It’s time to start getting caught up with movies that have Oscar potential. One of the leading contenders hits stores Tuesday, Jan. 6.
• “Boyhood,” Grade A-: So much has been made about the lengthy process used to film this story of a boy’s life from age 5-18. The tenacity director Richard Linklater showed in getting the movie made is admirable.
But the true quality comes from this engaging story that at first glance looks like a series of random — often uneventful — moments in the youngsters life. It’s not until the end that the real storytelling power is revealed.
Linklater reminds us in a memorable way that life is a series of moments — some big, most small — that go into defining who we are. The way he flows in an out of these moments makes for a tale that grows in strength with each passing year.
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Add to this a first-rate performance by Ellar Coltrane as the central figure in this tale and “Boyhood” shines.
• “Glee: Season 5,” Grade B-: Overall, this is not one of the best seasons for the FOX TV musical. What saves it is the third episode, which deals with the death of Cory Monteith’s character, Finn Hudson.
The emotions of losing a fellow actor — Monteith died shortly before production was supposed to start on the season — come through all of the performances.
Also included in the set is the show’s 100th episode.
• “Black Sails: Season 1,” Grade B-: The set includes the initial eight episodes of the Starz original series.
Set in 1715, the golden age of piracy, New Providence Island is a lawless territory controlled by notorious pirate captains. The most feared is Captain Flint (Toby Stephens ), who finds himself in a battle with the British Navy set on redeeming its land.
Only an uneasy alliance with Eleanor Guthrie (Hannah New ), daughter of the local kingpin, gives Flint the means to find a treasure that could mean survival for the buccaneers.
The 3-disc set is filled with behind-the-scenes featurettes that give insight into the production.
It’s a strong tale of adventures on the high seas and low lands.
Also new on DVD Jan. 6:
• “Left Behind”: When millions of people disappear, a man (Nicolas Cage) looks for answers to why he was left behind.
• “Rickover: The Birth of Nuclear Power”: Story of man who harnessed atomic power.
• “Get On Up”: Look at the life of James Brown. Chadwick Boseman stars.
• “Jungle Master”: An evil scientist threatens the planet.
• “No Good Deed”: Act of kindness puts a woman and her family in danger. Taraji P. Henson stars.
• “Navy Seals: Their Untold Story”: Look at the history of this elite group.
• “The Guest”: Mysterious stranger befriends a grieving family.
• “Sacred Journeys with Bruce Feiler”: Feiler travels to the most meaningful religious destinations.
• “Sabrina: Secrets of a Teenage Witch - Magic of the Red Rose”: The teen witch saves her best friend from an angry sprite.
• “Caillou’s Furry Friends”: A 4-year-old boy uses his imagination to go on adventures.
• “Dinosaurs 13”: Scientists battle to protect their dinosaur discovery.
• “Sweet Revenge: Turning the Tables on Processed Food”: A look at real culprit behind health problems that come with eating.
• “Girls: The Complete Third Season”: Lena Dunham series about relationships in the big city.
• “The Houses October Built”: Five friends look for real scares behind Halloween haunts.
• “The SpongeBob Movie: The Pilot, a Mini Movie & the Squareshorts”: A collection of SpongeBob offerings including 40 shorts.
• “The Manners of Downton Abbey”: A behind-the-scenes look at the filming of season five.
• “Happy End”: Two women embark on a journey to deliver ashes of recently deceased friend.
• “Looking: The Complete First Season”: HBO series that focuses on gay life in the Bay Area.
• “The Boys from Brazil”: Gregory Peck film is now on Blu-ray.
• “Atlas Shrugged: Part III”: Final film in the trilogy adapted from the novel by Ayn Rand.
• “The Longest Week”: Jason Bateman stars in this romantic comedy about three people in a love triangle.
• “Candyman”: Cult horror film is on Blu-ray.
• “Finders Keepers”: Woman tries to save her daughter from an evil doll.