DVD Releases (for week of Dec. 3)

STARTING THIS WEEK (New releases):

"Despicable Me 3"
Kristen Wiig in “Despicable Me 3”

“DESPICABLE ME 3”: Happily domesticated now, Gru and his wife Lucy (voices by Steve Carell and Kristen Wiig) are tossed out of the Anti-Villain League after they’re outsmarted by an enemy aptly named Bratt (who has the voice of Trey Parker, of “South Park” fame) in this entertaining second sequel to the animated comedy hit. As they try to redeem themselves, the couple crosses paths with Gru’s twin brother Dru (also with Carell’s voice) and the two brothers’ mother (voice by Julie Andrews). A sign that Gru has gone somewhat soft is his relationship with the youngsters that he now calls his own – and Lucy tries to – plus the Minions, who still are here despite having had their own movie. Miranda Cosgrove, Steve Coogan and Jenny Slate also are heard. DVD extras: “making-of” documentaries; deleted scene; Pharrell Williams music video; sing-along; “Minion Moments”; “The Secret Life of Kyle” mini-movie. *** (PG: AS) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

“AMERICAN ASSASSIN”: Edward Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz – who made television’s acclaimed “thirtysomething” and “Once and Again” – were among the screenwriters on this action tale about a personally haunted man (Dylan O’Brien, “The Maze Runner”) who’s given a chance to join an elite counterterrorism team headed by a Cold War veteran (Michael Keaton, achieving much by adding his sly wit to a somewhat predictable role). The new operative’s first mission is to help track down missing plutonium before it can reach intended buyers in Iran. Sanaa Lathan, Taylor Kitsch and television “Poirot” David Suchet also star. DVD extra: Q&A session with O’Brien and Kitsch. *** (R: AS, N, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

“TWIN PEAKS: A LIMITED EVENT SERIES”: After false starts and behind-the-scenes drama that saw series co-creator David Lynch drop out of the project for a while, this Showtime revival of the famously quirky cult-classic show finally arrived this year, with Lynch directing all 18 episodes. Also billed collectively as “The Third Season,” the stories restore Kyle MacLachlan to the role of FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper. To give too many details would be an injustice – as if we could do that with complete accuracy, thanks to the ever-challenging plot – so we’ll just leave it that many of the other original stars also return, from Madchen Amick, James Marshall, Dana Ashbrook and Sherilyn Fenn to David Duchovny, Peggy Lipton, Richard Beymer and “Log Lady” Catherine E. Coulson (who passed after filming her work here, as did Miguel Ferrer). Laura Dern, Richard Chamberlain and Ashley Judd also appear. DVD extra: “making-of” documentary. *** (Not rated: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray)

“THE SIMPSONS: THE EIGHTEENTH SEASON”: The recurring character Fat Tony (voiced by Joe Mantegna and featured in the first tale here) gets his day as the subject on the cover of this latest home-video release from the long-running, animated Fox sitcom. It’s likely a relief for fans to see this come to the market, since for a while, it appeared that no more of the series would be issued on home video. Kiefer Sutherland, Natalie Portman, Eric Idle, Betty White, Dr. Phil McGraw, Ludacris, composer Stephen Sondheim, filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich and writers Gore Vidal and Tom Wolfe also are among the guest voices in these stories, which originally aired in 2006-07 and encompassed the show’s 400th episode. *** (Not rated: AS)

“FARGO: YEAR THREE”: The offbeat FX series inspired by the Oscar-winning 1966 Coen-brothers movie rebooted itself again for this season, bringing another actor whose series-television involvement is rare – Ewan McGregor – to dual roles as brothers, one of whom plans to steal from the other, with very unexpected consequences. The would-be thief is a probation officer whose scheme involves the parolee he’s romantically involved with (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). Carrie Coon (“The Leftovers”), David Thewlis, Michael Stuhlbarg, Scoot McNairy, Shea Whigham and Mary McDonnell (“Major Crimes”) also are in the ensemble cast. *** (Not rated: AS, P, V)

“ONE DAY AT A TIME: THE COMPLETE SERIES”: “This is it …” for fans of the original, Norman Lear-produced 1975-84 CBS sitcom that introduced one of television’s most popular and enduring stars, Valerie Bertinelli. She and Mackenzie Phillips play the daughters of a divorcee (Bonnie Franklin) who has her hands full raising them as well as readjusting to life as a single. Pat Harrington Jr. won an Emmy for the series and has many humorous moments as their apartment-building superintendent Schneider, who fancies himself the ultimate ladies’ man. Currently yielding a Netflix reboot, the show was co-created by former “Hazel” co-star Whitney Blake, the mother of actress Meredith Baxter. Real-life relatives Shelley Fabares and Nanette Fabray also are featured, as is John Putch, Jean Stapleton’s (“All in the Family”) son and now a top TV director. *** (Not rated: AS, P)

COMING SOON (Upcoming releases):

John Boyega in “Detroit”

“DETROIT” (Dec. 12): Director Kathryn Bigelow’s drama follows a security guard’s (John Boyega) experiences in the violent wake of a police raid. (R: AS, P, V)

“GAME OF THRONES: THE COMPLETE SEVENTH SEASON” (Dec. 12): Jon Snow and Cersei Lannister (Kit Harington, Lena Headey) both face challenges as leaders as the hugely popular HBO series continues. (Not rated: AS, N, V)

“HOME AGAIN” (Dec. 12): A woman’s (Reese Witherspoon) surprising new romance is threatened by the return of her estranged husband (Michael Sheen). (PG-13: AS, P)

“KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE” (Dec. 12): Members of an American spy organization step in to assist Eggsy (Taron Egerton) and his British colleagues against enemies. (R: AS, P, V)

“DUNKIRK” (Dec. 19): The Christopher Nolan-directed view of the World War II military operation features Harry Styles and Kenneth Branagh. (PG-13: AS, P, V)

“LEATHERFACE” (Dec. 19): The roots of the “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” character are explored in this horror prequel; Stephen Dorff and Lili Taylor star. (R: AS, N, P, GV)

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.

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