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You are here: Community Film Blu-ray/DVD Roundup for March 25, 2022

Blu-ray/DVD Roundup for March 25, 2022

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Welcome to another look at Blu-ray and DVD highlights headed your way. There’s plenty of interesting and unique material in this edition that is both new and old. 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!

6:45: A man decides to try and revitalize his strained relationship by taking his girlfriend on vacation to an island resort. Immediately upon arriving, the pair are surprised at how deserted the place is.

After looking around town, they discover that the locale not only has a violent history, but that there is also a strange time loop present. The two must overcome their personal problems to help each other break a horrible cycle of events.

Reaction towards this independent horror picture was more positive than negative. A group of write-ups called the movie intriguing but ineffective and suggested that it lost momentum as it progressed. Still, the overall consensus was the leads were very strong and that their performances helped sell this disturbing and chilly picture. It stars Michael Reed, Augie Duke, Thomas G. Waites, Remy Ma and Armen Garo.

DREAMING HOLLYWOOD: After years toiling on a screenplay involving miscreants and social outcasts, an eccentric ex-con decides to take his finished work to Hollywood.

His pitch doesn’t go well and every executive in town rejects the project. To make ends meet, the protagonist is forced to take a job working for a local crime outfit. His frustration turns to rage when he discovers that someone has stolen his script and is shooting it.

He decides to seek revenge and turn parts of his violent screenplay into reality.

This picture was recently released on streaming platforms and is now debuting on disc, but there are only a couple of online reviews available. Some called it a rip-off of a Quentin Tarantino picture that simply didn’t measure up, while others liked the homages and found it amusing. The cast includes Turk Matthews and Mark Eliot.

FOR THE LOVE OF MONEY: In this thriller, a woman walks away from a successful but highly illegal billion-dollar family business.

After spending years living as a single mom, the lead’s past catches up with her when her teenage daughter’s life is threatened by the organization. The protagonist agrees to assist them, but also decides to use the opportunity to take control of the operation and eliminate those who have been threatening her loved ones.

There aren’t many notices available for this title and the few that have appeared haven’t been complementary. They contend that the feature is routine, predictable and corny, also noting that several of the main performers have a stronger background in the music industry and aren’t the best of actors. Keri Hilson, Katt Williams, Rotimi, Keith Sweat, Jazzy Jade, Jason Mitchell, D.C. Young Fly and Cedric Pendleton headline the feature.

NIGHTMARE ALLEY: The highest profile release of the week is this Oscar-nominated period thriller. It follows a man on the run from the law. He starts working for a traveling carnival, where he picks up tricks of the trade and develops his own act as a clairvoyant.

After trying to branch out on his own and using his skills to grift money from the wealthy, he soon finds himself in grave danger when one of his schemes goes awry.

Based on the William Lindsay Gresham novel (which was previously adapted to film in 1947), the press gave this version high marks. A small contingent didn’t think it was as effective as the original feature, stating that it was overlong and slow-moving.

However, most enjoyed the performances, thought it was visually spectacular and liked the underlying themes about greed and selfishness. It features Bradley Cooper, Rooney Mara, Cate Blanchett, Ron Perlman, Toni Collette, Mary Steenburgen, Willem Dafoe, David Strathairn and Richard Jenkins.

RISE OF THE MACHINE GIRLS: Inspired in part by the 2008 Japanese cult flick “The Machine Girl and its sequels, this foreign-language feature is set in a lawless future where the wealthy pay top dollar for replacement organs.

In order to help their poor parents, two sisters are forced to sell off body parts to a harvesting ring. A hitman crosses paths with the pair and decides to help them get payback for the horrible things that have been done to them. He fashions a series of elaborate attachable weapons that they begin using to wipe out the criminal organization.

There aren’t many reviews available for the picture in this part of the world and those that have appeared have been negative. They suggest that the film is hampered by a low-budget and, despite the concept, isn’t outrageous enough to entertain cult movie fans. Kanon Hanakage and Yûya Ishikawa star in the feature.

BLASTS FROM THE PAST!

Those looking for something a little older will have no shortage of titles to choose from this week.

Arrow Video are premiering the award-winning Japanese feature “To Sleep So as to Dream” (1986) on Blu-ray for the first time outside of Japan. It’s a silent film involving a detective hired by an actress to find her kidnapped daughter. The movie was very well received at festivals and made a big impression on Japanese film fans.

This Special Edition features a new restoration of the image and a featurette on the conversion process, a filmmaker and lead actor commentary (recorded back in 2000), a movie expert commentary, a discussion with a cast member and expert on Japanese film culture (who also serves as a narrator for Japanese silent films when they are screened in public), fragments of silent shorts that inspired the movie, stills, trailers and more!

They are also presenting the Shaw Brothers picture “Come Drink with Me” (1966) as a Special Edition Blu-ray.

After the Governor’s son is taken hostage by bandits, a mysterious figure with a sword is sent to retrieve the youngster. To the surprise of the villains, it is soon revealed the skilled fighter is a woman.

The disc comes with a film historian commentary, multiple interviews with the lead as well as other co-stars, a lengthy 2003 documentary on the wuxia genre, in addition to publicity materials for the feature and other movies.

 

Blue Underground are presenting a remastered Special Edition of “Daughters of Darkness” (1971) on Blu-ray. This is a vampire feature about a Hungarian countess and protégé who attempt to seduce and turn a vacationing couple at a seaside resort.

The Blu-ray image comes from a 4K restoration and the disc arrives with three commentaries (one with the co-writer/director, another with the star and a third featuring a critic), interviews with the stars, as well as the director and co-producer. You’ll also get a ton of publicity materials for the movie.

Recently, the same distributor put out a phenomenal 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray set of the Robert Forster/Fred Williamson independent action picture, “Vigilante” (1982). Now, they are delivering a Blu-ray only edition for those who don’t have the more elaborate home set-up. It comes with all the same bonus goodies from the previous edition.

 

MVD Visual are presenting a Collector’s Edition of the low-budget horror flick “Bryan Loves You” (2008) on Blu-ray. It’s about a psychotherapist who moves to a small Arizona town and discovers that most of the residents belong to a cult.

This disc has a 2008 director commentary and a new audio track recorded by the filmmaker in 2022, as well as interviews with cast members George Wendt, Tiffany Shepis, Daniel Roebuck and Brinke Stevens.

 

“The Flight of the Phoenix” (1965) is an Oscar-nominated disaster picture about a cargo plane that crashes in the Sahara. With food and water running out, the crew have to figure out a way to get to safety.

Criterion are presenting the movie on Blu-ray with a 2K picture restoration. Extras include a conversation with a scholar alongside fan of the movie and director Walter Hill (“The Warriors,” “48 Hrs.,” “Streets of Fire”) talking about the picture, a discussion with a biographer about co-star James Stewart and his experience as a pilot, as well as a trailer.

 

Those who belong to the Disney Movie Club have a big release this week with the animated classic, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” (1937). This is an 85th Anniversary Edition that includes a Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Code for the film.

While the details haven’t been sent my way, you can be sure that it’ll be jam-packed with extras as well. And if you aren’t a member of the Disney Movie Club, just be patient, some of their higher profile titles often end up arriving on store shelves a few months down the road.

Icarus Films are putting out a Blu-ray of “Alain Resnais: Five Short Films” (1949-1957), which, as you might have guessed, is a collection of shorts made by the French filmmaker early in his career before moving onto features like the Oscar-nominated “Hiroshima Mon Amour” (1959).

Kino are always good for some interesting Blu-rays. This week sees the release of the romance “Back Street” (1941), the Bing Crosby/Fred Astaire musical “Blue Skies” (1946), and the Gary Cooper/Shirley Temple drama, “Now and Forever” (1934). All three titles feature new 2K masters of the image, film historian commentaries and trailers.

They are also presenting the recent David Cronenberg drama “Eastern Promises” (2007) as a 4K and Blu-ray set (you can also purchase the Blu-ray on its own). This London-set film stars Viggo Mortensen as a gangster who crosses paths with a midwife who knows a damaging secret that could cause trouble for   his employers.

The director of photography approved and color-graded this edition. It also comes with a new interview with the screenwriter and all of the previously released extras from earlier editions.

If you enjoyed the thriller “Fatale” (2020) with Hilary Swank, Mike Colter and Michael Ealy, Lionsgate are making it available as 4K Ultra HD and digital package with upgraded image quality. Interested parties should take note that there is no Blu-ray included in this release.

 

Speaking of 4K upgrades, they also have “The Hunger Games: Ultimate Steelbook Collection” containing all four movies in the series that were made between 2012 and 2015. This set contains 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray discs of each and every movie along with plenty of extras. This one is being listed as a Best Buy Exclusive, so you’ll have to head over to their website or store to get it.

 

Speaking of box sets, Paramount have several 4K 50th Anniversary “The Godfather Trilogy” box set. It includes “The Godfather” (1972), “The Godfather: Part II” (1974), “The Godfather: Part III” (1990) and the recently reedited take on the third chapter in the series, which is now titled “The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone” and features a few new elements.

The picture has been remastered and all of these classics look better than ever. You can pick up a 4K Ultra HD edition, a Blu-ray version, and even a Limited Collector’s Edition containing a book… seriously, whatever set up you may have at home, you’ll be able to find a version that suits you. Naturally, it comes with all kinds of bonuses that can’t all be listed here. But in addition to all of the previously released content, there are new extras included.

Powerhouse are a UK-based Blu-ray distributor whose products typically can’t be screened on North or South American Blu-ray players. This week, they have licensed a few of their titles for both the UK and US markets.

So, you can now pick up a Region A playable Blu-ray of the classic Mexican horror flick “La Llorona” (1933) and a Limited Edition of the Australian bushranger flick, “Mad Dog Morgan” (1976), starring Dennis Hopper in the title role. They are also presenting “The Phantom of the Monastery” (1934) and a Limited Edition of the western, “A Time for Dying” (1969).

All of these titles include new image restorations, commentaries, interviews and other bonus features. It’s great to see this company (who take great care with their films, much like Arrow Video, Blue Underground and other indie distributors) releasing discs in North America.

Another amazing outfit, Ronin Flix, have a Blu-ray of the horror/comedy, “Modern Vampires” (1998). It follows a descendant of Van Helsing hunting the undead in Hollywood. Most missed this flick during its original run, but it does feature an incredible cast that includes Casper Van Dien, Natasha Gregson Wagner, Gabriel Casseus, Kim Cattrall, Craig Ferguson, Natasha Lyonne, Natasha Andreichenko, Robert Pastorelli, Udo Kier and Rod Steiger.

The 2K master was struck from director Richard Elfman’s personal film print. He is interviewed for the release and takes part in a commentary track with lead actor Casper Van Dien. The disc also comes with a behind-the-scenes featurette and a trailer.

Shout! Factory also have a new title in their Select line. It’s the disaster flick “The Core” (2003), which features a group of scientists who have to save the Earth from total destruction by drilling down to its center and setting off an explosion to get the planet spinning again.

The feature stars Aaron Eckhart, Hilary Swank, Stanley Tucci, D.J. Qualls and Richard Jenkins. Apparently, the movie was given a 4K restoration from the original camera negative for this Blu-ray release. The disc has a director commentary, deleted and extended scenes with commentary, a look at the special effects and also comes with publicity materials.

VCI are presenting a Blu-ray called “Mexican Horror Classics: Double Feature” that includes “El Escapulario” (1957) and “Ladron de Cadaveres” (1968) in high definition.

Finally, Warner Archive are presenting the James Cagney WWI feature “Captains of the Clouds” (1942) as a made-to-order Blu-ray that can be purchased exclusively through Amazon.

YOU KNOW, FOR KIDS!

With the exception of one Disney exclusive, it’s a little quieter than usual for kid’s releases.

“Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” 85th Anniversary Blu-ray/DVD (Disney Movie Club Exclusive)

ON THE TUBE!

Here are all of the week’s TV-themed releases.

“Dexter: New Blood” (Showtime) Blu-ray

“Dr. Death” (Mini-Series) Blu-ray and DVD

VISIT: WWW.CINEMASTANCE.COM