What’s going on, ProFans? I’m taking a break from catching up on all of the Marvel Comics I’ve been missing – seriously, it’s a lot – to bring you the latest releases to home media for January 19, 2016. In this week’s episode, we discuss the birth of gangsta rap, mountain climbing, something that’s truly outrageous, the most legendary folk hero you’ve never heard of, reality-warping history, and the last book you want to read. As you can see, we have a lot to get to, so let’s get to it.
Straight Outta Compton (R)
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 88%
In the 1980s, Compton, CA was the last place anyone ever wanted to visit; but, for the people who lived there, the hood was a way of life. But, when Ice Cube (O’Shea Jackson, Jr), Dr. Dre (Corey Hawkins), Eazy-E (Jason Mitchell), MC Ren (Aldis Hodge), and DJ Yella (Neil Brown, Jr) turn their experiences into a new sound, they learn that being out of the hood may be more dangerous than being in it. This film, which also stars Paul Giamatti, Carra Patterson, and Elena Goode, is available in a two disc Blu-ray/DVD + Digital Copy version which includes an unrated director’s cut, and a single disc DVD version. Although they left out quite a bit from this (Dre was a notorious woman beater, and there were actually SIX original members of NWA instead of five – sorry Arabian Prince), this is still a great movie and an unfortunate Oscar snub. It’s a small consolation, but it’s my pick of the week.
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 73%
Inspired by an actual event in 1996, this film takes a look at the life of renowned mountain climber Scott Fischer (Jake Gyllenhaal) as he takes a group of climbers up Everest and the calamity that ensued on that expedition. Anything that could go wrong did, and the events of that climb will leave you on the edge of your seat until the very end. This film, which also stars Jason Clarke, John Hawkes, and Josh Brolin, is available in a three disc 3D Blu-ray/Blu-ray/DVD + Digital Copy version, a two disc Blu-ray/DVD + Digital Copy version, and a single disc DVD version. I’ve never understood the affinity for mountain climbing, and I don’t think I ever will. But, I will say these guys are a whole lot braver than I am, and their stories deserve to be told in this medium. Give it a watch.
Jem and the Holograms (PG)
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 19%
Jerrica Benton (Aubrey Peeples) is just a small-town girl with a big voice who likes to keep that voice hidden. But, when her sister Kimber (Stefanie Scott) uploads one of her singing videos to YouTube, Jerrica becomes a sensation the likes of which the world has never seen before. Along with her adopted sisters Shana (Aurora Perrineau) and Aja (Hayley Kiyoko), they take a journey into superstardom and become something greater than they started off as. This film, which also stars Molly Ringwald, Juliette Lewis, and Ryan Guzman, is available in a two disc Blu-ray/DVD + Digital Copy version and a single disc DVD version. The cartoon was a bit empty-headed, but that was a whole lot better than this movie. This movie is Jem and the Holograms in name only, and I wouldn’t even watch this if it were on TNT.
Inside Llewyn Davis (Criterion) (R)
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 94%
From the heralded Criterion collection comes a rerelease of the 2013 smash hit. Llewyn Davis (Oscar Issac) is a folk singer squeaking out a meager existence in Greenwich Village in 1961. When he gets discovered, he soon finds out that the reason he has these shortcomings isn’t from the outside…it’s actually from within. This film, which also stars Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, and Garrett Hedlund, is available in a single disc Blu-ray special edition. Criterion doesn’t just release anything, and this is no exception to the rule. It’s a fascinating look at a talented man who needs to learn how to handle his demons, and it’s highly recommended.
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 9%
In 1969, Danny Winters (Jeremy Irvine) is kicked out of his Nebraska home by his parents for committing the crime of being gay. He makes his way to Greenwich Village and the Stonewall Inn, where he meets more like-minded individuals and realizes he can thrive there. But, when rampant discrimination and the full fury of the NYPD comes down on them, a revolution is born. This film, which also stars Jonathan Rhys Myers, Ron Perlman, and Caleb Landry Jones, is available in a single disc DVD + Digital Copy version. This is a horrible movie. Not because of the subject matter, because this is most certainly a story that needs to be told. But this is a horrible movie because of the blatant bastardization of history that happened. This movie disrespects the memory of all of those that participated in the Stonewall riots, and I wouldn’t watch this if they paid me.
The Diary of a Teenage Girl (R)
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 94%
Minnie Goetze (Bel Powley) is like any other teenager; longing for love and trying to find her purpose in the world. She ends up in a love affair with her mother’s boyfriend Monroe (Alexander Skarsgård), and begins the journey to find out who she is meant to be. This film, which also stars Kirsten Wiig, Christopher Meloni, and Margarita Leveria, is available in a single disc Blu-ray + Digital Copy version and a single disc DVD version. I’ve always been a fan of coming of age stories, and this movie is no exception to the rule. This is an incredible look at the life of a young girl on her journey to becoming a young woman, and this is another one that I can’t recommend any higher.
Well, that’s all I’ve got for this week. Got any questions or comments? Did I miss something you wanted to discuss? Please feel free to hit me up in the comments section below.
Until next time…