DVD Releases – Week of October 11 2020

STARTING THIS WEEK (New releases):

“EL CAMINO: A BREAKING BAD MOVIE”: For those who thought they’d seen the last of some hugely memorable characters when the widely acclaimed AMC series ended, a great surprise was in store with this follow-up from writer-director Vince Gilligan, which was shown on Netflix as well as AMC (and also had a limited theatrical run). Aaron Paul reprises the role of Jesse Pinkman, who tries to tie up the remnants of his past and make a new beginning. That’s much easier thought than done, though, as Jesse runs into fresh trouble in the course of starting over. Since the structure of the movie llows for plenty of flashbacks, several other “Breaking Bad” alumni — who won’t be specified here, to allow maximum enjoyment for those who don’t already know — also are seen in their original parts. DVD extras: audio commentary by Gilligan and Paul; deleted and extended scenes; outtakes; “Scene Studies With Vince Gilligan.” *** (Not rated: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray)

“REQUIEM FOR A DREAM”: Director and co-screenwriter Darren Aronofsky’s widely acclaimed drama, based on Hubert Selby Jr.’s novel, gets “Director’s Cut” treatment as the film debuts in the 4K Ultra HD format to mark its 20th anniversary. Ellen Burstyn is superb as a reclusive widow whose invitation to a game show prompts her to crash-diet, which leads to her getting hooked on amphetamines. Jared Leto also stars as her son, who shares a heroin addiction with his girlfriend (Jennifer Connelly) and another friend (Marlon Wayans). All of them have big dreams, but their struggles to satisfy their relative fixes suggest tragedy is waiting just around the corner. The excellent cast also includes Chrstopher McDonald, Louise Lasser, Keith David and Dylan Baker. Among the 4K extras are four new “making-of” documentaries, including one that features Burstyn (who earned an Oscar nomination for best actress) relating her memories of making the picture. **** (R: AS, N, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray)

“THE DOORMAN”: She isn’t “Batwoman” anymore, since she elected to leave that CW series, but Ruby Rose is on view in this thriller as an ex-Marine who’s hired as the door person at a rather exclusive New York apartment building that caters to wealthy tenants. Of course, that would make it a prime target for thieves, and Jean Reno plays the leader of such a gang that wants to procure all the pricey works of art they can lift from the place. Though the result clearly is a variation on “Die Hard,” Rose’s presence puts some twists on a very familiar formula. Rupert Evans and Louis Mandylor also are featured, and here’s an interesting footnote: The film’s lead originally was supposed to be Katie Holmes instead of Rose. *** (R: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray)

“FRIDAY THE 13TH COLLECTION (DELUXE EDITION)”: Any fan of the horror franchise will find their dream (or nightmare, depending on your view) set here, and it’s appropriately being released on the 13th of the month. It encompasses all of the original thrillers, along with such later entries as “Freddy vs. Jason” and the 2009 remake of the first film. As any devotee of the genre knows, the series starts with camp counselors — including one played by Kevin Bacon early in his career — being targeted at Crystal Lake by the masked, murderous and supposedly deceased Jason Voorhees. Expectedly, the set is packed with extras such as audio commentaries by cast and crew members and “making-of” documentaries, some carried over from previous video releases of the titles here, but others made expressly for this edition. And for those with 3-D capability, “Friday the 13th: Part 3” is offered in that format (along with a “standard” version). *** (R: AS, P, GV)

“THE NEWSPAPERMAN: THE LIFE & TIMES OF BEN BRADLEE”: Overseeing the breaking of the story of the Watergate scandal wasn’t the whole story of Bradlee’s career, but there’s no question it was a major element — and the celebrated Washington Post editor is recalled in this documentary, originally shown by HBO in 2017. Though the subject (who died in 2014) basically narrates the portrait in his own words, many of his acquaintances and associates also weigh in, from his journalist widow Sally Quinn and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger to Robert Redford and Tom Brokaw. Of course, no Bradlee profile would be complete without Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, the Post reporters he backed through their investigation of the politically driven break-in at Washington, D.C.’s Watergate Hotel that ultimately led to the resignation; they offer reflections on him that only could come from their particular perspectives. *** (Not rated: P)

“CROONER CLASSICS: FRANK SINATRA & DEAN MARTIN COLLECTION”: An entertainer had to be both a singer and an actor to qualify for the umbrella title here … and obviously, these two featured “Rat Pack” members had both areas covered sufficiently. In addition to several documentaries about their musical careers, the package includes four of the feature films they made. Sinatra stars with Rita Hayworth and Kim Novak in “Pal Joey” (which let him do more crooning, though the actresses’ songs were dubbed by others) and his only starring TV-movie, the crime drama “Contract on Cherry Street.” Meanwhile, Martin is featured in the romantic comedies “Who Was That Lady?” (along with then-spouses Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh) and “How to Save a Marriage and Ruin Your Life” (with another husband-and-wife pairing, Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson). *** (Not rated: AS)

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

COMING SOON (Upcoming releases):


“QUIZ” (Oct. 20)


“THE VANISHED” (Oct. 20)

“PARASITE” (Oct. 27)

“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 2448 posts and counting.See all posts by jbobbin

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