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You are here: Community Film DVD/Blu-ray Roundup for June 8, 2018

DVD/Blu-ray Roundup for June 8, 2018

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Looks like there’s plenty of new arrivals on Blu-ray and DVD highlights. You’ll find several highlights listed below. 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!

Death Wish - This remake of the 1974 vigilante film features Bruce Willis taking on the role originally played by Charles Bronson. After his wife and college age daughter are violently assaulted, the mild-mannered lead decides to take justice into his own hands and victimize those responsible for the crime. Reaction to this effort wasn’t very enthusiastic. A scant few enjoyed it as B-movie exploitation, while the overwhelming majority criticized it as offering little that was new, simply repeating a series of violent attacks ad nauseam. It also features Vincent D’Onofrio, Elizabeth Shue, Camilla Morrone, Kimberly Elise and Dean Norris.

Devil’s Gate - An FBI Special Agent is sent to a small North Dakota community in order to investigate the disappearance of a mother and child. Unfortunately, her search eventually leads to the family patriarch, making him the prime suspect. Along the way, she learns secrets about the town that may endanger her life. This independent suspense picture earned modest notices, with slightly more negative reviews than positive ones. A few were amused by its over-the-top reveals, but more complained that the dialogue was clunky and that the twists just didn’t work. The cast includes Amanda Schull, Milo Ventimiglia and Jonathan Frakes.

Every Day - A 16-year-old falls in love with the soul of a young man in this romance geared towards teenagers. However, she soon discovers that her boyfriend’s soul appears in the body of a new person every day, adding incredible hurdles to the potential relationship. The press wasn’t as hard on this title as you might have expected. In fact, it received slightly more recommendations than pans. Some did think that the movie didn’t quite capture the spirit of the book and was too silly for its own good. However, a higher percentage found it reasonably entertaining and stated that it would please its target audience. It stars Angourie Rice, Justice Smith and Debbie Ryan.

Freak Show - This independent comedy/drama coming-of-age film involves a teenage boy who decides to run for homecoming queen at his very conservative high school. The kid must face severe prejudice from certain members of the town as he takes a stand for all of the misunderstood students at his school (and elsewhere). Critics didn’t rave, but a few more liked the movie than disliked it. Many thought that the message was noble and warmhearted and the lead was sympathetic, but others complained that it borrowed too much from other films of its genre and in turn wasn’t quite as effective. It features Abigail Breslin, AnnaSophia Robb, Alex Lawther and Bette Midler.

Gringo - An American businessman travels to Mexico and quickly finds himself in the middle of a complicated international plot, forcing him to interact with drug lords, mercenaries, government officials and other executives. This black comedy follows his efforts to come out of the situation in one piece. Reviews were very mixed with the movie being described as an acquired taste. Many couldn’t get on its wavelength and thought it wasted its talented cast. However, a small group found it hilarious and appreciated its eccentricities. The movie stars David Oyelowo, Charlize Theron, Joel Edgerton, Thandie Newton, Amanda Seyfried and Sharlto Copley.

The Hurricane Heist - Part action film and part homage to disaster flicks, this effort follows a Treasury Agent up against a band of crooks out to commit one of the largest heists in history using a Category 5 hurricane as a cover for their robbery. The factions face off against each other as the winds blow buildings and people apart. The press were slightly more negative than positive on this genre film. Those who enjoyed it called it an outrageous, over-the-top and fun action picture. A more sizable group called it absolutely preposterous, dopey and commented that it lacked likable characters. The cast includes Maggie Grace, Toby Kebbell, Ryan Kwanten, Ralph Ineson, Melissa Bolona and Ben Cross.

The Midnight Man - A teen decides to visit her grandmother’s mansion and decides to take her friends along with her. They pull out an old board game and start to play, soon discovering that they have released an evil spirit that will use their deepest fears against them. As you might have imagined, reaction towards this horror picture was less-than-exceptional. Reviewers found the concept of a sinister board game spirit absurd and suggested that the movie was slow-moving, becoming more and more ridiculous as it progressed. It features Summer H. Howell, Keenan Lehmann, Meredith Rose, Lin Shaye and Robert Englund.

Supercon - An 80s TV child star decides to hit the convention circuit and tour around with other quasi-celebrities. Events take a turn for the worse when the lead’s old co-star and personal rival has him banned from appearing at the show. The hero and his pals vow to use any means necessary to take down their nemesis. This small title is being released on DVD only first and critical reaction to the feature was quite poor. A couple thought it was amusing enough to recommend to those familiar with pop culture conventions, but the overwhelming majority found it crass and largely unfunny. The cast includes Maggie Grace, Clancy Brown, John Malkovich, Ryan Kwanten, Mike Epps and Russell Peters.

Thoroughbreds - This drama involves a pair of teens who reconnect after several years apart. One has returned from a fancy boarding school, while the other’s sharp wit has made her something of an outcast. Apparently, the two feed off of their destructive tendencies and decide to take action against one of their nasty stepfathers. Reviews were extremely strong for this independent feature. While a few stray voices thought it borrowed too much from films like Heathers, almost everyone else called it effective, dark and biting. It features Olivia Cooke, Anya Taylor-Joy and Anton Yelchin.

A Wrinkle in Time - The famous young adult novel gets a big budget film translation courtesy of Disney. After her physicist father disappears mysteriously, his daughter, younger brother and new friend decide to traverse the universe in order to find him. Along the way, they meet supernatural powers and must deal with an evil force. Critics weren’t overly impressed with this adaptation. While a small amount of reviews believed it worked well enough for children, most thought it missed out on creating a sense of wonder and didn’t do the source material justice. The movie stars Storm Reid, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Chris Pine and many others.

BLASTS FROM THE PAST!

Film Movement Classics are releasing a 50th Anniversary edition of the Italian western, The Great Silence (1968). This one’s about a mute gunslinger who decides to protect a widow from the gang who murdered her husband. Klaus Kinski plays the head villain and it is something of a cult film thanks to its brazen style and memorable score from Ennio Morricone (The Good, The Bad and the Ugly, The Hateful Eight). This Blu-ray includes a documentary about director Sergio Corbucci (Django, Super Fuzz) that is hosted by filmmaker Alex Cox, a feature on the movie’s locations, two alternate endings to the film, theatrical trailers and other bonuses.

Warner Archives are giving the classic musical Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954) a Blu-ray upgrade. It’s a two-disc set that includes remasters of the normal theatrical and alternate widescreen version of the movie. The disc also includes an archived director commentary, a making-of, a short subject piece on the film, footage from its premiere and additional extras. They are also putting out a few made-to-order titles on DVD. These features include Baby Face Harrington (1935), The Band Plays On (1934), Kid Nightingale (1939) and A Modern Hero (1934).

The Big Country (1958) is another famous western that is getting the anniversary treatment from Kino. It’s about a newcomer to the west who ends up in the middle of a violent squabble between two families. In honor of its 60th birthday, a Blu-ray of the movie is arriving with a new remaster, a cultural historian commentary, an hour-long documentary on director William Wyler, outtakes from the film, interviews with cast members, featurettes and plenty of promotional material.

Scorpion and Doppelganger Releasing are teaming up to put out a Blu-ray of the very eccentric Greaser’s Palace (1972). This one is a western/comedy that is said to be a parable of the life of Christ. Most of the literature online about this title says that it, “...must be seen to be believed.” Those who take a chance will see it with a brand new remaster struck from the camera negative, an interview with director Robert Downey Sr., and liner notes from Jonathan Demme.

Finally, Flicker Alley are releasing a Blu-ray of Ewald Dupont’s German silent film, The Ancient Law (1923). It has been digitally restored and comes with some extras as well, including the only surviving footage of a documentary made about this production with Dupont and other German filmmakers of the era like Fritz Lang.

YOU KNOW, FOR KIDS!

Here are plenty of highlights for children.

Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Complete Series (Nickelodeon)

Nature Cat: Onward and Pondward! (PBS)

Peter Pan: Anniversary Edition (Disney)

Pinky and the Brain: Volume 1

Satellite Girl and Milk Cow (South Korean Animated Feature)

Spirit: Riding Free: Seasons 1 - 4

Teen Titans Go!: Season 1

ON THE TUBE!

Below are some of the week’s TV-themed releases.

The 10th Kingdom (Miniseries)

Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Complete Series (Nickelodeon)

The Awesomes: The Complete Series

Chinese Exclusion Act (PBS)

The Magical Legend of the Leprechauns (Miniseries)

The Invaders: The Complete Series

Jericho: The Complete Series

The Last Ship: Season 4

Living Single: Season 5 (Warner Archive)

The Mystery of the Jurassic (BBC)

Nature Cat: Onward and Pondward! (PBS)

Nature: Natural Born Rebels (PBS)

Rocky Mountain Animal Rescue (National Geographic)

Secrets of the Dead: Hannibal in the Alps (PBS)

South Park: Season 21

Teen Titans Go!: Season 1

Wedding Bells (Hallmark TV-movie)

When Calls the Heart: Home is Where the Heart Is (Hallmark)

By Glenn Kay

For the Sun