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New to Home Video: February 21st 2017

Updated on February 22, 2017
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Synopsis - Hacksaw Ridge

Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield) is a man confident in his beliefs. "Thou Shalt Not Kill". This is a philosophy that Desmond lives by, but when he sees people in his town going to fight in WWII and risking their lives, Desmond does not believe that he can live in peace knowing that men have died to protect that freedom. So Desmond chooses to go to war and risk his life as a medic. Saving lives rather than taking lives. He soon comes to realize that this is not a path that will be easily traveled.

Hacksaw Ridge - Official Trailer

Recommendation - Hacksaw Ridge

aHacksaw Ridge is an inspiring story about a man who did not fire a single shot in WWII, but ran into the heat of battle without a weapon and saved 75 men from certain death. This movie has a slow start but it is an emotional and truly inspiring story. I don't think this movie will get best picture but I believe Andrew Garfield will get best actor recognition in the Oscars. This movie has so much to offer. It has fantastic war action, fantastic acting and it challenges your opinion of war and morality. Going into the movie, I thought the concept would be difficult to convince me on. I get the mindset of a man that does not want to kill another man, even in war, but what I did not understand was why such a man would go to war and risk his life while knowing that he would not be carrying a weapon of any kind. I thought this movie did a great job of explaining why this man did what he did. I also thought the movie does a great job of showing just how helpless these men were (even the ones holding guns). This added even more intensity to the war scenes when you realize that our protagonist was even more defenseless than everyone else.

I will reiterate. This was an inspiring story with fantastic action and fantastic drama. I strongly recommend seeing this movie, even if you are not a fan of war movies. I think this movie has a lot to offer anyone. While I strongly recommend seeing this movie, it is not a movie that I think most people will watch over and over so for that reason I do not recommend adding it to your home video collection.

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Synopsis - Manchester by the Sea

Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck) works as a maintainance repairman for a few apartment buildings in Boston, Massachusetts. He mostly keeps to himself, gets pissed off easily and has a low tolerance when dealing with other people. One day he gets a call from his hometown of Manchester, Massachusetts. Lee's brother has had a heart attack and Lee has been named legal guardian of his nephew (Lucas Hedges). Lee reluctantly takes on the role of a parental figure but returning to his hometown has caused a tragic past to resurface.

Manchester by the Sea - Official Trailer

Recommendation - Manchester by the Sea

This movie is depressing in the best way. It is brilliantly acted, beautifully shot and has a depressing real life story. This is honestly one of my favorite movies of the year regardless of the depressing plot, which is easy to look past when you get to watch compelling characters deal with such realism. I think you will really feel for these characters and what they have to go through. Casey Affleck was absolutely phenomenal in this movie and he was surrounded by a great cast. I could go on and on about how much I liked this movie. What didn't I like? It's strength has to be one of it's downfalls. This movie is depressing which makes it a movie most people will not want to watch more than once and it is a hard sell to people who haven't seen it already.

Due to the depressing story, I cannot recommend adding this to your home video collection simply because you most likely will not want to watch it again. I would strongly recommend renting it though. This movie tells an absolutely gripping and heartbreaking story that, I believe, is worth seeing.

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Synopsis - Bad Santa 2

After 13 years, Billy Bob Thornton is back in his role as Willie Soke. Willie is a pissed off dribk who's body might as well be made of whiskey instead of water. Oh, and he dresses up as and plays Santa at a local store. Willie returns with his sidekick, Marcus (Toby Cox), and the two hatch a scheme to steal from a Chicago charity on Christmas Eve, but the two are joined by Thurman Merman (Brett Kelly), a chubby kid who is overflowing with happiness and optimism. This positive energy seems to be having a positive effect on Willie when his nightmare of a mother (Kathy Bates) returns into his life. Willie's morality is now torn between two extremes as the heist on Christmas Eve draws closer.

Bad Santa 2 - Official Trailer

Recommendation - Bad Santa 2

This movie is, more or less, exactly what you'd expect if you've seen (or know of) Bad Santa. It is a profane comedy about an angry, drunk con artist dressed as Santa who has a messed up view of the holidays. If you like the silly and profane style comedies with a dark sense of humor, then this is a movie you'll enjoy. I also think that Bad Santa 2 is a slightly lesser version of the original, Bad Santa. I think fans of the first one will like Bad Santa 2, I think people who hated the first one will not like Bad Santa 2. It sounds pretty obvious but know what movie your are getting into. I don't think either movie are great, but they have some funny moments.

I would not recommend adding this movie to your home video collection, but if you liked Bad Santa then I would recommend renting Bad Santa 2. If you haven't seen the first movie then check out the trailer and see if it is your kind of comedy.

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Synopsis - Nocturnal Animals

Susan Morrow (Amy Adams) runs an art gallery and receives a manuscript of a book written by her ex-husband (Jake Gyllenhaal) with whom she divorced 20 years ago. The book tells the story of a man, and his family, whose vacation turns into a violent thriller. Nocturnal Animals is the title of the movie and the book within the movie. The movie tells the story within the book and follows Susan Morrow's story as she interprets it.

Nocturnal Animals - Official Trailer

Recommendation - Nocturnal Animals

This movie is visually stunning, has an interesting premise and excellent performances from both Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal. There were other good performances in there, but where these two were the leads, they were the obvious standouts. My biggest complaint about the movie was that it just felt like it was missing something. Like a joke with a weak punchline, the climax of the movie did not deliver on what the rising action set up. I will reiterate that this movie has it's appealing factors and I actually think it was a decent movie, but I think it had the potential to be a lot better than it was.

I can definitely recommend renting this movie, but check your expectations at the door. I cannot recommend adding it to your home collection because I just didn't think it was as amazing as a lot of people thought it was. I also don't think it has much rewatchability.

Which of these movies is your favorite?

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