Screening Room Movies at Home: “The Best Man Holiday,” “Blue is the Warmest Color,” “Diana,” “All is Lost”

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New in video stores and available for digital download this Tuesday...

1) THE BEST MAN HOLIDAY (R)
Universal

RUSS
Malcolm D. Lee’s popular 1999 romantic comedy “The Best Man" finally gets a sequel as the cast reunites for “The Best Man Holiday.” Taye Diggs, Nia Long, Morris Chestnut, Terrence Howard and their former college friends get together at Christmas time and their old conflicts are rekindled.

The cast is nothing short of terrific and the film is often funny, but it’s also overlong and overly maudlin. It’s a messy, but likable reunion.

Shawn says, "It's like the coolest reunion you ever attended. Sexy cast. Melodramatic story. And completely entertaining."

RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 3 Popcorn Bags

2. BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR (NC-17)
IFC Films

RUSS
“Blue is the Warmest Color” was the big winner at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, heralded as a masterpiece by some and as pornography by others. The truth lies somewhere in between. The story deals with young lesbian lovers in northern France.

The film’s graphic and highly controversial sex scenes have earned it the NC-17 rating it deserves, but the movie would have worked without them thanks to the brilliant performances by its young stars. It's a heartbreaking account of the minefield of young romance. In this case, the idea of art or porn is in the eye of the beholder.

Shawn says, "It's an absolute joy to watch. One of the best love stories ever. Authentic, heart-warming and daring."

RUSS: 4 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 5 Popcorn Bags

3) DIANA (PG-13)
Eone Films

RUSS: Naomi Watts does the best she can with an insipid script in “Diana,” a film that deals with the last two sad years in the life of the late Princess of Wales. The focus is on her romantic relationship with a Pakistani Brit, Dr. Hasnat Khan, a heart surgeon, played by Naveen Andrews from TV's "Lost." Princess Diana was a spirited and warm personality. In contrast, the movie is dull and lifeless. You can’t blame Naomi Watts, but “Diana” is a royal downer.

Shawn says, "It's shameful that such a dynamic figure in history got slapped with such a terrible movie. There are episodes of 'All My Children' that are better."

RUSS: 2 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 2 Popcorn Bags

4) ALL IS LOST (PG-13)
Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions

RUSS: The adrift at sea adventure "All is Lost" plays like an Earth-based variation of “Gravity.” Robert Redford is sailing in the open ocean when his boat is disabled and his radio is busted. He must rely on his ingenuity and survival instincts in order to meet the insurmountable challenge facing him.

Like “Gravity,” it’s a deceptively simple story that forces audience members to consider the value of a single human life.

Shawn says, "Robert Redford holds his own but it really is more of a gimmick than a movie."

RUSS: 4 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 3 Popcorn Bags

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