DVD Releases – week of September 6 2020

STARTING THIS WEEK (New releases):

“BAD EDUCATION”: Hugh Jackman is a current Emmy nominee for his performance in this recent, seriocomic HBO feature, which is in the running itself for outstanding television movie. Originally shown at last fall’s Toronto International Film Festival, the tale casts Jackman and Oscar and Emmy winner Allison Janney (“Mom”) as closely linked school administrators on Long Island, N.Y. Their careers are threatened when a student journalist’s (Geraldine Viswanathan) probing uncovers financial irregularities in their plans to build a school-connecting “skywalk,” prompting them to try to cover their tracks. Also featuring Ray Romano, Alex Wolff and Tony Award winner Annaleigh Ashford, the film is based on actual experiences of writer-producer Mike Makowsky when he was a pupil, though a Robert Kolker article in the magazine New York also was a source. DVD extras: three “making-of” documentaries. *** (Not rated: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray)

“FIRST COW”: Featured at a number of film festivals, director Kelly Reichardt’s widely praised drama casts John Magaro (“The Big Short”) as an early-19th-century cook who feels out of place accompanying a group of fur trappers through Oregon territory. Eventually, he finds a soulmate in a Chinese immigrant (Orion Lee), and they agree to become business partners … but a rich man’s milking cow is key to their planned venture being a success. Toby Jones (“The Hunger Games”), Alia Shawkat (“Arrested Development”), Dylan Smith, Ewen Bremner, Jared Kasowski and the late Rene Auberjonois also appear. *** (PG-13: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

“ALFRED HITCHCOCK CLASSICS COLLECTION”: Though any fan of suspense-master filmmaker Hitchcock likely has his or her own preferred titles to fit a set by this name, the selections here are comprised of four of his most choice features, making their debuts in the 4K Ultra HD format. “Rear Window” (1954) casts James Stewart as an incapacitated photogtpher whothinks he’s witnessed  murder; Stewart returns in “Vertigo” (1958) as an ex-police detective who becomes obsessed with two women (both played by Kim Novak); “Psycho” (1960) features Anthony Perkins’ iconic portrayal of Norman Bates, the innkeeper who gets quite a customer in a fleeing embezzler (Janet Leigh); and the title creatures target Tippi Hedren, Rod Tayior, Suzanne Pleshette and others in “The Birds” (1963). **** (PG, PG-13 and R: AS, V) (Also on Blu-ray)

“BEAUTY AND THE BEAST 2-MOVIE COLLECTION”: It was only a matter of time until Disney paired its animated and live-action editions of the classic tale in one DVD set, and that time has come. In the much-beloved 1991 feature-length cartoon, Robby Benson voices the Beast, actually a transformed prince who loves the virtuous Belle (voice of Paige O’Hara); Angela Lansbury, Jerry Orbach and David Ogden Stiers also are heard. Then, Emma Watson is Belle as a “Beast”-ly Dan Stevens pursues her in the 2017 retelling with actors fully present — also including Josh Gad, Kevin Kline, Ewan McGregor, Emma Thompson, Ian McKellen, Audra McDonad and Stanley Tucci. Disney is giving “Cinderella” the same two-versions-together DVD-set treatment. *** (G and PG: V)

“THE GREY FOX”: Movie stunt veteran Richard Farnsworth might not have been the likeliest candidate for stardom, but it came his way with this fine biography … as did several international awards. He plays a 19th-century stagecoach robber who spends more than three decades in prison, then can’t shake the desire for the next big score upon his release. Trying to adjust to then-modern times, he’s prompted to emulate the classic movie “The Great Train Robbery” by staging a heist from a locomotive himself. Jackie Burroughs plays the photographer he falls in love with while he’s hiding after committing the crime. Phillip Borsos (“One Magic Christmas”) directed the film. **** (PG: AS,V) (Also on Blu-ray)

“CHICAGO P.D.: SEASON SEVEN”: Minus Jon Seda’s Antonio Dawson, since the actor and character left the series (explained in the first episode here), executive producer Dick Wolf’s NBC police drama had a reasonably full seventh season — though it was cut a bit short when the coronavirus pandemic caused production to end early. The stories open with Voight (Jason Beghe) the prime suspect in the murder of a police superior, but he doesn’t want his squad’s help in clearing him. A crossover story with “Chicago Med” and “Chicago Fire” involves a flesh-eating bacteria that ravages the Windy City, with Upton (Tracy Spiridakos) upset over a victim she knows. Another tale sees the return of former cast regular Brian Geraghty. Anne Heche continues her guest arc from Season 6 as an ambitious police official; Jesse Lee Soffer, Patrick John Flueger, Marina Squerciati, LaRoyce Hawkins and Amy Morton also star. *** (Not rated: AS, P, V)

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

COMING SOON (Upcoming releases):







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 2411 posts and counting.See all posts by jbobbin

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