DVD Releases – week of June 28 2020

STARTING THIS WEEK (New releases):

“EVIL: SEASON ONE”: “Disturbing” is a good and very apt word for this CBS series from the mentors of “The Good Wife” and “The Good Fight,” writing-producing spouses Robert and Michelle King. Dutch actress Katja Herbers heads the cast as a psychologist who delves into long-unsolved, seemingly supernatural mysteries with religious bents, as she teams with an aspiring priest (Mike Colter). Some of the cases have alarming personal aspects for the investigators. Michael Emerson (“Lost”) and Kurt Fuller (“Psych”) also are among the stars of the show, which has been renewed for a second season though its first round ended relatively early (accounting for the 13 episodes offered here); Christine Lahti has a recurring role as the psychologist’s mother. *** (Not rated: AS, P, V)

“THE GHOST OF PETER SELLERS”: One of the most unique talents in movie history, “Dr. Strangelove” and “The Pink Panther” star Sellers also could be famously difficult on film sets, and this documentary recalls one such instance in great detail. Also the director here, Peter Medak (“The Ruling Class”) remembers his dealings with Sellers during the production of “Ghost in the Noonday Sun,” a mid-1970s pirate satire that would end up never being released, attributed largely to the alleged problems generated by Sellers as the cameras rolled. Fellow British comedy legend Spike Milligan was brought in to try to fix matters as a screenwriter, but that didn’t quite work out … as is related here by Medak and some of the other surviving personnel involved in that ill-fated picture, including producer John Heyman and costume designer Ruth Myers. *** (Not rated: AS, P) (Also on On Demand)

“MASTERPIECE: BEECHAM HOUSE”: Public-television dramas are famous for stories of daily dynasties, and this 19th-century saga set in India — and being broadcast through mid-July — is the latest. Tom Bateman (“Vanity Fair”) heads the ensemble cast as a trading company alumnus and new owner of a mansion where the relationships among several generations undergo their constant ups and downs. Created and directed by “Bend It Like Beckham” filmmaker Gunndher Chadha, the story also features Lesley Nicol — familiar to PBS viewers from one of the most successful entries in this genre, “Downton Abbey” — as well as such other veterans of the network as Leo Suter (“Sanditon”) and Gregory Fitussi (“Mr. Selfridge”). *** (Not rated: AS)

“STREET SURVIVORS: THE TRUE STORY OF THE LYNYRD SKYNYRD PLANE CRASH”: Among documents of tragedies that claimed the lives of famous people, this one is about as close as it gets … due to the fact that it’s told by Artimus Pyle, then the drummer for the legendary rock band, and a survivor of the 1977 disaster that claimed the lives of individuals including band founder Ronnie Van Zant. Pyle (portrayed in this dramatization by Ian Shultis, with Taylor Clift as Van Zant) helped save others from the wreckage, and the script details the circumstances at the time and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s enduring legacy; some of Pyle’s newer music is on the film’s soundtrack. Other music stars represented include Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, respectively portrayed by Neill Byrnes and Anthony Rocco Bovo. *** (Not rated: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

“CHRISTMAS IN EVERGREEN: TIDINGS OF JOY”: Something of a gathering of Hallmark Channel movie all-stars, this pleasant sequel to an earlier holiday tale — not all that out-of-place in the summer, since Hallmark still runs Christmas tales at this time of year — casts Maggie Lawson (”Psych”) as a writer who has her doubts about the supposed innocence and purity of a town where the yuletide spirit always is maintained. Of course, she visits to see for herself … and of course, her skepticism ultimately is turned around. Jill Wagner, Ashley Williams, Holly Robinson Peete and Barbara Niven return from earlier films in the franchise, and Paul Greene also stars. The naturally seasonal soundtrack features Carrie Underwood among others. *** (Not rated)

“SKI BUM: THE WARREN MILLER STORY”: For many years, filmmaker Miller’s documentaries about skiers and their exploits were major events for his fans during limited runs in theaters, and he’s the subject of a documentary himself in the case of this profile of his life and work. Miller passed several months after giving an extensive interview for the film, which traces the challenges he faced in building his own business to help promote the ski industry. Over the better part of five decades, he largely lived out of a trailer while spending hours pursuing the breathtaking outdoor footage that made him a brand name … and interestingly, he often traveled with his movies to showplaces near ski resorts, so that he could work on the next one while exhibiting the current one. *** (Not rated) (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):








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.

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