This week’s new DVDs range from a popular super hero movie and an Oscar-nominated film.
“Doctor Strange” Grade ☆☆☆☆: Egotistical surgeon finds new mystical powers. Benedict Cumberbatch stars. Cumberbatch brings a seriousness to the role that helps bridge the skepticism gap created with any feature film based on a comic book.
His reverent approach to playing the role makes it easy to accept the character, both as a self-centered man of medicine and as a manipulator of magic. It takes a confident actor to be able to slip into a superhero costume and make it look serious.
Cumberbatch embraces the look as if he were starring in “Hamlet.”
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“Moonlight” Grade ☆☆☆☆: The movie, written and directed by Barry Jenkins, is a slow journey through the pain-filled life of a young black man charted from his troubled childhood to his uncertain adulthood.
The way Jenkins has structured his work isn’t to give us a fully formed adult but to give the audience a ringside seat to see the outside influences that shaped this young man.
It’s painful and frustrating to watch at times but compelling and engaging.
“Allied” Grade ☆☆☆: Love affair between World War II spies becomes complicated. Brad Pitt stars. “Allied” has a beautiful look, with director Robert Zemeckis using modern technology to make the war period look stunningly real.
He doesn’t miss a visual cue, from the quiet moments between his stars to a dazzling bombing attack. The script has problems.
“Rules Don’t Apply” Grade ☆☆☆: It’s possible to be blinded by passion. That’s exactly what happened with Warren Beatty as he finally got his Howard Hughes project made with “Rules Don’t Apply.” Just like the Spruce Goose, the Beatty film is beautiful when it lifts off, but it fails to soar.
It’s been 18 years since Beatty directed films like “Heaven Can Wait, “ “Reds, “ “Dick Tracy” and “Bulworth.” Even before he directed those productions, Beatty wanted to make a project based on the bizarre life of Hughes.
He gets his chance to fulfill that dream with his return to Hollywood as the writer, director and star of “Rules Don’t Apply.” Told generally in a giant flashback, Hughes finds himself in the early ’60s embroiled in a battle to maintain control of TWA while trying to get his movie production wing going.
Also new on DVD Feb. 28
▪ “Fuller House: The Complete First Season”: Includes 13 episodes of the spinoff series.
▪ “Shut In”: Child psychologist is convinced missing boy is haunting her.
▪ “Deadtime Stories”: Nightmares come to life in a salute to the age-old bedtime story ritual.
▪ “Officer Downe”: Story of an immortal, crime-fighting police officer and his rookie sidekick.
▪ “All We Had”: Mather and daughter find an unlikely home.
▪ “Chronic”: Home-care nurse finds he needs his patients as much as they need him.
▪ “Wheeler”: Texas musician goes to Nashville to chase his dream of making it in country music.
▪ “A Place to Call Home, Season 4”: Nurse becomes involved in the affairs of a wealthy Bligh family.
▪ “Contract to Kill”: Steven Seagal plays a government enforcer investigating a terrorist plot.
▪ “London Road”: Small community comes together to deal with horrific event.
Available on Digital HD Feb. 28
▪ “Collateral Beauty”: Man seeks answers from the universe after a great tragedy.
▪ “The Jetsons & WWE: Robo-Wrestlemania!”: WWE superstars team with George and his family.