Faith, hope and dating are themes in the new DVD releases available May 24.
“Risen,” Grade ☆☆1/2: The film is more “The Last Temptation of Christ” than “The Greatest Story Ever Told.” It’s a film that comes wrapped in the theological tecahings of the Bible, but it is really a procedural drama that looks to fill in the gaps left between the Crucifixion and the Ascension.
This blend will be jarring to those who believe in the strict narrative of the Bible. And those who love the logical reasoning of a procedural crime drama will have to deal with religion scattered through the tale. Anyone who can appreciate both will find that “Risen” isn’t heavenly, but is a smart look at the origins of personal faith.
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“The Finest Hour,” Grade ☆☆1/2: Chris Pine brings a Gary Cooper-type quality to the role by leading with a quiet power (a strong contrast to his broad work on “Star Trek”). He’s believable as a man driven by his devotion to duty and his love for the woman he left on shore.
The movie gets a little wobbly with the other supporting players.
Eric Bana has little more to do than bark a few orders. Ben Foster is reduced to a few nods and grunts. Both actors are capable of deeper performances but have little room to shine in a film that sets the characters played by Casey Affleck and Pine as the central heroes.
“How to Be Single,” Grade ☆☆☆: Four women deal with life in the dating world. Dakota Johnson stars.
“How to Be Single” actually is a smart, fun and sweet movie. Despite an all-female starring cast, it delivers its comments about relationships in such a full and inclusive manner that men will be pulled into the intertwined stories.
Movies that tend to focus on one sex often treat the other sex as little more than props. “How to Be Single” is an equal opportunity film where the male characters are presented with depth. The best example is the single father played by Damon Wayans Jr. His character is dealing with a lot of emotional baggage when it comes to his daughter and that adds dynamic to the story.
Also new on DVD May 24:
▪ “Zoolander 2”: Male supermodels face danger from competing company.
▪ “Lou Grant: Season One”: Ed Asner plays the city editor for the Los Angeles Tribune.
▪ “Rise of the Legend”: Martial artist (Eddie Peng) returns to the town where his father was murdered.
▪ “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Mickey’s Sport-y-thon”: Mickey and his friends compete in a sports tournament.
▪ “David Holt’s State of Music”: Grammy winner David Holt interviews and plays tunes with modern masters.
▪ “Outsiders: Season One”: Cable series set in the rural mountains of present-day Kentucky.
▪ “Bad Influence”: James Spader and Rob Lowe star in this 1990 movie about two men on a collision course with fate.
▪ “Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume Two”: Includes “Cave Dwellers,” “Pod People” and “Angels Revenge.”
▪ “The Wonder Years: The Complete Fifth Season”: Kevin and the gang begin their high school days.
▪ “A Married Woman”: Young married woman has an affair with an actor. Directed by Jean-Luc Godard.
▪ “Manhunter”: The 1986 movie that introduced the character of Hannibal Lecter.
▪ “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Beyond the Known Universe”: Includes 12 episodes of the Nickelodeon series.
▪ “Eleventh Hour”: British drama starring Patrick Stewart.
▪ “My Friend Flicka: The Complete Series”: Television series that originally aired during the 1956-57 season.
Available on Digital HD May 24:
▪ “The Other Side of the Door”: Grieving mother tries to bring her son back from the dead.
▪ “The Brothers Grimsby”: Dimwitted Nobby (Sacha Baron Cohen) reunites with his brother, an MI-6 agent.
▪ “Touched With Fire”: Katie Holmes and Luke Kirby play poets with bipolar disorders.
▪ “Hail, Caesar!”: Studio head must call on his top stars to help find kidnapped actor.
▪ “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi”: Six elite ex-military operators must protect members of the CIA.
▪ Vinyl: The Complete First Season: HBO series that explores the music business of 1970s New York. Available May 23.