A variety of new movies available on DVD and Blu-ray top this week’s entertainment options.
“Cry Macho” Grade 3 stars: Clint Eastwood plays a one-time rodeo star and washed-up horse breeder who, in 1979, is asked by his former boss, Howard Polk (Dwight Yoakam), to travel to Mexico to bring back his son. The job is presented as a family reunion but Milo learns the deeper truth during his journey.
Moviemakers have fed the public such a steady diet of big action movies that there is a form of artistic numbness that has formed in regards to simple tales of the human condition. “Cry Macho” is a reminder that it is acceptable to slowly savor a well-made product and not always have to consume entertainment as if it were fast food.
When the man preparing the product is as talented as Eastwood, taking time is a very positive way to go.
“Dear Evan Hansen” Grade 1 ½ stars: The tale of a young high school student deal with his own personal problems while being pulled into the emotional eddy of a fellow student’s suicide was a masterful success when it played on Broadway. All of the young angst is stripped away by the decision to cast 27-year-old Ben Platt in the film version.
It is impossible to turn away from the fact Platt looks less like an emotionally scarred teen and more like the parent of a student. That’s a crushing blow from which the film never recovers.
“On Night in Miami” Grade 4 stars: The film looks at the night in 1964 with four of the biggest names in sports, music and activism come together to celebrate one of the biggest upsets in boxing history. It is inspired by actual events.
Cassius Clay, who would eventually be called Muhammad Ali, (Eli Goree), defeats heavy weight champion Sonny Liston at the Miami Convention Hall. He’s joined by Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben-Adir), Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr.) and Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge) to celebrate the victory.
“One Night in Miami” is based on the stage production by Kemp Powers who wrote the script for the film. Powers delivers a powerful examination of issues with great balance. It is a dialogue that resonates with great importance in these troubled times.
Director Regina King keeps the intimacy of the story but gives the characters room to live and breathe. She is a leading contender to pick up an Oscar for directing for this superb effort.
“Werewolves Within” Grade 3 stars: Any film that takes a tongue-in-cheek approach to a serious genre can only survive if the cast finds that thin line between reality and insanity. Sam Richardson and Milna Vayntrub handle that acting task with ease.
Richardson plays Finn, the newly arrived forest ranger in the small town of Beaverfield. He arrives to find the town divided by a proposed pipeline. His closest ally is Cecily (Vayntrub), a postal worker who helps Finn keep the peace when locals mysteriously die during a snowstorm.
Director Josh Ruben has taken the script by Mishna Wolff to create a film that is a blend of “Ten Little Indians” and “Shaun of the Dead.” Ruben’s hesitancy to go as big and broad as “Shaun of the Dead” takes a bit of the comedy edge off this quirky offering but it ends up being a fun film.
Also new on DVD and Blu-ray as of Dec. 7
“Ron’s Gone Wrong”: Things go wrong when Barney, a socially awkward middle-schooler, receives a malfunctioning, digitally connected device that’s supposed to be his best friend out of the box.
“Copshop”: Con artist hatches a desperate plan to hide out from lethal hitman.
“The Jesus Music”: A look at the Jesus Music movement that rose from America’s 1960s counterculture to become a worldwide phenomenon.
“Rick and Morty: The Complete Fifth Season”: The set contains episodes 42-51 of the animated series created by Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon.
“Shirobako: The Movie”: The film is the sequel to the television anime series of the same name.
“Are You Happy Now”: Man must find a way to get the woman he loves to agree to marry him.
“One Shot”: Elite squad of Navy SEALs must retrieve a prisoner from a CIA black site island prison to stop a terrorist attack.
“The Monkey King: Reborn”: Monkey King and his fellow disciples must rescue their master within three days, before the Demon King regains his full power and unleashes his armies to destroy the earth.
“Last Shoot Out”: Gunman must protect a newlywed from the husband who killed her father.
“Ema”: A couple’s marriage falls apart after a shocking incident.
“Neon Genesis Evangelion”: Set includes the original twenty-six episodes of the television series.