DVD Releases – week of June 7 2020

STARTING THIS WEEK (New releases):

“THE HUNT”: Of all the major studio releases that had a tough time being seen lately, this one led the pack by running into two big hurdles. First slated for release last fall, it was delayed during a period of actual violence that made its theme that much more controversial. It finally debuted several months later, but just before the coronavirus pandemic shut down most theaters — sending it to On Demand much earlier than expected. Hilary Swank plays the ringleader of an elite group that makes a sport out of pursuing so-called undesirables, with one target portrayed by Betty Gilpin (“GLOW”), and it truly is a matter of the survival of the fittest … not to mention the fastest. However, some of the would-be victims eventually have the stamina and smarts to turn the tables on those who are after them. Co-written and co-produced by Damon Lindelof (“Lost,” “Watchmen”), the picture has a political undercurrent, but it’s also a bare-bones action tale with graphic violence to spare. DVD extras: three “making-of” documentaries. *** (R: AS, P, GV) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

“MODERN FAMILY: THE ELEVENTH AND FINAL SEASON”: One of the most enduring among recent television sitcoms, this much-honored ABC show got to finish the way it intended by having its finale completed before the pandemic shut down much television-series production. A trip to Paris is among the highlights for the Dunphy and Pritchett clans during their last stand, which acknowledges certain milestones for the characters with episode titles such as “The Last Halloween,” “The Last Thanksgiving” and “The Last Christmas” — and, of course, “Finale” (co-written by series creators Steven Levitan and Christopher Lloyd). Destined to continue to be seen together in repeats for a long time to come, the ensemble cast includes Ed O’Neill, Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Sofia Vergara, Eric Stonestreet, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Sarah Hyland, Ariel Winter and Rico Rodriguez. *** (Not rated: AS, P)

“WE SUMMON THE DARKNESS”: Alexandra Daddario has mixed comedy (“Can You Keep a Secret?”) and drama (“San Andreas”) cannily in her acting choices, and with this horror-flavored tale, she combines elements of both genres. She plays one of several friends who attend a concert in an area where a murder has satanic overtones .. and you can start to imagine what happens when, after the show, the trio brings some new acquaintances back to the estate of the Daddario character’s preacher father (Johnny Knoxville, he of “Jackass” fame). Maddie Hasson (“Mr. Mercedes”), Amy Forsyth (“Hell Fest”) and Logan Miller also appear. DVD extras: “making-of” documentary; audio commentary by director Marc Meyers and writer and executive producer Alan Trezza. *** (R: AS, P, GV) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

“POWER: THE COMPLETE SIXTH SEASON”: The gritty Starz drama series recently wrapped up its run with this final stanza, with James “Ghost” St. Patrick (played by Omari Hardwick) aiming to put his affairs in order. Though that largely means walking the straight and narrow, he has some loose ends from his past to tie up, which could mean more violence in his immediate future and a consequent shifting of his plans. Lela Loren, Naturi Naughton, Joseph Sikora and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson also star in the saga from executive producer (and “The Good Wife” alum) Courtney A. Kemp. Not just one, but four, “Power” spinoff series are in the works. DVD extras: episode recaps. *** (Not rated: AS, N, P, V)

“AN UNMARRIED WOMAN”: Writer-director Paul Mazursky’s 1978 comedy-drama was deemed quite a revelation upon its release, and 40 years-plus later with the debut of its Criterion Collection edition, many of its themes and notions still hold true. Jill Clayburgh was an Oscar nominee as a woman whose life is turned upside-down by her husband’s (Michael Murphy) infidelity — just wait to see her reaction upon finding out — and she then tries to start over, eventually finding a much different kind of relationship with an earthy artist (Alan Bates). The cast also includes Cliff Gorman and Kelly Bishop (years before she became Emily on television’s “Gilmore Girls”), but the movie truly belongs to Clayburgh … if only for her impressive struggle with a large painting she tries to carry through the streets of New York. The extras include an audio commentary recorded by Mazursky and Clayburgh, both of whom have since passed. **** (R: AS, N, P) (Also on Blu-ray)

“THE LAST BRIDESMAID”: Also seen recently in a guest arc on CBS’ “SEAL Team,” Rachel Boston is a staple of Hallmark Channel movies, and this romantic (of course) tale is one of her most engaging entries to date for that outlet. That’s a partial pun, since she plays a woman who’s a perennial bridesmaid … though that could change when she attends a cousin’s wedding where she makes a connection with the videographer (Paul Campbell, who’s also made his fair share of Hallmark product) for the event. There shouldn’t be a nanosecond of doubt about how things turn out, but getting to the conclusion is fun. Jeremy Guilbaut (“When Calls the Heart”), Stephanie Bennett (“Shadowhunters”) and Brandi Alexander co-star. *** (Not rated: AS)

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 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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