Entertainment

New on DVD for Dec. 15: ‘Mission: Impossible,’ ‘Ted 2’ and ‘Malala’

Malala Yousafzai in “He Named Me Malala.”
Malala Yousafzai in “He Named Me Malala.” Courtesy

This week’s new videos include spies, talking bears and a brave young woman.

“Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation”: 2  1/2 stars. Tom Cruise wants to have it both ways, feeding the Hollywood blockbuster machine while trying to squeeze in respectability.

A better, bolder choice would have been to see this sleek, often thrilling bit of entertainment through to a crazy, overblown finale. Instead, “Rogue Nation” becomes flat and self-important, demanding that we take it at face value.

“Ted 2”: 1 1/2 stars. The script is less linear than the original and more of a patchwork of ideas that director Seth MacFarlane thought would be funny. There’s a scene where the group stands on a tall building throwing apples at joggers and another where they shout uncomfortable suggestions to a comedy improv team. The ideas are funny, but come across as forced in this story.

When MacFarlane does find the more universal humor, he keeps going back to the same jokes until the funniness is gone. One such series of jokes is about Amanda Seyfried’s big eyes making her look like Gollum from the “Lord of the Rings.” Once is funny. Twice OK. Three times and the joke has struck out.

“He Named Me Malala”: 4 stars. Young girl survives being shot in the head for speaking out for rights of girls to go to school. Although it is a powerful story on political and historical levels, the failed assassination of Malala is only half the story.

Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Davis Guggenheim (“An Inconvenient Truth”) shows in “He Named Me Malala” that this is also a story of a deep and powerful bond between a father and daughter. It is a tale of family and the family of man.

ALSO NEW ON DVD

“The Fantastic Four”: Story of how four people gain superpowers.

“Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials”: Gladers now face a new set of challenges.

“The Dungeonmaster/Eliminators”: Two horror films are on one DVD.

“Wolf Totem”: Student forms an unlikely bond with a Mongol wolf cub.

“Slow Learners”: Two close friends plan to transform themselves. Adam Pally stars.

“Time Out of Mind”: Man struggles to find food and a place to sleep in New York City. Richard Gere stars.

“Unleashed! A Dog Dancing Story”: Theater directors attempt to mount the first dog dancing and indoor kite flying theatrical performance.

“History War Collection”: The 17-disc set digs deep into the twists and turns of America’s most significant and deadly conflicts.

“A Chef’s Life”: Look inside the kitchen of chef Vivian Howard.

“Zombie High”: Virginia Madsen stars in this tale of bizarre happenings at a boarding school.

“Teen Wolf Season 5, Part 1”: On the eve of senior year, Scott and his friends find themselves facing the possibility of a future without each other.

“History Bible Collection”: The 38 hours of programming includes “Bible Stories from the Old Testament,” “Christianity: The First Two Thousand Years” and “Banned from the Bible.”

“Duck Dynasty: Seasons 1-8”: The 18-DVD set covers all of the misadventures of the Robertson family.

“The Car”: Murderous car wreaks havoc on a small Western town.

“The Surface”: Man begins to live vicariously through another man’s home movies.

“CSI: Crime Scene Investigations — The Finale”: D.B. Russell (Ted Danson) directs his last investigation in Las Vegas.

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