DVD Releases (for week of Aug. 18)

STARTING THIS WEEK (New releases):

Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson in “The Hustle”

“THE HUSTLE”: If the premise of this comedy seems familiar, it should. The tale was done twice before, first in the 1960s as “Bedtime Story” with Marlon Brando and David Niven, then as “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” with Michael Caine and Steve Martin. The big twist in the latest version is that the competing con artists are women – played by Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson – and they’re so dissimilar, you’d have to figure the movie gets a lot of mileage out of their differences. It does, and as they portray the would-be swindlers of an app‘s developer (Alex Sharp), both stars do what they do best … Hathaway playing it sly and refined, and Wilson again exercising her brash, no-holds-barred image. The overall plot has gotten a little creaky over 50-plus years, but even if it can’t overcome that mustiness, the actresses deserve credit for still giving it all they’ve got. DVD extras: three “making-of” documentaries; audio commentary by director Chris Addison. *** (PG-13: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

“A DOG’S JOURNEY”: In this family-friendly follow-up to “A Dog’s Purpose,” based on another W. Bruce Cameron book, a canine – whose thoughts can be heard by viewers, as voiced by Josh Gad – is later reincarnated as other dogs who continue to play roles in the life of a young woman (played by Kathryn Prescott at her oldest age) as she goes through various stages on her way to adulthood. Those who love animals should be forewarned that there’s more than one tear-inducing moment here … in fact, a number of them. Dennis Quaid and Marg Helgenberger, who also played spouses in “In Good Company,” are reunited; Betty Gilpin (“GLOW”), Johnny Galecki (“The Big Bang Theory”) and singer Henry Lau also appear in the picture, directed by TV-sitcom staple Gail Mancuso (“Modern Family”). DVD extras: five “making-of” documentaries; audio commentary by Mancuso; deleted and extended scenes; outtakes. *** (PG: AS) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

“THE WALKING DEAD: THE COMPLETE NINTH SEASON”: Change certainly is a keynote of this year of the hugely popular AMC horror-drama series, with the biggest one involving Andrew Lincoln’s character Rick Grimes – whose eventual absence during the course of the season goes along generates strife among others, until they realize that joining forces is the only way to defeat a common threat. Lauren Cohan also has limited involvement here, since she would leave the show to make ABC’s now-canceled “Whiskey Cavalier”; among those who also return are Jeffrey Dean Morgan (as Negan, of course), Norman Reedus, Danai Gurira, Melissa McBride, Tom Payne and Josh McDermitt. Samantha Morton becomes an increasingly bigger presence as the episodes progress. DVD extras; five “making-of” documentaries; bonus scene; deleted scenes. *** (Not rated: AS, P, GV) (Also on Blu-ray)

“BRIGHTBURN”: She’s been spending time lately as a game-show host on ABC’s “Press Your Luck,” but Elizabeth Banks is still very much in the business of making movies … as the writer and director of a forthcoming “Charlie’s Angels” reboot, and also as the star of this thriller. She plays half of a Kansas couple who take in a boy who fell to Earth, a young alien who grows up to be a possible menace by using his superhuman abilities against others. Jackson A. Dunn plays the older incarnation of the youngster, with David Denman and Meredith Hagner also appearing. ”Guardians of the Galaxy” filmmaker James Gunn was a producer of the picture, which was written by his brother Brian and their cousin Mark. DVD extras: two “making-of” documentaries; audio commentary by director David Yarovesky, cinematographer Michael Dallatorre and costume designer Autumn Steed; “Quick Burns.” *** (R: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

“MAYANS M.C.: SEASON 1”: Several weeks before FX begins televising the show’s second round, this successor to “Sons of Anarchy” makes its home-video debut. Executive producer Kurt Sutter’s saga of motorcycle gangs on the California-Mexico border continues to include some familiar names and faces from the earlier drama, but largely, this show weaves its own saga as J.D. Pardo (“Revolution”) plays a just-paroled ex-convict returning home … and possibly joining the Mayans, former rivals of “Anarchy’s” SAMCRO biker club, as he tries to reconcile with his father (Edward James Olmos) and Mayans-member brother (Clayton Cardenas). Sutter developed this program with fellow executive producer and creator Elgin James, a musician whose own experiences with the gang culture help inform the show. Sarah Bolger, Michael Irby, Carla Baratta, Richard Cabral and Danny Pino also are among the cast regulars.  *** (Not rated: AS, N, P, V)

“THE HARDER THEY COME”: Reggae legend Jimmy Cliff’s distinctive, Jamaican-made 1972 classic returns to the public eye in a Blu-ray “Collector’s Edition” that boasts a new video transfer of the film. Cliff plays a would-be singer who falls under some bad influences as he tries to build a career in Kingston, and though he eventually makes his mark in music, he also draws the attention of rivals and the police with his side activities in the drug trade. With Toots & the Maytals also on the soundtrack, the picture was directed and co-written by Perry Henzell, whose subsequent movie “No Place Like Home” – featuring Grace Jones and thought to be lost forever – also is included here, along with a new documentary about Henzell’s work. *** (R: AS, P, V)

COMING SOON (Upcoming releases):

“Godzilla: King of the Monsters”



“ROCKETMAN” (Aug. 27)



“MA” (Sept. 3)

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 2320 posts and counting.See all posts by jbobbin

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