DVD Releases – Week of November 15 2020

STARTING THIS WEEK (New releases):

“THE NEW MUTANTS”: A new generation of X-Men (and X-Women) is introduced in this adventure, the final chapter in that Marvel franchise — though this isn’t an official part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe — that was one of the first movies to attempt a theatrical run after so many theaters had been closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Maisie Williams (“Game of Thrones”), Anya Taylor-Joy (“Glass”), Charlie Heaton (“Stranger Things”), Blu Hunt and Henry Zaga play the specially gifted quintet who have to evade sinister forces that deem them dangerous as well as potentially valuable. Alice Braga (“Queen of the South”) also stars as a doctor who acts as a counsel to the group. The film’s release was delayed by such factors as Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox and planned reshoots that ultimately didn’t happen. *** (PG-13: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray, 4K Ultra HD and On Demand)

“UNHINGED”: Russell Crowe embodies the title state in this melodrama, which showed strength at the box office recently when very few new movies were in whatever theaters were available. The actor applies his trademark intensity to the role of a man whose emotional instability has made him lethal, making it unwise to cross him … something that a woman (Caren Pistorius) comes to regret having done at a New Orleans traffic light. Furious over feeling wronged by her, he decides to even the score, imperiling her and some of those closest to her. Jimmi Simpson (“Westworld”) also appears in the thriller. DVD extras: “making-of” documentary; audio commentary by director Derrick Borte, cinematographer Brendan Galvin, production designer Fredrick Waff and costume designer Denise Wingate. *** (R: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

“WESTWORLD — SEASON THREE: THE NEW WORLD”: One of the most popular and acclaimed series in HBO’s current repertoire continued with this latest season, as the expansion of Michael Crichton’s original movie concept takes the artificial-intelligence-driven Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) into the so-called “new world” … that which exists outside the Delos amusement park, where she has lived her entire life under controlled supervision up to now. A new acquaintance (“Breaking Bad” alum Aaron Paul) showsher the potential for a fresh start, though she also observes the social status of those of her kind in that environment. Maeve and William (Thandie Newton, Ed Harris) also have different experiences as they venture out of the Westworld sector. Jeffrey Wright, Tessa Thompson, Vincent Cassel and Luke Hemsworth also star, with Rodrigo Santoro, Phoebe Tonkin (“The Originals”), Thomas Kretschmann, Katja Herbers (“Evil”) and Gina Torres among guest stars. *** (Not rated: AS, N, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray)

“WORDS ON BATHROOM WALLS”: Rising young actor Charlie Plummer (“All the Money in the World,” “Looking for Alaska”) continues his string of showcase projects with this seriocomic tale based on the same-named novel by John Walton. The protagonist is a high-school student deemed to be schizophrenic when he hears voices and sees the image of a young woman (AnnaSophia Robb) who doesn’t appear to anyone else. As his mother and her boyfriend (Molly Parker, Walton Goggins) try to determine what to do about him, he forms an alliance with the smartest pupil in his class (Taylor Russell) to tutor him … though that may turn out to be more. Andy Garcia, Beth Grant and Devon Bostick also are featured. DVD extras: theatrical trailer; photo gallery. ***  (PG-13: AS, P) (Also on On Demand)

“IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE”: One of the ultimate holiday classics has been issued in all sorts of home-video configurations over the years, director Frank Capra’s popular drama gets new Steelbook treatment this year — containing the original black-and-white version in 4K Ultra HD, a colorized edition on Blu-ray, and a miniature reproduction of a poster for the film. Upon its release, the 1946 picture had a lukewarm box-office performance that gave no indication it would become as popular as it long as it has been … its plentiful television exposure being a huge factor. James Stewart makes the perfect George Bailey, the hapless Bedford Falls citizen whose experience of seeing how life would be without him has been echoed by countless TV-series episodes. Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore and — as wing-earning angel Clarence — Henry Travers lend great support. DVD extras: theatrical trailer; “making-of” documentary. **** (Not rated) (Also on Blu-ray)

“SUMMERLAND”: World War II has a very particular significance to a writer — played by Gemma Arterton (“Quantum of Solace,” “Tamara Drewe”) — who has tried to isolate herself from others in writer-director Jessica Swale’s drama. One of the many evacuees who have left London literally arrives at the Arterton character’s front door, and though she initially and expectedly doesn’t want to give shelter to the youngster (Lucas Bond), she relents … setting the stage to grow a relationship that ultimately surprises them both. Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Penelope Wilton and veteran actor Tom Courtenay also star. *** (PG: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

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

COMING SOON (Upcoming releases):


“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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