Review: Finding a home is tough in this week’s releases

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A scene from ‘In the Heights’ courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

This week’s releases include a universal community musical; another season in a world overrun by the living dead; a horse that helps a girl find her home; a critically acclaimed description of the war; and an unusual interpretation of a classic genre.

Criteria collection

The beasts of no nation (Blu Ray)

Based on the acclaimed novel by Uzodinma Iweala, the film is set in an unnamed, civil war-torn West African country, where young Agu (Abraham Attah) witnesses carnage in his village. before falling captive to a group of rebel soldiers led by a ruthless commander (Idris Elba), who turns the boy into a hardened killer.

This film struck a chord with audiences when it was released in 2015. Director Cary Joji Fukunaga’s relentless camera work and dedication to realism plunge viewers into the heart of the guerrilla war, largely carried out by school-aged children. . Told through the eyes of a child soldier, the film captures the utter tragedy of its violence and the horrific lives of these boys, brainwashed to live and die for their commander. Fueled by drugs, alcohol, fierce loyalty and blind rage, this gang of vagrant boys indiscriminately kill in the name of their leader. It is shocking to know that Attah has never performed before as he delivers a heartfelt and heartbreaking performance that takes viewers on an incredible journey as Agu’s innocence is wrested from him in more ways than one. Elba portrays a very difficult character as audiences need to understand why the boys follow him and how he positions himself as a father figure despite contempt for the same reasons. Bonuses explore the production, which was shot in Ghana, and also catch up with the now-adult young star.

Special features include: a commentary with Fukunaga and first assistant director Jon Mallard; documentary on the development and production of the film; conversation between Fukunaga and film and television producer and cultural commentator Franklin Leonard; interview with costume designer Jenny Eagan; trailer; and essay by film critic Robert Daniels. (Criteria collection)

Bugsy Malone on Blu-ray
Home entertainment paramount

Bugsy malone (Blu Ray)

Set in New York City in 1929, the film captures a flashy world of thugs, showgirls, and potential dreamers, all played by child actors. As Tallulah, the sassy girlfriend of the owner of Fat Sam’s Grand Slam Speakeasy, future superstar Jodie Foster leads a talented cast.

It seems like a solid proposition to take a violent genre with widespread appeal and make it accessible for a PG market. It’s hard to say if the resulting image would suit its target market well, but it certainly isn’t very appealing to adults. It’s a very cute version of the mafia movie with guns and knives replaced with whipped cream pies. Kids try to adopt the tough characters of their counterparts, but they’re just kids playing a role meant for adults and it shows. Scott Baio as the main character has all the charm, while Foster’s Tallulah exudes the misplaced sex appeal that will follow her throughout her young career. Finally, it’s odd that the film is also a musical with young people lip-syncing with adult voices – a choice some of the crew will later regret.

Special features include: “Give a Little Love”; and “Filmmaker Focus” with executive producer David Puttnam. (Paramount Home Entertainment)

Fear The Walking Dead Season 6 on Blu-ray
Lionsgate Home Entertainment

Fear The Walking Dead: The Complete Sixth Season (Blu-ray and digital copy)

After being torn apart by the Pioneers, Morgan’s (Lennie James) group is now scattered throughout their vast settlements, with life behind the walls of the Pioneers testing each of the group members in different ways – and forcing them to define who they really are. . in this new world. As Morgan’s attempt to free the remaining members of the group intensifies, Virginia’s (Colby Minifie) desperation to find her sister accelerates, as does her need to protect the colonies from enemy forces outside … and inside. With the formation of new alliances, the dissolution of relationships, the shift in loyalty, and everyone forced to take sides, “The end is the beginning” reveals its deepest meaning.

After the events of last season, Morgan is determined to save her tribe and destroy Virginia for all she has done. However, as the world remains entirely unpredictable, his plans are repeatedly intercepted and altered by new and old encounters. In the meantime, Virginia is doing everything to keep her group safe, which is good for them and bad for everyone. Several people believed to be dead have been found alive this season, although not all of their returns are greeted warmly. This season, a cryptic message accompanies several disasters that devastate communities of survivors. Finding its source reveals a threat to humanity that can supplant walkers and prove very difficult to stop. The season ends on a pretty serious note and it’s hard to imagine where the show will go now.

Special features include: comments. (Lionsgate Home Entertainment)

In the heights on Blu-ray
Warner Bros. Home entertainment

In the heights (4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and digital copy)

Lights up in Washington Heights… The scent of a caliente cafecito hangs in the air just outside of 181st Street subway station, where a kaleidoscope of dreams brings together this dynamic and tight-knit community. At the intersection of it all is the likeable magnetic bodega owner Usnavi (Anthony Ramos), who saves every penny of his daily grind as he hopes, imagines and sings for a better life.

There is a universal quality to this story, as many first-generation Americans grew up in similar neighborhoods, no matter what neighborhood or state he was in. As the ever-changing neighborhood faces gentrification that threatens to evict its current residents, they demonstrate that their sense of community does not depend on their proximity to one another. A lively adaptation of the on-stage musical, the story mixes the music and dynamic lyrics of Lin-Manuel Miranda with director Jon M. Chu’s energetic and genuine talent for storytelling to capture a world that is both local and universal. Whether it is singing about unfulfilled dreams, secret loves or the importance of their relationships and their community, the performers are endearing and the dancers captivating. It looks a lot like an elaborate and expanded Broadway production, which maintains the spirit of the narrative while taking advantage of the widescreen format to convey it on an even greater scale. The only downside is that the lack of an intermission makes the movie a bit too long at two hours and 23 minutes.

Special features include: making-of featurette; “When you are at home”; “Hundreds of stories”; “Alza La Bandera / Raise the Flag”; “Wepa! “; “This music in the air”; “Who keeps our inheritances”; “In the Heights” sing-a-long; “96,000”; to sing. (Warner Bros. Home Entertainment)

Spirit Untamed on Blu-ray
DreamWorks Animation & Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Untamed spirit (Blu-ray, DVD and digital copy)

Free spirit Lucky Prescott (Isabela Merced) moves to Miradero to join his ex-father (Jake Gyllenhaal). She is decidedly unimpressed with the sleeping city until she discovers a unique bond with her late mother who was a fearless stuntwoman on horseback. She quickly forms a bond with a wild mustang named Spirit and makes two new friends who love horses as much as she does. When a heartless wrestler (Walter Goggins) plans to capture Spirit and his herd, Lucky and his friends embark on an epic journey to save the horse that has given him an indestructible connection to his mother’s legacy.

The first half of this movie is a mundane story about a girl forced to live in a new town trying to make friends – humans and horses – and find a way to get along with her father, which she didn’t. not seen for some time. Lucky has a friendly and tenacious personality, which allows girls to instantly warm up with her and her to end up using Spirit – it turns out that an apple a day has the opposite effect on horses. The girls embark on an impossible quest to topple the wrangler and free the wild horses he has captured, making for a brave ride and foolish heroic deeds. Where Lucky is unsure of his home, Spirit knows exactly where his is and desperately wants to return. It’s a vibrant image with lots of wacky stories to entertain audiences of all ages.

Special features include: commentary with director Elaine Bogan, co-director Ennio Torresan and producer Karen Foster; deleted and extended scenes; “Find your mind”; “Behind the Voices – The Cast”; “Cowgirl rule”; “Spirit of drawing – Untamed spirit“;” Create Your Own Indoor ‘Campfire’ “;” How To Ukulele “;” Snack Time – S’mores “;” Secrets of Abigail’s Hand Shadow “;” How To zoetrope ”and sing along (DreamWorks Animation and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment)


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