DVD Releases (for week of Oct. 20)

STARTING THIS WEEK (New releases):

“The Lion King”

“THE LION KING”: With any of the recent Disney remakes of its animated features, the hope is for an entirely different experience, as familiar as the given tale may be. As technically stunning as it is, this revision doesn’t supplant the traditionally animated 1994 original as the defining telling of the story. Still, give director Jon Favreau big credit for using computer-generated imagery to the max in giving a more realistic sheen to the saga of Simba (now voiced in older years by Donald Glover), who tries to claim his birthright from his devious uncle Scar (Chiwetel Ejiofor). It’s notable that as Simba’s father Mustafa, James Earl Jones is the only member of the original voice cast to return. Beyonce surely is a major addition to the cast as Nala, but maybe the most successful recasting is that of Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen, hilarious as Timon and Pumbaa. And virtually every major cast member gets to give a new workout to the great Elton John-Tim Rice music score that includes “Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” “Hakuna Matata” and “Circle of Life.” *** (PG: AS, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

“VERONICA MARS: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON (2019)”: After the original series plus a fan-funded movie sequel, creator and executive producer Rob Thomas’ saga of amateur detective Veronica (Kristen Bell, in what was her star-making role) keeps going with this update of the show made for Hulu … effectively the fourth season of the drama overall. Spring-break killings set the plot in motion in the California town of Neptune, where the tourism trade is falling off sharply as a result of the crimes. However, many of the town’s elite would just as soon see visitors’ revelry end, putting another layer of complexity on the situation as Veronica and her fellow-sleuth father Keith (Enrico Colantoni) investigate. Expectedly, many other original cast members also return, including Jason Dohring, Francis Capra, Percy Daggs III, Ryan Hansen and Julie Gonzalo. Oscar winner J.K. Simmons and Patton Oswalt are newcomers among the co-stars. *** (Not rated: AS, P, V)

“DAVID CROSBY: REMEMBER MY NAME”: The music icon reflects on his life and times – including his efforts to redefine his career after the breakup of Crosby, Stills and Nash – in this documentary that includes filmmaker Cameron Crowe (“Jerry Maguire”) among its producers. Crosby recalls his great musical successes as well as his darker times, encompassing personal and professional challenges that he faces today. Others commenting for director A.J. Eaton include fellow musicians Jackson Browne and Roger McGuinn, and former Crosby bandmates Graham Nash, Stephen Stills and Neil Young are seen in archival footage. DVD extras: extended and alternate scenes; extended interviews; Q&A session with Crosby and Crowe. *** (R: AS, N, P)

“MASTERPIECE: PRESS”: Even if print journalism has been facing major challenges in the Internet age, this drama – currently in the midst of its telecasts on PBS’ “Masterpiece” anthology, so immediate viewers of this set will get the rest of the episodes early — focuses on the rivalry between two British newspapers, a “broadsheet” of respectability and a sensationalism-driven tabloid. Charlotte Riley and Ben Chaplin portray the competing editors, with Priyanga Burford (who also worked with writer Mike Bartlett’s material in “King Charles III”), Ellie Kendrick and Al Weaver playing reporters for the publications. Veteran actor David Suchet, well-known for his “Poirot” mysteries, appears as the tabloid’s owner … and any resemblance to certain similar and well-known figures is, of course, coincidental. And yes, that’s said with a wink. *** (Not rated: AS, P)

“NOS482: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON”: If the title of this AMC suspense series adapted from a Joe Hill novel doesn’t seem to make sense, say it aloud … and if you know the meaning behind the name “Nosferatu,” the plot about the modern pursuit of an immortal should make sense. The pursuer is Vic (played by Ashley Cummings), an artist who has to keep herself from falling prey to her target, a sinister soul stealer (Zachary Quinto) who is relegating his young victims to an imaginary but terrifying Christmasland. Also starring Ebon Moss-Bachrach, the show has been renewed fir a second season. *** (Not rated: AS, P, V)

“STRANGE BUT TRUE”: The title is appropriate for this drama, based on a John Searles novel about the aftermath of a tragic accident. A deceased student’s former girlfriend (played by Margaret Qualley, who is Andie MacDowell’s daughter and a co-star of “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood”) thinks she’s pregnant with his child — five years after he died. Not surprisingly, his immediate survivors (Amy Ryan, Nick Robinson) doubt her claim, but that’s just the start of a hugely complicated and emotional chain of events. Greg Kinnear, Blythe Danner and Brian Cox (“Succession”) also are in the strong cast. *** (PG-13: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

COMING SOON (Upcoming releases):

“Mike Wallace Is Here”


“THE WIZARD OF OZ” (Oct. 29)


“GOOD BOYS” (Nov. 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 2280 posts and counting.See all posts by jbobbin

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