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On DVD This Week: Goosebumps, Chi-Raq, Downton Abbey and More

by | January 25, 2016 | Comments

This week on home video, we’ve got a fantastical adventure, Spike Lee’s latest drama, the final season of Downton Abbey, and the second half of Doctor Who‘s ninth season. Then, we’ve also got a well-received indie, a contemplative martial arts film, and a Bradley Cooper-powered misfire. Read on for details:


A Brilliant Young Mind (2015) 87%

Asa Butterfield and Sally Hawkins star in this Certified Fresh drama about an autistic numbers wiz who’s chosen to represent his country in the International Mathematics Olympiad. This film is only available on DVD, and no bonus features are listed.

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Chi-Raq (2015) 82%

Teyonah Parris and Nick Cannon star in Spike Lee’s Certified Fresh drama — based on ancient Greek playwright Aristophanes’ Lysistrata — about a group of women who organize to stop gang violence in the Windy City. No extras are listed.

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The Assassin (2015) 80%

Nominated for several critics awards this year — and a BAFTA — Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s Certified Fresh period martial arts drama stars Shu Qi as an assassin conflicted about her profession who is ordered to kill someone from her romantic past. A handful of short behind-the-scenes docs comes with the film.

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Goosebumps (2015) 78%

Jack Black stars in this fantasy adventure as author R.L. Stine, whose various Goosebumps creations come to life and terrorize his town. He must team up with his daughter (Odeya Rush) and next door neighbor (Dylan Minnette) to stop the madness. Information on special features is currently unavailable.

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Burnt (2015) 28%

Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller star in this drama about an ill-tempered former celebrity chef who attempts to rebuild his career. Bonus features include deleted scenes, a Q&A with the director and cast, and a commentary track.

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Doctor Who: Season 9 (2015) 90%

— Part 2

Anyone else getting tired of the mid-season hiatus trend? For those of you itching to catch up on the second half of Doctor Who‘s ninth series, it’s now available on DVD and Blu-ray, with commentary tracks included for three of the episodes. Get it now, or, you know, wait for them to release the whole thing in one set.

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Downton Abbey: Series 06 (2015) 89%

If you can’t wait for rest of the final season of Downton Abbey to air here in the US, you’re in luck. It’s already aired in its entirety across the pond, and now it’s available on DVD and Blu-ray, just 3 weeks into its US run on PBS. The set comes with just three featurettes: one about Highclere Castle, one about the cars, and one that recounts the shifting storylines of the season.

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  • Vits/Vicente Torres

    THE ASSASSIN – 5/10; GOOSEBUMPS – 6/10

    I’ll watch DOWNTON ABBEY’s 6th season. Maybe I’ll also watch A BRILLIANT YOUNG MIND, CHI-RAQ and BURNT.

    • Karl Lanthanimos

      here you are again. i would love your views on the assassin. i know it was polarizing. for me personally it was one of the best visual experiences ever although the plot was quite complex. i think it desreves a second viewing.

      • Vits/Vicente Torres

        Dialogue vs silence with music score vs pure silence. I’m sure you’ve heard/read that neither of them is better than the other and that it depends of the movie. Yes and no. It depends on the scene. None of them should take over 90-100% of a movie. That’s why this movie doesn’t work as well as it could have. The silence feels pointless because the script writers still rely on dialogue for exposition. That’s how we learn about YIN NIANG’s origin and how we learn about her weakness. Both of those things could’ve been shown. It’s fine that Qi Shu didn’t display a lot of physical effort during the fights, because it showed how good of a fighter YIN NIANG was. However, other actors did the same thing. That means that the directing wasn’t very good, but the choreography was. So was the stunt work (we see people being struck by arrows!). The cinematography left me speechless.

  • Matt Thompson

    How can anyone who’s not with kids put up with watching Goosebumps!? Unless you’re on some really good stuff I don’t see how its possible

    • Vits/Vicente Torres

      Adults who grew up reading the books and/or watching the show enjoy it more.

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