This week is a bit weak in terms of quality home releases. The biggest release is “Straight Outta Compton” featuring the rise and fall of the seminal rap group N.W.A., a film many people believe should have been nominated for best picture. A movie with a similar theme “Jem and the Holograms” has the distinct honor of being the biggest flop of 2015. The rest of the releases are mostly independent films which garnered mixed to bad reviews.
Check out this week’s releases below and always stay up to date with the latest releases by clicking here to subscribe.
Straight Outta Compton (2015)
R – drama
The story of how the N.W.A. was formed in the 1980’s by Dr. Dre(Corey Hawkins), Eazy-E (Jason Mitchell), and Ice Cube(O’shea Jackson, Jr.) as well as the rise of gangsta rap.
This film has been well received and is a must watch for rap fans.
O’shea Jackson, Jr., Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, Aldis Hodge, Neil Brown Jr., Paul Giamatti, Carra Patterson, Elena Goode, Alexandra Shipp, Keith Powers
PG-13 – action/drama
“Everest” is the story of an ill fated 1996 expedition to climb Mt. Everest in which pretty much anything that could go wrong did go wrong.
People love the cinematography and breath taking shots of the mountain in this film although the script has been criticized as dull.
Jake Gyllenhaal, Jason Clarke, John Hawkes, Josh Brolin, Robin Wright, Keira Knightley, Sam Worthington
The Intern (2015)
PG-13 – comedy
Jules Ostin (Anne Hathaway) runs a fashion company that decides to try having senior interns. Ben Whittaker (Robert De Niro) is a retired widower who takes on the internship and, after having initial trouble getting used to things, starts teaching the younger people lessons in life and business.
This has gotten so so reviews. If you’re a Hathaway or De Niro fan looking for a comedy go for it, just know that this is not their finer work.
Anne Hathaway, Robert De Niro, Rene Russo, Adam DeVine, Andrew Rannells
PG – drama/religious
In 1973 Tony Nathan (Caleb Castille), an African American student, joins the football team of a high school that was just forced to desegrate by the Federal Government. Although he’s a stand out star, the majority of the team doesn’t want him and race riots are sparked in the town. The team’s coach (Nicholas Bishop) eventually turns to Christianity to bring them together. Based on a true story.
Sean Astin, Brando Eaton, C. Thomas Howell, Jon Voight, Nicholas Bishop, Virginia Williams, Rhoda Griffis, Sherri Shepherd
Learning to Drive (2015)
R – drama
After Wendy’s (Patricia Clarkson) marriage falls apart she feels it’s finally time to learn to drive and begins taking lessons from Darwan. As the lessons proceed the two strike up a friendship helping Wendy come to terms with the end of her marriage while Darwan (Ben Kingsley) has to decide whether to go through with his own arranged marriage.
Mixed reviews for “Learning to Drive” although they do lean a bit towards the positive.
Patricia Clarkson, Ben Kingsley, Grace Gummer, Jake Weber, Sarita Choudhury, Samantha Bee, John Hodgman
Jem and the Holograms (2015)
PG – drama/comedy
Jerrica Benton (Aubrey Peeples) is a shy teenage song writer. One of Jerrica’s song’s gets posted on YouTube by her sister (Stefanie Scott) under the name Jem. The song becomes a hit and Jerrica along with her sister and two foster sisters get signed to a recording contract. Unfortunately their producer (Juliette Lewis) tries to cause a rift and break up the band so she can make Jem a solo artist. While this is going on, the girls discover a robot named Synergy (built by Jerrica’s deceased father) who sends them on a scavenger hunt.
“Jem and the Holograms” is very loosely based on the 80’s cartoon and Hasbro toy line. The looseness is what has upset many old Jem fans. The movie ignores many things from the source material and uses the standard generic rise of the band leading to dissension story. Critics hated the generic plot, weak characters, bizarre scavenger hunt, and called the film boring. This was the biggest flop of 2015 and the 4th worst opening of all time.
Aubrey Peeples, Stefanie Scott, Aurora Perrineau, Hayley Kiyoko, Molly Ringwald, Ryan Guzman, Juliette Lewis, Nicholas Braun
Chris Pratt, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Jimmy Fallon, Kesha, Alicia Keys, Jason Kennedy
The Diary of a Teenage Girl (2015)
R – drama/comedy
15 year old inspiring cartoonist Minnie Goetze (Bel Powley) has sex with her mother’s boyfriend (Alexander Skarsgård) who falls for her and tries to keep it a secret from the mother (Kristen Wiig). Bel then begins experimenting sexually with others while discovering herself and relating it all in her audio diary.
Critics love this film finding it to be a sweet and funny coming of age story.
Bel Powley, Alexander Skarsgård, Christopher Meloni, Kristen Wiig, Margarita Levieva
R – drama
In 1969 Danny Winters (Jeremy Irvine), a young gay man, moves to New York where he slowly becomes involved with the growing gay rights movement which leads to the Stonewall Riots.
Critics have not been kind to this film and neither has the GLBTQ+ community. “Stonewall” has been accused or whitewashing the gay rights movement and not accurately portraying the Stonewall Riots.
Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Ron Perlman, Caleb Landry Jones, Jeremy Irvine, Joey King, Vladimir Alexis
12 Monkeys: Season 1 (2015)
Season 1 of the Syfy Network’s “12 Monkeys” is on DVD. It’s based on the Bruce Willis film of the same name. James Cole (Aaron Stanford) has gone back in time to stop a plague from being released by the terrorist group The Army of the Twelve Monkeys.
The show has had mixed reviews and falling ratings but was renewed for a second season starting April 18, 2016.
Aaron Stanford, Amanda Schull, Kirk Acevedo, Noah Bean, Tom Noonan, Emily Hampshire
A Girl Like Her (2015)
PG-13 – drama
High school student Jessica Burns gets bullied by her ex friend Avery Keller, who is the most popular girl in school. Eventually hidden cameras catch the bullying and expose Avery to the other students.
The film attempts to present the story as a documentary weaving in the “hidden” camera footage which has received mixed feed back with many critics feeling the writing is shaky and the characters leave something to be desired.
Hunter King, Jimmy Bennett, Lexi Ainsworth, Linda Boston, Stephanie Cotton, Mark Boyd, Amy S. Weber
Continuum: The 4th and final season (2015)
The final season as officer Kiera Cameron (Rachel Nichols) continues to pursue the terrorists that jumped back in time from the future.
Rachel Nichols, Victor Webster, Erik Knudsen, Roger R. Cross, Tony Amendola, Stephen Lobo, Lexa Doig, Omari Newton
The Condemned 2 (2015)
R – action
Will Tanner (Randy Orton) is a former bounty hunter who has gotten caught up in a tournament in which convicts must fight until only one is left living. While Tanner fights for his life people watch and bet on the competition over the internet.
This is a World Wrestling Entertainment film which pretty much tells you what the reviews will be like. The company has consistently put out terrible films for about 10 years and this bad “Hunger Games” knock off is no exception.
Randy Orton, Eric Roberts, Wes Studi, Steven Michael Quezada, Dylan Kenin