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You are here: Community Film Blu-ray/DVD Roundup for November 20, 2020

Blu-ray/DVD Roundup for November 20, 2020

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Welcome back to another look at highlights arriving on Blu-ray and DVD. Once again, it’s a jam-packed edition with tons of films in just about every genre to choose from. So, since you likely can’t or shouldn’t be going out to the movies, be sure to give one of these titles a try!

BIG NEW RELEASES!

2067 : In this science-fiction flick, a utility worker listening to his radio receives a mysterious signal.  He is told that in order to change the course of history and save the world from a massive environmental disaster, he must leave his ailing wife behind and travel into the future. The reluctant protagonist must venture into the unknown and see if he can make a difference. This Australian feature wasn’t very well-received by the press.

A small group admired what was accomplished on a limited budget and thought it had some interesting ideas and elements. However, the majority complained that despite the noble efforts of the cast, the script itself was clunky and the story was presented in a confusing manner. It stars Kodi Smit-McPhee, Ryan Kwanten, Sana’a Shaik and Deborah Mailman

AGGIE: Art collector and philanthropist Agnes ‘Aggie’ Gund is the subject of this documentary. The filmmaker, who happens to be the daughter of the woman being chronicled, details what inspired her mother to use her experience as a dealer in the art world to promote social justice causes. This includes convincing the owners of one of the most valuable artworks in the world to donate sales proceeds to a charity devoted to reforming the American criminal justice system. Critics liked the feature, although they weren’t overwhelmed by it.

Many wrote that it was a sweet ode to the tireless efforts of an admirable women. Still, several also complained that there wasn’t much drama or tension on display and that it felt like the filmmaker was too close to and in awe of her subject.

THE BROKEN HEARTS GALLERY: Still hurting after being dumped by her boyfriend, a 20-something New York art gallery assistant comes up with a novel idea to help her move on. She decides to curate a museum pop-up space to display trinkets and mementoes from her dissolved relationship. Word of mouth grows and soon the lead finds new friends who also want to participate in the project. Reaction toward this romantic comedy was generally upbeat.

A minor contingent thought the story was bland and that the movie would only appeal to those in the same demographic as the lead character. Still, the consensus was that this was an enjoyable little film with charming performances. It features Geraldine Viswanathan, Dacre Montgomery, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Molly Gordon, Sheila McCarthy and Bernadette Peters.

CICADA SONG: This independent feature follows a determined woman in small town America who sets out to search for her Latina lover and a migrant child who have both disappeared. Naturally, over the course of her quest, the protagonist learns a dark secret about the town and is left for dead in the wilderness. The woman must endure the natural elements and make her way back to civilization. This little thriller played at several festivals over the past year and won a few awards.

There aren’t a great many reviews available yet, but a few have popped up online. They have been positive, stating that the indie film is well-made, chilling and has some important points to make about bigotry. The cast includes Lyndsey Lantz, Jenny Mesa, Kim Reed and Joseph Bottoms.

GHOSTS OF THE RÉPUBLIQUE: Those looking for more non-fiction viewing choices can also pick up this feature which is making its debut on disc. There currently isn’t a lot of information available about the film, so here’s the press synopsis paragraph about it. The movie follows Aurelien and Nicolas, who, when confronted by France’s conservative surrogacy laws, decide to exhaust their last option by traveling to Las Vegas to start a family of their own through surrogacy. This film demonstrates the extreme lengths many gay couples go to to have children, highlighting the ever-expanding and controversial surrogacy industry.

Those interested in this documentary can now pick it up on disc through various outlets or find it via streaming services.

WE ARE LITTLE ZOMBIES: This foreign-language drama from Japan follows four orphans who cross paths while at the funerals of each of their parents. The kids form a bond as they try to process their loss and end up forming a band. They become media sensations and their music attracts the attention of both fans and critics. The foursome attempts to figure out how to deal with all the attention while forging ahead with their new life.

This picture earned high marks from the press. A small percentage did complain that the filmmakers forced a lot of jarring animation and computer graphics into the movie, which they found irritating. Still, most called the picture a fresh, energetic and unique attempt to depict young people coping with loss. The cast includes Keita Ninomiya, Mondo Okumura, Satoshi Mizuno and Sena Nakajima.

BLASTS FROM THE PAST!

It’s an equally busy week for older films receiving spiffy Blu-ray upgrades. Oliver Films is releasing a Signature Edition of the John Wayne western, Rio Grande (1950), in which the actor plays the leader of a cavalry unit. The disc features a new high-definition digital restoration of the film, a film expert commentary, several recently crafted featurettes on elements of the production, as well as a making-of with critic Leonard Maltin and publicity materials. If you’re a fan of old westerns, this package will likely impress.

Additionally, Cinema Guild is delivering the indie drama Beeswax (2009) on Blu-ray.

Flicker Alley is presenting a Blu-ray of the expressionistic German horror-comedy, Waxworks (1924). This title from Paul Leni (The Man Who Laughs) has received a 2K restoration, a film expert commentary, a featurette describing the search for this original cut of the movie, in-depth interviews about the features and some short films by the filmmaker that played before the flick itself when it ran in cinemas.

YOU KNOW, FOR KIDS!

Here are some releases that may appeal to youngsters.

The Croods (2013) 4K - Universal

Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back – Evolution

ON THE TUBE!

And TV-show enthusiasts can read about all the latest titles below.

Christmas Recipe for Romance (Harlequin TV-movie)

Franklin & Bash: The Complete Series

MacShayne: Winner Takes All / Final Roll of the Dice

Mission: Impossible: The Original TV Series (1966-1973) – 7 seasons

The Nest

Westworld: Season 3

VISIT: WWW.CINEMASTANCE.COM

By Glenn Kay
For the Sun