New in Home Entertainment – March 8, 2016

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New in Home Entertainment

March 8, 2016

In the Heart of the Sea
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and peril, brief startling violence, and thematic material
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 42%
Available on DVD and Blu-ray
Based on the best-selling novel In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick, Ron Howard’s latest opus tells the true story that inspired Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. The film was lambasted by critics and ignored in theaters but it is an interesting adventure with some really great special effects. Perhaps its a tad bit too ominous for a truly enjoyable experience, but there is no doubt it is a well-crafted picture. Honestly, I would have rather seen Howard tackle Moby Dick rather than this project which seems to be a lesser story. B-

Macbeth
Rated R for strong violence and brief sexuality
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 79%
Available on DVD and Blu-ray
Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard star as the Macbeths in this new uber dark version of Shakespeare’s play about ambition, power and corruption. Artistically it’s a fantastic production led by director Justin Kurzel. But its a tough watch unless you are a big fan of the bard. Personally, I love Shakespeare’s stories, but not his plays. There is so much underlying context that when combined with old English, I feel you almost have to be a Shakespeare historian to fully appreciate the works. This particular project especially proves that. C+

Coming Home
Rated PG-13 for some thematic material
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%
Available on DVD and Blu-ray
In Mandarin with English subtitles
Chinese director Zhang Yimou is best known for his stunning epic films like House of Flying Daggers and Hero, as well as his grand opening ceremony in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. But here he tells the quiet story of a family separated by decades when the husband is imprisoned during the Cultural Revolution. Upon his final release from labor camp, he comes home to a daughter who doesn’t know him and a wife who has a medical inability to recognize him as she patiently waits for his return. It’s a challenging story, and one I’m surprised was allowed by the Chinese government, but overall one I’m glad I watched as I now feel more connected to a culture that I’m completely unfamiliar with. After all, that’s the power of a great foreign film. B+

Hogan’s Heroes: The Complete Series
Available on DVD
It seems so random now that we have whatever we want to watch at our fingertips, but growing up we were reliant on a few select channels, and one of those channels showed a lot of Hogan’s Heroes in syndication, so I have a deep nostalgia for this classic comedy. Following the adventures of a group of POW’s in a German prison camp who turn their camp into their secret headquarters for carrying out crazy missions, the show makes light of a very serious part of history and in the process churns out a lot of really great comedy. This new set contains all 168 episodes on 27 DVDs which is one heck of a binge. B

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