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

Blu-ray/DVD Roundup for July 29

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Welcome to another look at highlights arriving on Blu-ray and DVD. This week is a big one, with a few major releases, in addition to some well-regarded independent fare. So, if you can’t make it out to the movies this week or need to keep yourself indoors, be sure to give one of these titles a try!

 

BIG NEW RELEASES!

DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS: The latest Marvel Universe superhero feature details a new adventure with the title character. The story begins with a teenage girl making contact with the lead. She explains that she has the ability to travel between alternate universes and that an evil figure is pursuing her in order to steal her powers. Doctor Strange attempts to protect the visitor, traveling to other universes in the process. In these strange worlds, the lives of notable characters have played out differently, adding complications for the heroes.

Reviews were generally upbeat for the feature. About 25% of write-ups complained that the tone was too dark and that a general feeling of superhero movie fatigue is now setting in. However, the overall consensus was that director Sam Raimi (the original “Evil Dead” film series, “Drag Me to Hell”) did manage to deliver thrills, shocks and throw in some unique horror elements to help the picture stand out from others of its ilk. It stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Elizabeth Olsen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Wong, Xochitl Gomez and Rachel McAdams.

THE LOST CITY: A reclusive romance/adventure novelist begins to lose her creative spark after the death of her husband. While being forced to promote her latest, less-than-stellar work on a tour with the cover model for her books, she is kidnapped by a billionaire. He demands the author travel to a hidden island in the Atlantic Ocean and help him locate a priceless jewel she noted in one of her tales. The sweet-natured but dense cover model sets out to rescue her, despite having absolutely no skills as a soldier.

It appears that the press generally had a good time with this picture. A small contingent called the movie unfunny and overly familiar nonsense that wouldn’t remain in the memory for long after the credits rolled. However, most found the chemistry between the leads irresistible and thought it was an amusingly sweet and sincere effort that harkens back to rom-com adventure films of old. Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum, Daniel Radcliffe, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Oscar Nunez, Patti Harrison and Brad Pitt headline the feature.

 

BLASTS FROM THE PAST!

This is a very busy week if you’re looking for high-definition upgrades of older titles.

Kino has plenty to choose from this week. You can pick up a Blu-ray of the thriller “El Cortez” (2006). Lou Diamond Phillips plays a man just released from a mental institution who gets involved with a gold mine scheme, a drug dealer and a femme fatale. It comes with a behind-the-scenes featurette, deleted scene and trailer.

One of their biggest releases is a 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray set of the wonderful science-fiction drama, “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” (2004). Jim Carrey stars as a depressed man who suffers a painful break-up and decides to have his memory of the relationship erased from his brain. He soon finds out that his subconscious isn’t as willing to let go of the past. Kate Winslet and Elijah Wood co-star. In addition to the restoration, it comes with all of the previously released bonuses from old DVD editions) and a new interview with the cinematographer. You can also pick up a standalone Blu-ray with the 4K film restoration.

Stanley Kubrick’s heist movie “The Killing” (1956) was previously released on Blu-ray by Criterion, but now Kino are presenting a 4K Ultra HD edition of the title. It arrives with a movie expert audio track and a trailer. Alas, there is no Blu-ray included, so interested parties should make sure they have a 4K Ultra HD set-up before purchasing.

If you’re looking for 4K Ultra HD exclusives, Lionsgate have you covered. They are presenting the comedy “Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar” (2021) on the format, as well as the Nicolas Cage action feature, “Primal” (2019). There are no Blu-rays included in these releases, just 4K Ultra HD versions and digital copies of the films.

Severin is releasing “The Eurocrypt of Christopher Lee Collection 2” Blu-ray set, which contains new restorations of obscurities like “Uncle Was a Vampire” (1959), “Secret of the Red Orchid” (1962), “Dark Places” (1974), “Dracula and Son” (1976), “Mask of Murder” (1988) and “Murder Story” (1989). It comes with numerous bonuses like commentaries and interviews, as well as a CD of the soundtrack from Dracula and Son.

Severin is also releasing the parody, “The Return of Captain Invincible” (1983) with Alan Arkin. In this tale, a once revered and now drunken superhero comes out of retirement to save the world. This set has two Blu-ray and a CD. Blu-ray one contains a theatrical cut of the movie with cast and crew interviews. The second Blu-ray has a Director’s Cut with commentary from filmmaker Philippe Mora (“Mad Dog Morgan,” “Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf,” “Communion”), and other bonuses relating to the director. The CD contains a soundtrack for the movie.

Shout! Factory has a Collector’s Edition 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray of the science-fiction/horror flick, “Species” (1995). Once jokingly referred to me by a film professional under the moniker, “The Monster is a Babe” (a more apt title, if you ask me), the movie features an alien who takes the form of an attractive woman in order to mate with human men and produce offspring that will take over the world. Besides the picture restoration, you’ll get all of the features included in previous releases like a commentary with the director and stars Natasha Henstridge and Michael Madsen, another track with the special effects team, an alternate ending, featurettes and more.

Universal is releasing and rereleasing a number of catalog titles on Blu-ray this week. They include “Beginners” (2010), “Captain Fantastic” (2016), “Changeling” (2008), “The Guest” (2014), “Hail, Caesar” (2016), “Ouija: Origin of Evil” (2016), “The Place Beyond the Pines” (2012) and the John Candy comedy, “Uncle Buck” (1989). There are some good movies in there!

 

YOU KNOW, FOR KIDS!

Alas, this edition is a bit of a thin one for kid’s releases, but there should be more next time.

 

ON THE TUBE!

And here are all of the TV-themed sets arriving this week.

“The 4400” The Complete Series (Paramount) Blu-ray

“The Gilded Age” Season 1 (Studio Distribution) DVD

“Night Gallery” Season 2 (Kino) Blu-ray

“Rocco Schiavone: Ice Cold Murders” Season 3 and 4 (Kino) Blu-ray

“Starhunter ReduX” The Complete Series (2017) (Shout! Factory) Blu-ray

 

V I S I T: WWW.CINEMASTANCE.COM

By Glenn Kay
For the Sun