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A pair of faith films debut on home video this week
Ewan McGregor stars as both Jesus and Satan in the speculative drama "Last Days in the Desert," now on DVD. - photo by Chris Hicks
A pair of faith films on video this week are based more on screenwriters imaginations than the Bible.

Last Days in the Desert (Broadgreen, 2016, PG-13) and Peter The Redemption (Cinedigm, 2016, not rated/probable PG-13). These two faith-based movies are well-intentioned, but they unfortunately falter. Both mean to be uplifting but are likely to disappoint their target audience in different ways.

Last Days has Ewan McGregor playing both Jesus and Satan in a fictional account of a portion of the Lords 40-day desert fast when he was tempted by the devil. McGregor is good and the production values are exceptional, but the film is slow, meandering and, of course, as purely speculative as was The Young Messiah earlier this year. (Be advised that the PG-13 rating is for the full nudity of a male corpse and a temptress briefly exposing a breast.)

Peter casts John Rhys-Davies as the aging apostle, taking the gospel to Rome and finding himself in conflict with Nero, who declares all Christians enemies of the state. As a tormented and tortured Peter, Davies is serviceable, but the films production values are weak, and as Nero, Stephen Baldwin is unintentionally hilarious. (This one isnt rated but would likely earn a PG-13 for violence, including a depiction of the Crucifixion.)

A Hologram for the King (Lionsgate, 2016; R for sex, nudity, language, drugs; featurettes). This light comedy is a nice vehicle for Tom Hanks, whose everyman persona perfectly suits the character of a divorced and desperate-to-succeed businessman sent overseas to pitch a holographic teleconferencing system to a Saudi king. He attempts to be optimistic but the king proves to be an elusive client, and the customs are daunting until he gets some help from a local doctor (Sarita Choudhury) and unexpectedly finds love. As his hilarious local driver, Alexander Black nearly steals the show. Theres no question, however, that it would all play better without the R-rated excesses.

The Tiger (Well Go, 2016, not rated/probable PG-13, in Korean with English subtitles). A stately (and computer-animated) tiger, the last of its species on a snow-capped mountain in Korea, circa 1925, is the prey of Japanese soldiers who are recruiting locals to help in the hunt. When a young villager joins the ranks, his father, a fabled hunter who has given up the sport after an ill-fated history with the tiger, joins in. It's engaging and lyrical in a dark, downbeat way.

The Angry Birds Movie (Sony, 2016, PG, deleted scenes, featurettes, shorts, photo gallery, music video). This animated feature adapted from the popular game app is aimed at children but is surprisingly vulgar in its story of flightless birds on a remote island invaded by evil pigs. Voice cast includes Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Bill Hader, Peter Dinklage, Kate McKinnon, Keegan-Michael Key, Blake Shelton and Sean Penn.

Keanu (Warner, 2016; R for violence, language, sex, drugs, nudity; deleted scenes, featurette, bloopers). "Keanu" is a violent and profane farce about two cousins who are forced to impersonate thugs they resemble in their attempt to reclaim a cute kitten named Keanu. This over-the-top spoof of buddy action comedies stars the affable cable-comedy team of Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key, along with Method Man, Will Forte, Luis Guzman, Nia Long and Anna Faris.
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