(PG-13, 138 minutes, Universal): Vin Diesel and Co. return in the latest installment of the “Fast and Furious” auto/action franchise, which bids farewell to the late cast mainstay Paul Walker. There are a couple of creepy allusions to Walker’s death in the film that could briefly jar viewers. At one point, Roman (Tyrese Gibson) asks Brian (Walker) to promise their team won’t face any more funerals. When Brian replies, “Just one more,” he’s referring to that of the film’s villain (Jason Statham), but one can’t help but think of the actor’s own accidental death. Another scene shows Brian telling wife Mia (Jordana Brewster) that if she doesn’t hear from him after the crew’s latest mission, she should “move on.” It almost feels like a message to his co-stars. Directed by James Wan, “Furious 7” scores with unprecedented car stunts. A cargo plane drops various parachute-equipped cars onto a curving road in the Caucasus Mountains. Amazingly, all the cars land upright where they are supposed to. Hilariously, Dom (Diesel) and the others are shown “steering” the vehicles as they fly through the air. Never mind that the film repeatedly presents the impossible – a muscle car attacks an airborne helicopter – fans of the franchise know to suspend disbelief at the door. With nonstop action from start to finish, it’s easy – if a bit exhausting – to go along for the high-speed ride. Contains prolonged frenetic sequences of violence, action and mayhem, suggestive content and brief strong language. Extras: The featurettes “Back to the Starting Line,” “Race Wars,” “Snatch and Grab” and “Making of Fast & Furious Supercharged Ride.” Extended edition Blu-ray adds deleted scenes and more featurettes, including “The Cars of Furious.”
(PG, 105 minutes, Disney): Kenneth Branagh directs this elaborate but traditional telling of the Cinderella story, starring Lily James, Cate Blanchett and Helena Bonham Carter. He stays faithful to the essence of Charles Perrault’s 17th-century story, inserting sly homages to Disney’s animated version from 1950. Yet he and screenwriter Chris Weitz layer the story with more psychological depth than usual and answers questions we may always have had: Why can’t Cinderella’s stepsisters recognize her at the grand ball? Because the fairy godmother disguises her appearance. The result will not please everyone. It’s neither animated nor a musical. If you seek a revision or updating of the tale, or need a twist where its point of view shifts to another character (as “Maleficent” did with “Sleeping Beauty”), this is the wrong movie for you. But as a picture that celebrates one of the greatest archetypes in literature while freshening countless familiar details, I doubt it can be bettered. Contains mild thematic elements. Extras: “Frozen Fever” (short with the characters from “Frozen”) and “Ella’s Furry Friends.” Blu-ray adds “A Fairy Tale Comes to Life” behind-the-scenes featurette with cast and crew; “Costume Test Fun”; “Staging the Ball” and an alternate opening.
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‘Love & Mercy’
PG-13, 122 minutes, Roadside Attractions/Lionsgate): Biopic about the Beach Boys’ troubled creative genius Brian Wilson, with two actors portraying him: Paul Dano in the ’60s, at the peak of the Beach Boys’ fame, and John Cusack in the ’80s, as Wilson reclaims his life after a mental breakdown. The Beach Boys’ public face in the ‘60s may have been all about fun, fun, fun, in the summertime but there was a lot of torment behind the surfboards and T-Birds. It’s captured in all of its painful yet musically rhapsodic glory in this film, which ranks as one of the best music biopics of recent years. Director Bill Pohlad, along with screenwriters Oren Moverman and Michael A. Lerner, paints an evocative picture of a time and place. As part of that, they don’t skirt the music in favor of Wilson’s psychological demons. There are well-staged re-creations of perfectionist Wilson working with the legendary Wrecking Crew studio musicians to conjure up sublime confections like the classic “Good Vibrations.” Contains thematic elements, drug use and some obscenity. Extras: “A California Story: Creating the Look of Love & Mercy” featurette, “A-Side/B-Side: Portraying the Life of Brian Wilson” featurette, deleted scenes, audio commentary with director-producer Bill Pohlad and executive producer/co-writer Oren Moverman.
“All American High Revisted”
“American Experience: Walt Disney”
“Care Bears: Mystery In Care-A-Lot”
“Closer to the Moon”
“Heaven Knows What”
“Lego Star Wars: The New Yoda Chronicles”
“Saban’s Power Rangers: Trickster Treat”
“The Seven Five”
“Aquarius: The Complete First Season”
“The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Eighth Season”
“The Carol Burnett Show: The Lost Episodes”
“CSI: Crime Scene Investigation - The Final Season”
“CSI: Cyber - The First Season”
“Empire: The Complete First Season”
“Lost in Space - The Complete Series”
“NCIS: The Best of Abby”
“NCIS: The 12th Season Blu-ray”
“Sisters: Seasons One and Two”
“Sleepy Hollow: The Complete Second Season”