DVD Releases (for week of March 10)


STARTING THIS WEEK (New releases):

Mahershala Ali in “Green Book”

“GREEN BOOK”: A major factor in this year’s film-award season – thanks in part to its five Oscar nominations, including best picture, which it won – this fact-inspired comedy-drama’s title item helps two traveling companions navigate racially sensitive territory, quite literally, in the early 1960s. Celebrated classical and jazz pianist Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali, who earned his second Oscar here) gets a chauffeur and more in bouncer “Tony Lip” (Viggo Mortensen), hired to drive him to performances through the American South … at a time when “tolerance” wasn’t necessarily the operative word. Both stars are superb, and Linda Cardellini also is in director and co-writer Peter Farrelly’s cast. The real Tony’s son, Nick Vallelonga, also was one of the writers who gained an Oscar for best original screenplay. DVD extras: three “making-of” documentaries. **** (PG-13: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)



“FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD”: Author J.K. Rowling’s saga continues with this fantasy, returning Eddie Redmayne to the role of Newt Scamander, who tries to get his Ministry of Magic rights restored by protecting Hogwarts teacher Dumbledore (Jude Law) from an enemy of equal power. Others become involved, with romantic complications factoring in as the pursuit continues. The cast also includes Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, Zoe Kravitz and (reprising the role of Grindelwald) Johnny Depp … and, as always in such ventures, the members of the special-effects and visual-design teams also are stars here. “Harry Potter” veteran David Yates returns from the preceding chapter as the director. DVD extras: nine “making-of” documentaries; deleted scenes. *** (PG-13: AS) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

“MORTAL ENGINES”: Talk about mobility … entire cities are movable in this fantasy-drama that counts Peter Jackson (“The Lord of the Rings”) among its producers and screenwriters. Adapted from a novel by Philip Reeve, the tale unfolds in the aftermath of an apocalypse as a teenager and a would-be killer (Robert Sheehan, Hira Hilmar) are forced to work together to prevent an incredibly powerful weapon from wiping out the cities-on-the-go. Given its creation of what effectively is a different universe, there’s a lot to digest here, but such visuals as a city in the sky keep the film involving. Hugo Weaving, Stephen Lang, Patrick Malahide and Colin Salmon also appear. *** (PG-13: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

“THE LAST SHIP: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON”: A favorite of many naval personnel, who gave it some significant honors during its run, the TNT adventure-drama series – with filmmaker Michael Bay among its executive producers – wrapped up with this set of episodes. Though the threat of a global pandemic has passed, veterans of the U.S.S. Nathan Jensen are held responsible for an attack on Panama’s leader, putting America on the brink of another possible world war. Eric Dane, Bridget Regan, Adam Baldwin, Travis Van Winkle and Bren Foster are among the cast members who put codas on their roles; actor Peter Weller (“RoboCop”) directed several of the stories. A “Complete Series” collection also is newly available. *** (Not rated: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray)

“DIVIDE AND CONQUER: THE STORY OF ROGER AILES”: Both legendary and controversial for his rule of Fox News when it came into its own, and for many years thereafter, the late Ailes is recalled in Alexis Bloom’s warts-and-all documentary that amply notes the sizable influence in the political spectrum that Ailes had. It also traces situations that ultimately added up to Ailes’ ouster from Fox … not long before his death, as it turned out. His ties to “The O’Reilly Factor’s” Bill O’Reilly get particular attention, and among those offering reflective comments are Glenn Beck and actor Austin Pendleton (“What’s Up, Doc?”), an Ailes friend from childhood. *** (Not rated: AS, P)

“PERRY COMO’S MUSIC HALL”: Recalling a brand of television that has become rare, this “Special Edition” release offers a 1967 episode of NBC’s “Kraft Music Hall” series that was hosted by famously calm and smooth singer Como. Giving an idea of the variety involved here, then-rising comedian George Carlin does a routine – certainly not involving his “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television” – and veteran vocalist Nancy Wilson also performs, as does ballerina Joyce Cuoco. Since the show aired during April, a musical Tax Day salute includes “Pennies From Heaven” and “The Best Things in Life Are Free.” *** (Not rated)


COMING SOON (Upcoming releases):

“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”

“SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE” (March 19)

“MARY POPPINS RETURNS” (March 19)

“AQUAMAN” (March 26)

“SECOND ACT” (March 26)

“VICTORIA & ALBERT: THE WEDDING” (March 26)

“PROJECT BLUE BOOK: SEASON 1” (April 9)

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 1874 posts and counting.See all posts by jbobbin

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