New on DVD/streaming/downloads: Greyhound, The Plot Against America, Little Voice and Doom Patrol
:: Greyhound (Cert 12, 91 mins, streaming from July 10 exclusively on Apple TV+, Action/Thriller/War)
Starring: Tom Hanks, Stephen Graham, Rob Morgan, Elisabeth Shue, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Karl Glusman.
IN FEBRUARY 1942, Commander Ernest Krause (Tom Hanks) takes charge of the Greyhound, one of four light warships escorting an international convoy of 37 vessels laden with supplies for the allied war effort.
Around 50 hours from rendezvous with British air support, the sonar picks up a hunting pack of six German U-boats led by a submarine that gleefully identifies itself as Grey Wolf.
"We hunt you," snarls the captain of the enemy submarine, broadcasting directly to the Greyhound. "Your flock is not safe from this wolf!"
Over the course of three days and two hellish nights, Krause attempts to outmanoeuvre the enemy with guidance from his crew including sonar expert Eppstein (Karl Glusman), Charlie (Stephen Graham) and Lopez (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo).
Adapted by Hanks from CS Forester's novel The Good Shepherd, Greyhound draws inspiration from actual events to engineer a thrillingly economical and tense clash above and below the waves.
From the moment Hanks steps onto the bridge, director Aaron Schneider achieves a satisfyingly brisk rate of knots with spectacular action set-pieces.
The camera remains focused for extended periods on the stoic face of Hanks's captain as he stares intently out to sea, scanning the furiously churning water for a periscope or the white arc of an approaching torpedo.
Digital effects realise the skirmishes to exhilarating effect, including hair-raising near misses between warships and the rest of the convoy as a destroyer turns abruptly to meet a stealthy U-boat attack.
Blake Neely's score underpins each on-screen manoeuvre with a percussive thrum of patriotic drums, quickening pulses as guns unload their fearsome firepower or depth charges send plumes of water into the air.
:: Finding The Way Back (Cert 15, 108 mins, Warner Bros Home Entertainment, Drama, available from July 10 via Premium Video On Demand rental for 48 hours on Amazon Prime Video/BT TV Store/Chili TV/Google Play/iTunes/Microsoft Store/PlayStation Store/Rakuten TV/Sky Store/TalkTalk TV Store/Virgin Media)
Starring: Ben Affleck, Al Madrigal, Janina Gavankar, Brandon Wilson, John Aylward.
HIGH-rise construction worker Jack Cunningham (Ben Affleck) secretly fills his portable coffee mug with vodka to get him through the day and blot out memories of his failed marriage to his wife (Janina Gavankar) and the loss of their eight-year-old son to cancer.
Out of the blue, Father Devine (John Aylward) from Jack's Catholic high school, Bishop Hayes, offers him a position as coach of the student basketball team.
Jack was star player at the school more than 25 years ago and could share his expertise with the boys.
Reluctantly, Jack accepts the position, flanked by mathematics teacher and assistant coach Dan (Al Madrigal).
With Jack's foul-mouthed encouragement, the team gradually improve under the leadership of new captain Brandon Durrett (Brandon Wilson).
However, the coach's reliance on booze to get him through the day threatens to undermine all of the good work.
Directed at a steady pace by Gavin O'Connor, who worked with Affleck on the 2016 action thriller The Accountant, Finding The Way Back is a heartfelt and familiar tale of redemption that falls agonisingly short of slam dunking our emotions.
Affleck delivers a powerful lead performance, peeling back the layers of his grieving father until his pain and self-loathing gush out.
Scriptwriter Brad Ingelsby hits the hoops of a classic sporting underdog story, building inevitably to a pivotal showdown with cocksure rivals that will determine if Bishop Hayes make the championship play-offs for the first time in decades.
The Plot Against America (6 episodes, starts streaming from July 14 exclusively on NOW TV, Drama/War/Romance)
ADAPTED from Philip Roth's celebrated novel, The Plot Against America is a lavish six-part drama, which screens on Sky Atlantic and streams exclusively on NOW TV.
In 1940, aviator hero Charles Lindbergh (Ben Cole) makes waves with his xenophobic speeches criticising the Second World War and the influence of the Jewish people over America's involvement in the conflict.
He is endorsed by Rabbi Lionel Bengelsdorf (John Turturro) and secures the Republican party nomination for the presidential race against incumbent Franklin D Roosevelt
As America turns towards fascism, the working-class Levin family, led by Herman (Morgan Spector) and his wife Elizabeth (Zoe Kazan), fear the worst.
The Levins and their friends, including Elizabeth's sister Evelyn (Winona Ryder), increasingly feel like outcasts in their own homes.
:: Little Voice (8 episodes, starts streaming from July 10 exclusively on Apple TV+, Romance/Comedy/Drama)
GRAMMY and Tony Award nominee Sara Bareilles, who wrote the music and lyrics for hit West End musical Waitress, provides the original songs for this heartfelt valentine to the New York music scene created by Jessie Nelson.
Streaming in weekly episodes, Little Voice centres on talented performer Bess King (O'Grady), who is determined to realise her dreams in the Big Apple where success depends as much on luck and personal connections as raw talent.
As she navigates complicated family issues and personal loss, Bess musters the courage to share her authentic voice with the world.
:: Doom Patrol – Season 2 (9 episodes, streaming from July 16 exclusively on StarzPlay, Action/Adventure/Fantasy)
OUTCAST superheroes continue to fight for a world that doesn't want them in nine episodes of the action-packed fantasy created by Jeremy Craver, based on characters created for DC Comics.
In the first series, mad scientist Niles Caulder aka The Chief (Timothy Dalton) led his team comprising Robotman aka Cliff Steele (Brendan Fraser), Negative Man aka Larry Trainor (Matt Bomer), Elasti-Woman aka Rita Farr (April Bowlby), Crazy Jane (Diane Guerrero) and Cyborg aka Victor Stone (Joivan Wade) against the diabolical Mr Nobody (Alan Tudyk).
In the second series, members of Doom Patrol wrestle with The Chief's shocking betrayal as they protect his daughter, Dorothy (Abigail Shapiro), whose powers pose a threat to mankind's survival.
Miniaturised members of the team must also find a way to escape their new home on Cliff's toy race car track.