'Doctor Strange,' 'Moonlight,' 'Allied' on Blu-ray, DVD this week
Posted March 18
“Doctor Strange” is on Blu-ray and DVD this week, along with “Moonlight” and “Allied.”
“Doctor Strange” (Marvel/Disney, 2016, PG-13, deleted scenes, audio commentary, featurettes, bloopers). The latest comic book superhero to join the Marvel film canon is an arrogant neurosurgeon who, after losing the use of his hands in an accident, must learn humility as he submits to rigorous training in the mystic arts.
This is perhaps the zaniest of all the superhero flicks, with special effects wildly depicting manipulating of physical matter, traveling through alternate dimensions and even bending time. Fortunately, all the metaphysical mumbo-jumbo is anchored by the central performance of Benedict Cumberbatch, who is all in, as are Tilda Swinton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams and Mads Mikkelsen.
“Moonlight” (Lionsgate, 2016, R for sex, drugs, violence, language; audio commentary, featurettes). This is a melodrama about the life of a disenfranchised Miami kid, shown in three time periods: as a young adolescent, a mid-teen and a young adult, all played by different actors. His drug-addicted mother is no help, so he gets some adult guidance from a local drug dealer. This film is the winner of three Oscars: best picture, best supporting actor (Mahershala Ali) and best adapted screenplay (Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney).
“Allied” (Paramount, 2016, R for violence, sex, nudity, language, drugs; featurettes). Robert Zemeckis (“Forrest Gump,” “Back to the Future”) directed this interesting but underwhelming World War II thriller with Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard as spies assigned to work together. Eventually, they fall in love, marry and have a child — and then Pitt is informed his wife may be a double-agent working against the Allies.
“It Ain’t Pretty” (Candy Factory, 2017, not rated/probable PG). This is an engaging documentary about female surfers and their battles with sexism, which force them to work harder to prove themselves on the big waves as they attempt to level the competitive playing field with male surfers. The film also calls out the media, which insist on objectifying them.
“Contract to Kill” (Lionsgate, 2017, R for violence, language, sex). Steven Seagal’s latest straight-to-video violence-fest has him playing a CIA/DEA “enforcer” who travels to Turkey to unravel a plot that has Islamic extremists working with Mexican drug dealers to deliver weapons to terrorist cells in the United States.
“Chronic” (Lionsgate, 2017, R for nudity and language; featurette). This is the tough, graphically detailed story of an in-home nurse (Tim Roth) who demonstrates compassion with his terminally ill patients but, when he’s away from his work, suffers from chronic depression.
“Officer Downe” (Magnolia, 2016, R for violence, sex, nudity, language; featurettes, trailer). This is a stylized, ultra-violent adaptation of a graphic novel about a Los Angeles police officer (Kim Coates) engineered so that when he is taken down by crime bosses, drug dealers and gun-running nuns (yes, that’s right: nuns), he is repeatedly resurrected to go back into action.
Chris Hicks is the author of "Has Hollywood Lost Its Mind? A Parent’s Guide to Movie Ratings." He also writes at www.hicksflicks.com and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.