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New to Home Video: February 7th 2017

Updated on February 7, 2017
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Synopsis - Trolls

Poppy is a troll that loves singing, dancing, cupcakes and rainbows. Like nearly all trolls in the village she doesn't seem to believe anything bad could happen. Branch is the only cynical troll in the village and is always fearful of a Bergen (giant, troll eating creatures) invasion despite the fact that there has not been a Bergen sighting in 20 years.

When Poppy decided to throw the biggest and loudest party ever, Branch warns that throwing such a party may lead to them being discovered by the Bergens. When all the other trolls decide to throw the party anyway, the Bergens hear it and invade Troll Village, capturing several trolls. Poppy and Branch must then set out on an adventure to save their captured friends from certain doom.

Trolls - Official Trailer

Recommendation - Trolls

Trolls is a decent enough kids movie. Adults will think the movie is ok at best, but kids will absolutely adore it. Kids will love the many catchy songs and dance sequences. They will love all the silly characters and what they can do with their hair and kids will love the crazy and colorful world that this movie introduces us to. I had a few minor issues with this movie, the captured trolls were helpless and essentially useless, the movie is showered with random music video dance sequences and I'm not really a fan of Justin Timberlake being cast in this movie. These are pretty minor issues and I think all of them will go unnoticed to kids.

My main take away for Trolls is that it is very much aimed at kids. I don't think adults will hate it but I don't they will be huge fans. Kids on the other hand will very much enjoy this movie so if you have kids in your family, I recommend adding it to your home video collection or even just rent it for them to watch.

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Synopsis - Loving

Richard Loving (Joel Edgerton) is a construction worker living in Virginia in the 1950s. He falls in love with a family friend named Mildred (Ruth Negga) who happens to be a black woman. When Mildred becomes pregnant, the two decide to get married and do so in 1958, Washington D.C. due to Virginia's strict laws against interracial marriages. Now married, Richard and Ruth Loving hope to start their lives together and raise their child in Virginia. However local authorities in Virginia harass and arrest the Lovings, claiming that their marriage license is invalid in the state of Virginia and that the couple is facing a year in prison and banishment from Virginia.

Loving - Official Trailer

Recommendation - Loving

Loving is a good movie! It has solid acting and addresses a concept that is not too often addressed in cinema. We often see the history of racism in America by telling stories of slavery, but we rarely get a movie that addresses what came after that. During the 1950s and 1960s (when this movie is set) it was illegal to be in an interracial marriage in certain states (such as Virginia). This movie shows how a specific interracial couple handles this issue. It's easy to, on the surface, say that the couple could move to a state where interracial marriage is allowed but when a couple's lives are rooted in Virginia, it is hard to leave that behind. I thought this movie was interesting and the performances from Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga were great. On the downside, I don't think this is a very eventful movie in the sense that if you are not interested by the premise, you may find this to be a boring movie.

I thought this was a good movie and I think stories in this time period that address this issue are important to tell. We have seen the slavery story, but there are many other horrific and disturbing periods in American racist history and I think those stories are important to tell. I think Loving is a movie worth seeing, but is not a movie that many people will watch more than once. So go ahead and rent this one, but I do not recommend buying this one on blu-ray for the sole reason that I do not think you will watch it more than once.

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Synopsis - American Pastoral

Yet another movie set in 1950s and 1960s America, American Pastoral tells the story of Swede Levov (Ewan McGregor) and an American dream that falls apart. Swede Levov was a star athlete in his youth. As he enters adulthood, he marries a beautiful woman named Dawn (Jennifer Connelly) and becomes the very successful manager of a factory (founded by his father). This success allows Swede Levov to buy a nice in the New Jersey countryside where try to start their family and raise their daughter, Merry Levov (Dakota Fanning). This is where Swede Levov's American Dream falls apart. As Merry enters her teenage years, she becomes a violent activist which threatens and puts Swede Levov''s perfect life to the test as he tries hold it all together.

American Pastoral - Official Trailer

Recommendation - American Pastoral

To sum this movie up in one word, I would have to use the word "decent". Not great, not bad just decent. I thought the premise was interesting but I though the movie more often than not fell a little short. I didn't connect with the family or the characters as well as I wanted to. I understand that the premise of the film was Swede having a perfect life, but everything seemed too perfect which made the characters less relatable so when the families' lives finally take a turn for the worse, I was not as invested as I wanted to be. The movie had good acting and a decent story but due to me not being as invested in the characters as I'd have liked to have been, the movie felt quite a bit longer than it actually was and it was not engaging.

I will reiterate by saying this movie was decent but I thought it had the potential to be a lot better. For this reason, I cannot recommend adding this to your home video collection. Some people will love this movie, some will hate it but I feel like most people will fall right in the middle and think this movie is decent at best. I only recommend renting this movie if you have nothing better to watch or do.

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Synopsis - The Take

A street thief named Michael Mason (Richard Madden) is living in Paris and stmeals a bag that ends up containing a teddy bear. Since it is worth next to nothing, Mason discards the stuffed animal in a busy area. What Michael Mason did not realize, was that the teddy bear contained a timed explosive that ended up killing civilians in France. To make things worse, Mason's face was seen on surveillance footage as he was ditching the bear. Now Michael Mason is a wanted man and considered a terrorist threat. A rogue CIA agent, Sean Briar (Idris Elba) learns the truth about Michael Mason's so called "terrorist attack" which leads to the formation of an unlikely alliance as the two aim to prove Michael Mason's innocence and catch the ones responsible.

The Take - Official Trailer

Recommendation- The Take

The Take was a very entertaining thriller. I thought the premise was very interesting. A pick pocket that finds a teddy bear, who discards it, only for that teddy bear to be a disguised explosive which leads to the pick pocket to become a wanted terrorist threat? That's an interesting premise and I thought it was executed very well in this movie. I thought Richard Madden and Idris Elba had good chemistry and I thought their characters were fun to watch working together. This movie was filled with intensity and I found it entertaining from beginning to end. A negative for this movie would have to be that the action could have been better. Was it bad? I do not think so, I think it was average but if it were better it could have added a lot more intensity to the thriller-based storyline.

Overall, I think this is a movie that most will enjoy but I don't think it has much rewatch-ability. So much like Loving, I'd say go ahead and rent this one but I cannot recommend adding it to your home video collection.

Which of these movies is your favorite?

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