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New on DVD: 'Babyteeth' builds depth of joy amid family tragedy

By Katie Foran-McHale, Tribune News Service on

Published in Entertainment News

A vibrant story gives new life to the coming-of-age sick teen subgenre in the top new DVD releases for the week of Sept. 22.

"Babyteeth": As teenager Milla (Eliza Scanlen) zones out while waiting for the train, a considerable distance from her peers, she looks a little too longingly at the tracks below. When the train barrels toward the platform, she sharply inhales after being shoved by a 23-year-old man, Moses (Toby Wallace). It's the breath of fresh air she needs, in the midst of dealing with cancer, chemo and loneliness. As the two become friends, her parents, Anna and Henry (Essie Davis and Ben Mendelsohn), struggle between the sketchiness of the age difference, let alone Moses' criminal leanings, and seeing their dying daughter reawaken to the world.

For a film swirling around death, it glows with life, with small moments carrying the most weight: Anna smiling at Milla passionately dancing to Sudan Archives at a music lesson, a pregnant neighbor going into labor, an impromptu photo session at the beach that leaves Henry attempting to hide his devastation in seeing Milla hint at her final days. Davis' effortless charm shines through Anna's drug-addled coping mechanisms, while Mendelsohn achieves melancholic disconnect without hiding Henry's humanity, and the spirited soundtrack is perfectly complemented by a heavy string score by Amanda Brown. Director Shannon Murphy and writer Rita Kalnejais ultimately succeed in taking a coming-of-age subgenre that has become familiar in recent years and making it as lively as Milla's bright blue wig.

ALSO NEW ON DVD SEPT. 22

"Babysplitters": Two couples who aren't wild about the concept of having a baby decide to share one among the four of them. Stars Maiara Walsh, Danny Pudi, Emily Chang and Eddie Alfano.

"Beckman": A former assassin who now serves as a church pastor (David A.R. White) seeks revenge against a cult leader who took his daughter away.

 

"Full Metal Jacket": The classic 1987 Vietnam film directed by Stanley Kubrick is being released in 4K resolution.

"Iceland Is Best": Discouraged by her community, an Icelandic teenager (Kristin AuĂ°ur Sophusdottir) dreams of moving to The Golden State.

"DC's Legends of Tomorrow: The Complete Fifth Season": The CW superhero series picks up after the Legends have gained celebrity and respect for defeating Neron.

"Man with a Plan: Season 3": The CBS sitcom returns as Adam (Matt LeBlanc) and Andi (Liza Snyder) have decided to begin working together professionally.

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