'Risen,' 'The Finest Hours' land on Blu-ray and DVD this week
Posted May 30
A drama about the Resurrection and a thriller about a risky rescue operation highlight Blu-ray and DVD releases this week.
“Risen” (Columbia, 2016, PG-13, deleted scenes, audio commentary, featurettes). This biblical epic focuses on a Roman soldier (Joseph Fiennes) and his aide (Tom Felton) assigned by Pontius Pilate (Peter Firth) to expose the Resurrection of Jesus (Cliff Curtis) as a fraud — but instead, what the soldier hears from various participants and then sees for himself slowly converts him.
This fictional tale, which owes something to “The Robe,” suffers from modern filmmaking cliches such as muted colors and an opening action sequence that is so chaotic it’s difficult to make out who’s doing what to whom. But the performances are sincere and the overall effect is quite satisfying, making this a much better than average faith film.
“The Finest Hours” (Disney, 2016, PG-13, deleted scenes, featurettes). Chris Pine stars in this gripping true story of a daring rescue under treacherous conditions when a storm tore apart an oil tanker off the coast of Cape Cod in 1952. Pine’s character leads what many felt was a suicide mission, taking a small boat out in the storm to try and get the crew back to land. Co-stars include Casey Affleck, Ben Foster and Eric Bana.
“Zoolander 2” (Paramount, 2016, PG-13/unrated, original and unrated versions of the film, featurettes). Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson return to the male-model runway, this time to help an Interpol agent (Penelope Cruz) catch an assassin, in this vulgar, unfunny, belated sequel to the vulgar and only mildly amusing original. Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig co-star, with cameos by everyone from Sting to Justin Bieber.
“Song of Lahore” (Broadgreen, 2015, PG, trailers). This enjoyable documentary follows the Sachal Ensemble, comprised of Pakistani musicians, as they travel to New York City to perform at Lincoln Center. The bulk of the film is the concert after Wynton Marsalis rehearses with the ensemble under pressurized circumstances to create this one-of-a-kind experience of Indian-infused jazz standards.
“The Nasty Terrible T-Kid 170: Julius Cavero” (MVD, 2016, not rated). This 50-minute documentary takes the audience into the subculture of subway-car graffiti using 30 years of footage and introduces us to T-Kid, a leading figure in New York’s thriving graffiti scene. T-Kid’s own home movies are also used as he travels to train yards all over the world.
“How to Be Single” (MGM/Warner, 2016, R for sex and language, deleted scenes, featurettes, bloopers). This is yet another sleazy sex comedy that sets out to prove that women can be as raunchy as men (thanks a lot, “Bridesmaids”), with Dakota Johnson as a paralegal recently relocated to Manhattan who receives lessons in one-night stands from co-worker Rebel Wilson. Co-stars include Alison Brie, Leslie Mann and Damon Wayans Jr.
“Rise of the Legend” (Well Go, 2014, not rated, in Mandarin with English subtitles, featurette, trailer). Eddie Peng stars in this martial-arts throwback as Wong Fei-hung, a real-life character that has been portrayed in dozens of films, most famously by Jet Li in his Once Upon a Time in China franchise. Here, he returns to his village after the death of his father to exact revenge against a crime boss (Sammo Hung, who has also previously played Wong).
“Dusk” (Monarch, 2016, not rated). A newlywed awakens to find his wife is missing, and there’s a cassette tape recorder on a table with a “play me” note and a recorded message that instructs him to take a bag of cash to a cabin in the woods. Most of the film plays out as an acceptable, if overly familiar, horror-thriller, until the twist ending, which overexplains what’s really going on while trivializing a serious health issue. (Includes some R-rated language.)
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.