From CGI family fun to iconic Hollywood classics, this week’s new releases offers up tons of entertainment options. Here’s what titles are available now!
PAW Patrol: The Movie (2020)
The furry first responders make their way to the big screen at last, as Ryder (voiced by Will Brisbane) and the pups answer a plea to set up shop in Adventure City, where the clueless Mayor Humdinger (Ron Pardo) is endangering his constituents with a series of self-aggrandizing stunts. Can a reticent Chase (Iain Armitage) overcome his bad experiences in the town and meet the challenge? Animated opus also features the voices of Marsai Martin, Tyler Perry, Jimmy Kimmel, Randall Park.
Best Sellers (2021)
Lucy Stambridge (Aubrey Plaza) was desperate to deliver her book publishing house a hit–desperate enough, in fact, to seek out and confront eccentric and long-reclusive author Harris Shaw (Michael Caine). Holding the bitter crank to his ancient contractual obligation for one more novel was one thing–getting him to civilly cooperate with a modern-era media tour would be quite another. Engaging dramedy co-stars Ellen Wong, Scott Speedman, Cary Elwes.
The Secret of the Blue Room (1933)
With three suitors vying for her hand, heiress Irene von Helldorf (Gloria Stuart) playfully suggests a contest to determine who’s worthy–with each having to spend a night in her ancestral castle’s “blue room,” where a trio of murders were committed a generation before. As the entrants begin to vanish, however, it becomes apparent it’s no game. Tidy thriller co-stars Edward Arnold, Paul Lukas, Lionel Atwill, Onslow Stevens.
The Mad Doctor (1940)
Journalist Gil Sawyer (John Howard) was understandably upset when fiancée Linda Boothe (Ellen Drew) threw him over for Dr. George Sebastian (Basil Rathbone), the suave psychoanalyst who’d been treating her for depression. He’d be much more so after a little digging revealed Sebastian had a string of late wives, all of whom departed under shady circumstances. Can he keep Linda from becoming the next ex-Mrs.? Long-sought thriller co-stars Ralph Morgan, Martin Kosleck, Barbara Jo Allen.
As he toured war-torn Europe in 1944, a noted conductor (Charlton Heston) found himself–and his entire orchestra–waylaid by German troops. Fortunately, the Nazi C.O. (Maximilian Schell) is a classical music buff, and desirous of a command performance. With no promise that they’ll live for an encore, can the trapped maestro finagle an out? Leslie Nielsen, Anton Diffring, Kathryn Hays co-star; performances by the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
The Sheik (1921)
Desert prince Ahmed Ben Hassan (Rudolph Valentino) was intrigued by the spirit of adventuring Englishwoman Lady Diana Mayo (Agnes Ayres), enough so to abduct her. Coming to respect and release her, he’ll have to rescue her from the clutches of a lascivious bandit (Walter Long). Silent costume drama that permanently fixed Rudy’s romantic screen persona also stars Adolphe Menjou, Lucien Littlefield, Ruth Miller.
The Spider Woman Strikes Back (1946)
Jean Kingsley (Brenda Joyce) gratefully took the position as live-in companion to blind, eccentric rancher Zenobia Dollard (Gale Sondergaard). The job description, though, said nothing about a scheme to poison her neighbors’ cattle…or that the surreptitious draining of Jean’s blood would be a requirement. In-name-only sequel to Sondergaard’s Sherlock Holmes villainess stint also stars Milburn Stone, Kirby Grant, Hobart Cavanaugh, and Rondo Hatton as Mario the Monster Man.
The Mystery of Edwin Drood (1935)
The famous unfinished last work of Charles Dickens served as the basis for this moody and suspenseful Universal thriller. Claude Rains stars as a respected choirmaster whose secret life includes opium addiction and unrequited love for the fiancée of his nephew Edwin, an obsession that leads to murder. With Heather Angel, David Manners.
The Banishing (2020)
In the late ‘30s, Marianne Forster (Jessica Findlay Brown) moved into an Essex rectory with her newly-assigned, repressed vicar husband Linus (John Heffernan) and daughter Adelaide (Anya McKenna-Bruce). It wasn’t long before oddball occultist Harry Reed (Sean Harris) tries to apprise them of the dwelling’s sinister history…nor was it long after that they realize that his dire warnings should have been heeded. Atmospheric, fact-inspired opus co-stars John Lynch, Adam Hugill.
La Strada (Criterion Collection)(1954)
Federico Fellini’s Oscar-winning study of members of a travelling circus troupe stars Anthony Quinn as strongman Zampanò, and Giulietta Masina as Gelsomina, the young woman sold to him by her mother. The physical and emotional abuse Gelsomina suffers at the hands of the brutal Zampanò forces her to find solace with a good-hearted clown (Richard Basehart), leading to a devastating tragedy. With Aldo Silvani, Marcella Rovere, Livia Venturini.
Meet Me at Christmas (2020)
Twenty-eight years ago, Joan (Catherine Bell) was stood up by a cute guy under the town Christmas tree, but since she met her future husband there instead, matters pretty much worked out. Today, she’s widowed, and her son’s wedding planner has bailed at the last minute. Fortunately, the bride’s uncle–photographer Beau (Mark Deklin)–was willing to help her take the reins, but what happens when their stunning past connection comes out? Luke Bilyk, Sage Kitchen co-star.
Christmas Waltz (2020)
With her relationship tanking on the eve of her seasonal wedding, Manhattan attorney Avery (Lacey Chabert) decided she wasn’t going to let the ballroom dance lessons she booked for the occasion go to waste. She winds up finding herself very much in sync with charming instructor Roman (Will Kemp)–but will the new partnership stand a chance when her regretful ex David (Jeremy Guilbaut) decides he wants to cut in? Engaging Hallmark effort co-stars Katrina Reynolds, Laura Soltis.
A Timeless Christmas (2020)
In 1903, New York engineer Charles Whitley (Ryan Paevey) tinkered at home with the antique clock he planned to gift his fiancée–and next awoke in 2020, finding his house now a museum in his honor. Can the one person who doesn’t think he’s a lunatic–curator Megan Turner (Erin Cahill), who’s also the descendant of his loyal maid–help him return to his era? Further, as he gets to know her, will he want to? Seasonal fantasy-romance co-stars Brandi Alexander, Zahf Paroo.
One Royal Holiday (2020)
The seasonal snow was heavy in Boston, and when nurse Anna Jordan (Laura Osnes) overheard that the flight was canceled for cute but distant James (Aaron Tveit) and his gracious mom Gabriella (Victoria Clark), she offered lodging at her dad’s inn. How will the lodge’s holiday festivities play out when it develops that the impromptu guests are a micronation’s prince and queen–and Anna is the last to catch on? Bradley Rose, Krystal Joy Brown, Tom McGowan also star.
Good Morning Christmas! (2020)
For all their great ratings, matters off camera were never smooth for buttoned-down AM TV anchor Melissa Merry (Alison Sweeney) and her ex-football pro turned ex-reality star co-host Brian Bright (Marc Blucas)–and when Brian leveraged an out from his contract, they’d wrap the series during a holiday broadcast on location in a small town. Will the event get the cynical Bright to see the season–and his partner–in a new light? Nicole Oliver, Matthew James Dowden, Jay Brazeau also star.
Dashing Home for Christmas (2020)
Emily Nichols, a successful business consultant, has missed every family gathering this year, so getting home for Christmas is very important to her. But when a series of mishaps – from delayed public transportation to diverted flights and broken-down trains and finally, a lost wallet – put her holiday plans in jeopardy, she’s forced to find a way home with a fellow road warrior, Simon Allein. While Emily is more a Type A planner who hates disruptions and inconveniences, Simon is a go-with-the-flow type who sees the bright side to any misfortune. So, having to rely upon one another to get to their final destination tests their will, but also provides ample opportunity to get to know each other and perhaps even fall in love. Paniz Zade, Adrian Spencer star.
A Little Christmas Charm (aka The Charm Bracelet) (2020)
While rummaging through a coat left at her consignment store, aspiring jeweler Holly Hayes (Ashley Greene) found a valuable charm bracelet–and resolved that she’d try to have it back in its owner’s hands by Christmas. Reporter Greg Matthews (Brendan Penny), with a holiday human interest story deadline looming, offered his help in the quest…and they’d encounter surprising twists as well as romance along the way. Brett Irvin, Barclay Hope, Françoise Yip also star. AKA: “The Charm Bracelet.”
Project Christmas Wish (2020)
Having lost her dad as a kid, Lucy Keller (Amanda Schull) has spearheaded an annual drive in her small town to grant one resident a holiday wish. Buttonholed on a radio show by young Max (Averie Peters)–who wants a family Christmas like she had before her mom’s passing–Lucy must break down the resistance of Max’s mortified father Lucas (Travis Van Winkle) if she’s to make good. Hallmark charmer also stars Amy Groening, Paul Essiembre, Nan Fewchuck.
The Honeymooners Specials: A Christmas Carol (1977)
With the holidays coming, Ralph (Jackie Gleason) figures he can get in good with his boss, Mr. Marshall (Gale Gordon), if he directs Mrs. Marshall’s charity stage production of the Dickens classic. He might not have a ghost of a chance, though, when it turns out that the show’s scheduled at the same time as the Miami vacation he promised Alice (Audrey Meadows)! Third prime-time reunion special co-stars Art Carney, Jane Kean, Templeton Fox.
Immoral Tales (1974)
A quartet of racy tales awaits in this classic example of European erotica from director Walerian Borowczyk. Two teenage cousins spend an arousing day at the beach; a young woman, locked in a room by her mother, discovers the joys of self-love; Paloma Picasso portrays the bloodthirsty Countess Bathory; and the infamous Borgia family engages in a shocking, incestuous affair. With Lise Danvers, Florence Bellamy.
Number One (1969)
Pushing-40 New Orleans Saints quarterback Ron Catlan (Charlton Heston) was the last one to recognize that his prime was behind him. As he tries to wring one more season out of his aching and no longer responsive body, his on-field frustrations cause him to lash out at those closest to him, particularly his long-suffering wife (Jessica Walter). Long-sought gridiron drama co-stars Bruce Dern, Diana Muldaur, Bobby Troup.
The Crown: The Complete Fourth Season (2020)
Ambitious and acclaimed series from “The Queen” scribe Peter Morgan offers a comprehensive look at the adult life and reign of Elizabeth II over a projected six-season arc. The fourth season follows Elizabeth (Olivia Colman) from the late ’70s to the early ‘90s, an era bookended by the ascension and fall of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (Gillian Anderson), and marked by the courtship–and turbulent early marriage–of Charles (Josh O’Connor) and Lady Diana Spencer (Emma Corrin). Tobias Menzies, Helen Bonham Carter, Emerald Fennell, Stephen Boxer also star. 10 episodes on 4 discs. 9 3/4 hrs. 10 episodes on 4 discs.
A truffle hunter (Nicolas Cage) who lives alone in the Oregonian wilderness must return to his past in Portland in search of his beloved foraging pig after she is kidnapped.
Broken Diamonds (2021)
Stressed twentysomething Scott (Ben Platt) had it all mapped out–an imminent move to Paris, so he could write the great American novel. It all abruptly caved in with his father’s sudden passing–and with his now having to take the familial lead seeing to the welfare of his schizophrenic sister Cindy (Lola Kirke). The new strains on an already well-worn bond are explored in this richly drawn character study also starring Yvette Nicole Brown, Alphonso McAuley, Lynda Boyd.
Come True (2020)
Plagued as she was by strange dreams, young runaway Sarah (Julia Sarah Stone) had motivation beyond the easy cash when she signed up for a sleep study. As her nightmares worsened over the course of the research, she confronted young assistant Jeremy (Landon Liborion) over the experiment’s purpose–and the answers might steer her to a living hell from which there’s no awakening. Disquieting fantasy-chiller from Canada co-stars Carlee Ryski, Tedra Rogers.
Zone 414 (2021)
In a very near future, private eye David Carmichael (Guy Pearce) got hired by eccentric industrialist Marlon Veidt (Travis Fimmel) to find his missing daughter (Holly Demaine). Problem is, she disappeared in “Zone 414,” a blighted urban center whose resident populace consists of pleasure-giving androids built by Veidt. Given top-of-the-line creation Jane (Matilda Lutz) as a liaison, Carmichael may regret finding what he’s looking for. Jonathan Aris, Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson co-star.
With new construction underway throughout their Cincinnati neighborhood, the fixed-income seniors who lived in a decaying apartment building were sure that the eviction notices were imminent. The retirees would take matters into their own hands, as the social workers, demolition crew, and others looking to hasten their exit start to meet with unfortunate “accidents.” Long-sought horror-farce stars Paula Trueman, Ian Wolfe, Francis Fuller, Douglas Fowley, Peter Brocco.
Nine Days (2020)
In his isolated, desert-set hutch, arbiter Will (Winston Duke) assiduously goes about his duty interviewing prospective candidates to fill vacancies–but these applicants are unborn souls, and he has to decide whether they’ll experience life…or meet oblivion. Sadly faced with having to supplant one of his own placements, Will might be saddled with the toughest choice of his existence. Compelling allegorical fantasy co-stars Zazie Beets, Benedict Wong, Tony Hale, Bill Skarsgård.
MacGyver: The Complete Collection
Fun and exciting action/adventure series ran on ABC from 1985-1992 and starred Richard Dean Anderson as Angus MacGyver, a highly resourceful field agent with the Phoenix Foundation for Research who, in lieu of conventional weapons, used all manner of everyday items to get himself out of one sticky situation after another. Dana Elcar co-starred.
Mom: The Eighth and Final Season (2020)
All 18 episodes from the final series are included in this two-disc set.
Kung Fu: The Complete First Season (2021)
Harvard student Nicky Shen (Olivia Liang) opted to bolt after being shipped by her tiger mom (Kheng Hua Tan) to China for matchmaking–and took shelter in a Shaolin monastery. Three years’ martial arts training there, however, couldn’t help her stop the temple’s ravaging by the villainous Zhilan (Yvonne Chapman)–and now back in San Francisco, Nicky fights against the local criminal element while plotting her vengeance. Powerful reboot also stars Tzi Ma, Eddie Liu, Shannon Dang, Jon Prasida, Vanessa Kai. 10 episodes on 3 discs.
140 episodes and two made-for-TV movies “Lost Treasure of Atlantis” (1994) and “Trail to Doomsday” (1994) on 33 discs.
Click here for a complete overview of all of this week’s new releases.