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You are here: Community Film Blu-ray/DVD Roundup for January 31, 2020

Blu-ray/DVD Roundup for January 31, 2020

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Welcome back to another look at new releases arriving on Blu-ray and DVD. 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 Battle of Jangsari - The Korean War serves as the backdrop of this movie. It follows a young and inexperienced battalion of South Korean fighters tasked with a secret mission to help liberate Incheon. The men enter the fray unprepared and with little food and few supplies. An American war correspondent covers their trials in the hopes of getting attention from the international community.

Reviews were divided on this war picture. The cast includes Myung-min Kim, Minho Choi and Megan Fox.

Harriet - This biopic tells the story of Harriet Tubman, who married a free man in the state of Maryland. When the owner of the plantation decides not to release Harriet and sells her instead, she fights for her freedom and becomes an abolitionist. Her escape and work with the Underground Railroad helped change the course of history and end slavery. The press liked the movie, although stopped short of raving about it.

It stars Oscar-nominee Cynthia Erivo, Leslie Odom, Jr., Joe Alwyn and Janelle Monáe.

Midnight Traveler - Afghan filmmaker Hassan Fazili unexpectedly becomes the subject of his own film after his previous non-fiction documentary on former Taliban commander Mullah Tur Jan ended up putting him on their most wanted list. Forced into becoming a refugee with his wife and children, the family recorded their entire, perilous three-year journey through the Balkan route using nothing but their cell phones. Critics were unanimously impressed with the images captured. They called it a stunning and accurate record of the experiences of refugees.

In fact, they said it put a personal face and story to the individuals going through the process and recommended that everyone watch it.

Ms. Purple - This independent drama tells the story of two grown children living in the Koreatown district of Los Angeles. Abandoned by their mother and raised by their dad, the pair is brought together after their father becomes terminally ill. Now, estranged from his parent, the young man returns seeking closure, bringing up issues within the family that have bothered him for years. Response was enthusiastic for this little feature.

The majority complimented the performances and found it to be a moving and bittersweet portrait of a troubled family. Tiffany Chu, Teddy Lee, Octavio Pisano and James Kang headline the feature.

My Name is Myeisha - Inspired by the 1998 police shooting of California teen Tyisha Miller, this unusual project begins with the lead character being shot. As this occurs, viewers are taken inside the youngster’s head as she relives experiences in her life and imagines what the future could have held for her. Interestingly enough, these visions are depicted using musical numbers, spoken word poetry and dance. Critics liked the movie a great deal.

The cast includes Rhaechyl Walker, John Merchant, Dominique Toney and Dee Dee Stephens.

Parasite - The Oscar frontrunner for the year’s Best Foreign-Language film is this South Korean feature about a lower-class family who fib on their resumes to gain employment at the lavish household of a wealthy family. They do their best not to give their true identities away, but as they learn more about the people they work for, it becomes clear that the bosses may not be exactly as they appear either. This feature from writer/director Bong Joon Ho (The Host, Snowpiercer, Okja) earned rave reviews from the press, who called it a knockout and one of the year’s best movies. They complimented it as a gorgeously shot and tense film, filled with timely and biting social commentary. It stars Kang-ho Song, Sun-kyun Lee, Yeo-jeong Jo and Woo-sik Choi.

Blasts from the Past!

Criterion has the Sidney Lumet war drama, Fail Safe (1964), which plays on the actions of behind-the-scenes government officials and their part in almost starting nuclear war. The film has been given a 4K restoration and the disc comes with a director commentary, an interview with a film critic about Cold War films, a short documentary about the feature from 2000 and an essay on its historical significance.

You Know, For Kids!

Here are the week’s releases geared toward young tykes.

4 Kid Favorites: Looney Tunes Movies (DVD)

On the Tube!

And these are the TV-themed releases.

Ballers: Season 5

NATURE: Bears (PBS)

NOVA: Dead Sea Scroll Detectives (PBS)

By Glenn Kay
For the Sun