'Finding Dory' and a variety of other films on Blu-ray, DVD this week
Posted November 20
The year’s biggest hit is on Blu-ray and DVD this week. Hint: It’s a sequel. On second thought, given all the sequels around these days, that’s not much of a hint.
“Finding Dory” (Disney/Pixar, 2016, PG, deleted scenes, audio commentary, featurettes, animated shorts: “Piper” and “Maine Life Interviews”). And the Pixar hits just keep on coming. This sequel to “Finding Nemo” (2003) reunites Ellen DeGeneres as the voice of Dory, a regal blue tang fish with a memory impairment, and Albert Brooks as Marlin, a timorous clown fish.
Now that Marlin is reunited with his son, Nemo, it’s Dory’s turn as she is determined to locate her own parents, assuming she can remember that mission for more than a minute. This sequel is as charming and funny as the first film, with an array of humorous characters and a first-rate voice cast that includes Ed O’Neill, Diane Keaton, Eugene Levy, Ty Burrell, Idris Elba, Sigourney Weaver, Brad Garrett, Allison Janney and Willem Dafoe, among others.
“They Grow Up Fast” (Virgil, 2016, not rated). This is a family friendly, humorous and very personal documentary by filmmaker Darren Doane, a father of four who began this project 10 years ago after the birth of his first child. Focusing on family togetherness, activities and structure, with Doane’s music video background much in evidence, the film also has a strong faith component and is very pro-traditional family.
“Being Evel” (MVD, 2016, not rated, featurettes). Johnny Knoxville is the driving force behind this warts-and-all documentary about the late daredevil Evel Knievel, with plenty of footage of the stunts performed by the man that Johnny Carson describes (in a “Tonight Show” clip) as “probably the only man in history who’s become very wealthy by trying to kill himself.” Robbie Knievel (Evel’s daredevil son) and George Hamilton (who played Evel in a 1971 movie) are among those on camera.
“Arlo: The Burping Pig” (Lionsgate, 2016, G, “Miniscule” episodes, trailers). Well, there is a lot of burping, but it could also be called “Arlo: The Talking Pig” (with Drake Bell’s voice). This is a silly live-action children’s comedy about a young girl having trouble making friends at a new school until she meets up with Arlo. Joey Lawrence plays her dad.
“Indignation” (Summit, 2016, R for sex and language, featurettes). As the Korean War heads into its second year, a working-class Jewish intellectual (Logan Lerman) from New Jersey enrolls at a small Ohio college, where he falls for a troubled student (Sarah Gadon) and debates religion with the dean (Tracy Letts). It is based on Philip Roth’s novel, which was a fictionalized reminiscence of his own college days in the 1950s.
“Morris from America” (Lionsgate, 2016; R for drugs, sex, nudity, language; deleted scene, audio commentary, featurettes, bloopers). Craig Robinson headlines this comedy-drama as an American widower living with his 13-year-old son (Markees Christmas) in Germany, where he coaches pro soccer. They both suffer culture shock and have trouble adapting, until the boy discovers he has serious rapping skills.
“Band of Robbers” (MVD, 2016, not rated/probable R for language and violence). This hit-and-miss absurdist update of Mark Twain casts Tom Sawyer (Adam Nee) and Huckleberry Finn (Kyle Gallner) as 21st-century losers who decide to form a gang and rob a pawn shop that deals in money laundering, but, naturally, everything goes wrong. Melissa Benoist (TV’s “Supergirl”) co-stars as Becky Thatcher and Stephen Lang is Injun Joe.
“Cardboard Boxer” (Well Go, 2016, not rated/probable R for violence and language). Thomas Haden Church’s performance is infused with conviction as he plays a homeless, addled veteran searching for a young burn victim when he’s approached by rich kids offering to pay him to fight another homeless man. The cliché-ridden, pat structure undermines an otherwise interesting concept. Terrence Howard co-stars.
“Mia Madre” (Music Box, 2016, R for language, in Italian with English subtitles, deleted scenes, featurettes, outtakes). Margherita Buy plays a movie director working on a politically charged film who finds herself struggling with a difficult American star (John Turturro) and a mutinous film crew. If that’s not enough, her mother has been hospitalized with a lingering illness and her teenage daughter is becoming more and more remote.
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.