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You are here: Community Film DVD/Blu-ray Roundup for Feb. 16, 2018

DVD/Blu-ray Roundup for Feb. 16, 2018

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It’s time for another look at highlights arriving on Blu-ray on DVD. There are some very interesting new releases coming your way, as well as a massive amount of older flicks making their high definition debuts. 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 Ballad of Lefty Brown - This western involves a kind-hearted but slightly slow-witted cowboy who works a ranch with his lifelong friend. When his pal is elected to the Senate and promptly murdered, Lefty sets out to take revenge for his buddy’s death. However, the lead finds the task more difficult than anticipated after he ends up blamed for the murder. Reviews were quite good for this little independent feature. There were a few who found it a bit too old-fashioned. Still, most were greatly impressed by the lead performance and enjoyed the novelty of telling a story from the point-of-view of what would typically be a supporting character. It stars Bill Pullman, Kathy Baker, Jim Caviezel and Peter Fonda.

Blade of the Immortal - Cult film director Takashi Miike (Audition, Ichi the Killer, 13 Assassins) returns with another blood-soaked tale, this time set in feudal Japan and based on a comic book. It follows an immortal assassin who takes on the position of a bodyguard to a young girl determined to avenge the death of her parents. Critics were generally positive about the samurai action picture. There were a few criticisms revolving around the extended length and repetition in the story. Those write-ups didn’t rank this title with the filmmaker’s best work. Yet many found the high energy, over-the-top bloodshed well-handled and enjoyable to watch. The cast includes Takuya Kimura and Hana Sugisaki.

Dealt - This documentary details the life of one of the greatest card magicians in the world. What makes this person’s story all the more remarkable is that the showman is completely blind. The feature shows how he developed his skills over the years, overcame various hardships and rose to become one of the best in his field. Reviewers really enjoyed what they saw. They called the subject a fascinating and talented magician and felt that his life and accomplishments would serve as an inspiration to a great many. Not only that, but they were also impressed with the card tricks on display.

Nocturama - A group of teens are the focus of this French foreign-language drama. The camera follows the characters as they move about the streets of Paris, setting out to accomplish a planned task. Once all is revealed and the incident takes place, the group takes refuge in a lush shopping center, hoping to wait out and escape oncoming forces. Write-ups were quite strong for this thriller. Just about everyone was impressed with the technical skills on display. As for the script, a minority found the cold approach filled with artifice that didn’t grip them emotionally. Others found it fascinating, suggesting that style left its meaning open to interpretation. Finnegan Oldfield, Vincent Rottiers and Hamza Meziani headline the feature.

Blasts from the Past!

Holy cow, there are so many classic releases in high definition it’s hard to know where to start! Arrow Video is putting out a Blu-ray of The Bird With the Crystal Plumage (1970). Yes, this was actually released a few years back but it sold out and went out-of-print in no time. The company is re-releasing it in a one disc, Blu-ray only version so fans of the influential Italian thriller can pick it up.

Arrow Academy has a Special Edition of Federico Fellini’s Orchestra Rehearsal (1978). It’s a pseudo-documentary about a film crew interviewing members of an orchestra and discovering tensions within the group. This Blu-ray release offers a 2K restoration of the film, a conversation with a film scholar about Fellini and the movie’s significance, a visual essay on the movie and a gallery of promotional materials from around the world.

Shout! Factory is putting out a Blu-ray of the thriller, Games (1967). It’s about a pair of twisted socialites who play horrible games on visitors. When one of their targets exhibits psychic abilities, the tables are turned and they become the ones being manipulated. The Blu-ray comes with a trailer and still gallery. The studio is also putting out Night of the Seagulls (1975) in high definition. This is the fourth and final title in the Spanish Blind Dead zombie series. This chapter follows a new doctor and his wife in a cursed village that comes under assault from the undead. It’s a goofy little flick that should provide some B-movie thrills for zombie flick fans. The release includes an audio commentary along with a theatrical trailer.

And there’s plenty more. Criterion is releasing a Blu-ray of what is perhaps the ultimate zombie feature, Night of the Living Dead (1968). The George A. Romero classic introduced the modern flesh-eating zombie to the world and still stands as one of the greatest horror films ever made. It has been given a new 4K restoration and that was supervised by Romero before his passing and arrives with numerous extras. This includes multiple commentary tracks featuring the film’s director, cast and crew. It also contains archival interviews, newsreels and publicity material.

If you’re looking for more thrills, then you can also pick up The Silence of the Lambs (1991) on Blu-ray. It’s another great film about a young FBI recruit and her attempts to track down a serial killer. She ends up visiting a brilliant psychopath in an asylum and attempts to earn his trust to assist her with the case. Criterion are delivering this Best Picture winning title with a new 4K restoration supervised by cinematographer Tak Fujimoto. It also comes with a 1994 commentary with director Jonathan Demme, Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins and the screenwriter. It also includes 38 minutes of deleted scenes, hours of interviews with the cast and crew and other bonuses.

And there’s more. Kino has the cheesy family flick, Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend (1985), a bizarre effort that features William Katt, Sean Young, Patrick McGoohan and a really fake-looking rubber dinosaur. Now you can watch it on Blu-ray with the best picture quality available, making the clumsy effects look even more amusing. This edition also includes some interviews with cast and crew as an added feature. They’re also putting out a Grindhouse double-feature that includes Chaos (2005) with Sage Stallone and Don’t Look in the Basement (1973). They’re also putting out a Blu-ray of the Italian action B-movie The Last Hunter (1980), about a soldier who gets trapped behind enemy lines.

Finally, Mondo Macabro is distributing a Blu-ray of the low-budget horror pic, The Blood Spattered Bride (1972).

You Know, For Kids!

Here are some titles the kids might enjoy.

Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend (1985)

Ben 10: Season 1, Vol. 1

Dinosaur Train: Big Pond Adventures

Garfield: Nine Lives

Hey Arnold! The Jungle Movie (Nickelodeon)

PBS Kids: Outer Space Adventures

Pokemon the Movie: I Choose You!

On the Tube!

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

Adam-12: Season 1

Animal Kingdom: Season 2

Ben 10: Season 1, Vol. 1

Broad City: Season 4

The Deuce: Season 1

Doctor Who: The Complete Peter Capaldi Years

Doctor Who Special: Twice Upon A Time

Dragnet 1967: Season 1

Full House: Seasons 1 - 4

The Gilmour Girls: Seasons 1 - 4

Hey Arnold! The Jungle Movie (Nickelodeon)

The Kids in the Hall: The Complete Collection

The Lazarus Man: The Complete Series

Mystery Science Theater 3000: Vol. XII

Quincy, M.E.: Season 1

The Sinner: Season 1

Three’s Company: The Complete Collection

The Waltons: Season 1 – 4

By Glenn Kay

For the Sun