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You are here: Community Film Blu-ray/DVD Roundup for October 30, 2020

Blu-ray/DVD Roundup for October 30, 2020

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It’s time once again for another look at highlights coming to Blu-ray and DVD. With Halloween approaching, there aren’t quite as many new releases as usual, but there is still plenty of interesting material to choose from. So, since you can’t or shouldn’t head out to the movies this week, be sure to give one of these titles a try!

BIG NEW RELEASES!

BLOODY NOSE, EMPTY POCKETS: According to the filmmakers, this movie revolves around a place called The Roaring 20s, a Las Vegas dive bar known for its unusual assortment of customers. The camera spends a night with the employees and drinkers during the establishment’s final night in operation, forcing attendees to consider what they will do next. Apparently, this feature has been promoted as a documentary, but is as much of a narrative feature as a non-fiction film. In fact, it was shot in a different state and bar with customers being told to follow the directions given to them.

The movie has played at various film festivals where it has won some awards. Reaction toward the film was generally positive. A group found the exercise dishonest and didn’t buy into what they were watching. Still, just as many called it a curious experiment that featured plenty of fascinating people. Peter Elwell and Michael Martin appear.

FISHBOWL: This independent drama follows a family after a personal tragedy. Three teenage girls are forced to not only contend with the death of their mother, but a grieving dad who loses touch with reality. Desperate to join his wife in the afterlife, the man begins to assert that The Rapture is coming. He forces his kids to prepare for the event.

One of the daughters falls for another teen who may know something more about the death of the family matriarch. This title has played at film festivals over the past two years and is now making its debut on streaming platforms and on disc. There aren’t many reviews available for it, although those that have popped up suggest that the flick features strong performances. The cast includes Connie Bowman, Caroline Coleman, Belle Shickle and Ken Arnold.

FRIENDSGIVING: Set during the Thanksgiving holiday, this comedy follows two friends who decide to avoid family and enjoy a quiet and relaxing weekend in each other’s company. Things change rapidly when a new boyfriend is also invited to the shindig. He extends his invitation to a mother and before long word spreads about the event. After an ex-boyfriend and other unexpected guests appear, the leads must endure a comically tense evening.

Critics did not take to this indie picture. One or two complimented the cast members and stated that their performances carried the film. However, most commented that the tone was off the mark and that the end results were neither as funny, nor as inspirational as intended. It features Malin Akerman, Kat Dennings, Aisha Tyler, Christine Taylor, Jane Seymour, Chelsea Peretti, Ryan Hansen, Fortune Feimster, Wanda Sykes and Margaret Cho.

I WAS AT HOME, BUT … A 13-year-old student disappears without a trace in this drama. A week later, he reappears at home, leaving his mother and teachers completely confused about what happened. As everyone tries to get to the bottom of the mystery, they are confronted with existential questions that begin to change their entire views on life. This foreign-language feature from Germany was well-received by the press.

A small contingent found some of the characters difficult to relate to and described the events depicted as tiring and confounding. The majority were intrigued by the onscreen drama and thought that the movie challenged viewers to interpret what was going on, keeping them enthralled. The cast includes Maren Eggert, Franz Rogowski, Lilith Stangenberg and Jakob Lassalle.

MIGHTY IRA: This documentary tells the story of Ira Glasser, the man who led the American Civil Liberties Union for 23 years. After taking a role with the organization, he helped the group stave off bankruptcy and turned it into a successful outfit with a $30 million dollar endowment. Glasser goes over his life story and relates his experiences, as well as telling tales about the many important events he became involved in over the years. So far, write-ups for the movie have been decent but unspectacular.

Some of the more upbeat critiques call it a sweet portrait of an admirable man that details his many accomplishments. Others say that while Glasser’s work was remarkable, this documentary didn’t tell his story with much gusto or give any insight or depth into his real personality.

WOLFMAN’S GOT NARDS: In 1987, a PG-13 flick called The Monster Squad was released in cinemas. It told the story of a group of kids squaring off against famous monsters like Count Dracula. The feature was a big flop, but has since gained a large cult following. This documentary explains the impact that the movie made on fans, as well as the effect it had on the careers of cast and crew members.

It features interviews with just about everyone who worked on it, including director Fred Dekker (who recently wrote The Predator) and screenwriter Shane Black (who went on to write and direct Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Iron Man 3 and The Nice Guys). Reviews for this doc have been solid, asserting that it not only shares interesting stories about the production, but provides a detailed reappraisal and serves as a nice tribute to the filmmakers as well as fandom in general.

BLASTS FROM THE PAST!

Arrow Video is getting the week off to an appropriately chilly start with a Special Edition Blu-ray of the UK production, Cold Light of Day (1989). This feature is loosely based on the life of Des Nilsen, often dubbed the British Jeffery Dahmer. The movie has been given a 2K remastering from the original 16mm camera negative. It comes with a director commentary track and a second with film historians.

There are also interviews with cast members, a promo film that was used to secure financing for the feature, a pair of shorts from the filmmaker and other extras.

 

When Star Wars was released in 1977, its success spawned a series of science-fiction features. One of the best of the lot was The Last Starfighter (1984), a tale of a teenager from a trailer park who is recruited for intergalactic battle based on his skills with an arcade game on the property. The film, starring Lance Guest, Catherine Mary Stewart, Robert Preston and Dan O’Herlihy is a really well-written and charming effort. It also boasted some very early computer-generated effects work.

 

Kino has a Special Edition Blu-ray of the classic Michael Caine spy thriller, The Ipcress File (1965). The actor plays an agent tasked with investigating a series of kidnappings involving scientists who suddenly return to work brainwashed. The movie has been given a 2K restoration for this release, and comes with a director commentary, as well as a film historian audio track, an interview with Caine himself and production designed by Ken Adams (who worked on several James Bond flicks), as well as several trailers for the film.

YOU KNOW, FOR KIDS!

You’ll find plenty of kid-friendly titles listed below.

Ben 10 vs. The Universe: The Movie (TV-movie)

The Flintstones: The Complete Series

Garfield and Friends: Season 3

Tom and Jerry: A Nutcracker Tale (2007) Special Edition

ON THE TUBE!

And here are the week’s TV-themed releases.

Babylon Berlin: Seasons 1 & 2

Ben 10 vs. The Universe: The Movie (TV-movie)

Black Lightning: Season 2 (Warner Archive)

Black Lightning: Season 3 (Warner Archive)

A Christmas Love Story (Hallmark)

Dynasty: Season 3

Fleabag: Season 2

Fleabag: The Complete Series

The Flintstones: The Complete Series

Garfield and Friends: Season 3

Head of the Class: Season 2 (Warner Archive)

Hidden: Series 2

VISIT: WWW.CINEMASTANCE.COM

By Glenn Kay
For the Sun