'Race,' 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,' 'Gods of Egypt' on Blu-ray, DVD
Posted June 6
A very good biography of four-time Olympic gold medalist Jesse Owens is on Blu-ray and DVD this week. Also, Jane Austen meets zombies and Egyptian gods clash in other major video releases.
“Race” (Universal, 2016, PG-13, featurettes). Stephan James is excellent as Jesse Owens in this biography of the Olympic track and field star and the experiences surrounding his triumphant performance at the 1936 Games, where his success miffed Adolf Hitler, who intended for the Berlin meet to prove the superiority of the Aryan race.
Jason Sudeikis, setting aside his propensity for raunchy comedy, is also fine, showing a more serious side as Owens’ loyal coach, with Jeremy Irons excelling as the duplicitous president of the International Olympic Committee.
Co-stars include William Hurt and Carice van Houten, who shines as Leni Riefenstahl, the acclaimed German filmmaker tasked by Hitler with making a propaganda film about the games but who can’t hide her admiration for Owens’ success.
“Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” (Sony, 2016, PG-13, deleted scenes, featurettes, bloopers). Has there ever been a more bizarre story pitch than this one? Well, there was “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.” But still, putting Jane Austen’s 19th-century Elizabeth Bennet (Lily James) and Mr. Darcy (Sam Riley) at odds with zombies is a pretty ridiculous idea for a book, much less the literal medium of motion pictures. Really, after you read the title, what more do you need to know?
“Gods of Egypt” (Summit, 2016, PG-13, deleted storyboards, featurettes). The story here is set in a bizarre alternate universe where two gods are locked in a battle to determine which will rule ancient Egypt — the villainous Set (Gerard Butler) or the dethroned Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), who is aided by a mortal (Brenton Thwaites). But the real question is this: With over-the-top special effects taking over films such as this, at what point does a live-action movie become an animated film?
“Triple 9” (Universal, 2016; R for violence, language, drugs, nudity; deleted scenes, featurettes). Two corrupt cops in the pocket of an incarcerated Russian mobster — whose wife (Kate Winslet) is calling the shots — reluctantly agree to break into a government office to steal evidence. To pull it off, they decide to get their colleagues out of the way by creating a “triple nine” call (“officer down”) by shooting one of their own. The chosen victim? Innocent rookie Casey Affleck. Chiwetel Ejiofor, Woody Harrelson, Anthony Mackie and Gal Gadot co-star.
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.