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New to View: May 19

by on May 15, 2020
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Because of the coronavirus pandemic, many distributors have closed their warehouses and are not releasing 4K UHD, Blu-ray or DVD titles. Instead, they are offering digital releases of many titles at Movies Anywhere, Amazon and other sites.
The following titles are being released on Tuesday, May 19, unless otherwise noted:
The Way Back (Blu-ray + digital)
Details: 2020, Warner Home Entertainment
Rated: R, language, sexual references
The lowdown: Ben Affleck’s personal struggles have been well documented, which adds an underlying texture to this story of a one-time high school basketball great who turned his back on the game and used alcohol to dull the pain created by the blows with which life slammed him.
Affleck’s Jack Cunningham drinks while showering in the morning, on the job and after work. He is sullen and isolated, his only friends being his fellow barflies and his cans of beer.
When he is asked to take over as coach of his high school alma mater, he at first demurs, then reluctantly accepts the post.
“The Way Back” is not a feel-good story about how he turns around a losing basketball team as it is a story about how Cunningham turns around his life.
And Affleck trudges through the movie carrying Cunningham’s emotional pain like a 50-pound anchor. It is his best performance in a long time.
The majority of critics believed so as well, giving the movie an 84 percent fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.39:1 widescreen picture; English Dolby Atmos TrueHD, 5.1 Dolby digital and English descriptive audio; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: A featurette in which Affleck and director Gavin O’Connor discuss the movie, sports as a metaphor for life and how competition can help people understand themselves; a look at the character of Cunningham with Affleck and O’Connor.

Emma (Blu-ray + DVD + digital)
Details: 2020, Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Rated: PG, brief partial nudity
The lowdown: Anya Taylor-Joy stars as the title character in this newest adaptation of the Jane Austen novel.
Austen’s comedy about social mores, manners and class has been adapted several times for movies and television.
The story of Emma Woodhouse’s attempts to navigate society in her small English town and play matchmaker for others is timeless. Director Autumn de Wilde has reimagined the story with some modern touches.
The delightful feature earned an 86 percent fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 1.78:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English 2.0 DVS and French 5.1 DTS digital surround; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles; DVD: 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen picture; English and French 5.1 Dolby digital and English 2.0 DVS; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus components include a gag reel, deleted scenes, a commentary track, a behind-the-scenes featurette with cast members, a featurette on the movie’s locations and a profile of de Wilde.

Brahms: The Boy II (Blu-ray + DVD + digital)
Details: 2020, Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Rated: PG-13, terror, violence, disturbing images, thematic elements
The lowdown: A young family moves into the guest house on the Heelshire Mansion estate, unaware of its dark history.
The young son soon discovers the life-like doll from the movie’s predecessor, “The Boy,” and brings it home.
Of course, strange and terrifying events begin to happen, putting the family in danger.
The team from “The Boy,” including director William Brent Bell, return, but the results are just as dismal.
“The Boy” received a 30 percent fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes, while this lame sequel garnered a dismal 10 percent fresh rating.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 2.39:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles; DVD: 2.39:1 anamorphic widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include an alternate ending and deleted and alternate scenes.

The Good Place: The Complete Series: Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray)
Details: 2016-2020, Shout! Factory
Rated: TV-PG
The lowdown: This nine-disc set offers all 53 episodes of this satirical and observant comedy series about what happens after we die.
The series stars Kristen Bell as Eleanor Shellstrop, who lived a rather sordid life that should not have earned her a spot in the Good Place.
Ted Danson stars as Michael, the architect who created the heavenly afterlife when Eleanor now resides.
Those who followed the series know the twists and turns the episodes took as we follow the lives of Eleanor, her soulmate, Chidi (William Jackson Harper), and their new friends, Tahani (Jameela Jamil) and Jason (Manny Jacinto).
Not only is the series funny, but it provides many lessons on finding the goodness in everyone.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.78:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include extended episodes, commentary tracks, a finale special hosted by Seth Meyers, a 2019 San Diego Comic-Con panel, gag reels, table reeds and visual effects reels.

Lonely Are the Brave (Blu-ray)
Details: 1962, Kino Lorber Studio Classics
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Kirk Douglas stars in what he had called his favorite movie as a cowboy who finds it difficult to fit in to the modern world around him.
The movie, with a screenplay by Dalton Trumbo and direction by David Miller, is a mournful paean to rugged individualism, carried by Douglas’ fierce performance as Jack Burns, who is hunted by the law after trying to break a friend out of jail.
Burns, a Korean War veteran, wanders from job to job, mostly lives under the stars and cherishes his personal freedom.
But after his minor offense, he is hunted by the law, led by Sheriff Morey Johnson (Walter Matthau).
The film costars Gena Rowlands, Carroll O’Connor and George Kennedy. It features a memorable score by Jerry Goldsmith.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.35:1 widescreen picture; English DTS-HD Master Audio; English subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus features include a tribute to the film featuring Douglas, his son, Michael,, Rowlands and Steven Spielberg; a featurette on the music; and a commentary track.

Alice in Wonderland (Blu-ray)
Details: 1933, Kino Lorber Studio Classics
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: This version of the Lewis Carroll classic also includes elements from his sequel, “Through the Looking Glass.”
This Paramount Pictures feature is best known because of its all-star cast — mostly every player on the Paramount lot showed up in some small part, including Gary Cooper, Cary Grant, W.C. Fields, Edna May Oliver, Jack Oakie, Richard Arlen and Edward Everett Horton.
Alice is played by Charlotte Henry, best remembered as Po Beep in Laurel and Hardy’s “Babes in Toyland.”
The film was directed by Norman Z. McLeod, with a screenplay by Joseph L. Mankiewicz and art direction by the legendary William Cameron Menzies.
The movie is rather slow and, in some spots, boring. The fun aspect is spotting all the actors — Fields as Humpty Dumpty, Cooper as the White Knight and Grant as the Mock Turtle.
The feature is more suited for film buffs than the average viewer.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.37:1 full-screen picture; English DTS-HD Master Audio monaural; English subtitles.
Don’t miss: A commentary track is the main extra.

“The Pink Panther Cartoon Collection” (Blu-ray)
Details: 1964-80, Kino Lorber Animation
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: This set features all 124 Pink Panther cartoons produced between 1964 and 1980 by David H. DePatie and animator Friz Freleng.
The character was created for the opening credit sequences of the Blake Edwards’ movie series that starred Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau.
The credits attracted praise and attention, so the animated Pink Panther character was spun off into its own animated series.
There was hardly any dialogue in the cartoons; it relied heavily on sight gags.
Freleng, who had worked at Warner Bros. “Termite Terrace” animation division, was very adept at creating gags for the colorful feline.
Animation fans definitely will enjoy this collection.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.33:1 full-screen picture; English 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio monaural.

Zombi Child (DVD)
Details: 2020, Film Movement
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: This French import is a gothic thriller that begins in Haiti in 1962. A man is brought back from the dead only to be sent to the arduous hell of that nation’s sugarcane fields.
At a Parisian boarding school, 55 years later, a young Haitian student confides an old family secret to her new friends, which inspire her classmates to commit unthinkable acts.
The movie, written and directed by Bertrand Bonello, is an indictment of France’s former colonialism abuses as well as Bonello’s fascination with voodoo.
The movie received an 85 percent fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
Technical aspects: 1.85:1 widescreen picture; French, Creole and English 5.1 Dolby digital; English subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include a commentary track and a short film, “Child of the Sky.”

Other titles being released on Tuesday, unless otherwise indicated:
Buffaloed (Blu-ray & DVD & digital) (Magnolia Home Entertainment)
Last Moment of Clarity (DVD & digital & VOD) (Lionsgate Home Entertainment)
Union Bridge (DVD & VOD) (Breaking Glass Pictures)
The Warrior Queen of Jhansi (DVD & digital) (Lionsgate Home Entertainment)
Zombies 2 (DVD) (Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment)

DIGITAL DOWNLOAD, STREAMING or VOD
The Case of Sally Challen (Sundance Now)
Fast and Fierce: Death Race (The Asylum
Patton Oswalt: I Love Everything (www.netflix.com/pattonoswaltiloveeveryting) (Netflix)
Sound Euphonium: The Movie — Our Promise: A Brand New Day (Shout! Factory-Eleven Arts)
Time Warp: The Greatest Cult Films of All Times: Volume 2: Horror and Sci-Fi (Time Warp)
Ben Platt: Live From Radio City Music Hall (https://www.netflix.com/title81157589) (Netflix, May 20)
Bad Mothers: Episode 3 (Sundance Now, May 21)
Penance (Sundance Now, May 21)
Sanctuary: Episode 5 (Sundance Now, May 21)
Military Wives (Bleecker Street, May 22)
Selling Sunset: Season 2 (www.netflix.com/SellingSunset) (Netflix, May 22)
Surviving the Night (Lionsgate Home Entertainment, May 22)
One Vote (Sundance Now, May 25)

I am a founding 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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