Strong women are a driving theme in this week’s new DVD releases.
“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2”: ☆☆ 1/2 out of 4. Katniss Everdeen faces one last showdown with President Snow. Jennifer Lawrence stars. Instead of the heart-pounding tempo that made the first two movies so entertaining, the slow grind of the finale is less compelling.
“The Letters”: ☆☆☆. Film from director/writer William Riead reveals that even the woman whose grace, compassion and work have earned her consideration for canonization by the Catholic Church had her doubts.
Mother Teresa’s life was so inspiring that even a film that tells her story at only about 75 percent of its potential still delivers a heavy spiritual punch.
“James White”: ☆☆☆. Director and writer Josh Mond shows unflinching faith in Christopher Abbott, star of “James White.” Mond knows this story of a 20-something on the verge of a variety of breakdowns works only if the audience can feel every spark of anger, frustration, hope, disappointment, love and loss that White feels.
This is accomplished by a stripped-down production that puts all of its potential power in the performances. It is so engaging that there are times when it becomes almost overwhelming. But that is a glowing sign of how well the movie is acted and put together.
“Daddy’s Home”: ☆ 1/2 . Stepfather (Will Ferrell) battles biological father (Mark Wahlberg) for the attention of two children. Ferrell again resorts to his over-the-top style. But there is no counterbalance from Wahlberg, who looks bored with the project. The result is a film that has a good heart but no strong humor.
ALSO NEW ON DVD
“Freaks and Geeks: The Complete Series”: The short-lived TV series is now available on Blu-ray.
“The Royals”: Wicked look at the Royal Family starring Elizabeth Hurley.
“Fear the Walking Dead: Season 1”: Drama that explores the onset of the undead apocalypse through the lens of a fractured family.
NEW ON DIGITAL HD
“The Revenant”: Foundation story of the American West starring Leonardo DiCaprio and directed by Alejandro Inarritu.
“Twinkle Toes Lights Up New York”: Girl tries to make her dreams come true on Broadway.