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You are here: Community Film Blu-ray/DVD Roundup for July 23, 2021

Blu-ray/DVD Roundup for July 23, 2021

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Welcome to another look at highlights arriving on Blu-ray and DVD. This is yet another busy edition filled with interesting titles in a wide variety of genres. 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!

AN AMERICAN IN PARIS: THE MUSICAL: Based on the 1951 feature film, this story was adapted to the stage in 2014 as a Tony Award-winning Broadway musical. The original was a grand success, featuring tunes written by George and Ira Gershwin. This theatrical recreation of the story retains all of the memorable numbers. The narrative follows a World War II veteran in France embarking on a career as an artist and falling for a socialite.

As you may have already guessed, this release is a recording of a 2018 production from London’s West End. There haven’t been a great many reviews of the disc yet, but the ones that have appeared online, state it is an impressively mounted show that will certainly impress theater fans. The cast includes Robbie Fairchild, Leanne Cope, Zoe Rainey, Sophie Apollonia and Daniela Norman.

HYDRA: This Japanese feature is set at a Tokyo sushi bar. A chef works quietly behind the counter, avoiding any sort of interactions with customers. The reason for his antisocial behavior soon becomes clear. This man feels compelled to secretly watch and protect the owner of the establishment.

When a crooked officer threatens the woman, we learn that the lead was once part of an organization devoted to eliminating police corruption. He soon realized that he may be forced into doling out his brand of justice. There aren’t many notices available for this feature yet and the ones that have appeared online are mixed. About half have complained that the characters and story aren’t well developed.

Still, all the write-ups note that the fight choreography and action is exceptionally handled. The cast includes Masanori Mimoto, Miu and Tasuku Nagase.

DREAM HORSE: Based on a true story, this biopic follows a woman who works as a bartender in a small Welsh town. Yearning for some excitement in her life, she overhears a conversation about breeding racehorses and tries to convince those in her community to pool their funds and give it a shot for themselves. They meet numerous obstacles along the way, but soon find their own horse competing professionally on the track. This British feature garnered a warm response from the press.

A few found it all a bit sentimental in its attempts to manipulate audiences. Still, the consensus was that the performers were first rate and that the picture was an amusing and sincere tale certain to earn goodwill from viewers. It stars Toni Collette, Damian Lewis, Owen Teale, Joanna Page and Karl Johnson. For the time being, this feature is being released exclusively on DVD.

JAKOB’S WIFE: A pastor’s wife begins to feel taken for granted by her husband after 30 years of marriage. After an old flame returns to town and tries to rekindle their old relationship, she really begins to consider a change. Unexpected, supernatural events occur and the woman discovers that she has powerful abilities and a new taste for blood. It leads to various realizations and confrontations that turn violent.

Overall, the press was very upbeat about this independent horror flick. A tiny number didn’t appreciate the humor and thought the movie was tonally unbalanced. Still, the consensus was that the leads were exceptional and that the film delivered plenty of laughs, memorable scenes and some insight into strained marriages. It stars Barbara Crampton, Larry Fessenden, Bonnie Aarons and Nyisha Bell.

BLASTS
FROM THE PAST!

It’s another remarkably busy week for older films receiving Blu-ray upgrades. receiving Blu-ray upgrades. Blue Underground is getting the ball rolling with an impressive “Limited Edition” 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray presentation of “Dead & Buried” (1981). This is a creepy horror gem that got lost in the shuffle during its initial release at theaters 40 years ago. The story involves a small-town cop investigating a series of violent slayings that appear to be the work of various locals.

The performances are excellent and the movie features plenty of thrills and chills that have slowly turned this film into a cult classic. Besides a major 4K restoration of the film with improved picture quality, the disc comes with four commentary tracks, behind-the-scenes footage, a look at the locations used in the feature, a new interview with the director and score composer, a discussion with the author of novelization and a special featurette on make-up effects man Stan Winston. You’ll also get an interview with co-writer Dan O’Bannon, a featurette on co-star Robert Englund (who would later star as Freddy Krueger in A Nightmare on Elm Street) and tons of publicity materials. Additionally, this set comes with a CD of the complete score, as well as a lengthy essay on the film and its importance in the horror genre.

This is an impressive set worth picking up.

 

2014 marked the release of the critically acclaimed documentary “Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films.” It chronicled the careers of eccentric producers Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus, who tried to create their own big Hollywood studio and made numerous films (most of which were incredibly cheesy) during the late ‘70s and ‘80s. As the previously mentioned documentary was being completed, the two subjects of the film decided to produce their own feature about their lives.

“The Go-Go Boys: The Inside Story of Cannon Films” (2014), is now getting a Blu-ray release, so those who want to hear their version of events can now pick it up. The disc comes with a trailer.

Scorpion is delivering the low-budget, Australian sci-fi/action picture,”The Time Guardian” (1987), on Blu-ray. It’s set in a desolate future where monsters rampage the land and follows a man as he travels back in time to try to save the world. The movie has been given a new HD master from a 2K Scan of the inter-positive and the disc also includes a trailer.

Shout! Factory is premiering “Eight Legged Freaks” (2002), on Blu-ray. This is an enjoyable, PG-13 genre film about a small desert town being invaded by giant, mutant spiders. It stars David Arquette and Kari Wuhrer and features an early appearance by a very young Scarlett Johansson as the female lead’s teenage daughter. The movie is being presented with a new 2K scan and comes with a newly created making-of featuring interviews with cast and crew members.

You’ll also get a previously recorded commentary with the director, producer and star Arquette. And there are eight added scenes included, as well as a trailer and a short film with a similar concept from the director.

If baseball is more to your liking, the distributor also has a Blu-ray of “Little Big League” (1994). The story involves a 12-year-old boy who inherits the Minnesota Twins baseball team and decides to manage them personally. Extras include interviews with cast members Luke Edwards and Timothy Busfield and a vintage behind-the-scenes featurette and a trailer.

 

“A Stranger is Watching” (1982) is a thriller from Sean S. Cunningham (“Friday the 13th,” “DeepStar Six”) about a mother and daughter who are kidnapped by a psychopath under Grand Central Station in New York City. The pair has to find a way to escape and fend off the maniac in the process. This feature has also been given a 2K restoration and comes with an interview and an introduction from Cunningham, a film historian commentary, and publicity materials.

YOU KNOW, FOR KIDS!

There isn’t much for kids this week, but if you’re desperate, you could try some older movies featuring comedian Jerry Lewis.

“Jerry Lewis – The Essential Twenty Film Collection” DVD

ON THE TUBE!

And here are all of the week’s TV-series releases.

“Aqua Teen Hunger Force” Volume 1

“Bordertown” Season 3

“The Brokenwood Mysteries”: Series 7

“Gangs of London” Season 1

“Great Performances: Broadway Musicals – A Jewish Legacy” (PBS)

“Hallmark 2-Movie Collection: Just the Way You Are & Be My Valentine” (Hallmark) DVD

“Head of the Class” Season 3

“Inside the Met” (PBS)

“Love in Design” (Hallmark) DVD

“NOVA: Fighting for Fertility” (PBS)

“Shameless” Season 11

“Star Trek: Discovery” Season 3

“The Walking Dead” Season 10

VISIT: WWW.CINEMASTANCE.COM

By Glenn Kay
For the Sun