Singing, sci-fi and gay spies, oh my! As we reach the home stretch of the election cycle, how about a little distraction in the form of the fun and action-packed Star Trek Beyond, a documentary on an underrated vocal powerhouse fighting cancer, Miss Sharon Jones, and gay spy caper Jayson Bend: Queen And Country (above).
Let’s scroll for the trailers and details!
($24.99 DVD; Take A Seat Pictures)
British agent 009, Jayson Bend, is dispatched to investigate and stop what could be a diabolical, global plot involving a hair salon chain and its owner. In the process, he teams up with a beguiling Swiss counterpart, gadgets up, hooks up and cracks enough puns to make Roger Moore envious. While indie, the production looks pretty spiffy – yay, affordable digital technology! – and features some eye candy to boot. This is the movie Rupert Everett surely would have loved to make some years ago… While the running time is lean at 48 minutes, extras include a pair of amazing, sexy short films from provocative gay Mexican director Julián Hernández.
($49.99 4K Blu-ray, $48.99 3D Blu-ray, $39.99 Blu-ray, $29.99 DVD; Paramount)
The rebooted Star Trek crew is back in an entertaining, action filled romp directed by Fast & Furious franchise wonderboy Justin Lin and very much back in the spirit of the original TV episodes and movies, after the overlong, dour detour of Into Darkness. This time, the Enterprise embarks on a rescue mission that turns out to be a deadly ambush that leaves Kirk, Spock, and the rest of the gang partly stranded on a planet with a new alien ally named Jaylah, while dealing with a mightily pissed off baddie played by Idris Elba. Making this one even more special – and poignant – is the final Trek appearance of the late Anton Yelchin as Chekov, and revelation that Sulu is gay and happily partnered. Extras include deleted scenes, making-of featurettes, gag reel, and tribute to Yelchin and Leonard Nimoy.
($19.98 DVD: Anchor Bay/STARZ)
Soul singer Sharon Jones, whose incredible, horns-punctuated rendition of “This Land Is Your Land” memorably served as the opening credits song for Up In The Air and has been dubbed the female James Brown, is a musical powerhouse. In Oscar-winning director Barbara Kopple’s largely verite-style documentary, we follow the singer over most of a year as she struggles with treatment for Stage 2 pancreatic cancer. Between taxing chemotherapy sessions, we recount Jones’ career and years with band the Dap-Kings, and her desire and efforts to get back on stage in the face of illness. Rough at times, yet utterly inspiring, Jones proves a fighter… and boy, can that woman SING! Extras include deleted scenes.