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You are here: Community Film DVD/Blu-ray Roundup for Feb. 8, 2019

DVD/Blu-ray Roundup for Feb. 8, 2019

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Welcome to another look at highlights arriving on Blu-ray and DVD. There is some variety in this edition, with all sorts of interesting features coming your way. 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!

Black ‘47 - Set in 1847, this tale involves a soldier who returns from service to Ireland, which is in the midst of the Great Famine. After learning that his mother has died of starvation and his brother has been hanged, the serviceman snaps, determined to take revenge on the officials responsible for the deaths of family members.. Hugo Weaving, James Frecheville, Stephen Rea, Jim Broadbent and Barry Keoghan headline the title.

The Cloverfield Paradox - It looks like Netflix is finally starting to release some of its titles on disc. This sequel to Cloverfield and 10 Cloverfield Lane premiered on the streaming service one year ago. It tells the story of a group of astronauts on a space station working on a new device that would provide the Earth with an infinite energy source. It stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw, David Oyelowo, Daniel Bruhl, John Ortiz, Chris O’Dowd, Askel Hennie and Ziyi Zhang.

The Grinch - This holiday hit is a new animated feature-length take on the classic Dr. Seuss story. It follows the Grinch, a character who lives in the mountains and hates the holidays. He dreams up a scheme to steal everything from nearby Who village, but finds himself meeting unexpected resistance from a young child. The voice talent includes Benedict Cumberbatch, Cameron Seely, Rashida Jones, Pharrell Williams and Keenan Thompson.

The Girl in the Spider’s Web - Fans of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo will be curious about this thriller that is a based upon a recent novel. It follows computer hacker Lisbeth Sanders and journalist Mikael Blomquist (played by a new cast) as they become involved in a plot to steal a computer program that can generate the world’s nuclear launch codes. It features Claire Foy, Sverrir Gudnason, Lakeith Stanfield, Sylvia Hoeks and Stephen Merchant.

The Guilty - Also known as Den Skyldige in its homeland, this foreign-language effort is about a police officer demoted and working as an emergency dispatcher. He receives a frantic call from a kidnapped woman and must try to keep her on the line long enough to find out where she is and help rescue her. As they talk, more is revealed about the cop’s seedy past. Jakob Cedergren plays the main character.

The Long Dumb Road - A young photographer hits the road to drive to his new college on the west coast. Along the way, he picks up a stranger and the two begin to talk about their lives. While very different, they slowly begin to find common ground as they encounter some unusual events. The movie stars Tony Revolori, Jason Mantzoukas, Taissa Farmiga, Grace Gummer and Ron Livingston.

Lu Over the Wall - This animated feature comes from Japan and was made by the same filmmaker behind The Night is Short, Walk on Girl (which was released on disc only a week or two ago). In this effort, a depressed young boy living near the beach spends his days writing songs and uploading them to the internet. He gets the shock of his life when he encounters an actual mermaid. Most called it bold, memorably bizarre, and the work of an artist following his own vision.

The Mermaid: Lake of the Dead - This foreign-language arthouse horror picture from Russia details a young woman who has just gotten engaged. Things go badly when an evil mermaid from the marshy waters targets and manipulates her beau, hoping to drown him in the waters. The heroine is forced to overcome her fear of water and fight to release her man from the monster’s sinister grip. Viktoriya Agalakova headlines the film.

A Private War - Based on the life of journalist Marie Colvin, this biopic follows the war correspondent around the world as she goes to the frontlines of many battle zones in order to get the story. Her dangerous work causes physical harm and frays personal relationships as she head out to cover events in the Syrian city of Homs. It features Rosamund Pike, Jamie Dornan, Stanley Tucci and Tom Hollander.

The Sisters Brothers - Based on the popular novel, this western follows two brothers known for their violent ways. Conflict arises between the pair when the older brother starts to think about his future and wants to leave the business of being a contract killer. When a job involving a new chemical that can identify gold comes to them, the two struggle with how to proceed. The cast includes John C. Reilly, Joaquin Phoenix, Jake Gyllenhaal and Riz Ahmed.

Widows - When a heist-gone-wrong leaves local government officials and mobsters both, questioning and threatening the lives of the widows of the team, it forces the ladies to come together. They plot another dangerous robbery in the hopes that will take care of their husbands’ debts and leave them free and clear of reprisal. It stars Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, Cynthia Erivo, Colin Farrell, Liam Neeson and many others.

You Might Be the Killer - This independent horror picture follows a figure running from a masked killer at a summer camp. As he rushes away, he begins to believe the figure might actually be the psychopath. The lead contacts his horror-movie loving best friend, looking for advice on the tropes of the genre and help in determining what happened and why it occurred. The cast includes Fran Kranz, Alyson Hannigan, Brittany S. Hall and Keith David.

Blasts from the Past!

There are definitely some interesting older titles arriving on shelves this week. Arrow Video has a Blu-ray of The 5th Cord (1971) aka The Fifth Cord, an Italian giallo. It’s about an alcoholic journalist on the trail of a killer, whose close proximity to the psycho eventually causes him to be a suspect in the eyes of police. The movie has been given a 2K restoration.

Arrow is also putting out The Possessed (1965) on Blu-ray. This one is a proto-giallo (the genre didn’t officially take off until 1970 with the release of The Bird with the Crystal Plumage), but it features many of the same elements. The story involves a depressed novelist who heads to a resort to visit an old flame, only to learn that she has disappeared under mysterious circumstances. It also arrives with a 2K restoration.

Kino is delivering the UK heist comedy, Diamonds for Breakfast (1968). It’s about a man played by Marcello Mastroianni, who recruits a team of beautiful women to steal the Imperial Jewels of Russia. The movie has received a new 2K transfer for its Blu-ray debut. It almost certainly will come across as very of-its-time, but may provide some fun for movie fans.

They also have a Special Edition Blu-ray of the Walter Matthau comedy/drama, Kotch (1971). It’s about an aging salesman who befriends a pregnant teenager and ends up helping her deliver her baby. The company is providing an HD master from a new 4K scan of the original camera negative.

Finally, the distributor is putting out a Special Edition Blu-ray of Zachariah (1971). It’s described as a psychedelic western about two cowboys who join a band of rock ‘n roll outlaws. The image comes from a 4K scan of the original camera negative, and the release includes a new interview with star John Rubinstein, as well as a film historian audio commentary and a trailer.

Sony is delivering a Blu-ray of Poetic Justice (1993). This road-trip romance stars Janet Jackson as a South Central Los Angeles woman who has lost her boyfriend in a shooting-related death and writes poetry as a way of therapy. While heading to a convention in Oakland, she makes a connection with a postal worker (Tupac Shakur).

And the Ingmar Bergman classic Shame (1968) is getting the Criterion treatment. The title is about a civil war in Sweden and an apolitical, tempestuous husband and wife caught in the middle and struggling to agree on how to survive the ordeal. The Max Von Sydow/Liv Ullmann picture has received a 2K restoration, and the Blu-ray includes interviews with Bergman recorded in 1967 and 1968.

You Know, For Kids!

Quiet week for the kids, but there is a new direct-to-disc animated, feature-length title with Scooby-Doo.

Scooby-Doo and the Curse of the 13th Ghost

On the Tube!

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

800 Words: Season 3, Part 2

The Deuce: Season 2

NOVA: Last B-24 (PBS)

NOVA: Thai Cave Rescue (PBS)

We’ll Meet Again: Season 2 (PBS)

By Glenn Kay
For the Sun