Monday, April 24, 2017

What's New on TV, Netflix, Digital, and DVD/Blu-ray This Week: April 24-30

At a loss for what to watch this week? From new DVDs and Blu-rays, to what's new on Netflix and TV, we've got you covered.

New on DVD and Blu-ray

"La La Land"
The Oscar-winning (just not Best Picture) musical arrives on DVD, Blu-ray, 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack, and On Demand this Tuesday, April 25. The 4K and Blu-ray come with so many bonuses: audio commentary with writer/director Damien Chazelle and composer Justin Hurwitz; song selection; "Damien & Justin Sing: The Demos"; and the featurettes "Another Day of Sun: They Closed Down a Freeway," "La La Land's Great Party," "Ryan Gosling: Piano Student," "Before Whiplash: Damien Chazelle's Passion Project," "La La Land's Love Letter to Los Angeles," "The Music of La La Land," "John Legend's Acting Debut," "The Look of Love: Designing La La Land," "Ryan and Emma: Third Time's the Charm," and "Epilogue: The Romance of the Dream." The DVD comes with the audio commentary, song selection, and three of those featurettes.

"The Girl With All the Gifts"
In this critically acclaimed dystopian zombie apocalypse thriller, Glenn Close, Gemma Arterton, and Paddy Considine star in a story of society's breakdown after the outbreak of an unprecedented plague. A scientist and a teacher find a young girl who seems to be immune to the plague, leading them on a journey to save humanity. The DVD, Blu-ray, and Digital arrive April 25. All formats of the home release include the special featurette "Unwrap the Secret World of The Girl with All the Gifts."

Watch this exclusive clip from the bonus feature, with director Colm McCarthey talking about working with Glenn Close, and vice versa:"Catfight"
Sandra Oh and Anne Heche play old friends from college who unexpectedly reunite many years later at a fancy cocktail party, in very different places in life. Their reunion quickly turns caustic in a bloody fight that will change both of their lives. The dark comedy arrives on DVD April 25, co-starring Dylan Baker, Tituss Burgess, Craig Bierko, and Amy Hill. Special features include commentary with writer/director Onur Tukel and Anne Heche; "Violent Femmes: The Fight Choreography of Catfight"; deleted scenes; and art slideshow; and the trailer.

"Agatha Christie's The Witness for the Prosecution"
Acorn TV and BBC One's very dark, but very exceptional, adaptation of Agatha Christie's short story arrives on DVD and Blu-ray on April 25. The story is set in London just after World War I, with Kim Cattrall as the rich, glamorous victim, Billy Howle as the accused, Toby Jones as his solicitor, and Andrea Riseborough as the accused's girlfriend. This is from the same team that made the 2015 adaptation "And Then There Were None," which was also brilliant.

New Video on Demand, Rental Streaming, and Digital

"Fifty Shades Darker Unrated"
Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) wants Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) back in this sequel to "Fifty Shades of Grey," available for Digital HD download April 25, and then May 9 on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD, and On Demand. There's also a "Fifty Shades Darker Unrated Edition" with about 13 extra minutes of footage not seen in theaters. The Unrated Edition comes with more than 30 minutes of bonus content, including behind-the-scenes featurettes, cast interviews, and a look at what's ahead in "Fifty Shades Freed."

"The Handmaid's Tale" (Hulu)Elisabeth Moss, Samira Wiley, Joseph Fiennes, and Alexis Bledel star in Hulu's highly anticipated adaptation of Margaret Atwood's classic dystopian novel. The story follows a totalitarian society in what used to be the U.S., with fertile young women forced to be "Handmaids" in sexual servitude in an attempt to repopulate the world. The first episode arrives April 26.

"Catastrophe" (Amazon)The third season of Amazon's original comedy starts April 28. Rob (Rob Delaney) and Sharon (Sharon Horgan) "have faced down unexpected pregnancy and abrupt parenthood, but can they survive an unexplained receipt for the morning after pill? With their relationship on shaky ground, they attempt to weather unemployment, mortgages, children who bite, Brexit, jealous coworkers, drunken mistakes, friends in rehab, disastrous job interviews, insane family, and, of course, keeping the children alive."

New on Netflix

This is a topical week for Netflix, with the originals "Casting JonBenet," "Dear White People," and "Rodney King" all arriving April 28.

"Dear White People"
YouTubers already have strong feelings about this series, even before seeing it (shocking), down-voting it just based on the trailer and premise. "Based on the acclaimed indie film, this series satirizes 'post-racial' America as students of color navigate a predominantly white Ivy League college." Click the link for the trailer.

"Casting JonBenet"
Two decades after the 1996 death of 6-year-old pageant princess JonBenet Ramsey, director Kitty Green returns to audition local Boulder, Colorado actors, unpacking how each remembers and relates to the ill-fated Ramsey family. This production blurs the lines between documentary and drama in its own off-putting, tragic way. It also arrives on Netflix April 28.

"Rodney King"
Spike Lee filmed Roger Guenveur Smith in this one-man show taking viewers back to 1991, to the beating of Rodney King, and the 1992 L.A. riots. Don't go into this expecting a movie or a documentary, it's a one-man spoken-word portrait.

"Small Crimes" (Netflix Original)Nikolaj Coster-Waldau leaves Jaime Lannister far behind in this new Netflix crime drama about a disgraced former cop looking for redemption after serving time for the attempted murder of a District Attorney. "An embarrassment to his parents and abandoned by his ex-wife, it seems as if things can't get much worse. But then Joe finds himself trapped in the mess he left behind -- in the cross fire between a crooked sheriff, the vengeful DA, and a mafia kingpin who knows too much." It's on Netflix April 28.

"The 101-Year-Old Man Who Skipped Out on the Bill and Disappeared" (Netflix Original)
In lighter news, this wonderfully titled black comedy was a hit in its native Sweden, and you can stream it April 25 on Netflix. "In need of money, an eccentric ex-spy and his younger octogenarian partner embark on an international quest for a valuable Soviet soda formula."

TV Worth Watching

"American Gods" (Sunday on Starz at 9 p.m.)
Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane) starts recruiting for his war against the new gods when this intriguing new Starz series premieres April 30. The eight-episode first season starts with "The Bone Orchard." The mythological story, based on the award-winning novel by Neil Gaiman, co-stars Ricky Whittle, Emily Browning, Crispin Glover, Bruce Langley, Pablo Schreiber, and Kristin Chenoweth -- with Gillian Anderson as Media, the goddess of TV, taking the form of Hollywood icons.

Let the trailer try to explain things in its own cryptic way:"Bates Motel" (Monday on A&E at 10 p.m.)
This is it! The Season 5 finale, also the "Bates Motel" series finale, is called "The Cord," with the very simple synopsis, "Norman comes home." Following the finale at 11, A&E has scheduled "Bates Motel: The Checkout" for a half-hour, before "The Cord" airs again.

"Genius" (Tuesday on National Geographic at 9 p.m.)
The life of 20th Century icon Albert Einstein (Geoffrey Rush and Johnny Flynn) is explored in this first-ever scripted series from National Geographic. The 10-episode season, based on the Walter Isaacson book "Einstein: His Life and Universe," premieres April 25, with the first episode directed by Ron Howard.

"Great News" (Tuesday on NBC at 9 p.m.)
What happens when your mom gets a job as an intern -- at the TV station where you work? It happens to frustrated cable news producer Katie (Briga Heelan) when her mom Carol (Andrea Martin) starts interning at "The Breakdown." This new comedy series, starting April 25, co-stars John Michael Higgins, Nicole Richie, Horatio Sanz, and Adam Campbell.

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