DVD Releases (for week of June 16)


STARTING THIS WEEK (New releases):

Lupita Nyong’o in “Us”

“US”: It’s long been advised not to eat right before you go to bed, and you shouldn’t watch this movie just before doing that, either. Oscar-winning writer-director Jordan Peele’s next film after “Get Out” aims to be as surprising and unsettling, and it comes close to grabbing that brass ring in telling the story of a family with evil look-alikes who stage a home invasion. The task for the principal actors is to play two versions of the same character — the main one and that person’s doppelganger – and a lot of that heavy lifting falls to another Oscar winner, Lupita Nyong’o of “12 Years a Slave,” as the family matriarch. As the man of the household, Winston Duke also fares quite well on that count. Other characters are woven in along the way, including one played by Elisabeth Moss (“Mad Men,” “The Handmaid’s Tale), but Peele is the most successful here when he stays focused on the main characters at the tale’s ultimately horrifying center. DVD extras: five “making-of” documentaries; extended and deleted scenes; outtakes. *** (R: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)



“WONDER PARK”: The title gives this animated, Nickelodeon-co-produced feature a lot to live up to … and it gets there a fair amount of the way, though it also has a rather unsettling undercurrent in the illness suffered by the central character’s mother (voice of Jennifer Garner), which sensitive youngsters could be quite upset by. Mom and her daughter June (voice of Brianna Denski) have conjured up shared thoughts of a fantastic amusement park called Wonderland, where virtually everything is possible. After her mother’s medical situation prompts her father (voice of Matthew Broderick) to send June to camp, the girl goes AWOL and ultimately ends up at the actual Wonderland, which isn’t quite as magical as she and Mom envisioned it. Mila Kunis, John Oliver, Ken Jeong and “Saturday Night Live’s” Kenan Thompson are among those who voice the animals that staff the place, and that can use all the help in restoring it that they can get. And yes, June is on board for that. *** (PG: AS) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

“KILLING EVE: SEASON TWO”: In the sophomore round of one of the most acclaimed television series of recent years, government operative Eve’s (Sandra Oh) actions against professional killer Villanelle (Jodie Comer, who won a BAFTA Award for the role last month) at the end of Season 1 have ongoing effects – and suffice it to say that anything that might have seemed inevitable isn’t. It’s equally inevitable that even though the two women seem to be on separate paths when this round starts, their paths will cross again, though it may take some time for that to happen. A winner of Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Awards for her acting in the show’s first season, Oh also is a co-executive producer of the Phoebe Waller-Bridge-developed BBC America drama, which earned a Peabody Award; Fiona Shaw, another BAFTA victor several weeks ago, also stars as an official of the spy organization MI6. *** (Not rated: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray)

“PATRICK MELROSE”: As well-known as he is for playing period characters, Benedict Cumberbatch received a recent BAFTA Award for his utterly contemporary – and disturbing – work in this effective Showtime-limited-series adaptation of five novels by British author Edward St. Aubyn, who applied many of his own experiences to Patrick’s journey from an abuse-fraught childhood into an adulthood of overcoming addiction and struggling to live his best life. Each of the five hour-long episodes covers one of the books, meaning there’s rarely a dull moment in dealing with so much material. Also an executive producer of the drama (which scored five Emmy nominations), Cumberbatch gets impressive backing from Jennifer Jason Leigh and Hugo Weaving as Patrick’s unsupportive parents, and Allison Williams as one of the women who crosses Patrick’s path. *** (Not rated: AS, V) (Also on Blu-ray)

“HOTEL MUMBAI”: The 2008 terrorist attacks staged across the Indian city of Mumbai – with the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel among the targets – are dramatized in director and co-writer Anthony Maras’ tense film. Dev Patel (“Slumdog Millionaire”) plays a waiter who gets caught in the tumult at the hotel, trying to keep guests safe and help police get the information they need to stop the lethal invaders. Armie Hammer also stars as an American visitor, the husband of a foreign heiress (Nazanin Boniadi, “Counterpart”), who relies on his own wits and courage to try to help defuse the situation. Portraying a special-forces veteran, Jason Isaacs is in the international cast as well. *** (R: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

“UNIVERSAL HORROR COLLECTION VOL. 1”: Several of the early, classic tales of terror produced by Universal Pictures – with two of the truly legendary stars of the genre, Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi – are compiled in this Blu-ray collection that offers audio commentary by film historians, and documentaries about (and photo galleries for) the making of each included film. “The Black Cat,” “The Raven,” “The Invisible Ray” and “Black Friday” are the featured attractions culled from the 1930s. Of particular note among the extras are an examination of screen versions of Edgar Allan Poe tales, and separate audio recordings of both Karloff and Lugosi reading Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart.” *** (Not rated: AS, V)


COMING SOON (Upcoming releases):

“Broad City: Season 5”

“BROAD CITY: SEASON 5” (July 9)

“DUMBO” (June 25)

“GOTHAM: THE FIFTH AND FINAL SEASON” (July 9)

“SHAZAM!” (July 16)

“SPACE: 1999 – THE COMPLETE SERIES” (July 16)

“ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL” (July 23)

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 1997 posts and counting.See all posts by jbobbin

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