DVD Releases (for week of Oct. 1)

 

STARTING THIS WEEK (New releases):

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Johnny Depp stars in “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales”

“PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES”: The escapades of Captain Jack Sparrow — still played, expectedly, by Johnny Depp — aren’t over yet, as demonstrated by this latest entry in the Disney-produced adventure franchise. This time, he’s among the targets of an old enemy (Javier Bardem) who marshals a gang of ghost pirates. Jack’s only hope of survival is to find the Trident of Poseidon, an object that will let its holder completely control the seas. As usual, the special-effects team has a field day here … and several other familiar faces are back to varying degrees, with Geoffrey Rush prominent in the cast again. And you might want to keep an eye out for a certain Beatle. *** (PG-13: AS, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)



“HOUSE OF CARDS: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON”: From the start, this Netlfix signature series has suggested that politics might be stranger then fiction … and while it has to contend with the real thing now, it still has another original and involving chapter to weave about ever-devious President Francis Underwood (Kevin Spacey). He tries to manipulate what would be his re-election, but surprises lie in wait, not the least of which pivotally involves his wife Claire (Robin Wright). This round of the saga also harks back to one of the most shocking turns from early in the show’s run, suggesting that a person’s past is never entirely in the past. Michael Kelly, Patricia Clarkson, Neve Campbell, Joel Kinnaman, Gerald McRaney, Jayne Atkinson, Colm Feore and Reed Birney also continue as cast members, with Campbell Scott a noteworthy addition. *** (Not rated: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray)

“THE BOOK OF HENRY”: After the literally monster hit “Jurassic World,” director Colin Trevorrow went for decidedly more modest storytelling with this drama about the efforts by a woman (Naomi Watts) and her surviving son (“Room’s” Jacob Tremblay, who also worked with Watts in “Shut In”) try to carry out her late child Henry’s (Jaeden Lieberher) plan to help a young neighbor (Maddie Ziegler). The girl has been abused by her police-commissioner stepfather (Dean Norris), and Watts’ grieving character decides to follow Henry’s instructions on how to solve the situation – potentially lethally. Sarah Silverman, Lee Pace (“Halt and Catch Fire”) and “Saturday Night Live” alum Bobby Moynihan also star. *** (PG-13: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

“AMERICAN HORROR STORY: ROANOKE – THE COMPLETE SIXTH SEASON”: Anything that you might think executive producer Ryan Murphy’s FX anthology series is, it most always turns out not to be … as is being proven yet again now by the show’s “Cult” season, and as it was by this preceding round. It starts out as a supposed documentary about a couple’s supernatural experiences, with Lily Rabe and Andre Holland as the “real” couple, and series staple Sarah Paulson and Cuba Gooding Jr. (who also worked for Murphy in the title role of “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”) as the actors who play them in the show-within-the-show. Suffice it to say that’s not all that happens here; Kathy Bates and Angela Bassett are among other returnees, with music superstar Lady Gaga particularly notable in a cast that features Evan Peters, Wes Bentley, Adina Porter, Cheyenne Jackson and Denis O’Hare. *** (Not rated: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray)

“THE WIZARD OF LIES”: Richard Dreyfuss had played Bernie Madoff in an earlier television project, but Robert De Niro also put his distinctive mark on the financier and “Ponzi scheme” perpetrator in this made-for-HBO drama directed by Oscar winner Barry Levinson (“Rain Man”). Michelle Pfeiffer plays Madoff’s wife Ruth as the teleplay examines the impact of his actions on his family as the size of the fraud – the biggest of its kind in U.S. history to date — becomes apparent. Alessandro Nivola, Nathan Darrow, Kristen Connolly (“Zoo”), Lily Rabe and Hank Azaria also appear in the drama, based principally on a book by Diana B. Henriques (who portrays herself in the movie). *** (Not rated: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray)

“A GHOST STORY”: As the month of Halloween begins, the timing couldn’t be more appropriate for the home-video debut of writer-director David Lowery’s tale. “Manchester by the Sea” Oscar winner Casey Affleck plays a man whose untimely death laves him a ghost able to observe his wife (Rooney Mara) as she continues to live in their house … from which she eventually moves, but he remains in his ghostly form and watches subsequent residents as they pass through. The story is intriguing, though it ultimately collapses on itself a bit. Additional stars include music’s Kesha. DVD extras: two “making-of” documentaries; audio commentary by Lowery, cinematographer Andrew Droz Palermo, production designer Jade Healy and composer Daniel Hart; deleted scene. *** (R: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)


COMING SOON (Upcoming releases):

Baby Driver
Ansel Elgort, Jamie Foxx, Eiza Gonzalez and Jon Hamm in “Baby Driver”

“BABY DRIVER” (Oct. 10): A getaway driver (Ansel Elgort) can’t get out of the grasp of the crime kingpin (Kevin Spacey) who employs him. (R: AS, P, V)

“THE BEGUILED” (Oct. 10): In director Sofia Coppola’s take on the drama, a Civil War soldier (Colin Farrell) finds tense refuge at a girls’ school; Nicole Kidman and Kirsten Dunst also star. (R: AS, V)

“DEMONIC” (Oct. 10): One of the survivors of a multiple murder recalls the situation for a detective and a psychologist (Frank Grillo, Maria Bello). (R: P, V)

“FALLEN” (Oct. 10): A teen (Addison Timlin) finds herself enmeshed in a timeless love triangle at her new reform school. (PG-13: AS, P, V)

“GIRLS TRIP” (Oct. 17): Several longtime friends reunite for a trip to New Orleans and get new revelations along the way; Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, Regina Hall and Tiffany Haddish star. (R: AS, N, P)

“WESTWORLD: SEASON ONE” (Nov. 7): The HBO-series reimagining of the fantasy about a resort populated by lifelike robots stars Anthony Hopkins, Evan Rachel Wood and Thandie Newton. (Not rated: AS, N, 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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