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You are here: Community Film Blu-ray/DVD Roundup for April 9, 2021

Blu-ray/DVD Roundup for April 9, 2021

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Welcome back to another look at the latest Blu-ray and DVD highlights coming your way. While this edition isn’t an exceptionally busy one, there are still plenty of notable releases that should pique the interest of film fans. So, since you can’t, or likely shouldn’t be heading out to the movies just yet, be sure to give one of these titles a try!


ACASA, MY HOME: In this documentary, viewers are introduced to a large and eccentric Romanian family. They have been living in the natural preserve for over 20 years and for the most part have been cut off from modern society. The adults and their nine children are eventually chased from the park by authorities. Together, the extended family is forced to start anew and adapt to life in the big city of Bucharest.

This feature earned uniformly excellent notices. Reviewers stated that they were impressed by the access that the filmmakers had to the subjects. They also said that their personal lives and story were complicated and fascinating. Additionally, write-ups said the movie was beautifully shot and that it would make viewers think about their own choices in life.

EARWIG AND THE WITCH: An orphan is adopted by a witch in this Japanese animated feature from Studio Ghibli (My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away). The girl learns that her mother was a sorceress, too, and she is quickly introduced to the world of magic and potions. As the youngster tries to find her place in this new environment, she discovers music and a special song that could bring her true happiness. While Studio Ghibli is noted for its hand-animated fare, this title was created entirely on computers and critics were disappointed by the results.

A few called the new approach interesting and thought there was enough charm on display to entertain younger viewers. However, many didn’t like the new look, stating that the story was weak, the characters weren’t well developed and stating that the movie felt more like a Ghibli knock-off than the genuine article. The English-language voice-cast includes Richard E. Grant, Kacey Musgraves, Dan Stevens, Taylor Paige Henderson and Vanessa Marshall.

THE RECKONING: This period chiller from writer/director Neil Marshall (Dog Soldiers, The Descent, Centurion) is set during the Great Plague and follows a woman who is unjustly accused of being a witch and spreading the virus. She is physically and emotionally tortured by her captors, which draws the attention of Satan himself, who starts to work his way into her mind. While most of the filmmaker’s earlier independent works earned raves from reviewers, most weren’t onboard with this title. A small contingent complimented the performances and cinematography, describing the feature as an effective and disturbing genre flick.

Still, most said that while well-intentioned, the abuses depicted were overdone and too graphic to endure, making the entire experience a chore to sit through. It features Charlotte Kirk, Sean Pertwee, Steven Waddington, Joe Anderson and Ian Whyte.


If you’re looking for older titles, there are plenty to choose from. Arrow Video is releasing a Special Edition Blu-ray of Death Has Blue Eyes (1976). This B-movie is a European paranormal action thriller about a pair of gigolos working in Greece. The two meet their match after encountering a wealthy woman and her glamorous daughter, who both may have extra-sensory powers.

This movie is being presented for the first time ever in HD with a new restoration from the original camera negative.

The disc includes widescreen and full screen versions of the movie, an interview with writer/producer/director Niko Mastorakis (Island of Death, Bloodtide, Nightmare at Noon) and another with the performer who played the daughter in the movie. You’ll also receive tracks from the original soundtrack, trailers and a stills gallery.


Kino is putting out a Blu-ray of the German comedy, The Man in Search of His Murderer (1931) aka Looking for His Murderer. It follows a depressed man who hires an assassin to kill him in the future, only to change his mind soon after making the deal. It also comes with a film historian commentary.

And you can pick up the Blu-ray box set, Western Classics II. It contains the films The Redhead from Wyoming (1953), Pillars of the Sky (1956) and Gun for a Coward (1957). Movie expert commentaries and trailers are included as bonuses on each disc.

Code Red is presenting a Special Edition Blu-ray of the action flick, Blastfighter (1984). It’s about a cop who is released from prison after murdering his wife’s killer. He moves to rural Georgia, but soon squares off against some poachers and a scientist conducting experiments on the animal population. Those who pick it up will receive a commentary track with the star of the movie, new interviews with the cast and crew and a trailer.

And for those interested, writer/director Quentin Tarantino (Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, The Hateful Eight, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood) is apparently a big fan of this little movie.

Hansel & Gretel (2007) is an extremely well-regarded, South Korean update of the fairy tale which features sinister children residing in the fabled gingerbread house who are looking for a new guardian. Critics called it one of the best chillers of its era during its original release. Media Blasters is presenting this film on Blu-ray. There’s currently no word yet on whether this edition will include any bonus features.

Universal is also adding a few Blu-rays into the mix. They are putting out the stoner comedy, How High (2001) with Method Man and Redman.

The Last Days (1998) is a critically-acclaimed documentary about Hungarian Jews who survived Auschwitz that was produced by Steven Spielberg. The studio will be making this title available on Blu-ray as well.

Universal is also releasing a Blu-ray of the comedy, Little Miss Marker (1980), with Walter Matthau and Julie Andrews. Matthau plays a gruff bookie who receives a 5-year-old child as collateral on a bet and begins taking care of the youngster. I have no memory of this movie at all, but it seems to have a following and be reasonably well-rated online. Finally, you can also pick up the war/romance film Tap Roots (1948) on Blu-ray, starring Van Heflin, Susan Hayward and Boris Karloff.


There isn’t a whole lot right now for kids, but youngsters (and those who were children in the 1980s) may get a kick out of the animated series listed below from Warner Archive.

Thundarr the Barbarian: The Complete Series (1980-1981) Warner Archive


And here are all of the TV-themed releases coming your way.

Finding Joy: Series 2

Love on Harbor Island / Love Under the Olive Tree (Hallmark 2-movie Collection DVD)

NOVA: Beyond the Elements (PBS)

Thundarr the Barbarian: The Complete Series (1980-1981) Warner Archive


By Glenn Kay
For the Sun