This week’s new DVD releases deal with reality and fantasy.
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” Grade ☆☆☆☆: Eddie Redmayne stars in this story based on the Hogwarts textbook. If you are looking for a fantastic movie and don’t know where to find one, look no further than “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.”
This new offering from the creative mind of J.K. Rowling is as fun and entertaining as it is visually stunning.
“Patriots Day” Grade ☆☆1/2: Events of the Boston Marathon bombings are followed. Director Peter Berg, who wrote the screenplay with Matt Cook and Joshua Zeturner, has meticulously recreated everything from the morning of the attack to the moments after the investigation wrapped. It’s a very detailed telling of the story.
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But because the events were covered so thoroughly in the news media, this retelling offers nothing new. Yet, there was plenty new that could have been explored.
“Why Him?” Grade No stars: Father is upset his daughter wants to marry an outlandish billionaire. The name of the new film starring Bryan Cranston and James Franco is “Why Him?”
A better question is “Why Us?” What horrific thing did members of the moviegoing public do to deserve such an unimaginative, excruciatingly vile and worthless comedy?
“Silence” Grade ☆☆☆: Two young members of the clergy make a dangerous journey to Japan to find their mentor. Adam Driver stars.
This is Martin Scorsese’s adaptation of Shusaku Endo’s 1966 novel about two Jesuit missionaries – Father Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) and Father Garrpe (Adam Driver) – who go to 17th-century Japan in search of their mentor, Father Ferreira (Liam Neeson). What they find is a persecution against Christianity that tests their faith.
“20th Century Women” Grade ☆☆☆1/2: Director/writer Mike Mills has created a touching and well-crafted nod of love and appreciation to his mother with “20th Century Women.” Through the semi-autobiographical story set in Santa Barbara in 1979, Mills looks at the influence three women have on a teenage boy.
The entire film is a series of contrasts, from the women in Jamie’s life to the way Mills has shot the movie. He has no problem going from a standard image to one where the world is blurred into a flood of colors. There are scenes enveloped in black, while others pop with primary hues.
Also new on DVD March 28
▪ “A Monster Calls”: Boy looks for help from a tree monster for his dying mother.
▪ “Arsenal”: Family loyalty is tested in the thriller starring Adrian Grenier.
▪ “Mystery Science Theater 3000: Vol. XXXVIII”: Includes “Invasion USA” and “High School Big Shot.”
▪ “Archer: Season 7”: Archer faces his most difficult mission in this animated series.
▪ “Jack Taylor, Set 3”: Iain Glen plays the Irish private investigator.
▪ “Planet Earth II”: Sir David Attenborough narrates the look at the planet.
▪ “A Tale of Love and Darkness”: Woman (Natalie Portman) struggles to raise her son in Jerusalem.
▪ “The Phantasm Collection”: Includes all five films in the horror franchise.
▪ “The Swan Princess: Royally Undercover”: Princess Alise and her friends go on an adventure where they solve a royal mystery.
▪ “Americana”: Recovering alcoholic is pulled into the unsolved murder of his actress sister. Peter Coyote stars.
New on digital March 28
▪ “The Marine 5: Battleground”: Jake Carter (Mike “The Miz” Mizanin) finds himself trapped with a marked man he’s sworn to save.