Blu-ray & DVD Review: ‘No Escape,’ ‘Ricki and the Flash,’ ‘American Ultra’ and ‘Shaun the Sheep: The Movie’

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SALT LAKE CITY, November 24, 2015 (Gephardt Daily) ─ It’s DVD Tuesday and a good day to visit your video provider or Red Box for new releases, which include:

No Escape
Starring Owen Wilson and Lake Bell
Directed by: John Eric Dowdle
Rated R

“No Escape” stars Owen Wilson , Lake Bell and Pierce Brosnan in a political thriller about a family who moves overseas to find themselves caught in the middle of a bloody coup.
They frantically look for a safe escape from being executed.

Photo Courtesy: TWC

This is a white knuckle ride from beginning to end. It is a violent film with a claustrophobic sense to it as the more they run the more closed in you feel.

Owen Wilson, whom we think of a s mostly a comedic actor, puts in a formidable performance as a man using every ounce of his being to keep his family safe. It is, in my mind, one of Wilson’s best performances.

Lake Bell, again an actress most known for comedy, is equally frantic as Wilson’s on screen wife. The two had the right amount of chemistry and understood the film’s pacing. Bell shows off some terrific acting chops as she is the perfect counterpart to Wilson.

“No Escape” is a well-crafted thriller and will hold your attention throughout the film

It gets a B and carries an R rating.

Ricki and the Flash
Starring: Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline
Directed by: Diablo Cody
Rated PG-13

“Ricki and the Flash” stars three-time Oscar winner Meryl Streep as a rock guitarist while Oscar-winning director Jonathan Demme directs the screenplay by Academy Award-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody.

Photo Courtesy: Sony Pictures

Streep stars as Ricki, a guitar heroine who gave up everything for her dream of rock-and-roll stardom, but now must return home as her estranged daughter, Julie, is in crisis.

Very much worth mentioning is Mamie Gummer, Streep’s real-life daughter, in the role of ‘Julie,’ who slowly morphs during the course of the film. There is an undeniable connection between the two, which adds to their scenes.

“Ricki and the Flash” is an uneven and, at times, an uncomfortable comedy. Meryl Streep gives a wonderfully breezy and yet heartfelt performance as “Ricki,” who on the outset is detached. But as we get to know Ricki, we see she’s just the opposite.

Yes, “Ricki and the Flash” is a bit saccharine and maybe a little too sentimental. But there’s nothing wrong with that if it’s done with a purpose.

Overall the film is worth seeing if saccharine and sentimental is your cup of tea.

The film gets a B- and is rated PG-13.

Shaun the Sheep: The Movie
Directed by: Mark Burton
Rated G

The film is based based on the TV series, “Shaun the Sheep,” as Shaun decides to take the day off and have some fun, he gets a little more action than he bargained for.

Photo Courtesy: Lionsgate

A mix up with the Farmer, a caravan and a very steep hill lead them all to the Big City and it’s up to Shaun and the flock to return everyone safely to the green grass of home.

Delightfully and painstakingly animated by the same geniuses that gave us “Chicken Run” and “Wallace and Gromit,” “Shaun the Sheep: The Movie” is a delightful and fun movie offering jokes and gags for all age groups.

“Shaun the Sheep: The Movie” is really for the whole family.

It gets a B and is rated PG.

American Ultra
Starring: Jessie Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart
Directed by: Nima Nourizadeh
Rated R

A stoner – who is in fact a government agent – is marked as a liability and targeted for extermination. But he’s too well-trained and too high for them to handle

Blu-ray & DVD Review: 'No Escape,' 'Ricki and the Flash,' 'American Ultra' and 'Shaun the Sheep: The Movie'
Photo Courtesy: Lionsgate

One of the best and most unique films of the year. The film is a perfect balance of comedy, thrills and action.

Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart are hilarious together. This is a must see for this weekend.

It gets a B and is rated R.


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