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You are here: Community Film DVD/Blu-ray Roundup for April 5, 2019

DVD/Blu-ray Roundup for April 5, 2019

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Welcome to another edition detailing highlights arriving on Blu-ray and DVD. There’s a plentiful mix of studio releases and independent fare, meaning there should be something for everyone. 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!

A Breath Away - Also known as Just a Breath Away, this French-language science-fiction thriller involves a Parisian couple balancing their work lives with their daughter’s illness...one that forces the youngster to live in a hermetic glass bubble. When a deadly, poisonous fog cloud covers the city, the parents must find a way to return home and rescue their child. Critics were split on this effort. The cast includes Romain Duris, Olga Kurylenko, Michel Robin and Fantine Harduin.

Bumblebee - This spin-off from the Transformers franchise is set in 1987 and follows the title robotic character as he arrives on Earth and tries to hide from humankind in a large junkyard. When a sullen young girl discovers and befriends Bumblebee, the two attempt to help each other get through some tough chapters in their lives. Surprisingly, the press gave this effort better reviews than all the other films in the franchise. It stars Hailee Steinfeld, Jorge Lendeborg Jr. and John Cena.

Egg - Two competitive old friends decide to reunite and have dinner along with their spouses. After one announces that she is pregnant, the other declares that she is having a baby via a surrogate. Arguments and discussions about motherhood and their reasons for having a child begin to surface as the evening progresses. Reaction toward this independent comedy was very good. Christina Hendricks, Alysia Reiner, David Alan Basche, Gbenga Akinnagbe and Anna Camp headline the film.

The Great Buster: A Celebration - Silent film comedian Buster Keaton is the subject of this documentary. Director Peter Bogdanovich traces the actor’s beginnings in vaudeville and follows his progression into stardom on the silver screen, as well as his influence on today’s filmmakers. The picture also presents restored clips of some of Keaton’s greatest moments in cinema, along with comments from celebrities and fans that include the likes of Mel Brooks, Quentin Tarantino and Werner Herzog. Reviews were positive for this picture. Comments stated that while the movie focused mostly on the cinematic work of the performer, it served as a great introduction and testament to Keaton’s lasting appeal.

The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot - Based on the title alone, B-movies fans will likely be very interested in this flick. It details the life of a fictional “American legend” who was secretly responsible for the death of Hitler. Some years later, government forces assign him the task of traveling to the Canadian wilderness and stopping Sasquatch from infecting the population with the plague. This tongue-in-cheek effort earned solid notices. It stars Sam Elliott, Aidan Turner, Ron Livingston, Larry Miller, Ellar Coltrane and Caitlin FitzGerald.

The Mule - In the latest from Clint Eastwood, the director/star plays an elderly horticulturist whose personal debts are piling up. To pay off some of his bills, he takes a job as a driver for a Mexican drug cartel. When the DEA finds out about the lead’s business sideline, they make their own list of demands, putting this mule in a life-threatening predicament. The consensus was that enough story elements worked, resulting in a tense thriller. The cast also includes Laurence Fishburne, Michael Peña, Dianne Wiest, Alison Eastwood and Taissa Farmiga.

Rust Creek - Here’s another effort about a college student designed to chill viewers. In this thriller, a young woman heads out from her university for a job interview. Unfortunately, she makes a wrong turn and ends up in the Kentucky wilderness... filled with terrible outlaws. The lead ends up on the run, begging for assistance from a mysterious loner. What could possibly go wrong? Notices were very reasonable for this indie film. The cast includes Hermione Corfield, Denise Dal Vera and Jeremy Glazer.

A Silent Voice: The Movie - This animated film from Japan follows a deaf student who arrives at a new school, only to be bullied by a boy in her class. He torments her so much that she eventually leaves school, but the aggressor soon finds out how disapproving others are of his actions when they all shun him in retaliation. A few years later, the bully heads out to find his classmate and try to make amends. This disc includes both English and Japanese language versions of the film.

Vice - Dick Cheney is the subject of this Academy Award-nominated biopic. The plot follows his life as Cheney progresses from a troubled young man to president of the Halliburton company, and running mate of George W. Bush. After becoming Vice President of the United States, the film depicts the influence he exerted in his position and his efforts to empower the President with new, unchecked authority. Most called the leads phenomenal and thought that it brought many sinister aspects of the government to light. It stars Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Steve Carell, Sam Rockwell, Tyler Perry and Alison Pill.

Blasts from the Past!

It isn’t quite as busy a week for older titles as in previous editions, but there are a few noteworthy Blu-ray releases. Arrow Video has a curious item that could almost have been featured in the above area as a brand new title. It’s the science-fiction/action/horror flick, Terra Formars (2016). Directed by Takashi Miike (Ichi the Killer, Audition, 13 Assassins) and based on the manga comic book, the movie is about a group of soldiers on a far-away planet fighting an alien menace.

Actually, the storyline kind of sounds like a Japanese take on the 1997 movie, Starship Troopers. The Arrow disc includes clearer and newly updated Japanese subtitles, a feature-length documentary on the production, extended cast interviews, footage from the 2016 premiere in Japan, outtakes and publicity materials. Keep checking this site, as there will be a Blu-ray review of the release in the very near future.

One of Kino’s notable Blu-rays worth mentioning is the romantic comedy Green Card (1990) with Gerard Depardieu and Andie MacDowell. It’s about a Frenchman who enters into an agreement with an American woman that involves getting married, all so that he can receive the title document. However, as they work together to pull off the ruse, they begin to fall in love. This Special Edition comes with a new interview with co-star MacDowell and a theatrical trailer.

Additionally, the distributor is putting out the Tom Selleck film, An Innocent Man (1989). The actor plays an ordinary man framed for murder by a pair of crooked cops, and follows his time in prison as he waits for parole. Changed upon his release, the lead sets out to prove his innocence. This Blu-ray Special Edition comes with a film historian audio commentary, new interviews with some of the cast members, and a trailer.

And Kino also has a Special Edition Blu-ray of Unstrung Heroes (1995), about a youngster who is taken in and begins to live with his quirky uncles. It stars Andie MacDowell, John Turturro and Michael Richard. Extras include a new interview with the lead actress and a trailer.

Flicker Alley is putting out a couple of Blu-rays featuring some impressive Cinerama films shot in 70mm that must have looked phenomenal when they were shown in movie theaters with enormous screens. Flying Clipper (1964) aka Mediterranean Holiday is a documentary that features members of a boat crew as they travel and take in the sights at various places off of the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Their stops include the Pyramids of Egypt, as well as Greece, Italy, Portugal and other exotic locales. The disc has numerous interviews detailing how the incredible footage was restored for high definition, as well as publicity materials and interviews with cast members, who talk about the production.

Additionally, you can pick up a Blu-ray of the long-lost Cinerama production, The Golden Head (1964). This one stars Buddy Hackett and George Sanders and, unlike the other Flicker Alley release, is actually a narrative thriller shot using giant-screen technology. It’s about a pair of thieves who travel to Budapest, Hungary and attempt to steal the valuable title object. This release includes a short film originally screened with the movie during its original run, a 70mm cartoon, featurettes about the restorations and other materials.