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‘Viceroy’s House,’ ‘Simpsons 18,’ ‘GOT’ on Blu-ray, DVD this week

POSTED December 21, 2017 7:09 a.m.
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Among movies and TV shows new to Blu-ray and/or DVD this week are “Viceroy’s House,” the 18th season of “The Simpsons” and the latest collection of “Game of Thrones” episodes.

“Viceroy’s House” (IFC, 2017, not rated/probable PG-13, deleted scenes, trailer). In 1947, India is about to go from being under the thumb of British rule to independence, with Lord Mountbatten in charge of what he hopes will be a peaceful transition. But, of course, it proves to be a rocky road. Set against the gorgeous trappings of the title English mansion and its New Delhi surroundings, this is another in the long line of engaging British dramas set against significant historical events. Hugh Bonneville (“Downton Abbey”) and Gillian Anderson (“The X-Files”) star as Mountbatten and his wife Edwina, with Manish Dayal, Michael Gambon and Simon Callow.

“The Simpsons: The Eighteenth Season” (Fox, 2006-07, four discs, 22 episodes, deleted scenes, bonus episode, audio commentaries, featurettes). And you thought discs were dead? After season 17 of this beloved animated series, it was announced that future seasons would be confined to digital releases after airing on TV. Now, 10 years later, season 18 comes to DVD for the first time, and if it does well, more will certainly follow. Included here are the “24” spoof with Kiefer Sutherland and Mary Lynn Rajskub, “The Day the Earth Looked Stupid” in the annual “Treehouse of Horror,” and “You Kent Always Get What You Want,” which marked 400 episodes for the show.

“Game of Thrones: The Complete Seventh Season” (HBO, 2017, three-disc Blu-ray/four-disc DVD, seven episodes, audio commentaries, animated history, featurettes). This penultimate season of the popular — but very raunchy and violent — series continues the rivalries, backstabbing, warring between nations and, of course, dragons.

“Doc Martin: Series 8” (Acorn, 2017, three discs, eight episodes, featurettes). The grumpy, misanthropic doctor (Martin Clunes) who practices in the seaside Cornwall town of Portwenn is back with his wife (Caroline Catz) and child this season, but it is, of course, never going to be easy. And by the end of the season, Martin’s blood phobia gets him in trouble again. This is a very funny British series filled to overflowing with eccentrics played by seasoned character players.

“George Gently: The Complete Collection” (Acorn, 2007-17, 13 discs, 25 mysteries, featurettes, text interviews/production notes, photo gallery; 20-page booklet). Set against the meticulously re-created 1960s, this British police procedural has veteran Inspector George Gently (Martin Shaw) paired with a brash and ambitious detective sergeant (Lee Ingleby) to solve murders in northern England. Amusing culture clashes involving mysteries and humorous banter between the stars give this one a boost.

“Mysteries of China” (Shout!, 2016, not rated/probable G, featurette, trailers). Eye-popping visuals are the draw for this 40-minute documentary that played in IMAX theaters last year, focusing on the history and discovery of the Terracotta Warriors and the Tomb of the First Emperor.

“All Saints” (Sony, 2017, PG, deleted scenes, featurettes). John Corbett (“My Big Fat Greek Wedding”) stars in this true story as a salesman who becomes a pastor and is sent to a tiny Southern church. When he is ordered to shut it down due to diminishing membership, he works with a group of Southeast Asian refugees to turn the fields behind the church into a working farm. This one’s a predictable but easy-to-take faith film. Barry Corbin and David Keith co-star.

“The Trip to Spain” (Shout!, 2017, not rated/probable PG-13). English actor/comics Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon play fictional versions of themselves as they travel together on a restaurant tour of Spain, chatting, dining and chatting some more, in between impersonations of Michael Caine and Sean Connery. Like “The Trip” (2010) and “The Trip to Italy” (2014), this was a British TV series edited into a film. It’s more of the same, of course, sometimes amusing and sometimes just grating.

“Home Again” (Universal, 2017, PG-13, audio commentary). The always-appealing Reese Witherspoon cranks up the charm to little avail for this unsatisfying romantic comedy. She’s a mother of two who takes some young filmmakers into her guesthouse, and then her self-absorbed husband (Michael Sheen) shows up. Co-stars include Candice Bergen and Lake Bell.

“Fuller House: The Complete Second Season” (Warner, 2017, two discs, 13 episodes). The belated Netflix sequel to the 1987-95 sitcom “Full House” focuses on DJ (Candace Cameron Bure) but includes guest appearances by original cast members John Stamos, Bob Saget and Dave Coulier.

“Zoo: Season Three” (CBS/Paramount, 2017, four discs, 13 episodes, deleted scenes, bloopers). This season, the year is 2027 and the human population is dwindling due to sterility, even as the lab-created creatures attempt to wipe out the rest of mankind.

“Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Final Chapters” (Nickelodeon/Paramount, 2017, two discs, 10 episodes). These animated episodes from the fifth season of the reboot have the Heroes in a Half-Shell battling Frankenstein’s Monster, samurai in an alternate dimension and an alien attack.

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