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You are here: Community Film Blu-ray/DVD Roundup for January 8, 2021

Blu-ray/DVD Roundup for January 8, 2021

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Welcome back to another year of new Blu-ray and DVD releases. This is actually a busy week with plenty of features arriving in a wide variety of genres. 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!

BIG NEW RELEASES!

12 HOUR SHIFT: A junkie nurse in Arkansas has an incredibly long and strenuous shift after her cousin approaches her with an elaborate scheme. The relative and his dangerous pals want to pull a heist on the hospital where the lead works and steal various organs to sell on the black market. She attempts to assist in the robbery, but things do not go as planned and the entire group finds themselves in over their heads. Response toward this independent horror/comedy was generally positive.

A small contingent did find the storyline in poor taste and couldn’t find humor in the execution of the concept. However, the majority called the film an entertainingly mean little B-movie with great performances. It stars Angela Bettis, David Arquette, Chloe Farnworth, Mick Foley, Kit Williamson and Nikea Gamby-Turner.

A**HOLES: A THEORY: This documentary investigates some horrible recent worldwide trends. The filmmakers note the resurgence of authoritarianism, the venomous and cruel comments being posted on social media and point out a loss of civility, as well as a general and sweeping narcissism across the world. Using interviews conducted with experts and identifying some of the traits contributing to becoming an a**hole, the film shows what has made it a popular movement … and what can be done in order to stunt this behavior. Critics were very upbeat about the feature.

They all stated that it tackled a dark subject in an amusing and humorous way instead of preaching. They also felt it delivered strong points that would leave audiences thinking. John Cleese appears as one of the many interview subjects and shares his thoughts on the topic.

EVEN AFTER EVERYTHING: Trouble arises out of the blue for a wealthy housewife living a privileged life on the East Coast. After her brother-in-law appears for an unexpected visit, his observations cause the protagonist to question everything in her life. Specifically, she becomes more aware of the dysfunction in her marriage. The lead begins to wonder if it isn’t too late to change things and challenge the status quo.

This independent feature was completed in 2018 and has been available for streaming for a little while, but is now being released on disc. Unfortunately, there are no reviews available for it, so those interested will have to go in without any knowledge of what will occur. The cast includes Alice Callahan, Chet Carlin, Donald Corren and Kate Dalton.

I’M TOO OLD FOR THIS SH*T: A HEAVY METAL FAIRY TALE: In the early 1980s, a heavy metal band from Florida called Siren, made local headlines and was expected to become a hugely successful musical act worldwide. This documentary details how bad luck, as well as shady business deals and tensions within the band, caused things to fall apart before they hit the big time. The movie catches up with the band today and follows the members’ reactions after a fan locates and approaches them 35 years after the breakup. The members are hired to appear and perform at a notable German heavy metal festival.

Can the band members get over their differences and mount a comeback? This picture is debuting on disc, which means that no one has seen it yet. As a result, there is no critical consensus about the feature.

LOVE AND MONSTERS: A young man has been forced to live underground for seven years after giant monsters take control of the planet. The lonely man uses a radio to communicate with other settlements and comes into contact with his old girlfriend. They fall for each other again over the airwaves and the protagonist decides to venture aboveground and travel the 80 miles to her colony to reconnect. Along the way, he must deal with countless beasts.

The press gave this feature solid marks. A very small group complained that the jokes didn’t land and that the movie climaxed on a sappy note. However, most called the project unique and adventurous with likable characters who charmed them. It stars Dylan O’Brien, Jessica Henwick, Michael Rooker, Dan Ewing and Ariana Greenblatt.

MOMENTS IN SPACETIME: Here’s another effort that is arriving without much fanfare despite having won an award or two at film festivals. According to the press synopsis, the story follows a Thai immigrant adopted into a North American family after a tsunami in her homeland. Many years later, she must look after her dementia-suffering adopted grandfather. When she discovers that her birth mother may not have died in the disaster, she teams up with the elderly man to find the truth and decide where her future lies.

Again, there aren’t many write-ups currently available, although there is one currently online. The reviewer states that the movie is effective, but omits important background details early on that could have engaged viewers in the story earlier. The cast includes John Rhys-Davies, Patty Srisuwan and Sam Gittins.

MY DAD’S CHRISTMAS DATE: A 16-year-old decides to help her lonely father out and find him a companion two years after the passing of her mother. Also hoping to reconnect with her dad in the process, the protagonist decides to take the initiative and creates profiles for him on multiple dating platforms. Her efforts create a bit of strain in her relationship with her pop, but he agrees to give it a try with sometimes comical results. This UK production has only received a handful of notices so far.

Most of them had a mixed-positive response. They described the film as being a well-acted and sweet look at a father and daughter dealing with grief, but also complained that it does suffer from a predictable and formulaic structure. It features Jeremy Piven, Olivia-Mai Barrett and Joely Richardson.

YELLOW ROSE: An undocumented 17-year-old Filipina immigrant living in Texas dreams of becoming a country music singer. When her mother is taken away by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the teenager is forced to go on the run. Now on her own, she travels to Austin in hopes of finding a new start and making her dreams come true. The press gave this music-based drama very high praise.

Admittedly, a small percentage thought the movie was a little too pleasant and feel-good in tone, diminishing its dramatic impact. Regardless, the majority of reviewers were taken with the lead performance and stated that the movie and its message was very sweet and affecting. It stars Eva Noblezada, Lea Salonga, Arlene Cavazos, Kelsey Pribilski and Gustavo Gomez.

BLASTS FROM THE PAST!

Kino isn’t holding back this week, with a number of older titles getting high-definition upgrades. Beach Red (1967) is a WWII movie about U.S. Marines and Japanese forces preparing for military conflict. As they begin their attacks, the men on both sides experience traumatic and horrifying memories of the violence they have already seen on the battlefield. The Blu-ray includes a theatrical trailer.

Captain Newman M.D. (1963) follows a doctor working at a stateside psychiatric hospital during WWII. He tries to use humor and compassion to deal with the many patients struggling with various psychological issues. This well-regarded feature stars Gregory Peck, Tony Curtis, Angie Dickinson, Eddie Albert, Robert Duvall and many others. This Blu-ray comes with a film historian audio commentary and a trailer.

If you’re looking for B-movie fun, then you have plenty of options. Scorpion has the Mexican killer shark movie, Tintorera (1977). A blatant knock-off of Jaws, this title features two shark-hunters trying to stop the aquatic threat from chowing down on vacationing beachgoers. The disc includes a film expert commentary and a trailer.

Code Red is releasing The Black Gestapo (1975) on Blu-ray. This feature is about a black man in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles forming a vigilante squad to protect locals after the Mafia moves into the area. The movie has been exclusively restored in 2K from the original camera negative and arrives with interviews with stars Charles Robinson, Rod Perry and Charles Howerton. A commentary with Robinson and Perry is also included, as is a trailer for the movie.

 

Finally, Warner Archive also has a new made-to-order Blu-ray available for purchase. It’s for The Man Who Would Be King (1975), an historical adventure feature about two power-seeking soldiers who decide to set themselves up as leaders of Kafiristan (which is now part of Afghanistan). The movie stars Sean Connery, Michael Caine and Christopher Plummer.

YOU KNOW, FOR KIDS!

Here are a couple of titles that kids may enjoy:

Groundhog Dave: Season 1

Little Historians: Our Founding Fathers

ON THE TUBE!

And here are the latest TV-themed releases. If you like Hallmark romance flicks, this is your week to go DVD shopping!

The 100: The 7th and Final Season

Christmas at Dollywood (Hallmark)

Christmas in Rome (Hallmark)

Christmas Town (Hallmark)

Groundhog Dave: Season 1

Hallmark 2-Movie Collection: Love in the Forecast and Romance in the Air (Hallmark)

In the Key of Love (Hallmark)

Masterpiece: Elizabeth is Missing (PBS)

Mystery Road: Season 2

Nature: Pandas – Born to Be Wild

Nature: Santa’s Wild Home (PBS)

NOVA: Nature’s Fear Factor (PBS)

Time for You to Come Home for Christmas (Hallmark)

A Valentine’s Match (Hallmark)

Vera: Set 10

VISIT: WWW.CINEMASTANCE.COM

By Glenn Kay
For the Sun