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You are here: Community Film Blu-ray/DVD Roundup for Sept. 6, 2022

Blu-ray/DVD Roundup for Sept. 6, 2022

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Welcome to another look at the latest features being released on Blu-ray and DVD. There are definitely some noteworthy ones coming your way in a wide variety of genres. So, if you can’t make it out to the movies this week or need to spend some time indoors, be sure to give one of these titles a try!

BIG NEW RELEASES!

ANNE AT 13,000 FT:.This Canadian drama details the life of a 27-year-old daycare worker in Toronto. Socially awkward and moody, viewers witness her bicker and fight with colleagues, as well as struggle to maintain relationships. During one celebration, she decides to go skydiving. The experience of floating above it all immediately changes her attitude… but will it alter her generally negative outlook?

The press responded well to this feature. A small contingent found the difficult lead character hard to relate to and ultimately found the experience disagreeable. However, the vast majority were deeply impressed and thought it was an impressive and complex character study with excellent performances. They also believed that it handled mental health issues in a believable and compelling way.

It stars Deragh Campbell, Dorothea Paas and Matt Johnson.

HAPPENING: Adapted from a well-regarded novel by Annie Ernaux and set in 1963, this tale involves a bright young student in France who discovers she is pregnant. With her body beginning to show a large bump, the working-class lead has to deal with the social ramifications of the situation, as well as deciding whether or not to go through with an abortion. In addition, she must finish her exams in order to have any hope of a career.

Notices were exceptional for this French foreign-language feature. In fact, there has only been one negative write-up for the picture. That one had issues with some of the changes from the source material. Everyone else thought that while it was a rough ride for viewers, they said it was expertly told and honest with a subject that was very relevant.

The cast includes Anamaria Vartolomei, Kacey Mottet Klein and Sandrine Bonnaire.

MINIONS: THE RISE OF GRU: This spin-off of the “Despicable Me” series and sequel to the 2015 effort “Minions” is a prequel that picks up with Gru as a 12-year-old boy aspiring to join a team of supervillains. Of course, the sinister group of double-crossing baddies he wants to befriend have no interest in accepting the youngster’s application. When Gru and the Minions find themselves in possession of a wanted artifact, they end up squaring off against the evil organization.

More critics enjoyed this follow-up than panned it. About one-third commented that the end results were uninspired and that it wouldn’t linger in the memory for very long. However, more thought that the picture was a fast-paced effort with good voice-acting that would entertain kids. The voice cast includes Steve Carell, Taraji P. Henson, Michelle Yeoh, RZA, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Lucy Lawless, Dolph Lundgren, Danny Trejo, Russell Brand, Julie Andrews and Alan Arkin.

MRS. HARRIS GOES TO PARIS: A widowed cleaning lady in London sees a couture Dior dress and decides to do whatever it takes to get one of her own. After working, gambling and starving to earn the necessary funds, she heads off to Paris in order to purchase one of these valuable dresses. Her trip becomes something of an adventure as she meets new people and changes her outlook on life.

This period comedy/drama from the UK earned a great deal of raves from reviewers. A tiny number complained that the story was too twee and good-natured, actually turning them off. However, the consensus was that the lead performer and the film itself had an irresistible charm and would leave a smile on the face. They also said that the costumes were stunning and that the cinematography was gorgeous. Lesley Manville, Isabelle Huppert, Jason Isaacs, Anna Chancellor and Lambert Wilson.

THE NAN MOVIE: Based on a popular sketch comedy show in the UK, this effort follows an outrageous, foul-mouthed grandmother and her exasperated family. It begins with her grandson attempting to reconnect the lead with her sister. The two head out on a road trip from London to Dublin, getting in crazy situations along the way as Nan causes trouble.

This title was uniformly panned by reviewers. Sadly, all of them suggested that this character had no business starring in a feature-length film, that her shenanigans wore thin quickly and that the movie was unfunny and poorly put-together. Apparently, word online is that there was trouble behind the scenes as well - the director tried to have her name taken off the film after the producers reshot large portions of the movie.

This is a DVD-only release. Catherine Tate, Matthew Horne, Katherine Parkinson and Parker Sawyers headline the film

PARADISE HIGHWAY: After discovering that the life of her convict brother is being threatened by a prison gang, a trucker is forced to bail her sibling out by agreeing to transport a mysterious load of illegal cargo. This driver is shocked to find the FBI on her trail as she travels across the country. Things become more complicated when the protagonist discovers that she is moving a little girl as part of a human trafficking operation.

Critics were unimpressed by this crime/thriller. A few thought that while predictable, the cast were compelling enough to keep them watching. Unfortunately, everyone else wrote that while well-intentioned, the performers were wasted and that the end result was neither tense nor memorable.

The cast includes Juliette Binoche, Morgan Freeman, Frank Grillo, Cameron Monaghan, Hala Finley and Christiane Seidel.

SPITFIRE OVER BERLIN: This World War II tale is set in 1944 and involves a major American Air Force raid over Nazi Germany. Hours before the operation is set to begin, a member of British Intelligence learns that the team may be flying into a trap. He decides to go on a life-or-death mission on his own in an unarmed aircraft to Berlin and obtain photographic evidence of the enemy lying in wait.

This low-budget UK production hasn’t been seen by many in North America and the reviews that have appeared online have been mixed. Most of them suggest that the aerial footage is very well shot and exciting to watch. However, they also complained about the corny dialogue, suggesting the screenplay could have used some fine-tuning before cameras rolled. Kris Saddler, Tom Gordon and David Dobson headline the film.

BLASTS FROM THE PAST!

If you’re looking for something older, there are plenty of options out there.

The fantastic thriller “Blow Out” (1981) is being given a 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray upgrade from Criterion. This effort stars John Travolta as a sound recordist out collecting background sound for the movie he’s working on. When he accidentally records a crash, his life is put in danger and he is targeted by a hitman.

Inspired by the British/Italian film “Blow-Up” (1966), this feature from Brian De Palma (“Phantom of the Paradise,” “Carrie,” “Dressed to Kill,” “Scarface,” “The Untouchables,” “Carlito’s Way,” “Mission: Impossible” “Femme Fatale”) is a visual treat (with some great single master shots) and very exciting, with a memorable finale. This disc obviously contains a new and even better restoration of the film. It also includes all of the previously released extras from earlier editions.

Kino is presenting the French crime/thriller “The Cop” (1970) on Blu-ray. The story involves a once honest cop (Michel Bouquet) who turns bitter and goes rogue against his criminal rivals. You’ll get a 4K restoration of the film, a movie critic audio commentary and a trailer.

The Russell Crowe/Christian Bale western remake of “3:10 to Yuma” (2007) is getting the special treatment from Lionsgate. They are putting out a Best Buy Exclusive Steelbook that contains a 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray of the title with improved picture quality. It comes with previously released bonuses like a filmmaker commentary, documentaries on the production and numerous featurettes.

Paramount is making a 4K Ultra HD set available of a pair of recent, popular chillers. The “A Quiet Place 2-Movie Collection” contains “A Quiet Place” (2018) and “A Quiet Place 2” (2020) with the highest quality picture and sound. Alas, no Blu-rays of the features come with this release, so make sure that you have the proper TV set-up before purchasing.

The studio’s big release of the week is “Star Trek: The Motion Picture - The Director’s Edition Remastered” in 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray. For those unfamiliar with the story behind this 1979 hit, late director Robert Wise (“The Day the Earth Stood Still,” “West Side Story” The Sound of Music”) ran a little short of time and money in completing the picture back in the day.

Several years later, he was allowed to correct and add some of his issues with the visual effects for DVD, as well as tinker with a few other elements. The final result was a more visually striking picture. Now, after being out-of-print for years, the version with the alterations has been upgraded once again for 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray. There are several editions of this release and many have different extras, so you’ll have to go over the specs of each one to choose which set meets your needs.

And if you’re looking for more, you can also pick up the “Star Trek: The Original Motion Picture 6-Movie Collection” with 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray versions of the first six franchise movies (the ones starring William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy and the rest of the original crew). Again, these contain the movies with upgraded picture quality and “Stark Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” (1982) includes both the theatrical and (even more impressive) extended cuts of the film with upgraded picture quality.

Speaking of improved transfers, Shout! Factory is presenting a new edition of “The Funhouse” (1981) 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray. This is an underrated little slasher film from Tobe Hooper (“The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”) about a group of kids who get far more than they bargained for after deciding to sneak into a carnival funhouse for the night after it closes. They accidentally witness a murder and get picked off themselves.

Besides the improved image, this release contains all of the previously released extras and new interviews with a few cast members and special effects artist Craig Reardon.

Universal is delivering the recent sequel “Halloween Kills” (2021) in a 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray special Steelbook package. This one is a Best Buy Exclusive and can only be purchased through their store.

The distributor is also providing the “Minions 2-Movie Collection” on Blu-ray, containing the original “Minions” (2015) and the new sequel “Minions: The Rise of Gru” (2022) all in one package.

YOU KNOW, FOR KIDS!

Here are some titles that should appeal to children.

“Minions: The Rise of Gru” (Universal) Blu-ray

“Minions 2-Movie Collection – Minions and Minions: The Rise of Gru” (Universal) Blu-ray

“Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go - Special Delivery” (Ncircle) DVD

ON THE TUBE!

And here are the week’s TV-related releases.

“Chicago P.D.” Season 9 (Universal) DVD

“Freddie Mercury: The Final Act” (BBC) DVD

“Hallmark 2-Movie Collection: A Tail of Love & Always Amore” (Hallmark) DVD

“NCIS: Hawaii” Season 1 (Paramount) DVD

“Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go - Special Delivery” (Ncircle) DVD

“Young Sheldon” Season 5 (Warner Bros.) Blu-ray

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