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You are here: Community Film Blu-ray/DVD Roundup for Nov. 18, 2022

Blu-ray/DVD Roundup for Nov. 18, 2022

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Welcome to another look at some of the highlights arriving on Blu-ray and DVD. This is a very busy week with a wide variety of features in various genres. So, if you can’t make it out to the movies this week or need to stay indoors, be sure to give one of these titles a try!

 

BIG NEW RELEASES!

ALLEGORIA: In this independent horror film, a group of young artists that include a drama student, writer, painter, singer and sculptor strive to create their masterpieces. However, supernatural occurrences follow and they all find themselves facing off against an evil force as they try to finish their various works. This film is written and directed by Spider One, front man of the band “Powerman 5000 and brother of musician/film director Rob Zombie.

There aren’t a lot of reviews for this picture yet and reaction appears split down the middle. Half wrote that the segments were underdeveloped and that the film simply wasn’t memorable. Just as many called it creepy and atmospheric, also appreciating the way that the filmmaker managed to incorporate heavy metal music into the feature. John Ennis, Krsy Fox, Adam Busch, Bryce Johnson, Scout Taylor-Compton and Edward Hong headline the film.

CHRISTMAS IN PARADISE: This little romantic-comedy involves a trio of sisters from England who go on the hunt for their estranged dad after he suddenly disappears. They end up locating their father in the Caribbean and decide to spend the holidays with him. Naturally, they also confront their pop in the hopes of convincing him to return and finding out why he left without warning.

The title is debuting on disc (as well as on streaming platforms) right now and so there aren’t any reviews currently available for it. There are some familiar names in the cast, but the corny online trailer does the movie no favors and makes it obvious why it would not be screened prior to the release date. The cast includes Kelsey Grammer, Elizabeth Hurley, Billy Ray Cyrus, Nathalie Cox, Naomi Frederick and Victoria Ekanoye.

GIGI & NATE: After a horrible accident, a young man is left quadriplegic and finds it impossible to move forward. Things change when he is introduced to an unusual helper named Gigi. The service animal is a capuchin monkey and the two bond surprisingly quickly. Not only does the protagonist’s life begin to improve, but he also feels inspired by his new companion.

While many thought the drama was well-intentioned, critics were not impressed by what they witnessed. A handful did find the feature sweet and thought it offered a couple of unexpected turns that kept them watching. Everyone else stated that the story was blandly delivered and that the drama was cloying, manipulative and ineffective. It features Charlie Rowe, Marcia Gay Harden, Jim Belushi, Josephine Langford and Diane Ladd.

JERRY & MARGE GO LARGE: Based on a true story, this comedy tells the tale of a long-married couple. The husband feels a bit frustrated after being forced into retirement with little savings and uses his considerable math skills to find a loophole in a local lottery. His technique works and the couple decide to share their considerable profits with the town. Of course, this attracts the attention of those running the giveaway.

Two-thirds of critics enjoyed this comedy. Naysayers thought the cast were solid but that the presentation of the story was flat and would have benefitted from an edgier approach. But most appreciated the performers, found the various quips to be funny and thought that the picture had a sweet message. It stars Bryan Cranston, Annette Bening, Larry Wilmore, Rainn Wilson, Lily Schlesinger, Jake McDorman and Michael McKean.

MOONAGE DAYDREAM: Famed musician David Bowie is the subject of this documentary. Using never-before-seen and rare footage, interview clips and other bits and pieces from his 54-year career, the filmmakers attempt to show a more detailed picture of the man and his creative process. This movie is also the only film that has been sanctioned by the estate of the family and presents remasters of 40 songs performed by the artist.

The movie received a great deal of praise from those who saw it. A tiny number suggested that the 140-minute running time was too short to get all the necessary details about the subject. However, everyone else found the doc to be impressive, informative and visually impressive, helping fans and those unfamiliar with the man get a clearer understanding of his extensive work and lengthy career.

THE PASSENGER: A group of tourists being taken on a sightseeing ride in the country accidentally strike a lady hiking in the night. They all rush to collect the woman and take her to get help, but find that she may not actually be human. Soon, they are all attacked by this strange, mutating figure (in the process, some appear to become creatures themselves).

This Spanish horror/science-fiction picture amused many genre film enthusiasts. A limited group thought that it aped gory horror/comedies like “Dead/Alive” and “Evil Dead II” but didn’t surpass or match them, rendering itself unnecessary. Still, the majority wrote that it was fun, fast-paced and amusingly gruesome with great practical effects, unique characters and plenty of outrageous moments. It features Ramiro Blas, Cecilia Suárez and Paula Gallego.

R.I.P.D. 2: RISE OF THE DAMNED: “R.I.P.D.” was a 2013 science-fiction buddy picture with Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges about agents at an afterlife law enforcement agency. The movie tanked critically and commercially, but for some reason Universal Pictures has decided to produce a direct-to-disc sequel. It features new characters who are recruited into the organization and travel back in time to the old west. While there, they must face off against a killer and close a gateway to hell.

There are very few write-ups currently available for this picture. Those that have appeared suggest that while the performers are likable, there isn’t much they can do to save a low-budget sequel that no one really wanted or needed in the first place. The cast includes Jeffrey Donovan, Rachel Adedeji and Penelope Mitchell.

THREE THOUSAND YEARS OF LONGING: A lonely scholar who specializes in narrative structure attends a conference in Istanbul, Turkey. While visiting an antique shop, she purchases an impressive lamp. After examining it, a Djinn (or genie) appears before her and offers three wishes. The woman is skeptical, knowing that these gifts often backfire. She begins questioning the figure, who tells the lead about himself and tries to convince her why she must believe him.

Overall, the press appreciated this fantasy. A number of critics complained that there wasn’t much onscreen chemistry between the leads and that the story didn’t spark enough passion. Regardless, the majority thought it was visually spectacular, enjoyed many of the story segments and thought the film was an interesting, intellectual take on myths and storytelling. It stars Tilda Swinton and Idris Elba.

 

BLASTS FROM THE PAST!

Looking to pick up some older titles on Blu-ray? You have plenty to choose from.

“Death Game” (1977) aka “The Seducers” is arriving on Blu-ray from Grindhouse Releasing. It’s about a man who is seduced and abused by two young women. The picture has received a 4K restoration and includes the director and co-star Colleen Camp being interviewed by Eli Roth (“Cabin Fever,” “Hostel”). There are additional interviews with actors and crew members, a 24-page booklet with details about the movie, as well as publicity materials.

 

Kino is presenting the Henry Silva action picture “Assassination” (1967) on Blu-ray. It also comes with a 4K picture restoration, as well as a film historian commentary track and a trailer.

“The Diamond Wizard” (1954) is an interesting crime picture about a treasury agent trying to stop thieves from creating and selling artificial diamonds made from sugar. The movie was originally released in 3D at theaters. This distributor is presenting the movie in 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray (as well as with an Anaglyph 3D version).

They are also releasing a Blu-ray of “The Valachi Papers” (1972) with Charles Bronson. This disc includes a commentary with a Bronson biographer, in addition to multiple trailers, TV and radio spots for the movie.

 

Lionsgate is celebrating the 30th anniversary of “Reservoir Dogs” (1992) with a 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray package. This darkly humorous and dramatic cult classic from Quentin Tarantino (“Pulp Fiction,” “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”) features a desperate group of crooks holed up in a factory after a botched job. Besides the improved picture quality, it also comes with deleted scenes and multiple featurettes.

 

The underrated follow-up “Airplane II: The Sequel” (1982) is being rereleased by Paramount on Blu-ray. It isn’t as good as the original “Airplane!” from 1980, but it does offer plenty of laughs and a hilarious supporting turn from William Shatner.

 

The very entertaining comedy “Wayne’s World” (1992) is also celebrating its 30th Anniversary and Paramount is presenting a 4K Ultra HD only edition of the movie available. Alas, no Blu-ray is included in this set. If you are so inclined, you can also pick up this version in Steelbook packaging.

 

The exceptional Paramount Presents line is also adding a title to its roster. The Elvis Presley musical “Blue Hawaii” (1961) arrives in a package that contains the film in 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray. Presley plays a tour guide who wants to sing but whose family prefers that he work for the family pineapple business. It’s an enjoyable effort that features great musical numbers. Bonuses include a film historian commentary, a photo scrapbook of the production, collectable packaging with a fold out of the original poster, and plenty more.

 

Sony is presenting a big Blu-ray box set that contains all of the “Spider-Man” movies they have produced. The “Spider-Man 8-Movie Collection” contains the first trilogy with Tobey McGuire made between 2002 and 2007, the two Andrew Garfield “Amazing Spider-Man” pictures from 2012 and 2014 and the three recent Tom Holland efforts made from 2017 to 2021. One expects the discs include all of the previously released extras.

 

YOU KNOW, FOR KIDS!

It’s a slow week for kids, but you’ll find what is available listed below.

“Gigantosaurus Season 2 - We’re in This Together” (NCircle) DVD

 

ON THE TUBE!

And here are all of the TV-themed releases coming your way this week.

“Darby and Joan” Series 1 (Acorn) DVD

“A Discovery of Witches” The Complete Trilogy (3 Seasons) (RLJ Entertainment) Blu-ray

“Doom Patrol” Season 3 (Warner Bros.) Blu-ray

“Gigantosaurus Season 2 - We’re in This Together” (NCircle) DVD

“Hallmark 3-Movie Collection: Magical Christmas Ornaments / Snow Bride / The Christmas Cottage” (Hallmark) DVD

“Halo” Season 1 (Paramount) Blu-ray or 4K Ultra HD or Steelbook 4K Ultra HD

“Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan” Season 1 (Paramount) 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray

“Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan” Season 2 (Paramount) 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray

“Why Women Kill” The Complete Series (Paramount) Blu-ray

VISIT: WWW.CINEMASTANCE.COM

By Glenn Kay
For the Sun