DVD Releases (for week of July 1)


STARTING THIS WEEK (New releases):

"Blockers"
John Cena, Leslie Mann and Ike Barinholtz in “Blockers”

“BLOCKERS”: “Pitch Perfect” writer Kay Cannon made a big move to directing with this decidedly raunchy comedy that – fortunately for many parents – comes to home video after most prom nights already have been staged this year. That occasion fuels the humor, as several young women decide to use it to cross a major threshold in the coming-of-age realm … to the alarm of their moms and dads, once the latter find out. John Cena (advancing his comedy cred in a big way here), Leslie Mann and Ike Barinholtz play the parents determined to block what their daughters have in mind. Kathryn Newton (”Big Little Lies”), Gary Cole (“Veep”) and Gina Gershon also appear. DVD extras: six “making-of” documentaries; deleted scenes; outtakes; “Line-O-Rama.” *** (R: AS, N, P) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)



“BEIRUT”: Though he brought a light touch even to very serious moments on “Mad Men,” Jon Hamm plays it straight in the midst of heavy drama in this tale of a former American diplomat who has to revisit his troubled past to save a friend. He has ties to the captor (Idir Chender) who is holding a CIA agent (Mark Pellegrino), and he’s requested to oversee negotiations for the hostage’s release – though the process generates many questions of who can, and can’t, be trusted. Rosamund Pike (“Gone Girl”) portrays the main ally in trying to make the mission successful, and the script by Tony Gilroy (“Michael Clayton”) also furnishes roles for Dean Norris (“Breaking Bad”) and Shea Whigham. *** (R: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

“BORG VS. McENROE”: The title might make this sound like a documentary, but it’s actually a dramatization of the rivalry between two of the top players in tennis history. Shia LaBeouf plays John McEnroe, who was famous for his temperament on the court – with Sverrir Gudnason as Swedish sports superstar Bjorn Borg, as cool in competition as McEnroe was visibly emotional on many occasions. The script focuses on their showdown at Wimbledon in 1980, and particularly on the men’s singles final that was one of the most eagerly awaited events in the world at the time. Stellan Skarsgard also appears as Borg’s coach, Lennart Bergelin, in the film … made by a consortium of producers from Sweden, Denmark and Finland. *** (R: AS, N, P) (Also on Blu-ray)

“THE CURED”: The long-utilized zombie theme gets a twist in writer-director David Freyne’s thriller, which poses what might happen to the undead if they were cured and assimilated back into society. Sam Keeley plays such a man, and even if his condition has changed, he still carries guilt from what he did while he was ruled by the plague. Ellen Page – who’s had experience with this general genre lately, also given her work in the remake of “Flatliners” – plays the fellow’s sister-in-law, who provides refuge for him, but not without lingering concerns. Paula Malcomson (“Ray Donovan”) also is featured. DVD extras: theatrical trailer; ”making-of” documentary. *** (R: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray)

“THE JERICHO MILE”: One of the most acclaimed TV-movies of its time, this 1979 drama cemented the career of star Peter Strauss and also gave Michael Mann – later the mentor of “Miami Vice” and such movies as “Heat” and “Ali” – his first feature-directing job. Mann also co-wrote the Emmy-winning script about a convict at Folsom Prison (where the picture was made on location) who takes up running, eventually becoming so adept at it that he gets a shot at Olympic competition. Strauss also earned an Emmy for the film as part of a cast that includes Brian Dennehy, Ed Lauter and such familiar television faces as Roger E. Mosley (“Magnum, p.i.”) and Richard Moll (“Night Court”). DVD extras: trailer; audio commentary by film historian Lee Gambin. *** (Not rated: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray)

“PSYCH: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION”: Though the clever comedy-mystery series has been released on home video in a complete set previously, this new edition also includes the recent “Psych: The Movie” sequel that reunited the principal cast members … along with a notable percentage of previous guest stars. The show revolves around is-he-or-isn’t-he psychic Shawn Spencer (James Roday), who brings his longtime pal Gus (Dule Hill) – and a head-spinning number of pop-culture references – into a variety of cases probed by the Santa Barbara Police Department, whose members include relatively conservative detective partners Lassiter and Juliet (Timothy Omundson, Maggie Lawson). Kirsten Nelson plays the sleuths’ boss, and Corbin Bernsen appears as Shawn’s ex-cop father. *** (Not rated: AS, P, V)


COMING SOON (Upcoming releases):

"Chappaquiddick"
Jason Clarke in “Chappaquiddick”

“CHAPPAQUIDDICK” (July 10): The true story of a tragedy that famously impacted the Kennedy family stars Jason Clarke, Kate Mara and Bruce Dern. (PG-13: AS, P)

“THE LEISURE SEEKER” (July 10): Aging spouses (Helen Mirren, Donald Sutherland) head out on one last road trip in the RV in which they’ve taken many vacations. (R: AS, P)

“A QUIET PLACE” (July 10): Real-life spouses John Krasinski (also the director here) and Emily Blunt play a couple who must keep their family silent from sound-dependent creatures. (PG-13: AS, P, V)

“I FEEL PRETTY” (July 17): Amy Schumer plays a cosmetics-company employee who sees herself differently after she has an accident. (PG-13: AS, N, P)

“RAMPAGE” (July 17): A primatologist (Dwayne Johnson) faces a dilemma when his gorilla friend is among animals genetically altered and turned lethal. (PG-13: AS, P, V)

“TRUTH OR DARE” (July 17): Several young friends are drawn into a dangerous game while traveling in Mexico; Lucy Hale and Tyler Posey star. (PG-13: A, P, V)

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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