Family drama tops this week’s new entertainment options.
“Tyson’s Run” Grade 2 ½ stars: Tyson (Major Dodson) is a 15-year-old who has never allowed his autism to limit him. When he reaches a point in homeschooling where his mother, Eloise (Amy Smart), can no longer teach him, Tyson pushes to attend the public school where his father is a legendary high school football coach.
High school is an emotional battlefield as Tyson must deal with the taunts and teasing of classmates. That’s when he discovers a passion for running.
A trope of sports movies is to have a complete underdog rise up to be a winner. But, the winning part is not so much the final score but what the person learns about themselves in the struggle. Even Rocky Balboa failed to win his big match in the original “Rocky” movie.
Director/writer Kim Bass has put together a script that goes beyond how an underdog can find the courage to succeed and takes it to such an unbelievable level that the film suffers. The approach is so out of bounds with reality that “Tyson’s Run” almost slips into the fairytale realm.
That leaves the family story and while the production is filled with stereotypical characters and over-the-top performances, there is a lot of strength in the father-son scenario. This is where the movie finds its heart.
“Licorice Pizza” Grade 1 ½ stars: The foundation is the story of young love. It is a forbidden love but that taboo is just the start of Paul Thomas Anderson’s manipulation of the tale.
Gary Valentine (Cooper Hoffman) is one of those students who wanders the halls of his high school barely getting noticed. It looks like another dull day in 1973 in the San Fernando Valley until Gary meets Alana Kane (Alan Haim), a photographer’s helper on the school’s picture day.
The pair then go on a series of adventures that would make Alice think Wonderland was not that strange. This is where Anderson dives deep into his unique style of storytelling. He takes the pair through a series of unrelated incidents that are only slightly weirdly connected.
Straining to hold all of these jumbled pieces together is the odd relationship between Gary and Alana. The fact she is in her 20s but looks to be 13 and he is supposed to be a teen but looks 30 makes the off limits connection between the pair seem forced and forbidden at the same time.
It should be obvious from the name of the film that Anderson is more interested in things in life that clash more than those that connect.
New on DVD and Blu-ray as of May 17
“Belle”: Young girl finds her true self in a virtual world.
“Succession: The Complete Third Season”: The HBO original series explores themes of power and family dynamics through the eyes of patriarch Logan Roy (Brian Cox) and his four grown children.
“Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”: The 1941 horror story starring Laurence Olivier is being re-released.
“Great Escapes with Morgan Freeman”: The eight-part docuseries explores some of the most infamous prison escapes in history.
“Extreme Prejudice”: Texas Ranger (Nick Nolte) locks horns with a former friend (Powers Boothe) who is now a ruthless drug kingpin.
“Straight to VHS”: A look at the period in the ‘80s when a host of cheap films flooded the market.
“Strawberry Mansion”: In the year 2035, a dream auditor working for an all-seeing surveillance state takes a surreal and cosmic journey through an eccentric woman’s unconscious archive and begins to fall in love with her younger self.
Available on streaming services
“Morbius”: Jared Leto stars in this film featuring the Marvel Comics character who is part man, part bat. Will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray June 14.
“Hatching”: Young girl takes care of a strange egg until a creature emerges.