The movie adaptation of an award-winning young adult sci-fi series tops the DVD releases for the week of May 25.
“Chaos Walking”: Based on the book “The Knife of Never Letting Go,” the first entry in a series by Patrick Ness, the movie stars Daisy Ridley and Tom Holland, of “Star Wars” and “Spider-Man” fame, respectively.
In development for nearly a decade, the sci-fi film “is neither the disaster one might fear nor the thrilling hoped-for first installment of a would-be trilogy,” Los Angeles Times critic Kevin Crust writes in his review.
“The year is 2257 A.D. and New World, a 64-year journey from the settlers’ home planet, Earth, represents a colonization opportunity gone wrong,” explains Crust. “Similar to Earth in many ways, the beautifully dystopian planet features breathable air, drinkable water, lush forests and perpetual daylight. Unfortunately, it is also home to an unwelcome native species, the Spackle or Spacks, and its atmosphere has a disorienting effect on males, wherein their every thought is broadcast aloud to others.”
Without the proper filter, this disorienting effect causes men to be “chaos walking.” Women, unaffected by this phenomena, supposedly perished in a war with the Spackle, leaving an all-male settlement ruled by the menacing Mads Mikkelsen. Into this situation enters Ridley’s character, the lone survivor of a settler ship who crash lands on New World.
Holland’s conflicted man-boy dealing with a meta-power isn’t far removed from Peter Parker, but he’s really good at it. Ridley’s Viola is strong, confident and capable, and the actor’s winsomeness is occasionally allowed to break through. The stellar supporting cast, especially Mikkelsen and Cynthia Erivo in a role that demands more attention from one of those doubtful sequels, also goes a long way toward the movie’s watchability.
Also new on DVD
“Long Weekend”: A quirky young woman enters the life of a struggling writer at just the right moment in this romantic comedy.
“American Fighter”: A college wrestler enters the dangerous world of underground fighting to get the money needed to save his ailing mother. Stars George Kosturos, Tommy Flanagan and Sean Patrick Flanery.
“Happily”: In this dark rom-com, a happily married couple, played by Joel McHale and Kerry Bishe, discover their friends are jealous of their healthy relationship. The story takes a turn when a mysterious stranger arrives promising to correct the loving couple’s “defect.”
“Supernatural”: The Complete Fifteenth and Final Season”: Catch up on the final adventures of the Winchester boys, Sam and Dean, as the long-running TV series concludes after 15 seasons of fighting demons and other supernatural beings.
“My Fair Lady”: The 1964 classic starring Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison — which won eight Academy Awards, including best picture — is now available in ultra-high definition for the first time thanks to a recent 8K film transfer. This 4K UHD/Blu-ray combo includes more than two hours of special features.