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On Demand DVD New Releases May 30-June 6 Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (pictured below) Literary great Jane Austen would have never seen this one coming. Her classic tale of lovers from different social classes in 19th-century England gets a most unusual retelling when zombies enter the picture. Lily James, Sam Riley, Bella Heathcote (PG-13, 1:47) 5/31 Race This historical biopic is the story of American track and field athlete Jesse Owens, who was thrust onto the world stage at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin. Owens not only raced against other competitors on the track, but he also ran … Continue reading
Of course, Disney’s The Finest Hours begs instant comparisons to 2000’s Oscar-nominated George Clooney film The Perfect Storm. Hours, too, is based on a real-life nautical nightmare. It, too, features a bleak New England setting. Deadly storm. Handsome hero. Swarthy, seafaring types barking brave declarations. A pretty, plucky woman back home refusing to give up hope. And dazzler special effects that may leave you a landlubber for life. But where Storm’s seafarers were fisherman caught unawares, The Finest Hours doubles the jeopardy, focusing its story on the converging fates of two imperiled vessels and the men aboard them. The larger … Continue reading
On Demand DVD New Releases May 23-29 Risen After crucifying a Jewish man, Pilate is worried by stories that the man has risen from the dead. He dispatches his tribune, Clavius, to search for the body. Clavius, who doesn’t believe the reports he’s hearing, may be confronted by the facts and need to decide if the man is the risen Messiah. Joseph Fiennes, Tom Felton, Peter Firth (PG-13, 1:47) 5/24 Zoolander No. 2: The Magnum Edition (pictured) Derek Zoolander — the mugging model who made Blue Steel a thing — and his fellow man-mannequin Hansel find themselves on a mission … Continue reading
“Did ye make an unholy bond with that goat?” This line is among the sometimes-tricky-to-listen-to Puritan-ese spoken in The Witch that, out of context, may seem ridiculous. But within the world of writer/director Robert Eggers’ frightening film, viewers will take it in with a shuddering seriousness (a footnote to the film indicates that much of such dialogue was taken straight from source material of the time). That is part of what makes Eggers so successful in his presentation of his self-described “New England folk tale” — his willingness to fully immerse us in the world of 1630 America (or, what … Continue reading
There are numerous genres of movies. Dirty Grandpa, starring Robert De Niro and Zac Efron, falls in the disturbingly pathetic genre — even though I found myself chuckling throughout the movie. While watching this train wreck, I kept asking myself, “Why, Bob, why?” Maybe Mr. De Niro is trying to make the point that even he can make bad decisions. Life is looking pretty good for Jason Kelly (Efron), even though his grandmother just died. He is a lawyer at his father’s firm in Atlanta. He’s getting married to his beautiful yet controlling fiancée Meredith (Julianne Hough). That’s why Jason … Continue reading
On Demand DVD New Releases May 16-22 Dirty Grandpa (pictured) After Dick Kelly’s wife is laid to rest, he wants to do one thing — travel to Florida. It was normal for him and his late wife to spend spring in the sunny southern haven. But with the passing being so fresh, his grandson Jason agrees to take him on a trip that becomes less about hanging out at the retirement community and playing golf and more about partying at spring break in Daytona. Robert De Niro, Zac Efron, Aubrey Plaza (R, 1:45) 5/17 The Witch This chilling tale is … Continue reading
The play’s the thing in The Dresser. King Lear, to be exact. And whether — apologies, Hamlet — it is to be or not to be. And a pair of Sirs make Starz’ upcoming film adaptation of the Ronald Harwood play a must-see, whether you’re a Shakespeare lover or not. The Dresser follows Sir (Sir Anthony Hopkins), an embittered, once-famous actor whose star has faded to twilight in a local Shakespeare troupe. As Sir’s anger and despair get the better of him — and World War II rages across England — Sir’s faithful dresser Norman (Sir Ian McKellen) tries to ensure that Lear … Continue reading
On Demand DVD New Releases May 9-15 Deadpool Wade Wilson agrees to rogue experimentation to help cure his cancer. He doesn’t realize that what he signed on for will leave him disfigured and hidden in the shadows. Now, armed with a variety of weapons and his twisted sense of humor, his new alter ego, Deadpool, takes a dark path to find and destroy the man who altered his life forever. Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, T.J. Miller (R, 1:48) 5/10 The Boy A young American woman takes a position as a nanny in a remote English village. She discovers that the … Continue reading
Fittingly, Syfy chose May the Fourth — notable for its punny connection with Star Wars Day, as in “May the Fourth Be With You” — to announce cameos for its upcoming installment in the Sharknado franchise, the equally punnily titled Sharknado: The 4th Awakens. The fourth Sharknado entry will debut on Syfy July 31, and has already announced some of its major casting, including returning favorites and new costars. You can see many of them below in the poster art for the film that was released today (like the movie’s title itself, the poster seems pretty reminiscent of the one for Star Wars: The Force Awakens). Looks like … Continue reading
At this point, one has to wonder if author Nicholas Sparks’ novels and their film adaptations are assembled overnight by elves in a workshop somewhere in North Carolina. Sparks has had 11 of his stories made into films, the first being 1999’s Message in a Bottle starring Kevin Costner, Robin Wright Penn and Paul Newman. Sparks’ most culturally and commercially significant book-to-screen installment was 2004’s The Notebook (No. 3 of 11) starring Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams. It’s been mostly downhill since, with 2014’s The Best of Me and 2015’s The Longest Ride providing cannon fodder for critics and performing … Continue reading