New in Home Entertainment – March 21, 2017

New in Home Entertainment

March 21, 2017

Passengers
Rated PG-13 for sexuality, nudity and action/peril
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 31%
Set in the distant future where mankind hibernates in deep sleep in order to relocate to distant planets, Chris Pratt, and later Jennifer Lawrence, wake up 90 years before the end of their 120 year journey, to find that they are alone in their predicament and unable to go back into hibernation. As the ship starts to suffer from malfunction, they must figure out to how to repair the ship or risk losing the thousands of other lives still sleeping. The story here is fantastic and you can’t beat the pair of actors for both talent and chemistry. Unfortunately, the last act just doesn’t set in right, ultimately leaving the audience disappointed. If you are wondering why this wasn’t a mega-hit, it was simply due to bland word of mouth. It’s not a bad film, but its hardly one you can get passionate about, and with the pedigree found here, this needed to be a film that blows you away in order to succeed. Still, its worth checking out now that you can watch it at home. Side note: if you do watch it and you start to get a WALL-E vibe, that’s probably due to the fact that Thomas Newman composed the scores for both projects, and they are similar throughout. B-

Miss Sloane
Rated R for language and some sexuality
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 71%
In this box office dud, Jessica Chastain is a high power Washington lobbyist who tries to force through a bill that would enact common-sense gun regulations, only to find herself in the battle of her life as she fights the gun manufacturers. This is a case of a very good film that didn’t have the common sense of a smart release date. So while they were trying to sneak into the awards scene (Chastain was worthy of some love here), they ended up getting buried at both the box office and the trophy hunt. But the film is worth checking out, especially if you have feelings towards the argument. B+

Sing
Rated PG for some rude humor and mild peril
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 73%
In this very colorful but story-dull animated feature from Illumination Entertainment (Minions) comes this tale of koala who attempts to save his theater by holding a singing competition. And of course the different animals have all sorts of backgrounds and reasons for wanting to win the contest. While my young son liked the movie (not nearly as much as everything else he saw over the holiday), I found little use for it. The majority of the film was trying to show off how creative it was, but with little substance to prove its point. I tell my son not to call people or things stupid, but honestly, stupid applies really well here. D

Live By Night
Rated R for strong violence, language throughout, and some sexuality/nudity
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 35%
In the follow up to his Oscar win for best director for Argo, Ben Affleck takes on this prohibition-era gangster film, adapted from the novel by Dennis Lehane. While I’m sure there’s a decent movie hidden away in here, this project seems to have gotten away from him. Maybe it was rushed to take a shot at awards, or maybe it was a mess throughout the project, but it is overly long (run time is 128 minutes but feels like Godfather-length) and painful at times to sit through. And to make matters worse, Affleck is terrible for the leading role, and he should have had the sense to cast a much more fitting actor while he helmed. This was truly one of the worst films of 2016. D-

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