The captivating true story 'Lion' is on Blu-ray and DVD this week
Posted April 11
“Lion,” which was nominated for six Oscars, and the biographical TV movie “To Walk Invisible: The Brontë Sisters” are on Blu-ray and DVD this week.
“Lion” (Anchor Bay, 2016, PG-13, deleted scenes, music video, photo gallery). Dev Patel (“Slumdog Millionaire,” “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”) stars in this true story as Saroo Brierley, which chronicles his attempts to find his birth parents in India after growing up in Australia.
The first half of the film relates the sometimes-harrowing misadventures of 5-year-old Saroo, a Khandwa, India, boy (Sunny Pawar) who falls asleep on a stationary train, but when he awakens, it’s moving, and he soon finds himself in Calcutta, some 1,000 miles away. Eventually he is placed in an orphanage where he is adopted by an Australian couple (Nicole Kidman, David Wenham).
The second half shows the now-grown Saroo (Patel) beginning to remember things about his childhood, his mother and his home. The film then demonstrates the way in which 21st-century technology helps him track them down. First-time director Garth Davis shows great talent with this rich, fully developed story, which is filled with engaging characters.
“To Walk Invisible: The Brontë Sisters” (PBS, 2016, featurettes). The three Brontë sisters — Charlotte (Finn Atkins), Emily (Chloe Pirrie) and Anne (Charlie Murphy) — live in Haworth, West Yorkshire, in the 1840s, with their aged, retired father (Jonathan Pryce) and their ne’er-do-well alcoholic brother (Adam Nagaitis). The sisters are very close but they fear for their financial future, should their father and brother die.
As a form of escape, the sisters lose themselves in writing stories, and then make a plan to get their work published using male pen names. Of course, all three will eventually become literary legends for such works as “Wuthering Heights” and “Jane Eyre,” though the lives of all three will be cut short. This British TV movie is a vivid re-creation of the period and beautifully explores the complexities of these driven women, each remarkably inhabited by the respective actresses.
“The Bounce Back” (Fox, 2016, PG-13). This is a romantic comedy about a relationships expert (Shemar Moore) on a book tour when he bumps up against a therapist (Nadine Velazquez) who is also making the talk show rounds, and who begins calling him out as a charlatan. Three guesses where this plot is headed.
“The Bye Bye Man” (Universal, 2017, PG-13, trailers). “Candyman” is crossed with “Final Destination” for this vague, undercooked horror yarn about college kids terrorized by the titular ghost if they even think of his name. Faye Dunaway and Carrie Anne Moss have cameos.
“Mad Families” (Sony, 2017, not rated/probable PG-13). Three disparate (and racially diverse) families converge on the same campground space on the Fourth of July and face off in a series of competitions to see who stays and who goes. Charlie Sheen and Leah Remini head the cast of this alleged comedy, which debuted online (on Crackle) and is co-produced by David Spade.
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.