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DVD/Blu-ray Roundup for Nov. 13, 2015

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Welcome to the highlights of new releases on DVD and Blu-ray. There’s a lot to go through, with plenty to see in a wide variety of genres. So if you can’t make it out to the movies this week, be sure to give one of these titles a try.

Big New Releases!

Duran Duran: Unstaged - A Film by David Lynch - The 80s new wave band appear in this concert film that wouldn’t normally be mentioned in this column if it weren’t for the famed director involved. Reportedly, Lynch (Twin Peaks, Mulholland Dr.) uses smoke and projected images of dolls to add a unique sense of texture to the performance. And naturally, it includes live takes of some of the band’s biggest hits. If...

‘The Peanuts Movie’ – charming despite a few missteps

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Rating: ««« out of 4 stars

Running Time: 92 min.

It’s been 65 years since cartoonist Charles Shultz created Peanuts, a newspaper strip detailing the trials of downtrodden school-kid Charlie Brown. Over the decades, a few classic TV specials and theatrical features have been produced, making the property a beloved institution. The Peanuts Movie takes on the daunting task of updating the material to please both children and their parents. While there are a few minor missteps in the latest translation, much of it remains charming.

The plot follows our anxiety-ridden protagonist as he struggles to earn the attention of a neighbor and new student known as the “Red-Headed Girl.”...

DVD/Blu-ray Roundup for Nov. 3, 2015

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Hello out there! It’s a great week for new releases, with tons of flicks to choose from in a wide variety of genres. So, if you can’t make it out to the movies this week, be sure to give one of these titles a try.

Big New Releases!

Before We Go - Two strangers in New York City cross paths and spend one night in conversation discussing their dreams and fears. Critics weren’t enamored with the end result. They suggested that the plot of this romantic drama was too similar to the Ethan Hawke/Julie Delpy Before Sunrise series, and that even the charm of stars Chris Evans and Alice Eve couldn’t cover for a weak script that didn’t carry much heft and felt...

‘Spectre’ brings back old-fashioned ‘Bond’ formula

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Rating: ««« out of 4 stars

Running Time: 150 min.

I’m a huge James Bond fan, so I’ll admit to being biased as far as entries in this spy series go. The previous Daniel Craig films have all been grittier and moodier affairs, even going so far to examine the psychological trails of being an agent and critiquing some of the methods used by MI-5. They’ve been generally strong efforts, but one is starting to get the impression that the filmmakers are starting to move away from the serious material and focus on the globetrotting adventure.

Spectre almost feels like a homage to the older Sean Connery titles. A sense of dry humor seeps into the proceedings and our hero appears much...

‘Our Brand is Crisis’ plays it too safe

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Rating: «« out of 4 Stars

Running Time: 107 min.

Based on the 2005 documentary of the same name, Our Brand Is Crisis fictionalizes the 2002 presidential election in Bolivia. Unlike the previous incarnation, the approach of this narrative is satiric. It makes for an unusual film; one that has to straddle the line between comedy and a serious tone, exposing a real and disturbing situation. Frankly, it’s an uneasy mix. Some of it works thanks to the work of a strong cast, but it ultimately falls flat in its resolution.

‘Calamity’ Jane Bodine (Sandra Bullock) is a burnt-out political consultant, convinced to take on her toughest assignment yet - rescue the flailing campaign of...

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