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New to View: Oct. 24

by on October 20, 2017
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By Bob Bloom
The following Blu-rays and DVDs are being released on Tuesday, Oct. 24, unless otherwise noted:
War for the Planet of the Apes (Blu-ray + DVD + digital)
Details: 2017, Fox Home Entertainment
Rated: PG-13, graphic violence and action, disturbing images, language
The lowdown: “War for the Planet of the Apes” is a solidly entertaining feature that advances the franchise.
Yet, it lacks that extra spark that raises it to a level of memorable or unforgettable.
The third movie in this rebooted series is explosive and — taking into account today’s political climate — relevant.
It is a film that touches upon what it is to be human and what it may take to push an individual to savagery.
Andy Serkis gives another strong motion-capture performance as Caesar, the leader of the ape community, while Woody Harrelson is a one-dimensional cardboard psycho as the colonel out to eliminate the apes.
The movie’s digital transfer is great for home viewing, capturing all the nuances of the ape community.
Overall, though, the movie, which received a strong 93 percent fresh rating at Rottentomatoes.com, is worth of evening in front of your flat screen.
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 Spanish and French 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; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus offerings include deleted scenes, a commentary track and an in-depth documentary on the making of the movie that covers various behind-the-scenes aspects of the film.

The Emoji Movie (Blu-ray + digital)
Details: 2017, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Rated: PG, rude humor
The lowdown: An animated feature the takes you into the secret world inside your smartphone, specifically to the city of Textopolis, where all the well-known emojis reside.
The film centers on Gene (voiced by T.J. Miller), who, unlike everyone else, has multiple expressions.
Gene wants to be normal and enlists some of his friends to help make that dream a reality.
I would have enjoyed being a fly on the wall at the pitch meeting for this movie, as well as for the discussions that led to it being greenlit.
The movie was a critical bust, receiving a measly 10 percent fresh rating at Rottentomatoes.com.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.39:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English 5.1 Dolby digital audio description track and Cantonese, Mandarin (Taiwan), French, Korean, Spanish and Thai 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH, English, Cantonese, Chinese (simplified and traditional), French, Indonesian/Bahasa, Korean, Malay, Spanish, Thai and Vietnamese subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include a dance along video, a meet the cast featurette, a girls can code featurette, a Jailbreak decoded featurette, a look at creating the world inside a smartphone, a behind-the-scenes look at the choreography and featurettes on how to draw Gene and Poop.

Personal Shopper: Special Edition (Blu-ray)
Details: 2016, The Criterion Collection
Rated: R, bloody, violent image, language, sexual content, nudity
The lowdown: French filmmaker Olivier Assayas directed this supernatural drama — a ghost story set in the world of celebrity and high fashion.
Kristen Stewart plays a fashion assistant and spiritual medium who lives in Paris, where she searches for signs of an afterlife after the death of her twin brother.
This psychological thriller is a meditation about grief and loss as well as the way we mourn in today’s technologically connected world.
The film was well received by critics who gave it a 79 percent fresh rating at Rottentomatoes.com.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.40:1 widescreen picture; English and French 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include an interview with Assayas, a 2016 Cannes Film Festival press conference with Stewart and other members of the cast and crew and an essay by critic Glenn Kenny.

The Old Dark House (Blu-ray)
Details: 1932, Cohen Film Collection
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: For many years, this horror-comedy, was considered a “lost” film, out of circulation for years.
Now, this masterful 4K restoration showcases this feature that boasts an all-star cast including Boris Karloff, Charles Laughton, in his first, American film, Raymond Massey, Melvyn Douglas and Gloria Stuart.
The film was directed by James Whale during his busiest period at Universal Pictures, where he helmed such treasures as “Frankenstein,” “The Invisible Man” and “Bride of Frankenstein.”
“The Old Dark House” centers on a group of travelers who, on a dark and stormy night, seek refuge in a strange and foreboding mansion in the Welsh countryside.
It is the home of the eccentric Femm family. Karloff plays Morgan, the family’s mute and hulking butler.
It is a delightful and wild move that, at 72 minutes, seems to speed by.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.37:1 full-screen picture; English 2.0 LPCM monaural; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus materials include an interview with Karloff’s daughter, Sarah, a featurette on filmmaker Curtis Harrington’s efforts to save the movie and commentaries with Stuart and Whale biographer James Curtis.

Batman vs. Two-Face (Blu-ray + DVD + digital)
Release date: Oct. 17
Details: 2017, Warner Home Video
Rated: PG, action violence, language, suggestive content
The lowdown: The late Adam West an and Capt. Kirk himself, William Shatner, voice the title characters in this newest DC animated feature that finds Batman and Robin in classic 1960s Gotham City battling criminals.
Burt Ward also returns to lend his vocal talents to Robin, the Boy Wonder.
The story centers on district attorney Harvey Dent who is transformed into a split personality when a device meant to remove evil from the criminal mind malfunctions.
Dent joins a plethora of other villains plaguing Gotham City — The Joker, The Riddler and The Penguin.
The Dynamic Duo gain in ally in Catwoman, voiced by Julie Newmar, who help them foil Two-Face’s master diabolical plan.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 1.78:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles; DVD: 1.78:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include a featurette on Burt Ward’s life outside of acting, Ward and Julie Newmar discussing their lives, inspirations and ambitions and a 2017 Comic-Con International tribute panel to Adam West.

Blood Feast (Blu-ray)
Details: 1963, Arrow Video
Rated: Not rated, graphic and gory violence
The lowdown: This title is historic — the first splatter film. Herschell Gordon Lewis made his directorial debut with this bloody and sick feature about a woman who hires a sinister Egyptian caterer to prepare food for a party she is throwing.
The caterer, Fuad Ramses, promises an authentic Egyptian feast. His ingredients, unfortunately, include the body parts of young women.
The movie includes several stomach-churning scenes that may make you gag as body parts are used in the most disgusting manner.
Only those with strong stomachs can appreciate this gore fest of dismemberment.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 widescreen picture; English LPCM monaural; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include outtakes, alternate “clean” scenes from “Scum of the Earth,” a vintage 1959 short film, archival interviews with Lewis and David F. Friedman, a new interview with Lewis discussing his early work, another archival interview with Lewis explaining how he entered the film industry, two filmmakers discuss the movie, Lewis’ 1963 feature, “Scum of the Earth” and a commentary track.

Justice League: The New Frontier Commemorative Edition (Blu-ray + DVD + digital)
Release date: Oct. 3
Details: 2008, Warner Home Video
Rated: PG-13, violent content and images
The lowdown: This Blu-ray Steelbook reissue of a DC Universe animated feature chronicles the origin of the Justice League during a time of Cold War paranoia in which Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are under government suspicion.
The movie, based on the award-winning graphic novel by Darwyn Cooke, also includes The Flash, Green Lantern and Martian Manhunter.
This group of superheroes must put aside fear and mistrust to unite and battle a foe who threatens all of mankind.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 1.78:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles; DVD: 1.78:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus materials include a profile of the life and career of Darwyn Cooke, a featurette on the history of the Justice League, an examination of The Legion of Doom and its members, a nod to the fans of the New Frontier comics, two commentary tracks and a sneak peek at the DC Universe animated feature “Gotham by Gaslight.”

“George A. Romero: Between Night and Dawn” (Blu-ray)
Details: 1971-73, Arrow Video
Rated: R, graphic violence, language
The lowdown: George A. Romero did not just make zombie movies.
As the trio of films in this set demonstrates, he could also handle other genres.
In “There’s Always Vanilla” (1971), a young drifter and a beautiful model embark and a romantic relationship that is doomed from the start.
“Season of the Witch” (1972), which was released theatrically as
“Hungry Wives,” follows a housewife who wants to escape from the doldrums of her suburban existence and begins a flirtation with witchcraft.
“The Crazies” (1973) is a horror feature about a small rural town in the grips of an infection that sends its residents into violent homicidal rages.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, full-screen and widescreen pictures; English audio; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus materials include commentaries on “The Crazies” and “Season of the Witch”; a conversation between Romero and Guillermo Del Toro; an interview with actress Jan White from “The Crazies; alternate opening titles and an alternate extended version of “The Crazies”; a making of featurette on “There’s Always Vanilla”; an interview with Romero discussing his early movies; and a booklet about Romero’s films.

The Green Slime (Blu-ray)
Release date: Oct. 10
Details: 1968, Warner Archive Collection
Rated: G
The lowdown: This Japanese-American science fiction feature centers on a crew that returns to its space station after a dangerous mission to a huge asteroid.
What the crew does not know is that a bit of ooze from the asteroid clings to a crewman’s uniform. The green stuff grows into murderous, tentacle monsters that menace the grew.
Also, when one of the thingies is wounded, it creates more monsters.
The crew must keep these green creatures from reaching Earth and overrunning the planet.
Will they succeed? The movie, which has some campy values, is a made-on-demand Blu-ray from the Warner Archive Collection and can be found at www.wb.com/warnerarchive 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.

Other Blu-rays and DVDs being released on Tuesday, unless otherwise indicated:
An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power (Paramount Home Entertainment)
Evil in the Time of Heroes (Doppelganger Releasing

FOR KIDS
Paw Patrol: The Great Snow Rescue (Nickelodeon-Paramount Home Entertainment

DIGITAL DOWNLOADS and STREAMING
Atomic Blonde (Universal Studios Home Entertainment)
Cars 3 (Pixar-Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment)
The Glass Castle (Lionsgate Home Entertainment)
Jack Whitehall: At Large (Netflix)
The Truth About Lies (Blue Fox Entertainment, Oct. 27)

I am a member of the Indiana Film Journalists Association. I review 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.

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