The latest Planet of the Apes prequel, completing the current trilogy, is now available on Blu-ray, DVD and various streaming platforms.
“War for the Planet of the Apes” (Fox, 2017, PG-13, deleted scenes, audio commentary, featurettes, art gallery). Although it reworks a number of well-worn war movie tropes (from “The Great Escape” to “Apocalypse Now”), this ninth entry in the Planet of the Apes franchise is nonetheless an engaging, action-filled and fitting conclusion to the rebooted prequel trilogy. The plot has ape leader Caesar (Andy Serkis) going up against a human army led by a mad-dog rogue colonel (Woody Harrelson). Serkis is amazing in his motion-capture CGI role, and Steve Zahn is also excellent as a comic sidekick called “Bad Ape.”
“The Midwife” (Music Box, 2017, NR/probable PG-13, in French with English subtitles, featurettes, trailer). Catherine Frot and Catherine Deneuve, two titans of French cinema, star in this gentle, surprisingly sweet tale of compassion and regret. Claire (Frot) is a dedicated midwife feeling unmoored as her hospital becomes, in her words, a “baby factory.” Béatrice (Deneuve), who lived with Claire and her father before walking out on them some 30 years earlier, is diagnosed with cancer and literally has no friends or family, and no end of bad habits. So she approaches Claire, who reluctantly but inevitably becomes her caretaker and, ultimately, her friend.
“The Dark Tower” (Columbia, 2017, PG-13, deleted scenes, featurettes, bloopers). Stephen King’s epic, multibook tale of good vs. evil, which embraces both science fiction and Western movie elements, finally comes to the silver screen — but with a thud. Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey star as, respectively, the Gunslinger and the Man in Black, but despite their star power, as well as King’s name and a built-in fan base, the film flopped at the box office. Yet, a follow-up TV series is reportedly still in the works.
“Kidnap” (Universal, 2017, R for violence, featurette). When a 6-year-old boy is kidnapped, his frantic mother hops into her car to pursue the villains. This Halle Berry vehicle (no pun intended) is an extended chase film, but it’s also brainless fun if you can go with it, and Berry is fully committed.
“Annabelle: Creation” (Warner, 2017, R for violence, deleted scenes, audio commentary, featurettes, two short films). This fright-flick prequel to “Annabelle” (and No. 4 in The Conjuring franchise) tells the origin story of the demon-possessed porcelain doll and was a box-office hit last August.
“An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power” (Paramount, 2017, PG, featurettes). Al Gore’s follow-up to his Oscar-winning documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” offers more examples of climate change as he steps up his plea for environmental responsibility.