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You are here: Community Film Blu-ray/DVD Roundup for March 18, 2022

Blu-ray/DVD Roundup for March 18, 2022

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It’s time for another look at new releases coming your way on Blu-ray and DVD. Once again, there is an interesting mix of big Hollywood releases and independent fare. So, if you can’t or shouldn’t be heading out to the movies this week, be sure to give one of these titles a try.

BIG NEW RELEASES!

THE BOY BEHIND THE DOOR: This chiller follows a 12-year-old and his best friend who are abducted on their way home from school.

After breaking free from his confinement, one of the youngsters gets into the hallways and tries to find a way to locate and rescue his pal. He soon discovers that this kidnapper also has a cohort, making it even harder to avoid capture, get out and find help.

Response towards this horror picture was very strong. One or two were frustrated by the choices made by the main characters, saying their bad decisions only occurred to keep everyone in peril. However, all others called the protagonists likable and the movie remarkably tense, noting that genre fans would undoubtedly be impressed.

It stars Lonnie Chavis, Ezra Dewey, Kristin Bauer, Scott Michael Foster and Micah A. Hauptman.

ENEMIES OF THE STATE: Matt DeHart and his family are the subjects of this documentary. The young man came from a family in the US military and took a position as an intelligence analyst, eventually making claims that he had found documents implicating the CIA in a horrific hoax.

He was discharged from his job and later arrested for receiving child pornography. The filmmakers talk with DeHart and tell his bizarre story. It involves espionage, corporate secrets and how the US government targeted his family.

Reviews were good but not exceptional for this feature. Those who disliked the film said that it was impossibly difficult to discern truth from fiction and that the end result was confusing. The majority said that while the film was muddled with contradictory conspiracy theories, it was fascinating to watch and would leave viewers questioning everything they saw.  This is a DVD-only release.

JOHN AND THE HOLE: A creepy 13-year-old gets a nasty idea after discovering a large unfinished bunker in the woods near his home.

He decides to drug his well-to-do parents and older sister and hold them hostage inside the area. They awaken confused, trying to convince their son to let them out. In the meantime, he attempts to divert suspicion as various people drop by to visit family members.

This arthouse thriller received slightly more recommendations from critics than it did pans. A number of write-ups did suggest that the feature was pretentious and too low-key, lacking any suspense and tension. However, more complimented the performances and stated that the movie was an eerie and, at times, darkly funny coming-of-age picture.

It features Charlie Shotwell, Michael C. Hall, Taissa Farmiga and Jennifer Ehle.

PROJECT ‘GEMINI’: After a virus wipes out most of the human population, a group of survivors are launched into the deepest regions of outer space in the hopes of terraforming a new world. As it turns out, they have been led to this planet after recovering a secret ancient alien artifact.

The journey goes badly and the crew find themselves trapped on a hostile world where they begin dying mysteriously. Currently, there aren’t a great many write-ups for this Russian film (which apparently was shot years ago and was extensively reshot) and the ones that have appeared have been less-than-complementary.

They make the case that the movie looks very slick and has decent special effects, but that the story and acting are wooden. They also commented that the plot borrows heavily from films like ‘Alien’ and ‘Prometheus’ but isn’t nearly as effective. The cast includes Egor Koreshkov, Dmitriy Frid and Alyona Konstantinova.

RIFKIN’S FESTIVAL: A retired ex-film professor, movie snob and hypochondriac travels with his publicist wife to the San Sebastian Film Festival in Portugal.

Once there, he teases and makes fun of the moviemaker whom his spouse represents, causing tension in his already strained marriage. He wanders around town and meets a friendly young doctor, causing him to question his relationship and the choices he has made in life.

The latest from Woody Allen split critics, with slightly more giving the movie negative reviews than positive ones. Close to half suggested that while it wasn’t the best title in the filmmaker’s catalog, this was a beautifully shot and likable homage to classic cinema with a few interesting observations about aging. Alas, more complained that the film wasn’t sharp or edgy enough and felt like a very average effort.

It features Wallace Shawn, Gina Gershon, Louis Garrel and Christoph Waltz.

WEST SIDE STORY: This remake of the 1957 stage musical and the Best Picture Oscar-winning 1961 feature film comes from Steven Spielberg (“Jaws,” “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” “Schindler’s List,” “Jurassic Park,” “Saving Private Ryan,” “Lincoln).

It details the rivalry between two teenage gangs of different ethnic backgrounds and a love affair that blooms among two members with connections to the separate groups. Critics were impressed with the feature and it has been nominated for seven Academy Awards.

A small handful critiqued the movie for being a nostalgic copy of the original movie that didn’t update the themes and felt rather unnecessary. Still, the consensus was that the picture was a technical marvel with great music and performances and that it would ultimately wow viewers. It stars Ansel Elgort, Rachel Zegler, Ariana DeBose, David Alvarez, Rita Moreno, Brian d’Arcy James and Corey Stoll.

BLASTS FROM THE PAST!

 

There are a ton of older titles arriving in high definition as well.

 

Arrow Video put out a wonderful Blu-ray Special Edition of the great horror/comedy “An American Werewolf in London (1981) a year or so ago. Now they are rereleasing it as a Limited Edition 4K Ultra HD. If you already have the Blu-ray then you’re fine, but if you have a 4K set-up you can now see the picture and all of the bonuses with even sharper picture quality.

If fantasy films are more to your liking, the distributor also have “The Sword and the Sorcerer” (1982) in a 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray set. It’s a fantasy picture in the mold of “Conan the Barbarian (which had just arrived in theaters and was a big hit).

The 4K Ultra HD disc includes the movie with a director commentary track. The Blu-ray contains the same scan of the picture at a slightly lower resolution, plus the commentary, interviews with the director, the co-writer/co-producer, the editor, various make-up and special effects artists and a tribute to one of the stuntmen who worked on the feature. You’ll also receive trailers and a TV spot.

 

Paramount have plenty of Blu-rays as well. They include the drama “The Accused (1988) with Jodie Foster and Kelly McGillis, the action flick “Aeon Flux (2006) starring Charlize Theron and the drama, “Babel” (2006).

YOU KNOW, FOR KIDS!

 

Here are a few titles that may appeal to kids.

“Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Playtime with Daniel!” (PBS) DVD

“Pokemon: The Series: Black & White Rival Destinies” The Complete Season

“The Proud Family” The Complete Series & Movie DVD

By Glenn Kay
For the Sun