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You are here: Community Film DVD/Blu-ray Roundup for July 29, 2016

DVD/Blu-ray Roundup for July 29, 2016

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Аnother week, another stack of interesting new releases on Blu-ray and DVD. Read on, because we’ve got the highlights for you below. 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!

The Boss - The title character in this release is a nasty businesswoman serving time for insider trading. After her release, she goes about trying to repair her image. The executive decides to do so by moving in with her personal assistant and helping out with her daughter’s Girl Scouts. Of course, the lead’s crudeness and aggressive tactics cause further problems. Reviews were poor; despite a couple of amusingly bizarre moments, most said the film was shrill and unfunny. Now viewers can make up their own minds. It stars Melissa McCarthy, Kristin Bell, Peter Dinklage, Kathy Bates, Kristen Schaal, and Cecily Strong.

Criminal - This action flick follows a psychopathic murderer who has the memories of a CIA agent implanted in his brain. Can the deranged convict process these visions and manage to stop an evil plot? The press didn’t really care, and disliked the end result. A few found it entertainingly silly, but the majority referred to it as a dull and preposterous action effort that left a good cast scrambling to make the most of a largely incoherent script. Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Tommy Lee Jones, Ryan Reynolds, and Gal Gadot headline the feature.

Hardcore Henry - Shooting from a first-person perspective (similar to a videogame) is the gimmick of this action picture. The title character wakes up without any memory and is forced to run around Moscow with thugs in pursuit while attempting to figure out what is happening. This movie split critics. Some described the elaborate stunts as dynamic and wrote that gamers would enjoy what they saw, while others said it all becomes very tiring and wears you down as it progresses. The cast includes Sharlto Copley, Danila Kozlovsky, Haley Bennett, and Tim Roth.

I Am Wrath - Boy, I can’t tell you how many times in the movies an ex-Black Ops member has a wife or daughter kidnapped or killed... and then seeks revenge. It happens again in this title, with the lead hunting down the gang responsible and unveiling a larger conspiracy in the process. The movie only earned a limited release and garnered terrible reviews. It was called a dull and predictable clone of, well, every other movie in this genre. The feature stars John Travolta as the man out for vengeance, as well as Christopher Meloni, Amanda Schull, and Rebecca De Mornay.

The Last Diamond - This French mystery/thriller (released as Le Dernier Diamant in its homeland) follows a recently paroled thief talked into one final heist — stealing a priceless diamond. Unfortunately for him, other criminals have the same idea, complicating his elaborate scheme. Notices were split right down the middle; some found it a light and enjoyable caper, but just as many believed the film was ultimately too inconsequential to recommend. Yvan Attal, Berenice Bejo, and Antoine Basler lead the cast.

River - An American doctor volunteering in Laos gets himself in over his head in this independently produced thriller. When he steps in to protect a woman from being attacked, he accidentally kills the assailant and becomes a fugitive from Thailand authorities. The press didn’t mind the end results; they didn’t exactly rave about it, but most reviews were positive, overall. They said the lead did a good job of displaying panic without a lot of dialogue, and the flick was reasonably tense. Rossif Sutherland, Sara Botsford, and Douangmany Soliphanh headline the feature.

Sing Street - The best-reviewed film of the week is this small, Irish musical comedy/drama from the director of Once. Set in Dublin in the early ’80s, the story follows a high-school kid who starts a band in an attempt to impress a local girl. Along the way, he begins to develop his own artistic style. Critics generally praised the final results. They called it a sweet little coming-of-age film with some great tunes and charming performances that will win over most viewers. It stars Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Aidan Gillen, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Jack Reynor, and Lucy Boynton.

Blasts From the Past!

Plenty of fascinating older titles are getting the high definition treatment, too. Criterion has a great one coming your way. Terrence Malick’s The New World (2005) stars Colin Farrell and retells the story of Pocahontas. It’s a beautifully shot and meditative effort that will impress many art-film fans (and may leave others scratching their heads). This Blu-ray edition includes new restorations of all three cuts of the feature, as well as an incredible assortment of extras that includes new interviews and documentaries about the making of the movie. Rest assured, fans of the feature will be very pleased with what they see.

On a completely different (and somewhat cheesier) note, Shout! Factory has some fun titles coming your way as well. They include The Boy Who Cried Werewolf (1973), a long-lost cult movie about a young boy who fears his father has turned into a werewolf. This one has been hard to come by for decades, so it’s great to see the feature getting released (and in high definition) after such a long wait. It comes with a trailer and still gallery.

Charles Bronson fans will also be able to buy a new “Special Edition” Blu-ray of Death Wish II (1982). The disc includes both the theatrical version and an unrated cut of the film. Additionally, it comes with an audio commentary from a Death Wish historian (!). Personally, I’m not as fond of this title as some of the others in the series, but it does have a couple good lines.

If you’re looking for some trashy fun, Shout! is also releasing a Blu-ray of amusingly titled schlock flick, Hellhole (1985). It’s about a woman who witnesses her mother’s murder, hits her head, and finds herself in an asylum being pursued by the killer. The disc includes an interview with cast member Mary Woronov and a trailer.

Kino also has some Blu-rays coming your way. Deadline - U.S.A. (1952) is a well-regarded but somewhat forgotten film noir starring Humphrey Bogart. It’s about a newspaper editor rushing to complete an expose of a local mobster before the paper is shut down. Additionally, they’ve got Five Miles to Midnight (1962), a crime flick about a man who manages to survive a horrific airplane crash, and then cajoles his estranged wife to collect on the life insurance policy anyway. It stars Sophia Loren, Anthony Perkins, and Gig Young.

Blue Underground has a triple-bill Blu-ray that includes three genre pictures from Italy. They include Baba Yaga (1973) aka The Devil’s Witch aka Kiss Me Kill Me; Night Train Murders (1975); and Strip Nude for Your Killer (1975)... don’t think you could get away with giving that title to a movie anymore.

Speaking of Italian genre pics, Severin is delivering the zombie flick, Dr. Butcher, M.D. aka Zombie Holocaust (1980) as a Blu-ray. It’s probably most famous for its graphic propeller scene. This Blu-ray set includes two separate cuts of the same movie; Dr. Butcher was the version released in the U.S. with a few added scenes for American audiences. The original version is superior (relatively speaking), but now you can own both versions on Blu-ray in the same package. It also comes with 2-and-1/2 hours of new bonus material.

Finally, you can order some new titles made-on-demand from the Warner Archive. They include About Face (1951), Act One (1963), A Cry in the Night (1956), Manhunt in the Jungle (1958), Stop the World, I Want to Get Off (1966), Stop, You’re Killing Me (1952). If you like your entertainment with gorillas, or at least a person in a gorilla suit (and let’s be honest, who doesn’t?), you can also pick up Born to be Wild (1995).

You Know, For Kids!

Here are some releases aimed at younger viewers.

LEGO Nexo Knights: Season 1

Where’s Huddles? The Complete Series (1970) (Warner Archive)

WordWorld: It’s Time For School

By Glenn Kay

For the Sun