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You are here: Community Film Blu-ray/DVD Roundup for December 25, 2020

Blu-ray/DVD Roundup for December 25, 2020

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The holidays are here, which means things are slowing down on the Blu-ray and DVD front. However, there are still a few options arriving including a couple of noteworthy features. So, since you can’t or likely shouldn’t go out to the movies this week, be sure to give one of these titles a try!


BOYS VS. GIRLS: Set in 1990, this comedy takes viewers to a summer camp undergoing a big change after 70 years of operation. Due to financial issues, the camp director is forced into making the main campus and activities co-ed. He tries to sell the head counselors on the money-saving idea, but learns his two employees have just gone through a romantic fallout themselves. It sets off a battle of pranks between the boys and the girls, with each wanting to gain dominance and control of the camp.

This independent feature appears to have gotten lost in the shuffle during the pandemic and received little in the way of press. However, the movie did win awards at various comedy festivals in Hollywood, Chicago, London and Miami. Those who saw it called the flick playful and fun. It stars Kevin McDonald, Colin Mochrie, Eric Osborne and Rachel Dagenais.

JIU JITSU: Who wouldn’t want to spend the holidays watching a goofy action movie starring Nicolas Cage? This title features a young Jiu Jitsu expert suffering from amnesia after a confrontation with an unusual, otherworldly being. He is rescued by the leader of an ancient order of fighters and is told that their group convenes together every six years to fight off alien invaders. The young man joins in the epic battle to kick the butts of sinister forces.

Response from critics was mixed-negative. A small grouping enjoyed the silliness on display and called it B-movie fun. However, more thought that the feature focused on the wrong performers and could have used significantly more time with leader Cage and the more established cast members. Alain Moussi, Marie Avgeropoulos, Juju Chan, Rick Yune, Tony Jaa and Frank Grillo also appear in the movie.

KAJILLIONAIRE: The shy, adult daughter of a pair of con-artists is forced to live on the fringes of society and take part in some bizarre schemes. The eccentric comedy follows the lead as a new stranger is charmed into joining the family and taking part in their odd activities. Initially jealous, the daughter attempts to separate herself from her controlling parents and in the process is surprised to start forming a close bond with the new arrival. Reviewers were very positive about this little feature.

A percentage found it too quirky and off-kilter for their tastes and didn’t find it all that amusing. Still, most enjoyed the cast and thought that this was an interesting, offbeat effort that tried to empower its naïve protagonist. While this movie got plenty of attention during its run, for now it is only being made available on DVD. It stars Evan Rachel Wood, Gina Rodriguez, Richard Jenkins and Debra Winger.

THE PLACE OF NO WORDS: This unique fantasy film involves a young boy dealing with a death. When he asks family members where we go and what happens when our lives end, the adults are initially unsure how to respond. The question ultimately sets the family off on a strange adventure into fantasy realms in order to find the answer. This picture played and won awards in 2019 at several film festivals around the world.

Word from the press was also upbeat. A small group thought that the movie was pompous and too downbeat for a family flick. However, more admired what the filmmakers were attempting to accomplish and thought that even if it didn’t all work, this was an interesting movie that would make an impression on viewers.    Mark Webber, Teresa Palmer, Bodhi Palmer and Nicole Elizabeth Berger headline the picture.

SHORTCUT: Obviously, if you’re in a horror flick, you should never go to a cabin in the woods … but that wouldn’t make for much of a movie. This film also warns you not to take a bus in the wilderness either. The plot involves five teenage friends who decide to take a ride to an undisclosed location in the forest. They soon find themselves being attacked on the road by a monstrous bat-creature.

This is an English-language Italian/German co-production that garnered a split reaction from critics. Almost half stated that the monster and effects were good, but that the movie didn’t create much tension and ended up breaking down well before it reached its destination. However, just as many called it an effective creature feature with plenty of mood and atmospherics that didn’t overstay its welcome. It features Jack Kane, Zander Emlano, Zak Sutcliffe, Sophie Jane Oliver and Molly Dew.

THE WAR WITH GRANDPA: The relationship between a youngster and his grandfather comes under some strain after the senior is forced to move into the family home. After being given the boy’s bedroom, the child announces his displeasure and declares war in order to reclaim his space. Pranks between the two escalate until they are forced to deal with ramifications of their actions. This family comedy was largely panned by reviewers.

One or two commented that it wasn’t a great film, but noted that any picture an entire household could watch together was welcome during this grim period. Everyone else thought the family might be better off playing a board game. They called this effort a series of badly delivered slapstick gags, also suggesting that the impressive cast deserved much better. It stars Robert De Niro, Uma Thurman, Rob Riggle, Oakes Fegley, Cheech Marin, Jane Seymour, Christopher Walken and Laura Marano.


Naturally, things are winding down as the year nears its end, so there are fewer catalog titles receiving Blu-ray upgrades. At least anime fans will be happy. FUNimation is presenting a Special “Limited Edition” Blu-ray of the iconic Japanese animated feature, Akira (1988). Set in an alternate future after the end of WWIII, a rebuilt Neo-Tokyo struggles with poverty and despair and a young biker takes to the streets to fight back against his oppressors.

He’s kidnapped by government forces and used for experiments, but breaks free with new and dangerous psycho-kinetic powers on a scale never witnessed before. The movie has been remastered on disc in 4K and comes with a few bonuses including a storyboard collection and trailers as well as other extras.


Sorry, it looks like a slow week for kids this time out, but new material should be arriving in the coming weeks.


And here are the TV-themed titles coming your way.

The 100: The 7th and Final Season

NOVA: A to Z – The First Alphabet: How Writing Changed the World (PBS)


By Glenn Kay
For the Sun