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DISCussion: New on DVD and Blu-ray (3.17.15)

"New on DVD and Blu-ray this St. Patrick's Day!"

We have some solid features new on DVD this week, including an Irish treat by way of the wonderful, Song of the Sea. In spite of its relevant heritage, we have chosen to give the title of Recommendation of the Week to Chris Rock’s hilarious Top Five.

New Release:
Top Five – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant)
Exodus – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant)
Annie – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant)
Penguins of Madagascar – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant)
Song of the Sea – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant)
The Way He Looks – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant)

The Lady From Shanghai (1947) – (Blu-ray)
Ride the Pink Horse (1947) – (Criterion Blu-ray)


New on DVD

Top Five – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant) *Recommendation of the Week*
Directed and written by Chris Rock
Starring Chris Rock, Rosario Dawson, J.B. Smoove

Top Five is Chris Rock’s meta commentary on being a black entertainer in modern Hollywood. Hilarious performances from comedians large and small punctuate the film, as Rock’s alter-ego, Andre Allen, tries to resurrect his comedy career after a series of dumbed-down blockbuster comedies have bruised his ego.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 88% (Very Good)
Metacritic: 81 (Excellent)
IMDB: 6.7 (Good)
Entertainment Fuse: 8.5/10


Special Features: Audio Commentary with Rock and Smoove; “It’s Never Just a Movie: Chris Rock and Top Five” featurette; Making of; “Top Five Andre Allen Standup Outtakes” featurette; “Top Five Moments You Didn’t See in the Film;” deleted scenes

Amazon: $19.99 (Blu-ray); $12.99 (DVD); $4.99/$12.99 (Instant Rent/ Buy)

Score (DVDTalk.com): Content: 3.5 stars(out of 5); Video: 4.5 stars; Audio: 5 stars; Extras: 3 stars; Replay: 3 stars. Highly Recommended.


New on DVD

Exodus: Gods and Kings – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant)
Directed by Ridley Scott
Written by Adam Cooper, Bill Collage, Jeffery Caine, and Steven Zillian, and also, The Bible
Starring: Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, Ben Kingsley

Ridley Scott’s white-washed Moses (Bale) legend brought to the big screen for the umpteenth time. Overly-computerized graphics, and nonsensical pacing stun the epic tale, squandering significant talent.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 28% (Terrible)
Metacritic: 52 (Okay)
IMDB: 6.2 (Good)
Entertainment Fuse: 6.3/10 (Read our Review)


Amazon: $22.99 (Blu-ray); $14.99 (DVD); $4.99/$12.99 (Instant Rent/ Buy)


New on DVD

Annie – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant)
Directed by Will Gluck
Written by Will Gluck (screenplay), Aline Brosh McKenna (screenplay), Thomas Meehan (stage play book), and Harold Gray (comic strip, “Little Orphan Annie”)
Starring: Quvenzhané Wallis, Cameron Diaz, Jamie Foxx

Little Orphan Annie gets a modern twist with this half-hearted remake. Actors chosen more for their screen presence than their singing ability detract from the usually-boisterous musical, and an underutilized Jamie Foxx leaves much to be desired.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 28% (Terrible)
Metacritic: 33 (Terrible)
IMDB: 5.0 (Okay)
Entertainment Fuse: 4.3/10 (Read our Review)


Amazon: $22.82 (Blu-ray); $17.75 (DVD); $3.99/$14.99 (Instant Rent/ Buy)

New on DVD


Penguins of Madagascar – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant)
Directed by Eric Darnell and Simon J. Smith
Written by Michael Colton (screenplay and story), John Aboud (screenplay and story), Brandon Sawyer (screenplay), Alan J. Schoolcraft (story), Brent Simons (story), Eric Darnell (characters), and Tom McGrath (characters)
Starring: Tom McGrath, Chris Miller, Christopher Knights


The conniving penguins from the popular Madagascar franchise have finally gotten their own spin-off. The dynamic foursome team up to take down the evil Dr. Octavius (John Malkovich) before he can destroy the world.


Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 72% (Good)
Metacritic: 53 (Okay)
IMDB: 6.8 (Good)




Amazon: $19.99 (Blu-ray); $14.99 (DVD); $4.99/$12.99 (Instant Rent/ Buy)


New on DVD

Song of the Sea – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant)
Directed by Tomm Moore
Written by Will Collins and Tomm Moore (story)
Starring: Brendan Gleeson, Fionnula Flanagan, David Rawle

A girl who has the ability to turn into a seal, goes on an adventure with her little brother to save other creatures like herself. Based on Irish and Scottish mythology, Song of the Sea is a delightful journey into magical legends of the past.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 98% (Superb)
Metacritic: 85 (Excellent)
IMDB: 8.3 (Excellent)


Amazon: $22.99 (Blu-ray); $17.99 (DVD); $4.99/$14.99 (Instant Rent/ Buy)



New on DVD


The Way He Looks – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant)
Directed and written by Daniel Ribeiro
Starring: Ghilherme Lobo, Fabio Audi, Tess Amorim

A coming-of-age story of blind teenager, Leonardo (Lobo), as he navigates a changing world, and his shifting sexuality. A relationship with his best friend, Giovana (Amorim), is changed forever when he meets Gabriel (Audi).

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 92% (Excellent)
Metacritic: 72 (Very Good)
IMDB: 8.1 (Excellent)


Amazon: $18.99 (Blu-ray); $17.99 (DVD); $3.99/$14.99 (Instant Rent/ Buy)




New on DVD

The Lady From Shanghai (1947) – (Blu-ray)
Directed by Orson Welles
Written by Sherwood King (novel If I Die Before I Wake), Orson Welles (screenplay), William Castle (uncredited), Charles Lederer (uncredited), and Fletcher Markle (uncredited)
Starring: Rita Hayworth, Orson Welles, Everett Sloane

A pleasure cruise goes terribly wrong when seaman Michael O’Hara (Welles) becomes entangled in a deceptive plot of murder and suspicion. One of Welles’ greatest films, The Lady from Shanghai is a wonderfully tense thrill ride that will be a welcomed addition to the Blu-ray lexicon.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 86% (Very Good)
IMDB: 7.7 Very Good)
Entertainment Fuse: 10/10


Amazon: $11.98 (Blu-ray)


New on DVD

Ride the Pink Horse (1947) – (Criterion Blu-ray)
Directed by Robert Montgomery
Written by Ben Hecht (screenplay), Charles Lederer (screenplay), Dorothy B. Hughes (novel), and Joan Harrison (uncredited)
Starring: Robert Montgomery, Thomas Gomez, Wanda Hendrix

A spectacular 1940’s noir crime thriller, actor/director Robert Montgomery plays a veteran scouring a small New Mexico town to avenge the death of his best friend. When things go from bad to worse, this taught melodrama shines as the clever script and unique characters spin webs of deception, blackmail and lies.

IMDB: 7.3 (Very Good)


Special Features: 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray; Audio commentary featuring film noir historians Alain Silver and James Ursini; New interview with Imogen Sara Smith, author of In Lonely Places: Film Noir Beyond the City; Lux Radio Theatre adaptation of the film from 1947, featuring Robert Montgomery, Wanda Hendrix, and Thomas Gomez; PLUS: An essay by filmmaker and writer Michael Almereyda

Amazon: $27.59 (Criterion Blu-ray)


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