DVD Releases (for week of March 3)

STARTING THIS WEEK (New releases):

Emma Stone in “The Favourite”

“THE FAVOURITE”: One of the big players in the latest film-award season, this royal tale earned 10 Oscar nominations including best picture, actress (Olivia Colman, who won) and supporting actress (both Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone). Colman plays Queen Anne, whose poor health and unpredictable temperament prompt the coverage of her national duties by Lady Sarah (Weisz), who also supervises a new servant (Stone). The latter two women then vie for the queen’s favor, a competition that could have far-reaching consequences for all of England. Nicholas Hoult, Joe Alwyn and Mark Gatiss also star … but as all the award bids have confirmed, this really is the ladies’ picture  DVD extras: “making-of” documentary; deleted scenes. **** (R: AS, N, P) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

“MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS”: Filmed previously in 1971, the true saga of two female monarchs and their rivalry gets fresh treatment and powerful acting from Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie as Mary Stuart and Queen Elizabeth I in a version written by someone who knows from political intrigue … Beau Willimon, who developed “House of Cards” for American television. Though Elizabeth occupies the throne of England, that’s in question when her cousin Mary asserts her own power to rule Scotland and consider a coup against her British counterpart. Male principals in the cast include Guy Pearce, David Tennant, Adrian Lester and Joe Alwyn. The film has Oscar nominations for costume design, makeup and hairstyling. *** (R: AS, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

“THE POSSESSION OF HANNAH GRACE”: Shay Mitchell has had a big post-“Pretty Little Liars” round in recent months, with a featured part in the first season of “You” and the principal role in this melodrama about a troubled ex-cop turned late-shift hospital-morgue worker. That set-up is just built for chills, and those arrive as she finds herself locked inside the facility with the newly arrived body of Hannah Grace (Kirby Johnson) … which may be, as the film’s title suggests, possessed. Co-stars include Grey Damon (“Station 19”), Stana Katic (“Castle”) and Louis Herthum (“Westworld”). DVD extras: two “making-of” documentaries; deleted scene. *** (R: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

“DYNASTIES”: On the heels of its telecasts on BBC America and several other corporately related networks, this nature miniseries focuses on one family in each of five species that are endangered: lions, chimpanzees, tigers, painted wolves and Emperor penguins. They use various means in their respective quests for survival, forging alliances in others in some cases, but engaging in all-out battles in others. Sir David Attenborough, a veteran of such projects, presents the program. *** (Not rated) (Also on Blu-ray)

“BETWEEN WORLDS”: Since his Oscar win almost 25 years ago for “Leaving Las Vegas,” Nicolas Cage’s career has been a mixed bag, sometimes delving into science-fiction and the supernatural. He returns to those genres with this melodrama, casting him as a trucker unable to come to terms with the deaths of his wife and daughter. He gets to experience his late spouse again, but in a decidedly unusual way, since her spirit possesses a young woman who emerges from a coma. Franka Potente (“The Bourne Identity”) plays the girl’s mother, with actress-model Lydia Hearst also featured. ** (R: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

“THE DEAD ZONE: THE COMPLETE SERIES”: After inspiring a popular movie, the Stephen King best-seller also became the source of a USA Network show that had a healthy six-season run, and did much to help Anthony Michael Hall move beyond his ‘80s-teen-movie image. He plays Johnny Smith, who awakens from a car-accident-caused coma with psychic abilities – and without his fiancee (Nicole de Boer), who married the local sheriff (Chris Bruno) during Johnny’s long stretch of unconsciousness. The late David Ogden Stiers (“M*A*S*H”) appears frequently as a priest Johnny often has doubts about. Jennifer Finnigan (“Salvation”), Sean Patrick Flanery and Sarah Wynter (“24”) also have recurring roles. *** (Not rated: AS, P, V)

COMING SOON (Upcoming releases):

“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald”


“GREEN BOOK” (March 12)





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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