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February Blu-ray Releases

Disney:

Coco (2017) (***) Pixar Studio’s latest is one of their better efforts, managing to work some pretty heavy issues into its family friendly narrative of the aspiring musician Miguel and his determination to unlock his family history.

Paramount:

Suburbicon (2017) (**) is a misfire from director George Clooney, a tale of a murderous husband (Matt Damon) attempting to conceal his crime against the backdrop of 1950s suburbia. Extras include commentary and featurettes.

Daddy’s Home 2 (2017) (**) Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell continue their competing dad shtick and this time they’re joined by Mel Gibson and John Lithgow. Extras include deleted/extended scenes, gag reel and featurettes.

Photo: Albert Finney in Tom Jones

Same Kind of Different as Me (2017) (** ½) is one of the better faith-based message films, based tale of the friendship between a homeless man and a middle class suburban family.  Extras include commentary, deleted scenes and making of documentary.

Universal:

The Darkest Hour (2017) (** ½) details the WWII events also covered in Dunkirk but from the perspective of Winston Churchill, well embodied by Gary Oldman. Extras include commentary and two featurettes.
Criterion:

Elevator to the Gallows (1958) (*** 1/2) This engrossing tale of a botched murder was the assured feature debut for French director, Louis Malle (age 24 at the time). Extras include archival interviews and footage and an early short film from director Malle.

Tom Jones (1963) (***) The Oscar winner for best picture of 1963 is the tale of the colorful and bawdy exploits of the title character (Albert Finney, in fine form) and his many romances.  Extras include two cuts of the film, new and archival interviews and an essay book.

Warner Archive: (Available for purchase at www.wbshop.com)

Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1989) (**) is basically a remake of the first film without the participation of the original director, Tobe Hooper. A few effective moments here and there abound. Extras include deleted scenes and multiple documentaries. 

Olive Films:

Great Balls of Fire (1989) (** 1/2) Dennis Quaid clowns around in this so-so biopic of the legendary Jerry Lee Lewis.  No Extras.

Five on the Black Hand Side (1973) (***) is an interesting adaptation of the Charlie Russell about a wedding that serves as a catalyst for familial conflict for an African American family. No extras.

Photo: Keaton, Alan Alda, Anjelica Huston & Allen in MMM

Birdman of Alcatraz (1962) (***) is the true tale of Robert Stroud, in prison for murder, who develops a passion for taking care of birds while incarcerated. Extras include and audio commentary. 

Kino Lorber:

The Thomas Crown Affair (1968) (*** ½) One of the pivotal films of the late 60s, a tale of a professional robber (Steve McQueen) using a federal agent (Faye Dunaway) as his accomplice, isn’t a particularly deep film but more than compensates its shortcomings with its stylish presentation and terrific score. Extras include a new 4K restoration, two commentary tracks, director interview, original 1967 featurette and theatrical trailer. 

The Outlaw (1943) (** ½) is the final film for Howard Hughes as a director. Infamously banned due to footage that was deemed to reveal too much of star Jane Russell’s cleavage. Extras include audio commentary and trailers. 

Crossing the Bridge/Indian Summer (1992/93) (*** both films) are two early efforts from film director Mike Binder. Extras include director interview and original trailers. 

The Lion in Winter (1968) (*** ½) is director Anthony Harvey’s film adaptation of the celebrated play, which resulted in star Katherine Hepburn being awarded one of her multiple Oscars for her performance. Extras include director commentary, trailer and interview with sound recordist, Simon Kaye. 

Twilight Time (limited to 3,000 units and available for order at www.twilighttimemovies.com and www.screenarchives.com)

The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man in the Moon Marigolds (1972) (***) One of the few directorial efforts from actor Paul Newman, this adaptation of Paul Zinder’s play stars his wife, Joanne Woodward, and daughter, Nell Potts in a tale of a disillusioned single mother and how she poisons the lives of her two daughters. Extras include trailer and music track. 

Harry and Walter Go to New York (1976) (**) is a tale of two vaudevillian performers who attempt to rob a bank in the early part of the last century. Inspired casting of terrific actors (James Caan, Michael Caine, Elliot Gould, Diane Keaton) helps but can’t save the ultimately unfunny film. Extras include audio commentary, trailer and music track. 

Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993) (***) reunited Woody Allen with his frequent star Diane Keaton in this tale of a long married couple who suspect their neighbor murdered his wife. Extras include music track and the film’s trailer. 

The Incident (1967) (*** ½) is a stark and chilling mood piece detailing what happens when the varied passengers on a subway car are held hostage by two thugs. Underrated and well worth seeking out. Extras include director commentary, music track and the film’s trailer.  

Coming soon: Age of Innocence, Call Me by Your Name, Outer Limits Season One, Downfall, I, Tonya, Justice League, Disaster Artist.      

Questions or comments? Filmfan1970@hotmail.com or find me on Facebook.


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