This Week's DVD, Blu-ray, Digital Releases -- OnVideo

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OnVideo's Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases

Tuesday, January 30 -- Monday, February 5

All DVD Releases

  • Last Flag Flying

    photo for Last Flag Flying In 2003, 30 years after they served together in the Vietnam War, former Navy Corps medic Richard “Doc” Shepherd (Steve Carell) reunites with former marines Sal Nealon (Bryan Cranston) and Reverend Richard Mueller (Laurence Fishburne) on a different type of mission: burying Doc’s son, a young marine killed in the Iraq War. Doc decides to forgo a burial at Arlington National Cemetery and, with the help of his old buddies, takes the casket on a bittersweet trip up the East Coast to his home in suburban New Hampshire. Along the way, Doc, Sal and Mueller reminisce and come to terms with shared memories of the war that continues to shape their lives. Vitals: Director: Richard Linklater. Stars: Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston, Laurence Fishburne, Yul Vazquez, J. Quinton Johnson, Cicely Tyson. 2017, CC, MPAA rating: R, 125 min., Drama, Box office gross: $.965 million, Lionsgate. Extras: Deleted scenes, “An Unexpected Journey: Making Last Flag Flying” featurette, “Veterans Day” featurette, outtakes. 3 stars


  • Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween

    photo for Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween Madea and friends are back in this follow-up to Tyler Perry’s comedy hit. When Brian’s (Tyler Perry) daughter sneaks off to attend a party at a haunted campground, Madea, Aunt Bam, Hattie and Joe set out on a hell-arious journey to bring her back, scaring up laughs and striking fear in all monsters, goblins and party animals standing in their way. Vitals: Director: Tyler Perry. Stars: Tyler Perry, Cassi Davis, Patrice Lovely, Yousef Erakat, Diamond White, Lexy Panterra, Andre Hall. 2017, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 100 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $47.313 million, Lionsgate. Extras: Outtakes, deleted scenes, “Caddy Whack Boo” featurette, "Why We Love Joe!” featurette. 2 stars

    Digital Releases

    January 30:

    A French Village Season 7: The first major French television series seriously to address collaboration during the Nazi occupation in World War II.

    Napping Princess: In the near future, a high school senior discovers that events in her waking life begin to parallel events in her dreams. Japanese anime by visionary director Kenji Kamiyama. (DVD, Blu-ray release: Day & Date)

    Professor Marston and the Wonder Women: Based on the bold and illuminating true superhero origin story depicting the creation of the beloved comic book character Wonder Woman in 1941 by Dr. William Moulton Marston. (DVD, Blu-ray release: Day & Date)

    Roman J. Israel, Esq.: Denzel Washington stars as a driven, idealistic defense attorney who is recruited to join a firm led by an ambitious lawyer (Colin Farrell); a turbulent series of events ensue that will put the activism that has defined Roman’s career to the test. (DVD, Blu-ray release: February 13)

    Wonder: Born with facial differences that, up until now, have prevented him from going to a mainstream school, Auggie becomes the most unlikely of heroes when he enters the local fifth grade. (DVD, Blu-ray release: February 13)

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    Blu-ray Debuts

  • Class of 1999 (1990) (Vestron Video)
  • Kameradschaft (1931 -- Germany) (Criterion)
  • Westfront 1918 (1930 -- Germany) (Criterion)

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All DVD Releases

Aida’s Secrets (2016 -- Germany) The discovery of records from World War II sparks a family’s quest for answers as two brothers separated as babies and dispersed to different continents reunite with each other and their elderly mother, who hid more from them than they ever could have imagined. Izak Szewelwicz was born in Germany’s Bergen-Belsen displaced persons camp in 1945 and was sent by his mother, Aida, to Israel to be raised by foster parents. Though Izak was able to form a relationship with his birth mother, his life was turned upside down years later when he located not only his birth certificate, but also proof that he had a brother he never knew existed. Documentary filmmakers Alon and Shaul Schwarz set out to find answers for Izak, uncovering questions of re-shuffled identities, resilience, and the traumatic plight of displaced persons. The detective work culminates in Izak and his brother Shep -- both nearly 70 years old -- finally meeting in Canada before traveling to a nursing home in Quebec to introduce Shep to his elderly mother, Aida, for the first time. Formats: DVD, VOD. (Music Box Films).

Class of 1999 BLU-RAY DEBUT (1990) Pam Grier, Stacy Keach, Malcolm McDowell. The time is the future, and youth gang violence is so high that the areas around some schools have become “free fire zones” into which not even the police will venture. When Miles Langford (Malcolm McDowell), the principal of Kennedy High School, decides to take his school back from the gangs, robotics specialist Dr. Robert Forrest (Stacy Keach) provides “tactical education units.” These human-like androids have been programmed to teach and are supplied with weapons to handle discipline problems. These kids will get a lesson in staying alive. Restored and remastered. Extras: Commentary with producer-director Mark L. Lester, “School Safety” interviews with Lester and co-producer Eugene Mazzola, “New Rules” interview with screenwriter C. Courtney Joyner, “Cyber-Teachers from Hell” interviews with special effects creators Eric Allard and Rick Stratton, “Future of Discipline” interview with director of photography Mark Irwin, theatrical trailer, TV spots, still gallery, video promo.(Vestron Video Collector’s Series/Lionsgate).

Gothic (1987) Dir.: Ken Russell; Gabriel Byrne, Julian Sands, Natasha Richardson. Fictional retelling of the night Mary Shelley developed the story of Frankenstein. While under the influence of experimental substances, she and a group of friends experience terrifying visions that bend reality into her horrific tale. Formats:Limited edition Blu-ray Disc Extras: Commentary with Lisi Russell and film historian Matthew Melia, isolated score selections and audio interview with composer Thomas Dolby, “The Soul of Shelley” featurette with Sands, “Fear Itself” featurette with screenwriter Stephen Volk, “One Rainy Night” featurette with director of photography Mike Southon, theatrical trailer, TV spot, still gallery. (Vestron Video Collector’s Series/Lionsgate).

It Takes From Within (2017) David Brownell, Kristin Duarte, James Feagin. Inspired by arthouse films of the 1960s, writer-director Lee Eubanks creates a menacing world of dread, isolation, and unease in his feature film debut. An ominous, bleak atmosphere permeates a desolate town where an unnamed man and woman make preparations to attend a burial. Tension builds as the two experience increasingly disturbing incidents as the internment draws near. Expressive cinematography, brooding sound design, and minimal use of spoken dialogue help create a surreal cinematic examination of the human condition in conflict with death. Tailored for audiences who take pleasure in interpreting a film on their own terms, "It Takes From Within" is a cryptic journey into the dark void between reality and nightmare. Formats: DVD, VOD, Digital. Extras: Audio commentary with director Lee Eubanks. (First Run Features).

Just Charlie (2017 -- UK) Harry Gilby, Scot Williams, Patricia Potter, Karen Bryson, Ewan Mitchell, Joshua Pascoe. Set in Tamworth, a gritty, small working class Midland town in the UK, teenage soccer star Charlie and his family see soccer as a way out of a dead-end factory life for him. But Charlie is struggling with gender dysphoria, and is torn between his father's expectations and shedding his male identity. With dramatic yet surprising results for himself, his family, and his community, Charlie begins a gender transition while continuing to pursue the dream of becoming a soccer star. Formats: DVD, VOD, Digital. (Wolfe Video).

photo for Kameradschaft Kameradschaft (1931 -- Germany) When a coal mine collapses on the frontier between Germany and France, trapping a team of French miners inside, workers on both sides of the border spring into action, putting aside national prejudices and wartime grudges to launch a dangerous rescue operation. Director G. W. Pabst brings a claustrophobic realism to this ticking-clock scenario, using realistic sets and sound design to create the maze of soot-choked shafts where the miners struggle for survival. A gripping disaster film and a stirring plea for international cooperation, "Kameradschaft" cemented Pabst’s status as one of the most morally engaged and formally dexterous filmmakers of his time. On DVD and Blu-ray, with new high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Extras: New interview with German film scholar Hermann Barth on the film’s production; 1988 interview with editor Jean Oser; 2016 interview with film scholar Jan-Christopher Horak on the historical context of the film; an essay by author and critic Luc Sante. (The Criterion Collection).

photo for Last Flag Flying Last Flag Flying (2017) Dir.: Richard Linklater; Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston, Laurence Fishburne, Yul Vazquez, J. Quinton Johnson, Cicely Tyson. Thirty years after they served together in Vietnam, a former Navy Corpsman re-unites with his old buddies, former Marines, to bury his son, a young Marine killed in the Iraq War. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc, VOD, Digital. Extras: Deleted scenes, “An Unexpected Journey: Making Last Flag Flying” featurette, “Veterans Day” featurette, outtakes. (Lionsgate).

Legend of the Naga Pearls (2017 -- China) Darren Wang, Crystal Zhang, Sheng Guansen, Simon Yam, Xing Yu. After being defeated by humans centuries ago, the Winged Tribe has lost their ability to fly. Seeking vengeance, a royal descendant of the tribe has begun searching for the magical Naga Pearls, which he plans to use to destroy the humans. When the legendary pearls fall into - and out of - the hands of photo for Legend of the Naga PearlsHeiyu, a wily human street punk, he must join a team of unlikely heroes as they race to prevent the destruction of their people in this magical fantasy adventure. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc, VOD, Digital. (Well Go USA).

Masterpiece: Victoria Season 2 (2017) Three-disc set with eight episodes. Jenna Coleman returns for a new season as the young queen who wants it all -- romance, power, an heir, and personal freedom. Season 2 finds Victoria adapting to motherhood after the birth of her first child, a daughter (to the disappointment of many). Meanwhile, the disaster of the Anglo-Afghan War unfolds abroad, and the catastrophic Irish potato famine begins to wreak havoc. In other foreign affairs, a royal state visit to France is in the offing. Most intriguing to Prince Albert is the budding Industrial Revolution, which is now sweeping England. There is Charles Babbage’s mechanical calculator, a collaborative project with the bewitching Ada Lovelace, daughter of the scandalous Lord Byron. Then there is William Fothergill Cooke’s miraculous electrical telegraph, not to mention Marc Isambard Brunel’s daring -- and dangerous -- Thames Tunnel. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc, Digital. (PBS Distribution).

photo for My Art My Art (2016) Laurie Simmons, Lena Dunham, Parker Posey, Blair Brown, Robert Clohessy, John Rothman, Josh Safdie, Barbara Sukowa. Contemporary artist Laurie Simmons makes her directorial debut with this quirky and acclaimed dramedy. Ellie Shine (Simmons) is a single artist living in New York City; she has a good life, a stable teaching job, successful friends, and a loyal, aging dog named Bing. As her decades-old dream of a respectable place in the art world becomes more elusive, her frustration with her lack of recognition feels alarmingly urgent. When she is offered the summer house and studio of a famous friend in Upstate New York, she seizes the opportunity to hit the reset button on her life and work. There she unwittingly finds inspiration in two out-of-work actors who maintain the gardens at her summer retreat. Formats: DVD, Digital. Extras: Commentary by director-star Simmons. (Film Movement).

Napping Princess (2017 -- Japan) From visionary director Kenji Kamiyama ("Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex" and "Eden of the East") comes a sci-fi fantasy that effortlessly photo for Napping Princessweaves together the rapidly evolving technology of today’s world with the fantastic imagination of the next generation, which was nominated for Best Animated Feature – Independent, at this year’s Annie Awards. The year is 2020, three days before the opening of the Tokyo Olympics. While she should be studying for her exams, Kokone Morikawa often dozes off, entering a dream-world called Heartland full of fantastic motorized contraptions. But when her father, a talented but mysterious mechanic, is kidnapped for stealing technology from a powerful corporation, it’s up to Kokone and her childhood friend Morio to save him. Together they realize that Kokone’s dream-world holds the answers to the mystery behind the stolen tech, uncovering a trail of clues to her father’s disappearance and ultimately a surprising revelation about Kokone’s family. Formats: Blu-ray/DVD Combo, VOD, Digital. Extras: Interview with Kenji Kamiyama, special interview with cast, intro at Japanese release, Okayama scenery, special TV program, trailers and TV spots. (GKIDS/Shout! Factory).

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (2017) Luke Evans, Rebecca Hall, Bella Heathcote. Based on the bold and illuminating true superhero origin story depicting the creation of the beloved comic book character Wonder Woman in 1941 by Dr. William Moulton Marston (Evans), the Harvard psychologist who helped invent the modern lie detector test. Marston’s polyamorous relationship with wife Elizabeth Holloway (Hall) and their lover, Olive Byrne (Heathcote) was key to the creation of Wonder Woman as their feminist ideals were ingrained in the character from her creation. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc Digital. Extras: "A Dynamic Trio: Birth of a Feminist Icon," "A Crucial Point of View: Directing -- Professor Marston and the Wonder Women." Blu-ray adds "The Secret Identity of Charles Moulton" motion comic, deleted scenes. (Fox).

photo for Ray Donovan: The Fifth Season Ray Donovan: The Fifth Season (2017) Four-disc set with all 12 episodes. Stars Golden Globe and Emmy nominee Liev Schreiber and Academy Award and Golden Globe winner Jon Voight, with notable guest Stars Susan Sarandon, Lili Simmons, C. Thomas Howell and Donald Faison. In this season, Ray's ongoing family upheaval has taken an emotional toll, leaving him more vulnerable than ever. LA's preeminent fixer is heading into uncharted territory and will soon discover that some damage can't be controlled. Formats: DVD. Extras: "Dog the Dog" documentary, three-part featurette "On Death & Dying," "Nothing Goes Right for Bunchy," "Terry Donovan and Parkinson's," commentary on Episode 508. (Showtime/Paramount).

Shockwave: Countdown to Disaster (2018) Stacey Oristamo, Rib Hillis, Ed Amatrudo, Brace Thomas. When a pair of military robots crash on a deserted pacific island, a team of Navy SEALs goes to destroy them, with disastrous consequences: they set off a chain reaction of volcanic storms. It's up to geophysicist Kate Ferris, her daughter and estranged husband to photo for Shockwave: Countdown to Disastertravel to the San Andreas fault line to find a way to stop the destruction. Formats: DVD. (Monarch).

Slavery and the Making of America (2005) Four episodes, narrated by Morgan Freeman. Landmark series documents the history of American slavery from its beginnings in the British colonies through the years of post-Civil War Reconstruction. The program examines the integral role slavery played in shaping the new country’s development, challenging the long held notion that it was exclusively a Southern enterprise.Formats: DVD, Digital. (PBS Distribution).

The Square (2017 -- Sweden) Claes Bang, Elisabeth Moss, Dominic West. A prestigious Stockholm museum's chief art curator finds himself in times of both professional and personal crisis as he attempts to set up a controversial new exhibit. Christian is the respected curator of a contemporary art museum, a divorced but devoted father of two who drives an electric car and supports good causes. His photo for The Squarenext show is "The Square", an installation which invites passersby to altruism, reminding them of their role as responsible fellow human beings. But sometimes, it's difficult to live up to your own ideals: Christian's foolish response to the theft of his phone drags him into shameful situations. Meanwhile, the museum's PR agency has created an unexpected campaign for "The Square." The response is overblown and sends Christian, as well as the museum, into an existential crisis. Formats: DVD, Digital. Extras: Behind-the-scenes clips, photo gallery. (Magnolia Pictures).

Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween (2017) Dir: Tyler Perry.; Tyler Perry, Cassi Davis, Patrice Lovely, Yousef Erakat, Diamond White, Lexy Panterra, Andre Hall. Madea, Bam, and Hattie venture to a haunted campground and the group must run for their lives when monsters, goblins, and the boogeyman are unleashed. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo, VOD, Digital. Extras: Outtakes, deleted scenes, “Caddy Whack Boo” featurette, "Why We Love Joe!” featurette. (Lionsgate).

Westfront 1918 (1930 -- Germany) G. W. Pabst brought the war movie into a new era with his first sound film, a mercilessly realistic depiction of the nightmare that scarred a generation, in the director’s native Germany and beyond. Digging into the trenches with four infantrymen stationed in France in the final months of World War I, Pabst illustrates the harrowing ordeals of battle with unprecedented naturalism, as the men are worn away in body and spirit by firefights, shelling, and the disillusion that greets them on the home front. Long unavailable, the newly restored "Westfront 1918" is a visceral, sobering antiwar statement that is as photo for Westfront 1918urgent today as when it was made. On DVD and Blu-ray, with new high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Extras: Hour-long French television broadcast of World War I veterans reacting to the film in 1969; 2016 interview with film scholar Jan-Christopher Horak; new restoration demonstration featuring Martin Koerber and Julia Wallmüller of the Deutsche Kinemathek; an essay by author and critic Luc Sante. (The Criterion Collection).

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January 29, 2018
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