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New On DVD/Blu-Ray
Week of March 14, 2017
1. Passengers (2016)
2. Fences (2016)
3. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (2015 TV Series)
4. Elle (2016)
5. Collateral Beauty (2016)
6. Six (2017 Mini-Series)
7. American Violence (2017)
8. Solace (2015)
9. Z Nation (2014 TV Series)
10. The Love Witch (2016)

"VIDEOPHILE"

Fences
DVD Release Date: March 14, 2017
Rating: PG-13
Grade: A-
Denzel Washington and Viola Davis give their all in “Fences,” based on the play by August Wilson. Washington directed this film set in the mid-20th Century. He stars as Troy Maxson, a family-man in the big city working as a garbage man. He comes home to his wife of 18 years, Rose (Davis) and his son, Cory (Jovan Adepo). He pals around with his best friend, Bono (Stephen Henderson) about almost making it in baseball.

Troy gets bitter when Rose says Cory was accepted by a college football team. He doesn’t want Cory to go through the same disappointments he went through in baseball.

“Fences” is an emotional seesaw that instantly hooks you. Washington’s performance makes you laugh at his character’s sly sayings and actions. When he gets full of rage, it’s powerful and similar to his Oscar-winning performance as Lonzo in “Training Day.”

Davis deserved her Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. She shined as Troy’s devoted wife.

We learn a lot about the characters through dialogue. A great technique. This film could’ve shined more if there were flashbacks of Troy as a young boy.

“Fences” is a stunning performance that should’ve scored Washington “Best Actor” at the Oscars. –Khaleel Herbert, Blackflix Film Critic/Home Video Columnist



Moana
DVD Release Date: March 7, 2017
Rating: PG
Grade: B+
The ingredients for a Disney movie are: a chosen one, a journey, an animal sidekick, and some musical bits. “Moana” follows this recipe to a tee, but remains fresh.

Moana (voice of Auli’i Cravalho) wants to follow in her father’s (voice of Temuera Morrison) footsteps to become chief. But her Gramma Tala’s (voice of Rachel House) ancestral stories drive Moana to sail and explore the unknown.

The villagers start noticing a shortage in fish. Moana says if they go beyond the reef, they can find more fish. Her father is against it.

When Gramma Tala becomes ill and lies on her deathbed, she tells Moana to search for Demigod Maui (voice of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson). Maui stole a magical stone from an island, and if it’s returned, all will be restored.

“Moana” had its similarities to “Mulan.” Like Mulan, Moana had a strict father that wanted her to follow his orders. When things went awry, Moana took on the challenging mission, gaining confidence and inner-strength along the way.

The musical numbers aren’t terrible. There are catchy tunes like “You’re Welcome,” sung by The Rock, and “How Far I’ll Go,” sung by Auli’i Cravalho.

“Moana” is an adventure worth having. –Khaleel Herbert, Blackflix Film Critic/Home Video Columnist

Blu-Ray Bonus Features:
*Short Film: “Inner Workings”
*Maui Mini Movie: “Gone Fishing”



Passengers
DVD Release Date: March 14, 2017
Rated: PG-13
Grade: A
What if you were the only passenger on a spaceship with no one to talk to? Just you and your thoughts. “Passengers” answers that question.

The Avalon starship cruises on a one-way trip to Homestead II, a new planet where 5,000 volunteer passengers decided to voyage and create a new civilization. The ship is so futuristic that it doesn’t even need a pilot.

Passengers and crew members hibernate in individual pods for the long-haul. A hiccup on the ship causes one pod to open early. Jim Preston (Chris Pratt) awakens. With no way to get back to sleep, Jim is completely alone. He notices a pod with Aurora Lane (Jennifer Lawrence) in it. She suddenly wakes up and they share each other’s company.
 
“Passengers” is a love story meshed with a “Twilight Zone” episode. Pratt and Lawrence’s chemistry, unlike Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling in “La La Land,” is believable. You’ll root for them to the credits.

The special effects aren’t over the top either (thank God!). The outer space scenes are beautiful and serene. The small cast allows viewers to keep all their attention on the main characters.

Unlike “La La Land,” “Passengers” hooked me from the very beginning. – Khaleel Herbert, Blackflix Film Critic/Home Video Columnist.



Straight Outta Compton
Release Date: January 19, 2016
Rated: R
Grade: A
Seasoned with sharp performances from up-and-coming actors, there's not a dull moment in the two-hour plus running time of “Straight Outta Compton.”

Filled with a little humor, hard truth and vivacity, it exudes a raw and infectious energy that seems to radiate from several places at once -- from the stars, the story, and, most tellingly, from the music.

The film covers many important events and songs and sparkles during its concert scenes. With moments of greatness, there’s plenty here to attract more than just N.W.A.’s core fan-base. Audiences eager to know about the birth of West Coast rap and how Dr. Dre and Ice Cube rose from the rough-and-tumble streets of Compton to sleek million-dollar homes in Los Angeles’ wealthiest enclaves will find it her.

– Samantha Ofole-Prince, Blackflix.com Senior Critic at Large

Bonus Features:
* Digital Copy of Straight Outta Compton - Unrated Director's Cut (Subject to expiration. Go to NBCUCodes.com for details.)
* Includes UltraViolet (Subject to expiration. Go to NBCUCodes.com for details.)
* Deleted Scenes
* Deleted Song Performance
* N.W.A The Origins
* Impact
* Director's Journey
* The Streets: Filming in Compton
* N.W.A Performs in Detroit
* Becoming N.W.A
* Feature Commentary with Director/Producer F. Gary Gray






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