‘Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker’ falls flat

Rick's Reviews

Movies and TV shows being released through DVDs, Blu-ray and digital platforms remain a primary source of new entertainment for those staying at home. Here’s a look at some of the titles available as of March 31.

“Star Wars: Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker” Grade 2 1/2 stars: The series that started in 1977 comes to a less than impressive ending with this convoluted conclusion. What should have been the shining moment for the franchise ends up being a finale that offers few surprises and inane plot twists.

Much of the previous two films has been either ignored or changed such as finding out Snoke was really just a puppet to control the first order being controlled by Emperor Palpatine. There is only a half-hearted explanation of how he is still around and how he plays into the Skywalker legacy.

There are a few good battle scenes and the special effects are great. But, the ending is so bad, it almost matches the failings of Jar Jar Binks and Ewoks in past efforts. The only thing that saves it is how footage shot for previous films was used to create one last performance by Carrie Fisher.

Also new on DVD and Blu-ray as of March 31

“What’s My Name: Muhammad Ali”: The two-part documentary from HBO Sports looks at the highs and lows of the boxing legend.

 “The Purge: Season Two”: Ramifications of a night of no laws continue to become clear.

“The Captain”: Co-pilot must find a way to land a badly damaged airplane.

“Bones”: Snoop Dogg stars in this tale of a neighborhood protector who returns from the dead in search of revenge.

“The Current War: The Director’s Cut”: Thomas Edison and Nikolai Tesla have a cutthroat competition regarding electricity. Benedict Cumberbatch stars.

“Coda”: Classical piano master is unable to perform after his wife’s death. Patrick Stewart stars.

 “Their Finest Hour”: Includes five films that examine the efforts by the British during World War II.

“Fist of Fear, Touch of Death”: The martial arts film starring Fred Williamson is being re-released to mark the 40th anniversary.

“Standing Up, Falling Down”: Struggling stand-up comedian strikes up an unlikely friendship with his dermatologist. Billy Crystal stars.

“Mr. Robot: Season 4”: This is the final season of the psychological drama starring Rami Malek and Christian Slater.

“Spy Intervention”: The world’s greatest spy struggles with trying to live a normal life. Drew Van Acker stars.

“VFW”: Group of veterans help a young man who is the target of a drug dealing gang. Stephen Lang stars.

“Summoned: Frances Perkins and the General Welfare”: Frances Perkins becomes the first woman to sit on the Cabinet of the United States.

Available through digital platforms as of March 31

“Call of the Wild”: Harrison Ford stars in this film based on the classic novel.

“I Still Believe”: The film is based on the true story of the singer/songwriter Jeremy Camp (KJ Apa) whose faith is tested when his new wife becomes terminally ill.

“Bad Boys for Life”: Will Smith and Martin Lawrence reprise their roles as tough cops. Will be released on DVD and Blu-ray April 21.

“Impractical Jokers: The Movie”: The film based on the TV series is being released digitally only five weeks after the theatrical opening.

“Clover”: Jackie (Mark Webber) and Mickey (Jon Abrahams) must go to extreme measures to pay off their father’s debt to a local mob boss. Can be seen through VOD starting April 3.

“One Nation Under Stress”: Directors/producers Marc Levin and Daphne Pinkerson look at the causes and effects of chronic stress.

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