DVD Releases (for week of Dec. 1)


STARTING THIS WEEK (New releases):

Emilia Clarke and Kit Harington in “Game of Thrones”

“GAME OF THRONES: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION”: If you were among the many devotees of the much-honored HBO saga, this all-inclusive Blu-ray set should be of automatic interest, especially now that the series is over. Along with all of the episodes, a bounty of special features is included, a particular highlight being a Conan O’Brien-hosted reunion of cast members … some of whom didn’t last the duration of the show, which should come as no surprise to those who watched it. Also in the set is “Game of Thrones: The Last Watch,” the documentary that traces the making of the final season. Those seeking that last round by itself can find it in a separate Season 8 set on DVD, Blu-ray and Ultra HD 4K – and “Game of Thrones: The Complete Series” (minus some of the bells and whistles of the “Complete Collection”) also can be found on DVD and Blu-ray. Stars include Kit Harington, Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Sean Bean and Diana Rigg. *** (Not rated: AS, N, GV)



“CITY ON A HILL: SEASON ONE”: Boston-area natives Ben Affleck and Matt Damon have made movies about the crime culture related to that city, and they revisit it as executive producers of this Showtime drama series, which has been renewed for a second season. Developed by fellow executive producer Chuck MacLean from his and Affleck’s idea, the 1990s-set show tenuously teams an assistant district attorney newly relocated from Brooklyn (played by Aldis Hodge, formerly of “Leverage” and “Underground”) and a FBI veteran (Kevin Bacon) whose renown partially cloaks his corrupt ways. The two men pursue a family that robs armored cars, ultimately impacting the whole of criminal justice in Boston. “Law & Order” and “Crossing Jordan” alum Jill Hennessy also stars, with additional cast members including Cathy Moriarty (“Raging Bull”), Boston native Jonathan Tucker, Mark O’Brien, Sarah Shahi (“Person of Interest”), Amanda Clayton, Kevin Chapman (also born in Boston), Kevin Dunn and Rory Culkin. *** (Not rated: AS, N, P, V)

“SESAME STREET’S 50TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION!”: Five decades is a long time to inspire, educate and entertain children, which has been the hugely notable achievement of this iconic series. A celebration surely is in order, and that’s offered in this program recently televised by HBO (which now shares the rights to the show with its originating network, PBS). Joseph Gordon-Levitt is the host of the event, which marks the occasion by restaging some of the most classic segments and songs in “Sesame Street” history (“People in Yoir Neighborhood” certainly among them). Additional participants include Whoopi Goldberg, Elvis Costello, Meghan Trainor and “This Is Us” Emmy winner Sterling K. Brown – with such veteran cast members as Bob McGrath, Loretta Long, Roscoe Orman and Linda Bove returning for the festivities. *** (Not rated)

“2019 WORLD SERIES”: If you’re a Major League Baseball fan – and, moreover, a fan of the Houston Astros and/or the Washington Nationals – you know what to do in regard to this official compilation of highlights from the recent best-of-seven showdown between the two teams. Most everyone probably knows the outcome by now, but we’ll still avoid any spoilers here … and considering that the event occurred at the end of October, this is an impressively quick turnaround of the home-video release, as it is every year when the season-ending World Series account becomes available commercially. *** (Not rated) (Also on Blu-ray)

“BUTTONS: A CHRISTMAS TALE”: A notable cast is featured in this seasonal story stemming from a musician whose work long has been associated with the holidays, Tim Janis. Kate Winslet and Robert Redford are the “A-list” narrators of the saga of two orphans who hope the yuletide will bring them a permanent home. They have two guardian angels … and since those parts are played by Angela Lansbury and Dick Van Dyke, there’s every reason to expect that things will turn out well. Someone else famous for playing an angel – Roma Downey – also appears, as do Jane Seymour, Abigail Spencer (“Timeless”) and Katie McGrath (“Supergirl”). DVD extras: bonus songs; music video; photo gallery. *** (PG: AS)

“BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA”: Though made by a major studio (20th Century Fox) and a major director (John Carpenter), this 1986 comedy-adventure has enduring cult-classic status, and it gets a home-video relaunch in a new two-disc Blu-ray “Collector’s Edition.” Reteaming with then-frequent collaborator Carpenter, Kurt Russell displays ample swagger as Jack Burton, a trucker who discovers a dangerous dynasty beneath San Francisco’s Chinatown while helping a friend (Dennis Dun) find the latter’s abducted fiancee. Kim Cattrall has one of her best pre-“Sex and the City” roles as a very capable Burton ally, with veteran character actor James Hong also in the cast. The generous wealth of special features includes new interviews with many of the film’s principals, with Dun, Hong, producer Larry Franco and writers W.D. Richter and Gary Goldman among them. *** (PG: AS, P, V)


COMING SOON (Upcoming releases):

“Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood”

“ONCE UPON A TIME … IN HOLLYWOOD” (Dec. 10)

“THE COTTON CLUB ENCORE” (Dec. 10)

“HUSTLERS” (Dec. 10)

“IT CHAPTER TWO” (Dec. 10)

“THE LOUDEST VOICE” (Dec. 10)

“FULLER HOUSE: THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON” (Dec. 17)

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 2095 posts and counting.See all posts by jbobbin

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