movies
186 views 0 comments

New to View: Aug. 22

by on August 18, 2017
 

The following Blu-rays and DVDs are being released on Tuesday, Aug. 22, unless otherwise noted:

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (Blu-ray + DVD + digital)
Details: 2017, Marvel Studios-Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Rated: PG-13, science fiction action and violence, language, suggestive content
The lowdown: Beneath its fast-paced story, great visuals and a toe-tapping, mixed-tape soundtrack, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” is a story of family — in all its dysfunctional glory. The film’s major narrative centers on unraveling the secret about cocky, arrogant space jockey Peter Quill’s true parentage. Quill, aka Star Lord, with his “family” — Gamora, Rocket Raccoon, Drax and sapling Baby Groot — are cashing in on their newfound celebrity as the “Guardians of the Galaxy.” However, they cannot control their rogue-like ways. They double-cross a race named the Sovereign, who pursue the Guardians and offer a bounty for their capture. This ignites a chain reaction of events that leads to the Earthling Quill finally meeting his father, a dashing, immortal celestial named Ego, portrayed with panache by Kurt Russell. The plot is secondary as writer-director James Gunn emphasizes the various relationships between these disparate and flawed Guardians. “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” like its predecessor, has a loosey-goosey vibe. While the movie does provide sequences of death and destruction, it feels lighthearted. The near-constant bickering and bantering among the Guardians neither grows tiresome nor repetitive. It’s a fun outing featuring a transfer that looks and sounds stunning on your entertainment center.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 2.40:1 widescreen picture; English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English 2.0 descriptive audio and Spanish and French 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles; DVD: 2.40:1 widescreen picture; English, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby digital and English 2.0 descriptive audio; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus offerings include a music video featuring David Hasselhoff, deleted scenes, a gag reel, a four-part making of and behind-the-scenes documentary and a commentary track.

Alien: Covenant (Blu-ray + DVD + digital HD)
Release date: Aug. 15
Details: 2017, Fox Home Entertainment
Rated: R, graphic and bloody violence, language, sexual content, nudity
The lowdown: “Alien: Covenant” is like a bride preparing her gown: Adding something old, something new, something borrowed, something … well, you know. This sequel to “Prometheus” and prequel to the “Alien” franchise features all the tropes you expect from these movies. And that is “Covenant’s” main drawback. It offers nothing new, no surprises. The movie goes exactly where you expect, and the bodies fall in an orderly, dominoes-like manner. “Alien: Covenant” is uneven; much of the dialogue is clunky, inane or, simply, jaw-dropping. The storyline arc is too deliberate and formulaic. Director Ridley Scott does offer a few moments that grab you, but they are not strong enough to sustain the entire film. The movie’s finale hints at another sequel. So, it seems Scott is going to continue lugging his franchise through space, until it comes full circle and the Nostromo appears on the horizon.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 2.40:1 widescreen picture; English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English 5.1 descriptive audio and French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles; DVD: 2.40:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby digital, English 5.1 descriptive audio and French and Spanish 2.0 Dolby digital surround; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Supplemental materials include deleted and extended scenes, a Ridley Scott master class, a commentary track, a look at the sketches by Michael Fassbender’s character, David, and InWorld featurettes on Advent and Phobos.

Beggars of Life (Blu-ray)
Details: 1928, Kino Lorber
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: The draw of this silent movie, directed by the legendary William A. Wellman, is the appearance of Louise Brooks. Brooks co-stars with Richard Arlen and Wallace Beery in this drama about hoboes and riding the rails. Brooks plays Nancy who, after killing her violent stepfather, befriends Jim (Arlen), a drifter. Nancy disguises herself as a boy and the two ride the rails. Later, they encounter Oklahoma Red (Beery) and his band of hoboes. Nancy is revealed as a girl, which leads to trouble, including a desperate fight atop a moving train. Brooks was a fascinating individual. She disdained Hollywood and went to Europe where she made two classic films in Germany with G.W. Pabst, “Pandora’s Box” and “Diary of a Lost Girl.” She found little film work after returning to the United States. Her last movie was a 1938 Republic B-Western, “Overland Stage Raiders,” a Three Mesquiteers programmer starring John Wayne. Wellman returned to the theme of displaced people in the Depression-era, 1933 drama, “Wild Boys of the Road,” which followed a group of young boys — and a young girl disguised as a boy — who ride the rails looking for work so they would not be burdens on their parents. Brooks made just a few films in her career, and “Beggars of Life,” is one of her memorable American features. Though the movie has no dialogue, it does contain a musical score.
Technical aspects: 1.33:1 full-screen picture, English 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio.
Don’t miss: Extras include a pair of commentary tracks, one featuring William Wellman Jr., a musical score employing selections for the original 1928 Paramount Pictures cue-sheet and a booklet with an essay about the movie.

 

Never Let Go (DVD)
Details: 2017, Sony Pictures
Rated: R (for violence, bloody images and some language)
The lowdown: In this award-winning thriller, a single mother desperately searches for her missing child in a beautiful, but unfamiliar land, following an apparent abduction. Trusting no one, and stopping at nothing, as she weaves her way through the murky backstreets and barren landscapes, now implicated in the murder of a seemingly innocent man, her connections back in the US begin to reveal that there is much more at stake than first meets the eye. Shot in Morroco and Spain. Starring Angela Dixon, Nigel Whitmey, Rami Nasr, Velibor Topic, Lisa Eichhorn. Directed by Howard Ford.
Technical aspects: 1.78:1 aspect ratio; 94 minutes; AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC

 

NCIS: Los Angeles: Season 8
Details: 2016-17, CBS DVD-Paramount Home Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: This six-disc set features all 24 eighth-season episodes of the popular CBS spinoff of the original “NCIS.” Chris O’Donnell and LL Cool J head the cast about a team of Los Angeles-based NCIS agents who combat terrorists, criminals and various threats to the city and the nation. Much happened during this season that could change the course of the series as it progresses, including the killing of the wife of Special Agent Sam Hanna (LL Cool J) and the death of actor Miguel Ferrer, who played Assistant Director Owen Granger. Plus, agents Kensi Blye (Daniela Ruah) and LAPD undercover detective Martin Deeks (Eric Christian Olsen), have taken their relationship to a whole new level. If you want to catch up before the beginning of the series’ ninth season, here is your chance.
Technical aspects: 16:9 full-screen picture; English 5.1 Dolby digital stereo surround; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: Among the bonus offerings are an overview of the season, deleted scenes, a tribute to Ferrer, a behind-the-scenes look with actress Renee Felice Smith as she prepares for her action scenes as agent Nell Jones, a look at the cast preparing for dancing sequences from the episode, “From Havana With Love and a commentary track on the episode, “Gateway.”

Whale Rider: 15th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray + digital)
Details: 2002, Shout! Factory
Rated: PG-13, language, violence
The lowdown: This Shout Select release is a tale about the Maori culture in Australia. Keisha Castle-Hughes plays Pai, who battles tradition to become heir to the leadership of the Ngati Konohi after her twin brother died at birth. Pai is disregarded by her grandfather and shunned by the people of her village, but the 12-year-old is certain of her calling and trains herself in the customs and ways of her people. The movie, directed by Niko Caro, is an excellent feature that is exciting as well as engaging. It is as fun to watch today as when it was first released.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.35:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and stereo; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus offerings include a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film, deleted scenes, a featurette on the building of a canoe and a commentary track.

Bull: Season One
Release date: Aug. 15
Details: 2016-17, CBS DVD-Paramount Home Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A six-disc set featuring all 22 first-season episodes of CBS’ new hit series starring Michael Weatherly as Dr. Jason Bull, head of a high-tech trial consulting service. The series, inspired by the early career of Dr. Phil McGraw, captures the charm and brashness Weatherly brought to his stint on “NCIS.” Here, he uses his skills to determine what makes juries, attorneys and witnesses, tick so he can best help his clients. The show is breezy and fun to watch, as Bull uses his read on people as well as his technical staff to see that justice is served.
Technical aspects: 16:9 full-screen picture; English 5.1 Dolby digital stereo; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus offerings include an in-depth interview with Weatherly, a behind-the-scenes look at the series and cast members, a tour of the mock and real-life courtroom used in the series and a gag reel.

Blue Bloods: The Seventh Season
Details: 2016-17, CBS DVD-Paramount Home Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: The Reagan family continues to fight for the people of New York on the streets as cops and in the courts as prosecutors in this seventh season of the popular CBS series. This six-disc set features all 22 episodes as the Reagans deal with crime, politics in the NYPD and the judicial system, romance and family squabbles. Tom Selleck remains a strong figure as Frank Reagan, the police commissioner and head of the family. The cast also includes Donnie Wahlberg, Len Cariou, Bridget Moynahan and Will Estes.
Technical aspects: 16:9 full-screen picture; English 5.1 Dolby digital surround and stereo surround; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include deleted scenes, a gag reel, an overview of the season, a behind-the-scenes look at the celebration for the series’ 150th episode and a look at the staging of the car crash in the season premiere.

The Blacklist: The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Release date: Aug. 15
Details: 2016-17, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A multidisc set featuring all 22 fourth-season episodes of this hit NBC series starring James Spader as criminal mastermind Raymond “Red” Reddington and Megan Boone as Liz. The season contains the usual twists and turns as Liz continues to keep everyone guessing about the identity of her real father and Red’s real motives for helping her. Liz also works to fill in the blanks about her childhood. Her resurrection sends the Task Force for a loop as well as damaging relationships and friendships.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.78:1 widescreen picture; English and French 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH, English and French subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus materials include deleted scenes, a gag reel, a lighter look at Red, commentaries on three episodes and a “Mr. Kaplan: End of an Era” featurette.

Freebie and the Bean (Blu-ray)
Release date: Aug. 8
Details: 1974, Warner Archive Collection
Rated: R, language, violence
The lowdown: James Caan and Alan Arkin star in this politically incorrect cop-buddy action thriller as Freebie Waters and Benito “Bean” Vasquez, a pair of San Francisco detectives who almost destroy the city trying to bring down a big-time racketeer. The mismatched gangsters are bird-dogging this notorious gangster trying to arrest him on an indecent exposure charge. The movie features four major chase scenes and more than 100 car crashes. It’s not art, but it’s bizarre fun. The made-on-demand release is part of the Warner Archive Collection and can be found at www.wb.com/warnerarchive or other online sellers.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.40:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 2.0 DTS-HD Master audio monaural; English SDH subtitles.

Kill Switch (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2016, Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Rated: R, language, violence
The lowdown: Dan Stevens stars in this sci-fi feature about a physicist experimenting with harnessing unlimited energy. When his experiment goes wrong, he must outwit and outrun drones and soldiers to retrieve a device that could save his family and all humanity. The film features the usual special effects that propel this genre of film.
Technical aspects: 2.35:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: A look at the visual effects and a commentary track comprise the major bonus offerings.

Crossfire (DVD-R)
Release date: Aug. 8
Details: 1933, Warner Archive Collection
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Tom Keene was a B-Western star in the early 1930s at RKO Pictures. He movies were action-packed and breezy. And while he never reached the heights of contemporaries such as Buck Jones or Ken Maynard, he, nevertheless, had a loyal following. Keene also was a decent actor. He later changed his name to Richard Powers appearing in roles in many non-Western features. In “Crossfire,” Keene portrays Tom Allen, the foreman of the Sierra Mining Co., which is owned by five kindly old men. When Allen goes to serve in World War I, a new foreman is appointed. But this man, Bert King, is a villain whose machinations cost lives and force the remaining mining board members to hide out in the hills from King and his gang. When Allen returns from the war, he becomes a sheriff’s deputy to undo the injustice done to his friends. It’s cowboy wiles vs. modern technology as the evil King has acquired a machine gun for his nefarious schemes. The release is a made-on-demand DVD-R from the Warner Archive Collection and can be found at www.wb.com/warnerarchive or other online retailers.
Technical aspects: 1.37:1 (4×3) full-screen picture; English Dolby digital monaural.

Bluebeard (Blu-ray + DVD)
Release date: Aug. 15
Details: 2017, Well Go USA Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: This Korean feature centers on a doctor who learns a murderous secret from a sedated patient, thrusting himself into the middle of an unsolved serial murder case. Soon, dismembered bodies begin showing up around the doctor, who realizes he must solve the case before the killer realizes what the doctor may actually know. The movie stresses tension and suspense over scares, as you follow the doctor as he tries to solve his dilemma.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 2.39:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; Korean DTS X and 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English subtitles; DVD: 2.39:1 (16×9 enhanced), Korean 2.0 Dolby digital; English subtitles.

Effects (Blu-ray)
Details: 1980, AFGA-MVD Visual Entertainment
Rated: R, graphic violence
The lowdown: This feature was thrown together by people who were friends and had worked with writer-director George A. Romero. The film centers on a group of coked-up filmmakers, including special effects artist Tom Savini, Joe Pilato and John Harrison, who come together in Pittsburgh to make a slasher movie called “Duped: The Snuff Film.” Accidents begin to happen after filming gets underway, and turmoil and distrust among the friends begins to surface. The movie is a look at the philosophy of horror as well as a sleazy exploitation slasher feature of its own.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 widescreen picture; stereo sound.
Don’t miss: Bonus materials include an early short films, a commentary track and a documentary about the movie.

Other Blu-rays and DVDs being released on Tuesday, unless otherwise indicated:

Kiki (IFC Films)

FOR KIDS
Shimmer and Shine: Magical Pets of Zahramay Falls (Nickelodeon-Paramount Home Entertainment)

DIGITAL DOWNLOADS and STREAMING
All Eyez on Me (Lionsgate Home Entertainment)
The Commune (Magnolia Home Entertainment)
The Mummy (Universal Studios Home Entertainment)
The Wedding Plan (Lionsgate Home Entertainment)
Rough Night (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Aug. 25)

I am 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. I can be reached by email at bobbloomjc@gmail.com. You also can follow me on Twitter @ReelBobBloom and on Facebook. My movie reviews also can be found at Rottentomatoes: www.rottentomatoes.com.

Comments

comments

Be the first to comment!
 
Leave a reply »

 

You must log in to post a comment