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New to Home Video: March 14, 2017

Updated on March 14, 2017
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Synopsis - Passengers

The Avalon is a spaceship carrying over 5000 passengers to the planet, Homestead II. The trip will take approximately 120 years, with the hopes of colonizing a new planet. All passengers are in deep hibernation and are scheduled to wake up 4 months before landing on the new planet. However only 30 years into the trip, The Avalon encounters an asteroid field which (upon impact) causes a system error in which two passengers are awakened from hibernation 90 years too soon. James Preston (Chris Pratt) and Aurora Lane (Jennifer Lawrence) must deal with the realization that they will likely grow old and die on The Avalon before it ever reaches the new planet and with no one to interact with except each other. As Aurora and James start to grow fonder of each other, they discover that the entire ship is in great danger.

Official Trailer - Passengers

Recommendation - Passengers

Passengers unfortunately has its issues. While it proposed an intriguing moral dilemma, the focus did not stay there for long. Instead it shifted to being a summer blockbuster-like adventure movie with a severly predictable story. Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence give the great performances that you'd expect from them but it was not enough to make this movie great. This is not a bad movie by any stretch of the imagination but it had the potential to be so much better. It has great visuals, an interesting premise, a fascinating moral dilemma and decent acting. It simply falls short of delivering a satisfying story that captalizes on everuthing this movie gets right.

I would recommend renting this movie if you are bored and are looking for something to do. However the fact that this movie is decent at best and falls short of being great, I cannot recommend adding this movie to your home video collection.

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Synopsis - Fences

Fences tells the story of an African-American man named Troy Maxson (Denzel Washington) living in the 1950s. Troy had hopes of being a pro-baseball player, but racial discrimination prevdnted him from playing professionally. Instead, Troy has worked all his life as a garbage man and barely being able that support his family. Fences tells the story of a middle-aged man struggling to deal with his difficult life, his lost dreams, his justifiably bitter view of sports and American success. He deals with these issues, and his father issues, while trying to manage his struggling relationships with his wife (Viola Davis) and his children.

Official Trailer - Fences

Recommendation - Fences

Fences was a heavy and dramatic movie with fantastic acting across the board. The movie is essentially carried by the quality acting because the movie is also long and slow so without these great actors, this movie would have been a struggle to get through. Denzel Washington and Viola Davis were absolutely outstanding in this film. So much so, that the movie is worth seeing for them alone. That being said, a lot of people will think this is a boring movie. It is relatively uneventful and all takes place in the same couple of settings. It is essentially a play in movie form.

So my recommendation for this movie is a bit complicate. If you think you will be bored in a movie that is driven soley on acting, then you should avoid this movie. It extremely dialogue heavy and will seem extremely slow to a lot of viewers. However, if you checkout the trailer and are intrigued by this film out of interest for the performances alone, then go ahead and rent this movie. Denzel Washington and Viola Davis are as impressive as they have ever been. As good as these performances are, I do not think this movie has rewatch ability so I cannot recommend adding it to your home video collection.

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Synopsis - Collateral Beauty

Howard runs a successful company with a philosophy on humanity and our relationship with Death, Time and Love. Howard's life is turned upside down with the passing of his six year old daughter and, three years later, he had yet to recover. His company is struggling and his employees/friends (Edward Norton, Kate Winslet and Michael Pena) discover that he has been writing and mailing passionate hate mail and addressing it to Death, Time and Love (each receiving separate letters). As Howard's friends try to find a way to help, Howard begins to be visited by Death (Helen Mirren), Time (Jacob Latimore) and Love (Keira Knightley).

Official Trailer - Collateral Beauty

Recommendation - Collateral Beauty

Collateral Beauty was a brilliantly acted movie with a powerful plot. It has its issues with the delivery of the "entities" and their effect on Howard (Will Smith) and the goals of the three friends (which I personally did not support). I did think the plot twists worked really well for me, so much so that I am excited to see the movie a second time to pick up on all the clues to these twists that were there the whole time. The problem with this movie is that it does not focus on the mystery element of the final plot twist of the movie. This could have made the film so much greater. Instead it was another movie that was good, but not great.

So this is another movie that I cannot recommend adding to your home video collection. It just did not live up to its full potential, but I definitely recommend renting it and seeing it at least once. This movie tackles real hard issues that humanity faces with Death, Love and Time. I think everyone will be able to relate to this movie in one way or another which means that I think it is a movie worth seeing.

Which of these movies is your favorite?

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