Every Tuesday I’ll be doing a quick round-up of movies out to rent on DVD.  Yes, you can also stream most of these on Amazon and other platforms, but I’m old school and I’m holding on to calling it “DVD Day”!  Typically, DVDs are released to buy a few weeks before they’re available for rent, so in the interest of not writing about them twice, I’ll just be focusing on the rental side of things.  (For example, Jurassic World is available to own today, but won’t be available to rent until November 17th.)  Also, not many people buy DVDs anymore–the exception being parents, who understandably need Disney babysitters from time to time.  😉

New Releases:

Pitch Perfect 2 – PG-13 (Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson) This underwhelming sequel is set three years later with Beca and Fat Amy leading the pack in their senior year with the Barden Bellas.  I loved the first film, but I was really disappointed with this one.  Most of the jokes fell flat for me–I’m okay with mildly offensive humor if it’s truly funny, but the movie just felt like it was trying too hard this time.  The music is still great and Anna Kendrick can do no wrong in my opinion, so if you’re fan it’s worth seeing, but overall it’s a big step down from the original.  Pitch Perfect 3 is already set for 2017, so it’s clear the series is now a franchise.

Z for Zachariah – PG-13 (Chiwetel Ejiofor, Chris Pine, Margot Robbie) A post-apocalyptic survival tale that focuses on a young woman who lives in an area untouched by radiation and two men who find their way into her life.  My mom used to teach this novel, and she has already informed me that they have changed it from two characters to three characters, which obviously alters the original plot.  I’m still curious to see it and it has good cast, but purists might be frustrated to see it veer away from the novel.  Trailer.

Testament of Youth – PG-13 (Alicia Vikander, Kit Harrington) Based on the popular memoir by Vera Brittain, this film follows a young woman in England who’s changed by World War I.  It’s a little strange to see Kit Harrington without his Jon Snow beard and black attire, but I’m happy to see him on-screen!  Trailer.

What I watched last week:

Dark Places – R (Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult) I loved this book from Gillian Flynn, the author of Gone Girl.  It’s a great thriller with a few plot twists I never saw coming.  However, the movie version feels miscast in a lot of places and the pacing/structure of it, which worked really well in the novel, feels rushed in some spots and drags in others.  Charlize Theron captures the anger and angst of Libby Day, but the rest of the characters don’t feel as well written as they did on the page.  Skip the movie but pick up the book, especially if you enjoyed the tone of Gone Girl.  Trailer.


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