Robert De Niro’s Latest Leads Off This Week’s Batch of DVD and Blu-ray New Releases

It’s finally Friday! Pat yourselves on the back for making it through another week. Better still, sit back and enjoy a movie or two (or ten!) this weekend. There’s plenty of new releases now available, and here’s the best of the bunch. Check ’em out!

The Comedian

Robert De Niro is hilarious as Jackie Burke, an insult comic best remembered for his role on an old TV sitcom. When a dust-up with an audience member lands the acerbic Jackie in community service, he meets Harmony (Leslie Mann), who’s also serving out a rage-induced sentence. Thanks to their unlikely connection, Jackie begins to see life through a much less anger-fueled haze. With Danny DeVito, Edie Falco, Charles Grodin, Harvey Keitel, and a host of comedic cameos.

A Dog’s Purpose

Based on the novel by W. Bruce Cameron, this heartfelt comedy/drama for the whole family follows a dog (voiced by Josh Gad) as he’s reincarnated many times over several decades. As the years pass, the pooch–who retains the memories from his previous lives–has experiences with owners both good and bad while trying to find his way back to a beloved master who may need him now more than ever. Dennis Quaid, K.J. Apa, Juliet Rylance, Peggy Lipton, Britt Robertson star.

I Am Not Your Negro

“Remember This House” was the project that African-American author James Baldwin never completed–a reflection upon the civil rights movement through his personal relationships with martyred icons Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Narrator Samuel L. Jackson’s readings from Baldwin’s unfinished manuscript notes combine with footage from the writer’s turbulent times–as well as consideration of contemporary America’s race issues–in documentarian Raoul Peck’s remarkable effort.

Beyond the Gates

After their vanished video store owner dad is declared dead, estranged brothers Gordon and John Hardesty (Graham Skipper, Chase Williamson) draw the duty of cleaning the business out. Coming upon a horror-oriented VCR board game, the siblings think it’ll offer bonding time…but the unholy journey it sends them on doesn’t come with a pause button. Effective retro chiller co-stars Barbara Crampton, Brea Grant, Matt Mercer.


Who says nobody watches VHS tapes anymore? Certainly not the unfortunate folks who viewed a certain cursed videotape and died horrible deaths seven days later. When a young woman (Matilda Lutz) watches it and discovers she saw images no one else has apparently seen, she and her boyfriend (Alex Roe) begin an investigation into the truth behind the death of Samara (Bonnie Morgan), the sinister spirit who appears in the video. Third entry in the horror series also stars Johnny Galecki, Vincent D’Onofrio.


In the late ‘80s, with his family mining concern about to go under, aging, desperate Kenny Wells (Matthew McConaughey) had little left to lose when he bought into the insistence of geologist Michael Acosta (Edgar Ramirez) that there was gold to be had in the jungles of Indonesia. The improbable gambit pays off…but the flush of success wouldn’t survive the market and government forces that followed in the wake of their strike. Adventure-tinged, fact-inspired drama co-stars Bryce Dallas Howard, Corey Stoll, Toby Kebbell, Craig T. Nelson.

The Salesman

As they prep for the leads in an amateur staging of “Death of a Salesman,” real life intrudes on Tehran schoolteacher Emad Etesami (Shahab Hosseini) and his wife Rana (Taraneh Alidoosti) when the condemnation of their residence forces them to move into a new–and not very reputable–apartment. After Rana is traumatically attacked in the shower, Emad’s determined hunt for the unknown assailant will have devastating consequences for their marriage, in director Asghar Farhadi’s Best Foreign Language Film Oscar-winner; Babak Karimi, Farid Sajjadi Hosseini also star.