New in Home Entertainment – December 20, 2016

New in Home Entertainment

December 20, 2016

Rated PG-13 for some peril and brief strong language
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 85%
In director Clint Eastwood’s latest biopic, Tom Hanks stars as American hero Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, the commercial pilot who successfully landed his plane on the Hudson River when things went suddenly wrong during take off. As much a character study as a direct reenactment of the events that took place, the film is terrifically executed and completely engaging. Hanks is at his best with his spot-on impersonation as he convincingly becomes Sully. While the ending trial sequence feels not only rushed but also slightly contrived, it doesn’t get in the way of telling this remarkable story. B+

Rated PG for mild action and some thematic elements
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 63%
In this somewhat forgettable Warner Brothers animated flick, storks have gone from delivering babies to delivering packages (think Amazon biological drones). When a baby girl is inadvertently created for delivery, a stork and a human go on a mission to secretly deliver her before the head of the company finds out. Of course the film is cute. You’d expect that with babies everywhere. Unfortunately, the plot is non-sensical and much of the project is a complete mess. Almost saving the day though are two wolves, voiced by Key and Peele, who upon discovering the baby, use their wolf pack to hilariously take her from her delivery team. In essence, these two come close to rescuing the film in the process. B-

If There’s a Hell Below
Not Rated but contains adult language and violence
This ultra-low-budget indie that hit the film festival circuit in 2016 is getting its day on DVD this week. While the misleading title suggests a horror film, the pic is actually a decent little thriller about a whistle blower who is paranoid about talking to a journalist, only to find out she has a right to be so. It’s not about the information in her head, as you don’t really ever get a glimpse of that side of the story. Instead it is an exercise in tension that is worth checking out when you need an excuse to bite your nails. B-

Bridget Jones’s Baby
Rated R for language, sex references and some nudity
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 77%
It’s been a long while since Bridget (or Renee Zellweger) has graced the screen. But now she’s back and after getting pregnant by sleeping with 2 different men (Patrick Dempsey and Colin Firth) in a relatively short period of time. She has to somehow keep both on the hook in the hope of snagging the actual father after a paternity test can be performed once the baby is born. The movie has its moments with a few funny bits that bring hope to the project, but overall it’s a dull and mindless shadow of the first film, although maybe slightly better than the second. What was once a clever take on Pride and Prejudice has been reduced to an unsuccessful franchise tryst. C-

New in Entertainment – December 13, 2016


New in Home Entertainment

December 13, 2016

Suicide Squad
Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and action throughout, disturbing behavior, suggestive content and language
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 26%
After the dismal reviews of Batman V Superman, DC was looking for a hit with its story about the U.S. government hiring a group of super villains to take on a new threat facing the country. They even promised us the best Joker of all time in Jared Leto. But not even the good performances by Will Smith and Margot Robbie could save this mess of a script by the typically dependable David Ayer who both wrote and directed. The main villain was laughable as an all-powerful goddess and that great Joker they promised us? All style and no substance. Perhaps if slightly recast in some roles and an R rating stamped on the label, this could have been the fun ride we all thought we were promised, but as is, even with this new extended unrated cut, the film is yet another disappointing DC output. C-

Southside with You
Rated PG-13 for brief strong language, smoking, a violent image and a drug reference
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%
In the style of Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise films, Southside is a surprisingly refreshing story about what it could have been like if you took a camera on the first date between Barrack and Michelle Obama. While many won’t even consider this as a potential rental, if you can put politics aside I can’t imagine you won’t enjoy it. There’s no talk of healthcare or foreign policy, but rather just two intelligent people trying to figure out their place in the world and who they’d like to spend their lives with. It’s a sweet but smart talkie and a perfect date movie. A-

Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and disturbing images
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 25%
For those of you who have heard of the original 1959 film by the same title, which went on to win 11 Academy Awards including best picture, but didn’t want to invest the four hours of your life necessary to experience it, here’s a new two-hour version that offers plenty of chariot racing and a sort-of revenge tale. Giving the film some credibility is Morgan Freeman, completely out of place and not hiding it. Ultimately the film fails because it lacks energy and life. Where the previous edition had wow-factor galore and a chariot race decades ahead of its time in regards to special effects, this film staggers and suffers under its own attempt to outdo a masterpiece. C-

Phantasm: Remastered
Rated R for nudity, violence, and intense scenes
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 70%
I was seven when this classic horror film first hit theaters, and when I finally got to see it a few years later I remember that little ball scaring the daylights out of me. Now, more than 30 years later, J.J. Abrams has done a fantastic HD restoration of the original print, hoping to scare people again with one of his favorite movies. Much of what I found scary then is simply funny now, but the nostalgia alone is worth taking this out for another ride. B-

New in Home Entertainment – December 6, 2016


New in Home Entertainment

December 6, 2016

Jason Bourne
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and brief strong language
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 56%
Director Paul Greengrass and actor Matt Damon are back together again, after defecting from the last Bourne movie, and this time things are exactly the same as always. Jason, still on the run, remembers a little bit more about who he is and goes after the man responsible, this time around that would be Tommy Lee Jones. While completely repetitive in regards to the franchise, the film still serves up quality action with superb pacing, but with nauseating camera work. If you are in for more mindless entertainment – you’re good here. If you’re looking for an intelligent action thriller, you are completely out of luck. C+

The Secret Life of Pets
Rated PG for action and some rude humor
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 75%
Universal’s original new animated feature pits a pair of dogs who upon getting lost, must find their way back to their owners apartment. Mostly funny, largely in part to the tremendous voice talents of Louis C.K and Kevin Hart, the film provides some really laughter-inducing entertainment that can be appreciated by adults while loved by children. It’s a bit predictable as you’d probably expect, but with some nice surprises thrown in throughout. It’s not even close to being the best animated film this year, but its flaws are forgivable. B

Don’t Think Twice
Rated R for language and some drug use
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 99%
Writer, director and star Mike Birbiglia here leads a New York City comedy troupe whose camaraderie is put to the test when when one of the members (Keegan-Michael Key) earns a spot on an SNL-like weekly television show. While not as funny as you think it will be, the movie has an authenticity that you won’t get from a film trying constantly to be hilarious. It shows the struggle to keep comedy as an art form while at the same time dealing with its daily disappointments when fame and money don’t follow along. While the end of the film does seem a bit over-scripted as it tries to reign in the story, it still remains lovable at heart. B+

The Hollars
Rated PG-13 for brief language and some thematic material
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 43%
John Krasinski directs and stars in this comedy about a young man who must come home to deal with his family upon learning about his mother’s brain tumor. The talented cast, including Margo Martindale, Richard Jenkins, Anna Kendrick and Sharlto Copley, just can’t make this film what it should be. There are some very nice moments during the film, but it screams low-budget independent in a bad way with plot holes and errors throughout. It hopes to win you over with its heart but doesn’t have the legs to get there. C+