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You are here: Community Film DVD/Blu-ray Roundup for July 6, 2018

DVD/Blu-ray Roundup for July 6, 2018

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Welcome to a look at highlights coming your way on Blu-ray and DVD. This time out, there are a ton of releases arriving in a wide variety of genres, meaning there should be something for everyone. So if you can’t make it out to the movies this week, be sure to give one of these titles a try!

BIG NEW RELEASES!

7 Days in Entebbe - This US/UK drama is based on the 1976 terrorist hijacking of an Air France flight on its way from Tel-Aviv to Paris. It tells of the work of an elite commando team sent in by the Israeli government to rescue the hostages and eliminate the threat. The press were not taken with the end result. While about a quarter of reviewers wrote that the film was decent and appreciated the attempts not to sensationalize events, most commented that while serviceable, there was simply nothing memorable about this adaptation. It stars Rosamund Pike, Daniel Bruhl, Eddie Marsan and Ben Schnetzer.

Alex & the List - A friendly, unassuming dog trainer believes he’s found the woman that he wants to spend the rest of his life with. However, the lovely lady surprises him with a “list” that Alex must complete before marrying her. Confused and feeling insecure about their relationship, he attempts to tick off the boxes, but also begins to question her priorities. This romantic/comedy only received a limited release. There aren’t many notices available, but the ones that have appeared are poor. One critic suggested the lead was written so dimly that the movie irritated them. The cast includes Patrick Fugit, Karen Gillan, Jennifer Morrison, Eddie Kay Thomas and Michael Nouri.

Another WolfCop - A policeman who also happens to be an alcoholic and werewolf must save his hometown from a businessman who promises to open a brewery and hockey arena in the area, but has more nefarious intentions. This low-budget independent horror/comedy is a sequel to 2014’s WolfCop. Critics actually gave it decent marks. A few did complain that even being intentionally bad didn’t make it any easier to watch, but the majority found it entertainingly ridiculous with enough bad jokes to make it a fun little B-movie. It features Leo Fafard, Yannick Bisson, Amy Matysio and Jonathan Cherry.

Beirut - This drama involves a US diplomat in Beirut. In addition to his daily work, he and his wife take care of a young Palestinian boy. Unfortunately, the CIA arrive, pulling the youngster aside and pressing him for information about a brother. The diplomat must fight to figure out what is going on and retrieve the boy. Reviewers gave this feature decent notices. There were a few who suggested it was too old-fashioned and simplistic, but most were impressed with the performances and found it to be an engaging and effective thriller. The movie stars Jon Hamm, Rosamund Pike, Mark Pellegrino, Dean Norris and Shea Whigham.

Blockers - After a trio of couples learn that their daughters have made a pact to lose their virginity at a high school prom, the adults decide to head out and put a stop to the romantic activities. Along the way, the parents get themselves into comic situations and their own hang ups are revealed. This wacky comedy earned positive reviews from many. There were a few who stated that the movie ran out of gas as it progressed, but far more complimented it, suggesting that there was plenty of funny material on display and the story had a lot of heart. The cast includes Leslie Mann, Ike Barinholtz, John Cena, Kathryn Newton and Gary Cole.

The Cured - After a virus infects the world and turns many into zombie like cannibals, violence erupts. Thankfully, a cure is suddenly found, returning many of those affected back into normal humans. One young man trying to restart his life and reconnect with family becomes ostracized by locals and is forced to deal with the horrific actions he took while under the zombie influence. The movie earned decent reviews. There was a percentage who just didn’t care for the downbeat tone, but more appreciated the unique spin on a zombie narrative and liked some of the themes it attempted to explore. It stars Ellen Page and Sam Keely.

The Female Brain - A neuroscientist conducting research on the female brain begins to observe the relationships of her friends to get more insight. She witnesses one couple whose careers are getting in the way of their relationship, another whose marriage is stuck in a rut and another who only seems to want to change her partner. When the scientist meets a new man, she tries to apply what she’s learned. Notices weren’t very good for this independent comedy. A few called it cute, but most thought it didn’t nail down the tone or what it was trying to say effectively. The cast includes Whitney Cummings, Alysia Reiner, Cecily Strong, Chris D’Elia and Sopha Vergara.

Finding Your Feet - This UK production is a comedy/romance about a woman who discovers that her husband of 40 years has been having an affair. She decides to start over, moves in with her free-spirited sister and joins a community dance class. This leads to new directions and possibilities. Reaction was generally positive towards this quirky film. There was some grumbling that it followed too many genre tropes and offered little that was new, but most felt that the cast was so talented that they managed to make something amusing out of the familiar material. Imelda Staunton, Timothy Spall, Joanna Lumley, Celia Imrie, David Hayman and John Sessions headline the feature.

Ismael’s Ghost - This French-language art film involves a woman who runs away from her boyfriend without notice. 20 years later, she returns and reintroduces herself to her old flame, who is now married and is a director readying his next film. Tensions rise to the surface as relationships come under scrutiny. Critics were ultimately split on this drama. About half suggested that it was pretty and the cast were good, but that the director of the film made too many references to his previous works and that the characters were not relatable. Others found it so unusual that they couldn’t forget it. It stars Marion Cotillard, Mathieu Amalric and Charlotte Gainsbourg.

Journey’s End - Set during WWI. this drama involves a group of soldiers stationed in the trenches north of France. With German forces surrounding and closing in on them, the fearful commander and his men struggle with their thoughts as they await their inevitable fate; some try to remember happier times, others escape into drink. This UK production earned mostly compliments from the press. A few said it was heavy-handed, slow and unpleasant to watch, but the majority called it a thoughtful, tragic and extremely well acted drama. The cast includes Sam Claflin, Paul Bettany, Toby Jones, Asa Butterfield and Tom Sturridge.

The Jurassic Games - With Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom topping the box-office, it’s inevitable for a few B-movies to try to step in and profit from the popular subject of dinosaurs on the rampage. This tale involves death row inmates who are forced into a fight for survival against the menacing creatures on a virtual reality landscape. Naturally, if they die in the game, their lives end. Reviewers actually appeared to be amused with this goofball effort. They suggested you wouldn’t be surprised by anything you saw, but admitted that for B-movie fans, it was amusing enough to earn a pass. It features Ryan Merriman, Perrey Reeves and a lot of CGI dinos.

The Lullaby - This South African horror flick involves a teenage mother struggling with post-partum depression. She heads home with the newborn to stay with her mother, but begins suffering from anxiety and becomes paranoid that someone or something is trying to harm her baby. She soon believes that a supernatural force is stalking her. This effort earned more positive reaction than negative. There was a group who felt that the film didn’t make enough of its interesting premise and eventually went off the rails, but more thought that while it was a bit blunt in execution, it delivered the creepy goods and would entertain horror fans. Reine Swart and Brandon Auret headline the film.

Midnighters - A couple driving home after celebrating New Year’s Eve accidentally run down a pedestrian. The pair decide to cover up the crime, throwing the body into the back seat. However, they find their attempts to get rid of the body unfurling and their lies being exposed as more and more complications arise. Critics were kind towards this low-budget thriller. A few couldn’t buy in to the plot’s twits and turns, but far more called it a nice surprise that generated a lot of suspense and harkened back to 80s thrillers like Blood Simple. It stars Alex Essoe, Perla Haney-Jardine and Dylan McTee.

Submission - In this drama, a married college professor goes through something of a mid-life crisis after realizing that he doesn’t like his colleagues or teaching students that he feels are unworthy. His attitude changes when he begins mentoring a talented young woman in his class who also takes an interest in him. Things get complicated when the two begin a relationship. This film divided reviewers. Half thought the subject matter was poorly handled given recent news events, while others thought the performers were great and that what occurred onscreen allowed for plenty of discussion after the credits rolled. The cast includes Stanley Tucci, Addison Timlin, Kyra Sedgwick and Jeanne Garofalo.

Where is Kyra? - A woman caring for her ill mother loses her job and struggles to make ends meet on her mom’s pension. As time passes, the situation gets even worse, forcing the caregiver to take extreme and dangerous measures to try and keep her home. The press gave this drama high marks. A couple disliked the tone and found it too bleak throughout, but almost all were very impressed with the lead performance and thought it displayed just how quickly a life can fall apart when a system isn’t in place to help them through tragedy. The movie features Michelle Pfeiffer, Kiefer Sutherland and Suzanne Shepherd.

BLASTS FROM THE PAST!

Some interesting older releases are getting a high definition upgrade. First though, I should note that two recent Arrow Video releases, Akio Jissoji: The Buddhist Trilogy box set and The Last House on the Left (1972) were delayed and are now making their official debuts on Blu-ray.

They also have The Complete Sartana arriving on Blu-ray. These were a series of Spaghetti westerns that came along as a result of the success of the Man With no Name trilogy and even incorporates James Bond-like elements. Don’t worry though, Sartana features plenty of gunslingers, for the black cape-wearing title character (that can’t have been fun to wear in the desert) to fend off. The set collects 5 of the films with new 2K restorations. The titles are If You Meet Sartana, Pray for Your Death (1968), I Am Sartana, Your Angel of Death (1969), Sartana’s Here... Trade Your Pistol for a Coffin (1970), Light the Fuse... Sartana Is Coming (1970) and Have a Good Funeral My Friend... Sartana Will Pay (1970). I must say, those are pretty awesome titles for westerns. I’d watch those in a second and set includes film critic audio commentaries, interviews with some of the directors, writer, actors and plenty more extras. In fact, there more bonuses than can be possibly listed here. If you like these types of flicks, this is your lucky day.

Criterion have a Blu-ray box set of their own. It’s called Dietrich and Von Sternberg in Hollywood and includes the titles Morocco (1930), Dishonored (1931), Shanghai Express (1932), Blonde Venus (1932), The Scarlet Empress (1934), The Devil Is a Woman (1935). Marlene Dietrich enthusiasts will be pleased.

Kino have some interesting dramas as well. They include the TV-movie, The Jericho Mile (1979) about a convict turned Olympian. The distributor also have Personal Problems (1980), described as a meta-soap opera from the director of Ganja and Hess (1973). It arrives for the first time in its complete form. Finally, they are releasing a Blu-ray of the running biopic, Prefontaine (1997) with Jared Leto as the title character.

Finally, Code Red have a DVD of the Italian horror flick, Devil Fish aka Monster Shark (1984). It’s about a hungry fish eating swimmers off of the Florida coast and comes with an audio commentary with the movie’s star. The release might provide B-movie fans with some good fun.

YOU KNOW, FOR KIDS!

If you like Barney, you’re in luck. Otherwise, it’s a pretty slow edition for kid-friendly fare.

Barney: Big World Adventure - The Movie (2011)

ON THE TUBE!

And here are the week’s TV-themed releases.

Delicious: Series 2

Dr. K’s Exotic Animal ER: Season 5

Grimm: The Complete Collection

The Jericho Mile (Kino, TV-movie 1979)

New Girl: The Final Season

Psych: The Complete Collection

Top Gear America: Season 1

By Glenn Kay

For the Sun