DVD Releases – week of February 23 2020

STARTING THIS WEEK (New releases):

“FROZEN II”: If anything was a sure box-office bet going into the past holiday movie season, this was it. The original animated movie was the sort of serendipity any studio wishes for, and Disney wanted to make sure its best foot was put forward on a “Frozen” sequel, which is why it took six years. Voiced again by Idina Menzel, Elsa has returned to her kingdom (or make that queendom) after getting her power to freeze under control. She’s still haunted by elements of her past, though, and she believes she might be able to change the fates of some of her ancestors by following the trail. Thus, she and her sister Anna (again sporting Kristen Bell’s voice) set off on their new quest. Of course, snowman Olaf also is along, with Josh Gad’s vocals giving him the now-expected dose of attitude. In fact, the entire voice cast is well-chosen, with fellow Broadway veterans Jonathan Groff and Santino Fontana also back, and “This Is Us” Emmy winner Sterling K. Brown making a significant contribution in a new role. There’s no “Let It Go” on the soundtrack this time, though that tune does get a reprise, but the new songs are appropriate and catchy enough. Plainly put, any “Frozen” fan will be satisfied here. *** (PG: AS) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

“KNIVES OUT”: There are lots of murder suspects in this clever and excellently cast take on the drawing-room mysteries that have been so much the province of authors like Agatha Christie, and under the guidance of writer-director Rian Johnson, the film offers some twists that make it its own creature. One surely is the presence of Daniel Craig as a charming and enigmatic detective who shows up to investigate the killing of a rich and famous novelist played by Christopher Plummer. He’s been slain during a New England family gathering for his birthday, so plenty of relatives fall under the detective’s very watchful eye … including those played by Jamie Lee Curtis, Chris Evans, Toni Collette, Michael Shannon and Don Johnson. The deceased man’s nurse helps in the probe, and that offers something of a preview of Craig’s final James Bond movie, since Ana de Armas also will be one of his leading ladies in “No Time to Die.” Oscar-nominated for its script, the film apparently will be yielding some sequels. DVD extras: two “making-of” documentaries; audio commentary by Johnson, cinematographer Steve Yedlin and actor Noah Segan; deleted scenes; cast and filmmaker Q&A; marketing gallery. *** (PG-13: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

“COLOR OUT OF SPACE”: Inspired by an H.P. Lovecraft story, this horror tale casts Nicolas Cage as the head of a family that anticipates a tranquil new life after inheriting a stately home in Massachusetts. That situation lasts only so long, thanks to a meteorite that lands violently in their yard and has a pronounced effect on the area; it’s good for the vegetation, which suddenly becomes bountiful where it had been sparse, but not so great for the local water supply – nor for the newcomers, as their health soon reflects. Joely Richardson and Tommy Chong also are in the cast of the film, the first to be directed by Richard Stanley since his work on Marlon Brando’s version of “The Island of Dr. Moreau” almost 25 years earlier. *** (Not rated: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

“THE CORRUPTED”: An ex-convict, played by Sam Claflin (“Me Before You”), tries to make amends to those close to him in the aftermath of the 2012 London Olympics in this melodrama. Still under the thumb of a crime kingpin (Timothy Spall) whose many connections could make things tough for him, the former inmate takes desperate measures to free himself from that influence. “Downton Abbey’s” Hugh Bonneville also is featured in the story, as are Noel Clarke, Charlie Murphy and Claflin’s brother Joe. *** (R: AS, P, V)

“AFTER WE LEAVE”: The “leaving” potentially is from Earth in this sci-fi saga, about a man (Brian Silverman) who gets the opportunity to depart from a near-future Los Angeles that’s short on promise … but only if he can locate the wife he left years earlier and convince her to go with him. The visa he has applied for back then is good for couples only, so both have to go, or neither can. Others harbor deep resentment of him for his behavior then, so they aren’t very helpful with information, giving him more challenges in finding the person who’s his literal ticket off the planet. Clay Wilcox, Anita Leeman-Torres and Amber Jaeger also star. *** (Not rated: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray)

“PERFECT FRIDAY”: Welsh actor-producer Stanley Baker was involved in some top-notch British crime dramas, this 1970 film being one of them. He plays an assistant bank manager who decides to add some needed excitement to his life by robbing his own branch, collaborating with a free-spending aristocrat (Ursula Andress) and her husband (David Warner). Not unpredictably, the scheme eventually hits snags, some of them generated by the fact that the thieves can’t necessarily trust one another. The movie is one of relatively few to have been directed by Peter Hall, who had a much, much larger catalog of stage work – partially as the founder of the Royal Shakespeare Company and as a director of the National Theatre. *** (R: AS, N, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray)

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

COMING SOON (Upcoming releases):

“DARK WATERS” (March 3)

“QUEEN & SLIM” (March 3)


“BOMBSHELL” (March 10)



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 2320 posts and counting.See all posts by jbobbin

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