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. 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.
While one or two later series (with bigger budgets) of Game Of Thrones top season one for spectacle and story sophistication, there's something about Season one's rawness, unflinching brutality, and world-building cleverness that still makes it my personal favorite season to date. Especially as it's also the only season where we get to spend serious time with Ned Stark, who provides a constant tragic heart to all the mayhem that no other season can boast. It's interesting looking back at it now, too, to remember afresh just how groundbreaking it was in 2011 in terms of how far it was prepared to go to ensure that seriously unpleasant stuff happens to the most pleasant people. In fact, I'd say the 4K Blu-ray release has arrived after just the right time to make revisiting the opening series feel completely fresh again. One last thing I had to admire as I revisited the series for this review is just how quickly and effectively it establishes the memorable tone that will endure throughout Game Of Thrones' subsequent six series.
It was almost one year ago that writer-director-producer-star Nate Parker premiered his Nat Turner biopic at Sundance to a rapturous reception and talk of Oscars. Then Parker's past legal troubles cast a shadow over the release, and the movie faded quickly at the box office. But festival audiences didn't get this one wrong. The movie bluntly depicts the horrors of slavery and uses the details of a famous 1831 slave rebellion to tell a stirring story of radical self-determination, pointing to the larger historical tragedy of American bigotry and human exploitation. Though the low budget and pulpy violence are a hindrance, this is ultimately the kind of bracingly personal project that indie cinema could use more of, with a complex perspective on how slaves experienced the Christian Gospels first as a chain forged by their masters and then as a weapon they could learn to wield.
BBC America's Orphan Black tops the list with its series finale Saturday night, but we'll also take a look at series enders for The Carmichael Show, Turn and Doubt. There are also season finales for shows including I'm Dying Up Here, World of Dance, Claws and Unsung. For movie fans there's a Fargo re-release on Blu-ray, while Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is available (in 4K!) on video on-demand services before its Ultra HD Blu-ray release in a few weeks. Big videogame releases include Cliff Bleszinski's latest effort LawBreakers, and the latest episodic effort from Telltale Games Batman: The Enemy Within. Look after the break to check out each day's highlights, including trailers and let us know what you think (or what we missed).
Not everyone has a Netflix account, and that has to be pretty painful for some Marvel fans. Luckily, even non-subscribers can start watching Marvel's Netflix hits. "Marvel's Daredevil" Season 1 will be released on Blu-ray just in time for the holidays. "Daredevil" Season 1 Blu-ray will hit shelves on Tuesday, Nov. 8. The discs will include all 13 episodes of the drama.