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You are here: Community Film Blu-ray/DVD Roundup for June 19, 2020

Blu-ray/DVD Roundup for June 19, 2020

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Welcome back to another look at all the highlights arriving on Blu-ray and DVD. Here’s a taste of some of the choices available to you at home. So, since you likely can’t make it out to the movies this week, you can give one of these titles a try!

 

BIG NEW RELEASES!

KILL MODE: After a lethal and contagious virus spreads around the world, a powerful pharmaceutical company claims to have developed a treatment. When they decide to charge an exorbitant price for it, the world falls into poverty and chaos. Convinced that the drug company created the virus to take control of the world, a rebel force decides to find their own cure, fight back and take down the big corporation. This English-language sci-fi flick from the Netherlands hasn’t been seen by many in this part of the world.

There are a couple of online postings complaining the camerawork is incredibly shaky and frantic, so those who want to give it a chance should expect a constantly moving camera. It features Dave Mantel, Julia Batelaan, Yasmin Blake and Cyriel Guds.

NARROWSBURG: Here’s another documentary that proves truth may truly be stranger than fiction. This story takes place in a small New York town. Many years ago, a French film producer approached locals, claiming that their home could be made into a film festival site akin to Sundance. She introduced them to a financier, her mafioso-turned-actor husband, and the pair quickly charmed and convinced locals that this plan would work. Naturally, things quickly spiral downward as more information about the pair was revealed. The feature earned plenty of positive write-ups. These pieces describe dthe movie as a fascinating and funny look at con artists scamming a little town, suggesting that the story was so wild that it could eventually be turned into an excellent fictional narrative as well.

MY FATHER, THE SPY: Filmmaker Ieva Lesinska-Geibere shares her unusual experiences and examines her family history in this documentary. In 1978, she was a young Soviet student living a normal life in Latvia. After traveling to visit her dad at NATO in New York City, she was forced to completely uproot and leave everything and everyone behind, including her mother. It seems that the woman’s father was part of an elaborate and secretive spy operation.

Decades later, she returns home to Eastern Europe, trying to determine exactly what happened and what her parent had been planning all along. This non-fiction feature is also making its premiere on disc in this part of the world. That means there are currently no reviews available. However, the picture has played at film festivals where it earned some award nominations.

THE QUARRY: Based on the novel by Damon Galgut, this tale involves a minister with a mysterious past who arrives to take over a church in a small Texas town. After moving in, his behavior arouses some suspicion, but the figure still manages to charm enough locals to build a small congregation. However, as time passes more of the new arrival’s secrets are exposed, leading to gruesome discoveries. Response towards this effort was mixed-negative. A percentage thought that it was an effective slow-burn of a movie with good performances and plenty of mood and atmosphere. Still, the general consensus was that while competent, the end results were unmemorable and that there wasn’t enough going on in the story that was new or compelling. The cast includes Shea Whigham, Michael Shannon and Catalina Sandino Moreno.

SAINT FRANCES: A struggling woman in her 30s with no prospects, finally lucks out after meeting a nice guy and getting a position nannying for a six-year-old. However, the child she’s tasked with looking after proves to be more stubborn and difficult than expected. Despite their differences, a bond forms between the two as they deal with their new arrangement and confide in each other about their personal issues. Critics raved about this independent comedy/drama.

There were a few who thought the movie was a bit jumbled and uneven. Still, just about everyone complimented the piece and suggested that it was far more than just a typical odd-couple flick. They enthused that it was sweet, charming, featured great performances and made plenty of interesting observations about its characters. It stars Kelly O’Sullivan, Ramona Edith Williams and Jim True-Frost.

BAD THERAPY: A couple experiencing a rough patch in their marriage decides to seek out a well-respected counselor who has a great track record helping friends and acquaintances. Unfortunately, their issues encourage the darkest impulses in their new therapist. The expert asks to see them separately and begins pitting the two against each other, leading to escalating conflict and slowly unraveling the marriage. This comedy wasn’t well received by the press. One or two were entertained by the performances just enough to give it a pass. However, the vast majority complained that the movie fell flat and resorted to obvious and uninspired gags. It stars Alicia Silverstone, Rob Corddry, Michaela Watkins, Anna Pniowsky, Haley Joel Osment and David Paymer.

THREE CHRISTS: According to press releases, this feature is based on a true story. Specifically, a 1964 psychiatric case study of three patients who all believed themselves to be Jesus Christ. A doctor arrives at a medical institute and tries to stop the use of electroshock therapy on patients. Instead, he begins talking to them.

As sessions progress, the lead tries to bring all three delusional men together in the hopes of having them confront their delusions and experience a breakthrough. The movie was shot back in 2016 and had a little bit of a struggle finding a distributor. Reaction was mixed from the press. Almost half enjoyed seeing the impressive cast chew the scenery during their bizarre sessions. However, slightly more found the whole thing unconvincing, forced and preachy. It stars Richard Gere, Peter Dinklage, Walton Goggins, Bradley Whitford and Julianna Margulies.

WHAT SHE SAID; THE ART OF PAULINE KAEL: Film critic Pauline Kael is the subject of this documentary. The feature gives viewers background information on the influential writer for the New Yorker. It informs viewers about her early career, her time working at the New Yorker in the 1970s and ‘80s, and her influence on movie fans and filmmakers. Apparently, it includes never-before-seen archival material with the subject, as well as 35 new interviews with celebrities, co-workers and friends on her remarkable life and career.

Notices for the feature were strong. A handful of reviewers thought it could have used more analysis of her writing and didn’t think the subject herself would have been impressed with the flick. Still, far more called the feature an inspirational homage to an incredible talent that inspires one to revisit her work. Alec Baldwin, Francis Ford Coppola, John Boorman, Quentin Tarantino, Sarah Jessica Parker, Paul Schrader, Ridley Scott and Woody Allen are featured.

 

BLASTS FROM THE PAST!

Criterion is delving back into early cinema for its latest release. The Cameraman (1928) is considered by many experts to be Buster Keaton’s final masterpiece. It’s a slapstick comedy about a newspaper cameraperson who will do anything (including endangering his own life), to get a scoop and impress his employers and a female co-worker. The Blu-ray promises a new 4K digital restoration of the feature, a new score recorded in 2020 and composed by Timothy Brock and a commentary track from a silent film expert.

World cinema fans can also pick up a double feature Blu-ray of the Claude Sautet award-winning French dramas César and Rosalie (1970) and The Things of Life (1972), courtesy of Film Movement. Apparently, there is a documentary included on the making-of the first title as well as a featurette on the second movie.

Finally, Warner Archive is putting out a Blu-ray of the musical comedy, Romance on the High Seas (1948). This is about romantic misunderstandings and mix-ups on a cruise ship. It stars Jack Carson and Doris Day and was nominated for a couple of Academy Awards for its score and original songs.

 

YOU KNOW, FOR KIDS!

Here are some titles that may appeal to kids looking for something new to watch.

LEGO DC: Shazam! – Magic and Monsters

Ultraman X Movie/Ultraman Ginga S Movie (2016) Mill Creek

 

ON THE TUBE!

As far as TV-themed releases go, this week you can revisit or catch up with the award-winning gangster series The Sopranos and try to figure out for yourself exactly what happened in the end.

The Sopranos: The Complete Series

VISIT: WWW.CINEMASTANCE.COM

By Glenn Kay
For the Sun