The biggest box office success in the history of cinema is now ready to make an assault on DVD sales records.
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” Grade (☆☆☆☆): Han Solo and Gen. Leia are pulled into a new battle between light and dark forces.
This film picks up George Lucas’ strengths – the story of family, friendship, fight between good and evil and the necessity of finding your own place in the galaxy. Abrams takes those elements and presents them through a structure that combines characters from the 1977 film with an entertaining and engaging group of new players.
Seeing this movie is like going to a party made up of people you have known for years mixed in with an engaging group of new faces. No matter the mixture, the result is magical.
It is loaded with great supporting performances, including those turned in by Adam Driver as Kylo Ren and Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron, two men on different sides of the battle. Fans will never forget the performances by Driver and Isaac that add another wicked level of fun. No character is stronger, though, than Rey (Daisy Ridley), the central player in the new story.
The comedic force was strong in “A New Hope,” an element Lucas used both well and poorly. Abrams has lightly seasoned “The Force Awakens” with humorous moments that are skillfully played to either set up some tension or break it.
Don’t spend extra time pondering the numerous “what if” moments that pop up. Instead, just sit back and go on a ride that will be as much fun the 10th time as the first.
Also included with the film is a making of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” documentary and other bonus material.
“NYPD Blue – Season Nine” Grade (☆☆☆1/2): The series that changed TV cop shows remains as good as ever. The men and women of New York’s 15th Precinct not only deal with a lot of crime, but they get to tell some personal stories. Several stories touch on the 2001 terrorist attacks in New York.
This season has Andy Sipowicz (Dennis Franz) dealing with a new romance with Det. Connie McDowell (Charlotte Ross) and a new partner in John Clark (Mark-Paul Gosselaar). Both make for interesting plotlines.
Also new on DVD and streaming services April 5
▪ “Identicals”: Company switches client lives with more advantageous ones.
▪ “Curveball”: Star athlete must fight being taken down a path to destruction.
▪ “Stealing Cars”: John Leguizamo stars in this tale of a rebellious teen who fights for survival in a juvenile detention center.
▪ “A Place to Call Home: Season 3”: Marta Dusseldorp plays a nurse who gets involved in the affairs of the Bligh family.
▪ “Cherry Tree”: Young woman’s search for a mother figure leads her into a coven of witches.
▪ “Episodes: Season Four”: Matt LeBlanc series about the efforts to turn a British TV show into an American series.
▪ “Dixieland”: Star-crossed lovers find their efforts to escape their dead-end town blocked. Riley Keough stars.
▪ “The Odd Couple: Season One”: Thomas Lennon and Mathew Perry star in this latest version of the Neil Simon comedy.
▪ “The Hoarder”: Storage unit proves to be a deadly place.
▪ “Twinkle Toes Lights Up New York”: Teen tries to make her Broadway dreams come true.
▪ “Meet the Hitlers”: Morgan Spurlock documentary about people with a last name that gets them a lot of attention.
▪ “House of Lies: Season Four”: Don Cheadle plays the ruthless Marty Kaan in this Showtime series.
▪ “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Daniel Goes Camping”: Includes three stories from the public television series.
▪ “A Film About Coffee”: Examination of what it takes for a coffee to be designated as a specialty.
▪ “Miss India America”: Woman decides the only way to win back her boyfriend is to become the new Miss India National.
▪ “Losing Ground”: Married couple come to a crossroads in their lives.
▪ “Death Walks Twice: Two Films by Luciano Ercoli”: Includes “Death Walks on High Heels” and “Death Walks at Midnight.”
▪ “The Hallow”: Conservationist must fight to save his family from demonic creatures.
▪ “#Horror”: Online game becomes real and puts players in jeopardy.
▪ “Veteran”: South Korean crime thriller from director Ryoo Seung-wan.
▪ “The Great Hypnotist”: Therapist skilled in hypnotherapy faces a dangerous patient.
Available on Digital HD:
▪ “Ip Man 3”: Martial arts master must save a school threatened by a crooked businessman (Mike Tyson).