New in Home Entertainment – September 15, 2015

Love and Mercy

New in Home Entertainment

September 15, 2015

Love & Mercy
Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, drug content and language
Available on DVD and Blu-ray
This extraordinary biopic tells the story of The Beach Boys’ brilliant singer-songwriter Brian Wilson and his struggle with the depression and adversity that came with his genius. With great performances by Paul Dano as the young Wilson and John Cusack as the aged version, the film flawlessly moves back and forth between decades without losing its audience and it really makes you feel like you are there watching the creation of the legendary music come out of his brain. Whether or not you like The Beach Boys, this is an incredible and enjoyable story that is memorably told. A

Rated PG for mild thematic elements
Available on DVD and Blu-ray
Disney’s latest live-action remake of its animated classics brings the story of Cinderella to life in a magnificent way. Lilly James is quite good in the starring role but it’s Cate Blanchett as the evil Stepmother and Helena Bonham Carter as the Fairy Godmother who steal the show. Behind the reigns is Thor Director Kenneth Branagh who is better known for his Shakespearean productions than family fare. But he did a surprisingly good job here creating a movie that can be enjoyed by all ages and not at all targeted for just the young ones. B+

The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst
Rated TV-MA
Available on DVD and Blu-ray
This six-part HBO documentary looks at the life of New York real estate scion Robert Durst who was thought to have killed several people, including his wife, but who had possibly escaped justice due to an incredibly expensive legal team. As the documentary is being made, many items surface and the filmmakers find themselves acting as detectives, uncovering incriminating evidence that they get to ask Durst about in the interview sessions. This is as chilling and engrossing as a movie or television show gets. Most documentaries explore things that have happened in a piece of time that has already occurred. To watch this one unfold and then to be able to follow it afterward makes it a project not to be missed. A

Disneynature’s Monkey Kingdom
Rated G
Available on DVD and Blu-ray
Walt Disney loved nature documentaries and for years the studio produced amazing nature stories, some of which went on to win Oscars. So I am very glad that they have shown a newfound commitment to bring this tradition back. This eighth film from Disneynature follows the lives of a small group of clever and resourceful monkeys living in the ancient ruins of South Asia. Narrated by Tina Fey, they manage to create an entertaining narrative out of their lives. Although not as compelling as Chimpanzee or Bears, Monkey Kingdom is still a great little nature doc with some terrific surprises. B

Furious 7
Rated PG-13 for prolonged frenetic sequences of violence, action and mayhem, suggestive content and brief strong language
Available on Blu-ray and DVD
In this seventh installment of the street racing franchise, the entire gang is back and under threat from Jason Statham who is determined to get revenge for the death of his brother who apparently died in a previous installment (I’ve seen them all but I honestly can’t remember a single plot line). The film has a tremendous amount of stunts that I have to admit make for impressive set pieces. Unfortunately the whole movie feels like a team dreamed up these feats and then put dialog in at the last minute. Almost every word of the screenplay is horrible. That being said, the tribute to Paul Walker, who died while they were making the movie, is touching and professionally done, even if the rest of the film feels like a battering ram to the brain. C