“Black Lightning”; 3 stars: Cress Williams stars as Jefferson Pierce, a high school principal who gave up his crime-fighting ways nine years ago. He’s traded his electrical-charged abilities for saving young people through education. That changes when his family is threatened by the gang violence that has taken over the city since Black Lightning went into retirement.
“Black Lightning,” which debuted on the CW Network, was the first black character to headline a DC Comics title. Along with being a major move in TV diversity, the production works both as an action series and as a family drama. That’s because it isn’t just about Black Lightning fighting a villain with equally impressive superpowers.
The show is grounded in a reality where the bad guys sell drugs, commit murder without hesitation and have paralyzed most of the community with terror tactics. And, there’s not a lot of help from law enforcement, as Pierce learns when he's randomly pulled over trying to find a man who robbed a liquor store. The only similarity is the suspect is described as black.
Williams, who comes to the series with a long resume of TV roles, including “Code Black,” “Hart of Dixie,” “Friday Night Lights,” “ER,” “Veronica Mars” and “Nash Bridges,” is the real key to why the offering works. He’s believable as a dad and educator, plus is equally impressive as the costumed hero.
“Sleepless in Seattle”; 4 stars: The Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan romantic comedy is being rereleased to mark the film's 25th anniversary. It is a chance to see again how Nora Ephron guided the pair to a memorable love story as two people are drawn together by destiny.
Hanks plays a widowed father who, thanks to the efforts of his worried son, becomes a guest on a radio call-in show where he's an instant hit with thousands of female listeners. This is a time before social media, so his Seattle home is flooded with letters. Writer Annie Reed (Ryan) becomes convinced it's her destiny to meet Sam, but there are obstacles to overcome.
The film is one of the best romantic comedies ever made and should be part of everyone's DVD collection. The anniversary offering includes four deleted scenes and additional features spotlighting the cast and filmmakers.
Also new on DVD June 26:
• “In Darkness”: Blind woman goes on a journey to catch a murderer. Natalie Dormer stars.
• “The Heart Guy, Series 2”: A hotshot surgeon (Rodger Corser) continues to serve out his probation in his rural hometown.
• “Mission: Impossible 1-5”: Tom Cruise portrays IMF Agent Ethan Hunt in the five films in the franchise included in one DVD set.
• “Gemini”: The assistant to a Hollywood star must find the person who murdered her boss.
• “Tyler Perry’s Acrimony”: Taraji P. Henson stars in the thriller about a woman who takes revenge on her unfaithful husband.
• “The Endless”: Two brothers revisit the death cult they escaped 10 years earlier.
• “Girlfriends”: Three friends struggle with the responsibilities that come with being a modern woman of a certain age.
• “The Curse of the Cat People”: The 1942 feature film starring Oliver Reed is being released on Blu-ray for the first time.
• “Terminal”: Two hitmen must make their way through multiple mysteries to finish their job. Margot Robbie and Simon Pegg star.
• “Turtle Tale”: Box turtles Rafi and Hank go on adventures in this animated production.
• “Spinning Man”: Professor ends up in trouble after one of the female students he’s having an affair with goes missing.
• “The Mick: The Complete Second Season”: Foul-mouthed woman must raise the spoiled kids of her wealthy sister. Kaitlin Olson stars.
New on Digital HD June 26:
• “Isle of Dogs”: The mayor decrees all the canine pets of Megasaki City are to be exiled to a vast garbage dump. Will be available on DVD and Blu-ray July 17.
• “A Quiet Place”: Family must live their lives in silence to avoid mysterious creatures. Available on DVD and Blu-ray July 10.
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