Entertainment

New on DVD Nov. 24: ‘Shaun the Sheep Movie,’ ‘American Ultra’ and ‘Doctor Who’ gift set

“Shaun the Sheep” is based on a British TV show that is itself a spinoff of the 1995 Wallace and Gromit short film “A Close Shave.”
“Shaun the Sheep” is based on a British TV show that is itself a spinoff of the 1995 Wallace and Gromit short film “A Close Shave.” Lionsgate/TNS

The Nov. 24 DVD releases go from animated antics to armed conflict.

“Shaun the Sheep Movie,” Grade 1/2: Shaun the Sheep has gone from a sheepish supporting player to wild and woolly movie star. While his acting might try to pull the wool over our eyes, his work is a flocking good time.

The animated character was introduced in 1995 in the Nick Park “Wallace & Gromit” stop-action short film, “A Close Shave.” Shaun was so popular, he became the star of his own TV show in 2007.

Now, he is starring in his feature film “Shaun the Sheep Movie” from co-writers/co-directors Mark Burton and Richard Starzak.

The movie doesn’t always move at a fast pace. When it does slow a bit, it’s an opportunity to more fully appreciate the artistry of the production. The details that are put into each scene are beautifully crafted.

If you want more, “Shaun the Sheep Seaons 1 & 2” is also available on DVD.

“American Ultra,” Grade 1/2: Director Nima Nourizadeh and writer Max Landis came close to making a first-rate action-comedy-drama with “American Ultra.” Sadly, close is not good enough.

The reason they fell short is that the drama gets in the way of the action, while the comedy disrupts the drama. These pieces are so disjointed, it feels like this film was put together by a man trying to pull on his shirt and pants at the same time. There is a lot of wasted flailing around before the task finally is accomplished.

Jesse Eisenberg – the human cure for insomnia – stars.

Also new on DVD Nov. 24

▪ “No Escape”: An American family living in Southeast Asia is caught in the middle of a coup.

▪ “Ricki and the Flash”: Meryl Streep sings an all-too-familiar tune in this story of a rocker looking to make up for mistakes in her life.

▪ “Mark & Russell’s Wild Ride”: Two friends go on a quest for love to complete driving test.

▪ “The Last House”: Sadistic thriller set in a mansion in the Hollywood Hills.

▪ “Inside Amy Schumer: Season Three”: Episodes of the stand-up comic’s irreverent series.

▪ “Secrets of the Dead: Jamestown’s Dark Winter”: Team of archaeologists excavating the site of an early American colony.

▪ “Blood and Lace”: The 1971 cult classic stars Melody Patterson and Gloria Grahame.

▪ “A Christmas Horror Story”: Small town deals with the horrors that follow the the death of two teens.

▪ “Doctor Who: The Christmas Specials Gift Set”: Includes holiday tales featuring David Tennant, Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi as Doctor Who.

▪ “Jim Henson’s Turkey Holiday”: Thanksgiving with an eccentric aunt becomes an adventure.

▪ “White Panther”: Man is torn between racist ideology and redemption of sports.

▪ “Ghost Story”: Horror film starring Fred Astaire and Douglas Fairbanks Jr., is now available on Blu-ray.

▪ “The Badger Game”: Scorned mistress looks for revenge.

▪ “Applesauce”: Man is tested by a string of twisted events. Max Casella stars.

Rick Bentley: 559-441-6355, @RickBentley1

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