DVD Releases – week of September 13 2020

STARTING THIS WEEK (New releases):

“SUCCESSION: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON”: The widely acclaimed HBO show, about a dysfunctional family and its business dynasty, has the most Emmy nominations for any drama series this year … 18,  encompassing one for outstanding drama series and another for series creator Jesse Armstrong’s writing. Just about every principal performer playing a member of the Roy family also is nominated, as the stories open with media-tycoon patriarch Logan (Brian Cox) advised to sell the company. Instead, he makes a choice for his successor as CEO that opens fresh wounds and launches a new round of infighting among the relatives and others in their inner circles. Jeremy Strong, Kieran Culkin, Sarah Snook, Matthew Macfadyen, Nicholas Braun and Alan Ruck also continue their leading roles. Very notable cast additions here are Holly Hunter and Cherry Jones, playing associated media leaders who have their eyes on the Roys’ empire. **** (Not rated: AS, P)

“KILLING EVE: SEASON THREE”: With stars Jodie Comer and Sandra Oh currently Emmy-nominated for it, this third round of the BBC America and AMC saga — nominated for outstanding drama series, among its eight total bids — finds their characters trying to survive without each other, despite the powerful mutual attraction they share. The eight episodes begin with former assassin Villanelle (Comer) apparently ready to settle into wedded life … but before the nuptials can take place, she’s offered a return to her former profession that may be too hard to resist. As for MI6 alum Eve (Oh), she seems to be acclimated to civilian life, but that doesn’t last long when a shocking death draws her into a fresh pursuit of Villanelle’s organization. There’s more to come here, since Season 4 already has been ordered; with Fiona Shaw and Kim Bodnia also returning, Ayoola Smart and Alexandra Roach are among new cast members here. *** (Not rated: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray)

“OUTLANDER: SEASON FIVE”: The hugely popular Starz series based on Diana Gabaldon’s novels continues, with an additional “Collector’s Edition” — including an excerpt from the next “Outlander” book, “Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone” — offered as a Blu-ray option. The era of the American Revolution is the backdrop here, with Jamie (Sam Heughan) trying to protect the home that he and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) have made for themselves, while Claire herself must call her medical skills into play as events unfold. Brianna and Roger (Sophie Skelton, Richard Rankin) face their own family challenges, thanks in no small part to Stephen Bonnet (Edward Speleers). DVD extras: three “making-of” documentaries; outtakes; bonus scenes; music video. *** (Not rated: AS, V) (Also on Blu-ray)

“ROMAN HOLIDAY”: Director William Wyler’s classic romantic comedy joins the “Paramount Presents” line of milestone movies from the studio’s catalog that are getting new releases on Blu-ray. This is the debut in that format for this film, which earned Audrey Hepburn an Oscar for her first starring role as a princess who breaks away from her closely managed life to experience Rome (where the picture was shot on location) on her own. She crosses paths with a reporter (Gregory Peck) who initially doesn’t recognize her without all the royal aspects, then they have a series of fun misadventures seeing the legendary sights of the city, Eddie Albert also stars in the feature, which earned Academy Awards for its story and Edith Head costume design as well — and the story aspect is important, since this is the first time the once-blacklisted Dalton Trumbo gets full credit for his writing on the film in a physical home-video presentation. The extras include observations by veteran film critic and historian Leonard Maltin, plus a recap of Hepburn’s work for Paramount in the 1950s. *** (Not rated: AS)

“3D SUN”: As fascinating as it is to many people, few likely have a desire to get too close to the sun physically, so this documentary probably is the safest way to see what there is to see there. Indeed, the subtitle of the release — narrated by veteran NBC “Today” meteorologist Al Roker — is “As Close As You Ever Want to Get,” and that logical notion is reinforced by such state-of-the-art-graphic segments as a depiction of a solar blast that travels from the sun to Earth, encountering the same phenomena that astronauts do upon re-entering the atmosphere. The program’s primary aim to to explain how the sun is vital to the existence and continuation of life on our planet, and Roker’s familiar, soothing voice is no minor factor in putting the related thoughts across. *** (Not rated)

“PET SEMATARY 2-MOVIE COLLECTION”: This DVD set makes it easy to compare the two screen versions of the Stephen King-inspired thriller, since both are included. In the 1989 original, a couple (Dale Midkiff, Denise Crosby) moves to Maine with their children, only to be warned about a local cemetery for animals that a new neighbor (Fred Gwynne) seems to know a lot about. Hint: Even after their burials, the ground may revive the pets, and they may well be seen again … if in a somewhat different, more lethal form. The 2019 edition features Jason Clarke and Amy Seimetz as the newcomers, with John Lithgow as the particularly — and eerily — knowledgeable neighbor. Novelist King has a cameo in the first version (which he adapted for film himself) as a clergyman. *** (R: AS, N, P, V)

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

COMING SOON (Upcoming releases):






“PARASITE” (Oct. 27)

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 2542 posts and counting.See all posts by jbobbin

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