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You are here: Community Film Blu-ray/DVD Roundup for April 28, 2023

Blu-ray/DVD Roundup for April 28, 2023

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Welcome to another look at some of the highlights arriving on Blu-ray and DVD. It’s another busy week with some interesting and unique options in a wide variety of genres. 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!


BLOOD RELATIVES: This independent comedy/chiller is a Shudder original that premiered on the streaming service. The story follows a Yiddish vampire and loner who gets a big surprise when a girl shows up at his door claiming to be his daughter. As it turns out, she is his relation, suffering from the same malady as he and has no one to care for her. The two embark on a road trip to see if they can form a familial bond.

Response towards this picture was strong. One individual didn’t think that it made the most of its premise and was ultimately unmemorable. Everyone else was amused by what they witnessed. They called the movie unique, enjoyed the focus on the characters and thought it was entertaining. For the time being, this is a DVD-only release.

It stars Noah Segan, Victoria Moroles, Akasha Villalobos and C.L. Simpson.

THE CIVIL DEAD: A misanthropic photographer finds himself out of work and in a personal rut. While his wife is out of town, he bumps into an old friend. The two hang out and the lead invites his pal over to stay. It is then when the guest reveals that he has recently died and is actually a ghost. The spirit insists on helping the protagonist get the bottom of his problems, but tensions arise as the undead figure persists in his efforts.

This independent comedy earned plenty of praise and even some awards at film festivals like Slamdance. All critics who saw the feature called it a really pleasant surprise, stating that it was melancholy, funny and even managed to involve viewers on an emotional level. They also admired the work of  the two leads (who are friends in real life), saying they paired well together onscreen.

The cast includes Clay Tatum, Whitmer Thomas and DeMonge Brown.

INVITATION TO A MURDER: Set in 1934, this tale involves a woman who is invited to the mansion of a reclusive billionaire on an island off the coast of England with five other strangers. The guests attempt to figure out what is happening and why, only to discover a body. The lead becomes determined to find out who is responsible and why, putting her own life in jeopardy as she questions others and searches for answers.

There haven’t been many reviews so far, but press reaction among those who have seen it has been weak. That might explain why this mystery is arriving only on the DVD format. One article suggested that the screenplay was heavy on exposition and hokey. They didn’t find the final product dynamic or intriguing.

Mischa Barton, Chris Browning, Seamus Dover, Bianca A. Santos, Giles Matthey and Grace Lynn Kung headline the film.

JESUS REVOLUTION: This faith-based picture is inspired by a true story that occurred in the 1970s. It follows a teenage hippie looking for peace, love and rock-and-roll in Southern California. After arriving, he finds himself dissatisfied with the movement and encounters a charismatic hippie-street-preacher. The lead and others like him find a spiritual awakening in the words of the figure and start their own religious revival.

Notices were slightly more positive than negative for this feature. Almost half of them complained that while the movie wasn’t overt in its preaching, it didn’t feel particularly realistic either and was dry and flat in execution. Slightly more complemented its light approach, as well as addressing issues within the church and delivering a few effective moments.

It features Joel Courtney, Jonathan Roumie, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Anna Grace Barlow and Kelsey Grammer.

JUSTICE LEAGUE X RWBY: SUPER HEROES & HUNTSMEN PART ONE: Here’s yet another animated feature based on characters from DC comics. This time out, superheroes Batman, Cyborg, Flash, Green Lantern, Superman, Vixen and Wonder Woman are transported to another world called Remnant where they are all transformed into teenagers. The group befriend local youngsters with special abilities and they all try to save this strange world before it is destroyed by an evil supervillain.

Few have seen this effort so far and it appears to be premiering on disc. It so happens that the story has a connection to a RWBY animated TV-series and was produced by the same team who worked on that show. One assumes if you enjoy the program, you might like the feature.

The voice cast includes Natalie Alyn Lind, Chandler Riggs, Nat Wolff, Tru Valentino, Aaron Dismuke and Jason Douglas.

MY HAPPY ENDING: A famous actress checks into a London chemotherapy clinic to receive treatment for stage four colon cancer after her comeback West End play is canceled. Initially, she tries to hide her condition from those who recognize her, but eventually befriends three very different women going through the same process. They try to help her deal with the challenge and form a close bond in the process.

This effort was largely panned by reviewers. About one-third of them did think that the subject itself was important and that the film was well-intentioned and benefited from strong performances. Unfortunately, most thought that everything felt fake. They didn’t think that it managed to find the right tone or make a strong impression. For the time being, this is a DVD-only release.

The cast includes Andie MacDowell, Miriam Margolyes, Sally Phillips, Rakhee Thakrar and Tamsin Greig.

TAMING THE GARDEN: A powerful man who was once the Prime Minister of the country Georgia (the former Soviet Republic) is the subject of this documentary. The movie chronicles his bizarre and fascinating hobby. He collects century old trees (some over 700 feet tall), uprooting them from the country’s coast to plant in his personal and remote garden. Cameras follow the foliage through its strange journey to a new home as the crew tries to get a sense of what the man is doing and why.

This picture was released late last year at cinemas and on streaming platforms but is now arriving on disc. The press gave it high marks. Only one complained and noted that the film’s subject matter was dull. All others called the movie gorgeously photographed and hypnotic to watch, stating that it offered an upsetting and powerful message about man altering the beautiful, natural landscape of the world.

TRIANGLE OF SADNESS: This dark satire follows a pair of young and popular media influencers who are invited to cover a fancy cruise. The two are having difficulties in their relationship and decide to work on it while on the trip. After boarding, they encounter and spend time with both wealthy passengers and the put-upon crew. After an accident shipwrecks the vessel, the survivors find the social system uprooted. Those working on the boat are suddenly in a position of power and become prone to abusive behavior themselves.

This film received a wide variety of responses and seemed to be a love-it-or-hate-it type of experience. However, it did earn several Academy Award nominations, including nods for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay. About one-quarter of critics disliked the characters and what they were witnessing so much that they couldn’t appreciate the satire. However, the others (myself included) thought it was devilishly witty and completely wild. They admired the work of the performers and complimented it as being grimly twisted, nerve-jangling and impossible to forget.


Here are the TV releases coming your way!

The Center Seat: 55 Years of Star Trek (TV documentary series) (Nacelle Company) DVD

Cheers The Complete Series (Paramount) Blu-ray

Doctor Who: The Jodie Whitaker Collection (BBC) DVD


By Glenn Kay
For the Sun