DVD Releases (for week of April 7)

STARTING THIS WEEK (New releases):

John C. Reilly and Will Ferrell in “Holmes & Watson”

“HOLMES & WATSON”: With a heavy dose of satire added to an iconic premise, this spoof reteams Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly – who worked together several times previously (“Step Brothers,” “Talladega Nights: The Legend of Ricky Bobby,” etc.) — as the legendary, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle-created British sleuths. A murder suspect believed to be their arch enemy Professor Moriarty isn’t, so Sherlock Holmes (Ferrell) and Dr. Watson (Reilly) pursue the real Moriarty (Ralph Fiennes), who has plans for an even more sensational crime that could throw all of England into chaos. The humor here is pretty lowbrow, but it’s mildly interesting to see this sort of take on such a well-known franchise. Hugh Laurie (“House”) appears as Sherlock’s brother Mycroft, with Rebecca Hall, Rob Brydon, Kelly Macdonald, Steve Coogan and Lauren Lapkus also featured. DVD extras: three “making-of” documentaries; deleted scenes; “Line-O-Rama.” ** (PG-13: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

“WELCOME TO MARWEN”: Director and co-writer Robert Zemeckis’ (“Back to the Future”) ambitious fantasy-drama – somewhat amazingly, based on a true story — takes the unusual approach of using dolls to convey the psyche of a photographer (played by Steve Carell, a good choice for the part) who suffers extreme stress in the aftermath of being assaulted. The cameraman invents a village named Marwen and uses the dolls to act out various roles mirrored by people in his life, casting himself as a World War II pilot, as he tries to steel himself to give a victim-impact statement at his attackers’ sentencing. Leslie Mann, Diane Kruger, Merritt Wever (“Nurse Jackie”), singer-actress Janelle Monae and filmmaker Zemeckis’ wife Leslie also are in the cast. *** (PG-13: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

“ON THE BASIS OF SEX”: A lot of movie attention has been paid to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the past year, and this drama covers much of the same material as the widely acclaimed documentary “RBG” while spending a bit more time on certain parts of her life. Felicity Jones (“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”) plays the then-law student who would become a professor, actively putting into play what she learned – and setting the stage for her later career – by taking on a civil-rights case referred by her tax-attorney husband (Armie Hammer). Justin Theroux, Sam Waterston and Kathy Bates also are in television-veteran director Mimi Leder’s noteworthy cast. *** (PG-13: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

“MASTERPIECE: MRS. WILSON”: Ruth Wilson (“The Affair”) gets to do something rare for a performer by delving into her own family history dramatically in this tale, getting a home-video release right after it ends its telecasts on PBS. Wilson plays her grandmother, who discovers after the death of her espionage-novelist husband (played by Iain Glen) that he secretly had a completely separate second family. With her grief suddenly compounded by doubts of how much he loved her — or even if he really did – she finds her distress mounting as she meets his previously unknown relatives. Keeley Hawes (“Masterpiece: The Durrells in Corfu”) plays his other spouse, with Fiona Shaw (“Killing Eve”) and Patrick Kennedy (“Boardwalk Empire”) also in the cast. *** (Not rated: AS, P)

“DIRTY JOHN”: Love goes wrong in a big way in this dramatized Bravo series, which recently was a substantial hit for the cable network. Inspired by a popular true-crime podcast about a murder investigation in tony Newport Beach, Calif., it stars “Nashville,” “Friday Night Lights” and “American Horror Story” veteran Connie Britton as a successful interior designer whose romance with a doctor (Eric Bana) moves fast – to the definite discomfort of her daughters (Julia Garner, Juno Temple). The younger women decide to look into his background, and what they learn about him makes them even more alarmed … and their mother ever more vulnerable. Jean Smart also stars as the family matriarch, whose complicated relationship with her daughter doesn’t help matters. The show will have a second season, but with a different cast and story. *** (Not rated: AS, P, V)

”A DOG’S WAY HOME”: Just from the title, it’s evident that a lot of pet lovers will take to this drama immediately. Directed by actor Charles Martin Smith (“American Graffiti,” “The Untouchables”) and adapted from the book by “A Dog’s Purpose” author W. Bruce Cameron (who co-wrote the screenplay), the film follows the grueling journey of Bella, a canine determined to reunite with a would-be medical student (Jonah Hauer-King) after they’re separated. Along the way, Bella – whose thoughts are voiced by Bryce Dallas Howard (“Jurassic World”) — connects with a variety of people and animals, inspiring each of them as she tries to complete her quest. Ashley Judd, Edward James Olmos, Alexandra Shipp (“X-Men: Apocalypse”), Wes Studi and Barry Watson (“7th Heaven”) also star. *** (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

COMING SOON (Upcoming releases):


“GLASS” (April 16)



“REPLICAS” (April 16)



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 1900 posts and counting.See all posts by jbobbin

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