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You are here: Community Film Blu-ray/DVD Roundup for Nov. 11, 2022

Blu-ray/DVD Roundup for Nov. 11, 2022

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Welcome back to another look at some of the highlights arriving on Blu-ray and DVD. This particular edition doesn’t feature any major blockbusters, but there are plenty of quirky and noteworthy independents coming. So, if you can’t make it out to the movies this week or need to stay indoors, be sure to give one of these titles a try!

 

BIG NEW RELEASES!

AFTER EVER HAPPY: This is the fourth film based on a series of “After” romance novels by author Anna Todd. After a revelation at the end of the previous film sends the young male lead into a dark and depressed state in London, his girlfriend decides to return to Seattle and focus on improving her own life. As the two try to work on themselves, fate brings them together once again.

In general, these titles haven’t been well received, but this effort has the same notorious reputation as the third movie in the franchise. It garnered nothing but negative press. All reviewers state that the characters seem stuck in a loop, experiencing the same relationship issues over and over again. They called the movie repetitive, corny and extremely dull.

It stars Josephine Langford, Hero Fiennes Tiffin, Arielle Kebbel, Chance Perdomo, Rob Estes and Mira Sorvino.

 

AMONG THE LIVING: Looking for a low-budget, independent zombie film? This British title follows a young man and his sister trying to survive after blood-thirsty, virus-infected humans have overrun the planet. Searching for their father, the two protagonists travel the backroads where they meet an older man who provides them shelter. Unfortunately, he isn’t as friendly as he initially appears, putting their lives at further risk and forcing them to escape his home.

There aren’t many reviews available for this extremely low-budget title. A few have popped up online suggesting that the technical specs are good but that there isn’t much of a story. They note that the pacing really drags as a result. Dean Michael Gregory, George Newton and Melissa Worsey headline the feature.

 

AQUA TEAM FOREVER: PHANTASM: It has been a little more than 20 years since the animated TV-series “Aqua Teen Hunger Force first aired on the Cartoon Network. Over that period, a 2007 film also played in theaters. The latest feature-length follow-up tells us that the heroic anthropomorphic fast-food heroes have experienced a falling out and have separated. When a tech mogul and his mega-corporation “Amazin” threatens the world, the team reunites to save everyone.

This title was made for and is debuting on disc and so it is difficult to find any write-ups at present. One or two have appeared and have been positive. These notices comment that the movie will please fans of the series and that it delivers plenty of absurdist humor. The voice cast includes Dana Snyder, Dave Willis, Carey Means, Paul Walter Hauser, Peter Serafinowicz and Robert Smigel.

 

DEVIL’S WORKSHOP: An actor trying to land a role in a horror movie made in the style of “The Exorcist gets an important callback after impressing producers. In order to secure the part, the performer puts out an ad asking if any demonologists would allow him to accompany them so that he can learn the ropes. A woman answers his message and invites the protagonist to join her and help with a ritual. As you might have guessed, he gets in over his head.

Reaction was split on this independent genre picture. Half wrote that it started well but had difficulty juggling horror and humor elements, losing them in the process. Just as many admired the work of the cast and found the tale unusual and satisfying enough to earn a recommendation.

It features Radha Mitchell, Timothy Granaderos, Emile Hirsch and Sarah Coffey.

 

DIG: A dad with impulse control issues attempts to rebuild a relationship with his estranged daughter by taking up renovation work in the country. Unfortunately, it soon appears that the protagonist isn’t the greatest judge of character either. After dragging his offspring along to the house, they discover that the owners are murderers. Trapped onsite, the pair are forced to work together to survive the ordeal.

The press largely panned this suspense picture. One or two liked the cast, were impressed by the film’s score and thought it worked to provide viewers with a thrill or two. Unfortunately, the majority commented that the screenplay was full of plot holes and illogical elements. These critics called the end result poorly executed and unexciting. The cast includes Thomas Jane, Liana Liberato, Harlow Jane and Emile Hirsch.

 

THE ENFORCER: A tough-guy mob enforcer working for femme fatale boss who runs a cybersex trafficking operation meets a befriends a 15-year-old runaway. She reminds him of his daughter and he gives her some cash to help her. After learning that she has been kidnapped by his own organization, he decides to help the youngster escape. As a result, he is forced to square off with everyone in his crime family.

This action picture earned split notices, with slightly more negative reviews than positive ones. Those who liked the movie said the lead performances were above average, which kept them following the story. However, slightly more complained that everything was formulaic and that it didn’t offer anything viewers wouldn’t have already seen done better in dozens of other titles. It stars Antonio Banderas, Kate Bosworth, Mojean Aria, Alexis Ren and Zolee Grigg.

 

I LOVE MY DAD: Inspired by a bizarre true story, this comedy follows an estranged father and his adult son. Frustrated with his dad’s interference in his life, he decides to block his pop from all social media accounts. Fearful that he may have lost his boy for good, the father creates an online profile (posing as an attractive woman) and lies to maintain their relationship. Things get very, very awkward when his son falls in love with the fake persona and wants to meet.

Overall, the consensus on the film was very upbeat. About one-quarter of reviewers found the concept too icky and gross to enjoy. Everyone else called the movie cringe-inducing and hilarious in all the right ways, saying it had great performances and that the story took plenty of enjoyably unpredictable turns. The cast includes Patton Oswalt, James Morosini (who was also the writer and director), Claudia Sulewski, Lil Rel Howery and Amy Landecker.

 

THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME: Based on the famous short story by Richard Connell, this thriller involves a father and son who are shipwrecked on an island. As it turns out, a sinister millionaire lives there who leads an elite group of hunters targeting human prey. The stranded heroes try to evade death and use their brains to fight back against their heavily armed pursuers.

This tale has been told many times before (it was first adapted in 1932 and later in movies like “A Game of Death,” “Hard Target,” “Surviving the Game” and “The Hunt”). At present, this version hasn’t impressed critics. Those who have seen it write that the writing is clunky, the action isn’t particularly exciting and that the final result is unmemorable.

It features Chris ‘C.T.’ Tamburello, Casper Van Dien, Bruce Dern, Tom Berenger and Judd Nelson.

 

THE POWER OF THE DOG: Readers of this column will already be aware that many Netflix films have slowly been arriving on disc (often through Criterion). The latest film to premiere on the format is this western from the end of 2021 that was nominated for 12 Academy Awards and won an Oscar for Best Director.

The plot involves a rancher who inspires fear from those around him. When his brother brings home a new wife and her son, the nasty figure soon torments the pair. However, as time passes the relationship changes in unexpected ways.

As the award nominations suggest, the film earned raves. A handful wrote that it was mean-spirited and cruel, but all others regarded it as a brilliant meditation on toxic masculinity with a sting at the end of the story. They also praised the exceptional performances.

Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons and Kodi Smit-McPhee headline the movie. It is available as a 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray set or as a standalone Blu-ray.

 

BLASTS FROM THE PAST!

If you’re looking for something a little older, you have plenty of options as well.

Arrow Video is presenting a Blu-ray of “Audrey Rose” (1977), a genre picture about a couple who are visited by a strange man who claims that their daughter is the reincarnation of his deceased child. The movie is from famed director Robert Wise (“The Day the Earth Stood Still,” “West Side Story,” “The Haunting” “The Sound of Music”) and it stars Anthony Hopkins and Marsha Mason. Technical specs include a new 2K restoration of the movie from a 4K scan, as well as a film critic commentary, an interview with a magician about reincarnation, a featurette on the locations used in the film, a visual essay on the movie’s themes, an archived discussion with the screenwriter and C-star Marsha Mason, a look at the musical score and tons of publicity materials.

Kino is delivering the comedy “Bedtime for Bonzo” (1951) starring Ronald Reagan (before he became the President in the 1980s) as a professor trying to use a chimp for an experiment that will impress the father of the woman who he wants to marry. The movie has never been particularly well-received but does serve as a curious novelty, especially given what eventually happened to the lead actor. You’ll get a 2K restoration of the movie along with a film expert commentary and trailer.

The John Travolta disco-drama “Saturday Night Fever (1977) is celebrating its 45-year anniversary with a 4K Ultra HD, regular Blu-ray and Director’s Cut Blu-ray of the film courtesy of Paramount Pictures. Naturally, the image and sound quality will be greatly improved for this release. One expects that this edition will also include all of the previously-released extras.

Additionally, the Bob Hope/Lucille Ball western/comedy “Fancy Pants” (1950) is getting the Blu-ray treatment. It was remastered in HD by Paramount Pictures from a 4K scan of the original elements and also comes with a trailer.

And finally, Warner Bros. is releasing an 80th Anniversary Edition of the classic “Casablanca” (1942) in 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray. The movie is the pride and joy of the studio and now you can own it with the best possible picture and sound quality. The new image was restored and remastered from a 2022 4K 16 bit film scan of the best-surviving nitrate film elements, along with the original mono soundtrack. All past bonuses are also included in this release.

 

YOU KNOW, FOR KIDS!

Here are a few releases that may entertain children.

“The Last Kids on Earth - Book One” (NCircle Entertainment) DVD

“Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten - How the Super K’s Save Christmas” (NCircle Entertainment) DVD

 

ON THE TUBE!

And here are some of the week’s TV-themed releases.

“American Rust” Season 4 (Showtime) Blu-ray

“The Brokenwood Mysteries” Series 8 (Acorn) Blu-ray or DVD

“A Discovery of Witches” Season 3 (RLJ Entertainment) Blu-ray

“Eight Gifts of Hanukkah” (Hallmark) DVD

“Frasier” The Complete Series (Paramount) Blu-ray

“Good Grief” Seasons 1 & 2 (Sundance Now) DVD

“Hallmark Countdown to Christmas 9-Movie Collection - Check Inn to Christmas / Christmas Comes Twice / Christmas Land / 12 Gifts of Christmas / Christmas in Love / With Love, Christmas / Window Wonderland / Looks Like Christmas / Christmas List” (Hallmark) DVD

“The Last Kids on Earth - Book One” (NCircle Entertainment) DVD

“Masterpiece Mystery: Miss Scarlet & the Duke” The Complete Second Season (PBS) DVD

“Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten - How the Super K’s Save Christmas” (NCircle Entertainment) DVD

“Yellowstone: The Dutton Legacy Collection” (5 Seasons) (Paramount) Blu-ray

“Young Rock” Season 2 (Universal) Blu-ray

VISIT: WWW.CINEMASTANCE.COM

By Glenn Kay
For the Sun