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DVD/Blu-ray Roundup for April 21, 2017

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It’s time for another look at the highlights arriving on DVD and Blu-ray. This is a busy edition with new releases that include hit films and curious independent fare. There are also great older features coming your way. So if you can’t make it out to the movies this week, be sure to give one of these titles a...

‘Fate of the Furious’ up in the air

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Still plenty of fan-loving, over-the-top, speed-filled action

Rating: «« out of 4 stars

Running Time: 136 min.

After eight movies and a set up for more sequels after the close of The Fate of the Furious, I’ve frankly run out of “family” jokes to open my reviews with (instead, I’ll just suggest playing a drinking game based around the number of times it’s referenced). As a result, by now everything about this franchise feels pretty familiar. The latest installment does deserve a bit of credit, however, for being a slight improvement over the previous edition (at least, by my estimation).

This time out, Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) has moved to Cuba and is living happily...

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 RELEASES!

Believe - In this faith-based drama, a small town business owner faces a tough economic crunch along with other members of his community. He’s forced into a difficult decision; should he keep his company’s profits for himself or use them to fund the town’s annual Christmas pageant. The press did not respond to this picture. While they stated that it was...

‘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...

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