Reboot of ‘The Mummy’ is not a total loss
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.