Entertainment

‘Jungle Book,’ ‘Me Before You’ top new DVD releases out Aug. 30

Emilia Clarke, left, and Sam Claflin star in “Me Before You.”
Emilia Clarke, left, and Sam Claflin star in “Me Before You.” Warner Bros. Pictures

A young boy is raised by animals, while a young woman learns the painful side of love in this week’s new DVD offerings out Aug. 30.

“The Jungle Book” Grade 1/2: A young boy survives in the jungle with a little help from his animal friends.

Director Jon Favreau, who showed with “Iron Man” his skill at handling movies with heavy special effects, blends the original writings with the whimsy of the Disney 1967 animated classic and the realism of the 1994 version starring Jason Scott Lee.

The latest film has one minor flaw that wouldn’t have come across so blatant had the construction of the world and characters not been so realistic. Favreau places two musical numbers (lifted from the animated version) in the film and both seem completely out of place.

It’s the way all of these bits and pieces are presented that makes this movie the new king of the jungle movies.

“Me Before You” Grade 1/2: In this era of amazing computer-generated special effects, it’s easy to make an audience believe that a man can fly or that giant alien spaceships can show up around the globe. It’s far more difficult to make an audience believe that two people have fallen in love.

But that’s what Emilia Clarke (Lou) and Sam Claflin (Will) accomplish in the big-screen adaptation of Jojo Moyes’ best-selling book.

The film could have become entangled in deep political and philosophical discussions about how precious life is even when circumstances change so dramatically. Whether it is Will’s parents’ reactions or the relentless way Lou tries to show the wonders of the world, the film comes down to one very human decision.

Also new on DVD Aug. 30:

▪ “Star Wars Rebels: Complete Season Two”: Crew of the starship Ghost continues to battle the evil Empire.

▪ “Blunt Talk”: Patrick Stewart stars in the cable series about a talk show host who says what’s on his mind.

▪ “19-2: Season 2”: Montreal Police Department partners must put their differences aside to work together.

▪ “Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir: Spots On”: Two young heroes help protect Paris.

▪ “Criminal Minds: The Eleventh Season”: This is the final season of the CBS crime drama featuring Thomas Gibson.

▪ “The Phenom”: Young pitcher must let go of the past that’s holding him back. Ethan Hawke stars.

▪ “Hee Haw: The Collector’s Edition”: Includes performances by Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard in 21 hours of programming from the variety show.

▪ “The Commitments”: The film’s 25th anniversary is being marked by its release on Blu-ray.

▪ “Limitless: Season One”: A pill allows a young man to use a larger portion of his brain, a skill that’s helpful to the FBI.

▪ “CSI: Cyber Season Two”: An elite group of computer experts investigates cyber crimes.

▪ “Maximum Ride”: Six DNA-enhanced orphans with the ability to fly go on a mission to rescue the youngest of their flock.

▪ “Citizen Soldier”: National Guard unit is sent to one of the most dangerous parts of Afghanistan.

▪ “Shameless: The Complete Sixth Season”: Showtime series that follows the outrageous Gallagher clan.

▪ “NCIS Los Angeles: The Seventh Season”: LL Cool J stars in this TV procedural drama.

▪ “The Carol Burnett Show: The Lost Episodes Ultimate Collection”: Includes 45 episodes of the variety show.

▪ “Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries”: Miss Phryne Fisher is a female detective in 1920s Australia with a flair for solving crimes.

Available on Digital HD:

▪ “The Conjuring 2”: The Warrens go to London to help a single mother dealing with evil spirits.

▪ “The Neon Demon”: Group of women will do anything to regain youth and vitality.

▪ “Viva”: Gay hairdresser dreams of becoming a drag performer at the cabaret in which he works.

▪ “Pup Star”: Yorkie goes on a cross-country journey to compete in the ultimate singing competition for dogs.

Rick Bentley: 559-441-6355, @RickBentley1

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