Animated 'Sing' comes to Blu-ray and DVD this week
Posted March 22
The cartoon movie “Sing” is on Blu-ray and DVD, along with a new film that boasts it is a faithful biblical adaptation.
“Sing” (Universal, 2016, PG, three cartoon shorts, featurettes, music videos). A koala named Buster Moon (voiced by Matthew McConaughey) tries to save his theater by holding a singing competition, which attracts a homemaking pig (Reese Witherspoon), a small white mouse with a big voice (Seth MacFarlane), a teenage punk-rocker porcupine (Scarlett Johansson) and others that sing a wide range of familiar songs, from Irving Berlin to Kanye West.
If you don’t mind your little ones singing around the house 24/7, you might want to indulge in this family night feature, a sort of “American Idol” spoof set in an all-animal town that might abut “Zootopia.”
“The Gospel of Mark” (Lionsgate, 2017, not rated, probable PG, featurettes). This retelling of the story of Jesus is touting itself as the only biblical adaptation of the Gospels to take a word-for-word approach. Some of the dialogue may make you dubious, but it’s nonetheless a sincere work, five years in the making and boasting some attractive cinematography. (It is available exclusively at Wal-Mart for the first few weeks.)
“Miss Sloane” (Fox, 2016, R for language and sex, featurette). Jessica Chastain gives a fierce performance as the title character, a high-stakes lobbyist with a winning track record. But she may have overestimated her influence when she leaves her firm to take on the powerful gun lobby over a controversial legislative bill. Sam Waterston and John Lithgow are among the supporting players in this undeserved box-office flop.
“Collateral Beauty” (Warner, 2016, PG-13, featurette). Another flop was this story of a grieving ad executive (Will Smith) who withdraws from friends and family after the death of his young daughter. When his business partners (Edward Norton, Michael Peña, Kate Winslet) learn he has been writing letters to Love, Time and Death, they hire actors (Kiera Knightley, Jacob Latimore, Helen Mirren) to approach him and answer the letters. This silly fable might have worked better if Love, Time and Death were portrayed as literal characters.
“Live By Night” (Warner, 2016; R for violence, language, sex, nudity; deleted scenes, audio commentary, featurettes). This 1930s-era gangster flick looks great but the story is clichéd drivel. Writer/director/star Ben Affleck has fashioned a by-the-numbers yarn that could have starred James Cagney or Humphrey Bogart in a 1930s B-movie. Elle Fanning, Brendan Gleeson, Chris Cooper and Zoe Saldana co-star.
“Julieta” (Sony Classics, 2016, R for sex and nudity, in Spanish with English subtitles, featurette). The latest from Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar is about the middle-aged title character (Emma Suarez), who is about to move from Madrid to Portugal when a chance meeting alerts her to the whereabouts of her daughter, from whom she’s been estranged for 12 years. She abruptly changes her plans to try and make amends, which causes her to flash back to the events that led her to this place in her life.
“A Kind of Murder” (Magnolia, 2016, R for language and violence, featurettes). A successful New York architect and amateur novelist (Patrick Wilson) becomes a bit too fascinated with a nearby murder, investigates and then finds himself implicated in a second killing. Set in the 1960s, this film noir thriller is based on a novel by Patricia Highsmith (“Strangers on a Train,” “The Talented Mr. Ripley”).
“Ali & Nino” (IFC, 2016, not rated/probable PG-13). In 1918, a young Azerbaijan Muslim named Ali (Adam Bakri) falls in love with Nino (Maria Valverde), a Christian from Georgia, but war and the fates intervene to keep them apart. You’ll be forgiven if it brings to mind “Doctor Zhivago.” Mandy Patinkin and Connie Nielsen co-star.
“The Quiet Hour” (Monarch, 2016, not rated/probable R for violence). A teenage girl and her blind brother fight off marauders attempting to take over their parents’ farm during the apocalyptic aftermath of an alien invasion in this British sci-fi thriller.
“Split” (Candy Factory, 2017, not rated/probable R for sex, nudity, violence, language). A young actress becomes obsessed with a mask maker and is led down a path that blurs fantasy and reality. It is one of three films released during the last year with this title.
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.