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DVD/Blu-ray Roundup for April 14, 2017

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Welcome back to another look at highlights arriving on Blu-ray and DVD. There’s some really interesting stuff coming out, including everything from Best Picture nominees to small genre pictures. 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...

‘Going in Style’ feels flat, formulaic

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Rating: «« out of 4 stars

Running Time: 97 min.

It has been a long time since I saw the original Going in Style (1979). So long, in fact, that my memories of it have admittedly faded. Yet, while watching the latest remake to come down the pipeline, I couldn’t help but start to think of it again. The newest version is genial but feels very toothless, with little in the way of dramatic stakes or deeper themes. Direct comparisons aren’t necessarily a fair way to judge a film, but when the mind starts wandering off like this at a screening, that isn’t the best of signs.

The plot involves three steelworkers and their families, all struggling to make ends meet. One is losing his...

‘Ghost in the Shell’ characters are hard to love

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But special effects captivates the eyes

Rating: ««« out of 4 stars

Running Time: 108 min.

To be perfectly honest, while this reviewer has seen the 1995 anime feature upon which this live-action remake is based (along with a manga comic book), he doesn’t remember it all that well. And perhaps that’s a good thing. With little in the way of expectations, the flaws that are present in this sci-fi action film update don’t seem quite as bothersome. Instead, first impressions of Ghost in the Shell leave one marveling at its consistently bizarre and memorable imagery.

Set in the future, the story follows Major (Scarlett Johansson), a special member of a task force trained to take...

DVD/Blu-ray Roundup for March 31, 2017

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Welcome to another edition chronicling the highlights coming your way on Blu-ray and DVD. There are a lot of notable new releases arriving, including some big fantasy flick, Oscar nominees and eccentric fare. 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!

20th Century Women - Set in 1979, this drama involves a teenage boy living in a large home Santa Barbara with his eccentric single mom and their tenants. After the boys gets into some trouble, the mother persuades her younger occupants to offer advice and help guide him into adulthood. Reviews were quite strong for this effort. While a few felt it...

‘Life’ delivers old school, creature-feature chills

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Rating: ««« out of 4

Running Time: 104 min.

Sometimes, science-fiction can challenge viewers with brave, visionary ideas about the future and our place as humans in it. Life boasts an impressive cast and early ads for the feature might suggest a heady, thoughtful science-fiction feature about the significance of discovering life on another planet. However, that’s not at all what this film is really about. This is a slickly produced monster-movie, pure and simple. It follows the horror genre formula from beginning to end, with characters desperately attempting to stop being consumed by a strange, tentacle-spewing creature with a nasty disposition.

The plot involves a small group...

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