Here are this week's hottest home video releases:
The Big Sick
Kumail Nanjiani writes and stars in a heartfelt autobiographical romance about how he struggled with Pakistani family traditions as an up-and-coming stand-up comedian to date a white woman (Zoe Kazan) who struggled with a mysterious illness. Ray Romano and Holly Hunter conjure delightfully awkward chemistry as the Kazan character's bumbling parents. Incisive writing and emotionally stirring performances pace the film. Extras include deleted scenes, a featurette on the real story and a making-of featurette.
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial 35th Anniversary
The 1982 Steven Spielberg-directed sci-fi classic gets yet another go-round on home video, this time in an anniversary edition with more than three hours of extras. Henry Thomas plays a 10-year-old boy who befriends an alien, and Drew Barrymore and Robert MacNaughton are his siblings who come to his aid. Standouts among the special features include a Spielberg interview, cinematographer John Toll's video journals and archival footage of the premiere.
Sam Elliott stars as an ailing actor who struggles to reconnect with his estranged daughter (Kryten Ritter), as well as with an unlikely new romance with a much younger woman (Laura Prepon). Nick Offerman checks in as a former co-star who helps Elliott's character through his struggles. Exquisitely shot and passionately acted, this rumination on late-life change packs a resonant impact. Elliott sits in on a commentary track with writer/director Brett Haley.
Fully restored from the original 1988 print, this Alan Rudolph-directed period piece is set in 1926 and stars Linda Fiorentino, Keith Carradine and Geraldine Chaplin. Carradine plays a struggling painter who lusts after the wife (Fiorentino) of a mobster pl;ayed by John Lone. Impressive attention to the sights and sounds of the era have help lifted the film to cult classic status. New filmmaker interviews are included.
A fizzled attempt to reboot not only the ancient horror franchise, but launch an entire set of interlinked stories dubbed as the "Dark Universe," this was one of the biggest disappointments of the summer. Tom Cruise stars as a wise-cracking adventurer who stumbles upon an ancient curse, leading to a globe-trotting escapade with increasingly ludicrous plot developments. For my full review, click here. Extras include extensive featurettes on the making of the film, filmmaker commentary and a spotlight on Cruise.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (Digital)
Johnny Depp slips into his now career-defining role as Capt. Jack Sparrow for his fifth voyage on the nonsensical, magic-filled seas. Javier Bardem plays his new rival, Salazar, while Geoffrey Rush reprises his role as Barbossa. The series' already stretched continuity is strained past its breaking point in an overly long movie that only occasionally recaptures the magic of previous films. For my full review, click here. The digital version of the film is available two weeks before the 4K and Blu-ray combo packs drop.
Shameless: Season 7
Showtime's witty, raucous dramedy shows no sign of slowing down. Emmy Rossum plays a businesswoman struggling to overcome her lower-class Chicago upbringing to make it big, and William H. Macy thrives as her moronic, self-destructive father who continually lets everyone down. A strong supporting ensemble makes each of the sprawling story threads enticing.
Teletubbies: Follow the Leader
Six episodes of the enduring children's TV classic are included in this 75-minute set, which is meant to lightly educate pre-schoolers while keeping them fascinated with its strange set of dancing, hug-loving characters and surrreal settings. An extra feature spotlights Tinky-Winky.
Gal Gadot tears up the screen as the feminist icon and legendary superhero. Thrilling from end to end, with impactful performances, sizzling action set pieces that pop in 4K and impactful emotion, the movie is one of the best comic book adaptations in recent memory. The film is mostly set in the World War II era, as the heroine adjusts to western culture and the warrnign ways of man. After the debacle that was "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice," this is the film that may have put the DC cinematic universe back on track. Extras include a blooper reel, extended scenes, a featurette that explores the character's comic book origins and a look at the process of director Patty Jenkins.
Studios provided review screeners.