James Bond, Sopranos back in action on DVD, Blu-ray

Rick's Reviews

“The Many Saints of Newark” cast members Alessandro Nivola (left) and Michael Gandolfini (center) speak with director Alan Taylor. (Photo courtesy of Warner Bros)

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — This week’s new entertainment options feature the good guys and the very bad guys.

“The Many Saints of Newark” Grade 4 stars: This is the origin story of Anthony Soprano – played in the film by Michael Gandolfini, the son of the late James Gandolfi who played Tony Soprano in the TV series “The Sopranos.” He is growing up in a violent world being torn apart by the greed of organized crime and the turmoil of racial tensions.

David Chase – the man behind “The Sopranos” – was smart not to make Tony Soprano the main focus as that would have limited the tale to youthful indiscretions and teen rebellion. Angst is no replacement for the terror of a real crime world.

Chase has crafted the story in the same way he did the TV show. He shows how a darkness that envelops a family becomes a curse handed down through generations. It’s the contrast of that ever present evil with the attempts at a normal life that serves as the deep, dark core.

The fact Chase wrote and produced the film and Alan Taylor – who won an Emmy for directing episodes of “The Sopranos” – is the director translates into a seamless flow between the TV and movie projects. From the tension that is built around the dinner table to the chaotic gun battles in the street, there is not a single loss of quality.

“No Time to Die” Grade 3 stars: The latest offering in the James Bond series once again proves it doesn’t pay to get close to the British spy.

Bond – played with blue-collar grittiness by Daniel Craig – has finally given up the life of having a license to kill. That tranquility is shattered by a tragic event that has Bond returning to the spy game one more time.

A mission to rescue a kidnapped scientist is not the easy job Bond expected and he ends up again facing a master criminal looking to rule the world. It is a mission that also has a very personal connection for Bond.

Rami Malek turns in a creepy performance as Lyutsifer Safin who again makes the mistake of taunting Bond instead of just killing him.

Bond films are generally entertaining and this one is no exception. It’s just not exceptional.

Also new on DVD and Blu-ray as of Dec. 21

“Hotel Transylvania: Transformia”: Van Helsing has created a new invention that transforms Drac and his pals into humans.

“Hell Hath No Fury”: Woman (Nina Bergman) branded a traitor is rescued by American soldiers on one condition. She must lead them to a cache of gold.

“American Masters: Amy Tan – Unintended Memoir”: PBS special that is an intimate portrait of the groundbreaking author. 

“Fortress”: One man stands in the way of a group’s search for revenge.

“Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness”: American federal agent Leon S. Kennedy encounters a horde of zombies in a mysterious attack against the President. 

“Every Last One of Them”: Father goes on a search of a lifetime to help his daughter.

Available through digital platforms

“Hard Luck Love Song”: The film is based on the song “Just Like Old Times” by singer-songwriter Todd Snider.

“Antlers”: Small-town Oregon teacher (Keri Russell) and her brother (Jesse Plemons) look to help a troubled young boy who possesses a strange secret. Will be released on DVD and Blu-ray Jan. 4.

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