DVD Releases – Week of November 1 2020

STARTING THIS WEEK (New releases):

Executive producer Kurt Sutter’s FX follow-up to his acclaimed, successful motorcycle-club drama “Sons of Anarchy” got a sophomore year that also turned out to be its last one. Would-be Mayans member Ezekiel “EZ” Reyes (played by JD Pardo) is caught between various factions by agreeing to inform for federal agents on the Galindo cartel, whose leader Miguel (Danny Pino) is married to EZ’s ex-girlfriend Emily (Sarah Bolger). EZ’s brother Angel (Clayton Cardenas) also works against the Galindos as a member of the Rebel group, and in the first season, the siblings were drawn into the murders of two agents to maintain their own agendas – an element that continues to unfold here. Sutter co-created the show, which also stars Edward James Olmos, with fellow executive producer Elgin James … and given the grittiness of the content here, it’s a bit strange to find it under the Disney banner, since that company now owns FX. *** (Not rated: AS, P, V)

Another of the recent movies that had its primary avenue to audiences via On Demand (though it also got some theatrical play internationally) as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, this melodrama now has the potential to reach additional viewers as it debuts on physical home media. Actress-singer Janelle Monae stars in the era-bridging story as an oppressed woman during the time of slavery who evidently is transported to the present day, where she is a sociologist also subjected to torment while promoting her new book. Jena Malone, Eric Lange, Jack Huston, Kiersey Clemons, Gabourey Sidibe and Lily Cowles (“Roswell, New Mexico”) also are featured in the film, from writers and debuting directors Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz. DVD extras: theatrical trailers; three “making-of” documentaries deleted scenes. *** (R: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray, 4K Ultra HD and On Demand)

One of the most acclaimed series of the streaming era puts forth its most recent round on home video, with the fourth one slated to debut on Netflix later this month. The life of Queen Elizabeth II (Olivia Colman, assuming the role from the earlier two seasons’ Claire Foy, in a Golden Globe Award-winning portrayal) is dramatized from the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s, when such milestones as Prince Charles being installed as the Prince of Wales and Winston Churchill passing away had impacts on her reign … en route to her Silver Jubilee celebration. Tobias Menzies (taking over the part of Prince Phillip), Helena Bonham Carter (inheriting the role of Princess Margaret) and Ben Daniels also are in the excellent cast of the saga created by Peter Morgan, who also focused on Elizabeth in his script for the Oscar-winning movie “The Queen.” DVD extras: four “making-of” documentaries. **** (Not rated: AS) (Also on Blu-ray)

An impressive cast figures into director Roger Michell’s (“Notting Hill”) drama of a woman, played by Susan Sarandon, who decides to end her struggle with Lou Gehrig’s disease in her own way. She and her husband (Sam Neill) gather their loved ones for a final reunion, but the occasion takes unexpected turns … especially as the woman realizes she has unfinished business with her daughters (Kate Winslet, Mia Wasikowska). Rainn Wilson and Lindsay Duncan also are featured. The fim is a remake of the Danish feature “Silent Heart.” *** (R: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

The title is exactly what a number of women are up to here, as they target the 1970 Miss World competition, in this fact-inspired and BBC-co-produced comedy-drama. Wanting to strike a very visible blow for women’s liberation, the conspirators mapped out a plan to disrupt the event while a huge global audience was watching live. However, an even bigger surprise ultimately was in store when the winner of the title was named. Keira Knightley heads the cast, but arguably the most interesting acting aspect is watching Greg Kinnear attempt to channel Bob Hope, who was the host of the contest; Lesley Manville (“Phantom Thread”) plays Hope’s wife. Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Keeley Hawes, Phyllis Logan (“Downton Abbey”) and Rhys Ifans also appear. *** (Not rated: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

In case animated representations of the residents of Bikini Bottom just aren’t enough for you … well, here you go. First presented on the franchise’s home network Nickelodeon, this designed-for-television version of the animated series’ live-theater spinoff makes certain concessions to the home-screen boundaries, but the basic story remains the same as a volcano threatens to wipe out the place that SpongeBob, Patrick and Sandy call home. Of course, they mount a plan to try to prevent that. Tom Kenny continues to supply the voice of the cartoon SpongeBob, with Bill Fagerbakke (“Coach”) also remaining as Patrick’s vocal source. Some of the original stage actors weren’t available for the TV rendering because of prior commitments, but in many cases, the costuming makes it hard to tell. *** (Not rated)

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

COMING SOON (Upcoming releases):




“UNHINGED” (Nov. 17)


“THE IRISHMAN” (Nov. 24)

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 2491 posts and counting.See all posts by jbobbin

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