Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, the director behind the Academy Award-nominated "Dogtooth," this provocative, edgy, and wickedly hilarious film is a story about love, relationships, and societal conformity. In a dystopian near future, single people, according to the laws of The City, are taken to The Hotel, where they are obliged to find a romantic partner in 45 days or are transformed into the animal of their choice and sent off into The Woods. Colin Farrell stars as David, a man who has just been dumped by his wife. David is sent to the mysterious Hotel while he searches for a new partner, and after several romantic misadventures, decides to make a daring escape to abandon this world. He ultimately joins up with a rebel faction known as The Loners, a group founded on a complete rejection of romance. But once there, David meets an enigmatic stranger (Rachel Weisz) who stirs up unexpected and strong feelings within him. 2015 Cannes Film Festival Jury Prize winner.
Vitals: Director: Yorgos Lanthimos. Stars: Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, John C. Reilly, Lea Seydoux, Ben Whishaw.
2016, CC, MPAA rating: R, 118 min., Comedy Drama, Box office gross: $2.263 million, Lionsgate.Extras:
From the ensemble-cast-director of "New Year's Eve" and "Valentine's Day" comes this dud of an ensemble film that connects the lives of a group of people maneuvering their way through relationships and family dysfunction in the week leading up to Motherís Day. Garry Marshall's big-screen directing career began with a bang with "The Flamingo Kid," "Nothing in Common" and "Beaches," reached its peak with "Pretty Woman," then spiralled into a saccharine free-fall that's ended up with this cardboard character, cliche-ridden mess.
Vitals: Director: Garry Marshall. Stars: Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson, Julia Roberts, Jason Sudeikis, Britt Robertson, Timothy Olyphant, Hector Elizondo, Jack Whitehall.
2016, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 119 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $22.806 million, Universal.Extras: Deleted scenes, gag reel.
Meet the Blacks
The Black family is getting out of Chicago in hopes of a better life. After Carl Black (Mike Epps) comes into some unexpected funds, he takes his family and leaves the hustling lifestyle behind for something better. Carl, his wife Lorena (Zulay Henao), son Carl Jr. (Alex Henderson), daughter Allie Black (Bresha Webb) and cousin Cronut (Lil Duval) pack up and move to Beverly Hills. Turns out, Carl couldn't have picked a worse time to move. They arrive right around the time of the annual purge, when all crime is legal for twelve hours.
Vitals: Director: Deon Taylor. Stars: Mike Epps, Zulay Henao, George Lopez, Mike Tyson, Alex Henderson, Bresha Webb, Lil Duval, Phil Austin, Kate Enggren.
2015, CC, MPAA rating: R, 94 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $9.093
million, Lionsgate.Extras: "The Making of Meet the Blacks" featurette, "Hit the Gas" music video, "Behind the Scenes of Hit the Gas," "Don't Hate Wiring!" parody commercial, outtakes.
A Hologram for the King
(2016) Based on the award-winning novel of the same name by David Eggers. Cultures collide when a recently divorced American businessman (Tom Hanks) is sent to Saudi Arabia to close what he hopes will be the deal of a lifetime -- pitching a state-of-the-art holographic teleconferencing system to a king. Baffled by local customs and stymied by an opaque bureaucracy, he eventually finds his footing with the help of a wise-cracking taxi driver (Alexander Black) and a beautiful Saudi doctor (Sarita Choudhury).
Vitals: Director:Tom Tykwer. Stars: Tom Hanks, Ben Whishaw, Sarita Choudhury, Tom Skerritt, Sidse Babett Knudsen.
2016, CC, MPAA rating: R, 97 min., Drama, Box office gross: $4.143
million, Lionsgate.Extras: "The Making of A Hologram For The King" featurette, "From Novel to Screen: The Adaptation of A Hologram For The King" featurette, "Perfecting the Culture" featurette.
God's Not Dead 2
Faith-based drama centers on Grace (Melissa Joan Hart), a Christian teacher, who is forced before a judge for honestly answering a question about Jesus in the classroom. With the principal and superintendent joining forces with a zealous civil liberties group, Grace faces an epic court case that could cost her the career she loves and expel God from the classroom.
Vitals: Director: Harold Cronk. Stars: Melissa Joan Hart, Jesse Metcalfe, Ernie Hudson, David A.R. White, Hayley Orrantia, Robin Givens, Fred Thompson.
2016, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 120 min., Drama, Box office gross: $20.615
million, Pure Flix Entertainment.
The Huntsman: Winter's War
The fantastical world of Snow White and the Huntsman expands to reveal how the fates of The Huntsman Eric and Queen Ravenna are deeply and dangerously intertwined. The evil Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron) betrays her good sister Freya (Emily Blun) with an unforgivable act, freezing Freya's heart to love and unleashing in her an icy power she never knew she possessed. Retreating to a kingdom far to the north, Freya raises an army of Huntsmen as her protectors, with the only rule that no two of them should ever fall in love. As a war for domination escalates between the two queens, the hero standing between good and evil is Freya's most elite Huntsman, Eric (Chris Hemsworth). Alongside fellow warrior Sara (Jessica Chastain) -- the only woman who has ever captured his heart -- Eric must help Freya vanquish her sister or Ravenna's wickedness will rule for eternity. Vitals: Director: Cedric Nicolas-Troyan. Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Jessica Chastain, Emily Blunt, Charlize Theron, Sam Claflin, Sheridan Smith, Sophie Cookson, Colin Morgan, Rob Brydon, Nick Frost.
2016, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 114 min., Action-Adventure Fantasy, Box office gross: $47.952 million, Universal.Extras: Deleted scenes, gag reel, "Dressed To Kill" costumes featurette, "Love Conquers All" behind-the-scenes featurette, commentary by director Cedric Nicolas-Troyan. Blu-ray adds "Two Queens and Two Warriors" featurette on the strength and complexity of the film's female roles, "Meet the Dwarfs" featurette, "Magic All Around" visual effects featurette.
The Jungle Book
Live-action adventure based on Rudyard Kipling's timeless stories, inspired by Disney's classic 1967 animated film and centered on Mowgli (Neel Sethi), a man-cub who's been raised by a family of wolves. But Mowgli finds he is no longer welcome in the jungle when fearsome tiger Shere Khan (voice of Idris Elba), who bears the scars of Man, promises to eliminate what he sees as a threat.
Vitals: Director: Jon Favreau. Stars: Neel Sethi, voices of Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong'o, Scarlett Johansson, Giancarlo Esposito, Christopher Walken, Garry Shandling.
2016, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 106 min., Family Adventure, Box office gross: $358.041 million, Disney.Extras: "King Louie's Temple: Layer by Layer" featurette. Blu-ray adds "The Jungle Book Reimagined," "I Am Mowgli" featurette on Neel Sethi, commentary with director Jon Favreau.
All DVDs are screened on a reference system consisting of a
Oppo BDP-83 Blu-ray Disc Player w/SACD & DVD-Audio, a
Rotel RSX-972 Surround Sound Receiver, and Phase Technology 1.1 (front), 33.1 (center),
and 50 (rear) speakers and Power 10 subwoofer.