New in Home Entertainment – October 20, 2015

jurassic-world

New in Home Entertainment

October 20, 2015

Jurassic World
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of science-fiction violence and peril
Available on DVD, Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D
Likely to hod the 2015 box office record until Hunger Games and Star Wars come down the track, Jurassic World was the surprise box office smash of the summer and a very pleasant diversion from some other deeply disappointing tentpoles. Taking place years after the disasters of the first three films, the park Jurassic World is now open to the public and entertaining millions of visitors per year. Since people have become somewhat bored with it though, the scientists at the park create a new dinosaur named Indominus Rex who unleashes chaos and havoc throughout the island when it escapes from its compound. While much of the plot is ridiculous and counterintuitive, the film itself just plods along knowing the audience won’t care and will have a blast by the end. It helps having a lead like Chris Pratt who I will credit almost 100% of the film’s success to. He is a dynamic and likable hero who has the potential to be one of the biggest stars of his generation. But credit must also go to the phenomenal creative team who put together a two-hour roller coaster ride that you want to get back onto the second you get off. B+

Dope
Rated R for language, drug content, sexuality/nudity, and some violence – all involving teens
Available on DVD and Blu-ray
This Sundance favorite tells the story of young black nerd named Malcolm who dreams of going to Harvard but must face the reality of growing up in a tough neighborhood in Los Angeles. When a party goes wrong, Malcolm discovers a large amount of drugs in his backpack and he and his friends must decide what to do to not end up dead or worse, in jail. While the plot sounds like an extreme drama, it is actually an absolutely hysterical comedy unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. It tears apart stereotypes while at the same time giving them credibility. It is a movie that makes you laugh, cheer, cry and think, all in the span of less than two hours. It’s the kind of film that people for years to come will be talking about with great admiration. A

Z For Zachariah
Rated PG-13 for a scene of sexuality, partial nudity, and brief strong language
Available on DVD and Blu-ray
After what we can assume was a devastating nuclear war, a young girl who thinks she’s all alone in the world (Margot Robbie) discovers another survivor (Chiwetel Ejiofor) near her farmhouse. As the two begin their relationship as the last couple on the planet, a strapping young survivor (Chris Pine) enters the scene to disrupt their harmonious relationship. While interesting, the film ultimately feels like it is missing something. I’m not sure how they could have improved it but the whole project seems like its waiting for something to happen that never occurs. That being said, it is well acted and believable given the circumstance. It’s just not very enjoyable. C+

Testament of Youth
Rated PG-13 for thematic material including bloody and disturbing war related images
Available on DVD and Blu-ray
Based on the best-selling memoir by Vera Brittain, Testament tells the tale of brilliant young women (Alicia Vikander) who is determined to get into Oxford when World War I hits and changes her entire life. I’m actually surprised this film didn’t get more attention upon release. It’s a lovely period drama with good flow and some rather great acting by a young and talented cast. It has a strong message about seeking and finding meaning in life without thumping you over the head with the message. And between Ex Machina and this, Vikander will definitely be on my short list for a best actress nom this year. A-

Billy Elliot The Musical Live
Not Rated – but would be an R due graphic language
Available on DVD and Blu-ray
Winner of both the Tony and Laurence Oliver for Best New Musical, Billy Elliot is a great example of taking a very good movie and turning it into a beautiful stage production. With music by Elton John, the songs and drama are stirring and intelligent and the story becomes so much more than just a boy who wants to dance. My only problem is that while I’d love to watch it with my own young son, I can’t due to the extremely harsh language throughout. While I’m sure it’s organic in nature, it’s the one reality of the show I wish they could have made a little less real. A-

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