DVD Releases (for week of Jan. 19)

STARTING THIS WEEK (New releases):

“ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP”: This 10-years-later sequel has a definite feel of “been there, done that” – not only thanks to its own forerunner, but also to numerous other tales of survivors fighting the undead – but there’s fun in seeing such A-list stars as Oscar winner Emma Stone and Jesse Eisenberg being willing to return to the genre. Along with fellow returnees Woody Harrelson and Abigail Breslin, their characters’ situation remains just what it was; they’re certainly more experienced in vanquishing zombies, but they’re still crossing a ravaged America after finding temporary shelter in (of all places) the White House. As they take their quest back on the road, they encounter characters played Rosario Dawson and Zoey Deutch. The daughter of actress Lea Thompson, Deutch is especially good here, getting plenty of mileage out of applying what she’s established as her offbeat sensibility to the now-quite-familiar scenario of a zombie invasion. The original director and writers also are back, giving this a nice sense of continuity even after so long. *** (R: AS, P, GV) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

“THE ADDAMS FAMILY”: Morticia, Gomez and the rest of the eerie clan originated as characters in magazine cartoons by Charles Addams … and they return to that form in this enjoyable feature, with Charlize Theron, Oscar Isaac, Chloe Grace Moretz, Finn Wolfhard (“Stranger Things”), Nick Kroll and Bette Midler (!) supplying the voices of the central relatives. In one of the picture’s multiple plots, a reality-show host (voiced by Allison Janney) decides the Addams relatives are unsuitable residents for a neighborhood she wants to cast as “perfect,” so she makes it her mission to get them out. The film’s co-director, Conrad Vernon, also supplies several voices including that of Lurch; Snoop Dogg, Tituss Burgess, Elsie Fisher (“Eighth Grade”), Martin Short and Catherine O’Hara are in the voice cast as well. DVD extras: four “making-of” documentaries; deleted and extended scenes; two music videos. *** (PG: AS) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

“PAIN AND GLORY”: Veteran filmmaker Pedro Almodovar (“Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown,” “Talk to Her”) has earned wide acclaim for his drama based on many of his own experiences, with longtime collaborator Antonio Banderas also getting much praise and award consideration for his portrayal of Almodovar’s surrogate in the drama, a director who engages in much reflection while his health declines as approaches his twilight years. The movie does much jumping back and forth in time as the central character recalls personal and professional triumphs and setbacks … and their intensely personal nature make it impossible not to view these as situations that were sampled firsthand by writer-director Almodovar, who offers quite a confessional here. DVD extras: “Pedro Almodovar: In His Own Words” documentary; Q&A with Almodovar and Banderas. **** (R: AS, N, P) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

“BLACK AND BLUE”: Naomie Harris has distinguished herself in a variety of projects, whether she’s playing Miss Moneypenny to Daniel Craig’s James Bond or earning an Oscar nomination for “Moonlight.” She’s the kind of talent who takes such command of the screen, filmmakers know she can shoulder the load … which she does in this police drama, casting her as a military veteran and New Orleans rookie who catches a couple of other cops bring less than legal – and her bodycam catches it, too. That makes her a fugitive, since she’s not sure who she can trust except for a figure from her past played by Tyrese Gibson. Mike Colter (“Evil”) also factors in as a very angry drug kingpin, and the result has a certain kinetic energy as it follows the Harris character step by perilous step through her waking nightmare. If you want to see how much one performer can elevate a movie almost entirely on her own, Harris offers a textbook example here. DVD extras: two “making-of” documentaries; deleted scenes. *** (R: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

“JAY & SILENT BOB REBOOT”: Filmmaker Kevin Smith parodies the reboot craze by teaming again with Jason Mewes to play the title roles in this continuation of the comedy franchise. Learning that a revision of a movie inspired by them is in the works, they head for Hollywood to make sure they have input on the project … whether others want it or not, and despite the fact that the duo signed away their rights. The picture is packed with cameos from such Smith associates as Ben Affleck (“Chasing Amy”) and Melissa Benoist (“Supergirl,” which comic-book aficionado Smith has directed on several occasions). Matt Damon, Chris Hemsworth, Rosario Dawson, Jason Lee, Val Kilmer, Molly Shannon and Justin Long make appearances as well. DVD extras: outtakes; cast interviews; “hair reel.” *** (R: AS, N, P) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

“COUNTDOWN”: Elizabeth Lail, who was the target of obsession in the first season of “You,” makes a very watchable heroine in this melodrama about a nurse who finds that there truly is an app for everything … including a potentially unsettling prediction of how much longer the user has left to live. She supposedly has only three days remaining, so every minute counts as she tries to figure out how to prevent her demise. Tichina Arnold, P.J. Byrne and Peter Facinelli also appear, but the engaging Lail is charged with holding the screen for most of the picture, and she fares nicely in that. *** (PG-13: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

COMING SOON (Upcoming releases):


“HARRIET” (Jan. 28)

“PARASITE” (Jan. 28)



“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 2402 posts and counting.See all posts by jbobbin

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