Dec. 01-- New DVDs being released Dec. 12 range from the historical to the heroic.
"Detroit"; 2 stars: Director Kathryn Bigelow showed a great ability to equally address the political and personal sides of the stories in "The Hurt Locker" and "Zero Dark Thirty." Too much attention either way would have undermined the films.
Bigelow shows no such balance with "Detroit," and her film based on the true story of the violence of white Detroit police officers in the summer of 1967 comes across more like a horror movie than a sociological thriller. The imbalance distracts from the serious story of the riots that tore the city apart at that time.
Instead of offering insights into the events, the movie is dominated by the insane bigotry displayed by one out-of-control policeman played by Will Poulter. His work in "Detroit" is so maniacal he looks like his character wandered over from a horror movie set just to disrupt what should have been a powerful indictment on society.
"Kingsman: The Golden Circle"; 2 stars: The first film, "Kingsman: The Secret Service" had a fun charm about it as if a James Bond thriller had been mashed up with an Austin Powers tale. But, the emphasis was always on the spy story.
This sequel cares less about the spy story and more about mixing as many unrelated elements as possible. There are still some fun moments but this follow-up effort no longer has the license to be killer entertaining. Director Matthew Vaughn, who was also a co-writer of the script, just doesn't put in the same balance of fun and guns as he did the first time.
The movie about a secret spy ring, hidden away behind a London tailor, stumbles as it reaches across the pond to the American version of the agency. The addition of the Americans-especially an annoying cowboy spy played by Channing Tatum-is not only stupidly offensive but so bland it taints the rest of the film.
"Luke Cage: The Complete First Season"; 3.5 stars: Netflix has launched several series based on characters from the Marvel Comics universe, including this one about an experiment gone bad that leaves Luke Cage with super strength and unbreakable skin. The man-mountain of a hero played by Mike Colter was introduced in the Netflix series "Jessica Jones."
Cage is the best of the lot that also features Daredevil, Iron Fist and the Punisher. That's because Colter not only is very believable when he's doing the super hero stuff, but he also brings a deep humanity to the role. He doesn't play Cage as a cavalier champion of the people but as a man who knows he's been given a gift to be a defender of the opposed.
"Luke Cage" packs a powerful punch on multiple levels.
ALSO NEW ON DVD DEC. 12
"Mysteries of China": Visual adventure that shows the growth of the nation through aerial photography and time lapse techniques.
"Wolf Warrior II": Chinese soldier takes on special mission in Africa to protect medical aid workers.
"Shattered": Emmy-nominated daytime TV star Arianne Zucker stars in this political family drama based on a true story.
"Doc Martin: Series 8": Martin Clunes returns as Dr. Martin Ellingham in the British comedy.
"Zoo: The Third Season": Efforts continue to find the reason animals around the world are attacking and killing people.
"Bad Lucky Goat": Two teenagers try to atone for accidentally killing a goat.
"Fuller House: Season Two": The Tanner children are all grown up in this spin-off to "Full House."
"George Gently: The Complete Collection": BBC detective drama based on the novels of Alan Hunter features Martin Shaw as Inspector George Gently, North of England's most upstanding detective.
"Game of Thrones: The Complete Seventh Season": The latest season of the massive hit for HBO includes the most-watched season opener and finale in the premium cable channel's history.
"The Strain: Season 4": Includes the final 10 episodes of the cable series from Guillermo del Toro.
"Home Again": Reese Witherspoon stars in a modern romantic comedy about love, family, and new beginnings.
"All Saints": John Corbett stars in the true story of salesman-turned-pastor.
"Architects of Denial": Documentary that looks at the persecution and genocide of millions of Armenians since the early 1900s.
"The Trip to Spain": Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon go on another deadpan culinary road trip.
"Viceroy's House": Hugh Bonneville and Gillian Anderson star in this story of the last viceroy of India trying to make his voice heard during the country's fight for independence.
Available on Digital HD Dec. 12
"Vice Principals: Season 2": Danny McBride and Walton Goggins star in this dark cable comedy about life in high school.
"Flatliners": Five medical students obsessed with what lies beyond life have near-death experiences. Ellen Page stars. Available on DVD Dec. 26.
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