DVD Releases – Week of October 4 2020

STARTING THIS WEEK (New releases):

Patrick Stewart in “Star Trek: Picard”

“STAR TREK: PICARD — SEASON ONE”: Though he had played the part throughout the run of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and in several of the feature-film spinoffs, it still was a big deal when Patrick Stewart agreed to reprise the role in this CBS All Access series, on which he’s also an executive producer. It opens with Jean-Luc Picard happily retired from Starfleet at the end of the 24th century … but just from the show’s title, you know that won’t last long. A young woman (Isa Briones) seeks his assistance, and when he realizes he may have personal ties to her, it’s time for him to go again where no — or, at least, hardly any — man has gone before. Alison Pill (“The Newsroom”), Michelle Hurd, Santiago Cabrero and Harry Treadaway also are in the regular cast, and such familiar faces from the franchise’s past (or is that “future”?) as Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner and Jeri Ryan also make appearances. The series has been renewed for a second season. *** (Not rated: AS, V) (Also on Blu-ray)

“HAPPY HALLOWEEN, SCOOBY-DOO!”: Goodness only knows what the occasion of trick-or-treating will be like under this year’s circumstances, but at least this animated offering upholds some of the traditions while adding Mystery Machine-flavored spins. Scooby-Doo (voiced again by Frank Welker), Shaggy (Matthew Lillard) and the gang have more chills than usual to contend with, as a strange phenomenon has a drastic effect in a pumpkin patch and yields some extremely unusual and dangerous jack-o-lanterns. Cassandra Peterson, alias “Elvira”, and “Science Guy” Bill Nye lend their voices to their cartoon likenesses here. The project’s release now also serves as a sort of tribute to Joe Ruby, the “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?” co-creator who passed recently. *** (Not rated)

“AMERICAN PIE PRESENTS: GIRLS’ RULES”: The series of bawdy comedies had only a relative handful of editions in theaters, but direct-to-video releases — such as this one — that have borrowed the umbrella title also have kept the franchise going. The latest chapter finds several female high-school seniors doing whatever it takes to get what they want … and if you know your “American Pie” history, you know that can translate into a lot of things, sometimes less than tasteful. The cast includes Piper Curda (recently seen in the surprise hit “The Wretched”), Madison Pettis (“The Fosters”), Natasha Behnam (“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”) and Lizze Broadway (“Splitting Up Together”). Original cast member Eugene Levy isn’t around this time, as he has been for other “Pie” sequels, but Danny Trejo and Sara Rue are among the better-known performers on hand. ** (R: AS, P) (Also on On Demand)

“DIANA, OUR MOTHER: HER LIFE AND LEGACY”: In 2017, a number of television documentaries commemorated the 20th anniversary of the death of Princess Diana, but few got s close to the heart of the occasion as this British-made program that got worldwide distribution (in America, on HBO). As the title suggests, Prince William and Prince Harry are the principal interviewees, discussing their globally beloved mother as no one else really could … though Elton John and Diana’s brother Charles Spencer also are featured. A lot has happened (often very publicly) in the lives of William and Harry since the time of this telecast, and there’s a certain sweetness in dialing the clock back to see them at this point, when they largely were known for their determination to carry Diana’s social concerns and philanthropy forward. *** (Not rated)

“CHRISTMAS AT THE PLAZA”: One of several yuletide-themed Hallmark Channel movies making their home-video debuts, this very pleasant confection stars a disarming Elizabeth Henstridge (“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”) as a history expert enlisted to help create a holiday display at New York’s famed Plaza Hotel (where some of the film actually was made). She’s assigned a hunky decorator (Hallmark staple Ryan Paevey) to work with, and though she has a fiance … well, it’s pretty easy to guess how that goes. Acting veteran Bruce Davison (“Willard”) and “Newhart” alum Julia Duffy also are featured, and one of the picture’s nicest surprises is how perfectly England native Henstridge nails an American accent in her role here, something that likely won’t be expected by fans of her now-finished “S.H.I.E.L.D.” work. *** (Not rated)

“BOB HOPE: THANKS FOR THE LAUGHS”: Perhaps the makers of this Pat Boone-narrated documentary couldn’t get the rights to the title “Thanks for the Memories,” which was veteran entertainer Hope’s longtime theme song. The profile recalls how he made his mark in virtually every form of entertainment then in existence, from stage and radio to movies and television. He also became one of the best friends of American military personnel, given his devotion to staging USO tours and keeping the troops laughing overseas when there wasn’t a lot to laugh about. The included bounty of clips shows Hope (who literally lived to be 100) with close friend and “Road to … ” film partner Bing Crosby, and also with such other contemporaries as John Wayne, Lucile Ball and President Ronald Reagan. *** (Not rated)

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

COMING SOON (Upcoming releases):

“El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie”





“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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