Home Video Picks & Passes 10.11.20

‘The Pirates! Band of Misfits’ gets a thumbs-up.
‘The Pirates! Band of Misfits’ gets a thumbs-up. (photo: Aardman)

Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016) — PICK

The Pirates! Band of Misfits (2012) — PICK

Netflix subscribers have more than one treat in store in October, including two of the most madcap family films of the last decade.

You might know New Zealand director Taika Waititi from Thor: Ragnarok, but my favorite of his films is the quirky, rough-around-the-edges road-movie comedy Hunt for the Wilderpeople.

A troubled foster child (Julian Dennison) and a taciturn backwoodsman (Sam Neill) are brought together by the love of a big-hearted woman who drops out of the picture all too soon. In her absence, two hurting souls come together in a singular way.

What can I say about The Pirates! Band of Misfits (other than that its vastly superior true title is The Pirates! In an Adventure With Scientists!)? 

Possibly Aardman Animations’ most bonkers stop-motion movie, it’s about a fun-loving but unsuccessful pirate band trying to win respect and treasure — by teaming up with Charles Darwin to win a science award! And that’s just the beginning.

Bonus Pick: Among 19th-century English figures making cameos in The Pirates!is Joseph Merrick, the “Elephant Man.” Coincidentally, David Lynch’s 1982 landmark The Elephant Man is new on Blu-ray from Criterion.


 CAVEAT SPECTATOR: Hunt for the Wilderpeople: Mature themes; limited profanity, much cursing and crude language. Teens and up. The Pirates! Band of Misfits: Comic menace and violence; some mildly suggestive humor; a crass word or two. Kids and up.