Video releases for Nov. 22, 2016 - Catholic Courier

Video releases for Nov. 22, 2016

By John Mulderig
Catholic News Service
NEW YORK (CNS) — The following are capsule reviews from Catholic News Service of new and recent video releases available on DVD and/or Blu-ray — as well as for online viewing. Theatrical movies have a Catholic News Service classification and Motion Picture Association of America rating. These classifications refer only to the theatrical version of the films below, and do not take into account any extra content.
"C.H.U.D." (Blu-ray Edition; 1984)
Run-of-the-mill horror movie about monsters created by toxic waste. Ineptly directed by Douglas Cheek, it contains violence and gore. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. (Arrow Video)
"Hell or High Water" (2016)
Morally intricate tale of two brothers, one (Ben Foster) a cynical ex-con, the other (Chris Pine) a divorced dad with no criminal past, who go on a bank-robbing spree to save their family farm. When a duo of Texas Rangers (Jeff Bridges and Gil Birmingham) takes up the investigation, the cat-and-mouse game that results has unexpected — and tragic — consequences. Working from a screenplay by Taylor Sheridan, director David Mackenzie gravely unfolds a hardscrabble story of exploitation and desperation. But, along with a gritty atmosphere and dialogue to match, the issues he weighs call for careful analysis on the part of mature viewers. Some strong violence with brief gore, fleeting but graphic casual sex, occasional irreverence, about a half-dozen uses of profanity, frequent rough and crude language, numerous ethnic insults. The Catholic News Service classification is L — limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. (Lionsgate Home Entertainment; also available on Blu-ray)
"Kubo and the Two Strings" (2016)
Captivating animated fable about a Japanese street urchin (voice of Art Parkinson) whose troubled family history launches him on a quest for a magical set of armor. He’s accompanied, and protected, on the journey by a prudent monkey (voiced by Charlize Theron) and by a courageous but accursed samurai (voice of Matthew McConaughey) whose body a spell has transformed into that of a beetle. Rich visuals along the lad’s odyssey are matched by the deep emotional appeal of the interaction among the characters in director Travis Knight’s feature debut. But conflicted familial relationships — the young hero’s principal adversary is his own grandfather (voice of Ralph Fiennes) — and an outlook on death suggesting that the departed survive only in the memory of the living put this out of bounds for impressionable youngsters. Most teens, however, will recognize that the story is obviously far removed from real life and that plot ingredients borrowed from native mythology need not be taken to heart. Nonscriptural religious beliefs, stylized combat with minimal gore. Spanish language and titles options. The Catholic News Service classification is A-II — adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG — parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children. (Universal Studios Home Entertainment; also available on Blu-ray)
"Mechanic: Resurrection" (2016)
Jason Statham returns as the hitman protagonist of this action franchise, the current version of which kicked off with the 2011 remake of a 1972 movie starring Charles Bronson. Though retired since the end of the last installment, the assassin is forced to take up his craft again after a mysterious friend from his childhood (Sam Hazeldine) kidnaps his true love (Jessica Alba). To spring her, he’ll have to carry out three kills. Director Dennis Gansel, who thankfully downplays the gore, seems anxious to deliver the audience from any danger of having to think too much. As a result, his film, which has a vaguely well-intentioned but thoroughly off-kilter moral core, plays like a cut-rate "Mission: Impossible." Pervasive, mostly stylized violence, an implied nonmarital sexual encounter, frequent rough language. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. (Lionsgate Home Entertainment; also available on Blu-ray)
"Mr. Deeds Goes to Town" (Anniversary Blu-Ray Edition; 1936)
When a small-town writer of greeting-card verses (Gary Cooper) inherits a fortune, he moves to New York City where he is made into a front-page laughingstock by a two-timing reporter (Jean Arthur) and his plans to help the poor embroil him in a sanity hearing. Director Frank Capra deftly juggles romance and humor in this entertaining Depression-era tale of an ordinary American whose homespun virtues triumph over big-city cynicism and greed. Spanish language and titles options. The Catholic News Service classification is A-II — adults and adolescents. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America. (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)
"One-Eyed Jacks" (1961)
Ragged Western set in the 1880s when a bank robber (Marlon Brando) escapes from a Mexican prison, then goes after the pal (Karl Malden) who betrayed him and used the loot to settle down as the sheriff of Monterey. Also directed by Brando, the result is a flashy star vehicle with magnificent period visuals but a deadly simplistic plot and unbearably pretentious characters, Stylized violence, brutality, sexual situations and an unwed pregnancy. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III — adults. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America. (Criterion Collection; also available on Blu-ray)
"The Squid and the Whale" (2005)
Downbeat but keenly observant story of dysfunctional Brooklyn-based family — vain, pseudointellectual writer (a superb Jeff Daniels) in career slump, and estranged wife (Laura Linney) beginning to get attention as a writer, and their two confused children (Jesse Eisenberg and Owen Kline) shuttling between the two households. Writer-director Noah Baumbach does well on both counts with this semiautobiographical material, but the amoral attitudes and behavior of the parents (though shown to have negative consequences) and the relentless barrage of expletives and frank sexual talk, will turn off many viewers. Excessive profanity, rough and crude language, frank sexual talk and situations including two episodes of childhood/prepubescent masturbation, brief partial nudity, underage drinking and condom use, permissive parental behavior, adultery. The Catholic News Service classification is L — limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. (Criterion Collection; also available on Blu-ray)
"War Dogs" (2016)
Two young men from Miami become arms merchants in a fact-based movie that hovers between raucous comedy and serious expose. Through an initiative designed to let small businesses get a slice of the military-spending pie, a college dropout (Miles Teller) with a wife and daughter to support and his long-lost pal from yeshiva school (Jonah Hill), an alternately obnoxious and charming schemer, get rich by engaging in fraud and circumventing regulations. Known for comedies featuring crude male bonding, director Todd Phillips helped adapt the screenplay from a 2011 Rolling Stone magazine article and tries to provide antic humor and relevant social commentary on topics ranging from the pitfalls of the Pentagon’s procurement system to the moral legitimacy of the American-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Bent on illustrating the idea that all armed conflicts are fueled by the profit motive, the filmmakers fail to strike the right tone, especially regarding the ethical consequences for one of the protagonists. Several scenes of violence and gunplay, cohabitation, frequent drug use, pervasive rough and crude language some sexual banter. The Catholic News Service classification is L — limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. (Warner Home Video; also available on Blu-ray) 
– – –
Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.

Copyright © 2022 Catholic News Service, Inc. All rights reserved. Linking is encouraged, but republishing or redistributing, including by framing or similar means, without the publisher's prior written permission is prohibited.

Choose from news (Monday), leisure (Thursday) or worship (Saturday) — or get all three!


No, Thanks


Catholic Courier Newsletters