1917 (Universal, Blu-ray or standard DVD, R, 118 min.). In a sense, there is a gimmick to the World War I film “1917” in that it is made to appear to be all one continuous take. However, that was not done to amaze the viewer with its technology, but to make the story even more visceral. That story involves two young British soldiers who are sent across enemy lines to warn a regiment of 1,600 men not to pursue and attack the retreating German line because the German’s retreat, in fact, was a trap and, in all likelihood, all the British soldiers will be massacred.

Co-produced, directed and co-written by Sam Mendes (“American Beauty,” “Skyfall”), based on stories his grandfather used to tell him about serving as a messenger in the war,  the film stars George MacKay (the miniseries “11.22.63”) as Lance Corporal Schofield and Dean-Charles Chapman (“The King,” HBO’s “Game of Thrones”) as Lance Corporal Blake. Both are relaxing on April 6, 2017, when they are summoned and ordered to cross nine miles of recently abandoned German-held no-man’s land in northern France to deliver a message to Col. Mackenzie (Benedict Cumberbatch), who is leading the 2nd Devons, not to follow and attack the retreating Germans because he thinks he has them on the run. Making the task even more important to Blake is that his older brother is with the 2nd Devons, while Schofield was anticipating going home on leave the next week. The pair have only until the following morning to deliver their general’s written instructions.

One of the film’s most visceral moments is the pair running through trenches. As they get closer to the front, the bodies and wounded mount up. No man’s land itself resembles hell on Earth, with giant bomb craters and corpses and bits of corpses everywhere. Entering the abandoned German trenches poses different challenges, as does reaching a seemingly-empty French farm. Then there is the nightmarish evening in bombed-out Ecoust, filled with dark shadows as nearly all the lighting is provided by flares sent overhead by the Germans, who are ready to fire at any movement.

Standing out in very small roles are Mark Strong, Andrew Scott, Richard Madden (also “Game of Thrones”) and Colin Firth. The film, co-written by Krysty Wilson-Cairns, was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay. It won Oscars for cinematography (Roger Deakins’ outstanding work) and achievements in visual effects and sound mixing.

The extras are strong as well, including a 12-minute making-of featurette featuring Deakins on how the film was shot; a look at the cast and the relatively unknown leads (6:59); and an in-depth look at creating the sets, which included a mile of trenches. Additionally, there are two audio commentaries: one by Mendes and one by Deakins. In another extra, Mendes talks about his grandfather’s stories that led to the film (4:29), while another looks at Thomas Newman’s Oscar-nominated score (3:52). Grade: film 4 stars; extras 3.5 stars

Rating guide: 5 stars = classic; 4 stars = excellent; 3 stars = good; 2 stars = fair; dog = skip it

Richard Jewell (Warner Bros., Blu-ray or standard DVD, R, 130 min.). Despite its right-leaning politics – something producer-director Clint Eastwood has been enamored with for some time – “Richard Jewell” is an entertaining film, one that I found myself liking even though I hated the trailer for it. The film shows the worse sides of journalism and the FBI, while helping to clear the name of the title character, who, although he was never charged in the terrorist bombing at Centennial Park during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, long has been associated as the bomber due to the over-the-top news reporting of the FBI investigation, which considered Jewell a suspect.

Centering the film are Paul Walter Hauser (“I, Tonya,” TV’s “Kingdom”) as the title character and Sam Rockwell (TV miniseries “Fosse/Verdon,” Oscar winner for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”) as his attorney, Watson Bryant. Jon Hamm (TV’s “Mad Men”) plays FBI Agent Tom Shaw, who quickly is convinced of Jewell’s guilt, a fact he lets slip to Atlanta Journal Constitution reporter Kathy Scruggs (Olivia Wilde), a joke of a reporter who trades sex for tips.

Jewell, who long had wanted to be in law enforcement and previously was over zealous in some of his jobs, including as a college security guard, was working as a security guard at Centennial Park when he noticed an abandoned backpack beneath a bench near an audio-visual tower. Convincing nearby police of the danger, he and they had begun moving the crowd away from the tower, when the pipe bombs exploded, killing two and injuring more than 100. Because Jewell still lived with his mother (Kathy Bates as Bobi) and otherwise was pretty much a loner, he came to fit the profile of a false hero, one who sets up a danger than he can mitigate in order to emerge a hero.

Eastman and cinematographer Yves Belanger (“Brooklyn,” “Dallas Buyers Club”) do capture the chaos in the park after the bomb goes off well, as well as the media crush that soon infects Jewell’s life. However, reporter Scruggs is just a nasty caricature and Agent Shaw is little better – just not as nasty. Jewell is portrayed as an overly-polite, slightly simple gentleman, which makes his speech near the film’s end seem too complicated for his character.

The film, which uses some real TV news footage from the time and a portion of a Kenny Rogers concert at Centennial Park two nights before the bombing, was written by Billy Ray (“Captain Phillips,” “The Hunger Games”), based on a 1997 Vanity Fair article by Marie Brenner. The extras are minimal: a brief making-of featuring Eastwood (6:58); and a look at the real Jewell, who died in 2007, featuring his real mother and attorney Bryant’s real assistant Nadya Light (6:39). Grade: film 3 stars; extras 1.5 stars

Jumanji: The Next Level (Sony, Blu-ray or standard DVD, PG-13, 123 min.). The previous film in this third iteration of “Jumanji,” with mostly the same cast, was a delight. This time, though, it seems they have overstayed their welcome, particularly Kevin Hart, who is not very funny. There is good infusion by the two Dannys – Glover and DeVito – but they are only actually present in the film’s two “real-world”
bookends. The big gimmick this time is having the avatars in the game portray different people than in the previous film, and then jumbling them up again.

Even though the four teenagers who traveled into the game in the previous film smashed the Jumanji game at the end, the pieces still remain in the basement of Spencer Gilpin’s (Alex Wolff) home and, feeling lonely, what with a reunion with his three pals, all home from college for Christmas, and his relationship with Martha (Morgan Turner) not having survived long-distance status, Spencer decides to go into the game again so he can feel mighty via Dr. Bravestone (Dwayne Johnson). It is three years later and Spencer’s grandfather Eddie *DeVito) is staying at the house and recovering from hip surgery.

Not knowing Spencer has disappeared into the game, Eddie gets an unexpected visitor in Milo Walker (Glover), whom he had not seen in 15 years, the time when Milo retired from their restaurant business, forcing an unwilling Eddie to retire at the same time. That remains a sticking point with Eddie, who is unwelcoming to Milo.

When Spencer’s friends hear the Jumanji drums, they realize what he has done and they enter the game after him, only Bethany (Madison Iseman) is left behind. While Martha is still Ruby Roundhouse (Karen Gillan in real shorty shorts) in the game, this time Mouse Finbar (Hart), the weapons knapsack holder, is the avatar of Milo instead of “Fridge” Anthony (Ser’Darius Blain as the fourth friend). Map expert Dr. Sheldon Oberon (Jack Black) is now the avatar of Fridge instead of Bethany, and Eddie, who also has been swept into the game unexpectedly along with Milo, is now Dr. Bravestone (Johnson).

After meeting Nigel (Rhys Darby), who is flying an airplane this time, they are given the task of saving Jumanji by recovering the Falcon Jewell, which has been stolen by Jurgen the Brutal (Rory McCann of “Game of Thrones”). Jurgen’s lair is a castle high up in the snowy mountains. This gives the Jumanji game play new scenarios to explore and Bill Brzeski’s production design is quite good. There also is a desert environment that involves rampaging ostriches and, in the film’s highlight, attacking Mandrill monkeys on swinging wooden bridges that the players have to maneuver like a maze with lots of jumping.

The players’ identity is fluid as well, as Fridge and Martha exchange avatars briefly at one point and later all the avatars get jumbled. Nick Jonas returns as Seaplane, the avatar the four rescued in the last film and whose human form is Alex (Colin Hanks). A delightful new addition to the cast is Awkwafina as the avatar Ming. Eventually, both Spencer and Bethany show up as new characters in the game.

While the actors obviously are having fun and some of the action sequences are exciting, the story is rather flat. Exclusive to Blu-ray are a gag reel (5:21); Darby wanting to do a jingle video (2:22; pretty bad); and pre-viz of the ostrich chase and the Zeppelin battle (9:16). Both Blu-ray and DVD have for extras looks at the characters (5:30) and reuniting the cast (4:05); a making-of that covers the working with camels (13:33); how the ostrich and Mandrill scenes were created (12:20; the best extra; Weta did the Mandrills); a Spanish telenovela-style promo (1:07); an amusing look at Awkwafina as a cat burglar (1:43); a confessional Jurgen who is tired of winning (3:06); and a look at the two Dannys (1:06). Grade: film and extras 2.5 stars

Twin (Norway, MHz Choice, 3 DVDs, NR, 365 min.). In this eight-part Norwegian miniseries, Kristofer Hivju (“Game of Thrones”) stars as identical twins Erik and Adam. Close when younger, they separated after Erik started a surfing business. Now, 15 years later, Erik is still living out of a camper near the beach, surfing and giving lessons and not taking life too seriously. On the other hand, Adam is married to Ingrid (Rebekka Nystabakk), has a 15-year-ol daughter (Mathilde Holtedahl Cuhra as Karin) and a young adopted son, and a successful lodging and fishing business that attracts tourists and helped revitalize his town.

Because Erik owes more than two years rent on his RV, the owner repossesses it. However, Erik steals it back, only to have the owner catch up in his truck, hit the RV and force it into the ocean. Everyone thinks Erik is dead, including his occasional girlfriend and best friend Frank (Gunnar Eiriksson), a policeman with a young daughter and who lost his wife in a vehicular accident. However, Erik, with no money and no place to stay, actually has gone to Adam, looking for a place to stay. One thing leads to another and they are fighting on a boat, when Ingrid shows up and accidentally kills Adam while trying to stop the fight. Adam’s body ends up in the ocean and the police think it is Erik’s.

Ingrid comes up with the idea that Erik should pretend to be Adam while the police investigate the RV accident. She plans that Adam then would run off to Oslo or somewhere, abandoning her and the children. (There obviously had been some strain in the relationship between Adam and Ingrid.) Erik would rather “come clean,” but he kind of gets swept into the plan by the chaos of the following morning.

In the third episode, Erik, as Adam, gets to hear both his girlfriend and Frank talk about what he meant to them. He also gives up the last vestiges of his old life. Meanwhile, he has to learn how to be someone he is not. There are little moments, like when Erik, as Adam, cannot figure out how to start Adam’s father-in-law’s (John Sigurd Kristensen as Alfred) car so he and Alfred can retrieve the boat the fight had taken place on, and slightly bigger ones, like when Erik fixes the hole in the side of the boat, something that Adam never would do nor even know how to do. Meanwhile, Karin has taken off to be around a young surfer that Erik used to teach.

The show is very interesting and the mountain and water scenery is gorgeous. Hivju does a great acting job and Nystabakk is very good as well. Eiriksson as the policeman friend is a find. Extras include brief looks at each episode, running around six to eight minutes. The interviews in the extras are in English, while the show is in Norwegian. Grade: 3.5 stars

The Passion of Darkly Noon (1995, Arrow Blu-ray, NR, 100 min.). Two years before playing George in “George of the Jungle,” Brendan Fraser starred as Darkly Noon in this pot-boiling-over gothic psychological thriller that does not know the meaning of excess by its end. It is the second of the three feature films made by writer-director Philip Ridley, who delights the eye with his playing of light and using a yellow-based palette.

The film opens with Noon stumbling down a hill in a forest. He is rescued by a passing truck driver (Loren Dean as Jude), who takes him to the remote home of a friend, Callie (Ashley Judd), whose mute boyfriend Clay (Viggo Mortensen) has wandered off again for several days. When around, Clay makes coffins for underrtaker Quincy (Lou Myers).

Despite Darkly suddenly popping into her life, Callie offers to let him stay in the loft bedroom in the barn. Darkly, whom Callie calls Lee, says he grew up in a religious community that was destroyed by intolerant villagers, with most of the commune members, including his parents, killed. His upbringing was strict and very religious; even his name was selected by pointing at a page in the Bible. Despite that upbringing, Lee is sorely tempted by Callie’s beauty and rather skimpy attire, even though she says they can just be friends as she loves Clay.

As the obviously unhinged Lee gets worse, he falls in with Roxy (Grace Zabriskie), Callie’s sworn enemy who lives in a camper deeper in the woods and takes occasional rifle shots at Callie and the house.

The film has extraordinary moments, such as the reflecting lights in the cave with the prehistoric drawings and the Viking funeral for a dog placed in a giant, bedazzled floating sneaker. There is an over-the-top final confrontation, and then the film ends with an elephant!

As usual with Arrow, the extras are strong, including audio commentary by Ridley (also “The Reflecting Skin” in 1990, which also starred Mortensen); an isolated score track of Nick Bicat’s music; and a video essay by James Flower on Ridley’s first two films, pointing out “Darkly Noon” was filmed in the Black Forest of Germany (22:14). Also new are interviews with cinematographer John de Borman (22:14), editor Les Healey (16:08) and composer-original songs writer Bicat (19:43). From 2015, there is an archival piece with interviews with Ridley, Mortensen and Bicat (16:14). Additionally, there is an image gallery and pre-shoot music demos. Grade: film 3 stars; extras 4 stars

Temblores (Tremors) (Guatemala/France, Film Movement DVD, NR, 107 min.). Another film that takes on fundamentalism as religion, but more directly, is this film, written and directed by Jayro Bustamante. It stars Juan Pablo Olyslager as Pablo, who is a beloved son, devoted father and caring husband who is revered inside Guatemala City’s Evangelical Christian society. Thus, his wealthy family is shocked when he announces he intends to leave his wife for another man.

We see Pablo try to acclimate to his new life in the city’s gay subculture with his boyfriend, the liberated Francisco (Mauricio Armas Zebadua). However, his ultra-religious family does everything to get their prodigal son back, including ultimately conversion therapy (which weirdly has all the men showering together). Before then, word of his action gets Pablo fired from his job and he is barred from seeing his son and daughter at a swimming competition.

The film has won numerous awards on the festival circuit, including the Best Latin American Film at the San Sebastian International Film Festival, the Emerging Filmmaker Award for Bustamante at the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival and the Grand Jury Awards for Olyslager for Outstanding Performance in an International Narrative at L.A. Outfest. Extras include a behind-the-scenes look (28:51) and the bonus short film, “Black Hat” (14:50), directed by Sarah Smith, about a Hasidic man who lives a secret double life, with both lives coming together when he misplaces his hat. Grade: film 3 stars; extras 2 stars