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article imageReview: Death is just the beginning in this week’s releases Special

By Sarah Gopaul     Apr 29, 2020 in Entertainment
This week’s releases include a return to a director’s roots; a miniseries that finds its closure; every episode of a fan-favourite TV series; a well-made first attempt; and a misconstrued childhood trauma.
The Cat and the Moon (Blu-ray)
MVD Visual
While his mother seeks treatment in rehab, teenager Nick (Alex Wolff) comes to New York to stay with Cal, a jazz musician and friend of his late father. During his stay, he makes friends who show him what the city has to offer.
It’s a bit of a stretch for the twenty-something to be playing a high school teen, but Wolff valiantly stars in his feature debut as writer and director. Nick is not surprisingly a bit of a troubled kid who regularly smokes, drinks and does drugs, but not yet to the excess of his parents. He makes friends easily and they take him to various parties, which take precedence over any school activities. Staying with Cal provides Nick with an avenue to reconnect with his father and learn a little more about who he really was, good and bad. The film is engaging and well-executed, but doesn’t make a significant or lasting impression.
Special features include: photo gallery; and theatrical trailer. (MVD Visual)
Criminal Minds: The Complete Series (DVD)
Paramount Home Entertainment
The FBI's Behavioural Analysis Unit (BAU) uses its team of brilliant agents to solve the country's most twisted mysteries and shocking murders. Over the course of 15 seasons, the BAU braves the professional risks and personal costs of bringing killers to justice. This acclaimed series boasts an A-list cast, including Joe Mantegna, Paget Brewster, Matthew Gray Gubler, A.J. Cook, Aisha Tyler, Kirsten Vangsness, Adam Rodriguez, Daniel Henney, Thomas Gibson, Lola Glaudini, Damon Gupton, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Shemar Moore, Rachel Nichols, Mandy Patinkin, and Jeanne Tripplehorn. Volatile standoffs. Gruesome threats. Heroic sacrifices. Each of the hundreds of cases collected here will keep you guessing from start to finish as the BAU races the clock to save lives and prove they're the best minds for the job.
In spite of the length of the series, fans are still sad to see it come to an end. It’s not often a series can maintain a connection to its audience for this long, but it’s so much more than just a crime-solving drama. Even after 15 seasons, the characters are still endearing and audiences are still learning new things about them. The care they have for each other always shines through. When one member of the team is in pain, they all hurt. Coming together to heal, they stand by each other to solve the bizarre and twisted cases of the series. They frequently tap into personal experiences in order to talk down unsubs, while in some situations the challenges are presented by their past. The BAU confronts a number of horrific cases, including some with mysterious motives and several that span more than one episode. In the final season, a couple of the series’ more notorious killers return to throw a wrench in their every day. Although some members died and others left the show, the tightknit team always finds time for a little fun and celebration of life’s milestones.
Special features include: commentaries; deleted and extended scenes; behind-the-scenes featurettes; on-air promos; and gag reels. (Paramount Home Entertainment)
The Gentlemen (Blu-ray, DVD & Digital copy)
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
American expat Mickey Pearson (Matthew McConaughey) built a highly profitable marijuana empire in London. When word gets out that he’s looking to cash out of the business forever, it triggers plots, schemes, bribery and blackmail in an attempt to steal his lucrative domain out from under him.
This movie isn’t exactly like Guy Ritchie’s first gangster movies as it incorporates some of the other people and plots he’s encountered since making those films. One of Ritche’s signatures is his dialogue. He loves giving characters monologues in which they speak purposefully and, in some instances, poetically about an otherwise benign subject. Several of the personalities in this film have the pleasure of delivering one of these speeches — though none do it with the cool appeal of McConaughey. In addition, conversations are often had in rapid-fire with the characters demonstrating a quick wit that makes one wonder how long it actually took Ritchie to pen the exchanges. While the opening half of this film lacks some of the clever grit of Ritchie’s earlier offerings, it slowly gets into the groove before going full-tilt with falling bodies, meaningful threats and classic gun play.
Special features include: behind-the-scenes featurette; “Best Gentlemanly Quips”; “Glossary of Cannabis”; and photo gallery. (Universal Pictures Home Entertainment)
Looking for Alaska (DVD)
Paramount Home Entertainment
Miles “Pudge” Halter (Charlie Plummer) is searching for a deeper perspective on life and decides to enroll at the boarding school, Culver Creek Academy. He finds a loyal group of friends and falls in love with Alaska Young (Kristine Froseth). After an unexpected tragedy, the close group of friends tries to cope with everything they’ve been through and find some answers along the way.
Though each episode grows closer to the tragedy that would change their lives, the series is really about the friendships forged while at this school that appears to have more in common with a summer camp. Adapted from John Green’s novel of the same name, which he based on his real-life experiences at a similar boarding school, the show focuses on four outcasts who unite against a group of rich, popular students. The rivalry is manifested in a series of pranks that range from typical and harmless to over-the-line irreparable. High school drama and the reactions it elicits tend to be overblown, but this microcosm of a school year still seems grounded in some form of reality. Unlike some narratives, the series doesn’t end with the tragedy, but rather tries to uncover why it occurred so the friends can find closure.
Special features include: deleted scenes; “Finding Your Tribe”; and “In Search of a Great Perhaps: Taking Alaska from Page to Screen.” (Paramount Home Entertainment)
Unintended (Blu-ray)
MVD Visual
A young woman, Lea (Elizabeth Lail), repressed the memory of having killed someone when she was 12 years old. Thirteen years later, that memory comes back.
Lea has recurring nightmares and lives a generally troubled existence. When she experiences her latest episode, her father takes her to their former lake house in the hopes that getting away from the city will aid in her recovery. While there, she reunites with a long-forgotten friend from her childhood that tries to help her unravel the mystery of her jumbled memories and nightmares. What unfolds is a mess of adolescent futility and fear that reveals various truths and falsehoods that still haunts the characters and perhaps a way to finally move forward. The mystery is somewhat interesting, but the movie doesn’t get very far in engaging the audience.
Special features include: photo gallery; and theatrical trailer. (MVD Visual)
More about The Gentlemen, Looking for Alaska, criminal minds, The Cat and the Moon, Unintended
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