DVD Releases (for week of May 26)

STARTING THIS WEEK (New releases):

Chloe Grace Moretz in “Greta”

“GRETA”: Neil Jordan directed and co-wrote this melodrama that offers a good match of actresses. The title role belongs to Isabelle Huppert, playing a New York-based piano teacher sought out by a waitress (Chloe Grace Moretz) who found the woman’s handbag on a subway train. Returning it develops into something complicated – and, eventually, downright scary – as the two women grow closer and the good Samaritan discovers that the reason for their meeting might have been pre-planned. Stephen Rea, who has worked for Jordan a number of times (very notably in “The Crying Game”), also is in the cast along with Maika Monroe and Colm Feore. *** (R: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

“OUTLANDER: SEASON FOUR”: With the fifth season now being filmed in Scotland and a sixth already ordered, the most recent complete round of the popular Starz series based on Diana Gabaldon’s novels – and more specifically in this case, “Drums of Autumn” — encompasses brutality of several sorts as Jamie and Claire (Sam Heughan, Caitriona Balfe) survive a shipwreck to make a new existence for themselves just before the American Revolution. The saga’s time-shifting continues by switching back and forth to the experiences of the couple’s daughter in the 20th century Brianna, or “Bree” (Sophie Skelton), who seeks information on her parents and their experiences. DVD extras: three “making-of” documentaries; deleted scenes; outtakes. *** (Not rated: AS, V) (Also on Blu-ray)

“SOUTH PARK: THE COMPLETE TWENTY-SECOND SEASON”: Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s animated, ever-irreverent Comedy Central series rolls on, with Kenny, Stan, Kyle, Cartman and company. This season of the show certainly doesn’t shy away from hot-button topics, with religion-related sexual-abuse cases, the legalized use of marijuana and online retailer Amazon’s quest to establish new headquarters among the themes of certain episodes. However, there’s also room for a traditional Halloween satire, and former Vice President Al Gore figures into a two-part story dealing with – expectedly enough –climate change. DVD extras: audio commentary by Parker and Stone; deleted scenes. *** (Not rated: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray)

“A VIGILANTE”: The person seeking self-styled justice is a woman in the case of writer-director Sarah Daggar-Nickson’s drama, with Olivia Wilde (“Life Itself”) starring as someone who knows what it’s like to be mistreated, courtesy of an abusive husband (Morgan Spector) whom she manages to get away from. Not unlike Jennifer Garner’s character in the recent “Peppermint,” she then goes off the radar to learn skills in both self-defense and offense, and resurfaces to assist others in trouble by using her highly physical new talents. Kyle Catlett also is featured, but Wilde clearly remains the story’s centerpiece. DVD extra: ”making-of” documentary. *** (R: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

“WHEN A STRANGER CALLS BACK”: The original “When a Stranger Calls” was a highly effective thriller, and this 1993 sequel – originally presented on Showtime, and now debuting on Blu-ray – retains enough of the tension and fright to be worthwhile. Carol Kane reprises her role as the babysitter who was tormented the first time, now trying to help another minder of children (Jill Schoelen) who fears a similar stalker has returned to cause her more grief. Charles Durning also returns from the first film as a now-retired detective who attempts to come to the rescue as he did before. Director and writer Fred Walton came back as well for this follow-up. *** (R: AS, N, P, V)

“THE RED RIDER”: Here’s a blast from the distant past, a 15-chapter 1934 Western serial with a then-popular star of the genre, previous real-life cowboy Buck Jones. The saga actually is an expansion of an earlier Jones movie, “The Range Feud,” that featured someone else who would become well-known for an association with horses and six-shooters … John Wayne. Here, Jones plays a lawman who lets a murder-accused friend (Grant Withers, who later appeared in a number of Wayne’s pictures) get away, then tries to help prove the man’s innocence. Also notable in the cast is Jim Thorpe, the amazingly well-rounded Native American athlete who made his mark in a number of sports and was immortalized by the film “Jim Thorpe — All-American.” *** (Not rated: V)

COMING SOON (Upcoming releases):

“Gloria Bell”

“GLORIA BELL” (June 4)



“I AM THE NIGHT” (June 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 1975 posts and counting.See all posts by jbobbin

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