusion, as the sleuth encounters someone who’s a look-alike for the person he was tailing. Robert Burks’ moody, memorable cinematography gets a boost from the 4K processing. Barbara Bel Geddes, later iconic for TV’s “Dallas,” also is excellent in a supporting cast that includes familiar home-screen faces Raymond Bailey (“The Beverly Hillbillies”) and Ellen Corby (“The Waltons”). The Stewart-starring “Rear Window” also becomes available in a solo 4K version this week. **** (PG: AS)


“SEAL TEAM: SEASON FOUR”: In what was the last full (and yet, due to the coronavirus pandemic, a slightly shorter) season of the adventure-drama series to air on CBS — the fifth year will start there in October, but move exclusively to the Paramount+ streaming service after the first four episodes — a big multi-episode plot is the disappearance of Bravo Team member Ray Perry (Neil Brown Jr.) during a mission in Tunisia. Later, Jason Hayes (David Boreanaz) faces a career crisis and a trial when he’s accused of on-the-job malfeasance. Boreanaz also directed a couple of the episodes, and Jessica Pare (whose Mandy character makes a big decision early in the season) made her directing debut with one of the stories. Hallmark Channel movie staple Rachel Boston returns in her recurring guest role as Hannah, who has some big news for longtime friend Sonny (A.J. Buckley); Max Thieriot and Toni Trucks also continue as co-stars. *** (Not rated: AS, P, V)


“SWEET CAROLINA”: Lacey Chabert didn’t deny that her own history with “Party of Five” crossed her mind while making this recent entry in her long line of Hallmark Channel projects. She also helped develop the drama that casts her as a New York-based businesswoman who rushes back to her North Carolina hometown after an accident claims her sister and brother-in-law. To her own surprise and that of the rest of her family, the couple’s will designates her as the guardian of their two children, which the kids aren’t happy about. Naturally, much personal growth results for all concerned. Another Hallmark regular, Tyler Hynes (who turns up again there this week in “Roadhouse Romance”), plays Chabert’s ex-boyfriend; Gregory Harrison and Teryl Rothery appear as her parents. *** (Not rated: AS)


“CHICAGO P.D.: SEASON EIGHT”: Arriving on DVD shortly before the Dick Wolf-produced, filmed-on-location NBC police drama’s ninth round premieres Sept. 22, these episodes — which acknowledge the coronavirus pandemic — cover a lot of territory for the regular characters. The controversy over some officers’ use of force concerns Atwater (LaRoyce Hawkins) to the degree that he confronts Voight (Jason Beghe) about it, with related problems developing for him. Burgess (Marina Squerciati) has cause to get very maternal, but trouble also escalates for her by season’s end. Upton and Halstead’s (Tracy Spiridakos, Jesse Lee Soffer) off-duty connection comes to threaten their partnership on the job. “ER” alum Eriq La Salle, who also was an executive producer of the show at the time, directed two of the episodes here. Patrick John Flueger and Amy Morton also star. *** (Not rated: AS, P, V)

COMING SOON (Upcoming releases):

“BLACK WIDOW” (Sept. 14)

“THE BOSS BABY: FAMILY BUSINESS” (Sept. 14)

“MARE OF EASTTOWN” (Sept. 14)

“CRUELLA” (Sept. 21)

“F9” (Sept. 21)

“COLUMBIA CLASSICS 4K ULTRA HD COLLECTION VOLUME 2” (Sept. 28)


“Black Widow”

 

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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