Film & TV

’22 Jump Street,’ ‘If I Stay’ Arrive on Home Video

Forrest Hartman

When “21 Jump Street” hit theaters in 2012 it was a delightful surprise. The film – a comedic, big-screen re-imagining of the 1980s and early ’90s television series – was witty, unexpected and creative. It also marked the pleasant introduction of Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum as a comedy duo. With “22 Jump Street,” returning directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller continue the fun, producing a movie with a likable plot.

‘Jersey Boys,’ ‘Tammy’ Arrive on Home Video

Forrest Hartman

Director Clint Eastwood’s film adaptation of the Tony Award-winning musical “Jersey Boys” is a delightful and beautifully crafted trip down memory lane. Like the Broadway show, Eastwood’s film recounts the history of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, often pausing so key players can address the audience and put their personal spin on events. The story of the Four Seasons is interesting because despite the band’s clean-cut image, the members grew up on the streets of New Jersey and – to varying degrees – had criminal ties. 

Maleficent,’ ‘Hercules’ Arrive on Home Video

Forrest Hartman

In truth, “Maleficent” is a winner no matter how one feels about “Sleeping Beauty.” A viewer could conceivably enjoy the film without even watching the original, but it’s definitely more fun for the acquainted. Familiarity with the cartoon allows viewers to contrast pre-existing impressions of Maleficent against those generated by the new picture, and that makes things interesting from an academic standpoint. 

New Korean TV Show Tackles Taboo Subject of Mental Illness

YeoJin Kim

The TV show, titled “It’s OK, That’s Love,” stars Gong Hyo-jin, who plays Ji Hae-soo, a psychiatrist working in a hospital in Seoul. She meets a successful novelist struggling with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and schizophrenia. What begins as a series of comedic encounters soon transforms into a budding romantic relationship between two individuals coming to grips with their own inner turmoil.

‘Wish I Was Here,’ ‘Deliver Us From Evil’ Arrive on Home Video

Forrest Hartman

The surprise 2013 hit “The Conjuring” reminded moviegoers that exorcism movies are still exciting when filmmakers take the time to invest in characters and build suspense. Unfortunately, most of the genre’s entries do little more than rehash tired horror clichés. “Deliver Us From Evil” tries to set itself apart with an unusual protagonist: a real-life New York City Police sergeant turned demonologist. 

New Documentary Follows the Life of Blind Chess Players in India

Gabriella Tutino

Algorithms, a documentary by Ian McDonald, takes a look at the relatively unknown world of blind chess players. Filmed over the course of four years, the documentary follows three talented children--Darpan, Sai Krishna and Anant—and one former champion player—Charudatta Jadhav—as they compete in chess tournaments and try to bring a champion title to India. The documentary opens in Mumbai at the National Team and Junior Blind Chess Championship in 2009, showing partially-blind and totally-blind people competing against each other. 

How Fourth-Wave Feminism is Changing Disney’s Princesses

Kaitlin Ebersol

But the significance of Disney princesses extends far beyond their entertainment value. As stories created for children, and often intended to teach a lesson or impart specific morals, these films serve as mirrors that reflect our culture’s shifting values. Specifically, they demonstrate women’s perceived importance and purpose in society at specific periods in time. When analyzed parallel to the feminist movements of the 20th and early 21st centuries, they highlight intriguing – and sometimes disturbing – truths about the world in which we live. 

‘The Purge: Anarchy,’ ‘Earth to Echo’ Arrive on Home Video

Forrest Hartman

“Earth to Echo” is no science-fiction classic, but it serves a purpose for the right, niche audience. The film, directed by Dave Green, is an ode to childhood, and it’s told from the perspective of a young filmmaker named Tuck (Brian “Astro” Bradley) who is chronicling the days before he and his two best friends will be forced to separate. Viewers are supposed to believe the characters shot the film, so it fits into the burgeoning found-footage genre. 

‘X-Men,’ ‘Mr. Peabody and Sherman’ Arrive on Home Video

Forrest Hartman

In 2011, producer Bryan Singer and director Matthew Vaughn (“Kick-Ass”) reinvigorated the X-Men movie franchise by presenting a story from the early days of the franchise’s heroic characters. This necessitated younger versions of many key players, including Professor Charles Xavier and his archrival Magneto. With “Days of Future Past,” Singer takes over directing duties and performs a careful balancing act, mixing the cast of “First Class” with that of the first three “X-Men” films. 

‘Edge of Tomorrow,’ ‘Million Dollar Arm’ Arrive on Home Video

Forrest Hartman

Time travel movies are tricky, but director Doug Liman has delivered a science-fiction gem with “Edge of Tomorrow,” a fast-paced, action-heavy affair that plays like a mash up of “Groundhog Day” and “War of the Worlds.”  The picture is set in a near future where frightening, tentacular creatures have launched an all-out assault on Earth. Just when it looks like the alien beings are invincible, Sgt. Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt) leads humanity to an impressive victory using a heavily armed exoskeleton.  

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