DVD Releases (for week of Jan. 12)

STARTING THIS WEEK (New releases):

“GEMINI MAN”: If you like Will Smith, this fantasy-adventure certainly offers its fair share of him, both as he presently appears and as he would look as a younger clone of himself. Under the direction of two-time Oscar winner Ang Lee (“Brokeback Mountain,” “Life of Pi”), the story finds Smith playing an ultra-skilled assassin who decides his pace has slowed enough for him to get out of the killing game. Others aren’t happy about that, and to eliminate him, they send in the clone – and you basically end up with Smith fighting himself. It can be fun to watch that kind of movie trickery, but that’s not all that makes up a film: One like this has to be especially careful with its logic, and Smith, Lee and their colleagues likely hope you’ll be dazzled enough by the overall concept and the visuals not to thin too much about any plot missteps. The always welcome Mary Elizabeth Winstead plays a fellow operative sent to keep watch over Smith, while Clive Owen gets a break from leading-man status and does a nice job being nasty as an agency boss. Benedict Wong also offers good work as a Smith ally whose skills come in handy. *** (PG-13: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

“MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL”: Five years later, Angelina Jolie reprised the title role in this Disney fantasy sequel that again makes her the nemesis of Aurora (fellow returnee Elle Fanning), who has been overseeing the Moors. After seemingly stirring fresh trouble in the kingdom, Maleficent goes on the run and eventually aligns with other dark-hearted beings who are determined to form a union with humans or eradicate them. Michelle Pfeiffer also stars as a queen who poses a new, unpleasant challenge for Aurora. Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple and Lesley Manville also are back from the first “Maleficent,” with Chiwetel Ejiofor and Ed Skrein among other cast newcomers here – but of course, it can be argued that the members of the special-effects team are the ultimate stars here. *** (PG: AS, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

“VEEP: THE COMPLETE SEVENTH SEASON”: One of the most acclaimed and most honored comedy series of the past decade ended its run on HBO last year, with Julia Louis-Dreyfus back for one last round in the role that earned her six consecutive Emmy Awards … Selina Meyer, who makes another bid for the U.S. presidency by going through everything that such a campaign entails, including courting powerful politicians for their support and participating in debates. Others in her circle including Amy, Jonah and Mike (Anna Chlumsky, Timothy Simons, Matt Walsh) also deal with major developments – and there’s a big twist at the end that the very famous object of the joke took with good grace in talking about it afterward. Tony Hale and Reid Scott also wrap up their parts in the show. **** (Not rated: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray)

“THE MINDY PROJECT: THE COMPLETE SERIES”: Mindy Kaling’s sitcom, which ran for three seasons on Fox and then had another three on Hulu – making it among the first series to cross over from broadcast television to a streaming service with newly produced episodes — is offered in full by this set. Kaling’s OB/GYN mother inspired her character, whose professional and personal lives often are informed by her co-workers at a New York practice. They’re played by Chris Messina (whose character also is the fictional Mindy’s romantic interest), Ed Weeks, Ike Barinholtz and Beth Grant. The first season also featured Anna Camp, and Fortune Feimster joined the regular cast in the program’s later years. *** (Not rated: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray)

“RUNNING WITH THE DEVIL”: An interesting aspect of writer-director Jason Cabell’s melodrama is that none of the characters have formal names, or at least none that are mentioned here … they’re simply identified by nicknames or by what they do. Action-movie veterans Nicolas Cage and Laurence Fishburne get top billing as The Cook and The Man, two business executives dispatched by their boss (Barry Pepper, “Saving Private Ryan”) – who happens to be called The Boss here – to find out who is interfering with cocaine shipments that don’t reach their destinations. Leslie Bibb, Adam Goldberg, Clifton Collins Jr., Cole Hauser and Peter Facinelli also appear in the tale was that filmed partially in Bogota, Colombia. (R: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

“KRYPTON: THE COMPLETE SECOND & FINAL SEASON”: The Syfy series, about the forerunners of Superman on his native planet, reached its end with its sophomore round. As it begins, the Kryptonian natives are under oppression from enemies … and Earth also ends up at the mercy of villains, namely General Dru-Zod and Brainiac (Colin Salmon, Blake Ritson). The return of Adam (Shaun Sipos) prompts the seeds of revolution to be planted, and an alien bounty hunter (Emmett J. Scanlan) factors into the eventual plan to take back the planet. Cameron Cuffe, Georgina Campbell, Elliot Cowan and Ann Ogbomo also star. A “Complete Series” set also is available. *** (Not rated: AS. V)

COMING SOON (Upcoming releases):


“BLACK AND BLUE” (Jan. 21)

“COUNTDOWN” (Jan. 21)



“ROMA” (Feb. 11)

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 2281 posts and counting.See all posts by jbobbin

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