'Sully,' 'Magnificent Seven,' 'Greatest,' 'Bridget Jones 3' on Blu-ray, DVD
Posted December 24, 2016
The Golden Globes ignored “Sully,” and perhaps the Academy Awards will too, but from this corner it’s one of the year’s best movies, and it’s now on Blu-ray and DVD, along with such other recent theatrical efforts as “The Magnificent Seven,” “Greatest,” “Storks” and “Bridget Jones’s Baby.”
“Sully” (Warner, 2016, PG-13, featurettes). The story of Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger’s amazing landing of US Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson River in January 2009, dubbed “The Miracle on the Hudson,” has already become mythic. And, in the capable hands of director Clint Eastwood (perfectly understated in his approach) and star Tom Hanks, it’s an excellent cinematic exploration of the actions of a real-life hero, and the film stands tall among the many superhero flicks that come and go these days.
Hanks brilliantly captures Sullenberger’s coolheaded demeanor before and during the event, as well as his humility immediately afterward as he reluctantly accepts the mantle of hero, along with his post-traumatic stress, and his angst when he has to defend his actions during an investigation that suggests the forced water landing may have been an error in judgment. Co-stars include Aaron Eckhart, Laura Linney, Jamey Sheridan and Michael Rapaport.
“The Magnificent Seven” (Columbia, 2016, PG-13, deleted scenes, featurettes). Let’s get this out of the way first: This Western remake doesn’t hold a candle to the 1960 original (which was itself derived from the 1954 Japanese classic “The Seven Samurai”). But, for impatient 21st century viewers, it’s what you might expect — a jittery, violent, heavy-handed affair, with seven misfit gunslingers taking on an evil land baron. It helps to have the presence of Denzel Washington leading the pack; he’s great. Everyone else is hit and miss, except for Peter Sarsgaard as the villain; he’s dreadful.
“Greater” (Well Go, 2016, PG, deleted scenes, audio commentary, bloopers, trailer). This is the heartfelt biography of Brandon Burlsworth (Christopher Severio), considered by many to be the greatest walk-on player in the history of college football. Burlsworth was short and overweight when he initially tried out for the Arkansas Razorbacks, and was summarily dismissed. But he worked hard to beef up and learn the game and walked on to the team in 1994, succeeding against the odds. Then, tragically, his life was cut short by an auto accident.
“Bridget Jones’s Baby” (Universal, 2016, R for language and nudity, deleted/alternate scenes, featurettes, bloopers). Renée Zellweger is back as the klutzy, now 40-something single Englishwoman who always seems to be pursued by two men. This time she’s pregnant and isn’t sure whether the baby is the result of a one-night stand with Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) or the one she had with a mysterious stranger (Patrick Dempsey). Hugh Grant’s not in this third go-round, though his character is mentioned. Emma Thompson, who worked on the script, plays a doctor.
“Storks” (Warner, 2016, PG, deleted scenes, featurette, music video, “Lego Ninjago” short). Storks no longer deliver babies in this fanciful animated feature, and are instead relegated to delivering packages. So when a baby shows up, no one knows how to process the delivery. The voice cast includes Kelsey Grammer, Andy Samberg, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Jennifer Aniston, Ty Burrell and Danny Trejo.
“Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love” (Warner, 2016, deleted scenes, featurettes). As with last year’s “Coat of Many Colors,” this TV sequel is based on true events in Dolly Parton’s impoverished childhood, with Alyvia Alyn Lind again taking the role, and Ricky Schroder and Jennifer Nettles returning as her parents. Gerald McRaney and Parton herself co-star.
“Christmas All Over Again” (Lionsgate, 2016, PG, “Miniscule” episodes, trailers). A young teen (Sean Ryan Fox) is upset because his family is so wrapped up in his older sister’s wedding that they’ve neglected to buy him any Christmas presents. So, a magical shoe store owner (Joey Lawrence) tries to set him straight by making him live the same Christmas Day over and over. It's an obvious holiday riff on “Groundhog Day.”
“Maximum Ride” (Paramount, 2016, PG-13). This is a fantasy thriller based on the young adult novels by James Patterson about kids who have had avian DNA spliced into their own, which gives them wings and the ability to fly. But their makers in a secret lab are less than honorable, sending half-wolf guards after them when the kids go on the run.
“childreN of the mountaiN” (Candy Factory, 2016, not rated/PG-13, in Akan and Ewe with English subtitles). In Accra, Ghana, a woman has an affair with a married man, becomes pregnant and gives birth to a son with a cleft palate, cerebral palsy and Down syndrome, which leads to rejection by the father and the community. This is a sad, moody melodrama of life in superstitious, underdeveloped nations.
“Criticsized” (Monarch, 2016, not rated/probable R for violence and language). This is a routine crime thriller about a serial killer live-streaming his torture and murder online, manipulating Los Angeles police detectives and causing mass hysteria in the city.
“Goat” (Paramount; R for sex, nudity, language, violence, drugs). This is a harrowing, violent and crude tale of a young man who joins his brother’s fraternity and discovers he must go through a brutal, humiliating series of hazing rituals known as hell week.
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.