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New on DVD and Blu-ray Week of January 16 - January 22

View Harley Lond's Profile

By Harley Lond - 01/16/18 at 02:24 AM CT

FROM THE BIG SCREEN:
Arriving 35 years after the first "Blade Runner," "Blade Runner 2049" is much more than a sequel; it stands on its own as a visionary science fiction outing that would make old Phillip K. Dick (author of "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" upon which the original was based) proud. 1992's "Blade Runner," directed by Ridley Scott, and starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer and Sean Young, had a tumultuous beginning: it was pretty much panned upon its release, due to a lame voice-over track and a happy ending, both by the studio's insistence. Ten years later, the film Ryan Gosling is on the case in the top 2017 sci-fi movie, Blade Runner 2049 was re-released without narration, and with the original ending, and "Blade Runner" went on to become one of the most acclaimed science fiction films of all time. "Blade Runner 2049" is set 30 years after the original, and follows blade runner LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling), who unearths a long-buried secret in the course of hunting down replicants: the remains of a child that was birthed by a female replicant, something previously thought impossible. K’s earthshaking discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former LAPD blade runner linked to the birth, who has been missing for 30 years. In terms of the film's merits, we can't say it better than Rotten Tomatoes: "visually stunning and narratively satisfying, 'Blade Runner 2049' deepens and expands its predecessor's story while standing as an impressive filmmaking achievement in its own right." It's heady going (164 minutes) but worth every second. The film, directed by Denis Villeneuve, co-stars Ana de Armas, Sylvia Hoeks, Robin Wright, Mackenzie Davis, Carla Juri, Lennie James, Dave Bautista and Jared Leto. Extras include a host of backgroubnd featurettes, including "Blade Runner 101: Blade Runners," "Blade Runner 101: The Replicant Evolution," "Blade Runner 101: The Rise of Wallace Corp," "Blade Runner 101: Welcome to 2049," "Blade Runner 101: Joi," "Blade Runner 101: Within the Skies." The Blu-ray adds "Designing the World of Blade Runner 2049," "To Be Human: Casting Blade Runner 2049," "Prologues: 2036: Nexus Dawn," "Prologues: 2048: Nowhere to Run," "Prologues: 2022: Black Out." From Warner.

Also due this week: "Happy Death Day," a kind of horror version of "Groundhog Day" in which a blissfully self-centered co-ed (Jessica Rothe) is doomed to relive the day of her murder unless she can identify her masked assailant and hopefully stop the madness. If she can’t, she'll be stuck in an insane loop, reliving a ghoulish nightmare that has become her death day. Co-stars Israel Broussard and Ruby Modine. Extras include an alternate ending, deleted scenes, and a handful of behind-the-scenes featurettes. From Universal ... and "The Snowman," in which novelist Jo Nesbo's detective Harry Hole (Michael Fassbender) investigates the death of a young woman -- whose scarf is found wrapped around an ominous-looking snowman -- during the first snowfall of winter. His investigation leads him to "The Snowman Killer," an elusive sociopath who continuously taunts Hole with cat-and-mouse games. As the vicious murders continue, Harry teams up with a brilliant recruit (Rebecca Ferguson) to try and lure the madman out of the shadows before he can strike again. Co-stars Charlotte Gainsbourg, Jonas Karlsson, Val Kilmer and J.K. Simmons. Extras include four featurettes. From Universal.

BUZZIN' THE 'B'S:


"Extraordinary" (2017), starring Leland Klassen, Shari Rigby, Karen Abercrombie and Kirk Cameron, tells the amazing true story of ultra-marathon runner and college professor David Horton, his wife, Nancy, and their attempt to finish their marriage photo for Extraordinary race well. Although proud of his incredible athletic accomplishments and the impact he has on his students, David's family continuously pays a high price for his years of competitive running. Following his open-heart surgery and irreparable damage to his knees, Nancy is ready for Dave to hang up his racing shoes for good and focus his boundless energy on their family. Instead, feeling called by God to "inspire people one last time," Dave sets off for a 2,900-mile race across America. From Universal ... "Cook Off!" (2017) is a mockumentary based on Cathryn Michon’s book "The Grrl Genius Guide to Life." As a buffet of quirky contestants prepare for the renowned Van Rookle Farms Cooking Contest, the heat is on to win a one million-dollar prize. The filmmakers follow them as the foodie media and celebrity judges descend on a hotel convention area to see which contestants rise, which ones fall, who will reveal their true nature, and who will find love with the contest’s costumed Muffin Man mascot. Stars Cathryn Michon, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Melissa McCarthy, Gary Anthony Williams, Niecy Nash and Diedrich Bader. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc, and Digital, from Lionsgate ... photo for Blue World Order In "Blue World Order" (2018), starring Billy Zane, Jake Ryan and Stephen Hunter, after a nuclear war decimated the Northern Hemisphere, the surviving population was infected with a deadly bacterium. In an attempt to rebuild civilization, a self-appointed government called The Order distributed an immunization to the bacteria, which inadvertently killed all the children. Only one man, Jake Slater, remained immune. The only child that survived is his daughter, Molly. Now, Jake scavenges the wasteland searching for a way to keep her alive, unaware that she is the key to the survival of humankind. From Random Media ... In Agatha Christie's most twisted tale, "Crooked House" (2017), starring Glenn Close, Terence Stamp, Max Irons, Stefanie Martini, Gillian Anderson and Christina Hendricks, the suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of a wealthy patriarch is investigated by spy-turned-private-detective Charles Hayward (Irons), who is lured by his former lover to catch her grandfather’s murderer before Scotland Yard exposes dark family secrets. On the sprawling estate, amidst a poisonous atmosphere of bitterness, resentment and jealousy in a truly crooked house, Hayward encounters three generations of the dynasty, including a theater actress (Anderson), the old man’s widow 50 years his junior photo for Macon County Line BLU-RAY DEBUT (Hendricks), and the family matriarch Lady Edith de Haviland (Close). On DVD, Blu-ray Disc, Digital, from Sony ... ... Shout! Factory has on offer this week the Blu-ray debut of "Macon County Line" (1974), starring Max Baer, Alan Vint, Jesse Vint, Joan Blackman, Geoffrey Lewis, Cheryl Waters, James Gammon, Doodles Weaver and Leif Garrett. Louisiana, 1954: Brothers Chris and Wayne Dixon (Alan Vint and Jesse Vint) are joyriding through the South before enlisting in the Army. When the wife of a local sheriff is brutally killed by a pair of psychotic drifters, Chris and Wayne are mistaken for the murderers. Far from home, on the run and out of time, they find themselves hunted by a crazed lawman in a tragedy of rage and revenge that explodes in a shocking climax ... once they cross Macon County Line. Best known for playing goofy Jethro Bodine on "The Beverly Hillbillies," Max Baer forever changed his image by producing, co-writing and co-starring in this powerful movie ... "I, Daniel Blake" (2016 -- UK), an urgent response to the political realities of contemporary Britain, is a bracing drama from celebrated filmmaker Ken Loach that takes a hard look at bureaucratic injustice and ineptitude through the eyes of an I, Daniel Blake Criterion Collection Blu-Ray Cover unassuming working-class hero. After a heart attack leaves him unable to hold a job, the widowed carpenter Daniel Blake (Dave Johns) begins a long, lonely journey through the Kafka-esque labyrinth of the local welfare state. Along the way, he strikes up a friendship with a single mother (Hayley Squires) and her two children, at the mercy of the same system after being evicted from their home. Imbued with gentle humor and quiet rage and conceived for maximum real-world impact, the Palme d’Or–winning "I, Daniel Blake" is a testament to Loach’s tireless commitment to a cinema of social engagement. On DVD and Blu-ray, with a new high-definition digital master, supervised by director Ken Loach, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray, from The Criterion Collection.

ON THE INDIE FRONT:


Gay men have made great progress toward acceptance and equal rights in recent decades, but among the gains there have been losses. Told with humor and candidness, "100 Men" (2017) charts the revolution through a countdown of one man's most unforgettable trysts. Director Paul Oremland sets out to track down and talk to some of the memorable men he's met through sex. In the process, he finds himself exploring four decades of changing attitudes toward homosexuality. But this is not a film about sex; it's really about social change -- told through the prism of Paul's journey as he meets up with men he has not seen for years. From MPI/Dark Sky Films.

FOREIGN FILMS


"In Her Name (aka Kalinka)" (2016 -- France) is based on the true Kalinka Bamberski murder case that shook France for three decades. In 1982, André Bamberski -- powerfully played by the Cannes, Cesar and BAFTA best actor winner Daniel Auteuil -- learns about the death of his 14 year-old daughter, Kalinka, while she was on vacation with her mother and stepfather (Sebastian Koch) in Germany. Convinced that Kalinka’s death was no accident, Bamberski begins to investigate. A gripping and emotional legal drama based on a true story of a father's determination to bring his daughter’s murderer to justice. From Icarus Films.

FOR THE FAMILY:


"Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! Season 1 Part 2" (2017) is a two-disc set with 13 new 22-minute episodes. High school ends and summer vacation begins for the Scooby-Doo gang. Shaggy, Velma, Daphne, Fred and Scooby-Doo set out on a road trip in search of fun and adventure: they visit an old prison known as “The Vault,” which is haunted by the ghost of a man who once tried to escape from its confines. They board a flight on Air Gigantica, a plane that’s tormented by a gremlin. The hijinks continue in the bayous of New Orleans, where the gang encounters a swamp monster. Next on the route is a visit to a ski resort where Scooby-Doo and his pals confront a snow monster. And more. From Warner.

SPECIAL INTEREST:


"Cern" (2013 -- Austria) is a documentary about the immense Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest laboratory for particle physics, operated by world-renowned research organization CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research). Including interviews with the leading experts who operate and maintain this gigantic Big Bang machine, the film provides fascinating insights into not only this complex experimental research institution, but the quirky geniuses behind the scenes. From Icarus Films ... "Pornocracy" (2017 -- France) is a provocative exposé on the modern-day porn industry. Directed by former French adult film director Ovidie, the investigative documentary, which was an Official Selection at SXSW 2017, captured international audiences with its shocking and informative presentation of the current changes in the multi-billion dollar X-rated industry. Interspersing interviews with former and current porn stars, directors, studio heads, and CEOs of Internet companies that now run the streaming websites, Ovidie investigates how the arrival of free streaming websites, which feature amateur and pirated clips, has transformed the way porn is created and consumed. In her investigation, she exposes how a group of programmers hijacked the adult industry to create a mysterious multinational corporation that virtually controls the entire adult industry worldwide. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc, from FilmRise.

FROM TV TO DVD:


"Alibi" (2003) is an intriguing and darkly humorous British thriller. Neurotic businessman Greg Brentwood throws an extravagant anniversary party for his wife, Linda, at their English country home. One of the caterers, Marcey, quietly admires the couple’s love for each other -- until she sees an intimate moment between Linda and Greg’s business partner, Martin. When Marcey later returns to the house to retrieve her handbag, she walks in on a frightening scene: Greg moving Martin’s lifeless body. After the initial shock, Greg assures her it was an accident, and Marcey offers to help him dispose of the corpse. As the police investigate the death, Greg becomes increasingly anxious, while Marcey urges him to remain calm. But as she starts to uncover the Brentwoods’ darkest secrets, she begins to wonder what she has gotten photo for Better Call Saul: Season Three herself into. In a three-disc DVD set with six episodes. From Acorn Media ... "Better Call Saul: Season Three" (2017) is a three-disc set with all 10 episodes. The acclaimed second season of "Better Call Saul" ended with a pair of cliffhangers: determined to prevent his brother from practicing law, Chuck staged an elaborate con, secretly recording Jimmy’s confession to a felony, and when Mike set his sights on sociopathic cartel boss Hector Salamanca, an ominous intervention stopped him from pulling the trigger, raising questions as to what other dangerous players may be in the game. As Season Three begins, the repercussions of Chuck’s scheme test Jimmy and Kim’s fledgling law practices -- and their romance -- as never before. Jimmy’s faltering moral compass is pushed to the limit, leading to a shattering climax. Meanwhile, Mike searches for a mysterious adversary, which brings him to the doors of Los Pollos Hermanos, and into the orbit of the enigmatic Gus Fring. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc, from Sony ... "The Commander: The Complete Collection" (2003-2008) is a seven-disc set with 17 episodes (seven complete TV movies). "Prime Suspect" creator Lynda La Plante is the reigning expert on ambitious, reckless female cops. Her gritty crime drama introduces Clare Blake, the steely head of the elite Murder Review Team and the highest-ranking female officer in New Scotland Yard. Portrayed by Amanda Burton, she’s sexy, driven, and prone to taking risks. Letting her personal life bleed into her career, she always gets too close to her cases, making her vulnerable to those who wish to take her down. From Acorn Media.

Check out other new DVD/Blu-ray releases, streaming films, and information and reviews at OnVideo.

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