November Blu-ray Report
Nerve (2016) (** ½) A disenfranchised teen (Emma Roberts) gets caught up in the world of an online game craze with deadly results. Extras include featurettes and interactive features.
The Legend of Tarzan (2016) (** ½) finds the ‘Lord of the Apes’ (Alexander Skarsgard) and his beloved Jane (Margot Robbie) being pulled back in to the Congo for more adventures after an ill fated attempt to fit in with society. Nothing new here but if you love Tarzan… Extras include four featurettes.
Lights Out (2016) (***) A supernatural being that can only be seen in the dark terrorizes a teen and her brother in this effective little chiller. Maria Bello stars. Extras include deleted scenes.
Patricia Arquette & Ellar Coltrane in Boyhood
The Infiltrator (2016) (***) Bryan Cranston stars in this dramatization of the takedown of the Pablo Escobar drug empire. A tad derivative but still worth a look. Extras include commentary, deleted scenes and two featurettes.
It’s a Wonderful Life: Platinum Anniversary edition (1946) (****) What more can you say about one of the greatest films ever made? It’s still as good as it ever was in this 70th (!) anniversary edition. Extras include a behind the scenes documentary, limited edition art cards and a colorized version of the film.
The Da Vinci Code (2006) (** ½) The first of Ron Howard’s screen adaptations of the adventures of symbologist Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) is still the best, although that’s not saying much. Extras include new interviews with Tom Hanks, Ron Howard, and Brian Grazer, featurettes and deleted scenes.
Angels and Demons (2009) (**) Robert Langdon (Hanks again) returns once more to solve a another mystery involving kidnapped cardinals and the Catholic church. Extras include new interviews with Tom Hanks, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, featurettes, and deleted scenes. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) (***) A fabled sword is stolen and it’s up to two ancient warriors to retrieve it in director Ang Lee’s beloved film that’s both fun and insightful all at once. Extras include deleted scenes, a retrospective of the film, music video and a making of documentary.
Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936) (****) Frank Capra’s tale of a small town man (Gary Cooper) who comes into a large sum of money and decides to give it away is still a funny and profound masterpiece. Extras include commentary by the director’s son, a teaser trailer and a vintage advertising gallery.
It’s a Wonderful Life
Well Go USA:
The Wailing (2016) (***) supposedly took six years to complete. It’s a supernatural chiller filled with paranoia and dread and set against the backdrop of a mysterious stranger’s appearance in a small Japanese village. Extras include featurettes and a trailer. Criterion:
Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) (***1/2) Director Guillermo Del Toro’s fable set against the horrors of fascism is a film unlike no other. To reveal its surprises would do it a great disservice but let’s just say it’s highly recommended. Features include director commentary, a new 2K film transfer, new interviews, vintage documentaries, a booklet and storyboard comparisons.
Boyhood (2014) (****) was shot over twelve years in real time and is probably the closest that cinema has come to allowing us to see life literally unfolding as it happens. Patricia Arquette won an Oscar but the rest of the cast is equally good. Features include a new 2K digital transfer of the film, new commentary, a new production documentary, a video essay, and a new collection of cast portraits.
Twilight Time, whose releases are limited to a pressing of 3000 units for each of their titles, has issued a new batch of classics. Their product can only be ordered via www.twilighttimemovies.com and www.screenarchives.com. October releases from the company include:
Runaway Train (1985) (*** ½) stars Eric Roberts and Jon Voight as prison escapees trapped on an out of control locomotive. Tense and exciting. Extras include isolated score track, commentary track and theatrical trailer. The Train (1965) (*** ½) stars Burt Lancaster as a French railway inspector entrusted with protecting a train full of valuable art during WWII. Extras include isolated score track, two commentary tracks and the original trailer.
Boxcar Bertha (1972) (**1/2) was director Martin Scorsese’s second feature, a depression era tale of lovers (David Carradine, Barbara Hershey) robbing trains in order to survive. There’s ample evidence of the great filmmaker to come on hand here. Extras include theatrical trailer and isolated score track.
Hush Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964) (***) was director Robert Aldrich’s follow up to his wildly successful film Whatever Happened to Baby Jane. It features that film’s star (Bette Davis) in the title role. The film, a tale of gothic horror set in the South, is unfortunately almost undone by overlength. Extras include isolated score track, two audio commentary tracks, a making of documentary, featurette spotlighting star Bruce Dern and trailers for the film.
The Chase (1966) (** ½) Arthur Penn directs this tale of a prison break and its effect on a small Texas town. Marlon Brando, Robert Redford and Jane Fonda star. The film suffered from a troubled production and it shows at times. Extras include isolated score track, audio commentary and original theatrical trailer. Coming next month: Star Trek: Beyond, Indignation, Taxi Driver (40th anniversary), Imperium, Suicide Squad, The Boston Strangler, Punch Drunk Love, Moscow on the Hudson and Pretty Poison among many other titles.
Arquette & Ellar Coltrane in Boyhood
Questions or comments? Filmfan1970@hotmail.com or find me on Facebook.