DVD Releases – week of March 1 2020


STARTING THIS WEEK (New releases):


“QUEEN & SLIM”: A fugitive story with some differences, this intense drama from director Melina Matsoukas and writer Lena Waithe (“The Chi”) pairs two people on a date that turns unforgettable for all the wrong reasons. Played by Daniel Kaluuya (“Get Out”) and Jodie Turner-Smith, their evening isn’t going well when it becomes much worse via the man’s self-defense killing of a police officer who stopped the couple for a traffic matter. They then go on the run, but what happened is visible to numerous people via a viral video – and as the two forge a bond that grows ever deeper, others view them as symbols of what the racial aspect of society is today. Bokeem Woodbine, Chloe Sevigny, Flea (of music’s Red Hot Chili Peppers) and country music’s Sturgill Simpson also appear. DVD extras: four “making-of” documentaries; audio commentary by Matsoukas and Waithe. *** (Also on Blu-Ray, 4K Ultra HD and On Demand)



“DARK WATERS”: Director Todd Haynes’ (“Far From Heaven”) fact-inspired, superbly cast drama features Mark Ruffalo (a producer of the picture as well) in the type of role he excels at, a lawyer drawn into a case alleging that a major corporation is involved in several deaths in West Virginia. His probe eventually suggests that chemical dumping has occurred at a farm, and that he and his pregnant wife (Anne Hathaway) might even be at risk from the alleged pollutants … due to man-made chemicals that accrue in the human blood stream over years and apparently can cause cancer and other illnesses. The attorney gambles all that he has in his pursuit of justice, facing ostracism from the locals for suing the area’s major employer. Co-written for the screen by Matthew Michael Carnahan (“World War Z”), the compelling film also stars Tim Robbins, Mare Winningham, Bill Pullman, Victor Garber and William Jackson Harper (“The Good Place”). *** (PG-13: AS, P)

“SEVEN WORLDS, ONE PLANET”: The “worlds” actually are the continents of Earth in the case of this BBC-produced nature miniseries recently televised by BBC America (as well as its sister networks AMC, IFC and Sundance TV). Narrated by genre staple David Attenborough, the program about the various regions’ atmospheres and their roles in helping to develop animal life proved to be sadly timely, since the episode about Australia was moved up to be the premiere in response to the devastating wildfires there. Film crews that went to the featured areas for the series focused on capturing rare footage not only on the surface, but also in such locales as underground caves and underwater pyramids … and though drones were used, the technology didn’t always work perfectly, as viewers are able to see. *** (Not rated) (Also on Blu-Ray and 4K Ultra HD)

“VIENNA BLOOD”: Just after concluding its telecasts on PBS, this melodrama inspired by Frank Tallis novels – and adapted by Steve Thompson (“Sherlock”) – makes its home-video debut, teaming one of legendary psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud’s disciples (played by Matthew Beard) with a rather traditional police detective (Juergen Maurer) who isn’t particularly a fan of his new partner’s deeply cerebral approach to solving several murders in turn-of-the-century Vienna. The Austrian society of the time also has an effect on their investigations, with anti-Semitism as one of the factors they must contend with. Co-produced by Austrian and German television outlets, the series is divided into three two-part stories. (Not rated: AS, V)

“STYLE QUEENS: TAYLOR SWIFT”: There’s little question that one of music’s reigning megastars has developed her own sense of style over the years, and this profile of her focuses largely on her fashion choices. Some of them are feline-inspired, and the recent reception (or lack thereof) to the movie version of “Cats” –in which Swift was featured -– might be giving her mixed feelings about that attire now, but it remains an element of the visual appearance that has contributed to her fame. So does the progression she made, also covered here, as her musical attention shifted from country to a more general sound. This is part of a series featuring a different celebrity per release, with Jennifer Lopez slated to be showcased in the next one at the end of March. *** (Not rated)

“SUPERDOME”: A fun reminder of the days when made-for-TV movies were plentiful and offered a parade of familiar faces, this 1978 melodrama – which director Jerry Jameson and producer William Frye made soon after collaborating on “Airport ‘77” – originally was shown by ABC to tie into Super Bowl XII. In the tradition of disaster films, it enmeshes various characters in dilemmas all linked to a big game, with Ken Howard (“The White Shadow”) and a pre-“Magnum, p.i.” Tom Selleck as the teams’ respective quarterbacks. Not only is a gambling operation trying to influence the outcome of the contest, a killer is loose in the crowd … shades of the then-recent “Two-Minute Warning,” which also featured this story’s David Janssen. Donna Mills, Van Johnson, Edie Adams and Ed Nelson also appear, as do actual football legends Dick Butkus and Bubba Smith. The picture was made on location at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. *** (Not rated: AS, 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):


“BOMBSHELL” (March 10)

“THE AFFAIR: THE FINAL SEASON” (March 10)

“CHARLIE’S ANGELS” (March 10)

“BLACK CHRISTMAS” (March 17)

“MR. ROBOT: THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON” (March 31)

“30 ROCK: THE COMPLETE SERIES” (April 21)

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 2280 posts and counting.See all posts by jbobbin

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