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New on DVD & Blu-Ray: The Good Lie, The Trip to Italy, and Pride

by | December 23, 2014 | Comments

It’s a fairly limited week for home video releases, but the good news is that all three of the big new films available are smaller Certified Fresh films that probably deserve bigger audiences. They include a drama co-starring Reese Witherspoon, a British comedy sequel, and an acclaimed dramedy based on true events. Then, we’ve also got a couple of seasons of television for those interested. Read on for details:

The Good Lie

86%

Reese Witherspoon seems poised for something of a career renaissance, what with acclaimed turns in Mud, Wild, a supporting role in P.T. Anderson’s Inherent Vice, and The Good Lie, which opened earlier this year. In the latter of these, Witherspoon plays Carrie Davis, an aid worker helping four Sudanese refugees adjust to live in the US after they win a lottery to relocate from their war-torn homeland. Critics were fairly impressed with The Good Lie, even if some were disappointed the story wasn’t more nuanced, and the acting all around was one of the strongest factors in helping the film to a Certified Fresh 86 percent on the Tomatometer. The Good Lie never got a wide release, so in a week when home releases are few and far between, this is one of the better choices to go with.

The Trip to Italy

87%

Who knew listening to a couple of dry-wit comedians play off each other for a couple of hours could be so much fun? And who knew that it would be almost as much fun the second time around? In Michael Winterbottom’s follow-up to 2011’s The Trip, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon again play partially fictionalized versions of themselves as they tour restaurants in Italy and banter over plates of pasta. The only qualm critics had with The Trip to Italy was that its novel premise wasn’t quite as novel any more; barring that, however, they found the film just about as funny and entertaining as the original, and it’s Certified Fresh at 86 percent. This is another small feature that earned a limited run in the US, and while it’s probably too understated for somewhat younger audiences, it should be quite a treat for those who appreciate a good bit of British humor.

Pride

92%

Rounding out this week’s trio of Certified Fresh new releases is another British film and the highest rated of the lot. Based on the true story of a group of gay and lesbian activists in 1984 London rallying to raise money in support of National Union of Mineworkers members on strike, this feelgood drama stars veteran actors Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Dominic West, Paddy Considine and more. Critics praised the film’s ability to handle sensitive issues without being didactic and its smart avoidance of overt sentimentality, leading to a 94 percent Tomatometer score. If you’re in need of a pick-me-up this week, this one isn’t holiday-related, but it will probably result in some warm fuzzies nonetheless.

Also available this week:

  • Season three of SyFy’s mystery drama Continuum, starring Rachel Nichols as a time-traveling detective from the future, is available this week on DVD and Blu-ray.

  • Season one of another SyFy series, Dominion (38 percent), a supernatural drama based on characters in the film Legion, is also available on DVD and Blu-ray.