Entertainment & Life

Anna Gunn shows her strength; Meryl Streep hits a flat note

Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant star in the new DVD release “Florence Foster Jenkins.”
Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant star in the new DVD release “Florence Foster Jenkins.” Paramount

Tales of determined women are featured in new DVD releases.

“Equity” Grade  1/2: “Wall Street,” the 1987 Michael Douglas film, proclaimed that “greed is good.” “Equity,” the latest film to look at the ins and outs of Wall Street, takes that proclamation one step further by showing that greed is equally good for women.

“Equity” also reinforces the notion that living on the financial edge of buying and selling stocks can be just as dangerous for any sex.

The biggest problem with “Equity” is that it’s a little too polite. Reactions to major events are treated with so much calm that the dramatic elements become diluted. A few more emotional eruptions seem in order. Part of that comes from Anna Gunn, who tends to play characters from the inside out. She’s at her best playing those who are emotionally guarded, but a little more externalizing is not always a bad thing.

“Florence Foster Jenkins” Grade : There are times when it is obvious that the star of a movie has more invested in the project as a potential way to win awards than in entertaining the audience. It may not be a conscious decision to approach the work that way, but the results are the same.

“Florence Foster Jenkins” comes across as one of those kinds of projects. It looks like a production designed more to be a lure for Meryl Streep to be nominated for awards than it is intended to be a solid overall movie. And, she’s Streep. Even a home video of Streep on Facebook would get Oscar consideration.

Sadly, the movie fails to find the tempo that would make the story sing for audiences. The vulnerability, sentimentality and sweetness of the movie is like the singing voice of Florence Foster Jenkins: After a few minutes, everything goes flat.

Also new on DVD Dec. 13:

▪ Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children: A young boy discovers a refuge for children with special abilities.

▪ “Bridget Jones’ Baby”: British publishing executive (Renee Zellweger) in her 40s discovers she is pregnant.

▪ “Fear the Walking Dead: The Complete Second Season”: Blended family continues to look for safety in a world of walkers.

▪ “Train to Busan”: Zombie thriller that follows a group of terrified passengers on a bullet train.

▪ “Teletubbies: Snowball”: Six new adventures featuring Tinky, Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po.

▪ “The Driller Killer”: An artist’s grip on reality begins to slip.

▪ “19-2: Season 3”: Partners in the Montreal Police Department must put aside their differences.

▪ “Morgan”: Scientists are working on a genetically designed human. Kate Mara stars.

▪ “Stagecoach: The Texas Jack Story”: Western loosely based on the real-life story of outlaw Nathaniel Reed.

▪ “Southside With You”: A look at the efforts of a young Barack Obama to capture the heart of the young woman who would eventually become his first lady.

▪ “Ben-Hur”: Jack Huston stars in the story of a prince who is falsely accused of treason and ends up a slave.

▪ “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Earth’s Last Stand”: The heroes must save New York from the Triceratons.

▪ “The Twilight Zone: The Complete Series”: Set includes all 156 episodes.

▪ “800 Words: Season 1”: A widow’s plan to start a new, quiet life is upset.

▪ “Girls Lost”: Three best friends explore gender identity.

▪ “Black Christmas”: A stranger stalks a sorority house.

▪ “American Gothic: Season One”: Network murder mystery in 13 parts.

▪ “Britain’s Bloody Crown”: Four-part documentary on the true history of the Wars of the Roses.

▪ “Christmas All Over Again”: Teen gets stuck in Christmas time loop.

▪ “Star Trek: The Original Series - The Roddenberry Vault”: Never-before-seen footage from the “Star Trek” TV series.

▪ “Kampai! For the Love of Sake”: Examination of the art of rice wine.

▪ “Sudden Fear”: Joan Crawford stars in this film noir thriller.

▪ “Streets of Compton”: Documentary narrated by rapper The Game.

▪ “Little Men”: A look at the innocence of young relationships.

▪ “Dreamscape”: Dennis Quaid film about a man with a psychic gift is now on Blu-ray.

▪ “Harley and the Davidsons”: Cable channel series on the history of the iconic motorcycle.

▪ “The Legend of Korra: The Complete Series”: The eight-disc set contains every pivotal Korra moment.

▪ “Creepshow 2”: Collection of horror stories.

▪ “Brother Nature”: Plans of straight-laced politician go awry after he meets his future brother-in-law.

Available on Digital HD on Dec. 13:

▪ “When the Bough Breaks”: Surrogate mom becomes overly attached to the baby’s father.

▪ “Stevie D”: Actor is hired to take the place of a young man targeted to be killed.

▪ “The Disappointments Room”: New dream home becomes a chilling nightmare.

Rick Bentley: 559-441-6355, @RickBentley1

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