The third -- and last entry --in the highly creative "Purge" trilogy, which began in 2013 with Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey's wealthy family being attacked by purgers on the only night of the year when any and all crimes --including murder -- are legal. The second entry, "The Purge: Anarchy" (2014), revolves around three groups of people trying to survive an annual Purge; their stories intertwine and come together when they join up with an ex-cop (Frank Grillo) out for revenge. This "Purge" -- though lacking the locomotive-style excitement, intensity and gravitas of the sophomore effort, still titillates with new twists and turns -- and new ways of killing. This time Grillo returns as the head of security for Senator Charlie Roan, a Presidential candidate targeted for death on Purge night because of her stance against the ruling right-wing "New Founding Fathers" and her anti-Purge sentiments. Though some plot points are telegraphed well in advance and are obvious, and you pretty much know who is going to get killed and when, the joy here is the execution of the stylish scenario and the well-wrought set pieces (nods to director James DeMonaco and cinematographer Jacques Jouffret) as you sit and wonder how the characters are going to survive the Purge and stay alive. And while the second "Purge" ended on a political note of the haves vs. the have-nots, there's a great deal of right vs. left political sentiments thrown in for good measure this time around. And watch for the cool slap at some Russian tourist purgers. "The Purge -- Election Year" is a fresh breeze in a summer of otherwise rancid sequels.Vitals: Director: James DeMonaco. Stars: Frank Grillo, Elizabeth Mitchell, Mykelti Williamson.
2016, CC, MPAA rating: R, 99 min., Thriller, Box office gross: $78.845 million, Universal.Extras: Deleted scenes, "Inside the Purge" featurette, "Character Spotlight: Leo."
Apocalypse, the first and most powerful mutant from Marvel's X-Men universe, amassed the powers of many other mutants, becoming immortal and invincible. Upon awakening after thousands of years, he is disillusioned with the world as he finds it and recruits a team of powerful mutants, including a disheartened Magneto (Michael Fassbender), to cleanse mankind and create a new world order, over which he will reign. As the fate of the Earth hangs in the balance, Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) with the help of Professor X (James McAvoy) must lead a team of young X-Men to stop their greatest nemesis and save mankind from complete destruction.
Vitals: Director: Bryan Singer. Stars: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Nicholas Hoult, Jennifer Lawrence, Evan Peters, Oscar Isaac, Tye Sheridan, Sophie Turner, Alexandra Shipp.
2016, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 144 min., Action Science Fiction, Box office gross: $154.985 million, Fox.Extras: Deleted and extended scenes, gag reel, a wrap party video, commentary by Singer and screenwriter Simon Kinberg, a behind-the-scenes documentary, photo gallery.
Swiss Army Man
Hank (Paul Dano) is stranded on a deserted island, having given up all hope of ever making it home again. But one day everything changes when a corpse named Manny (Daniel Radcliffe) washes up onshore. The two become fast friends, and ultimately go on an epic adventure that will bring Hank back to the woman of his dreams.
Vitals: Director: Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan. Stars: Paul Dano, Daniel Radcliffe.
2016, CC, MPAA rating: R, 97 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $4.121 million, Lionsgate.Extras: Q&A with the filmmakers, 'Swiss Army Man: Behind the Scenes" featurette, 'Making of Manny" featurette, deleted scenes, commentary.
Re-imagining of the 1984 Ivan Reitman film. The team of four dynamic women Ghostbusters, along with Chris Hemsworth, prepare for an epic battle in Manhattan as mischievous ghouls descend on Times Square. Theatrical version and Extended Edition (Blu-ray and digital) features more than 15 minutes of never-before-seen film footage.
Vitals: Director: Paul Feig. Stars: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, Kate McKinnon, Chris Hemsworth, Charles Dance, Ed Begley Jr.
2016, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 116 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $121.984 million, Sony.Extras: Three making-of featurettes: "Meet the Team," "Visual Effects: 30 Years Later," "Slime Time"; filmmaker commentaries; "Jokes a Plenty: Free for All"; photo gallery. Blu-ray adds four deleted scenes; two gag reels; five "Jokes a Plenty" alterate takes reel; two additional featurettes: "Chris Hemsworth is 'Kevin'" and "The Ghosts of Ghostbusters"; 11 additional deleted, extended and alternate scenes available with Ultraviolet download.
Based on a true story, Federal agent Robert "Bob" Mazur (Bryan Cranston) goes deep undercover to infiltrate Pablo Escobar's drug trafficking scene plaguing the nation in 1986 by posing as slick, money-laundering businessman Bob Musella. Teamed with impulsive and streetwise fellow agent Emir Abreu (John Leguizamo) and rookie agent posing as his fiancé Kathy Ertz (Diane Kruger), Mazur befriends Escobar's top lieutenant Roberto Alcaino (Benjamin Bratt). Navigating a vicious criminal network in which the slightest slip-up could cost him his life, Mazur risks it all building a case that leads to indictments of 85 drug lords and the corrupt bankers who cleaned their dirty money, along with the collapse of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, one of the largest money-laundering banks in the world.
Vitals: Director: Brad Furman. Stars: Bryan Cranston, John Leguizamo, Diane Kruger, Benjamin Bratt, Yul Vazquez, Olympia Dukakis, Elena Anaya, Jason Isaacs, Amy Ryan.
2016, CC, MPAA rating: R, 127 min., Drama, Box office gross: $15.252 million, Broad Green Pictures.Extras: Audio commentary with director Brad Furman and Bryan Cranston, deleted scenes, two featurettes: "The Three Bobs" and the three-part "How to Infiltrate."
The Legend of Tarzan
It has been years since the man once known as Tarzan (Alexander Skarsgård) left the jungles of Africa behind for a gentrified life as John Clayton, Lord Greystoke, with his beloved wife, Jane (Margot Robbie) at his side. Now, he's been invited back to the Congo to serve as a trade emissary of Parliament, unaware that he is a pawn in a deadly convergence of greed and revenge, masterminded by the Belgian, Leon Rom (Christoph Waltz). But those behind the murderous plot have no idea what they are about to unleash.
Vitals: Director: David Yates. Stars: Alexander Skarsgård, Samuel L. Jackson, Margot Robbie, Djimon Hounsou, Jim Broadben, Christoph Waltz. 2016, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 135 min., Action Adventure, Box office gross: $124.051 million, Warner.Extras: "Tarzan Reborn," "Battles and Bare Knuckled Brawls," "Tarzan and Jane’s Unfailing Love," "Creating the Virtual Jungle," "Gabon to the Big Screen," "Stop Ivory" PSA.
Ice Age: Collision Course
Latest in the animated "Ice Age" franchise. Scrat's epic pursuit of the elusive acorn catapults him into the universe where he accidentally sets off a series of cosmic events that transform and threaten the Ice Age World. Now Buck, Manny, Ellie, Sid, Diego and the rest of the herd must work together on a journey to exotic new lands filled with nonstop action and colorful new characters in order to survive the global Scrat-tastrophe!
Vitals: Director: Mike Thurmeier, Galen T. Chu. Stars: Voices of Ray Romano, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo, Queen Latifah, Seann William Scott, Josh Peck, Simon Pegg, Keke Palmer, Wanda Sykes, Jennifer Lopez.
2016, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 94 min., Family, Box office gross: $56.673 million, Fox.Extras: Seven featurettes, image gallery.
Independence Day: Resurgence
Twenty years after the mysterious aliens nearly wiped out humankind, they’re back with a vengeance in this sequel to the original 1996 blockbuster hit. Using recovered alien technology, the nations of Earth developed a vast defense program to protect the planet, led by brilliant scientist David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum). But nothing could prepare the planet for a new invasion of unprecedented scale -- an invasion led by an alien ship 3,000 miles wide. Only the ingenuity of a few brave men and women can save the world from extinction. Vitals: Director: Roland Emmerich. Stars: Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Judd Hirsch, Vivica A. Fox, Brent Spiner, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Jessie Usher, Maika Monroe, Sela Ward.
2016, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 120 min., Science Fiction, Box office gross: $102.315 million, Fox.Extras: Eight deleted scenes with audio commentary by Roland Emmerich, "The War of 1996," "It’s Early, ABQ!," "Another Day: The Making of Independence Day: Resurgence," gag reel, commentary by Emmerich, concept art, theatrical trailers and TV spot.
A shining gem amongst all the drek of this year's remakes and reimaginings. Woody Allen's latest bout of nostalgia -- a witty, literate, loving, good natured and bittersweet look at life, love, dreams and aspirations -- is set in the 1930s and follows Bronx-born Bobby Dorfman (Jesse Eisenberg), the son of a jeweler, who travels to Hollywood and gets a job as an assistant to his uncle Phil (Steve Carell), a hot-shot Hollywood talent agent. He immediately is stricken with Phil's unpretentious secretary, Vonnie (Kristen Stewart), and while she has feelings for him, the love affair ends abruptly. Heart-broken, Bobby returns to New York, where he rejoins his colorful Bronx family, where he takes over his older, gangster brother's night club, eventually turning it into a Cafe Society success. It's a simple tale but Allen wrings the most out of his dialogue and screenplay, and gets wonderful performances from Eisenberg, Carell and Stewart. It's altogether charming and vivacious -- and the cinematography, by the great Vittorio Storaro -- is stunning. A delightful romp for the 80-year-old director. Vitals: Director: Woody Allen. Stars: Jesse Eisenberg, Steve Carell, Kristen Stewart, Blake Lively, Jeannie Berlin, Parker Posey, Corey Stoll, Ken Stott.
2016, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 96 min., Romantic Comedy, Box office gross: $7.543 million, Lionsgate.Extras: "On the Red Carpet" for the film's premiere, photo gallery.
Alice Through the Looking Glass
In "Alice Through the Looking Glass," the all-star cast from the 2010 blockbuster is back with Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter who’s desperately searching for his family; Anne Hathaway as Mirana, the kind, mild-mannered White Queen; Helena Bonham Carter as Iracebeth, the short-tempered, big-headed Red Queen; and Mia Wasikowska as Alice, the heroine at the heart of the story. Sacha Baron Cohen joins the ensemble as Time, a magical being that is part human, part clock, and the late Alan Rickman -- to whom the film is dedicated -- is the voice of Absolem, the blue Monarch butterfly who metamorphosed from the blue caterpillar in "Alice in Wonderland." Alice returns to the whimsical world of Wonderland and travels back in time to help the Mad Hatter.
Vitals: Director: James Bobin. Stars: Johnny Depp, Mia Wasikowska, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, Sacha Baron Cohen, Rhys Ifans, Matt Lucas, Lindsay Duncan, Leo Bill, Geraldine James, Andrew Scott, Richard Armitage, Ed Speleers, Alan Rickman, Timothy Spall.
2016, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 113 min., Adventure, Box office gross: $76.846 million, Disney.Extras: "A Stitch in Time: Costuming Wonderland." Blu-ray adds Music video: "Just Like Fire" by P!nk; "Behind the Music Video"; "Behind The Looking Glass" featurette; "Time On ..." discussion with the unpredictable and witty Sacha Baron Cohen; "Alice Goes Through the Looking Glass: A Scene Peeler" side-by-side comparison of raw production footage and final scenes,; "Alice Goes Through Time’s Castle: A Scene Peeler"; "Characters of Underland" featurette; commentary with director James Bobin; deleted scenes.
When Rebecca (Teresa Palmer) left home, she thought she left her childhood fears behind. Growing up, she was never really sure of what was and wasn’t real when the lights went out ... and now her little brother, Martin (Gabriel Bateman), is experiencing the same unexplained and terrifying events that had once tested her sanity and threatened her safety. A frightening entity with a mysterious attachment to their mother, Sophie (Maria Bello), has reemerged. But this time, as Rebecca gets closer to unlocking the truth, there is no denying that all their lives are in danger ... once the lights go out.
Vitals: Director: David F. Sandberg. Stars: Teresa Palmer, Gabriel Batema, Billy Burke, Alexander DiPersia, Maria Bello.
2016, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 81 min., Horror, Box office gross: $58.889 million, Warner.Extras: Deleted scenes.
All DVDs are screened on a reference system consisting of a
Oppo BDP-83 Blu-ray Disc Player w/SACD & DVD-Audio, a
Rotel RSX-972 Surround Sound Receiver, and Phase Technology 1.1 (front), 33.1 (center),
and 50 (rear) speakers and Power 10 subwoofer.