New to DVD this week is one of the best movies yet from the Lifetime cable channel, a remake of an Oscar-winning ’80s movie.
“The Trip to Bountiful” (Lionsgate/DVD, 2014, not rated). Cicely Tyson is up for an Emmy for her starring role in this TV-movie adaptation of Horton Foote’s story, set in Texas during World War II. Tyson won a Tony last year for the show’s Broadway revival.
One of Foote’s most beloved works, the story focuses on elderly Carrie Watts (Tyson), who lives under the thumb of her overprotective son (Blair Underwood) and his harridan wife (Vanessa Williams), with whom she reluctantly lives.
Carrie gets an itch to see her small hometown of Bountiful before she dies but her son won’t allow it and she can’t drive. So she escapes on a bus and heads home on her own with help from a sympathetic young woman (Keke Palmer) she meets along the way.
Tyson is wonderful in the role, and if she wins, it will mark two Emmys, 40 years apart, for playing elderly women in TV movies, the other being the equally terrific “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman.” (The 1985 film of “The Trip to Bountiful” earned an Oscar for Geraldine Page, and Lillian Gish starred in the original 1953 TV production, which Foote adapted for the stage the next year.)
“Divergent” (Summit/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital/On Demand, 2014, PG-13, deleted scenes, audio commentaries, featurettes). Another teens-in-peril, dystopian-future thriller, in which people are divided into five distinct classes but smart, resourceful “Divergents” like Tris (Shailene Woodley) don’t fit into any of them. More fallout from the success of “The Hunger Games,” but this one isn’t bad, thanks largely to Woodley’s excellent central performance. Kate Winslet co-stars.
“Need for Speed” (Touchstone/Dreamworks/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital/On Demand, 2014, PG-13, deleted scenes, audio commentary, featurettes, introductions, outtakes, trailers). Based on the titular video game, this cross-country racing yarn owes something to “The Cannonball Run.” Aaron Paul is a blue-collar New York mechanic framed for involuntary manslaughter. After being paroled he decides to get revenge by entering a race, but he has to dodge cops and street-racing thugs to get there.
“Around the Block” (Cinedigm/DVD/Digital/On Demand, 2014, not rated, deleted scenes, audio commentary, featurette, music video). Christina Ricci stars in this well-intentioned tale of an American drama teacher in Australia who tries to help a 16-year-old actor break free of his disadvantaged life.
“I’ll Follow You Down” (Well Go/Blu-ray/DVD, 2014, not rated, deleted scenes, featurette, trailer). Former child star Haley Joel Osment (“The Sixth Sense”) stars in this offbeat family drama with a sci-fi twist. He’s a scientist who discovers a way to travel to the past so he can learn the truth about the disappearance of his physicist father (Rufus Sewell). Gillian Anderson co-stars.Comment on this story
“Tarzan” (Lionsgate/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital/On Demand, 2014, PG, featurettes). Yet another animated version of the Edgar Rice Burroughs story of a boy who survives in the jungle for years and is content communing with animals until he meets another human being named Jane. (A Walmart exclusive for the first few weeks.)