Welcome to another look at what is coming your way on Blu-ray and DVD. Just because there’s a holiday doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty of new arrivals. You’ll find all of the highlights below. So if you can’t make it out to the movies this week, be sure to give one of these titles a try!
Big New Releases!
Awakening the Zodiac – A down on their luck couple team up with a friend to buy a storage locker and sell the contents. What they find are actual 8mm film reels of the notorious Zodiac Killer murdering his prey. The group decide to solve the mystery themselves and locate the culprit… a very bad idea, as it puts their lives in danger. This independent suspense feature split the press. Almost all thought that it kind of fell apart at the end, but nearly half enjoyed the performances and creepy vibe enough to give it a pass. It stars Shane West, Leslie Bibb, Matt Craven, Stephen McHattie and Kenneth Welsh.
Car Dogs – This comedy/drama involves a family-run car dealership and a rivalry between an overbearing father and his adult son. If the young man can sell 35 cars over a single business day, he can take over the business. But in his desperate pursuit to get out from under the thumb of his parent, will he go too far? There aren’t a whole of reviews currently online for this small indie title just yet, but it does feature a whole lot of familiar faces. The cast includes Octavia Spencer, Patrick J. Adams, Chris Mulkey, Alessandra Torresani, Nia Vardalos and George Lopez.
Drone – The subject of this tale is a drone contractor and pilot who conducts secret missions for employers from his suburban home. He gets quite a shock when a mysterious Pakistani businessman shows up at his front door seeking vengeance for something the man did with the machinery. Notices for this thriller were mixed, with more negative reaction than positive. A portion felt the movie effectively raised questions about the effects of the technology, but more complained that the drama between characters didn’t work. It features Sean Bean, Patrick Sabongui and Mary McCormack.
Song to Song – The latest from eccentric director Terrence Malick (Badlands, The Thin Red Line, The Tree of Life) is a drama involves two intersecting love triangles. It’s all set against the backdrop of the music scene in Austin, Texas and the characters have some connection to the industry. Like all of the filmmaker’s recent work, reaction was completely split. Some loved the tone and feeling as well as the interpretive style taken, while others found its artsy freeform approach overlong and pretentious. So yeah, if you like the director’s work, you’ll enjoy it and if you don’t, it’s probably not for you. The movie stars Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara, Michael Fassbender, Natalie Portman, Cate Blanchett, Holly Hunter and Val Kilmer.
Vincent N Roxxxy – After saving a woman from a brutal attack, two youngsters fall for each other and form a close romantic bond. They attempt to make a new start with their live, but violence and danger seems to follow them in life wherever they go. This independent drama didn’t get much love from the press. There were a portion of writers who admired the performances from the two leads, but more didn’t feel the onscreen chemistry and described the movie as overly violent, slow-moving and tonally inconsistent. The cast includes Emile Hirsch, Zoe Kravitz, Zoey Deutch, Emory Cohen and Scott Mescudi (aka Kid Cudi).
The Zookeeper’s Wife – This biographical drama set during World War II tells the story of Warsaw zookeeper Antonina Zabinska. After being invaded by German forces, she and her husband attempt to help out members of the Warsaw Ghetto and end up saving hundreds of lives in the process. Critics generally enjoyed this picture. There were some criticisms that the story was told in a very generic manner and as a result wasn’t nearly as powerful as it should have been. However, but the majority enjoyed the central performance and championed it as a low-key but inspiring story. It features Jessica Chastain, Johan Heldenbergh and Daniel Bruhl.
Blasts From the Past!
Some interesting Blu-rays are arriving this week courtesy of Shout! Factory. A Shock to the System (1990) stars Michael Caine as a friendly, put-upon businessman who keeps getting passed over for promotion while being treated poorly by his spouse. He cracks and decides to get ahead by wiping out the competition in various extreme ways. This cult flick arrives with extras too, including a newly recorded director’s commentary and interview, the film’s alternate ending, along with a stills gallery and a trailer. It should provide some diabolical funs.
They also are releasing a Blu-ray of the controversial thriller, Windows (1980). It features Talia Shire as a woman being stalked by a lustful female neighbor. The disturbing figure does some pretty horrific things to get closer to her obsession. The movie was directed by Gordon Willis (cinematographer of The Godfather) and features a score by Ennio Morricone (The Good, The Bad and the Ugly). The disc includes a new high definition transfer from a film interpositive, as well as interviews with the actresses and producer, TV spots, a trailer and a stills gallery.
On a completely different note… if you like old Bob Hope movies, this is your week! Kino are putting out five titles starring the comedian. So you’ll be able to add Blu-rays of The Lemon Drop Kid (1951), My Favorite Brunette (1947), Road to Bali (1952), Road to Rio (1947) and Son of Paleface (1952) to your collection. I personally can’t comment on the quality of any of these features and am not a fan of the performer, but at least they’re now available.
Universal Pictures have an unusual selection arriving on DVD in the form of The Incredible Shrinking Woman (1981). This movie was released previously as a made-to-order disc, but it’s now getting an official release. It features the very funny Lily Tomlin as an unappreciated housewife who is exposed to household chemicals and suddenly begins to shrink. She’s kidnapped by some nasty scientists who want to perform experiments and befriends a gorilla over course of events. The idea’s great, but I don’t recall it being nearly as good as it should have bee. Still, it might provide a nice nostalgia kick to the right viewer.
You Know, For Kids!
Not much in the way of kid’s entertainment this week, but here’s what is coming your way.
A Stork’s Journey
On the Tube!
And here are this edition’s TV-themed releases.
Food: Delicious Science (PBS)
Frontline: The Fish on my Plate (PBS)
Homicide: Life on the Street: The Complete Series
The Incredible Dr. Pol: Season 10
Mummies Alive: Season 1 (Smithsonian)
Summer of Dreams (Hallmark TV-movie)
Superstore: Season 2
When Calls the Heart: Heart of a Teacher (Lifetime)