New on DVD
Another reboot of the Spider-Man franchise, a documentary about an important school activity and a TV series that looks at life after death are among new titles being released Oct. 17.
“Spider-Man: Homecoming”: Instead of making this a tale of Spider-Man driven by the overwhelming guilt Peter feels because of the death of his Uncle Ben, the latest Spider-Man is more like a 14-year-old with an expensive toy. This isn’t a spectacular tale of how he learns to channel his feelings into positive energy but more about breaking dates, missing Spanish quizzes, letting down friends and being a social outcast. There’s so much time spent with Peter out of the suit that the movie could have been titled “Peter Parker: Homecoming.”
The film has the obligatory Easter eggs for the true believers who love Marvel Comics, and it does a great job of connecting the dots between the character and the Marvel Universe-based productions that have dominated the box office. Mix that with some good action sequences and a solid villain and “Spider-Man: Homecoming” can be counted as a win for Marvel. It’s a win by a narrow margin. “Step”: Any documentary that shows how young people are being given a chance to better themselves through special programs comes through as both inspirational and depressing. Those behind such programs can never receive enough praise for the work being done in communities across the country. This is tainted with a sense of melancholy that it takes special programs for such change to happen. Children should always be a priority, but they aren’t, and that’s when programs like the one spotlighted in “Step” by director Amanda Lipitz try to fill the void.
The director tells the stories of how the young women are dealing with college applications while being part of a competitive step dance program.
There are minor problems with the film that aren’t unexpected with a new filmmaker. Lipitz’s passion to show what can happen when women of all generations focus on one goal is a tale that should be shouted on every street corner. She succeeds, but it just should be shouted with a few more details. That was the one area where the director needed to step up.
“The Good Place”: This NBC comedy starring Kristen Bell as a woman who believes she has died and gotten into “the good place” by mistake would be a fun watch even without the huge reveal in the last episode. Ted Danson is wickedly funny as the string puller in this world. Also new on DVD Oct. 17 “Lady Macbeth”: Woman (Florence Pugh) living in a loveless marriage to a man twice her age starts an affair with a young worker on her husband’s estate.
“Shot Caller”: Ex-con faces deadly decisions after he gets out of prison.
“Samurai Jack: The Complete Series”: Set includes all 62 episodes of the critically acclaimed animated series.
“Green Acres: The Complete Series”: Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor star in the TV comedy about a city couple trying to adjust to country life.
“Justice”: United States Marshall must stop a group determined to start another Civil War.
“Spirited Away”: Hayao Miyazaki’s fantasy animated adventure is being rereleased.
“Girls Trip”: Four friends go on a wild vacation to New Orleans. Queen Latifah stars.
“Marcella: Season 1”: Detective Sergeant Marcella Backland (Anna Friel) rejoins the London Metropolitan Police following the abrupt end of her marriage.
“Batman vs. Two-Face”: The animated tale is based on the 1966 TV series starring Adam West.
“Ernie Kovacs: Take a Good Look ? The Definitive Collection”: The DVD includes episodes of the unique talk show hosted by Kovacs that features guests ranging from baseball’s Rogers Hornsby to White House Butler Alonzo Fields.
“PJ Masks: Hello Christmas!”: When three six year olds put on their pajamas and activate their animal amulets, they become superheroes.
“Three O’Clock High”: Writing assignment puts a student in line for a fight after school.
“The Wilde Wedding”: Glenn Close stars in this story of a movie star celebrating her fourth wedding.
“American Gods”: Man finds himself living in a world of old and new gods.
“Ancient Aliens: Season 10, Volume 1”: Series reveals new evidence of extraterrestrial intervention on Earth.
“Howl’s Moving Castle”: The Academy Award-nominated film from Hayao Miyazaki is available on Blu-ray.
Tom Holland in a scene from “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” now out on DVD.