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article imageReview: The answers are right in front of them in this week’s releases Special

By Sarah Gopaul     Nov 10, 2017 in Entertainment
This week’s releases include an offer you shouldn’t refuse; the latest chapter in life as a race car; a murder mystery with no simple solution; an underdog story with a decent rhyme; and a few library releases starring some very recognizable actors.
Billy Connolly: High Horse Tour Live (DVD)
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Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
Filmed during his sell-out UK tour, Billy is back in this new live show.
Billy Connolly has an amazing sense of humour, though his ability to not laugh during his own jokes is delightfully waning. Some time ago, Connolly announced he was managing some health issues, including Parkinson’s disease, which had briefly put his career on hold. But he’s back and as funny as ever, even doing a hilarious segment on his ailments. Most of Connolly’s humour is delivered in the form of anecdotes, which are usually interrupted by other stories before he picks up exactly where he left off in the first. His Scottish perspective on life informs a lot of his narratives, but he is internationally relatable, and a truly brilliant comedian and storyteller.
There are no special features. (Universal Pictures Home Entertainment)
Cars 3 (4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray & Digital copy)
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Disney•Pixar
Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) and spirited trainer Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo) team up to beat the new generation of blazing-fast racers led by arrogant hotshot Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer).
Borrowing from countless instances in which technological optimization improved a team’s race record, Lightning is beaten by a car that’s used all the latest stats to ensure it wins. As No. 95 and his pals struggle to keep up, everyone is lauding the rise of the new generation. Mater, Guido and Luigi never stop believing in Lightning, bringing the racer back to his roots for some unconventional training – Rocky-style. But there’s other lessons to be learned here, not all of which are going to resonate with a younger audience… but the older viewers will definitely identify with Lightning even if they’re not in a position to make a similar choice. Then there’s the just-for-fun mini movie starring soon-to-be favourite: Miss Fritter.
Special features include: commentary by director Brian Fee, producer Kevin Reher, co-producer Andrea Warren and creative director Jay Ward; deleted scenes; “Miss Fritter’s Racing Skoool”; theatrical short Lou; “Let’s. Get. Crazy”; “Legendary”; “Ready for the Race”; “World’s Fastest Billboard”; “Cruz Ramirez: The Yellow Car That Could”; “Generations: The Story of Cars 3”; “My First Car”; and “Cars To Die(cast) For.” (Disney•Pixar)
The Godfather Collection: Omerta Edition (Blu-ray)
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Paramount Home Media Distribution
The multigenerational saga of the rise and fall of the Corleone crime family.
This stunning limited-edition boxset not only includes remastered high-def versions of Francis Ford Coppola’s films, but each is numbered and there are only 45,000 sets available. The trilogy still stands up even now that it’s celebrating its 45th anniversary and the order of preference remains the same, so it’s likely the third picture that came 15 years after the second will still be last on the list. Al Pacino as Michael Corleone, the rising Godfather in 1950s New York, is simply outstanding as is the rest of the cast, which includes Marlon Brando, James Caan, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton and Talia Shire. The first sequel then incorporates Robert De Niro as the young Vito Corleone, recounting his tale of a young Sicilian immigrant who took over organized crime first in his NY neighbourhood and then beyond. Most of the original cast returns for the final film, but it just doesn’t have the same intricacies as its predecessors.
Special features include: additional scenes; “Godfather World”; “The Masterpiece that Almost Wasn’t”; “When the Shooting Stopped”; “Emulsional Rescue”; “Revealing The Godfather”; “The Godfather Family”; “An Inside Look”; four short films on The Godfather; “Anatomy of a Scene”; quote cards; trivia cards; and magnetic poetry. (Paramount Home Media Distribution)
The Good Karma Hospital: Series 1 (Blu-ray)
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Acorn
Wanting to escape a broken relationship and a stressful career in the UK, Dr. Ruby Walker (Amrita Acharia) takes a job in India. Although she applied to work at a modern urban clinic, Ruby ends up at the overcrowded and underfunded Good Karma Hospital run by the formidable Dr. Lydia Fonseca (Amanda Redman). After the initial culture shock, Ruby learns to deal with the hospital’s demanding schedule and many eccentric inhabitants, including her enigmatic colleague, Dr. Gabriel Varma (James Floyd), and nearby beach bar owner Greg (Neil Morrissey). As she adjusts to the challenges of her new role in rural India, Ruby begins to realize that the rundown medical outpost may be just what she needs to jump-start her life.
In spite of the intriguing concept, this series lacks a sense of drama that connects audiences to the characters. Each has the potential to draw people in, but they never really reach that level of engagement. The patients they treat are a little more interesting, ranging from snake bites to crash victims and all of which comes with some level of controversy or panic. Conversely, the doctors bicker and glare as they portray their stereotypical hospital roles… somewhat poorly. Moreover, Ruby’s fish-out-of-water story is rarely a dominant aspect of conversation, which is surprising since she’s supposed to be the central character. All of these personalities could be stimulating, but they never get there.
Special features include: behind-the-scenes featurette; and photo gallery. (Acorn)
Into the Night [Collector’s Edition] (Blu-ray)
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Shout Select
Ed Okin (Jeff Goldblum) is an insomniac who discovers that his wife has been having an affair. Unhappily married, unsatisfyingly employed and unsurprisingly depressed, the aerospace engineer needs to get away. But this proves to be no easy feat when Ed drives to the airport and a gorgeous smuggler, Diana (Michelle Pfeiffer), leaps into his car, pursued by four murderous killers. Chased across the landscape of Los Angeles, Ed and Diana encounter an endless array of intriguing nocturnal characters and a charming English hitman (David Bowie).
Shot relatively early in both Goldblum’s and Pfeiffer’s careers, one wouldn’t know the two weren’t already Hollywood stars. Perfectly in-line with her character’s personality, Pfeiffer is stunning and confident; epitome of a woman who’s in control. Conversely, Goldblum plays the oddball he’d build his career on; a little unconventional but charming and wholly convincing as someone who naively takes risks. Listening to director John Landis talk about Bowie’s appearance in the film is quite amusing as he recounts repeated attempts to make him look less attractive. Moreover, the soundtrack featuring B.B. King is spectacular and worth the watch on its own as his guitar adds to (or even dictates) the mood of scenes. This is followed up with a music video for the title track including the film’s stars and a few extras.
Special features include: “Back into the Night”; “Requiem for an Insomniac”; “B.B. King: Into the Night”; and original theatrical trailer. (Shout Select)
The Limehouse Golem (DVD)
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RLJ Entertainment
The city of London is gripped with fear as a serial killer — dubbed The Limehouse Golem — is on the loose and leaving cryptic messages written in his victim’s blood. With few leads and increasing public pressure, Scotland Yard assigns the case to Inspector Kildare (Bill Nighy), a seasoned detective with a troubled past and a sneaking suspicion he’s being set up to fail. Faced with a long list of suspects, including music hall star Dan Leno (Douglas Booth), Kildare must get help from a witness who has legal troubles of her own (Olivia Cooke), so he can stop the murders and bring the killer to justice.
This is a fascinating murder mystery in which Kildare is essentially working two cases simultaneously: one to save the female witness and the other to identify the horrific serial killer terrorizing the city. Each new clue is accompanied by a flashback of some significance, allowing audiences to piece together the puzzle alongside Kildare. Each suspect is envisioned as the killer as they’re questioned and eventually dismissed. Nighy is engrossing as the detective with almost no idea how to solve the case, but unwaveringly devoted to doing so. The movie includes a number of familiar faces and outstanding performances from each of them. Viewers will be glued to their seats, waiting for the solution to the whodunit and they won’t be disappointed by the answer.
Special features include: behind-the-scenes featurette; and photo gallery. (RLJ Entertainment)
The Madness of King George (Blu-ray)
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Olive Films
The film is based on the true story of the deteriorating mental health of Britain’s King George III.
This is a tragic story that’s all the more sad because the acting is so convincing. George was very clearly ill, but his position required they conceal his sickness as long as possible; however, this also results in him not getting the medical treatment he requires (though it appears they were incapable of diagnosing the actual ailment at the time). But the apparent madness of a public figure is very difficult to hide, causing the vultures to circle as soon as rumours start to spread — they just happen to be led by George’s son (Rupert Everett), who wishes to seize power from his father. Nigel Hawthorne is exceptional in the role of George, portraying a man who is both galling and pitiful because he no longer has control. Unexpectedly, Helen Mirren sometimes tops his performance as she attempts to manage his mania and then beg as she’s denied the opportunity to do so. Their scenes together are just heartbreaking.
There are no special features. (Olive Films)
The Miracle Worker (Blu-ray)
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Olive Films
The young Helen (Patty Duke), blind and deaf since infancy as a result of scarlet fever, becomes prone to violent outbursts that grow more frequent and intense, resulting in her parents, Captain Arthur Keller (Victor Jory) and Kate Keller (Inga Swenson), reaching out to a school for the blind for help. That help arrives in the form of Anne Sullivan (Anne Bancroft), a teacher whose personal struggles have provided her with the tools to assist Helen. And so begins a battle of wills between the obstinate Helen and the equally stubborn Anne. Through sheer willpower and compassion, the walls separating Helen from the outside world begin to crumble, as student and teacher forge a connection.
This movie is often referenced not only for the inspiring real-life struggle it portrayed, but for the impeccable performances by Duke and Bancroft who both won Oscars in 1963 for their portrayals. As flashbacks recounting Miss Sullivan’s horrific childhood are juxtaposed with Helen’s behaviour and treatment, it becomes clear that even though the latter was spoiled out of love both upbringings constituted child abuse. Helen’s family insist on pitying her and indulging her otherwise intolerable actions because of her disabilities; and then everyone is shocked when her teacher won’t do the same. Miss Sullivan’s job is made so much more difficult because she must first work through all the family’s damage before she can connect with Helen. Consequently, the breakfast scene between the two is unforgettable as the meal turns into a shocking wrestling match.
There are no special features. (Olive Films)
Patti Cake$ (Blu-ray, DVD & Digital copy)
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Fox Home Entertainment
Set in gritty strip-mall suburbia, Patti “Killer P” (Danielle Macdonald) is an underdog seeking fame and glory as an amateur rapper.
To some extent this film is similar to 8 Mile as a young underdog rapper looks for her break onto the scene and a chance to disentangle herself from an unfortunate nickname. Spinning her rhymes in parking lots with her best friend and one-third of “PB&J,” he encourages her to take the stage and show people her talent. Completing the trio is her new love interest and beats master, Basterd, who also happens to be a Satanist though they don’t hold it against him. However, her grandmother is ill, her mom is an alcoholic and they have overdue hospital bills to pay. So her dreams take a backseat to a catering job where she has the potential to rise in the ranks. The music is solid and the ragtag group of artists are likeable, so the audience should have no problem following their journey from unknowns to slightly lesser unknowns.
Special features include: commentary by director Geremy Jasper; “A Slice of Cake$”; “Making the Music”; “Danielle as Patti”; “Geremy”; “Jersey Women”; “Patti $ea$on” music video; lyric video; and gallery. (Fox Home Entertainment)
Stay Hungry (Blu-ray)
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Olive Films
Craig (Jeff Bridges), the hapless hero of the piece, becomes smitten with Mary Tate Farnsworth (Sally Field), the free-spirited receptionist at a tiny gym he’s been tasked with observing for slimy con man Jabo (Joe Spinell), who has a penchant for land grabs. And Jabo has his sights set on demolishing the gym to make way for new high-rise construction.
This is a movie made pretty early in everyone’s career — including Arnold Schwarzenegger’s who plays an Austrian curling champion turned bodybuilder — which makes it fun to watch where they started. Craig is confident and full of Southern charm, though he also knows how to put his foot in his smooth-talking mouth. Field is tiny compared to her co-stars, though she matches their on-screen personalities with her fiery, no nonsense attitude. Most shocking is watching Schwarzenegger play the fiddle with his Southern neighbours, introducing upper-class Craig to a good ol’ hoedown. The trajectory of the story gets a little muddled in the middle, but watching this is almost more of a novelty now.
There are no special features. (Olive Films)
The Voice of the Moon (Blu-ray & DVD)
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Arrow Academy
Ivo Salvini (Roberto Benigni) was recently released from a mental hospital and in love with Aldini (Nadia Ottaviani). As he attempts to win her heart, he wanders a strange, dreamlike landscape and encounters various oddball characters, including Gonnella (Paolo Villagio), a paranoid old man prone to conspiracy theories.
This was legendary Italian director Frederico Fellini’s last film. It is filled with unexplainable whimsy and a number of dream sequences that transport Ivo into his past or impossible presents. His romanticism is a little stalker-ish, particularly when he decides to watch his crush sleep, but other scenes demonstrate he has a good heart and incredibly positive outlook. The narrative simply follows as he moves from one scene to the next, from an amateur peepshow to a friend’s divorce to a club playing Michael Jackson (seemingly on repeat). However, the episodic nature of the movie isn’t disruptive and actually flows rather nicely.
Special features include: “Towards the Moon with Fellini,” a rarely seen hour-long documentary on the film’s production, featuring interviews with Fellini, Roberto Benigni and Paolo Villagio; theatrical trailer; and reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Peter Strain. (Arrow Academy)
More about Cars 3, The Godfather, Patti Cakes, Billy Connolly High Horse Tour Live, The Good Karma Hospital
 
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