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On DVD This Week: Shaun the Sheep, American Ultra, Doctor Who, and More

by | November 23, 2015 | Comments

This week on home video, we have an acclaimed stop motion animated film, a stoner action comedy, and a collection of Christmas specials from a fan-favorite TV series. Then we’ve also got a holiday-themed horror anthology, an international thriller, a powerful documentary, a musical drama starring Meryl Streep, and a couple of outstanding choices from the Criterion Collection. Read on for the full list:


Shaun the Sheep Movie (2015) 99%

In this widely acclaimed stop-motion animated comedy, Shaun the Sheep encourages the rest of his flock to take a day off, which eventually leads to the disappearance of their owner into the big city. Special features include a making-of featurette, profiles on the crew and the characters, a look at the animation process, and a parody poster gallery.

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The Square (Al Midan) (2013) 100%

This Certified Fresh documentary chronicles contemporary politics of Egypt, beginning with the demonstrations in Tahrir Square in early 2011. No information on bonus features is currently available.

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A Christmas Horror Story (2015) 83%

If you’re pumped for Krampus, this little horror anthology should tide you over. Framed by the narration of a radio DJ played by William Shatner, this collection of four holiday tales of horror are just cheeky enough to satisfy the genre hound in you. There’s one behind-the-scenes featurette included.

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Ricki And The Flash (2015) 65%

Meryl Streep and he real-life daughter Mamie Gummer star in Jonathan Demme’s musical drama about a former rocker attempting to reconnect with the family she gave up for stardom. Extras include a making-of doc, deleted scenes, and a featurette on co-star Rick Springfield.

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No Escape (2015) 47%

Pierce Brosnan, Owen Wilson, and Lake Bell star in this thriller about a businessman and his family who become trapped in Southeast Asia during a violent political uprising. Special features include a commentary track, deleted scenes, and a behind-the-scenes doc.

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American Ultra (2015) 43%

Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart star in this action comedy about a small-town stoner who, it turns out, is actually a sleeper agent for the CIA; when he’s targeted for elimination, his training kicks into gear. Bonuses include a commentary track, a gag reel, and an extensive look at the production process.

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Dont Look Back (1967) 100%

The first of Criterion’s two new releases this week is D.A. Pennebaker’s groundbreaking documentary of Bob Dylan on his last acoustic tour in 1965. Among the extras are another documentary by Pennebaker called 65 Revisited, audio excerpt from a 2000 interview with Dylan played over deleted footage from the film, an interview with Patti Smith, and a lot more.

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Ikiru (1956) 98%

Criterion’s second offering is a new release of Akira Kurosawa’s masterful, heartbreaking drama about a man reexamining his life after he learns he has terminal stomach cancer. The new Blu-ray contains a feature-length documentary about Kurosawa that includes interviews with him, a 2003 documentary on Ikiru, and more.

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Doctor Who: Last Christmas (2014 Special) (2014) 92%

 – Doctor Who: Christmas Specials Giftset

Lastly, we have a treat for Doctor Who fans. This set includes every Christmas Special from the new generation of the series — that makes 11 of them, including this year’s, which will air on December 5 in the UK — and comes with a Tardis-shaped bluetooth speaker, as well as a special feature centered on what makes the annual episode so special.

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  • Vits/Vicente Torres

    SHAUN THE SHEEP – 5/10; RICKI AND THE FLASH & AMERICAN ULTRA – 3/10; NO ESCAPE – 6/10

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