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New on DVD Aug. 22

“Little Boy”: 2 stars. The film is guilty of trying too hard. Had it just focused on a youngster’s heartbreaking efforts to get his father home from World War II, it would have been a touching tale.

TV on DVD: ‘The Royals,’ ‘NCIS: New Orleans’

THE ROYALS: Sex, drugs and scandal vex (fictional) modern U.K. monarchy in E!’s delish new soap hit. Elizabeth Hurley steals scenes as the scheming queen-on-wheels, with Vincent Regan the king who’s had enough, William Moseley and Alexandra Park their tabloid-bait heirs. Plus: Joan Collins! (Season 2 starts in November.)

O’Shea Jackson Jr. inhabits the role of his famous father, Ice Cube, in ‘Straight Outta Compton’

A funny thing happens when you watch “Straight Outta Compton,” the biopic charting the rise and fall of trailblazing rap group N.W.A. The story focuses on three of the group’s members — Dr. Dre, Eazy-E and Ice Cube — and one of the first things you notice is how similar the actor playing Cube looks to his real-life counterpart.

‘LEGO Brickumentary’ documents the building of an empire, brick by brick

If there’s one idea that “A LEGO Brickumentary” wants to express, it’s that those little plastic bricks aren’t just child’s play. The documentary about everyone’s favorite construction block toy seeks to educate audiences about the limitless possibilities contained within the very simple design. Just add imagination and see what happens. Directed by documentary vets Keif Davidson and Daniel Junge, with narration by Jason Bateman, “A LEGO Brickumentary” opens up the world of LEGO, along with the people and mini-figurines that populate it.

Movie review — ‘Mission: Impossible’ is a thrill ride, thanks to Cruise

One of the many talents of Tom Cruise is the ability to elevate a ho-hum movie format into a goodie box of creative surprises. To me, that’s a skill that even tops doing his own stunts. Cruise has sometimes been a cocky 7 out of 10 as a performer, but as a movie-developing producer he’s dependably a 9.5. His “Mission: Impossible” series has transformed traditional action espionage into high-concept team stories with a crew of clever protagonists, snappy dialogue and gravity-defying stunts.
 

Mark Wahlberg: From teddy bears to Autobots

LOS ANGELES — Before Mark Wahlberg ever attempted to test his mettle vis-a-vis giant metamorphosizing robots from outer space — before he befriended a heroic battle-bot named Optimus Prime on screen — the actor prepared for his latest part with an unlikely foil: a talking teddy bear with an outsize taste for prostitutes and cocaine.

“Maiden” is the reason Sandra Oh left “Grey’s Anatomy”

CHICAGO — With its sadly timeless themes of political tyranny, the fragility of democracy and the intersection of political and personal abuse, Ariel Dorfman’s drama “Death and the Maiden” certainly feels ripe for revival. The widely acclaimed work by the Argentine-Chilean scribe was a global hit in the early 1990s, premiering at the Royal Court Theatre in London in 1991, and then showing up on Broadway with Glenn Close and Richard Dreyfus. Roman Polanski made a movie version in 1994 with Sigourney Weaver and Ben Kingsley.