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‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ blends action and humor in satisfying ways

by Ace Damon
'Spider-Man: Far From Home' blends action and humor in satisfying ways

New to Blu-ray

"Spider-Man: Away From Home" (Sony DVD, $ 30.99; Blu-ray, $ 38.99; also available on VOD)

Due to contractual complications, this may be the last Spider-Man feature to take place in the same cinematic universe as the Avengers movies. And that's boring because, like its predecessor, "Homecoming", "Far From Home" is action-packed and fun to watch, just like a superhero image. In this latest adventure, the teenage wall traveler takes a trip to Europe following the dramatic events of "Avengers: Ultimatum". There he is inevitably bound to another mission involving S.H.I.E.L.D. and a mysterious new hero in the costume of Jake Gyllenhaal. The film balances high school play with stunning special effects, and is greatly aided by Tom Holland's winning performance and Jon Watts' fast driving.

(Special Features: Extensive Featurettes, Alternative Scenes, and a New Short Film)

VOD

"Doc Martin: Series Nine" (available now on Acorn TV)

English actor Martin Clunes played an early version of grumpy little doctor Martin Ellingham in the 2000 movie "Saving Grace" and then returned to the role – with minor modifications – on TV just a few years later. He has been playing "Doc Martin" ever since. The ninth season of his show debuted at ITV abroad; here in the United States, the Acorn TV streaming service will add these new episodes weekly. In this latest race, the demanding doctor needs to defend his sour bedside manner, both for professional advice and for his own wife, who worries that her son is catching up on his bad habits.

TV set of the week

"Chernobyl" (HBO DVD, $ 49.99; Blu-ray, $ 59.99; also available on VOD)

This year's limited series Emmy winner turns a catastrophic accident from 1986 into a Ukrainian nuclear power plant into a stressful and unexpectedly enlightening drama. Screenwriter Craig Mazin and director Johan Renck, who collaborated on every episode and won Emmys for their work, detail how the Soviet bureaucracy and stubborn nationalist pride led to the disaster, then postponed proper cleanup. A good cast (including Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgard and Emily Watson) humanizes the people involved, many of whom quickly realize that they are just gears of a larger machine and then have reactions ranging from just anger to fatalistic humor. They are good company even when they are marching to their destination.

(Special Features: Featurettes)

From the archives

"The Shining" (Warner Bros. Blu-ray / 4K, $ 41.99)

Stanley Kubrick's 1980 adaptation of Stephen King's namesake novel was unpopular with King himself, who considered him too artistic and insufficiently faithful to his book; When it was released, the film divided critics, many of whom considered its shocks very simple and extravagant, coming from the director of "2001: A Space Odyssey" and "A Clockwork Orange". But fans of the genre were immediately drawn to Jack Nicholson's runaway performance as a drunken alcoholic writer in a snowy Colorado hotel; they were equally dazzled by Kubrick's haunting atmosphere and dynamic scenery. This expensive supernatural thriller has entered the canon of horror cinema almost immediately, and remains a movie that is imitated, analyzed and enjoyed by frightened fans around the world.

(Special Features: A track for academic commentary and featurettes)

Three more to see

"Doom Patrol: The Complete First Season" (Warner Bros. DVD, $ 24.98; Blu-ray, $ 29.98; also available on VOD); "Maiden" (Sony DVD, $ 25.99; Blu-ray, $ 24.99; also available on VOD); "The Prey" (Arrow Blu-ray, $ 39.95)

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