New in Home Entertainment – February 14, 2017

New in Home Entertainment

February 14, 2017

Rated PG-13 for brief strong language
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%
Every few years we get a really great, original science fiction film that makes you think, delivers a meaningful social commentary and completely takes us by surprise. This year that film is Arrival, which just landed eight Oscar nominations including best picture and director. The story follows a scenario where alien ships have appeared all over the planet, and when the U.S. military can’t find a way to communicate with the aliens on board, they enlist the help of a linguistics professor (Amy Adams) to figure out their intentions. As Adams attempts to find a way to decipher the alien language, we, as an audience, attempt to decipher what the film is really telling us. If you are looking for a mindless action pic, this for sure isn’t it. But you might just find yourself feeling a lot smarter after having experienced it. A-

The Edge of Seventeen
Rated R for sexual content, language and some drinking – all involving teens
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%
Before you blow off this coming-of-age comedy, as most people did when it was in theaters, please consider giving it a look. Yes its about another awkward girl (Hailee Steinfeld) who gets herself into extremely awkward situations, but rather than the lighthearted PG-13 world you would most likely see in most films of this genre, Edge prefers to be edgy with what feels like a true vibe of the way modern teenagers act, talk and feel. Much more like Juno than American Pie, the film puts you through a lot of discomfort but provides a resolution that will put your soul at ease and help you better understand the teenage human. If none of that interests you, at least check it out for Woody Harrelson’s well-written and even better-performed sarcastic school teacher who gives you hope that there are educators who are more concerned with turning teens into functioning and successful adults rather than merely aiming for a test score. A-

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
Rated R for language throughout, some war violence, sexual content, and brief drug use
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 45%
Until very deep into 2016, the film that was most likely headed toward best picture was this war movie directed by Life of Pi’s Ang Lee. The story comes from the point of view of a 19-year-old private who, along with his fellow soldiers, are being honored at a Texas football game for unique bravery. As the moments at the game move by, Lynn flashbacks at his time in Iraq, showing the stark contrast to the life he has to live while home. The battle scenes are few but powerful, providing a background that, by themselves, are riveting. But the scenes in Texas are almost just unbearable, filled with lousy acting and inorganic writing, making it almost look like the direction was at fault. I say almost because I just can’t imagine Lee directing a film that is this flat. This story has been told before, but much, much better than this. C-

Beavis and Butt-Head: The Complete Collection
I’m not going to tell you that there is anything good that could come from watching over 1000 minutes of these loser teens making stupid commentaries on 90s pop culture, but if you’re like me, you’ll do it anyway. Mike Judge’s MTV iconic classic is getting this huge release with hours and hours of content, including their feature length film “Beavis and Butt-Head Do America,” in order to give you an overdose of nostalgia that makes you better appreciate that you eventually grew up – if you did. B