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You are here: Community Film Blu-ray/DVD Roundup for Sept. 23, 2022

Blu-ray/DVD Roundup for Sept. 23, 2022

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Welcome to another look at some of the highlights coming your way on Blu-ray and DVD. This edition is a little quieter than normal, but does include a few notable releases in a wide variety of genres. So, if you can’t make it out to the movies this week or shouldn’t be going out to the cinema, be sure to give one of these titles a try!

 

BIG NEW RELEASES!

THE HISTORY OF METAL AND HORROR: This documentary focuses on horror movies and their long connection to heavy metal music. The filmmakers detail the history of the genre and identify when this music began to appear in features. In addition to discussions with genre directors and actors, band members talk about movies that inspired their music and how they ended up collaborating on film projects.

There aren’t many reviews for the title and it appears to be making its debut on disc. Those that have popped up online suggest it isn’t overly enlightening and is repetitive (you’ll hear the same comments from multiple sources). Still, they say it may provide fun for genre fans.

It’s narrated by Michael Berryman and the interview subjects include Phil Anselmo, Doug Bradley, John Carpenter, Alice Cooper, Gwar, Kirk Hammett, Kane Hodder, Marky Ramone, Corey Taylor and Rob Zombie.

LOST ILLUSIONS: Based on a portion of the acclaimed Honoré de Balzac novel of the same name, this French historical drama is set in the early 19th century and tells the story of an aspiring novelist. In order to make ends meet, he takes a job as a journalist and art critic for a Parisian newspaper. With daily printed publications exploding in popularity, the lead finds himself being coerced and bribed by stage producers to write rave reviews of their productions. The writer finds himself in over his head and feeling guilty about his pieces.

The press gave this foreign-language feature rave reviews. One or two complained that it was too long, that the story was jumbled and that its message needed to be more direct. However, everyone else found it to be one of the most compelling movies of recent months. They wrote that the cast was excellent, the story pushed buttons and claimed the themes were especially relevant given the rise of social media as an influence. It features Benjamin Voisin, Cecile de France, Xavier Dolan, Jeanne Balibar, André Marcon and Gérard Depardieu.

THE REEF: STALKED: Believe it or not, shark attacks are rare and on average cause about five human fatalities a year worldwide. In fact, the number is much higher for snakes, spiders, bears and even cows! But don’t tell filmmakers that factoid.

The latest killer shark movie is a sequel to “The Reef,” a 2010 Aussie flick. In this film, a woman attempts to get over the murder of her sister by heading out with friends on a kayaking adventure in the Pacific. They are soon hunted by a great white shark and must band together to survive.

Reaction to the film was mixed, but it was more positive than negative. About one third of write-ups stated the story was repetitive and that the dialogue primarily consisted of people screaming, “Oh my God!” over and over. Still, the majority wrote that it was nicely shot and delivered exactly what genre fans would want. Teressa Liane, Ann Truong, Saskia Archer and Kate Lister headline the film.

VENGEANCE: A New York-based reporter and podcaster learns that a woman he had a fling with has passed away of a drug overdose. Her family convinces the journalist to attend her funeral in rural Texas. After hearing bizarre ramblings from them about her actually having been murdered, he decides to investigate their claims and turn it into a story. It leads him down an unexpected path as he learns more about the woman and the community.

Written and directed by lead actor B.J. Novak, the end product was well-received. A small number of critics didn’t care for the protagonist or his journey, also commenting that the script was unfocused. However, the vast majority thought it was witty and well-acted, taking some interesting plot turns and portraying messy societal and political divides between regions in America in a compelling manner. It also features Boyd Holbrook, Issa Rae and Ashton Kutcher.

 

BLASTS FROM THE PAST!

There are some very interesting older features receiving high-definition upgrades this week.

Kit Parker Films is putting out a Blu-ray of the early western/comedy “The Round Up” (1920) under the Cinemuseum Archival Edition banner. The picture stars Roscoe ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle as an overweight sheriff trying to help an innocent man accused of theft. This disc also includes the bonus Arbuckle shorts “A Bandit” (1913) and “Peeping Pete” (1913).

Kino is presenting several interesting movies on Blu-ray. The western “Ace High” (1968) with Eli Wallach arrives with a 4K restoration from the original camera negative. It also includes a commentary track from director and western authority Alex Cox, as well as a trailer. The disc comes in a “limited edition” slipcase.

You can also pick up the British drama, “Dreamchild” (1985). This tale presents an interesting take on the creation of the “Alice in Wonderland” novel. It follows the elderly inspiration for Alice, who thinks back on her relationship with author/professor Lewis Carroll and eventually comes to some conclusions about what it all meant.

The film was written by Dennis Potter (“The Singing Detective”) and features effects by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop. This disc contains a film historian commentary, an audio interview about the actress who starred in the picture, in addition to a trailer.

If you are interested in adding to your 4K Ultra HD title collection, Paramount is making the entertaining killer alligator flick “Crawl” (2019) and the Harrison Ford adventure sequel “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” (2008) available on the format. Alas, no Blu-ray is included on these releases. The second title referenced arrives in special Steelbook packaging.

Sandpiper Pictures is releasing a trio of early and out-of-print Woody Allen titles on Blu-ray. The movies include “Bananas” (1971), “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask)” (1972) and “Love and Death” (1975).

If you ask this movie enthusiast, the last title listed is the best of the filmmaker’s early works. It’s a comedy that essentially pokes fun at Russian epics. The actor/writer/director plays a cowardly villager who pines for his cousin. Unfortunately for him, he ends up being forced to join the army during the Napoleonic Wars and later becomes part of a political assassination scheme.

For those who enjoy Allen films, this is the title in which the artist truly found his voice and style. It’s a very enjoyable tale with an extremely high percentage of great lines and clever moments.

 

Shout! Factory is rereleasing the well-regarded Tim Blake Nelson western “Old Henry” (2021) in a 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray combo package. This set arrives with all the extras from the previous version.

 

Warner Bros. is giving one of their recent animated DC titles an upgrade too. “Batman: The Long Halloween” (2021) was one of their best reviewed efforts and it is arriving in a 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray package with improved picture quality.

 

Additionally, “Poltergeist” (1982) is arriving in a 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray set to mark its 40th anniversary.

This iconic chiller about a family moving into a haunted house came from producer Steven Spielberg and director Tobe Hooper (“The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” “The Funhouse”). This big budget extravaganza left a memorable impression on any kid who saw it during its original release. In particular, the scene involving a creepy doll and a strangely threatening tree. If memory serves, the movie also includes a wince-inducing shaving sequence. Now, fans can own it with even better picture quality and many of the previously released extras.

YOU KNOW, FOR KIDS!

It’s a quiet week for family-friendly titles, but here is what will be available for tykes.

“Baby Shark’s Big Show! The Seaweed Sway (Nickelodeon) DVD

 

ON THE TUBE!

And here are all of the TV-themed titles coming your way.

“Aqua Teen Hunger Force: The Baffler Meal Complete Collection” (includes every TV-series, plus the movie) (Studio Distribution Services) DVD

“Aurora Teagarden” 6-Movie Collection 2 (Hallmark made-for-cable movies) DVD

“Baby Shark’s Big Show! The Seaweed Sway” (Nickelodeon) DVD

“The Boleyns: A Scandalous Family” (PBS) DVD

“Cursed Films” Season 2 (Shudder Original Series) (RLJ Entertainment) Blu-ray

“Dynasties” Season Two (BBC) DVD

“The Equalizer” Season 2 (Paramount) DVD

“The Great American Recipe” (PBS) DVD

“Kamen Rider Kuuga” Season 1 (Shout! Factory) Blu-ray

“Legacies” Season 2 (Warner Bros.) DVD

“Outlander” Season 6 (Sony) Blu-ray

“Star Trek: The Next Generation” The Complete Series (Paramount) Blu-ray

“Theodore Roosevelt” (History Channel) DVD

“Walker” Season 1 (Paramount) Blu-ray

VISIT: WWW.CINEMASTANCE.COM

By Glenn Kay
For the Sun