Welcome back to another look at highlights arriving on Blu-ray and DVD, along with a clickable link to a review of one of the films featured. It’s a slightly smaller edition, but there are still plenty of interesting releases coming your way. So if you can’t make it to the movies this week, be sure to give one of these titles a try!
Big New Releases!
Acts of Vengeance – This action/drama tells the tale of a lawyer whose wife and daughter are killed. Yearning for revenge, he starts muscling up and then takes a vow of silence until he can find those responsible. Hmm.. that might make tracking the bad guys a whole lot tougher. Reaction to this independent Death Wish-like feature was mixed. About half thought it delivered its B-movie thrills and benefited from its likable leading man. The others suggested that it was too much of a perfunctory exercise and that the filmmakers didn’t do enough to distinguish this film from others of its ilk. The movie stars Antonio Banderas, Karl Urban, Paz Vega and Robert Forster.
Logan Lucky – Director Steven Soderbergh earned plenty of success with his Ocean’s Eleven remake and its sequels. This feature takes the same structure and applies it to some country boys who decide to plan a massive heist at a NASCAR event. As the race approaches, time runs short for the quirky team to pull of their elaborate scheme without making mistakes. The flick earned excellent reviews from the press. Writers complimented the movie’s excellent cast, zippy pace and sense of fun. It features Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Daniel Craig, Riley Keough, Katie Holmes, Seth McFarlane, Kathleen Watertson, Sebastian Stan and Hilary Swank. To read a full review, click here.
Lost in Paris – In this foreign-language comedy, a meek French-Canadian librarian is called out to visit and help her elderly aunt in Paris. After the lead loses her travel documents and money she learns that her older relative is being shipped off unwillingly to a retirement home. Desperate, the pair go “on the run” and try to survive, befriending a homeless man in the process. Reaction to this Gallic comedy was very positive, with most critics wholeheartedly recommending it. They called it a very quirky but charming independent feature that includes some great physical comedy. The cast includes Dominique Abel and Emmanuelle Riva.
Rememory – A scientist on the verge of a great discovery is suddenly murdered in this thriller. It is learned that the man had just devised a device that records, extracts and plays memories from a person’s brain. Another character soon arrives, stealing the machine in an attempt to solve the crime and apprehend the killer. Reviewers didn’t feel that this thriller made much of an impression. A few complimented the work of the actors, but most believed that the film wasn’t as dramatically involving as it should have been and ended up being a slow-moving and creaky exercise. It stars Peter Dinklage, Julia Ormand, Martin Donovan and Anton Yelchin.
Tulip Fever – This drama, set in Amsterdam during the 17th century, involves a young woman from a financially troubled family who is assigned a wealthy husband. After the marriage, the new bride finds herself trapped and yearning for a different life. She begins an affair with a painter and then decides to invest in the burgeoning tulip bulb market, hoping that financial success will allow her to escape her mean hubby. Reaction was not positive towards the feature. Almost all called the flick a beautifully shot effort with a silly plotline and no onscreen chemistry between its characters. It features Alicia Vikander, Dane DeHaan, Christoph Waltz, Holliday Granger, Judi Dench and Zach Galifianakis.
Blasts from the Past!
Olive Signature have two notable Blu-rays arriving this week. They’re both comedies starring Cary Grant that are set during WWII… Father Goose (1964) and Operation Petticoat (1959). The latter involves the exploits of two very different captains assigned to sail a beaten and banged up submarine through the Pacific after the war breaks out. Along the way, the pair get themselves and their crew into numerous humorous situations and end up hosting a group of attractive nurses as passengers. While most will find it dated, the movie was considered risqué in its day because of the sexual innuendo. It actually led to huge box office returns. The release includes a new high definition restoration and loads of extras that include an informative film critic commentary and numerous featurettes with the cast and footage. You can read a full review of the disc right here.
The success of Operation Petticoat spawned Father Goose soon after, in which Grant plays a grouchy loner assigned to live on a island alone in order to spy on enemy planes during the war. Problems arise when a pretty schoolteacher and her students are found and stranded with him. Not only must he care for his new guests, but he also has to find a way perform his job. It was a hit as well, although not quite as big a smash as Petticoat. Still, some film enthusiasts actually prefer this title to its predecessor.
Shout! Factory are delivering a “Collector’s Edition” Blu-ray of the Oscar-winning horror hit, Misery (1990). Based on the Stephen King novel, the story involves a writer who crashes his car during a snowstorm. Incapacitated with broken legs, he discovers that his rescuer is not only his biggest fan, but also mentally unstable. Besides being restored and upgraded in 4K, the disc includes a new interview with director Rob Reiner and make up artist Greg Nicotero. It also ports over every previous extra from other releases of the film, including two commentary tracks, seven featurettes with cast and crew, as well as promotional materials. If you haven’t seen it, this is a great flick well worth catching up with.
Deathdream aka Dead of Night (1974) is another good Blu-ray arriving coutesy of Blue Underground. This low-budget, drive-in horror flick comes from director Bob Clark (Black Christmas, Porky’s, A Christmas Story) and follows a young Viet Nam veteran who returns home to his family in a strange, withdrawn and pained state, refusing to talk about his experiences. It soon becomes clear that the lead is undead and must feed on the blood of the living to keep from rotting. His mother takes it upon herself to try and help her son while relationships within the clan and community begin to crumble. Considering how small a production it was, the film works very well and uses its set-up as a thematic device to make strong and powerful comments about the impact that war can have on families. This release includes an incredible amount of extras including multiple audio commentaries, interviews with cast and crew and even a short student film from writer Alan Ormsby.
Kino are putting out some interesting Blu-rays as well. They include the James Mason crime flick, Cop-Out (1967) and the stylized Italian/French thriller, Death Laid an Egg (1968). They also have the cop film, The High Commissioner aka Nobody Runs Forever (1968). The distributor also has a pair of comedies coming your way in high definition. There’s The Woman in Red (1984) with Gene Wilder as a married man obsessed with a woman he passes on the street. Finally, Kino are also distributing The Wrong Guy (1997) which features Dave Foley as a businessman who is wrongly blamed for his bosses murder. To prove himself innocent, he goes on the run and earns the friendship and assistance of a local woman suffering from narcolepsy.
You Know, For Kids!
Sadly, it’s a bit of a slow week for kid’s titles.
On the Tube!
And here are the limited TV-themed releases.
Eastsiders: Season 3
Gilmore Girls – A Year in the Life: Season 1