New video: The animated ‘Mirai’ will resonate with kids and even more so with parents
New on Blu-ray
“Mirai” (Universal DVD, $22.98; Blu-ray, $29.98; also available on VOD)
A charming mix of whimsical fantasy and domestic drama, the Oscar-nominated animated feature “Mirai” takes a child’s-eye view of getting a new baby sibling. Writer-director Mamoru Hosoda channels his own experiences into the character of Kun, a 4-year-old who becomes intensely jealous and needy when his busy father and mother (voiced in the English-language version by John Cho and Rebecca Hall) bring home his infant sister, Mirai. The story unfolds as a series of vignettes in which Kun throws tantrums, then escapes to the garden, where past and future versions of his family — including a teenage Mirai — help him better understand his mom and dad. Gentle and true, “Mirai” will likely resonate most with parents, who’ll recognize those difficult years when youngsters can be both sweet and monstrous.
Special features: extensive featurettes
“Queens of Mystery” (available April 8 on Acorn)
Acorn TV’s latest venture into original programming is a surefire crowd-pleaser: a cheery mystery series about a police detective (played by Olivia Vinall) who cracks cases with the help of her three aunts (Sarah Woodward, Julie Graham and Siobhan Redmond), all of whom write crime novels. The multi-generational element — not to mention the sisterhood — puts an enjoyable twist on both the “mystery writer solving real crimes” and the “single female cop investigating murders” sub-genres. Created by “Doc Martin” writer Julian Unthank, the first “Queens of Mystery” series debuts with a two-part story, with two more two-parters to follow over the next two weeks.
TV set of the week
“You’re the Worst: The Complete Fifth Season” (20th Century Fox DVD, $29.95)
For five seasons, the raunchy sitcom “You’re the Worst” tracked the professional and romantic lives of a handful of deeply damaged Angelenos. The recently completed final season — the 13 episodes of which are now available on the DVD set “You’re the Worst: The Complete Fifth Season,” just a week after the finale — sees these characters contemplating the possibility of a happy ending, while remaining certain that something terrible will happen to sabotage it. The show goes out as it came in: mining laughs (and angst) from misbehavior.
Special features: none
From the archives
“Stranger Than Paradise” (Criterion Blu-ray, $39.95)
“Night on Earth” (Criterion Blu-ray, $39.95)
During his first decade as a filmmaker, Jim Jarmusch carved out his own niche in American independent cinema, making molasses-paced deadpan comedies that follow eccentric travelers from around the world. Two of those early Jarmusch pictures are now joining Criterion’s Blu-ray collection. The wry 1984 road picture “Stranger Than Paradise” is about two scruffy hustlers who try to stave off boredom by chasing a beguiling Hungarian woman from New York to Ohio to Florida. The more ambitious 1991 anthology film “Night on Earth” is set in five different cities on a single night, where lonely cab drivers get involved with the lives of their passengers. Both are quirky and dryly funny, with a distinctive style that blends aloof New York art-punk and European ennui.
Special features: commentary tracks and interviews on both, plus Jarmusch’s 1980 debut feature “Permanent Vacation” on “Stranger Than Paradise”
Three more to see
“Berlin, I Love You” (Lionsgate DVD, $19.98; Blu-ray, $21.99; also available on VOD); “On the Basis of Sex” (Universal DVD, $29.98; Blu-ray, $34.98; also available on VOD); “Welcome to Marwen” (Universal DVD, $29.98; Blu-ray, $34.98; also available on VOD)
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