Movie News & Reviews

‘Absolutely Fabulous’ leads list of new DVD titles

Jennifer Saunders, Chris Colfer and Joanna Lumley star in “Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie.”
Jennifer Saunders, Chris Colfer and Joanna Lumley star in “Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie.” Special to The Bee

This week’s new DVD offerings range from fabulous to fantasy.

“Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie” Grade : The self-indulgent, hard-drinking, party-hardy, man-crazy, egomaniacal and unaware Patsy Stone (Joanna Lumley) and Edina Monsoon (Jennifer Saunders) were the life of the television party for almost two decades. They’ve been away for a few years, but the most absurdly fabulous comedy pair to grace the small screen is back with a big-screen edition.

The film version takes the idiotic elements that made the TV series so fabulous and throws them on the big screen. Fans of the series will appreciate how well the story by Saunders hits all the high notes of the TV show.

“Pete’s Dragon” Grade : About all that’s the same from the original movie is there’s a very young boy named Pete (Oakes Fegley) who spends a lot of time in the woods with a dragon known as Elliot (voiced by John Kassir). This odd symbiotic relationship seems to be working until Pete ends up too close to a construction crew and he’s spotted.

“Pete’s Dragon” features a central character who looks more likely to cough up a furball than a ball of fire. It’s not a good look.

Despite that major graphic flaw, “Pete’s Dragon” is a better film than the original by light years. The fact the new film isn’t great shows the level of awfulness in the original. Maybe a third attempt will get it completely right.

“The BFG” Grade : A gentle giant and a spunky young girl join forces. “The BFG” brings together one of the most applauded writers of children’s books, Roald Dahl, with award-winning director Steven Spielberg. Dahl’s story looks at the life of Sophie (Ruby Barnhill), who lives in a British orphanage and prowls the halls at night acting as if she were in command.

It stands tall on its own, but it comes up short when compared to other giants in the Spielberg catalog.

Also new on DVD Nov. 29

▪ “Don’t Breathe”: Attempts to rob a blind man go horribly wrong.

▪ “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life”: Catch up with what has been going on in Stars Hollow.

▪ “The Wild Life”: Animated tale of Robinson Crusoe, who teams up with some weird animals to battle two cats.

▪  “A Chef’s Life, Season 4”: Self-professed “Collard Queen” cooks cabbage and crowns it king.

▪ “The Intervention”: Clea DuVall’s film about four relationships in various stages.

▪  “Soundbreaking: Stories from the Cutting Edge of Recorded Music”: Eight-part series includes more than 150 exclusive and original interviews.

▪  “NOVA: 15 Years of Terror”: Examination of terrorism in the age of the internet: crowd-sourced violence.

▪ “Brief Encounters”: A 1980s set British dramedy starring Penelope Wilton.

▪  “NOVA: Super Tunnel”: Team of more than 10,000 construction workers races to build a brand new metro line in London.

▪ “House of Lies: Final Season”: Kaan & Associates look to stay on top.

▪ “Baked in Brooklyn”: Recent college graduate decides to sell marijuana on the streets after losing his job.

Also new on Digital HD on Nov. 29:

▪ “Ben-Hur”: Jack Huston stars in the 2016 remake about a prince who is falsely accused of treason and ends up a slave.

▪ “Florence Foster Jenkins”: Meryl Streep stars in this true story of a woman with limited singing abilities who becomes a star.

▪ “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.

Rick Bentley: 559-441-6355, @RickBentley1