Blu-ray Releases & Reviews
March 3, 2016
It’s time once again for the monthly Blu-ray report. Below you will find reviews of some titles released in the last month followed by a look at forthcoming titles. Without further fanfare, here we go.
Crimson Peak (2015) (** 1/2) Director Guillermo del Toro’s gothic ghost tale is a bit of a letdown, story-wise, for the celebrated director. Still, it’s a visual feast and is something to behold in high definition on the Universal release. Deleted scenes and documentaries are among the bonus features.
Secret in Their Eyes (2015) (***) Julia Roberts used to be a big box office draw but this remake of a 2009 Oscar winner for Best Foreign film failed to ignite with audiences. However, the tale of a rising investigator’s look into the disappearance of her daughter is not bad at all and is certainly worth a look in this Universal release. Extras include commentary and documentaries.
99 Homes (2015) (*** 1/2) 99 Homes tackles the same subject as the Oscar nominee The Big Short, but I found it to be even more compelling than that film. Michael Shannon shines as a slimy real estate shark whose business is kicking people out of their homes and profiting in the process. Andrew Garfield co-stars as his protege who comes to question his practices. The Broadgreen Pictures release includes commentaries and a deleted scene.
Labyrinth of Lies (2015) (** 1/2) This moral tale from Germany deals with what happens after a journalist discovers a former Nazi literally living in his own backyard.
Julia Roberts in Secret in Their Eyes
Great moments abound in this Sony release but its formulaic structure keeps it from being a home run. The disc includes commentary and deleted scenes.
Estranged (2015) (** 1/2) is the debut feature film from Director Adam Levins. The horror/suspense film spins the tale of a wheelchair bound survivor of an accident who finds some shocking secrets in her past. The film does generate some suspenseful situations during its running time and is easy enough to take. Well Go USA issued the disc. Extras include a making of featurette.
The Emigrants/The New Land (*** both films) Director Jan Troell’s pair of acclaimed early seventies films detailing the journeys of the Larsen family and their emigration from Sweden to Minnesota comes to Blu-ray via Criterion. Max Von Sydow and Liv Ullman give terrific performances in the Criterion release. Extras include interviews and making of documentaries.
I Smile Back (2015) (** 1/2) Comedian Sarah Silverman gives a towering performance as a wife and mother sinking in to the depths of depression. If only the resulting movie was as good as that performance. Unfortunately, it isn’t. Extras on the Broadgreen release include an interview with Silverman.
Twilight Time released some interesting titles in February. These titles are limited to 3,000 units and can found online at www.twilighttimemovies.com. The releases are as follows:
The Hawaiians (1970) (***) Director Tom Gries’ sequel to the 1966 blockbuster, Hawaii, is in some ways a more fulfilling film than its predecessor in its depictions of the early struggles between the Islanders and foreign settlers. Charlton Heston and Geraldine Chaplin star. The film’s trailer and music score are among the extras.
Support Your Local Sheriff/Support Your Local Gunfighter (1969/1970) (*** both films) Director Burt Kennedy’s beloved western comedies are paired together on one disc. Both are highly entertaining and chock full of familiar faces including James Garner and Walter Brennan, to name a few. Extras include commentary and an isolated score track.
La Bambola Di Satana (1969) (** 1/2) Strange things begin to happen after a young woman (Erna Schurer) attends the reading of her uncle’s will. The atmosphere is the thing in this Italian chiller. Extras include isolated music track and audio commentary.
Cowboy (1958) Glenn Ford stars in this tale of a Chicago Hotel Clerk whose passion it is to become a cowboy. A cattle rancher (Jack Lemon) comes to town giving the young man an opportunity to fulfill his dreams.
Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950) (*** 1/2) Dana Andrews is a by the book cop who accidentally kills a suspect and attempts to pin the blame on an innocent cabbie. Gene Tierney co-stars in this taut, film noir thriller. Extras include commentary and an isolated score track.
The Big Heat (1953) (*** 1/2) Glenn Ford stars in this tale of a cop’s plan for revenge after his wife is accidentally murdered. Beautifully photographed in black and white and excellently directed by the great Fritz Lang. Extras include an isolated score track, trailer and commentaries, as well as director Michael Mann’s take on the film.
Coming in March: Creed, Youth, Strange Brew, Fantastic Four, the first batch of Ultra HD Blu-ray releases, Concussion, The Danish girl, Room, Miss You Already, Victor Frankenstein, Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, In The Heart of the Sea, Macbeth, Howard the Duck, Batteries Not Included, The Peanuts Movie, Brooklyn, Xanadu, The Big Short, The Manchurian Candidate, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 and Daddy’s Home.
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