By Jay Bobbin
Tribune Media Services
STARTING THIS WEEK: "AFRICAN CATS": The "Disneynature" series of feature-length documentaries continues with this Samuel L. Jackson-narrated portrait of lions and cheetahs. The story it weaves considers the relationship between parent and child ... as evidenced by animals willing to make any and all sacrifices to ensure the safety of their young ones. A portion of the movie's first-week video sales goes to a preservation effort being staged in conjunction with the African Wildlife Foundation. DVD extras: two “making-of” documentaries. *** (G) (Also on Blu-ray)
"SCREAM 4": It had been 11 years since the previous installment when this latest entry in the semi-satirical horror series reunited stars Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette, as well as director Wes Craven and writer Kevin Williamson. Sidney (Campbell) wraps up a tour to promote the self-help book she's written by returning home ... and her return coincides with a new wave of murders by a killer who wears a rather ghostly mask. Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettiere and Lucy Hale ("Pretty Little Liars") are among newcomers to the cast. DVD extras: deleted and extended scenes; alternate opening; outtakes. *** (R: AS, P, GV) (Also on Blu-ray)
"THE HONEYMOONERS LOST EPISODES, 1951-1957: THE COMPLETE RESTORED SERIES": Before and after Jackie Gleason's classic series aired as a regularly scheduled sitcom, skits using the same premise and characters were staged live on variety shows that Gleason hosted. Those "lost episodes" are compiled here to mark the 60th anniversary of the very first "Honeymooners"tale, with Gleason as blowhard bus driver Ralph Kramden and Art Carney as easygoing utility-worker pal Ed Norton. Pert Kelton and later Broadway icon Elaine Stritch originally played their respective wives, eventually to be replaced by Audrey Meadows and Joyce Randolph. **** (Not rated)
"FAST FIVE": A decade after it began, the "Fast and the Furious" franchise still has plenty of life left, as indicated by the huge box-office success of this fifth chapter. It reinvents the series to be as much crime caper as racing saga, with Dom (Vin Diesel), Brian (Paul Walker) and their allies caught in the middle of two forces pursuing them in Rio de Janeiro. One is a corrupt businessman and the other, an FBI agent (Dwayne Johnson) who goes mano-a-mano with the equally rugged Dom in one of the movie's most memorable scenes. Jordana Brewster also returns, as does director Justin Lin ("Fast & Furious"). DVD extras: audio commentary by Lin; deleted scenes; outtakes. *** (PG-13: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and Movies on Demand)
COMING SOON: "BEAUTIFUL BOY" (Oct. 11): A maritally stressed couple (Maria Bello, Michael Sheen) struggle to understand why their son committed a college-campus tragedy, then his suicide. (R: AS, P)
"HORRIBLE BOSSES" (Oct. 11): Oppressed buddies (Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day) conspire to get rid of said bosses (Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston, Colin Farrell). (R: AS, P)
"ZOOKEEPER" (Oct. 11): Kevin James plays the title character, whose decision to seek another job panics the talking animals who have been in his care; voices include Adam Sandler, Cher and Sylvester Stallone. (PG: AS, P)
"GREEN LANTERN" (Oct. 14): Ryan Reynolds plays a test pilot transformed into a superhero by a very special ring in this adaptation of the DC comic; Blake Lively and Tim Robbins co-star. (PG: AS, P, V)
"BAD TEACHER" (Oct. 18): Cameron Diaz plays a self-involved educator whose lesson plan may not make the grade, as she aggressively pursues a colleague (Justin Timberlake). (R and unrated versions: AS, N, P)
"PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES" (Oct. 18): Capt. Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) sails, by force more than choice, with Blackbeard (Ian McShane) in the franchise's fourth round. (PG-13: AS, V)
Ratings for each film begin with a star rating - one star meaning poor, four meaning excellent and followed by the Motion Picture Association of America rating, and then by a family-viewing guide. FAMILY-VIEWING GUIDE KEY: AS, adult situations; N, nudity; P, profanity; V, violence; GV, particularly graphic violence.
©2011 TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.
This was printed in the October 9, 2011 - October 22, 2011 Edition.