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You are here: Community Film Blu-ray/DVD New Release Roundup for June 26, 2020

Blu-ray/DVD New Release Roundup for June 26, 2020

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Welcome back to another look at highlights coming your way on Blu-ray and DVD. A few more interesting releases are being offered up. So, since you likely can’t make it out to the movies this week, be sure to give one of these titles a try!

BIG NEW RELEASES!

BURDEN: Based on a true story, this tale is set in a small South Carolina town. When a Ku Klux Klan museum opens, a local African-American reverend and social activist anticipates trouble. In order to keep the peace, he contacts and begins talking with the young leader of the local Klan group. Remarkably, the priest eventually forms a relationship that inspires the head member to leave the racist group, make amends and start life anew. The independent feature received split notices.

Half thought it repeated elements of better, similarly-themed movies with less effectiveness. Still, just as many stated that while it wasn’t subtle in its approach, the film did make its points effectively and featured strong performances. This title is being released this week exclusively on DVD (presumably a Blu-ray will follow at a later date). It stars Garrett Hedlund, Forest Whitaker, Tom Wilkinson, Andrea Riseborough, Tess Harper and Usher Raymond.

DIANA KENNEDY: NOTHING FANCY: Documentary fans may be curious about this non-fiction feature that focuses on the life of master chef, teacher and environmental activist Diana Kennedy. The movie includes new interviews with the 90-something figure at her impressive, eco-sustainable home. They talk about her incredible experiences and legendary food creations. This is intercut with archival materials like television appearances and encounters with figures in her field of study.

Response was unanimously positive toward this picture. While the press thought the movie might have been a little too fawning of its subject at times, they still called the woman incredibly charismatic and thought the movie did a great deal to bring her work and accomplishments to light. For the time being, this title is available exclusively on DVD.

IMMORTALITY OR BUST: This documentary follows the 2016 presidential campaign of Zoltan Istvan. For those who don’t remember the candidate, this entrepreneur/sci-fi author founded the Transhumanist Party. He drove across the U.S. in an “immortality bus”, promising to change humanity emotionally and physically through science, with an emphasis on overcoming aging. His unusual approach did gain attention and plenty of followers.

The film captures his life and campaign. It also attempts to get to the root of what inspired him on his journey, with the crew discovering a possible inspiration when they interview and learn about his family. It looks like this picture is debuting on disc, so there currently aren’t any reviews just yet. However, it has played at various film festivals and won a few prizes at these screenings.

THE LAST SUPPER: Released in its homeland under the title Das Letzte Mahl, this foreign-language drama is set in Germany on the day that Hitler assumes power in the country. An extended German-Jewish family come together for a family dinner and discuss what has occurred. Some members express their admiration for the dictator and a few don’t take the matter seriously, while others detail their concern about it. Over the course of the evening arguments follow, and their relationships come under great strain.

This picture is making its debut on disc in this part of the world. As such, there aren’t many reviews available for it. Still, it appears that the feature was well received at various festivals, where it won several awards for its cinematography. So, one can be certain that at the very least it will look great. The cast includes Konstantin Freyer, Bruno Eyron and Sharon Brauner.

INHERITANCE: When the patriarch of a wealthy and powerful New York-based family passes away, family members arrive with an eye on collecting his inheritance. His daughter receives a particularly strange and unexpected message from the deceased man that divulges an incredible family secret ... one that threatens to tear the entire family apart.

The majority of critics did not think that the film was intended to be silly and suggested viewers would be rolling their eyes at increasingly ridiculous plot twists. For the time being, this title is arriving exclusively on DVD. It stars Lily Collins, Simon Pegg, Connie Nielsen, Chance Crawford and Patrick Warburton.

JASPER MALL: Truthfully, there isn’t a whole lot of information available about this particular effort, although it does arrive with some impressive credentials. Earlier in the year, the feature was nominated for Best Documentary at the Slamdance Film Festival (one of the bigger independent film festivals in North America). The moviemakers decided to follow the slow decline and death of a shopping mall in Jasper, Ala. It goes behind the scenes to show the business struggles facing the property owners.

Tenants and regular shoppers are interviewed, sharing their thoughts about the locale and its imminent demise. General response from festival-goers has been positive, with a few stating that the movie displays how a popular social gathering center has faded with the arrival of online shopping.

BLASTS FROM THE PAST!

 

Shout! Factory has a couple of intriguing Blu-rays. The first is the period comedy The Road to Wellville (1994). It humorously details the efforts of eccentric Dr. John Kellogg (well-known for creating the famous breakfast cereal with his brother) to start a health sanitarium in Michigan. His ideas and teachings turn out to be pretty over-the-top and extreme, leading some of the patients to revolt against their health club leader.

It stars Anthony Hopkins, Bridget Fonda, Matthew Broderick, John Cusack, Dana Carvey, Michael Lerner and many others. This flick from director Alan Parker (Midnight Express, Pink Floyd: The Wall, Angel Heart, The Commitments) wasn’t successful during its original run, but I remember finding it underrated and having plenty of amusing moments.

Finally, Warner Archive has some great made-to-order discs coming your way. You can now pick up the Danny Kaye musical, Hans Christian Anderson (1952). Inspired by the real-life figure, it’s not so much a biopic as a fairy tale spun around the storyteller’s life, featuring a large helping of singing and dancing. The movie was nominated for six Academy Awards.

Horror fans will be incredibly excited about the Vincent Price classic House of Wax (1953) hitting Blu-ray. They’ve put it out before, but Warner Archive is repressing the film in high definition once again in 2D and 3D (as it was originally presented in theaters). I actually saw a screening of a 3D print of the film many years ago at a cinema – while the movie doesn’t ram items out of the screen into your face, it has always looked spectacular in 3D … especially with all of the wax dummies and foggy city backdrops. If you have the ability to watch movies with the added dimension, then you’ll certainly want to pick this up.

 

They also have a Blu-ray of the Oscar-winning, Mickey Rooney/Judy Garland musical, Strike Up the Band (1940). It follows the pair competing in a high-school band contest.

YOU KNOW, FOR KIDS!

There isn’t much for children this week, with the exception of a couple of straight-to-disc kid’s titles.

Monster Class

Under the Sea

ON THE TUBE!

And here are a couple of TV shows you can now pick up on disc.

Pennyworth: Season 1 (Warner Archive)

South Park: Season 23

VISIT: WWW.CINEMASTANCE.COM

By Glenn Kay
For the Sun