Home Video Picks & Passes 10.02.16

Beauty and the Beast (1991) — PICK

The Conjuring 2 (2016) — PICK

Star Trek Beyond (2016) — PICK


In a disappointing movie summer, two of the better films were a pretty good sci-fi action-adventure film and a horror sequel once again demonstrating that the Catholic Church’s best look in Hollywood today is in supernatural horror films.

Star Trek Beyond may not win over longtime Trekkers disillusioned with the last two movies, but it’s a more hopeful, idealistic film with an actual idea at the center of it: All of us together are stronger than any of us alone.

Idris Elba’s villain disagrees, considering unity a weakness and the Federation a lie. But the film has the strength of its convictions, and a climatic stunt isn’t just an awesome action moment, it also represents a promise honored and loyalty to an ally.

A brilliantly visualized sci-fi community of tomorrow, unbound by normal limitations of planetary gravitational conditions, succeeds where Brad Bird’s Tomorrowland failed in offering a shiny, hopeful future worth dreaming of.

In The Conjuring 2, Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson star as husband-and-wife paranormal investigators asked by media-wary local Church authorities to look into purported disturbances in north London.

Though not without dubious elements, the film is clear that crucifixes and faith in God are more powerful than the devil — though a loving husband and wife are the film’s most persuasive image of goodness.

Celebrating 25 years, Disney’s greatest triumph of the 1990s and maybe of the whole post-Walt era, Beauty and the Beast returns to home video with a three-disc Blu-ray/DVD Digital HD edition.

The film’s achievement is unique: No other animated film so successfully blends classic fairy-tale power with stage-musical razzle-dazzle. Belle is the most sympathetic and endearing Disney heroine of the 20th century, and the songs develop and propel the story.


Caveat Spectator: Beauty and the Beast: Some scary and menacing scenes. Fine family viewing. The Conjuring 2: Much supernatural menace, demonic themes, frightening images; mixed spiritual elements; some violent and bloody imagery; brief crude language and cursing. Mature viewing. Star Trek Beyond: Much intense action violence; disturbing sci-fi killings; brief mildly suggestive content; a brief scene implying a same-sex relationship. Teens and up.