Two summer hits — "Wonder Woman" and "Pirates of the Caribbean 5" — arrive on Blu-ray, DVD and various streaming sites this week, along with a number of other new movies.
(Warner, 2017, PG-13, deleted/extended scenes, featurettes, bloopers). So far, the year's second biggest box-office hit (after "Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2") is this comic-book saga starring Gal Gadot as the title character, an Amazon princess who rescues an American pilot (Chris Pine) and then joins him as he returns to battle in World War II.
The first two acts are excellent, helping the film rise above the usual superhero fare, first as the flier finds himself in the midst of a wary, all-woman society on an island paradise, and then as Wonder Woman travels with him and is a fish-out-of-water in 1918 England. The third act devolves into the usual overblown hero-battles-a-monster denouement that seems to afflict all of these films. Still, it's a worthy effort, often filled with, well, wonder.
(Disney, 2017, PG-13, deleted scenes, featurettes, photo gallery, bloopers). Johnny Depp is back as Captain Jack Sparrow in this fifth entry in the supernatural skull-and-crossbones franchise, which seems to get more bombastic and in-your-face with each film. But it has its moments, as Sparrow goes up against the ghostly Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem) and his undead crew. Geoffrey Rush returns as Barbossa, and Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley briefly reprise their roles as Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann, respectively.
(Dreamworks, 2017, PG, deleted scenes, featurettes, music videos, photo gallery). This animated superhero spoof for children, based on the novels by Dav Pilkey, has two fourth-grade pranksters hypnotizing their ill-tempered principal, turning him into the title character and trying to figure out how to control him. The voice cast includes Kevin Hart, Ed Helms, Jordan Peele, Nick Kroll and Kristen Schaal.
(Film Movement, 2017, not rated/probable R for some language, in Bulgarian with English subtitles, trailers, short film: "Helium"). Tsanko, a bushy-bearded, slovenly railway worker, finds a stash of cash on the tracks and turns it in, which leads to his being hailed a hero in an orchestrated ceremony. They take his analog wristwatch and reward him with a clunky digital timepiece, but his is an important keepsake and he wants it back. Naturally, they lose it, which begins a nightmare of bureaucratic stumbling blocks in this first-rate Bulgarian political spoof, which veers between deadpan laughs and dark satire, building to a shocking conclusion.
(Lionsgate, 2017; R for drug use, language, sex; audio commentary, photo gallery). Sam Elliott is great in this otherwise disappointing downbeat study of an actor primarily famous for one big movie. Now he ekes out a living voicing commercials and spends his days in a marijuana haze while yearning for another great role. Then he's diagnosed with cancer and tries to reconnect with his estranged daughter (Krysten Ritter). Laura Prepon is a much-younger, acerbic stand-up comic he takes up with. The film also stars Nick Offerman and Katharine Ross (Elliott's real-life wife).
(Lionsgate, 2017, R for language, deleted scenes, audio commentary, featurettes). This offbeat romantic comedy is based on the true story of its star, Kumail Nanjiani, and his wife, Emily V. Gordon, who co-wrote the script. A stand-up comic in Chicago, he's dating Emily (played by Zoe Kazan) until she breaks up with him because he's afraid to tell his traditional Pakistani parents that he's dating an American. Then she mysteriously falls into a coma and he is compelled to be at her side in the hospital, which leads to an uneasy relationship with her parents (Holly Hunter and Ray Romano). The film is funny and warm, with a nice message about telling the truth, but the pervasive foul language is quite off-putting.
( Shout!, 2017, not rated/probable PG-13). A country singer (played by real-life country singer Lauren Alaina) is to be married in a week, so she hits the road with some girlfriends for Tennessee to get her late mother's wedding dress from her grandmother (Charlene Tilton). Naturally, she runs into her high school boyfriend (Donny Boaz) and develops feelings for him again.