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DVD/Blu-ray Roundup for February 15, 2019

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Hello and welcome back to another look at highlights arriving on Blu-ray and DVD. There’s plenty to choose from in this edition, which includes box office hits as well as Academy Award nominees. 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!

The Appearance - After a monk dies in a disturbing manner and a witch is blamed for the killing, an Inquisitor is sent out to investigate. Considered a rational man of science, the lead soon begins to think that perhaps something threatening and supernatural is occurring at the site. The monk ponders what to do in order to save the locals. The cast includes Jake Stormoen, Kristian Nairn and Adam Johnson.

At Eternity’s Gate - Vincent van Gogh is the subject of this art house drama. The narrative focuses on the struggling artist’s adventures in France. While painting, he is visited by friend and fellow artist Paul Gauguin. Vincent also begins to black out and experience health and psychological problems which lead him into a troubling mental state. It stars Willem Dafoe, Mads Mikkelsen, Emmanuelle Seigner and Oscar Isaac.

Bayou Caviar - Thespian Cuba Gooding Jr. leads the cast and makes his directorial debut in this crime flick about mobsters in Louisiana. Gooding Jr. plays an ex-boxer who is hired by the head of a crime family to take down a rival head with the release of a scandalous video of the competitor’s son-in-law. The movie also features Richard Dreyfuss, Famke Janssen, Lia Marie Johnson, Gregg Bello and Katharine McPhee.

Bohemian Rhapsody - This hit musical biopic follows the rise of rock band Queen and its lead singer, Freddie Mercury. It depicts how the group met up and its meteoric rise to stardom, as well as the struggles the lead singer faced with drugs and his own sexuality. Of course, it’s also chock full of classic tunes. Rami Malek, Lucy Boynton, Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy, Joe Mazzello and Aiden Gillen headline the film.

The Bouncer - An aging ex-bodyguard struggles to raise his eight-year-old daughter after the unexpected passing of his wife. When he takes a job as a nightclub bouncer and a security guard position at a strip club, he discovers that he is working for a Flemish crime boss. The lead must do everything he can to survive and keep his daughter safe. It stars Jean-Claude Van Damme, Sami Bouajila and Sveva Alviti.

The Front Runner - Gary Hart is the subject of this drama that chronicles his ill-fated presidential campaign in 1988. The well-liked politician quickly leads the polls after deciding to make the move from democratic senator to president. But when reporters get wind of an extramarital affair, the attacks begin and the nominee’s run rapidly unravels. The cast includes Hugh Jackman, Vera Farmiga, J.K. Simmons and Alfred Molina.

The Happy Prince - Here’s another biopic drama, this time depicting the life of poet and playwright Oscar Wilde. The picture begins with the writer on his deathbed, critically reminiscing and examining his past relationships with lovers, friends and family, and his life in England, France and Italy. It features Rupert Everett, Colin Firth, Colin Morgan, Emily Watson and Tom Wilkinson.

Narcissister Organ Player - This documentary aspires to give viewers a look at the life of American performance artist Narcissister. The artist is said to explore sexual fetishism and use it on stage to critique racial and gender stereotypes. The film focuses on a recent performance, which follows the artist as she travels through her own body using puppets.

Nobody’s Fool - A woman recently released from prison vows to get her life back on track and decides to reconnect with her buttoned-up and stiff sister. Naturally, their very opposite personalities result in some comic miscues. And when the ex-con discovers that the new man her sister has met online may be trouble, even more difficulties arise. It stars Tiffany Haddish, Tika Sumpter, Omari Hardwick, Mehcad Brooks and Whoopi Goldberg.

Possum - This British terror picture follows a disgraced puppeteer who returns to his hometown after a scandal. As it turns out, many of his problems are the result of childhood abuse and trauma by his stepfather, as well as from a disturbing marionette of a spider. The cast includes Sean Harris, Alun Armstrong, Simon Bubb and Andy Blithe.

Shoplifters - An eccentric family in Japan make their way through life by stealing various necessities from stores. When a young girl from a troubled family shows up and persists in hanging around, they end up taking her in. Surprises are slowly revealed about this unusual and eccentric group and difficulties arise as their activities begin to put each other at risk. It features Lily Frankie and Sakura Ando.

Tejano - This independent crime thriller involves a young man from South Texas who works in the fields and takes care of his ailing grandfather. After falling in love with a Mexican woman, the grandpa’s health takes a turn for the worse. This forces the man to make extra money by acting as a mule for a drug cartel across the border. Patrick Mackie, Roland Uribe, Mayra Leal and Adrian Gonzalez headline the film.

Under the Eiffel Tower - A man going through a mid-life crisis decides to travel with his friend’s family to Paris and take in all the sights. Things get incredibly awkward when he falls for his pal’s 26-year-old daughter and then proposes to her on the trip. Naturally, things spiral downward from there. It stars Matt Walsh, Judith Godreche, Reid Scott, Michaela Watkins, David Wain and Gary Cole.

Blasts from the Past!

Lots of great older titles are being given a high definition upgrade. Arrow Video is delivering a Special Edition Blu-ray of the incredibly creepy, disturbing, wince-inducing horror flick, Audition (1999). This film from Takashi Miike (Ichi the Killer, 13 Assassins) follows a reserved man looking for a new wife. At the advice of a friend, he goes about it the wrong way and ends up paying dearly.

They also have a Special Edition of the cult flick, Horror Express (1972). This monster movie stars Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing as passengers on the Trans-Siberian Express who come face to face with an otherworldly creature. It’s a hoot and the disc includes a new 2K restoration of the film and tons of other bonuses.

Shout! Factory also has some Blu-rays of note. Rom-com fans will appreciate Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994), one of the best flicks of its kind. This 25th Anniversary Edition includes a new 4K scan of the feature, and a new interview with the movie’s cinematographer. You’ll also get deleted scenes and promotional material.

Those looking for something a little different can now pick up The Poison Ivy Collection (1992 - 2008) on Blu-ray. These films follow a teenager luring the patriarch of a wealthy family into trouble. Drew Barrymore starred in the original. The set includes four movies and in some cases presents both the R-rated and Unrated cuts, along with other bonuses.

Shout! also has a Collector’s Edition of the slasher picture, Valentine (2001). This Blu-ray comes with a new 2K scan of the original film elements, approved by the director and cinematographer. It also comes with a new director commentary and recent interviews with cast and crew members. Additionally, all material from previously released DVDs of the film, including deleted scenes and other commentaries are included.

Kino has some Blu-ray releases as well. They include the Burt Lancaster film noir, Desert Fury (1947). It comes with a film historian commentary. Additionally, you can pick up the Candice Bergen drama, The Group (1966). They also have a double-feature Blu-ray release that pairs The Haunted Castle (1921) with The Finances of the Grand Duke (1924).

Criterion fans have an option in the impressively shot Douglas Sirk melodrama, All That Heaven Allows (1955). The Rock Hudson picture arrives with a new 2K digital restoration that should make all of those colors pop even brighter. It also comes with film scholar commentary, interviews, clips from documentaries on Hudson and Sirk, and other extras.

Warner Archive also has a pair of Blu-rays coming your way. They include Starsky & Hutch (2004), which features Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and Snoop Dogg putting a comic spin on the TV series. Jason Bateman, Vince Vaughn, Juliette Lewis, and Matt Walsh are featured. The release includes all of the extras from old DVDs of the film.

Additionally, Warner Archive is releasing the classic monster movie, The Thing from Another World (1951). This one has always been tricky to find, so not only is it a welcome release, but the studio has also gone out of its way to clean up the image with a new transfer.

Finally, Synapse is releasing Popcorn (1991) as a Steelbook Collector’s Edition Blu-ray. This cult movie follows a group of kids who are hunted by a psycho, while running a horror movie marathon. It’s another hard-to-locate title that is finally getting a high definition release.

You Know, For Kids!

There isn’t much for young tykes, but here’s what is coming your way.

Pondemonium: Three Movie Collection

On the Tube!

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

Ackley Bridge: Series 2

American Experience: The Swamp (PBS)

Bang: Series 1

Father Brown: Series 7

Frontline: Documenting Hate (PBS)

The Good Place: Season 2

Nightflyers: Season 1

Rick and Morty: Seasons 1 - 3

By Glenn Kay
For the Sun