Movies

Monday, March 13, 2017

DVD & Blu-ray Reviews for March 14, 2017

This week in video releases we have "Collateral Beauty," "Passengers" and "Fences" all coming out for purchase or rental.

"Collateral Beauty" was one of those 'love it or hate it' films. In it's 11-week run the Will Smith film earned $87.4 million dollars worldwide but left most audiences a little cold.

The sci-fi film "Passengers"opened in theaters December 21st to a total of $14.8 million dollars and took home $294.6 million dollars globally in its 15-week run.

"Fences," directed by Denzel Washington, opened December 16th in limited release and in wide release on December 25th. The film took home $63.1 million dollars worldwide in its 17-wees in theaters.



Collateral Beauty
Will Smith is Howard, a successful New York advertising executive, who suffers a great tragedy and retreats from life. While his concerned friends try desperately to reconnect with him, he seeks answers from the universe by writing letters to Love, Time and Death.

But when his notes bring unexpected personal responses from “Love,” played by Keira Knightley, “Death,” played by Helen Mirren, and “Time,” played by Jacob Lattimore, he begins to understand how even the deepest loss can reveal meaning and beauty.Collateral Beauty” is, at its core, a faith-based film with a warm heart and a good message.

The problem is the movie is trying too hard to drown the viewer in sentimentality and comes off a bit desperate at times.  A few tugs at the heartstrings is fine, but “Collateral Beauty” wants to drown its audience in a river of sap.


The problem is the movie is trying too hard to drown the viewer in sentimentality and comes off a bit desperate at times.  A few tugs at the heartstrings is fine, but “Collateral Beauty” wants to drown its audience in a river of sap.


In the end, “Collateral Beauty” will be compared to films like “A Christmas Carol,” “It’s a Wonderful Life” and other Christmas message films, but it lacks the genuine spirit of those films and settles on an artificially manufactured sentiment.

The film gets a C and is rated PG-13.


Passengers

A spacecraft traveling to a distant colony planet and transporting thousands of people has a malfunction in its sleep chambers. As a result, two passengers are awakened 90 years early.


Passengers” started off as smart science fiction with good acting, amazing sets and a real feel and pace for the genre.


Then it all went bad.


The two lead characters, Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt, were left with pretty much nothing to do for the main body of the film. For no reason Laurence Fishburne is awakened for the sole purpose of telling the audience what’s going on.


And then the plot degenerated into a made-for-TV story and resolution that was so formulaic it could have nursed a baby.


Passengers” had so much promise and let the audience down on just about every level.

It gets a D and is rated PG-13.


Fences
Fences,” which is based on the Tony Award-winning Broadway play, is a beautifully acted and paced film about a man who is coming to terms with his life choices and responsibilities to his family.

His stubborn and unchanging ideals coupled with the failures in his youth hold him back as he blames the white man for his lot in life. This attitude makes him refuse to believe his son can succeed where he could not.


Denzel Washington, who also directed, gives us one of the most powerful performances of his career.


Fences” is a must-see film.

It gets an A and is rated PG-13.

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