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Review: Difficult paths lead to new opportunities in this week’s releases (Includes first-hand account)

The Broken Hearts Gallery (Blu-ray & Digital copy)


Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

The always unique Lucy (Geraldine Viswanathan), a 20-something art gallery assistant living in New York City, also happens to be an emotional hoarder. After she gets dumped by her latest boyfriend, Lucy is inspired to create The Broken Heart Gallery, a pop-up space for the items love has left behind. Word of the gallery spreads, encouraging a movement and a fresh start for all the romantics out there, including Lucy herself.

While the pop-up idea and the romance between the leading couple don’t really mesh, the gallery concept really carries the film. It begins with Lucy’s physical collection of memories, which she doesn’t keep stashed away in a hidden shoebox like most people but rather scattered around her bedroom. However, it’s this aspect of the story that’s most relatable as many keep mementos of past relationships. Since it’s the emotional attachment to these objects that can be problematic, giving people a way to unburden themselves is Lucy’s gift to the world. The gallery donors’ confession videos are scattered throughout the picture as they describe the source of their heartbreak and the meaning of their keepsake. The romantic element is a little too jumbled, but Lucy is an entertaining enough protagonist to get everyone to the end.

Special features include: behind-the-scenes featurette; and gag reel. (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)

Sonic the Hedgehog [Collector’s Edition] (Blu-ray, DVD & Digital copy)


Paramount Home Entertainment

The world needed a hero, we got a hedgehog. Powered with incredible speed, Sonic The Hedgehog (voiced by Ben Schwartz), a.k.a. The Blue Blur, embraces his new home on Earth. That is, until he accidentally knocks out the power grid and sparks the attention of super-uncool evil genius Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey). Now it’s super-villain vs. super-sonic in an all-out race across the globe to stop Robotnik from using Sonic’s unique power for world domination. Sonic teams up with The Donut Lord, a.k.a. Sheriff Tom Wachowski (James Marsden), to save the planet in this live-action adventure comedy that’s fun for the whole family.

Sega‘s creation was one of the system’s most popular video games, evolving over the years as graphics improved and Sonic’s personality grew. There was an animated series in the ‘90s and it took nearly 30 years for the adorable hedgehog to make it to the big screen. Although the trailer looked goofy, the movie is surprisingly entertaining. Marsden is charming as usual, while Schwartz’ portrayal of the impulsive Sonic is endearing. However, Carrey’s return to form is definitely the film’s highlight. Taking on the villain with all the enthusiasm he exuded in the ‘90s, he appears to be having the best time, which spreads to viewers through the screen. The bonus features provides some interesting insights into Sonic’s past and the post-credit sequence shows a glimpse of where he might go next.

Special features include: commentary by director Jeff Fowler and the voice of Sonic, Ben Schwartz; deleted scenes; “Around the World in 80 Seconds”; “For the Love of Sonic”; “Building Robotnik with Jim Carrey”; “The Blue Blur: Origins of Sonic”; “Sonic On Set”; “Speed Me Up” music video; bloopers; and mini-posters. (Paramount Home Entertainment)

Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula (4K Ultra HD & Blu-ray)


Well Go USA

Jung-seok (Dong-won Gang), a soldier who previously escaped the diseased wasteland, relives the horror when assigned to a covert operation with two simple objectives: retrieve and survive. When his team unexpectedly stumbles upon survivors, their lives will depend on whether the best — or worst — of human nature prevails in the direst of circumstances.

This movie takes place four years after Train to Busan unleashed the zombie plague across South Korea. Interestingly, as other countries stopped accepting refugees trying to escape the rabid undead, they managed to isolate the virus to the peninsula. This has generated unsavoury interest from international criminals in abandoned assets, as well as created a cruel gang of fighters willing to do anything to survive… and keep themselves entertained. The sequel zombies are faster and there’s opportunity for a greater variety of action as the locale is broader. There are a couple of high-speed car chases, some flashy distractions, and a horrifying game of man vs. monster. This film works independent of its predecessor, though it’s unsurprisingly not as innovative. Nonetheless, it’s a solid genre picture with scary-looking hordes to offset its somewhat predictable narrative.

Special features include: making-of featurette; interviews; and trailers. (Well Go USA)

Words on Bathroom Walls (Blu-ray & Digital copy)


Lionsgate Home Entertainment

Adam (Charlie Plummer) is a witty, introspective teen pursuing his dream of becoming a chef. When Adam is diagnosed with a mental illness, he lives in fear of being exposed — until he meets Maya (Taylor Russell), an outspoken and fiercely intelligent girl who inspires him to open his heart and not be defined by his condition.

This is an intriguing depiction of a teen who is suddenly diagnosed with schizophrenia. It not only depicts the fear, anxiety and frustration of sudden onset mental illness, but also cleverly demonstrates the ongoing hallucinations from Adam’s point-of-view. Adam’s regularly accompanied by three distinct personalities who comment on his social interactions, provide advice and offer protection. This stress is compounded by his parents’ separation and his mom’s new boyfriend, who he sees as a threat to his recovery. Maya is smart and sassy, and provides Adam opportunities to be lighthearted. Plummer is perfectly cast in the role as audiences can empathize with his portrayal, while also connect with him as a character having this particular experience. The only real disappointment was a lack of bonus features for a film that deals so creatively with a serious subject.

Special features include: photo gallery; and theatrical trailer. (Lionsgate Home Entertainment)

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Written By

Sarah Gopaul is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for film news, a member of the Online Film Critics Society and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer-approved critic.

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