DVD Releases – Week of January 3 2021

STARTING THIS WEEK (New releases):

Glenda Jackson in “Masterpiece: Elizabeth is Missing”

“MASTERPIECE: ELIZABETH IS MISSING”: Though it’s making its home-video debut in the same week it has its U.S. television premiere on PBS, this mystery already has reaped several rewards for star, two-time Oscar winner Glenda Jackson … who returned to acting after many years as a British politician. Since this aired in England at the end of 2019, she has earned several European honors for her portrayal of a woman fighting to maintain her independence despite early signs of Alzheimer’s disease. When her sole friend (Maggie Steed) apparently disappears, she tries to convince others that foul play is involved, though they don’t trust her recollection of things — which she can’t even trust herself, given her condition. The situation also revives a tragedy from the protagonist’s past. Based on a novel by Emma Healey, the drama also features Helen Behan, Nell Williams and Mark Stanley (“Sanditon”), but there’s no question this principally is Jackson’s brilliantly performed show. **** (Not rated: AS, P)

“LOVE AND MONSTERS”: No stranger to fantasy-adventure films thanks to the “Maze Runner” series, Dylan O’Brien stars in this entry that brims with special effects and had quite a production history, taking seven years from inception to actual filming … and then being largely redirected from theaters to On Demand by the coronavirus pandemic. The remnants of a destroyed asteroid convert regular animals into monsters, forcing evacuations in which O’Brien character is one of those sent to a shelter for survivors. He’s determined to find his girlfriend (Jessica Henwick), though — so he leaves relative safety to brave mutated ants, toads, worms and the like to reunite with her. Michael Rooker and Ellen Hollman (“Spartacus: Vengeance”) also appear. *** (PG-13: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray, 4K Ultra HD and On Demand)

“YELLOW ROSE”: A much-honored success on the film-festival circuit when those events still were being held, this drama follows the quest of a Texas-based Filipino teenager — played by Tony Award-nominated Broadway veteran Eva Noblezada (“Miss Saigon,” “Hadestown”) — to establish a country-music career, realizing the pursuit will take her away from the family that has made her feel secure. Lea Salonga (the original Tony-winning star of “Miss Saigon”) and actual country artist Dale Watson also star in the film from director, producer and co-writer Diane Paragas. *** (PG-13: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

“12 HOUR SHIFT”: The title duty at an Arkansas hospital could turn lethal for a nurse, played by horror-genre veteran Angela Bettis (who had the title role in a television remake of “Carrie”), in this rather graphic melodrama set at the end of the 1990s. She already has her own vices to contend with when her scheming cousin (Chloe Farnworth) lands her in the midst of trouble involving black-market dealers of human organs — including a kidney that gets misplaced, forcing the women to come up with an alternative to save their lives, David Arquette, who has his own horror experience from the “Scream” movies, also stars. ** (Not rated, AS, P, GV) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

“GIRLS’ NIGHT IN 5-MOVIE COLLECTION”: A potential inspiration for all-night viewing parties at which men are not allowed, a quintet of Universal Pictures’ female-centric comedy hits of recent years is showcased in this offering. The group is led by the picture whose huge success opened the floodgates for the genre — “Bridesmaids,” featuring the hilariously bawdy, Oscar-nominated performance by Melissa McCarthy that made her a big-screen star. Also included: Anna Kendrick in the musically inclined “Pitch Perfect,” which started a franchise; frequent colleagues Tina Fey and Amy Poehler in “Sisters”; Queen Latifah and Tiffany Haddish in  “Girls Trip”; and Amy Schumer in “Trainwreck.” *** (PG-13, R or unrated, per each title: AS, N, P) (Also on Blu-ray)

“HALLMARK 2-MOVIE COLLECTION: LOVE IN THE FORECAST/ROMANCE IN THE AIR”: Spirited, appealing Canadian actress Cindy Busby is one of Hallmark Channel’s most popular and reliable talents, and two of her most recent movies for that outlet are paired in this release. First, she plays an aspiring television meteorologist whose vow to swear off dating isn’t helped by her hunky — of course — new neighbor (Chrstopher Russell). Then, Busby portrays a woman taking a forced break from work at her family’s summer vacation spot, where she’s reunited with an old friend (Torrance Coombs, “Reign”) who runs a hot-air-balloon business … prompting some particularly nice aerial cinematography. *** (Not rated: AS)

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

COMING SOON (Upcoming releases):


“SPELL” (Jan. 12)




“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 2549 posts and counting.See all posts by jbobbin

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