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You are here: Community Film Bu-ray/DVD Roundup for April 1, 2022

Bu-ray/DVD Roundup for April 1, 2022

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Welcome back for another look at new arrivals on Blu-ray and DVD. This week, you’ll find a few big Hollywood features, as well as some interesting independent fare. So, if you can’t make it out or shouldn’t be heading out to the movies this week, be sure to give one of these titles a try!

BIG NEW RELEASES!


BLOOD ON HER NAME: This crime drama involves a cash-strapped woman who runs an auto shop. After accidentally causing the death of someone on her property, she considers hiding the body and covering it up. However, the lead is wracked with guilt and holes in her story begin to appear after being grilled by the town sheriff (who happens to be her ex-husband).

Reviews were very strong for this independent feature. A small number said that after a compelling start, the movie switched tones and didn’t work as effectively, ultimately petering out at the close. Still, the majority had a different reaction. They called it consistently tense and compelling, complimenting the work of the cast and suggesting that the finale packed a memorable and bloody punch.

The cast includes Bethany Anne Lind, Will Patton, Elisabeth Rohm, Jared Ivers and Jimmy Gonzales.

HAM ON RYE: Growing up is a tough process. This coming-of-age comedy features a large group of teens going through a strange rite of passage at their local deli. We see numerus kids from all parts endure an experience that will either help them escape their small, suburban hometown or doom them to stay there forever.

Critics enjoyed this independent movie and it earned plenty of accolades at film festivals just before the pandemic hit. There were one or two who thought it lacked focus and shifted around aimlessly from one character to another. Everyone else stated that the movie was intriguing, referring to it as a completely unique tale that would make one think about the difficulties of being young. According to press releases, it uses an expansive ensemble of over 100 performers, including non-actors, musicians, 90's Nickelodeon child stars and more.

THE LONG WALK: An unusual old man with special skills is the protagonist of this film from Laos. It is quickly revealed that he can talk to a spirit of a deceased woman who died in a road accident. She also has the ability to transport him into the past.

After locals request his help in getting information about a missing girl, he asks for assistance from his supernatural acquaintance. In addition to determining if her information is reliable, he must also deal with a personal tragedy.

This foreign-language feature won numerous awards at film festivals but hasn’t been seen by many in this part of the world. There are a few internet reviews available and those assessments have been upbeat. They suggest that while the movie is difficult to pin down and figure out, it is interesting and will appeal to arthouse aficionados with a taste for Asian features. The cast includes Yannawoutthi Chanthalungsy and Vilouna Phetmany.

MARRY ME: Two famous pop stars promoting a hit song together decide to tie the knot in front of their fans during a concert that is being streamed around the world. When the fiancée discovers that her singing partner has been cheating on her, she has an onstage meltdown. The performer glances to the crowd and proposes marriage to a man in the audience (who has been dragged to the show by his daughter). Shocked, he agrees and the two very different people try to make their new and unanticipated relationship work.

Response towards this romantic comedy was slightly more positive than negative. Those who didn’t care for it called it a bland, formulaic and unmemorable effort that wasted an intriguing concept. Still, more liked the lead performers and enjoyed the music so much that they forgave the familiar storyline. In the end, they called the feature a fun and toe-tapping ride.

It stars Jennifer Lopez, Owen Wilson, Chloe Graham, Maluma and Sarah Silverman.

ON THE 3rd DAY: This Argentinian horror/fantasy feature begins with a mother and son getting into a car accident with a Catholic priest. Three days later, she awakens in a basement without her child.

The lead frees herself and wanders down a desolate road, searching and tries to recall what might have happened over the past 72 hours. The protagonist soon begins to suspect that a sinister group may have been involved and taken her boy.

The Spanish-language film hasn’t been seen by many members of the press in North America. It has played at several genre movie festivals, where it received plenty of praise. Those who saw it called the movie a tense and exciting puzzle with some excellent story twists and a disturbing finale. Mariana Anghileri, Octavio Belmonte, Gerardo Romano and Federico Aimetta headline the film.

PROJECT SPACE 13: Made last year during the quarantine, this low-budget independent comedy follows a pompous but unemployed New York City-based performance artist stuck in lockdown. With nothing else to do, he decides to hone his craft, but his thoughts and actions become decidedly stranger and stranger as time passes. According to press notes, this little feature came about out-of-the-blue when work on the director’s bigger project was delayed.

The movie runs just over an hour, but critics still enjoyed what they saw. A few reviewers did complain that, beyond poking fun at the art world, the movie didn’t have all that much to say. Still, the majority found the feature witty and enjoyed the jabs at egotistical artists, calling it an effective satire of the art world. It features Keith Poulson, Theodore Bouloukos and Jason Grisell.

PURSUIT: When the wife of a skilled hacker goes missing, the computer expert decides to cause trouble for the drug cartel that he believes knows about the disappearance. As it turns out, his father is the leader of this criminal organization. The protagonist tries to make a deal with cops, promising valuable information if they help retrieve his wife. It all leads to a bloody confrontation between all parties.

Notices were generally poor for this action film. One critic was amused by the overly complicated plot and enjoyed watching a talented cast ham it up in a B-movie. All others were very disappointed with the finished product, stating that the screenplay was flawed and that the lead actors were left adrift with the poorly written material. The cast includes Emile Hirsch, John Cusack, Jake Manley, Elizabeth Ludlow, Andrew Stevens and William Katt.

THE REQUIN: In this survival picture, a couple decide to head off on a romantic getaway in Vietnam. A violent tropical storm hits their beachfront villa and sends the structure hurtling into the sea. The pair wake up completely adrift and alone on the remains of the structure with sharks circling beneath. They try everything they can to attract attention as the villa slowly sinks and leaves them helpless.

Only genre critics appear to have seen this picture thus far. Sadly, most were not impressed. One wrote that while it was slow to get to the meat of the story, the final act was exciting to watch.

However, the majority complained that the film was actually a soapy melodrama and that it was well past the halfway point before the threat was introduced or anything of significance occurred. When the action did arrive, poor visual effects left a negative impression. It stars Alicia Silverstone and James Tupper.


SING 2: The singing animals return in this follow-up to the 2016 animated hit.

The performers are hired by a promoter to put on an elaborate show in Las Vegas. Naturally, completing businesses don’t want them to succeed. In addition to the stress involved in singing and dancing, the gang must attract crowds and sell tickets for the production. In order to do so, they try to convince a famous musician to join the cast.

Write-ups were reasonably good for this sequel. A smaller group complained that it would please youngsters but do little for parents watching with them. They felt it wasn’t as strong as the original feature and that the story wasn’t dynamic.

However, a little more than two thirds of them found the flick cute and charming. They noted that it was bright, colorful and had plenty of catchy tunes that would keep the entire family entertained. The voice cast includes Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson, Taron Egerton, Bobby Cannavale, Tori Kelly, Nick Kroll, Pharrell Williams, Halsey, Chelsea Peretti, Letitia Wright, Eric Andre, Jennifer Saunders, Garth Jennings, Nick Offerman and Bono.

WHO WE ARE: A CHRONICLE OF RACISM IN AMERICA: Documentary enthusiasts will be interested in this non-fiction title, which was nominated for and won several film festival awards last year.

The movie interweaves lecture, personal anecdotes and interviews. Lawyer Jeffrey Robinson chronicles the history of anti-Black racism in America, from its earliest beginnings to the modern myth of post-racial America.

The movie received a great deal of compliments from reviewers. Only one person gave it a negative notice, stating that they didn’t like the filmmaking approach of simply recording the speaker delivering a presentation in front of a live audience. Everyone else thought that Robinson was an excellent narrator and that he made his points effectively, in a way that would help people see the reality of persistent racism in the country.

WRITIING WITH FIRE: Here’s another documentary for anyone looking for more insight into situations around the world. This feature deals with newspapers in the country of India. Specifically, a group who started the country’s only news outlet run by women.

Viewers are introduced to chief reporter Meera and her team of journalists, who break barriers and traditions, presenting stories from a fresh and different perspective.

This picture was nominated for an Academy Award at the Oscars this year  (it lost to Summer of Soul) and received raves from the press. They called the movie dynamic and inspirational, delivering information about the country’s politics and noted that it built up plenty of tension as the team squares off against conservatives trying to stop the publication. For the time being, this title is being released exclusively on DVD.

BLASTS FROM THE PAST!

There are a great many older options coming your way this week.

The first title of note is actually a DVD from Corinth Films. This arthouse distributor has started a new line called “Drive-In Retro Classics,” which will be presenting several selections of B-movies in the coming months.

Their first title is the “Drive-In Retro Classics: Science-Fiction Triple Feature”, which contains “Rocketship X-M” (1950) featuring Lloyd Bridges, “The Brain from Planet Arous” (1957) and “The Hideous Sun Demon” (1958). These are all science-fiction and monster movies that were made outside of the studio system. The theatrical versions of all three titles are presented with an improved picture.


Arrow Video are rereleasing two of their titles. The slasher “Death Screams” (1982) was put out last year in the fall as a “Limited Edition” title. Now a standard “Special Edition” is arriving on shelves. You’ll get the same movie with a 2K restoration and almost all of the same bonuses.

And they are doing the same thing with “Phantom of the Mall” (1989), which is also coming out as a standard special edition. It looks like it’s missing a director’s cut and some printed stills from the set, but does include the theatrical version with all of the extras that were on that disc.

Criterion are presenting “The Last Waltz” (1978) on Blu-ray. This is a film recording of the final onstage performance by “The Band,” known for songs like “The Weight” and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” among many others.

Martin Scorsese directed the picture, which is considered one of the best and most immersive concert films ever made. The movie has been given a 4K digital restoration and the disc includes two audio commentaries featuring the director, members of the group, the production crew and other performers in the movie. There is also a new interview with Scorsese, a 2002 documentary on the movie, an outtake, interviews and a TV spot. It’s available as either a 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray set or a single Blu-ray.

Additionally, the distributor is putting out the drama, “Love Jones” (1997). It’s about a young black poet who begins seeing a photographer. In order to figure out if it’s a short-term or serious relationship, the two discuss love and sex, with the conversations getting more and more heated.

The movie arrives on Blu-ray with a 4K restoration supervised by the director. There is also an interview with the filmmaker, a panel discussion including the cast and crew and a trailer.


“The American Scream” (1988) is a horror/comedy arriving on Blu-ray courtesy of Culture Shock Releasing. It’s about a family vacationing in the mountain who are terrorized by residents in the area. The disc comes with an introduction to the feature and commentary track with the director, a restored teaser for the movie, a podcast chronicling the production of the movie and other trailers for genre flicks.

And you can pick up a Blu-ray of the Romanian animated science-fiction feature “Delta Space Mission” (1984) aka “Misiunea spatiala Delta” through Deaf Crocodile Films. The story follows a female alien onboard a spaceship with a computer that develops a dangerous crush on her. The disc has a new 4K scan of the picture from the original negative, an interview with the co-director, episodes of the short film series the title is based on, a film critic commentary and a new booklet essay on the feature.

Fun City Editions are presenting the steamy French coming-of-age drama “Bilitis” (1977) on Blu-ray. It contains a 4K restoration of the picture, an interview with the camera operator, a film critic commentary and a booklet with an essay on the movie

Genre fans can pick up a new, upgraded Blu-ray of “Tragedy Girls” (2017) aka “Gunpowder & Sky”, a more recent horror picture poking fun at the slasher genre. It’s about a pair of teens who decide to murder others in order to gain followers on their social media accounts. This edition comes with new interviews with the director and the co-writer, as well as never-before-seen behind-the-scenes footage, alongside all of the previously released extras from other editions.

“Cain and Abel” (1982) from Kani is a Filipino feature paying homage to the work of Sam Peckinpah (“Straw Dogs”). It involves a family feed that turns into a bloody fracas. This picture was the first title from the country to screen at the Cannes Film Festival. The Blu-ray includes numerous bonuses, including an appreciation of the movie, interviews with cast members, select archival materials on the film and a booklet with a new analysis of the title.

Kino have some interesting high-definition releases. “The Devil Strikes at Night (1957) is a German thriller about a serial killer committing crimes during World War II. Police arrest the wrong man and a detective takes it upon himself to hunt down the real culprit, who may be an important figure tied to the oppressive Nazi regime.

The movie was nominated for an Oscar and won several other awards during its run. The Blu-ray comes with a film historian commentary.


“Shakedown” (1950) follows a press photographer with connections to a gangster who ends up causing trouble and trying to create a mob war. You’ll receive a new 2K master of the movie, a film professor commentary and trailers.

They also have a Blu-ray box set called the “Edgar G. Ulmer Sci-Fi Collection” which contains “The Man from Planet X” (1951), “Beyond the Time Barrier” (1960) and “The Amazing Transparent Man” (1960). The last two titles arrive with a sharper 2K picture and all three of these fun B-movies come with multiple commentary tracks from movie experts and trailers.


Paramount Presents are delivering the Best Picture Oscar-winning drama “Ordinary People” (1980) on Blu-ray. It stars Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore and Timothy Hutton as a family being torn apart by tragedy.

Director Robert Redford oversees a 4K restoration of the picture and the disc also includes a featurette on Best Supporting Actor-winner Timothy Hutton. There’s also a discussion with the author of the book upon which the movie was based, a trailer and collectable packaging featuring a fold out image of the film’s theatrical poster.

Severin have a very busy week as well, with Blu-rays of the genre pictures “Ballad in Blood” (2016), “The Forbidden Door” (2009) aka “Pintu Terlarang,” “House on the Edge of the Park” (1980) (which includes both a Blu-ray and CD of the movie’s score) and “Out of the Blue” (1980). All of these cult films come full of extras like commentary tracks, interviews with cast and crew and much, much more. If you are a fan of any of these titles, you can’t go wrong.

The same goes for Vinegar Syndrome. They have new Blu-ray titles and reissues of recent discs like “Beware! Children at Play” (1989) and “Drop Dead Fred” (1991).

But their highest profile release is the Andy Warhol production of “Flesh for Frankenstein” (1973). Udo Kier leads the cast, giving an over-the-top and exaggerated take on the famous doctor who experiments with creating a human made out of different body parts. The set contains a 4K Ultra HD disc, a 3D Blu-ray (with two different 3D processes) and a regular Blu-ray of the movie. It seems the movie was given a new restoration and it also comes with just about every extra from every previous DVD or Blu-ray release.

They also have a Double-Feature Blu-ray of the cheesy B-movies “Hard Rock Zombies” (1985) and “Slaughterhouse Rock” (1988). The first movie has received a 2K restoration and comes with a making-of documentary, an interview with one of the actresses, a featurette on the special effects and plenty more. The second film has been given a 4K restoration and includes discussions with the cast and crew.

They also have a Blu-ray of the southern gothic thriller “Sister Sister” (1987) with Jennifer Jason Leigh and Eric Stoltz. It also marks the first film from director Bill Condon, who would go on to write the 2002 film adaptation of the musical “Chicago,” as well as direct “Gods and Monsters,” “Kinsey” and “Dreamgirls,” among many others. Besides the new 2K scan, you’ll get a commentary with Condon, interviews with the cast and crew and publicity materials.

Vinegar Syndrome have more releases this week like the new film “Sybil” (2019) and genre pictures like “Reform School Girls”(1986), but they are available as exclusives on their official website. Many of these titles will be covered in more detail in the coming weeks as they are put into general circulation at stores, but if you want to order any of them early, you should head directly to the official distributor website.

With the new release “Sing 2” hitting store shelves, Universal is presenting a Blu-ray set called the “Sing/Sing 2 Collection” which includes both titles in the series in one package.

Finally, Warner Archive are putting out made-to-order Blu-rays of “A Star is Born” (1937) and “The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm” (1962). These will be available exclusively through Amazon.

YOU KNOW, FOR KIDS!

Here are some titles for kids.

“Sing 2”

“Sing/Sing 2 Collection” (Universal) Blu-ray

ON THE TUBE!

And you’ll find all of the week’s TV-themed releases below.

“Magnum P.I.” The Complete Series (Mill Creek) Blu-ray

“Martha's Vineyard Mystery 3-Movie Collection: A Beautiful Place to Die, Riddled with Deceit & Ships In the Night” (Hallmark Channel) DVD

“Rick & Morty” The Complete Seasons 1 – 5 (Warner Bros) Blu-ray

“Street Sharks” The Complete TV Series (Discotek) Blu-ray

“Young Rock” Season 1 (Universal) Blu-ray