“Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw” Leads a Turbocharged Week of New Releases

With the holiday season sneaking up on us, the major studios are looking to release some huge hits just in time for the celebrations. From blockbusters to Yuletide fare, film noir to family fun, these DVDs and Blu-rays will put a smile on your face!

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw

The Toretto crew’s former foes–federal agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and ex-UKSF Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham)–have to put aside their differences and pool their lethal talents to aid Shaw’s MI6 operative sister Hattie (Vanessa Kirby) in keeping a deadly biological agent from the clutches of cybernetically-enhanced renegade Brixton Lore (Idris Elba). Pulse-pounding franchise spin-off also stars Helen Mirren, Eiza González, Eddie Marsan, Cliff Curtis, Joe Anoa’i (aka wrestler Roman Reigns).

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

On Halloween night 1968, a group of small-town teens fleeing the local bully ducked into a long-abandoned mansion on the city’s edge. Once inside, they found a handwritten tome of terror tales penned by the disturbed young mistress of the manor…and were helpless as the unholy scenarios started playing out in real time–with them falling one by one as victims. Chiller inspired by Alvin Schwartz’s creepy kidlit series stars Zoe Margaret Colletti, Michael Garza, Gabriel Rush, Austin Zajur.

The Kitchen

In Hell’s Kitchen of the late ‘70s, with their Irish mobster husbands sent away by the feds, three women (Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish, and Elisabeth Moss) found that their only way forward would be taking over operations themselves. They’d prove surprisingly good at it…which didn’t go unnoticed by rivals out to preserve their turf. Gritty take on the Ollie Masters/Ming Doyle DC Vertigo comic co-stars Domhnall Gleeson, James Badge Dale, Brian D’Arcy James, Jeremy Bobb.

A Godwink Christmas

St. Louis antiques appraiser Paula Mayer (Kimberley Sustad) should’ve been thrilled with her lawyer boyfriend’s seasonal proposal…but wasn’t. Heading to the Nantucket home of her aunt (Kathie Lee Gifford) to sort out her feelings, she meets a weather delay in Martha’s Vineyard–where the kind attentions of innkeeper Gery Conover (Paul Campbell) only left her with more questions. Fact-inspired holiday romance also stars Giles Panton, Natalie Sharp, Lucia Walters.

A Joyous Christmas

Private sorrows left self-help doyenne Rachel Kennedy (Natalie Knepp) less than thrilled that her current book tour landed in her home town for the holidays. Rescued by an accident by mysterious samaritan Joy (Bonnie Bedelia), she’s advised to pay it forward at the struggling community center…and her wrangling of local TV producer Jack Nelson (Michael Rady) into her efforts might pay romantic dividends. Sweet seasonal story from Hallmark co-stars Steve Bacic, Marc Senior.

The Art of Racing in the Rain

This touching comedy/drama, based on the novel by Garth Stein, is told from the perspective of Enzo (voiced by Kevin Costner), a golden retriever owned by race car driver Denny (Milo Ventimiglia). Not only is Enzo a steadfast friend to Denny, but also, eventually, to his wife (Amanda Seyfried) and daughter, all the while sharing his thoughts on the world around him. With Kathy Baker, Martin Donovan, Gary Cole.

Naked Alibi

Chief of detectives Joe Conroy (Sterling Hayden) shrugged it off when surly baker Al Willis (Gene Barry), rousted on a D&D and released, swore he’d get even. He changed his mind after all three of the cops involved in the arrest turned up dead…and his ruinous campaign to pin it on Willis found him trailing the suspect to Mexico and trying to make an ally of his unhappy chanteuse mistress (Gloria Grahame). Long-sought noir saga also stars Marcia Henderson, Chuck Connors, Don Haggerty, Billy Chapin.

Road to Christmas

This year, TV producer Maggie Baker (Jessy Schram) had some new ideas for the holiday special of lifestyle doyenne Julia Wise (Teryl Rothery)…but the nervous network installed Julia’s son Danny (Chad Michael Murray) to share the credit. Deciding to make the best of it, she found herself falling for him…and sought to engineer an on-air seasonal family reunion with his estranged sibs (Jeff Gonek, Cardi Wong). Hallmark charmer also stars Matreya Scarrwener, Rebekah Asselstine.

Good Omens

For six millennia, fastidious angel Aziraphale (Michael Sheen) and degenerate demon Crowley (David Tennant) have been stationed as sentinels on Earth until the arrival of the End Times. Trouble is, both have gotten very accustomed to the status quo…and upon learning of the existence of the Antichrist, the rivals team up to ensure he doesn’t fulfill his destiny. Acclaimed miniseries take on the Terry Pratchett-Neil Gaiman satirical fantasy co-stars Jon Hamm, Nick Offerman, Miranda Richardson, and Frances McDormand.

It Always Rains on Sunday

Grim crime drama from the U.K. follows Tommy Swann (John McCallum), a convicted felon who escapes from incarceration and returns home to London’s working-class East End. He seeks shelter from the police with former girlfriend Rose Sandigate (Googie Withers), now a housewife and stepmother. Rose agrees to help Tommy…and soon finds her mundane life dangerously upended. Edward Chapman, Susan Shaw, Patricia Plunkett co-star.

Rocky Mountain Christmas

With the world having gotten to watch her breakup with her celebrity ex, NYC interior designer Sarah Davis (Lindy Booth) was grateful for the seasonal opportunity to head west and help out her recently widowed uncle (Treat Williams) at his ranch. Then, insufferable actor Graham Mitchell (Kristoffer Polaha) showed up looking to research a role. Even if the ice between them breaks, does she really want to be saddled with a famous guy again? Holiday romance from Hallmark co-stars Chris McNally.

Goodbye, Columbus

Dragged along as a buddy’s country club guest, a struggling Bronx librarian (Richard Benjamin) finds himself falling for a flighty Jewish princess (Ali MacGraw). Though she responds in kind, common heritage might not be enough to conquer the class strata, or her dismissive parents (Jack Klugman, Nan Martin). Funny and poignant take on the Philip Roth novella co-stars Michael Meyers; keep an eye out for Jaclyn Smith, Susan Lucci.

The Man Between

Having come to postwar Berlin to visit her army officer brother, British teacher Susanne Mallison (Claire Bloom) couldn’t help but be romantically intrigued by her new sister-in-law’s local acquaintance, attorney Ivo Kern (James Mason). She shrugged off his reticence to discuss his past–or his present dealings–but they’d be abundantly clear once she was grabbed by his accomplices in an East German kidnap ring. Carol Reed’s moody thriller also stars Hildegard Knef, Geoffrey Toone, Karl John.

Christmas Camp

With her ad agency poised to sign with a major toy manufacturer, executive Haley Hanson (Lily Anne Harrison) coveted the account…but the front office doubted she had the holiday spirit for the job. Packed off to a seasonal boot camp, she was set to go through the motions…but the cute son (Bobby Campo) of the facility’s boss made her glad she put the work in. Fun foray from Hallmark co-stars John James, Ben Gavin, Adriana DeMeo, Reece Ennis.

Christmas Everlasting

As the holidays approached, partnership-bound NYC attorney Lucy Toomey (Tatyana Ali) was devastated by the passing of her special needs older sister Alice. Going home to Wisconsin to settle affairs, she discovers that the estate’s counsel is her ex Peter (Dondre Whitfield)…and that the house would pass to her if–and only if–she lived in it for the following month. She’ll be reviewing decisions made in this compelling Hallmark entry co-starring Dennis Haysbert, Patti LaBelle, Jaida-Iman Benjamin.

Seven Days to Noon

The Academy Award for Best Story went to this British jewel about the breakdown of one of the scientists responsible for making the first atomic weapon. Professor John Willingdon (Barry Jones) steals a deadly warhead and threatens to use it blow up London in one week unless his government agrees to a nuclear ban. Electrifying suspenser also stars Olive Sloane, Andre Morell, Sheila Manahan, Joan Hickson.

Snow Falling on Cedars (Collector’s Edition)

In 1950s Washington state, Japanese-American Kazuo Miyamoto (Rick Yune) stands accused of killing a white fisherman. As the trial threatens to stir up old prejudices, a local newspaperman (Ethan Hawke) must deal with his feelings for Miyamoto’s wife (Youki Kudoh), with whom he had a teenage romance that ended with her family’s internment in a WWII prison camp. Based on David Guterson’s best-selling novel, this moving drama also stars Max Von Sydow, Sam Shepard.

Click here for an overview of all of this week’s new releases!

  • Tom K.

    Dear MovieFanFare: 17 movie selections with a good brief of the story-line + good actor information. Please include the year the movie was released in theaters and drive-ins. Thanks.