Here are some of this week's hottest home video releases.
A Dog's Purpose
Based on the W. Bruce Cameron bestseller, Lasse Hallstrom's sentimental film strings together several vignettes through the eyes of a dog (voiced by Josh Gad) who is reincarnated over and over again. A solid family film, the cheerfully sappy, cutesy and predictable movie revels in its old-fashioned charm. The Bluy-ray/DVD/digital copy combo includes deleted scenes, outtakes and Campbell's backstory.
La La Land
Director Damien Chazelle's virtuoso musical landed five Oscars, including best director and best actress (Emma Stone). Stone plays a struggling actress who finds love and artistic inspiration in the form of a musician (Ryan Gosling) with big dreams. Mesmerizing choreography combine with a knockout script and soundtrack to dovetail with Chazelle's vision, crafting not only one of the best movies of the year but one of the greatest musicals ever made. Extras in the Blu-ray/DVD/digital copy combo include more than a dozen making-of featurettes that exhaustively examine every aspect of the amazing film's production. For my full review, click here. For a look at Stone's beginnings through the lens of her youth theater director, click here.
The Red Turtle
This best animated film Oscar nominee is a wordless rumination on the human condition. A man who is lost at sea struggles to find purpose, companionship and salvation by fixating on a turtle with mysterious properties. A rewatchable think piece, director Michael Dudok's collaboration with Studio Ghibli is visceral enough to fascinate adults and children alike. A Dudok Q&A and a pair of making-of featurettes fill out the slate of extras.
A weak, half-hearted attempt to conjure the fright of the original Japanese "Ringu" and its better-known American remake, "Ring," the film stars a slumming Johnny Galecki. He plays a professor obsessed with using digital technology for spreading a cursed video and examining the way it works. His student acolytes pay the price for his dark, nonsensical vision, but viewers don't get off so easy either. Deleted and alternate scenes, as well as a trio of background featurettes, fill out the Blu-rya/DVD/digital copy combo. For my full review, click here.
Hailing from the minimalist filmmaking hotbed of Iran, the best foreign language film Oscar winner tells a grim tale of a young couple living in Tehran who are forced to move to a new apartment that is haunted by the past of the previous tenant. Writer/director Asghar Farhadi provides a Q&A in this subversive, politically-charged work.
Studios provided review screeners.