Re­boot of ‘The Mummy’ is not a to­tal loss

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FEATURES - By Amy Longs­dorf For Dig­i­tal First Me­dia

First the bad news: Tom Cruise’s “The Mummy” (2017, Univer­sal, PG-13, $28) boasts weird shifts in tone, non­sen­si­cal plot­ting and an awk­ward end­ing that imag­ines the be­gin­ning of a fran­chise, which, given the film’s dis­mal re­cep­tion, is un­likely to hap­pen.

Now the good news: it’s far from a typ­i­cal, by-thenum­bers ac­tioner but rather a more unique hy­brid of “In­di­ana Jones” and vin­tage Boris Karloff out­ings. The story in­volves the un­earthing of an evil Mummy (Sophia Boutella), the in­tro­duc­tion of an or­ga­ni­za­tion of crime­fight­ers (Rus­sell Crowe, Annabelle Wal­lis) and the re­demp­tion of a mer­ce­nary (Cruise.) Lower your ex­pec­ta­tions and you might en­joy this flawed but fla­vor­ful re­boot. Ex­tras: fea­turettes, com­men­taries and deleted scenes.

Also New To DVD Beatriz At Din­ner (2017,

Lion­s­gate, R, $20): In their third col­lab­o­ra­tion, scripter Mike White and di­rec­tor Miguel Arteta (“The Good Girl”) de­liver plenty of cringe com­edy but they also delve into big top­ics like im­mi­gra­tion, priv­i­lege and class war­fare. The set­ting is a swanky beach­front man­sion where, dur­ing a strained din­ner party, a holis­tic healer named Beatriz (Salma Hayek) clashes with Doug Strutt (John Lith­gow), a ruth­less real-es­tate devel­oper. De­spite a third act that feels rushed and un­der­writ­ten, “Beatriz” is among the year’s best con­ver­sa­tion starters. Ex­tras: none. Rough Night (2017, Sony, R, $30): In this distaff “Hang­over,” five col­lege friends (Scar­lett Jo­hans­son, Kate McKin­non, Ilana Glazer, Jil­lian Bell, Zoe Kravitz) spend a wild week­end in Miami as part of Jo­hans­son’s bach­e­lorette fes­tiv­i­ties. The ac­tors seem to be hav­ing such a blast play­ing char­ac­ters who be­have badly that their high spir­its are in­fec­tious. But then the id­i­otic cen­tral premise in­volv­ing the women ac­ci­den­tally killing a man kicks in, and it sab­o­tages the fun. Still, “Rough Night” is never bor­ing and when the film takes a third-act turn to­ward more re­al­ity-based hu­mor, it re­cov­ers much of its vim and vigor. Ex­tras: fea­turettes. Louise By The Shore (2017, First Run, un­rated, $28):

Not since Pixar’s “Up” has an an­i­mated movie fea­tured as its cen­tral fig­ure such an en­dear­ing se­nior cit­i­zen. Louise (France Cas­tel) is a 75-yearold loner who misses the last train out of a re­sort town on the eve of a hur­ri­cane, and winds up spend­ing the next year alone fend­ing for her­self. Her soli­tude is in­ter­rupted only by the ap­pear­ance of a talk­ing dog and me­mories from her

past. “Louise” is buoyed by beau­ti­ful, water­color-ish an­i­ma­tion and an air of dream­like whimsy. Ex­tras: none. Cat On A Hot Tin Roof (1958, Warner Archive,

un­rated, $20): Di­rected by Philly na­tive Richard Brooks, this stun­ning drama, now on Blu-ray, piv­ots on the mem­bers of a greedy South­ern fam­ily look­ing to im­press Big Daddy (Burl Ives) be­fore he kicks the bucket. Also up for grabs is the heart and soul of Brick (Paul New­man), the hus­band of the sen­su­ous Mag­gie The Cat (a slinky El­iz­a­beth Tay­lor). De­spite a some­what san­i­tized end­ing, in which Brick’s pos­si­ble-ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity is ig­nored, “Cat On A Hot Tin Roof” is a keeper, a mas­ter­work about the hu­man pen­chant for “men­dac­ity.” Ex­tras: commentary track and fea­turette. Hell Up In Har­lem (1973, Olive, R, $25): Pulp mas­ter Larry Co­hen’s fol­low-up to blax­ploita­tion clas­sic “Black Cae­sar” is an­other dow­nand-dirty crime thriller about gang­ster Tommy Gibbs (Fred Wil­liamson) who, this time around, clashes with a ca­bal of cor­rupt cops and dis­trict at­tor­neys. In the first act, Tommy barely sur­vives an as­sas­si­na­tion at­tempt, which forces him to bring his fa­ther (Julius W. Har­ris) into the busi­ness. The plot is merely func­tional but the songs by Mo­town great Ed­win Starr are funky de­lights and the ac­tion in­ter­ludes, par­tic­u­larly a Los An­ge­les air­port chase, are pure dy­na­mite. Ex­tras: commentary. Stalker (1979, Cri­te­rion, un­rated, $30): A true vis­ual poet, Rus­sian film­maker An­drei Tarkovsky was at the height of his pow­ers when he crafted this ex­tra­or­di­nary in­quiry into the na­ture of faith. The plot piv­ots on a tracker (Alexan­der Kaidanovsky) – or stalker – who agrees to guide a writer (Ana­toli Solonitsin) and a sci­en­tist (Niko­lai Grinko) into the Zone, a re­stricted area where a me­te­orite crashed decades ago. In the heart of

the Zone is a mag­i­cal room which ful­fills vis­i­tors’ deep­est de­sires. The men de­bate spir­i­tu­al­ity, free­dom, greed and art as they tramp through nat­u­ral land­scapes lit­tered with de­bris. Beau­ti­fully re­stored for Blu-ray, “Stalker” is a re­li­gious al­le­gory that man­ages to be des­o­late, hyp­notic, and creepy as hell. Ex­tras: fea­turettes. E.T. The Ex­tra-Ter­res­trial - 35th An­niver­sary Lim­ited Edi­tion Gift Set (1982,

Univer­sal, PG, $50): Not since Steven Spiel­berg’s clas­sic un­reeled on the big screen 35 years ago has it looked so sharp and en­tic­ing. Newly re­mas­tered for its 4K de­but, the movie about sub­ur­ban young­sters (Henry Thomas, Drew Bar­ry­more) help­ing an alien find his way back home re­mains a sus­pense­ful, funny and warm-hearted gem. A tri­umph of sto­ry­telling and spe­cial ef­fects, “E.T.” also cap­tures the joys and ag­o­nies of child­hood bet­ter than just about any other movie ever made. Ex­tras: deleted scenes and fea­turettes. Just Shoot Me - The Com­plete Se­ries (1997-2003,

Shout Fac­tory, un­rated,

$80): Check out this boxed set which col­lects all 148 episodes and seven sea­sons of the NBC hit about the quirky team (Ge­orge Se­gal, David Spade, Laura San Gi­a­como, Wendie Mal­ick) be­hind a fic­tional fash­ion mag­a­zine called Blush. The cast mem­bers work ex­cep­tion­ally well to­gether, with Spade and Mal­ick, in par­tic­u­lar, de­liv­er­ing a mas­ter class in the art of trad­ing in­sults back and forth. Ex­tras: fea­turettes. Hawaii Five-O - The Sev­enth Sea­son (2017, Para­mount,

un­rated, $50): The last sea­son to fea­ture Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park, both of whom left the show over salary dis­putes, is awash in ac­tion. McGar­rett (Alex O’Lough­lin) teams with an FBI pro­file to hunt down the chess-piece killer while Danny (Scott Caan) pro­tects a coma-stricken wit­ness from as­sas­si­na­tion. Mean­while, Chin (Kim) must res­cue his niece from a ruth­less car­tel and Kono (Park) un­cov­ers a sex-traf­fick­ing ring. Ex­tras: gag reel, deleted scenes and fea­turettes.


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