DVD Releases – week of June 21 2020

STARTING THIS WEEK (New releases):

“SOUTH PARK: THE COMPLETE TWENTY-THIRD SEASON”: The Comedy Central misadventures of Stan, Kyle, Cartman, Kenny and the rest of their animated gang continue their home-video releases with the most recently televised round of Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s topical and irreverent comedy. On the subject of subjects, they include immigration and censorship in the case of these 10 episodes, which saw the show hit its 300th story. Also included is a Halloween tale unlike any ever done by any other show — which only is to be expected — and the political climate in America also takes its shots. *** (Not rated: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray)

“JASPER MALL”: Once constant hubs of activity in their communities, shopping malls largely have faced hard times lately — a situation only exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic keeping people at home and impacting the economy drastically. This documentary from directors Bradford Thomason and Brett Whitford focuses on the title mall in Alabama, near Birmingham, where business is traced over the course of one year. Its operators desperately try to justify keeping it open, but the combination of standalone superstores and the boom in online shopping delivers a one-two punch that also has been felt at similar sites in numerous other localities. *** (Not rated: P) (Also on Blu-ray)

“TOKYO OLYMPIAD”: The debut of the Criterion Collection edition of this acclaimed 1965 documentary likely was planned to coincide with the latest Summer Olympic Games — now postponed until next year — but at any time, it stands on its own as an accomplished digest of the 1964 competition. Director Kon Ichikawa deployed more than 1000 cameras and used then-revolutionary techniques of presentation to transform the competitors’ athletic skills into something almost poetic as seen on the screen over almost three hours. Still, the essence of the Olympics remains on view in its purest form, displaying the very human results of victory and defeat in a raw and real way. **** (Not rated) (Also on Blu-ray)

“BURDEN”: An unlikely connection develops in writer-director Andew Heckler’s true drama, as ever-excellent Oscar winner Forest Whitaker plays a Southern clergyman who — at a time when community tensions already are near the breaking point — takes in a Ku Klux Klan member (Garrett Hedlund) in the mid-1990s. Though it’s expectedly not an easy process, the reverend eventually has a profound impact on his guest, who makes drastic changes in his life as a direct result. Andrea Riseborough, Tom Wilkinson, Tess Harper and actor-musician Usher Raymond also are in the cast. *** (R: AS, P, V)

“APOLLO 13: HOME SAFE”: Though the title of this documentary gives away how the story turned out, thank goodness it was that way … as anyone who knows the events of the time, or director Ron Howard’s acclaimed movie drama about them, already knows. Marking the 50th anniversary of an in-flight crisis that had the world on the edge of its collective seats, the recap recalls the efforts of Mission Control to bring the Apollo 13 spacecraft and its astronauts — including Jim Lovell and Fred Haise, both of whom comment here (Jack Swigert was the third crew member) — back to Earth safely after an onboard malfunction prompted the famous and still-chilling phrase, “Houston, we’ve got a problem.” Legendary flight director Gene Kranz also is among the interviewees, and actual NASA footage is woven into the program. (Not rated)

“INHERITANCE”: Played by Lily Collins (“Les Miserables”), a lawyer is in for a lot of surprises resulting from a family tragedy in this drama. Her esteemed father’s (Patrick Warburton) unexpected death leaves her bequeathed a set of keys, and those turn out to open a bomb shelter that she didn’t know existed on the family’s estate. What she finds inside it rightfully alarms not only her, but also those closest to her. Connie Nielsen, Simon Pegg, Chace Crawford and Michael Beach also appear in the suspense tale, whose intended debut at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. *** (Not rated: AS, P)

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

COMING SOON (Upcoming releases):


“EVIL: SEASON ONE” (June 30)






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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