New in Home Entertainment – August 9, 2016

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New in Home Entertainment

August 9, 2016

A Hologram for the King
Rated PG-13 for some sexuality/nudity, language and brief drug use
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 70%
Available on DVD and Blu-ray
Tom Hanks stars in this sleeper dramedy about a tech salesman who flies to Saudi Arabia in order to try to convince the king to purchase his company’s hologram technology. Since it is unknown when he will be able to meet with the king, since the king is rarely penned down, he must help his team prepare for the presentation while recuperating from an emergency surgery he was forced to have while there. The film itself almost exists in a dream state where you get the sense that Hanks is in true limbo, waiting for something to force him back onto the right track in his life. It’s well enough acted and crafted, and the story is unique, but it is as dry as the dessert where most of the film takes place. The film attempts to do away with most Americans’ stereotypes of the Muslim world by presenting a people more similar to us than different. But its bland originality won’t make it overly watchable to many audiences. B-

The Lobster
Rated R for sexual content including dialogue, and some violence
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%
Available on DVD and Blu-ray
Colin Farrell stars in this indie about a man who, after his wife leaves him, must move into a hotel where he has 45 days to find true love or else he will be turned into an animal of his choice, in his case – a lobster. At first it just seems eclectic, like a Charlie Kaufman film. But eventually, it starts to get annoying as you tire of deciphering the symbolism. I love the bizarre strangeness of the whole thing, and there is some laugh out loud comedy throughout, but it lies as proof that sometimes there is such a thing as too weird. I have to admit that I will be watching this one a time or two more, at least, because I feel there is something here that I might have missed on the surface. This lobster needs some digging. B

April and the Extraordinary World
Rated PG for action/peril including gunplay, some thematic elements and rude humor
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%
Available on DVD and Blu-ray
This French animated film from the makers of the beautiful Oscar-nominated Persepolis explores the steampunk world of the artist Jacques Tardi. In it, events have taken place in the world that have prevented modern technology and instead the planet runs on steam. Born the daughter of two prominent scientists, April must hide alone with only her talking cat to keep her company, when her parents die trying to escape an evil regime determined to kidnap all known intellects. It’s a fascinating and creative world with a story reminiscent of a great Miyazaki film. Its target audience seems more teen-friendly than a youngster-skewing animated film, so don’t expect your kiddos to be as taken by it as you’ll be. A-

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