'Star Trek Beyond' is on Blu-ray and DVD this week
Posted November 6
One of the summer’s biggest hits, which is resting at No. 10 among the year’s top moneymakers, is a “Star Trek” sequel that arrived on Blu-ray and DVD this week, along with a bevy of movies you have likely never heard of.
“Star Trek Beyond” (Paramount, 2016, PG-13, deleted scenes, featurettes, bloopers). Kirk, Spock and crew have to stop villain Krall (Idris Elba) from launching an intergalactic war in this entry of the rebooted franchise, with Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg, etc., returning, along with newcomer Sofia Boutella, who steals the show. One of the online criticisms is that this one plays like an episode of one of the Trek TV series, and that’s true — except that I mean it as a compliment. It’s fast and furious (directed by Justin Lin of the “Fast & Furious” franchise) and isn’t trying to do anything more than entertain, which it does very well.
“The Sea of Trees” (Lionsgate, 2016, PG-13, featurette). Earlier this year, Natalie Dormer in “The Forest” went to Japan’s Aokigahara forest at the base of Mount Fuji, known as the “Suicide Forest,” and in this one Matthew McConaughey does the same thing, with suicide in mind. But McConaughey meets up with similarly minded Ken Watanabe and their communion may change things. Naomi Watts co-stars.
“Reign of Assassins” (Anchor Bay, 2016, R for violence, in Mandarin with English subtitles). John Woo (“Hard-Boiled,” “Broken Arrow”) co-directed this exciting yarn set in ancient China and starring Michelle Yeoh (“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” “Tomorrow Never Dies”) as an assassin who betrays her villainous comrades and tries to start a new life. But when she falls in love, she doesn’t realize her guy is out for revenge against her gang.
“The Lost Bladesman” (Anchor Bay, 2016, not rated/probable R for violence, in Mandarin with English subtitles). Martial arts superstar Donnie Yen stars in this epic period action tale as real-life warrior Guan Yu, whose history has taken on mythological status in China. Here, during the period of the Eastern Han Dynasty, Guan is coerced by General Cao Cao (Wen Jiang) to stay by his side as he takes on rival warlords, but one of those enemies is someone to whom Guan has sworn allegiance.
“Judge Archer” (Lionsgate, 2016, PG-13, in Mandarin with English subtitles or in English dubbed). In 1920s China, an archer who settles disputes between warring martial arts schools is asked to help a woman avenge her father’s murder, which leads to his using a variety of fighting methods in defense.
“Anthropoid” (Universal, 2016, R for violence, featurettes). This is an interesting, occasionally suspenseful true story of a World War II assassination attempt by two Czechoslovakian soldiers (Cillian Murphy, Jamie Dornan) on one of Hitler’s highest-ranking architects of the Final Solution, marred by overly gruesome violence.
“Imperium” (Lionsgate, 2016, R for language, audio commentary, featurettes, trailers). This is based on the true story of an FBI agent (Daniel Radcliffe) who went undercover to infiltrate a white supremacist group after learning of a plot to explode a dirty bomb in Washington, D.C. Toni Collette co-stars.
“Bad Moms” (Universal, 2016, R for sex, nudity, language, drugs, deleted scenes, featurettes, bloopers). Yet another female-centric raunchy comedy, this time about a trio of overstressed mothers (Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn) “liberating” themselves through bad behavior, which pits them against a trio of “perfect” moms (Christina Applegate, Jada Pinkett Smith, Annie Mumolo).
“Last Girl Standing” (MPI, 2016, not rated/probable R for violence, audio commentaries, featurettes, trailer, bloopers). At the end of a slasher flick, there’s always one young female survivor, and this film purports to tell us what happens to her after the film is over. Basically, she becomes unbearable and perhaps psychotic. (No relation to the recent films “Final Girl” and “The Final Girls,” though those movies set up a similar theme.)
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.