New DVD’s: August 2019

As we head into August, the first of this year’s “Summer Blockbusters” begin to appear on home video. As you can imagine, these effects-heavy films aren’t generally critical darlings, so don’t expect to see many masterpieces here, but, if you’re looking for some good, escapist entertainment, most of the movies coming to the library this month should fit the bill pretty nicely! So microwave yourself some popcorn, turn up your speakers, and have some fun!


POKÉMON: DETECTIVE PIKACHU

MetascoreThe first-ever live-action Pokémon adventure begins when ace detective Harry Goodman goes mysteriously missing, prompting his 21-year-old son Tim to find out what happened. Aiding in the investigation is Harry’s former Pokémon partner, Detective Pikachu: a hilariously wise-cracking, adorable super-sleuth who is a puzzlement even to himself. Finding that they are uniquely equipped to communicate with one another, Tim and Pikachu join forces on a thrilling adventure to unravel the tangled mystery. Chasing clues together through the neon-lit streets of Ryme City—a sprawling, modern metropolis where humans and Pokémon live side by side in a hyper-realistic live-action world—they encounter a diverse cast of Pokémon characters and uncover a shocking plot that could destroy this peaceful co-existence and threaten the whole Pokémon universe.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“It’s by no means the Pokémon film anyone would have asked for, but it’s one I’m delighted exists.” – Robbie Collin, The Telegraph

“Smith’s character gives the story an emotional weight and Reynolds delivers an endearing comedic performance that’s closer to his subversive Deadpool schtick than you’d expect. While video game movies haven’t had the best track record, this movie is by and far the best example of how to do one right.” – Joshua Yehl, IGN

Available Formats (8/6):

Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack


THE CURSE OF LA LLORONA

MetascoreLa Llorona. The Weeping Woman. A horrifying apparition, caught between Heaven and Hell, trapped in a terrible fate sealed by her own hand. The mere mention of her name has struck terror around the world for generations. In life, she drowned her children in a jealous rage, throwing herself in the churning river after them as she wept in pain. Now her tears are eternal. They are lethal, and those who hear her death call in the night are doomed. La Llorona creeps in the shadows and preys on the children, desperate to replace her own. As the centuries have passed, her desire has grown more voracious… and her methods more terrifying. In 1970s Los Angeles, La Llorona is stalking the night—and the children. Ignoring the eerie warning of a troubled mother suspected of child endangerment, a social worker and her own small kids are soon drawn into a frightening supernatural realm. Their only hope to survive La Llorona’s deadly wrath may be a disillusioned priest and the mysticism he practices to keep evil at bay, on the fringes where fear and faith collide. Beware of her chilling wail… she will stop at nothing to lure you into the gloom. Because there is no peace for her anguish. There is no mercy for her soul. And there is no escape from the curse of La Llorona.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“The scares are plentiful and sometimes ticklishly funny in The Curse of La Llorona, an enjoyably old-fashioned ghost story.” – Manohla Dargis, New York Times

“The bottom line for every horror tale is the same. Does it chill, get those hairs on the back of your neck to stand up? Is it satisfying, in either a righteous or abandon-all-hope climax? Don’t cry for ‘La Llorona.’ She gets a wet, dirty job done.” – Roger Moore, Movie Nation

Available Formats (8/6):

Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack


POMS

MetascoreMartha (Diane Keaton) moves into a retirement community and starts a cheerleading squad with her fellow residents, Sheryl (Jacki Weaver), Olive (Pam Grier) and Alice (Rhea Perlman), proving that it’s never too late to follow your dreams.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“A dynamite ensemble cast and a truckload of heart keep the sentimental new comedy Poms from crumbling beneath multiple well-thumbed clichés including (but not limited to) plucky underdogs can triumph, friends are really important and life is short so live it fully.” – Kim Hughes, Original-Cin

“This cast of old pros may not be up to flips and basket catches, but they keep things lively. Keaton is as radiant as ever and Weaver is clearly having a blast.” – Nell Minow, RogerEbert.com

Available Formats (8/6):

Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack


TOLKIEN

MetascoreTolkien explores the formative years of the orphaned author as he finds friendship, love and artistic inspiration among a group of fellow outcasts at school.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“Hoult brings a quiet, romantic intensity to the young Tolkien (pronounced ‘Tolkeen’, who knew?), Lily Collins does a lot with a little as his first love Edith, and the Hobbit horde will gobble up all of the easter-egg references peppered throughout the movie.” – Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly

“The performances are wonderful, especially Hoult and Collins, who exude a charming chemistry, and fans of both the books and the films will find pleasure in this look at the early life of the man whose work still influences artists to this day.” – Josh Kupecki, Austin Chronicle

Available Formats (8/6):

Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack


AMAZING GRACE

MetascoreA documentary presenting Aretha Franklin with choir at the New Bethel Baptist Church in Watts, Los Angeles in January 1972.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“I felt wrung out at the end of this film. How incredible must it have been for those who were there in person.” – Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

“One of the great performances of the 20th century.” – Vikram Murthi, The A.V. Club

Available Formats (8/6):

Blu-ray


DONNYBROOK

MetascoreThree desperate souls must fight their way out of a dead-end world in this bracing, gut-punching glimpse into America’s dark underbelly. Earl (Jamie Bell) is a struggling ex-marine and father determined to make a better life for his family—no matter what it takes. Angus (Frank Grillo) is a violent, unhinged drug dealer who leaves a trail of death and destruction in his wake. And Delia (Margaret Qualley) is a haunted woman who will do anything to escape a life of crime she can no longer bear. In their kill-or-be-killed world, all roads lead to the Donnybrook: an illicit backwoods cage match where bare-knuckled fighters brawl for a shot at a $100,000 prize. It’s either a last-ditch chance at redemption—or a death sentence.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“A stunning, often flooring masterwork about desperation, writer/director Tim Sutton’s, Donnybrook is a brutal elegy for those living on the forgotten fringes of America.” – Rodrigo Perez, The Playlist

“Anchored by a quartet of fierce performances, Donnybrook is an intense, visceral tone poem, a rumination on money and drugs and bloodshed as a means of making ends meet in the heartland of modern America.” – Katie Walsh, Los Angeles Times

Available Formats (8/6):

Blu-ray


AVENGERS: ENDGAME

metascoreThe grave course of events set in motion by Thanos that wiped out half the universe and fractured the Avengers ranks compels the remaining Avengers to take one final stand in Marvel Studios’ grand conclusion to twenty-two films.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“If Infinity War was about failure, Endgame is, ironically, all about acceptance and moving on. After 11 long years, the Infinity Saga is finally, fulfillingly over. There is no post-credit scene. But oh, what a going-away party these old friends have thrown for themselves.” – Michael O’Sullivan, Washington Post

“I’m not prepared to instantly label Avengers: Endgame as the best of the 23 Marvel Universe movies to date, but it’s a serious contender for the crown and it’s the undisputed champion when it comes to emotional punch.” – Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times

“I honestly can’t think of any way that this movie could have been better, and based on all the applause, cheers, and tears in the audience, I don’t think anyone else watching could either. This is the perfect conclusion to all that came before it and I loved it three thousand. ” – Sean Farrell, AFPL Blog

Available Formats (8/13):

Blu-ray | DVD


UNPLANNED

MetascoreAs one of the youngest Planned Parenthood clinic directors in the nation, Abby Johnson was involved in upwards of 22,000 abortions and counseled countless women on their reproductive choices. Her passion surrounding a woman’s right to choose led her to become a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood, fighting to enact legislation for the cause she so deeply believed in. Until the day she saw something that changed everything.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“With its solid production values, Unplanned has all the appearances of being a real film, but viewers in favor of abortion rights will find it to be pure propaganda. Writer-directors Chuck Konzelman and Cary Solomon spend more time making their talking points than developing their characters, who exist merely to make their arguments.” – Kimber MyNew toers,Los Angeles Times

“Filmmakers Chuck Konzelman and Cary Solomon pound their points home like Madison Avenue vets, worried if they don’t use a ham for a cudgel, their audience might miss the point.” – Roger Moore, Movie Nation

Available Formats (8/13):

Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack


THE HUSTLE

MetascoreFemale scam artists (Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson), one low rent and the other high class, team up to take down the dirty rotten men who have wronged them.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

The Hustle nods to its predecessors and feels at times like To Catch a Thief meets Absolutely Fabulous. But what makes The Hustle work is its stars.” – Katie Walsh, Los Angeles Times

“Comedy is in a weird place right now, and The Hustle deserves some credit for fulfilling its own modest, escapist ambitions. Unlike a lot of what we see these days, in movies and elsewhere, it doesn’t feel like a rip-off or a scam. It’s downright innocent.” – A.O. Scott, New York Times

Available Formats (8/20):

Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack


A DOG’S JOURNEY

MetascoreA dog finds the meaning of his own existence through the lives of the humans he meets.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“The whole schtick of these movies is the treat-motivated, not-quite-getting-it doggie voice-over, performed by Josh Gad, and it lightens the film. But going dark and emotional makes the film work better than the prior two.” – Katie Walsh, Chicago Tribune

“Don’t tell anyone I said this, but the result is not only pleasingly emotionally purgative, but also has some elements worthy of genuine admiration, despite the fact that the third word in the title is one that should now be entirely banished from the English language for its precious, psychobabble connotations.” – Leslie Felperin, The Hollywood Reporter

Available Formats (8/20):

Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack


BRIGHTBURN

MetascoreWhat if a child from another world crash-landed on Earth, but instead of becoming a hero to mankind, he proved to be something far more sinister?

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“The film is a gem, especially for anyone yearning for a superhero film that gleefully torches the familiar ‘good versus evil’ formula and introduces far more sinister sensibilities.” – Alex Arabian, The Playlist

“Brutal and bludgeoning, David Yarovesky’s Brightburn is a film designed to knock the breath from your chest and subvert expectations.” – Alycia Ripley, The Film Stage

Available Formats (8/20):

Blu-ray


THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR

Metascore“What if I told you I could get you to fall in love with me…?” College-bound romantic Daniel Bae (Charles Melton) and Jamaica-born pragmatist Natasha Kingsley (Yara Shahidi) meet—and fall for each other—over one magical day amidst the fervor and flurry of New York City. Sparks immediately fly between these two strangers, who might never have met had fate not given them a little push. But will fate be enough to take these teens from star-crossed to lucky in love? With just hours left on the clock in what looks to be her last day in the U.S., Natasha is fighting against her family’s deportation as fiercely as she’s fighting her budding feelings for Daniel, who is working just as hard to convince her they are destined to be together.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“Under the perfectly paced direction of Ry Russo-Young (Before I Fall), Shahidi and Melton develop an easy chemistry on the way toward a satisfying denouement that’s neither tear-jerking tragedy nor fairy-tale wish fulfillment.” – Kerry Lengel, Arizona Republic

“If its heart-pounding romance doesn’t make you cry, its sorely needed sense of optimism will surely make you smile.” – Pat Padua, Washington Post

Available Formats (8/20):

Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack


THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS 2

MetascoreThe Secret Life of Pets 2 will follow summer 2016’s blockbuster about the lives our pets lead after we leave for work or school each day. The Secret Life of Pets 2 will see the return of writer Brian Lynch (Minions) and once again be directed by Chris Renaud (Despicable Me series, Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax).

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“If the knock on The Secret Life of Pets was that it was a rip-off of Toy Story, then the second film better grounds itself in its own universe. Like its main three characters, it has learned to be comfortable in its own animated skin.” – Mark Kennedy, Associated Press

“It’s unusual for a typical Illumination broad comedy to include a heartrending message that makes parents feel less alone in their very real, visceral struggles. It’s just cloaked in a shenanigans-soaked romp about what pets do when humans aren’t looking.” – Courtney Howard, Variety

Available Formats (8/27):

Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack


GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS

MetascoreThe heroic efforts of the crypto-zoological agency Monarch face off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah. When these ancient super-species—thought to be mere myths—rise again, they all vie for supremacy, leaving humanity’s very existence hanging in the balance.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“Yes, Godzilla: King of the Monsters is ultimately a Saturday matinee writ large, but that’s nothing to sneeze fire at; countless big, expensive action movies fail at making their way into a viewer’s pleasure center, but this one knows exactly how to be, in the truest sense of the word, sensational.” – Alonso Duralde, TheWrap

“Its imperfections are compensated by magnificence.” – Matt Zoller Seitz, RogerEbert.com

Available Formats (8/27):

Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack


ROCKETMAN

MetascoreThe story of Elton John’s life, from his years as a prodigy at the Royal Academy of Music through his influential and enduring musical partnership with Bernie Taupin.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“Fletcher is the real star of this show, a director whose enthusiasm for musical storytelling shines through every frame, hitting all the emotional high notes.” – Mark Kermode, The Observer

“Egerton’s whole-body commitment captures not just Elton’s outrageous physicality — in costume designer Julian Day’s hands, he’s essentially a one-man Mardi Gras — but his enduring sadness and insecurity (and the self-sabotaging behavior it was too often funneled through) without tipping into showbiz-tragedy cliché. He’s the starry-eyed cosmonaut the part demands, but merely, endearingly mortal too.” – Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly

“There was absolutely no chance that Elton John was going to let a movie about his life be just another by-the-numbers rock star biopic, so it should come as no surprise that Rocketman is a blast of campy, over-the-top fun.” – Sean Farrell, AFPL Blog

Available Formats (8/27):

Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack

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