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New to View: April 18

by on April 14, 2017
 

The following Blu-rays and DVDs are being released on Tuesday, April 18, unless otherwise noted:

The Handmaid’s Tale (Blu-ray + DVD)
Details: 1990, Shout! Factory
Rated: R, sexual content, violence, language
The lowdown: This film adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s best-selling novel is set in a bleak future in which selective women are forcibly chosen to bear children for elites whose wives cannot conceive. Natasha Richardson stars Kate, who is assigned to a highly-placed party member, played by Robert Duvall. But problems arise when she learns that he is sterile and that his wife, played by Faye Dunaway, is jealous of her. The movie, which also costars Aidan Quinn, offers a dark future. The movie, which has spawned a new adaptation for television, is a bit cold and sterile.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 widescreen picture; English 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio stereo; English subtitles; DVD: 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen picture; English Dolby digital stereo; English subtitles.

Donnie Darko: Limited Edition (Blu-ray + DVD)
Details: 2001, Arrow Video
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Jake Gyllenhaal stars in this mind-blowing cult feature about a troubled high school student who is in therapy, is prone to sleepwalking and has an imaginary friend — a six-foot rabbit named Frank. Frank tells Donnie the world is going to end in 28 days. During that time, Donnie will navigate the complexities of teenage life as well as escape death from a falling jet engine.
Donnie must follow Frank’s very strange instructions to maintain the time-space continuum. Besides Gyllenhaal, the film contains a heavy-duty cast, including his sister, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Patrick Swayze, Drew Barrymore, Mary McDonnell and former “ER” co-star Noah Wyle. An eclectic soundtrack includes music by Echo and the Bunnymen, Tears for Fears and Duran Duran. The four-disc set features the director’s cut and theatrical versions of the movie.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 2.35:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH subtitles; DVD: 2.35:1 widescreen picture; English Dolby digital stereo; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: Supplemental materials include three archival featurettes, an interview with director Richard Kelly, a 1996 short film by Kelly, an archival production diary, deleted and alternate scenes, B-roll footage, archival interviews with cast members and filmmakers and a booklet with writings about the film and an interview with Kelly.

Hidden Figures (Blu-ray + DVD + digital HD)
Release date: April 11
Details: 2016, Fox Home Entertainment
Rated: PG, mature elements, language
The lowdown: “Hidden Figures” tells the true, but little-known story, of how a trio of women overcame racial and gender prejudice and inequality to help the United States reach the stars. This movie should be promoted in every middle- and high-school classroom as part of a STEM program to reaffirm the potential of any person no matter their background. The film, which is set in the early 1960s in Langley, Va., follows mathematician Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), computer programmer Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and engineer Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe) — all who worked for NASA — as they navigate and confront the social barriers they encountered as they tried to do their jobs. The prejudice and indignities these women endured — and overcame — ranged from the petty — being addressed by their first names, while referring to their white supervisors as sir or Mrs. — to having a coffee pot marked “colored” or having to run to the other side of the NASA campus to use the colored-women’s restroom. Yet, because of intellect and grit, these women persevered, helping the space program reach its potential and making sure astronauts, such as Alan Shepard, Gus Grissom and, especially, John Glenn, not only were launched into space, but returned safely. The movie not only entertains but enlightens — which is a potent and desirable cinematic combination.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 2.39:1 widescreen picture; English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English 5.1 descriptive audio and Spanish and French 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles; DVD: 2.39:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby digital and 5.1 descriptive audio and French and Spanish 2.0 Dolby digital; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus materials include a making of featurette, a look at the life of Katherine Johnson and a featurette honoring her, a “Right People for the Job” featurette, a look at recreating the era of the early 1960s, a featurette on the movie’s music, deleted scenes, a behind-the-scenes look at filming in Georgia and a commentary track.

Ride the High Country (Blu-ray)
Release date: April 11
Details: 1962, Warner Archive Collection
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Sam Peckinpah directed this moving, mournful tribute to the old West. Cowboy icons Joel McCrea and Randolph Scott — in his final film — play aging former lawmen hired to protect a gold shipment from a mine encampment. Betrayal rears its head as the two men reflect on their lives, the fading of the frontier and, most of all, their independence. The cast includes such Peckinpah stock players as Warren Oats, L.Q. Jones and R.G. Armstrong. The film marked the debut of Mariette Hartley. Also featured was future “Virginian” James Drury. The release is a made-on-demand Blu-ray from the Warner Archive Collection. It can be found at www.wbshop.com or other online sellers.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.35:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio monaural; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: A featurette, “Sam Peckinpah and the High Country” and a commentary track provide the major supplemental offerings.

Teen Titans: The Judas Contract (Blu-ray + DVD + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2017, Warner Home Video
Rated: PG-13, violence, language, suggestive material
The lowdown: The teamwork of the Teen Titans — Beast Boy, Raven, Blue Beetle, Robin and Nightwing — is thrown off balance by its newest member, the mysterious Terra. The team’s cohesiveness better materialize quickly because an ancient evil, Brother Blood, is now a threat, while a familiar foe, Deathstroke, is waiting for his chance to join the fray. The Teen Titans must put aside their differences and unite to combat these threats as a unified group.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 1.78:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French and Latin Spanish 5.1 Dolby digital and Castilian Spanish 2.0 Dolby digital; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles; DVD: 1.78:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English, French and Latin Spanish 5.1 and Castilian Spanish 2.0 Dolby digital; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include an action figure, a look at Deathstroke, a featurette on reuniting Wolfman and Perez, two bonus cartoons and a sneak peek at the next DC Universe animated offering, “Batman and Harley Quinn.”

Tales From the Hood: Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray)
Details: 1995, Scream Factory
Rated: R, violence, language, sexual situations
The lowdown: Clarence Williams III plays mortician, Mr. Simms, who introduces three young hoodlums — who have come to his funeral parlor to retrieve a stash of drugs. Simms takes the men — Stack, Ball and Bulldog — on a tour of his mortuary, introducing them to his corpses, who have tales to tell. The movie is in the vein of such omnibus and anthology features as “Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors,” “Vault of Horror” and “Tales From the Crypt.” The cast also includes Rosalind Cash, Rusty Cundieff — who also directed and co-wrote the screenplay — David Alan Grier, Corbin Bernsen, Wings Hauser and Paula Jai Parker.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 widescreen picture; English DTS-HD Master Audio stereo; English subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus offerings include a making of featurette, a vintage featurette and a commentary track.

36 Hours (Blu-ray)
Release date: April 11
Details: 1964, Warner Archive Collection
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: James Garner stars in this World War II drama as a captured spy who is brainwashed to believe it is 1950, the war is over and that he is in an Allied hospital suffering from amnesia. The movie’s premise is intriguing, but it fails to sustain its 115-minute running time. As the movie progresses, Garner’s Maj. Jefferson Pike becomes more and more suspicious of his surroundings and of those treating him. Pike, who knows the plans for the D-Day invasion, finally figures out what is going on and thwarts the German plan to get the information from him. This release is a made-on-demand Blu-ray from the Warner Archive Collection and can be found at www.wbshop.com or other Internet sellers.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.35:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio monaural; English SDH subtitles.

Hawaii Five-0: The Complete Series
Details: 1968-80, CBS DVD-Paramount Home Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: This 72-disc set features all 278 episodes of this classic CBS series that aired for 12 years. Jack Lord starred as no-nonsense Steve McGarrett, head of an elite police unit tasked with keeping our 50th state safe from criminals, spies and other bad types wishing to disrupt the harmony of the Aloha State. Co-starring with Lord were James McArthur as Danny “Danno” Williams and Kam Fong as Detective Chin Ho Kelly. The series, which has spawned an updated reboot on CBS, is packed with action and suspense. The series, filmed in Hawaii, regularly took advantage of some of the state’s more scenic aspects.
Technical aspects: 4:3 full-screen picture; English and Spanish Dolby digital monaural (seasons 1-8) and English Dolby digital monaural (seasons 9-12); English, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles (seasons 1-7), English subtitles (season 8) and English SDH subtitles (seasons 9-12).
Don’t miss: Extras include a look back at the series, a music video tribute and episode and series promos.

DIGITAL DOWNLOADS and STREAMING

50 Shades Darker (Universal Studios Home Entertainment)
A Dog’s Purpose (Universal Studios Home Entertainment)
In the Doghouse (Breaking Glass Pictures)
Dominion Creek, Series 2 (Acorn TV, April 24)
Murdock Mysteries: Series 10, Episode 18 (Acorn TV, April 24)
Mystery of the Roman Skulls (Acorn TV, April 24)
Pie in the Sky: Series 1-5 (Acorn TV, April 24)

Bob Bloom is a member of the Indiana Film Journalists Association. He reviews movies, Blu-rays and DVDs for ReelBob (ReelBob.com), The Film Yap and other print and online publications. He can be reached by email at bobbloomjc@gmail.com. You also can follow Bloom on Twitter @ReelBobBloom and on Facebook. Movie reviews by Bloom also can be found at Rottentomatoes: www.rottentomatoes.com.

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