You can enjoy a light comedy, a zombie attack or music documentary on DVD this week.
▪ “Mistress America” Grade ☆☆1/2: In the new comedy-drama, Greta Gerwig attacks each word of dialogue with the ferocious zeal of a puppy clinging to a favorite sock. She backs that up with an energy that would power a small city, if only it could be harnessed.
Director Noah Baumbach loses control of the movie as it begins to take more of a French farce pacing. The out-of-control energy becomes more of a false sense of chaos. And, when you are having characters speak so quickly and smartly, anything that shades the edges of reality tends to fog the whole picture.
▪ “Fear the Walking Dead: Season One” Grade ☆☆☆: It was as inevitable as human brains at a zombie cookout. The five years of massive television ratings success for AMC’s “The Walking Dead” has finally sparked the launch of a series inspired by the hit: “Fear the Walking Dead.”
The new show features the same basic idea of humans battling zombies. The biggest difference is that the action takes place in Los Angeles at the beginning of the undead apocalypse that has caused “The Walking Dead” so many angst-filled moments over five seasons.
▪ “Amy” Grade ☆☆☆: Documentary that looks at the life of Amy Winehouse. The new documentary from director Asif Kapadia is a reminder that she died just four years ago. The film also is a reminder that the link between the euphoria and soul-wrenching pain that comes from the creative process is very strong.
The film is both a well-made reminder of the musical skills Winehouse used to turn the music world on its ear and a sad testimony to what happens when people can’t deal with the success they struggled so hard to find.
It hasn’t been that long since her death, but “Amy” feels timeless, partly because of Winehouse’s intoxicating sound and partly because her tale has become an unfortunate norm.
Also new on DVD on Dec. 1
▪ “Some Kind of Beautiful”: College professor gives up one-night-stands for fatherhood. Pierce Brosnan stars.
▪ “Goodnight Mommy”: Twins question the woman who is supposed to be their mother.
▪ “Cooties”: Cafeteria food virus turns elementary school children into killers.
▪ “Tokyo Tribe”: Peace treaty among gangs in futuristic Japan falls apart.
▪ “I Hope Your Dance: The Power and Spirit of Song”: Documentary about the song written by Mark D. Sanders and Tia Sillers.
▪ “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Revenge!”: The Turtles encounter new mutants, time travel.
▪ “Where the Children Play”: Woman faces painful memories when she returns home.
▪ “All About E”: Two women go on the run in the Australian Outback.
▪ “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”: The Chevy Chase comedy is available on Blu-ray.
▪ “Merry Krissmas”: Impromptu mistletoe kiss could be the spark for a new romance.
▪ “Amy Schumer: Live at the Apollo”: The comic stars in her first HBO special.
▪ “Mystery Science Theater 3000: Vol. XXXIV”: “The Saga of the Viking Women and Their Voyage to the Waters of the Great
Sea Serpent” is one of the four films included.
▪ “War Pigs”: Dolph Lundgren stars in this World War II film.
▪ “The Bold Ones: The Lawyers: The Complete Series”: Burl Ives stars in this TV law drama.
▪ “Zoolander”: The Ben Stiller comedy about the modeling world is available on Blu-ray.
▪ “Crown for Christmas”: Former maid accepts job to be a governess.
▪ “Angry Birds Toons: Season One - Volume One”: Series follows the adventures of Stella and her five BFFs.
▪ “Desert Dancer”: Group forms underground dance company at a time when dancing is forbidden.
▪ “Assassination”: A group of exiled rebels are planning a hit on an army commander in Japanese-occupied Korea.
▪ “The Hunting Ground”: Exposé of sexual assault on U.S. campuses.