DVD Releases (for week of April 14)

STARTING THIS WEEK (New releases):

Sarah Paulson in “Glass”

“GLASS”: Since “The Sixth Sense,” filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan’s career has been hit-or-miss, but two of his bigger successes were “Unbreakable” and “Split.” He merges characters and situations from those movies in the effective melodrama, a sizable hit named for the character Samuel L. Jackson played in “Unbreakable.” Jackson turns up again here, as does that film’s Bruce Willis, whose alter ego is a self-styled, special-powered vigilante on the trail of the multiple-personality villain played by James McAvoy in “Split.” McAvoy also reprises his role here, and it’s only a matter of time before all of those figures converge – with Sarah Paulson in another American horror story as a psychiatrist who assesses all of them. It helps to have seen the earlier films to get the most out of this one, but it’s not an absolute requirement; Anya Taylor-Joy also returns from “Split.” DVD extras: DVD extras: deleted scenes; alternate opening; “A Conversation with James McAvoy and M. Night Shyamalan.” *** (PG-13: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

”ESCAPE AT DANNEMORA”: A prison break that inspired an earlier cable movie also was the source of this Showtime series, which sparked much related conversation during its run. Executive-produced and directed by Ben Stiller, the drama recalls the mid-2015 upstate New York flight by convicted murderers Richard Matt and David Sweat (played by Oscar winner Benicio Del Toro and Paul Dano). They had a surprising conspirator in their getaway: Joyce “Tilly” Mitchell, a married prison employee who was involved with both men – and is portrayed by fellow Oscar recipient Patricia Arquette, who has reaped other rewards for her work here, including a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild Award. Bonnie Hunt, Eric Lange and David Morse also appear in the saga, which was filmed largely at the maximum-security Clinton Correctional Facility and other locations where the actual events unfolded. **** (Not rated: AS, N, P, V)

“REPLICAS”: Keanu Reeves certainly has kept himself in the movie game, especially since redefining himself as an action star. He achieves that again in this sci-fi tale as a scientist who has found a way to transfer deceased people’s minds into clones of them. The doctor’s efforts become even more driven after a car accident claims his wife (Alice Eve) and three children (Emjay Anthony, Emily Alyn Lind, Aria Lyric Leabu), but there’s a big decision he has to make: He can only preserve three of the four. Even if the result doesn’t hold up all the way to the finish line, the film still gives Reeves the means to portray real agony, and it’s much to his credit that he sells it. Thomas Middleditch (“Silicon Valley”) and John Ortiz (“Bumblebee”) also are featured. DVD extras: “making-of” documentary; audio commentary by director Jeffrey Nachmanoff and executive producer James Dodson; deleted scenes. *** (PG-13: AS, N, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

“THE KID WHO WOULD BE KING”: The legend of King Arthur’s sword Excalibur gets new twists in this fantasy-adventure principally aimed – as the title suggests – at a younger audience. The modern child of the film’s title (played by Louis Ashbourne Serkis, the son of performance-capture-specialist actor Andy Serkis) runs across the weapon and suddenly encounters such fabled figures as wizard Merlin (a role shared here by Angus Imrie and Patrick Stewart) and sorceress Morgana (Rebecca Ferguson). The situation also becomes a very personal matter for the boy as he learns a lot about his own family history. Director Joe Cornish, a veteran of British comedy, also wrote the script. DVD extras: eight ”making-of” documentaries; deleted scenes; music video. *** (PG: P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

“THE KARATE KID”: A favorite movie of several generations, director John G. Avildsen’s original 1984 version of the drama marks its 35th anniversary with a new home-video edition that includes a Blu-ray and the film’s 4K Ultra HD release. Ralph Macchio plays Daniel, the earnest young underdog who finds enemies in a group of school bullies led by Johnny (William Zabka), a love interest in appealing Ali (Elisabeth Shue), and a martial-arts mentor in wise and loyal Mr. Miyagi (Noriyuki “Pat” Morita). The Daniel and Johnny characters have continued lately in the streaming series “Cobra Kai,” and Macchio and Zabka participate – along with co-star Martin Kove, whose Kreese also has appeared in that sequel show – in a new retrospective documentary here. *** (PG: P, V)

“WEDDING OF DREAMS”: Years after the peak of her musical success, Debbie Gibson has maintained a strong fan base that showed up in big numbers for her first Hallmark Channel movie, “Summer of Dreams” … and justified this sequel. Gibson again portrays a former pop-music star turned teacher who has to make big decisions as both her wedding to the school’s guidance counselor (fellow returnee Robert Gant) and the 20th anniversary of the song that made her a celebrity approach. The tune in question happens to be “Out of the Blue,” which was one of the biggest hits Gibson had herself; Pascale Hutton also is back in the cast, playing Gibson’s sister. *** (Not rated)

COMING SOON (Upcoming releases):


“DESTROYER” (April 23)


“ESCAPE ROOM” (April 23)


”SERENITY” (April 30)


Jay Bobbin

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.

jbobbin has 2001 posts and counting.See all posts by jbobbin

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