New & Upcoming DVD’s: December 2018

Another year is coming to a close, but there are still a lot of exciting new videos arriving at the library all month long. There’s a little horror, some action, a lot of drama, several fun family films, a documentary, a dash of comedy, and one of the year’s surprise breakout hits (hint: it’s based on a comic book). No matter what you’re in the mood for, you’re certain to find something to keep yourself and whoever else you want to watch with entertained during those cold December nights.


MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT

MetascoreThe best intentions often come back to haunt you. Mission: Impossible – Fallout finds Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his IMF team (Alec Baldwin, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames) along with some familiar allies (Rebecca Ferguson, Michelle Monaghan) in a race against time after a mission gone wrong. Henry Cavill, Angela Bassett, and Vanessa Kirby also join the dynamic cast with filmmaker Christopher McQuarrie returning to the helm.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“Not only is Fallout the best Mission: Impossible film by a considerable margin, it is also undoubtedly the best action film of the year.” – Christopher Machell, CineVue

“It’s got that finely-tuned, perfect blend of every technical element that it takes to make a great action film, all in service of a fantastic script and anchored by great action performances to not just work within the genre but to transcend it. This is one of the best movies of the year.” – Brian Tallerico, RogerEbert.com

Available Formats (12/4):

DVD | Blu-ray


THE NUN

MetascoreWhen a young nun at a cloistered abbey in Romania takes her own life, a priest with a haunted past and a novitiate on the threshold of her final vows are sent by the Vatican to investigate. Together they uncover the order’s unholy secret. Risking not only their lives but their faith and their very souls, they confront a malevolent force in the form of the same demonic nun that first terrorized audiences in The Conjuring 2, as the abbey becomes a horrific battleground between the living and the damned.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“When it leans into its camp, (i.e. when the French-Canadian “Frenchie” is on screen), The Nun comes closest to its ideal form of go-to midnight-movie, the fun younger cousin of the Conjuring movies with less build-up but more of the money shots you’ll come to a theater to see.” – Dana Schwartz, Entertainment Weekly

“What distinguishes The Nun is its silky, sumptuous shadows. Directed by British filmmaker Corin Hardy (The Hallows) and shot by Maxime Alexander (who was also cinematographer on the Conjuring spinoff Annabelle: Creation), The Nun shrouds itself so much in darkness that it at times verges on becoming a nightmarish abstraction. You almost lose sense of what exactly is going on, as Sister Irene falls into a labyrinthine abyss.” – Jake Coyle, The Associated Press

Available Formats (12/4):

DVD | Blu-ray


THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS

MetascoreNo Sesame. All Street. The Happytime Murders is a filthy comedy set in the seedy underbelly of Los Angeles where puppets and humans coexist. Two clashing detectives with a shared secret, one human (Melissa McCarthy) and one puppet, are forced to work together again to solve the brutal murders of the former cast of a beloved classic puppet television show.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

The Happytime Murders may not be a timeless classic on par with Roger Rabbit, but it’s more interesting and nuanced than its raunchy, violent humor suggests. The puppeteering is fantastic, the characters are interesting, and although the story isn’t ingenious the jokes are usually funny.” – William Bibbiani, IGN

“It’s entertaining enough to see once, just to say you’ve seen it. But it surely isn’t for everyone. You’ve got to have a dark and dirty sense of humor.” – Samantha Incorvaia, Arizona Republic

Available Formats (12/4):

DVD | Blu-ray


OPERATION FINALE

MetascoreThis true story follows the 1960 covert mission of legendary Mossad agent Peter Malkin as he infiltrates Argentina and captures Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi officer who masterminded the transportation logistics that brought millions of innocent Jews to their deaths in concentration camps.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“It’s the psychological duel between the terrific Isaac and Kingsley as captor and prisoner that delivers the film’s most charged jolts of electricity.” – Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly

“It’s a story very worth telling, told pretty well, with self-evident virtues and obvious limitations. Viewers who see it out of a sense of duty will find some pleasure in the bargain.” – A.O. Scott, New York Times

Available Formats (12/4):

DVD | Blu-ray


THE HANDMAID’S TALE: SEASON 2

MetascoreThe second season expands to explore life on the colonies as Offred seeks freedom for her unborn child in the second season of the drama series based on Margaret Atwood’s best-selling novel.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“This is not only an important show, one that gets into your head as few TV series can, it is also pretty much a masterpiece. … Once again, the performances are astounding. And once again, the most astounding is Emmy winner Moss. … The rest of the cast is extraordinary.” – David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle

“For those fascinated by how a society such as ours can devolve relatively quickly into a misogynist nightmare, and by how fragile our moral balance is, there’s nothing better out there, even the miraculous Dark Mirror. And The Handmaid’s Tale isn’t intriguing on a conceptual level only; it’s a deeply personal story about a few women who’ve been abducted. … TV storytelling at its boldest.” – Matthew Gilbert, Boston Globe

Available Formats (12/4):

DVD | Blu-ray


THE EQUALIZER 2

MetascoreDenzel Washington returns to one of his signature roles in the first sequel of his career. Robert McCall serves an unflinching justice for the exploited and oppressed – but how far will he go when that is someone he loves?

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“Mr. Washington is especially strong when he trusts his director, as he did with Tony Scott and does with Mr. Fuqua. Like all great actors, Mr. Washington commits to the performance, but every so often he also breathes fire, imbuing a scene with such shocking ferocity and bone-deep moral certitude that everything else falls blissfully away.” – Manohla Dargis, New York Times

“Not everything in Equalizer 2 is successful, including a subplot about a Yiddish-speaking Holocaust survivor played by Orson Bean that misses the mark. But the film is effective where it needs to be, and if there is an “Equalizer 3,” in line to see it is where you’ll find me.” – Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

Available Formats (12/11):

DVD | Blu-ray


SMALLFOOT

MetascoreSmallfoot turns the Bigfoot legend upside down when a bright young Yeti finds something he thought didn’t exist—a human. News of this “smallfoot” throws the simple Yeti community into an uproar over what else might be out there in the big world beyond their snowy village, in an all new story about friendship, courage and the joy of discovery.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“Beautiful is the apt description for this hilarious masterpiece that embraces reason, celebrates truth and ultimately believes we’re civilized enough to accept both.” – Frank Lovece, Film Journal International

Smallfoot effectively weaves powerful messages into a fun, heart-warming animation that is sure to appeal to audiences both young and old.” – Amy West, Empire

Available Formats (12/11):

DVD & Blu Ray Combo Pack


UNBROKEN: PATH TO REDEMPTION

MetascoreBased on Laura Hillenbrand’s bestselling book, Unbroken: Path to Redemption begins where the hit movie Unbroken concludes, sharing the next amazing chapter of the unbelievable true story of Olympian and World War II hero Louis Zamperini. Haunted by nightmares of his torment, Louie sees himself as anything but a hero. Then, he meets Cynthia, a young woman who captures his eye—and his heart. Louie’s wrathful quest for revenge drives him deeper into despair, putting the couple on the brink of divorce. Until Cynthia experiences Billy Graham’s 1949 Los Angeles Crusade where she finds faith in God and a renewed commitment to her marriage and her husband. Now, her most fervent prayer is for God to help Louie find the peace and forgiveness he so desperately needs.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“The movie delivers an inspiring message about the power of faith and forgiveness, which is its obvious raison d’etre. But it does so in the sort of formulaic, cliched and simplistic manner that afflicts so many inspirational films.” – Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter

“Hunt gives it as all as the tortured Louis, but Patterson is the heart and soul of the film, giving a far more interesting performance as his long-suffering wife.” – Katie Walsh, Chicago Tribune

Available Formats (12/11):

DVD | Blu-ray


COLETTE

MetascoreAfter marrying a successful Parisian writer known commonly as “Willy” (Dominic West), Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette (Keira Knightley) is transplanted from her childhood home in rural France to the intellectual and artistic splendor of Paris. Soon after, Willy convinces Colette to ghostwrite for him. She pens a semi-autobiographical novel about a witty and brazen country girl named Claudine, sparking a bestseller and a cultural sensation. After its success, Colette and Willy become the talk of Paris and their adventures inspire additional Claudine novels. Colette’s fight over creative ownership and gender roles drives her to overcome societal constraints, revolutionizing literature, fashion and sexual expression.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“The best and most lavishly appointed, gorgeously photographed period movie in years.” – Rex Reed, The Observer

“Knightley shines in period films (Anna Karenina, Pride & Prejudice) and here inflects Colette with a boldness and forthrightness that create a bridge between Belle Epoque Paris and today’s zeitgeist.” – Erica Abeel, Film Journal International

Available Formats (12/11):

DVD | Blu-ray


SGT. STUBBY: AN AMERICAN HERO

MetascoreWith the war to end all wars looming, young army “doughboy” Robert Conroy has his life forever changed when a little dog with a stubby tail wanders into camp as the men of the 102nd Infantry Regiment train on the grounds of Yale University. Conroy gives his new friend a name, a family, and a chance to embark on the adventure that would define a century. Despite lacking formal military working dog training, Stubby the dog and his human companions find themselves in the trenches of France and on the path to history. French Infantryman Gaston Baptiste befriends the duo and accompanies them along their epic journey through harsh conditions and incredible acts of courage. For his valorous actions, Stubby is recognized as the first canine ever promoted to the rank of Sergeant in U.S. Army history.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“Much like the way that Stubby was often underestimated before he found his calling, I came into this film not expecting how much I would appreciate a more thoughtful use of animation to tell an engaging story.” – Susan Wloszczyna, RogerEbert.com

“The film is sufficiently intelligent and entertaining to engage most grown-ups and, no kidding, fascinate history buffs.” – Joe Leydon, Variety

Available Formats (12/11):

DVD | Blu-ray


VENOM

MetascoreOne of Marvel’s most enigmatic, complex and badass characters comes to the big screen, starring Academy Award nominated actor Tom Hardy as the lethal protector Venom.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“This leaves the viewer with two choices: reject the parasite or let it take you over. Fight it off and you’ll have a bad time; become one with it and you may achieve a kind of symbiosis.” – Michael Nordine, IndieWire

“For several weird stretches, though, Venom is a bouncy good time. The movie doesn’t seem to care if you’re laughing with it, at it, or whatever. Just as long as you’re engaged, rollicking along as it doles out fan-service while still making a gleeful hash of so many serious franchise movies about very silly things.” – Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair

Available Formats (12/18):

DVD | Blu-ray


THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS

Metascore10-year-old Lewis (Owen Vaccaro) goes to live with his uncle in a creaky old house with a mysterious tick-tocking heart. But his new town’s sleepy façade jolts to life with a secret world of warlocks and witches when Lewis accidentally awakens the dead.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“So it comes as no small shock that The House With a Clock in Its Walls may very well be one of the best spooky movies to ever operate under a PG rating. The man known for taking things too far (director Eli Roth) also appears to know exactly where to stop.” – Matthew Monagle, Austin Chronicle

“Roth and screenwriter Eric Kripke’s adaptation of The House With a Clock in its Walls is a bullseye, perfectly balanced between funny and scary.” – Matthew Desem, Slate

Available Formats (12/18):

DVD | Blu-ray


A SIMPLE FAVOR

MetascoreStephanie (Anna Kendrick) is a mommy vlogger who seeks to uncover the truth behind her best friend Emily’s (Blake Lively) sudden disappearance from their small town. Stephanie is joined by Emily’s husband Sean (Henry Golding) in this stylish thriller filled with twists and betrayals, secrets and revelations, love and loyalty, murder and revenge.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“Just strap in, because A Simple Favor‘s plot isn’t just twisty: It’s so labyrinthine that you expect a minotaur to pop up.” – Richard Whittaker, Austin Chronicle

A Simple Favor is a sharply dressed comedy-thriller, and the screenplay is even sharper. Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively dominate the screen in two of their best and funniest roles, and director Paul Feig is in rare form, using spry humor to make this subversive and creepy thriller more unusual and unpredictable.” – William Bibbiani, IGN

Available Formats (12/18):

DVD | Blu-ray


THE PREDATOR

MetascoreFrom the outer reaches of space to the backwoods of southern Georgia, the hunt comes home in Shane Black’s explosive reinvention of the Predator series. Now, the universe’s most lethal hunters are stronger, smarter and deadlier than ever before. And only a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers and an evolutionary biology professor can prevent the end of the human race.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“It’s scattered and messy and startling and electric and fun.” – Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle

“Once all these characters come together, the film’s manic, disjointed first act settles in for some seriously rollicking ’80s-esque hijinks, replete with brand new Predator aliens and a healthy dose of worldbuilding that touches on today’s every hot button issue, from climate change to genetic modifications to anti-ableism that’s actually probably just ableism.” – Dom Sinacola, Paste Magazine

Available Formats (12/18):

DVD | Blu-ray


FAHRENHEIT 11/9

MetascoreMichael Moore’s Fahrenheit 11/9 is a provocative and comedic look at the times in which we live. It will explore the two most important questions of the Trump Era: How the ███ did we get here, and how the ███ do we get out? It’s the film to see before it’s too late.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

Fahrenheit 11/9 is a call to action and a powerful one at that. It really brings something to the table that we’ve been missing, and something that most of the mainstream media is not well equipped to deliver, but Michael Moore is — emotion about injustice.” – Andy Howell, Film Threat

“Technically, what’s on display may not be the Oscar winner’s finest go at filmmaking, but never has his message seemed more urgent and unaffected.” – Marjorie Baumgarten, Austin Chronicle

Available Formats (12/18):

DVD | Blu-ray


LIFE ITSELF

MetascoreLife Itself centers on a couple (Oscar Isaac and Olivia Wilde) that lead a multi generational love story spanning both decades and continents, from the streets of New York to the Spanish countryside, and are all connected by a single event.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

Life Itself starts out with great promise – a dizzying first act that creates the tapestry of a character’s life by offering a kaleidoscope of moments from his past. It’s poignant, effective, and punctuated by actions that are breathtakingly sudden and unexpected. However, after the strong beginning, the movie takes a conventional turn.” – James Berardinelli, ReelViews

“Fogelman clearly gets a thrill in constructing a tapestry full of one random tragedy after another (seriously, almost nothing good seems to happen to these people long term). And he also appears to love manipulating the audience’s emotions with these subsequent tragedies.” – Gregory Ellwood, The Playlist

Available Formats (12/18):

Blu-ray


LITTLE WOMEN

MetascoreFrom girls playing in the attic to women living with purpose, the March sisters—Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy—are committed to always supporting each other. Yet, growing up sometimes means growing apart. An aspiring writer, Jo leaves for New York determined to publish a novel. In the wake of rejected draft upon draft, her editor challenges Jo to write about something more interesting—her family. When tragedy brings the sisters back home, sticking together takes on new meaning. As Jo comforts her sick sister, Beth asks for one thing: a story. Jo knows the perfect one … by heart.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“For devotees, the essence of the Little Women story remains, and, for newcomers, it is a sweet film that should inspire them to explore the book and the more traditional adaptations. It has a sad loss, a joyful reunion, a love story, a writer finding her voice, and one of the most endearing families in literature.” – Nell Minow, RogerEbert.com

“Not a ringing endorsement, but as faith-based dramas go, this isn’t angry and isn’t an over-reach. Its virtues are the same as ever, even if its dramatic shortcomings only grow with time.” – Roger Moore, Movie Nation

Available Formats (12/18):

DVD


WHITE BOY RICK

MetascoreSet in 1980s Detroit at the height of the crack epidemic and the War on Drugs, White Boy Rick is based on the moving true story of a blue-collar father and his teenage son, Rick Wershe Jr., who became an undercover police informant and later a drug dealer, before he was abandoned by his handlers and sentenced to life in prison.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“French director Yann Demange doesn’t clean up the story or make a hurting neighborhood look pretty. The film stays foreboding, gritty and honest. Merritt’s no-frills style is the film’s greatest asset, while McConaughey brings an authentic paternal concern to his usual trailer-park persona.” – Johnny Oleksinski, New York Post

“The new film from ’71 director Yann Demange is best when it pauses to explore the father-and-son drama at the heart of this tale, as well as coldly examining America’s ruinous drug policy.” – Tim Grierson, Screen International

Available Formats (12/25):

DVD

 

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