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You are here: Community Film Blu-ray/DVD Roundup for Sept. 16, 2022

Blu-ray/DVD Roundup for Sept. 16, 2022

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Welcome to another look at Blu-ray and DVD highlights arriving on store shelves. It’s a remarkably busy week with several high-profile features, as well as well-received independent fare. There’s certainly something of interest available for anyone looking for something new. So, if you can’t make it out to the movies this week or need to stay away from crowds, be sure to give one of these titles a try!

 

BIG NEW RELEASES!

ABANDONED: A woman suffering from postpartum depression decides to move to the country with her husband and infant. They pick a remote farmhouse… always a bad idea! Soon after arriving, she begins witnessing strange apparitions. Her psychological issues begin to intensify as the family starts experiencing more and more phenomena, leaving the lives of everyone, including their newborn, in grave danger.

The press was not impressed by this independent horror film. A small number thought that while predictable, the lead performance kept them intrigued. The rest complained that the characters weren’t fully developed or relatable and that the final product wasn’t compelling or tense. It stars Emma Roberts, John Gallagher Jr., Paul Schneider and Michael Shannon.

ELVIS: The life of legendary rock and roll singer Elvis Presley is chronicled in this biopic from director Baz Luhrmann (“Moulin Rouge,” “The Great Gatsby”). While this version does detail many important moments from his life, it focuses primarily on the singer’s unusual relationship with manager Col. Tom Parker. In fact, the movie attempts to show how the performer was manipulated and controlled by his friend, which ultimately led to his downfall.

The movie received more positive write-ups than negative ones. Roughly one quarter thought that the flamboyant visual style overshadowed the actual story, leaving the characters underdeveloped and adding a layer of phoniness to the proceedings. However, the majority were dazzled, describing the movie as an enjoyable spectacle about a larger-than-life musician. They also admired the lead performer, who they believed was a perfect embodiment of Elvis. It stars Austin Butler, Tom Hanks, Helen Thomson, Richard Roxburgh and Olivia DeJonge.

WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING: Based on the bestselling novel by Delia Owens, this period drama/mystery involves a young woman in North Carolina who is abandoned by her family and decides to raise herself in the marshes outside of town. Despite isolating herself, she manages to find two suitors vying for her affection. So, when one of the men with ties to the reclusive lady is discovered dead, she becomes the prime suspect in his murder.

Unfortunately, this effort wasn’t very well received by the press. A small number described it as a well-shot, entertaining and slick adaptation of the novel with solid performances. Alas, the majority stated the movie wasn’t nearly as engrossing as the book, calling it overly glossy, corny and uninvolving. They also said that it failed to deal with the story’s themes of poverty and abuse in a compelling manner.

Daisy Edgar-Jones, Taylor John Smith, Harris Dickinson, Garret Dillahunt, Michael Hyatt and David Strathairn headline the movie.

 

BLASTS FROM THE PAST!

And there are just as many older features receiving the high-definition treatment.

First off, this writer is impressed to see “Massacre at Central High” (1976) arriving on Blu-ray from Synapse Films. This exploitation flick about a violent revolution within a California school became a cult sensation after “New York Times” critic Vincent Canby saw and praised the feature. He called it a sharp and edgy political and social metaphor. Many agreed, but the film fell out-of-print and has been hard to find for some time.

Synapse have spent a great deal of time remastering and restoring the film for Blu-ray. The disc arrives with a lengthy documentary on the production featuring interviews with crew and cast members (including Andrew Stevens, Derrel Maury, Robert Carradine and many more). Additionally, it comes with a commentary track featuring interviews with those who appeared in the picture, as well as another audio track containing an interview with director Rene Daalder. You’ll also get all sorts of publicity materials like trailers, TV and radio spots, as well as still for the film. This Blu-ray is a real winner.

Kino is also delivering some impressive films on Blu-ray. They include the Arthur Kennedy/Peggy Dow wartime drama, “Bright Victory” (1951). This film is being given a 2K restoration and comes with a movie critic commentary and trailers.

Paramount is delivering “The Addams Family” (1991) in a special 4K Ultra HD Steelbook package. It appears that no Blu-ray is included in this release.

Thankfully, the 35th Anniversary edition of the Michael Douglas/Glenn Close thriller “Fatal Attraction” (1987) is a 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray set with improved picture quality on both discs.

Not to be outdone, Shout! Factory is premiering the live-action/animation hybrid “Cool World” (1992) on Blu-ray. Directed by Ralph Bakshi (“Fritz the Cat,” “American Pop”), the story follows a comic strip vamp who tries to woo her cartoonist creator so that she can cross over into the real world. It stars Gabriel Byrne, Kim Basinger and a young Brad Pitt. This “Collector’s Edition” features a 4K restoration of the film from the original camera negative, a retrospective featurette on the movie with Basinger, Bakshi and more, as well as some trailers.

The horror classic “The Fog” (1980) is arriving in a 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray set. It includes new and improved image quality and all previously-released extras.

VISIT: WWW.CINEMASTANCE.COM

By Glenn Kay
For the Sun