DVD Releases – Week of December 27 2020

STARTING THIS WEEK (New releases):

Liam Neeson in
“Honest Thief”

“HONEST THIEF”: Liam Neeson’s movies typically are high-profile, but this one got considerably less play than usual, if only because fewer theaters were available because of the coronavirus pandemic. The frequent action star plays the Boston-based thief of the title, whose new romance prompts him to give up his profession and try to cut a deal with the FBI. However, the agents sent to make contact with him (Jai Courtney, Anthony Ramos) turn out to be corrupt, sending him on the lam; after learning of his past, his girlfriend (Kate Walsh, “Private Practice”) tries to help him out of his bind. Jeffrey Donovan (“Burn Notice”) and Robert Patrick (“Scorpion”) also star. *** (PG-13: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

“THE LAST SHIFT”: An Oscar nominee and an Emmy winner, the excellent Richard Jenkins (“The Visitor,” “The Shape of Water”) gets top billing in this comedy-drama about a longtime fast-food-restaurant worker who decides to call it a career after the better part of four decades. The assignment to train his replacement (Shane Paul McGhie) has surprising results for the man, who has a strong reaction to his struggling-writer trainee’s political views. Allison Tolman (“Fargo”) and Ed O’Neill (“Modern Family”) also are in the cast, but writer-director Anderw Cohn clearly designed this primarily as a well-deserved showcase for Jenkins. *** (R: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

“KENNY ROGERS: THE GAMBLER’S LAST DEAL”: Though some music stars give their last performances without knowing they’ll be those, late pop and country icon Rogers planned when his deal would be done, to paraphrase one of his most popular songs. Long a staple of the concert circuit, he conducted his farewell tour from 2015 to 2017 — and anyone familiar with any aspect of his career had to be satisfied, since the content stretched back to his early days with the group The First Edition to the legendary hits he’d have later as a solo artist. Demonstrating the ease with which he related to an audience (and that helped him maintain such popularity for so long), the principal show featured here was recorded at the London Palladium, though segments from other stops on the itinerary also are shown. The package also includes a CD of tunes as performed in the concert. *** (Not rated)

“ZOMBIE BRO”: Loyalty between siblings is a commendable thing … but if your brother is a zombie, all bets might be off. Such is the case in this horror tale, which is aimed toward a youthful audience, believe it or not. In her one screen credit to date, Lauren Grego plays a young woman who makes the unfortunate discovery that someone very close to her (Cooper Flynn) is among the undead. She then has to warn her parents not only to beware of their son, but also to get ready for a battle meant to result in his elimination. Karina Bracken and Claudia Pickering also appear. ** (Not rated: AS, P, V) (Also on On Demand)

“THE LAST WARRIORS”: Maybe because it’s the last week of the year, the word “last” is getting a big workout in new home-video titles, and here’s another example. A staple of romantic cable movies, Corey Sevier (“A Star for Christmas,” “Mr. Write”) gets to flex his muscles in a different way — quite literally — as a hunter whose skills provide nourishment for a band of post-apocalyptic survivors. Expectedly in a tale like this, enemies are on their trail, so the hero has a lot of responsibility that only increases as the saga unfolds. Roseanne Supernault, Nathaniel Arcand and Michelle Thrush also are in the cast of the film, originally released in 2016 under the title “The Northlander.” *** (Not rated: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray)

“ELVIS PRESLEY: THE ROCK ‘N’ ROLL YEARS”: Some might consider all of Presley’s years to be rock-based, but this newly reissued documentary focuses on the early phase of his career, when television appearances — some rather controversial for their time, forcing cameras to steer away from showing “Elvis’ pelvis” — played a big part in gaining him national attention and fairly immediate stardom. “Hound Dog,” “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Love Me Tender,” “Don’t Be Cruel” and “Blue Suede Shoes” are song the Presley standards he’s seen performing here … to the evident delight of shrieking fans in the on-site audiences, whose impassioned responses to Elvis gave an early indication of what Beatlemania would be like a number of years later. *** (Not rated)

FAMILY VIEWING GUIDE KEY: AS, adult situations; N, nudity; P, profanity; V, violence; GV, particularly graphic violence.

COMING SOON (Upcoming releases):

“Yellow Rose”

“YELLOW ROSE” (Jan. 5)




“FATMAN” (Jan. 26)


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 2542 posts and counting.See all posts by jbobbin

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Pin It on Pinterest