Home Video Picks & Passes 11.12.17

The latest Cars sequel gets a thumbs-up.

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Cars 3 (2017) — PICK 

The Philadelphia Story (1940) — PICK

 
At this point it seems like too much to hope for that any Pixar sequel, let alone a Cars sequel, should function smoothly from start to finish.

The good news is that Cars 3 ends well, rumbling across the finish line with a show of dignity, empathy and purpose, feeling like a suitable bookend to the original Cars 11 years ago.

The big race in Cars ended with a satisfying twist, one that made the old platitudes “It’s not whether you win or lose” and “It’s not all about you” more than just platitudes. Cars 3 finds another way to do this, looking not only backward to honor past heroes, but forward, as well.

New on Blu-ray from Criterion, The Philadelphia Story is one of Golden Age Hollywood’s finest entertainments, with Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn and Jimmy Stewart in a class-skewering romp that suggests screwball comedy, but manages a more mature and humanistic social satire.

Hepburn shines in the role she originated on Broadway, and Stewart won his only Oscar for his terrific performance.

 

Caveat Spectator: Cars 3: A disastrous racing accident; a mildly menacing demolition derby. Kids and up. The Philadelphia Story: Mature themes; references to virginity and philandering; comic drunkenness and references to drinking; fleeting violence, including a brief, stylized depiction of an act of marital violence. Teens and up.