This week’s new DVD releases feature tough guys.
“Black Mass,” Grade ☆☆☆☆: Johnny Depp has molded a sterling career through transforming himself into the odd, weird, wild and wonderful. Whether it’s bringing to life the quirky nature of director Ed Wood in the film of the same name or creating one of the most iconic pirates to sail the cinema Seven Seas in Capt. Jack Sparrow, Depp has shown incredible skill over the years.
That has all been a warmup for his terrifying, mesmerizing and electrifying work in “Black Mass.” Depp’s performance as Boston mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger is the kind of performance about which people write songs of praise.
Depp becomes so entrenched in the character that any semblance of the actor has been replaced by the traits and characteristics of Bulger. This isn’t acting – it’s that rare occasion when a performer slips out of his skin and by some magical metamorphosis becomes the character he is playing.
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“The 33,” Grade ☆☆1/2: Efforts are made to save trapped miners. Because the world watched each miner being pulled to safety, the movie is missing the threat of death.
No matter what director Patricia Riggen tries to do to build tension, it comes up short because we all know the ending. The best Riggen can do is bank on the performances of her main players to keep the audience engaged.
She gets that kind of draw from Antonio Banderas, who plays Mario Sepulveda, the unofficial leader of the trapped miners. Banderas easily handles his character, who represents hope even when he feels hopeless.
Also new on DVD and online streaming services on Feb. 16:
▪ “Steve Jobs”: Up-close look at the founder of Apple written by Aaron Sorkin.
▪ “Trumbo”: Top Hollywood writer jailed and blacklisted because of his political beliefs. Bryan Cranston stars.
▪ “Touched By and Angel: The Complete Series”: Includes every episode of the faith-based TV drama.
▪ “The Trials of Jimmy Rose”: Ray Winstone plays a career criminal who has just been released from prison.
▪ “Criminal Activities”: Four friends stumble into a deal that’s too good to ignore. John Travolta stars.
▪ “Sabrina, The Teenage Witch: The Complete Series”: Melissa Joan Hart stars in the TV comedy.
▪ “Beat Street”: Disc jockey (Guy Davis), a breakdancer (Robert Taylor), and a graffiti artist (Jon Chardiet) dream of better lives.
▪ “Hatched”: Jeff Foxworthy and Sean Astin provide voices for this animated barnyard tale.
▪ “The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution”: Documentary explores the Black Panther Party.
▪ “The Brady Kids: The Complete Animated Series”: Contains 22 episodes of the Saturday morning cartoon show.
▪ “Sand Castles”: Family tries to recover from horrible tragedy.
▪ “American Experience”: Bonnie and Clyde”: Look at the criminal careers of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow.
▪ “The Andy Griffith Show: The Complete Series”: Features 249 episodes of the events in Mayberry.
▪ “McHale’s Navy/McHale’s Navy Joins the Air Force”: DVD includes both feature films starring the wacky crew of the PT-73.
▪ “The Best of Big Blue Live”: Scientists film some of the world’s most charismatic marine creatures.
▪ “Togetherness: The Complete First Season”: Four people reconcile their dreams with their current situations.
▪ “Wiener Dog Internationals”: Jack family enters world of international racing.
▪ “Brian Regan: Live from Radio City Music Hall”: Comedian’s stand-up performance.
▪ “Girls: The Complete Fourth Season”: Hannah (Lena Dunham), Marnie (Allison Williams) and Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) inch toward maturity.
▪ “Blaze and the Moster Machines: Rev Up and Roar”: Blaze, AJ and Zeg race back for more adventures.
▪ “Labyrinth of Lies”: Thousands of former Nazis return to their everyday lives after the war.
▪ “Saints & Strangers”: More than 100 men women and children travel aboard the Mayflower to the new world.
Available on digital HD streaming Feb. 16
▪ “Creed”: Apollo Creed’s son asks Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) to train him.
▪ “Punk’s Dead: SLC Punk 2”: Teen makes long trip to see a punk show.
▪ “Miss You Already”: Two best friends deal with life-changing news.