A moving war tale is one of the best films to be released on DVD in months.
“Journey’s End”; 4 stars: The film adaptation of the 1928 stage production by R.C. Sherriff succeeds where films like “Dunkirk” and “Darkest Hour” failed. Unlike those productions that looked at the mechanics of war, “Journey’s End” distills the wages of war into its purest form. Major conflicts aren’t about big decisions and massive troop movements; they’re about the people who face life-and-death situations.
There’s no keeping the war at arm’s length as “Journey’s End” draws the viewer into the trenches where fear and bravery are as thick as the ominous specter of death. It’s not enough to be a passive observer. The film demands we take a stand among the troops.
There are times that the events unfold in such a manner that “Journey’s End” feels less like a filmed version of a stage production and more like a documentary. That’s because director Saul Dibb gets such compelling performances from his players.
Movies like “Dunkirk” and “Darkest Hour” turned to broader elements to tell their stories. “Journey’s End” proves the best way to tell the massive story of war is to present it through the everyday players who stare into the face of death, strengthened only by their personal resolve. This approach makes for a war story that finds strength in each person’s story.
“Blockers”; 2.5 stars: Novice director Kay Cannon (writer of the “Pitch Perfect” series) shows a comfort with handling this two-generational comedy about a wild prom night. Cannon’s lack of experience shows as the movie is uneven, but when it finds its footing of having the adults be the idiots in the story, it provides some fun moments.
John Cena, Leslie Mann and Ike Barinholtz play three parents who will do anything to stop their daughters who have made a pact to have sex on prom night. Mann’s a little too passive and Barinholtz too manic, but Cena delivers a surprisingly funny performance that’s just right.
ALSO AVAILABLE ON DVD JULY 3
“Sunset”: Guests at a party struggle with the decision to evacuate or stay after a nuclear incident.
“The Female Brain”: Neuroscientist studies couples dealing with issues in their relationship.
“The Cured”: Survivors in a world of zombielike cannibals must adjust when a cure is finally found.
“Delicious: Series 2”: Dawn French stars in the drama about food, love and infidelity in Cornwall.
“New Girl: The Final Season”: Set includes last episodes of the Fox comedy series starring Zooey Deschanel.
“Beirut”: CIA operatives send a former American diplomat on a mission to save a friend. Jon Hamm stars.
“Another WolfCop”: Police officer who was turned into werewolf must save the town again.
“Finding Your Feet”: Newly single middle-aged woman gets a new lease on life. Imelda Staunton stars.
“7 Days in Entebbe”: Israeli Defense Force must succeed in their rescue of dozens of hostages being held by terrorists. Rosamund Pike stars.
“Frontline: Trump’s Takeover”: The PBS news program looks at the president’s unorthodox governing style.
“Borg vs. McEnroe”: Shia LaBeouf stars in the film about the 1980 Wimbledon men’s finals match between John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg.
“Striking Out: Series 2”: Successful Dublin lawyer abandons her wedding plans and job to start an unconventional private practice.
“Rwanda: The Royal Tour”: One-hour documentary hosted by Peter Greenberg explores the country known as the “land of a thousand hills.”
BEING RELEASED ON DIGITAL HD JULY 3
“Super Troopers 2”: Vermont Highway Patrolmen are called in to resolve an international border dispute between the U.S. and Canada. Coming to DVD and Blu-ray July 17.
“I Feel Pretty”: Woman (Amy Schumer) gets a new look on life after she accidentally slips and falls. Available on DVD and Blu-ray July 17.
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