Punch Drunk DVDs: 'Assassins Creed', 'Sing', 'Live By Night', And More!


Based on the popular video game series of the same name, Assassin’s Creed stars Michael Fasbender as Cal Lynch, a convict in search of redemption. Under the control of a futuristic tech program that traces genetic memories from your DNA, Cal travels back in time to The Spanish Inquisition, where he lives as a secretive mercenary in the league of Assassins. Using his experiences in the past, Cal trains to save the future.

We Said: “Sadly, Assassin's Creed, which is based on the long-running stealth action game franchise, is bad totally independent from the [video game – movie] genre. It is, in all of the worst ways, like the Hitman adaptations which were unnecessarily dense and pretentious. If you're a fan you'll flip for seeing the games' awesome action moves on the big screen, pulled off by a top notch actor like Michael Fassbender, no less. But you'll also be left wondering why they couldn't have tried to make the movie as enjoyable to watch as it is to play.” Rating: 2 out of 5

Buster Moon, a Matthew McConaughey Koala, runs a theater that has fallen on hard times. In an attempt to save his historic venue, Moon plans a massive singing competition for all the other celebrity voiced animals to participate in. The plan starts to work, as the show becomes a phenomenon, enthralling audiences and giving purpose to its many contestants. Featuring an all star cast including Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, and others and a top notch soundtrack, Sing is another big hit for the whole family from Illumination Films.

We Said: Sing is a really great family movie that should entertain mostly everyone, and picked some good songs to have the characters sing. One thing we’ve learned about [animation studio] Illumination this year is that they can make really great animated films that doesn’t have one minion in it.” Rating: 4 out of 5

In 1920’s Boston, Joe Coughlin (director Ben Affleck) is living large and fast as a successful bootlegger during Prohibition. When Joe gets in trouble with the mob, he has to use every trick he can think of to stay alive.

We Said: “Affleck's Live by Night isn't a bad gangster film by any means, it's just overstuffed with egregious flourishes and familiar recalls to just about every mobster movie you've ever seen. At least in the early going, anyway. Affleck does end up correcting course and the film spins into a rousing, entertaining crime yarn full of cool hats, tough dames, and tommy guns. It just takes a while to get there, and the opening act trots out one lousy hard-boiled clichĂ© after another.” Rating: 3 out of 5