New on DVD & Blu-Ray: Annie, Exodus, Song of the Sea, and More

by | March 17, 2015 | Comments

This week on home video, we’ve got an Oscar nominee, a surprisingly successful animated spinoff, a Biblical epic, and an ill-advised remake. Then we’ve got a few decent choices in the smaller releases, including Chris Rock’s Certified Fresh comedy and a couple of selections from the Criterion Collection. Read on for details:

Annie (2014) 28%

First it was a comic strip, then it was a musical, and then it was a film (twice), so it’s sort of understandable that the makers of 2014’s Annie — whose producers include such names as Will Smith and Jay-Z — would want to do things a little differently this time. Plus, they hired a few talented actors and the adorable star of Beasts of the Southern Wild to play the titular orphan. What could go wrong? A lot, according to the critics, who saddled the film with a 28 percent Tomatometer score for its reliance on clichés, syrupy sweetness, oddly staged musical numbers, and crass messaging. Quvenzhané Wallis is as charismatic as ever as the little girl who’s swept into the political machinations of wealthy mayoral candidate Benjamin Stacks (Jamie Foxx), who initially uses Annie for her PR value but ultimately falls for her charm. But essentially everything else about this production rubbed critics the wrong way, which renders this remake a missed opportunity.

Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014) 28%

Speaking of missed opportunities, who could have predicted a biblical epic directed by Ridley Scott and starring Christian Bale would have misfired as badly as Exodus: Gods and Kings did? Maybe people were burnt out on Old Testament stories by high profile directors, having already witnessed what Darren Aronofsky did with Noah back in March. Whatever the case, Scott’s retelling of Moses’ (Bale) journey was poorly received by both critics and audiences alike, earning a lukewarm box office total and earning a 28 percent score to match Annie‘s. Exodus has its moments, critics said, but the updated visual effects and few story embellishments (Moses as a sword-wielding general?) weren’t quite enough to erase memories of The Ten Commandments, and the newer film suffered from the comparison. For those who are interested, however, the Blu-ray release features a historical guide, a number of deleted or extended scenes, and few featurettes exclusive to the 3D release if you decide to go that route.

Song of the Sea (2014) 98%

Back in 2009, director Tomm Moore’s film The Secret of Kells earned an Oscar nod for Best Animated Feature, thanks to an enchanting mythological tale and its unique, hand-drawn art style. Earlier this year, he repeated the feat with Song of the Sea, which employed those same signature elements en route to an impressive Certified Fresh 98 percent on the Tomatometer and another Academy Award nomination. Song explores the Celtic myth of the selkie, a creature that takes the form of a seal underwater and that of a human on land, as told through the story of a young boy named Ben and his young sister Saoirse, who live in a lighthouse with their father. When Saoirse discovers a shell flute that plays a mystical tune, they learn a magical secret about their mother, who passed away years earlier. Song of the Sea is visually spectacular and rich in story, which makes it both an artful film and an excellent choice for family viewing.

Penguins of Madagascar (2014) 72%

DreamWorks Animation’s Madagascar franchise is one of the rare few that has gotten better with each installment, and it’s been so successful that a few of the side characters — The Penguins of Madagascar — got their own TV show on Nickelodeon. In 2014, those pesky penguins even got their own movie, and it turned out pretty good. Unrelated in plot to the TV series, Penguins of Madagascar follows Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private as they attempt to thwart the nefarious plans of Dr. Octavius Brine (John Malkovich), an octopus with an anti-penguin vendetta, after a dashing wolf (Benedict Cumberbatch) recruits them into his super-secret spy organization. Thanks to its vibrant colors, brisk pacing, and manic silliness, Penguins of Madagascar entertained most critics and earned a 72 percent on the Tomatometer. Its constant, frantic energy might be a bit too much for some adults to handle, but it’s harmless fun that will certainly keep the kids occupied for a while.



The Way He Looks (2014) (91 percent), a Brazilian coming-of-age story about the struggles of a blind teenager.
Top Five (2014) (88 percent), Chris Rock’s Certified Fresh comedy about a comedian (Rock) who reflects on his life as he’s being interviewed by a journalist (Rosario Dawson).
Son of a Gun (2014) (60 percent), starring Ewan McGregor and Brenton Thwaites in an Australian crime thriller about a petty criminal on the run with a notorious armed robber after the pair break out of jail.
Vice (2015) (0 percent), starring Bruce Willis and Thomas Jane in a futuristic thriller about a lifelike robot who becomes self-aware and escapes from a pleasure resort.
The Soft Skin (1964) (91 percent), François Truffaut’s 1964 drama about a married literary scholar who engages in an affair with a stewardess, gets a new Criterion Blu-ray this week.

Tag Cloud

video on demand canceled TV shows comiccon target scene in color TV One technology lord of the rings Black History Month Teen The Arrangement Super Bowl 2019 james bond scary Election 90s Lifetime Christmas movies Sci-Fi doctor who rt labs critics edition monster movies TCA Winter 2020 Vudu scene in color Sundance Now latino films romance Premiere Dates Music Shudder 2017 Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Fargo AMC Cartoon Network DC Comics a nightmare on elm street Thanksgiving Acorn TV aapi reviews Amazon Prime Video wonder woman deadpool jurassic park new york Star Wars werewolf PBS screenings child's play HFPA Summer green book 93rd Oscars Trophy Talk movie slashers Amazon Syfy Image Comics obituary blockbusters Holidays Heroines Disney Plus witnail harry potter remakes DGA FX indiana jones Mystery international Reality supernatural zombie adenture 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards posters comedies Disney streaming service spanish A24 Bravo Shondaland 2018 book adaptation rom-coms Marvel Studios rt labs Fall TV BET Awards natural history trailers San Diego Comic-Con classics summer preview godzilla all-time animated best TV renewals diversity asian-american Superheroes rotten italian USA TNT spain kong YouTube Red south america The Walking Dead PlayStation Pixar Lionsgate Mary Poppins Returns worst movies unscripted casting award winner sequels BBC One dogs RT21 vs. Comic Book Mary poppins hispanic Pet Sematary Legendary dceu hollywood cartoon streamig Mindy Kaling Calendar FOX renewed TV shows space prank BAFTA Anna Paquin king kong royal family Awards Tour popular justice league MTV universal monsters Polls and Games robots 45 Infographic LGBTQ Turner Classic Movies dexter Hollywood Foreign Press Association Ghostbusters Schedule Amazon Prime Tokyo Olympics theme song Netflix Christmas movies news comic Crunchyroll The Academy nbcuniversal 2016 DirecTV TV Land Neflix Columbia Pictures series HBO Go boxoffice Writers Guild of America cars TCA Awards Pirates Fox Searchlight psycho basketball razzies franchise Disney+ Disney Plus biopic Valentine's Day hist Black Mirror Showtime IFC Winter TV Tomatazos king arthur Adult Swim DC streaming service Comedy Central scene in color series comic book movie 20th Century Fox reboot toy story HBO Max rotten movies we love 4/20 Indigenous new star wars movies sports ABC Signature aliens fresh GLAAD Mudbound ID summer TV miniseries Oscars cancelled TV series docudrama sopranos Fox News The Walt Disney Company facebook cancelled TV shows ITV Character Guide Disney Channel sequel laika Red Carpet young adult CW Seed new zealand live action psychological thriller Nominations saw book OWN anime 007 Universal Pictures mission: impossible Sundance TV Best Actress IMDb TV Esquire Box Office kids Marathons japanese CBS free movies live event romantic comedy obi wan Focus Features emmy awards DC Universe Horror Best and Worst boxing target Pop breaking bad Pride Month TV movies Winners spy thriller adventure sitcom 73rd Emmy Awards richard e. Grant CNN based on movie GoT Cosplay The CW Instagram Live Chilling Adventures of Sabrina BBC America SXSW New York Comic Con archives Broadway Apple TV+ Paramount Network TBS period drama crime drama biography mockumentary 2021 Song of Ice and Fire Hallmark Christmas movies Pacific Islander El Rey olympics Western 79th Golden Globes Awards festival scary movies MGM Country parents CMT summer TV preview versus Dark Horse Comics Baby Yoda Avengers 94th Oscars Set visit National Geographic anthology critic resources dramedy Apple TV Plus comic books ratings Rocketman Oscar Tubi cops CBS All Access documentary Film Festival Wes Anderson Superheroe Toys television BBC zero dark thirty Drama Discovery Channel blaxploitation 72 Emmy Awards pirates of the caribbean 2020 MSNBC Grammys halloween The Witch sag awards medical drama foreign die hard Classic Film video Brie Larson comics Family halloween tv christmas movies GIFs Sneak Peek TIFF Apple Elton John SDCC cats cinemax APB name the review Nickelodeon trophy Emmys Chernobyl LGBT Ovation Best Actor superhero Geeked Week Tarantino Starz worst cancelled television children's TV Epix toronto elevated horror dc streaming Endgame Watching Series WarnerMedia ESPN President women NYCC Mary Tyler Moore cults Sony serial killer true crime FX on Hulu mutant heist movie genre scene in color film series Walt Disney Pictures E3 telelvision Action VICE superman adaptation Best Picture high school social media Freeform Paramount Pictures stop motion Rom-Com Travel Channel Trailer Native Countdown interviews satire travel Disney stand-up comedy what to watch hispanic heritage month twilight science fiction Television Critics Association australia Kids & Family war politics IFC Films stoner Logo feel good debate Marvel Television directors Comic-Con@Home 2021 YouTube Star Wars Celebration 24 frames Rock nature Comics on TV game show tv talk Hallmark independent indie E! transformers comic book movies japan golden globe awards Creative Arts Emmys Animation legend Interview Funimation zombies marvel cinematic universe TCA Exclusive Video broadcast AMC Plus gangster Trivia First Look game of thrones spider-verse football ViacomCBS Stephen King Universal WGN PaleyFest streaming movies critics chucky Emmy Nominations Comedy Nat Geo political drama American Society of Cinematographers Lucasfilm dreamworks Spike art house Cannes ABC Prime Video Spring TV historical drama slasher Paramount spanish language Food Network Sundance X-Men Fantasy 2015 Film Year in Review HBO VH1 Sony Pictures ABC Family leaderboard discovery Netflix police drama concert Ellie Kemper SXSW 2022 Video Games Hulu revenge 99% Television Academy vampires The Purge RT History hidden camera docuseries Biopics Martial Arts spider-man teaser YouTube Premium know your critic Amazon Studios Alien action-comedy composers jamie lee curtis MCU ghosts finale Extras crossover Tags: Comedy SundanceTV quibi documentaries 71st Emmy Awards nfl criterion Turner Hear Us Out dragons Paramount Plus mcc TV VOD History OneApp festivals Masterpiece Binge Guide Best Director Musicals Arrowverse Opinion marvel comics Captain marvel Warner Bros. Pop TV black comedy binge crime scorecard TruTV strong female leads South by Southwest Film Festival crime thriller NBC TCA 2017 batman USA Network 1990s thriller Certified Fresh 21st Century Fox canceled See It Skip It Crackle Britbox Spectrum Originals TLC NBA Quiz venice FXX Podcast Holiday Lifetime Peacock movies spinoff french black Christmas cooking A&E dark joker fast and furious suspense Rocky First Reviews blockbuster golden globes singing competition BET kaiju cancelled Women's History Month Reality Competition Photos mob Tumblr Awards rt archives TCM Musical disaster Academy Awards YA Marvel Star Trek screen actors guild talk show