Love and money are themes in this week’s new DVD releases.
“Joy”: 3 out of 4 stars. The film reunites actors Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro with director/writer David O. Russell, the team that made the marvelous “Silver Linings Playbook.” Their latest collaboration looks like the same beautifully crafted tale of quirky characters engaged in interesting activities. But there is no joy at the end of “Joy” as the talent of the mighty Russell runs out.
Without Lawrence, “Joy” would have fallen apart in the second half. She’s the only reason to keep watching. Even Russell must have realized his movie was losing steam because he abandons his slow-simmer approach and rushes the film to a quick conclusion.
Lawrence never falters, even when the script does. One issue is that she and Cooper have shown great chemistry in past films. There are a couple of scenes where they get to show off the sparks, yet the pair aren’t together enough to fully capitalize on that power.
“The Choice”: 2.5 stars. Movies made from books by Nicholas Sparks are like those hard candy hearts that are so popular for Valentine’s Day. They are sweet, not overly complicated and the message is spelled out in very clear terms.
The latest adaptation of a Sparks novel, “The Choice,” is no different. This story about two mismatched people, who fall in love despite their best efforts to avoid it, clearly stresses the importance of taking time to appreciate the important people in your life. If you don’t, there may be a dramatic choice to be made that will change it all.
ALSO NEW ON DVD
“Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir”: When an evil threatens their city, two kids transform into superheroes.
“The 5th Wave”: Young girl fights back from an alien invasion.
“Let’s Learn: S.T.E.M. Vol. 2”: Way to create interest in science, technology, engineering and math.
“Hostile Border”: Deported woman takes refuge at her estranged father’s ranch.
“Hyena Road”: Expert sniper ordered to track down freedom fighter known as The Ghost.
“10 That Changed America”: Documentary hosted by Geoffrey Baer.
“The Brokenwood Mysteries, Series 2”: Shepherd and Sims face a potential serial killer.
“Submerged”: Limousine joyride becomes a watery fight to stay alive.
“The Club”: Four priests must atone for their sins while living in seaside town.
“The Haunting of Alice D”: Alice faced years of abuse inside a brothel.
“The Last Ship: The Complete Second Season”: Ship’s crew continues to look for way to stop pandemic.
“Top Gun”: Tom Cruise movie being re-released for 30th anniversary.
“Blood Lust”: Depressed food critic’s search for love goes very bad.
“Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party”: A religious LGBT coming-of-age movie.
AVAILABLE ON DIGITAL HD
“Zoolander No. 2”: Ben Stiller returns to the role as the supermodel.
“How To Be Single”: Four women deal with life in the dating world. Dakota Johnson stars.
“Scherzo Diabolico”: Man’s pushed to take an extreme action.