By Rick Bentley
Tribune News Service
Ghost, ghouls and zombies take over new DVD offerings this week.
“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.” 2.5 stars out of 4: It’s been six years since the fourth movie in the amusement park ride-inspired “Pirates of the Caribbean” series, that one subtitled “On Stranger Tides,” sailed into theaters. It was beginning to look like Disney Studios had keelhauled the franchise, leaving Johnny Depp free to make such forgettable flops as “The Lone Ranger,” “The Rum Diary,” “Dark Shadows” and “Transcendence.” Sadly, Depp found some time in his schedule and the franchise moves like a ship that has struck a reef.
“Dead Men” shows life when there are big action scenes. If 30 minutes of jumbled mythology and cheesy writing had been cut, the movie would have had an action beat as driving as the heart-pounding score by Geoff Zanelli, who carries on the work done in the previous films by Hans Zimmer.
Instead, “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” mixes some fun moments with other scenes that leave the production high and dry.
“iZombie.” 3.5 stars: This CW series offers a smart and comical look at a world where zombies don’t just limp around and eat brains. They get jobs working in the city morgue where they have access to brains all the time.
Executive producer Rob Thomas has managed to match the magic he used to make “Veronica Mars” more than just a detective series. He makes “iZombie” first-rate television through smart scripts, clever plots and a fun mythology.
A major reason the show works is Rose McIver who plays the crime-solving Olivia Moore. The zombie member of the medical examiner’s office gets clues from the dead by eating their brains. Because she takes on some of the person’s characteristics, McIver has had to play everything from a dominatrix to a grumpy old man. She’s a marvel to watch.
“Jackals.” zero stars: This horror film, which takes place in 1983, is, according to the filmmakers, based on true events. How much a film follows reality and how much it wanders into the fringes of fiction is often difficult to judge. There’s no question that it would have been better with this missed attempt at horror to tell the audience the truth: that the film is based on almost every horror film of that last few decades.
Now that “Jackals” is on DVD, it falls into the category of “rent something else.” The film is a plodding example of what happens when a lifeless script meets an uninspired director and is presented by actors who all have the same look of wanting to be the first one killed so the real horror of being part of this mess will come to a merciful end.
“The Book of Henry”: Mother struggles to deal with a genius son. Naomi Watts stars.
“The Layover”: Two good friends find themselves battling for the attention of the same man. Kate Upton stars.
“A Ghost Story”: Casey Affleck stars in this tale of a woman who can’t cope with the death of her husband.
“A December Bride”: A difficult wedding gets worse because of some small lies.
“The Wizard of Lies”: Robert De Niro stars in this look at the financial disasters created by Bernie Madoff.
“The Survivalist”: Man goes against his concerns and fears about survival to help two women.
“Cult of Chucky”: Patient (Fiona Dourif) in an asylum for the criminally insane must battle to keep her sanity when a new therapy doll is used.
“6 Days”: Trained soldiers deal with the six armed gunmen who break into the Iranian Embassy in London taking 26 hostages.
“Home Alone 2: Lost in New York”: A 25th anniversary edition is being released.
“Loch Ness”: Small-town detective (Laura Fraser) is thrown into her first murder case.
“American Horror Story: Season 6: Roanoke”: Sarah Paulson, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Kathy Bates star in this season of the TV series that explores the horrors of voyeurism.
“The Best of the Carol Burnett Show”: Includes 16 episodes of the comedy/variety series.
“House of Cards: Season 5”: Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright star in the tale of politicians and politics.
“Vikings: Season 4: Volume 2”: Ragnar’s (Travis Fimmel) return to Kattegat following his defeat in Paris intensifies the tension among his sons.
“When Calls the Heart: Year Four”: Collection features six movies from the series based on the writings of Janette Oke.
“Two Broke Girls: Season Six”: The DVD set includes the last episodes of the CBS comedy.
“Kick-Ass”: The offbeat super hero film is now available on 4K Ultra HD.
AVAILABLE OF DIGITAL HD ON OCT. 3
“Girls Trip”: Four friends take a wild trip to New Orleans. Will be available on DVD Oct. 10.
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