New to View: Jan. 23
By Bob Bloom
The following titles are being released on Tuesday, Jan. 23, unless otherwise noted:
Geostorm (Blu-ray + DVD + digital)
Details: 2017, Warner Home Video
Rated: PG-13, destruction, action, violence
The lowdown: A thriller with sci-fi elements about a series of satellites created the keep the world safe from natural disasters.
But, something has gone wrong and a rogue element is transformed into a weapon that attacks the Earth.
Time is running out as leaders and scientists alike must discover the real threat before a worldwide geostorm obliterates everything and everyone.
Despite some exciting special effects, the movie did not weather the storm of criticism leveled by reviewers, who gave “Geostorm” a paltry 13 percent fresh rating at Rottentomatoes.com.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 2.40:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English 5.1 Dolby digital descriptive audio and French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles; DVD: 2.40:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus offerings include a featurette with director Dean Devlin tracing the origins of the movie, interviews with cast and crew members about the movie and a look at the technology used to create the global havoc portrayed in the movie.
Blade Runner 2049 (Blu-ray + DVD + digital)
Release date: Jan. 16
Details: 2017, Warner Home Video
Rated: R, graphic violence, sexual content, nudity, language
The lowdown: I had trepidations about “Blade Runner 2049.”
The 1982 “Blade Runner” was such an iconic, groundbreaking touchstone that it was hard to imagine a follow-up even coming close to the original.
Luckily, my fears were for naught. “Blade Runner 2049” is as good as its predecessor. It superbly carries the story forward, handling a variety of issues — ethical, societal, political and biological.
The sequel builds and expands upon the original and strengthens your appreciation and understanding of it.
It has a seemingly seamless transition from “Blade Runner” to its sequel. The strength of “Blade Runner 2049” lies in its humanity.
For a movie dealing mostly with artificial life, the film touches on such issues as memory, freedom of choice and the rights of individuals.
“Blade Runner 2049” is one of the best movies of the year, abetted by stunning cinematography by Roger Deakins, who assuredly should receive an Academy Award nomination.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 2.40:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English Dolby Atmos TrueHD, English 5.1 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 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby digital and English 5.1 descriptive audio; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus materials include a series of featurettes that look at the world, corporations, replicants and people of the movie, a look at the movie’s design and casting and three prologues: “2022: Black Out” (anime), “2036: Nexus Dawn” and “2048: Nowhere to Run.”
In Search of Fellini
Details: 2017, Ambi Media Group-Samuel Goldwyn Films
Rated: R, sexual situations, nudity, language
The lowdown: Actor Nancy Cartwright, best known as the voice of Bart Simpson, wrote this coming-of-age story, inspired by her own early experiences.
The film focuses on Lucy Cunningham (Ksenia Solo), a 20-year-old small-town Ohioan, whose life experiences have been very limited.
Her best friend is her mother, Claire (Maria Bello), who, unbeknownst to Lucy, has a terminal illness.
Lucy, knowing something is wrong, travels to Cleveland for a job interview that does not go well. However, she does stumble upon a festival spotlighting the movies of Federico Fellini.
The impact of Fellini’s movies is great, inspiring Lucy to travel to Italy to learn all she can about the filmmaker and, hopefully meet him.
Fellini fans will enjoy this feature that mixes fantasy, truth and fiction.
Technical aspects: 2.35:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby digital; English closed-captioned subtitles.
Don’t miss: Supplemental options include a behind-the-scenes featurette and a commentary track.
Details: 2017, Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Rated: R, language
The lowdown: A retired prizefighter steps back into the ring years after his glory days trying to regain his touch.
He trains hard and trades punch for punch.
To earn real money, though, he must participate in an unlicensed bout that could end his career — or even his life.
Johnny Harris of “Rocknrolla” stars, along with Ian McShane and Ray Winstone.
Technical aspects: 1.85:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby digital; English closed-captioned and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: A making of featurette is the major extra.
Details: 1989, Scorpion Releasing
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Dario Argento directed this horror-thriller about a young opera singer who takes over the leading role in a production of Verdi’s “Macbeth.”
Her performance triggers the madness of a demented fan who repeatedly forces the singer to watch the brutal killings of her friends.
The singer tries to connect the killer, the killings and a recurring childhood nightmare to uncover the madman’s identity.
Argento’s stylish filmmaking is on full display in this outing.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.35:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio monaural.
Don’t miss: Interviews with Argento and actor William McNamara are the main supplemental components.
Chasing the Dragon (Blu-ray + DVD)
Details: 2017, Well Go USA Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Donnie Yen and Andy Lau star in this action thriller about real-life Hong Kong drug lord Crippled Ho (Yen), who arrives in 1963 as an illegal immigrant and begins to carve out a criminal empire, aided by Lee Rock (Lau), a detective who rules a corrupt police force.
The movie combines action and drama to chronicle the life of this notorious gangster.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 2.39:1 (16:9 enhanced) widescreen picture; Cantonese and English DTS-HD Master Audio; English and Chinese subtitles; DVD: 2.39:1 (16:9 enhanced) widescreen picture; Cantonese and English Dolby digital; English and Chinese subtitles.
Other titles being released on Tuesday, unless otherwise indicated:
The Devil’s Well (Wild Eye Releasing)
Icons Among Us: Jazz in the Present Tense (IndiePix)
My Entire High School Sinking into the Sea (Blu-ray + DVD) (Shout! Factory)
The Revival (Breaking Glass Pictures)
Roaring Abyss (IndiePlix)
Trump: The Art of the Insult (Highway Entertainment-MVD Visual Entertainment)
Teen Titans: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray) (Warner Archive Collection)
Teen Titans Go! The Complete First Season (Blu-ray) (Warner Archive Collection)
DIGITAL DOWNLOAD, STREAMING and VOD
A Bad Mom’s Christmas (Universal Studios Home Entertainment)
City of Rock (Well Go USA Entertainment)
Flesh and Blood (Monument Releasing)
House of Salem (Wild Eye Releasing)
Little Bitches (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)
Only the Brave (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)
Todd Glass: Act Happy (Netflix)
Girlfriends: Episodes 1 & 2 (Acorn TV, Jan. 29)
Coming next week: Ray Donovan: The Fifth Season
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 email@example.com. You also can follow me on Twitter @ReelBobBloom and on Facebook. My movie reviews also can be found at Rottentomatoes: www.rottentomatoes.com.