DVD Releases (for week of Oct. 15)

STARTING THIS WEEK (New releases):

"Spider-Man: Homecoming"
Tom Holland stars in “Spider-Man: Homecoming”

“SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING”: For any fan of the title character, there never can be too many Spider-Man movies – and the big difference of this latest one is that it links fully into the so-called Marvel Universe, demonstrated in part by the presence of Tony Stark, alias Iron Man (and still played by that movie series’ Robert Downey Jr.). The latter develops a new spider-suit for young Peter Parker (Tom Holland, in his debut in the role), who wants access to all the abilities it offers … even those that Stark feels should be off-limits to him for the time being. However, the web-slinging hero will need every advantage he can get against a foe known as The Vulture (Michael Keaton, who certainly has experience in the superhero-movie realm from his “Batman” days). Marisa Tomei assumes the part of Aunt May, and Jon Favreau and Gwyneth Paltrow also resurface from the “Iron Man” adventures. Zendaya and Donald Glover (“Atlanta”) co-star as well. *** (PG-13: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

“GIRLS TRIP”: Several longtime friends reunite for a trip to New Orleans, and get new revelations along the way, in director Malcolm D. Lee’s (“The Best Man”) enjoyable comedy, co-written by “black-ish” creator Kenya Barris. Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, Regina Hall and rising comic Tiffany Haddish star as the quartet who re-examine some of the decisions they’ve made in the past while making new ones – some of which also could stand some reconsideration, as they discover. Larenz Tate, Mike Colter and Mike Epps also appear. DVD extras: three “making-of” documentaries; deleted scenes with commentary by Lee; outtakes; extended Ne-Yo music performance. *** (R: AS, N, P) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

“AMERICAN GODS: SEASON ONE”: Developed for television by Bryan Fuller (“Hannibal”) and Michael Green (“Heroes”) from the Neil Gaiman novel, this boundary-busting Starz fantasy-drama series makes an ex-convict (Ricky Whittle) the bodyguard of an extremely powerful man (Ian McShane) who wants to preserve a world of traditional magic against new forces who would usurp it. The impressive cast also includes Gillian Anderson (“The X Files”), Emily Browning, Pablo Schreiber, Kristin Chenoweth and Peter Stormare (“Fargo”). The series will be getting a second season. DVD extras: nine “making-of” documentaries; audio commentary by cast and crew members. *** (Not rated: AS, N, P, V) (Also in Blu-ray)

“STEP”: For fans of such stories as “Pitch Perfect” and “Bring It On,” here’s the real deal, a documentary that follows the highs and lows of the senior year of a female high-school step-dance team in inner-city Baltimore. Their aims involve not only their quest for success at a championship, but also their individual hopes for college careers. The film also shows the involvement of their teachers and parents. DVD extras: three “making-of” documentaries; audio commentary by director Amanda Lipitz; deleted scenes; photo gallery; music video. *** (PG: AS, P) (Also on On Demand)

“THE GOOD PLACE: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON”: Now in its sophomore round on NBC, this clever comedy series from “Parks and Recreation” alum Michael Schur was one of last season’s new series best-received by critics … thanks in no small part to its surprising twists along the way, plus its judicious use of special effects. Kristen Bell plays an erroneously admitted newcomer to the “Good Place” that apparently is heaven, where she comes to terms with the vices and bad behavior she practiced during her lifetime. She’s guided along her new path by the evidently benevolent Michael (Ted Danson), and let’s just say that the motto “Everything Is Fine” eventually proves to be ironic here. *** (Not rated: AS, P)

“ERNIE KOVACS: TAKE A GOOD LOOK – THE DEFINITIVE COLLECTION”: Famously offbeat comedian Kovacs was the host of “Take a Good Look,” a late-’50s/early-’60s game show that was as much about his humor as “You Bet Your Life” was about the wit of Groucho Marx. Over two seasons and through sketches and other means, Kovacs tried to clue panelists into the identity of a guest, sometimes with greater success than others. Among the guests were Carl Reiner, chess great Bobby Fischer, Zsa Zsa Gabor, comic Mort Sahl, baseball legend Don Drysdale, Mary Ann Mobley (1959’s Miss America before becoming an actress) and Edie Adams, alias Mrs. Kovacs at the time. In his very distinctive way, Kovacs also serves as the commercial pitchman for Dutch Masters Cigars, the longtime sponsor of his television ventures. *** (Not rated: AS)

COMING SOON (Upcoming releases):

"War for the Planet of the Apes"
Scene from “War for the Planet of the Apes”

“WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES” (Oct. 24): A reluctant Caesar (Andy Serkis) spearheads a war against a human colonel’s (Woody Harrelson) troops. (PG-13: AS, V)

“THE EMOJI MOVIE” (Oct. 24): Yes, those smartphone images get their own film, with T.J. Miller as the voice of an especially boisterous one. (PG: AS)

“KIDNAP” (Oct. 31): A woman (Halle Berry) takes matters into her own hands to save her abducted son; Jason George co-stars. (R: P, V)

“ORPHAN BLACK: THE COMPLETE SERIES” (Oct. 31): Tatiana Maslany wraps up her much-praised performance – actually, make that “performances” – as mutually protective clones. (Not rated: AS, P, V)

“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)

“GILMORE GIRLS: A YEAR IN THE LIFE” (Nov. 28): Changes in seasons mean changes for Lorelai and Rory (Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel) in this sequel miniseries. (Not rated: AS, P)

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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