New to View: ‘Still Alice’ chronicles a woman’s losing battle with Alzheimer’s

By Bob Bloom

The following Blu-rays and DVDs are being released on Tuesday:
Still Alice (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2014, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Rated: PG-13, mature themes, language and sexual references
The lowdown: Julianne Moore won a best actress Academy Award for her performance as a linguistics professor diagnosed and battling Early-Onset Alzheimer’s disease.
The film is heartbreaking as we watch Moore track her deterioration, knowing that little by little, she is losing herself.
Moore’s impressive turn makes this a movie well worth viewing.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 widescreen picture; English and French 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and English 5.1 Dolby Digital audio description track; English SDH, English and French subtitles.
Don’t miss: Among the bonus offering is a featurette that looks at directors Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland’s journey to create the film, deleted scenes, an interview with composer Ilan Eshkeri and a featurette with the cast, filmmakers and Alzheimer’s experts on what went into creating an accurate portrait for Moore’s character.

Mortdecai (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2015, Lionsgate
Rated: R, language, sexual material
The lowdown: Johnny Depp stars as shady art dealer Charlie Mortdecai in this farce about a stolen painting, terrorists, Russian mobsters and a globetrotting chase.
The film did not impress critics, but Depp fans may get a kick out of seeing their favorite actor perform lowbrow comedy.
The film does have an impressive supporting cast, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Ewan McGregor, Paul Bettany, Olivia Munn and Jeff Goldblum.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.40:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital and English 5.1 Dolby Digital descriptive audio; English SDH, English and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include an on-the-set featurette and a look at the making of the music for the film.

Power: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
Details: 2014, Anchor Bay Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: The first season of this Starz original series a crime drama set in New York’s club scene and its darker and more dangerous drug world.
The series centers on James “Ghost” St. Patrick and his club, Truth, the city’s hottest spot to see and be seen. But, beneath the glamour is ugliness; St. Patrick uses Truth as a front for his lucrative drug trade, which caters to the city’s powerful and elite.
This urban crime drama is intense and gritty.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.78:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD; English SDH and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: A look at the style of the series, the location shooting in New York and the music of the series comprise the major bonus features.

Fifty Shades of Grey: Unrated Edition (Blu-ray + DVD + Ultraviolet)
Release date: May 8
Details: 2015, Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Rated: Unrated & R, nudity, sexual content, language
The lowdown: This adaptation of the best-selling book is pedestrian and boring that fails to register any interest in its two Fifty Shades of Graydull leading characters.
The movie takes itself way too seriously. It lacks personality and — more importantly — passion, considering it’s the story of two consensual adults who enter into a sadomasochistic sexual relationship.
The set contains an unrated version, with an alternate ending, as well as the theatrical release.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 2.40:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English 2.0 Dolby Digital audio descriptive track and French and Spanish 5.1 DTS Digital surround; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles; DVD: 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen picture; English, Spanish and French 5.1 Dolby Digital and English 2.0 Dolby Digital audio descriptive track; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include a teaser for the “Fifty Shades Darker” sequel, a talk with author E.L. James, a discussion about BDSM, a look at the movie’s apartments and the Red Room, a couple of music videos, profiles of Christian Grey, Jamie Dornan, Dakota Johnson and her character, Ana, a look at Christian and Ana’s wardrobes and a featurette about Christian’s cars, airplanes, helicopters and other toys.

Make Way for Tomorrow: Special Edition (Blu-ray)
Details: 1937, The Criterion Collection
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: This classic film from director Leo McCarey is a Great Depression-era look at the frustrations of aging, family and the generation gap. Some of the movie’s issues remain pertinent today.
Victor Moore and Beulah Bondi star as an elderly couple who must move in with their grown children after the bank takes their house. They end up separated and at the mercy of the whims of their selfish children.
The finale is unflinching and rare among Hollywood mainstream features of the era.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.37:1 full-screen picture; English LPCM audio; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include a 2009 interview with director Peter Bogdanovich about McCarey and the movie, a 2009 interview with critic Gary Giddins about McCarey and the film’s political and social context and a booklet with essays about the movie and the director.

Lost River (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Release date: May 5
Details: 2014, Warner Home Video
Rated: R, disturbing and violent images, language, sexual content
The lowdown: Ryan Gosling makes his directorial debut with this dark feature set in the nearly abandoned city of Lost River.
A single mother is led into a strange underworld as she battles to save her childhood home and keep her family united. Along the way, her teenage son discovers a mystery about the origins of the town that will trigger events that tests the boundaries of family and love.
The cast includes Christina Hendricks, Saoirse Ronan, Ian De Caestecker, Matt Smith, Eva Mendes and Ben Mendelsohn.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.40:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH and Spanish subtitles.

Parenthood: The Complete Series
Release date: May 5
Details: 2010-15, Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: This 23-disc set features all 103 episodes from the popular NBC series, based on Ron Howard’s movie.
The series follows the Braverman family through good times and bad as episodes deal with raising children, sibling rivalry, elderly parents and all the aspects that go into being a family.
Technical aspects: 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby Digital; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include a featurette on taking the series from page to screen, deleted scenes, a get to know your parents featurette, a retrospective and commentaries.

Pitch Perfect: Sing-Along ACA-Awesome Edition (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Release date: May 5
Details: 2012, Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Rated: PG-13, language, sexual content, drug references, crude humor
The lowdown: Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson star in this comedy about a college a cappella singing group. The Blu-ray reissue, with new extras, is being released to coincide with the upcoming debut of its theatrical sequel. The Blu-ray features the theatrical as well as sing-along versions of the film.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English 2.0 descriptive audio track and French 5.1 DTS Digital surround; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus offerings include deleted and extended scenes, a line-o-rama featurette, commentaries, a look inside the making of the film, music videos, behind-the-scenes footage with Wilson’s Fat Amy and profiles and interviews with characters Benji and Bumper.

These Final Hours (Blu-ray)
Details: 2013, Well Go USA Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A meteor is heading straight for the Earth, signaling the extinction of mankind. The people have about 12 hours to decide their fate.
Some party, others pray, while others unleash their dark sides. One young man is on his way to a friend’s farewell party when he discovers a lost young girl seeking her father. He agrees to help her, creating more danger for him than he expected.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 16×9 widescreen picture; English 4.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH subtitles.

Unforgettable: The Third Season
Details:
2014, CBS DVD-Paramount Home Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Poppy Montgomery returns for her third season as Detective Carrie Wells who uses her perfect memory to help solve crimes for the New York Police Department.
The four-disc set features all 13 episodes as Carrie and her partner, Lt. Al Burns (Dylan Walsh), deal with an underground poker game, a murdered TV star and the death of a college dropout. A crazed assassin also is on the loose and he seems to be targeting Carrie, as well.
Technical aspects: 16:9 full-screen picture; English 5.1 Dolby Digital; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: A gag reel, deleted scenes and unforgettable season three moments constitute the bonus features.

Tracers (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2014, Lionsgate
Rated: PG-13, intense action violence, language, sexual content
The lowdown: “Twilight” hunk Taylor Lautner stars as a bike messenger in heavy debt to an organized crime outfit. After an accident, he meets a beautiful young woman who introduces him to her crew, who use parkour to pull off heists. In order to reduce his debt, he joins them even as their jobs escalate and become more dangerous.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.40:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH, English and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: A making of featurette and the director’s pitch reel comprise the major bonus components.

The Fugitive: The Complete Series
Release date:
May 5
Details: 1963-67, CBS DVD-Paramount Home Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: For four seasons David Janssen’s Dr. Richard Kimble was on the run, trying to prove himself innocent of the murder of his wife by finding the real culprit — a one-armed man.
At the same time, he is working on staying one step ahead of his dogged pursuer, Lt. Phillip Gerard (Barry Morse.) That, in a nutshell, is the premise of this classic 1960s TV series. The show’s finale was one of the first TV events in which people gathered around the tube to see Kimble exonerated and the real killer brought to justice.
This 32-disc set features all 120 episodes as Kimble helps others while hunting for the man who can prove his innocence.
Technical aspects: 4×3 full-screen picture; English Dolby Digital monaural; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include a look at the series music and an episodic promo.

The Drownsman (Blu-ray)
Details: 2014, Anchor Bay Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A thriller that is a throwback to the slasher films of 1980s centers on a young woman who almost drowned in a lake accident and, in its wake, develops a fear of water. When her friends attempt an intervention, they unknowingly release the vision of a serial killer known as the Drownsman. One by one, as is the usual custom in such movies, the women are dragged into a watery grave.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.35:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD; English SDH and Spanish subtitles.

The Colbys: The Complete Series
Details:
1985-87, Shout! Factory
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: This 12-disc set features all 49 episodes of this opulent spinoff from “Dynasty.”
Charlton Heston, Katharine Ross, Emma Samma, Tracy Scoggins, Richardo Montalban and Barbara Stanwyck are some of the rich and powerful populating this prime-time soap opera about a wealthy California family.
Technical aspects: 1.33:1 full-screen picture; English Dolby Digital monaural. English closed-captioned.
Don’t miss: Among the bonus features are interviews with cast members John James, Maxwell Caulfield and Stephanie Beacham.

Rawhide: The Complete Series
Details:
1959-65, CBS DVD-Paramount Home Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: This 59-disc set features all 217 episodes of the television series that introduced Clint Eastwood to the American public and started him on the road to worldwide movie icon.
As the series progressed over eight seasons, Eastwood’s Rowdy Yates began to eclipse nominal series star Eric Fleming’s Gil Favor.
Technical aspects: 4×3 full-screen picture; English Dolby Digital monaural; English closed-captioned.
Don’t miss: Extras include episode previews and sponsor spots.

The Wild Wild West: The Complete Series
Details:
1965-69, CBS DVD-Paramount Home Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: The James Bond-secret agent craze was gaining momentum during the mid-1960s, inspiring this classic TV series with Robert Conrad as 1870s secret service agent James West.
The 26-disc set features all 104 episodes as West and his sidekick, Artemus Gordon (Ross Martin), work at the bidding of President Ulysses S. Grant to protect the nation from evildoers, both domestic and foreign. The pair travel across the country in their plush railroad car, relying on their wit, brains, disguises, weapons and fists to prevail.
Technical aspects: 4×3 full-screen picture; English Dolby Digital monaural; English closed-captioned.
Don’t miss: Among the extras are audio introductions to episodes by Conrad, an interview with John Kneubuhl, the creator of the villainous Dr. Loveless, Conrad and Martin on “Everyday” in 1978, scoring sessions and a commercial with Conrad.

Cheers: The Complete Series
Release date: May 5
Details: 1982-93, CBS DVD-Paramount Home Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: It was the Boston bar where everyone knows your name. And over 11 years, we came to know the names of Sam, Diane, Rebecca, Coach, Woody, Carla, Norm, Cliff and Frasier.
For 270 episodes we laughed with them and at them as they loved, fought, got into strange and madcap situations and simply brought us joy and laughter. Now this 45-disc set allows you to relive all the fun times of this iconic TV series.
Technical aspects: 4×3 full-screen picture; English Dolby Digital stereo; English closed-captioned.
Don’t miss: Extras include a conversation with star Ted Danson, a look at the Sam-Diane relationship, Coach’s rules of the game, Norm-isms, a trivia game, a look at the guys behind the bar, a featurette on Cliff, another on Carla, a season two gag reel, a look at Shelley Long’s Diane, an introduction to Kelsey Grammer’s Frasier Crane, the coach’s final season, and a “Cheers” bar tour.

Against the Sun
Release date:
May 5
Details: 2014, Anchor Bay Entertainment
Rated: PG, adult themes, language
The lowdown: A survival drama focusing on a trio of Navy airmen who crash their torpedo bomber in the South Pacific during World War II.
They cling to a life raft, without food nor water, and no hope of rescue. The trio then begin a thousand mile journey to safety and, along the way, must cope with storms, sharks and each other. In part, “Against the Sun” partially sounds as if Angelina Jolie’s “Unbroken” influenced it, though I suspect many such similar stories have emerged from World War II chronicles.
Technical aspects: 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby Digital; English SDH and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: The bonus materials include a behind-the-scenes featurette, a look at working on water, featurettes on the plane taking flight and starving at sea, a FX program on the film and a look at the costuming.

Icetastrophe
Details:
2014, Alchemy
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A sci-fi outing about a meteorite that enters the atmosphere and splits in two. One half crashes in the center of a small mountain town and begins to freeze everything, while the second piece forms a tropical zone in the midst of the ice and snow.
A university graduate student and a local man work to piece the meteorite together in order to save mankind and the planet. The science sounds kind of funky, but, after all, it is science fiction, so put on your parka and enjoy the proceedings.
Technical aspects: 16×9 full-screen picture; English 5.1 Dolby Digital surround; English SDH and Spanish subtitles.

Extraterrestrial (Blu-ray)
Details: 2015, IFC Midnight-Scream Factory
Rated: Not rated, violence
The lowdown: After her parents’ divorce, a young woman’s boyfriend and a group of pals take her to a cabin where, as a child, she spent summers. But, as usually happens in such genre films, they are soon fighting for their lives after a spaceship crashes in the nearby woods and it’s evident that its occupants did not come in peace.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.35:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH and English subtitles.
Don’t miss: A making of featurette and commentary track are the major bonus offerings.

Dinosaur Island
Details: 2014, Alchemy
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A boy and girl find themselves stranded in a strange world. They also discover that throughout history, things have disappeared and then reappeared in their new surroundings.
The pair begin a journey to find their way back home. Along the way, they encounter natives, dinosaurs and other wonders.
Technical aspects: 16×9 widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby Digital surround; English SDH and Spanish subtitles.

Other Blu-rays and DVDs being released on Tuesday, unless otherwise indicated
Slam Dunk: Season 1, Volume 1 (Cinedigm-Flatiron Film Co.)
Tanked: Season Two (Cinedigm)
Texas Rangers: The Real Stories (Lionsgate)
FOR KIDS
Digimon Tamers Volume 2 (Cinedigm-Flatiron Film Co.)
The Magic School Bus: Season Two (Cinedigm-Scholastic)

Coming next week: Leviathan
The Rose

Bob Bloom is a member of the Indiana Film Journalists Association. He reviews movies, Blu-rays and DVDs for ReelBob.com., The Film Yap and other print and online publications. He can be reached by email at bobbloomjc@gmail.com. You also can follow Bloom on Twitter @ReelBobBloom and on Facebook. Movie reviews by Bloom also can be found at Rottentomatoes: www.rottentomatoes.com.

 

 

 

 

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