Strong female action heroes are featured in new DVD releases for Sept. 17.
“Supergirl: The Complete Fourth Season” Grade 3 stars: Science fiction and fantasy productions have always taken on the top issues of the day and looked at them from a very different viewpoint. That’s what happens with this season of the CW Network series as it features a storyline dealing with issues of immigration in connection with aliens from other worlds being feared and hunted down.
There is a wave of anti-alien feelings that are being fired by the rhetoric of a masked figure who calls himself Agent Liberty (Sam Witwer) and a President (Bruce Boxleitner) hiding ulterior motives. Toss in a battle with Lex Luther (Jon Cryer) and Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) facing a version of herself known as the Red Daughter and the 22 episodes are never short on action or elements to spark conversations.
The other bonus is that “Supergirl” remains one of the top TV series when it comes to showing strong female characters.
“Dark Phoenix” Grade 2 stars: The best action offerings have villains as strong and defined as the heroes. This offering has the same formidable group of heroes under the guidance of Professor Xavier (James McAvoy) but is lacking an equally strong foe.
The film deals with the X-Men trying to deal with the transformation during a rescue mission in space of Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) into the dangerous Dark Phoenix. There are some underlying elements that are so convoluted the story lacks any pop. Even the loss of a major character comes across as flat and lacking the emotions such an event should have triggered.
“Country Music” Grade 4 stars: The latest offering from director and producer Ken Burns is an eight-part 16-hour film that originally aired on PBS. The documentary looks at the musical art form from the tunes of southern Appalachia to the Western swing of Texas to California’s Bakersfield Sound. It tracks the diverse musical magic that went into the genre through the mid-1990s.
The first two hours are a little slow as writer Dayton Duncan digs deep into the roots of country music. The production gains steam and hits a strong stride with each passing year. Featured in the series are more than 3,300 photographs plus interviews with Marty Stuart, Rosanne Cash, Reba McEntire, Merle Haggard, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson and Dwight Yoakam.
It all comes together to make this a deeply thorough look at country music.
ALSO NEW ON DVD AND BLU-RAY ON SEPT. 17
“Bottom of the 9th”: A mistake lands a 19-year-old baseball phenom (Joe Manganiello) in jail before his professional baseball career gets off the ground. He looks for a second chance 20 years later.
“Modern Family: Season 10”: The ABC comedy series looks at life through the lives of a modern family.
“Elementary: The Final Season”: The DVD set includes the last episodes of the CBS series about a modern day Sherlock Holmes.
“Intimacy”: Two young people living separate lives in Shanghai do what they can to break out of their postmodern loneliness.
“Lethal Weapon: The Complete Third Season”: Seann William Scott joins the cast of the series based on the Mel Gibson-Danny Glover film franchise.
“Dead Water”: Former Marine must risk his life to save his wife and best friend from a modern-day pirate. Casper Van Dien stars.
“Cassandro the Exotico!: The film offers a look at a lucha libre legend during his waning years in the ring.
“Kung Fu League”: Four Kung Fu masters are summoned to help a shy man get the girl he loves.
“Midsomer Murders: John Barnaby’s Top Ten”: Star Neil Dudgeon introduces each mystery and shares behind-the-scenes stories and favorite memories.
“The Good Fight: Season Three”: Christine Baranski stars in this legal drama that airs on the CBS All Access streaming service.
“The Kids Table”: Four millennial friends train and compete for a year on the National Bridge Circuit.
“Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am”: Director Timothy Greenfield-Sanders offers a look at life and works of the acclaimed novelist.
“Galaxy Quest”: The Tim Allen sci-fi comedy is being re-released to mark the film’s 20th anniversary.
“Gentleman Jack”: Landowner is determined to change the fate of her ancestral home by reopening the coal mines.
BEING RELEASED ON DIGITAL HD ON SEPT. 17
“Annabelle Comes Home”: Demon doll escapes from glass prison and awakens other evil spirits. It will be available on DVD and Blu-ray on Oct. 8.
“Liam Gallagher: As It Was”: The story of how an electrifying rock’n’roll frontmen went from dizzying heights to a musical wilderness.
“D-Day”: The 2nd Battalion goes behind enemy lines and into a firefight against an enemy that greatly outnumbers them. Available Sept. 13.
The title of the new DVD release “Adventures of Dally & Spanky” was misspelled in the Sept. 6 DVD column. The film looks at a Jack Russell Terrier and a rescued miniature horse who become close friends.
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