New to View: ‘Jupiter’ fails to ascend on any level

By Bob Bloom

The following Blu-rays and DVDs are being released on Tuesday, June 2:

Jupiter Ascending (Blu-ray + DVD + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2015, Warner Home Video
Rated: PG-13, science fiction violence and action, partial nudity, adult themes, suggestive content
The lowdown: This science-fiction opus is embarrassingly bad. It’s a mediocre work from the brother-sister tandem of Andy and Lana Wachowski.
The film is unfocused; it bounces around like a runaway comet.
The storyline, which has possibilities, contains performances that vary from flat and uninspired to hammy enough to necessitate extra mustard.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 2.40:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 7.1 Dolby Atmos, English descriptive audio track and French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles; DVD: 2.40:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include featurettes on Mila Kunis’ Jupiter Jones; a profile of Channing Tatum’s Caine, a look at the Wachowskis and several behind-the-scenes peeks at the making of the film.

Focus (Blu-ray + DVD + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2015, Warner Home Video
Rated: R, language, sexual content, violence
The lowdown: Will Smith stars as Nicky, a big-time grifter who lies as focus maineasily as taking a breath, in this caper drama.
The problem with the film is that Smith seems too serious and out of synch with what should be a breezy storyline as the con men and women ply their trade.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 widescreen picture; English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English 5.1 Dolby Digital audio descriptive track and French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles; DVD: 1.85:1 widescreen picture; English, Spanish and French 5.1 Dolby Digital; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include a look at the players in the con, profiles of Smith and co-star Margot Robbie, deleted scenes and an alternate opening.

McFarland USA (Blu-ray + digital HD)
Details: 2015, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Rated: PG, adult themes, language, violence
The lowdown: Kevin Costner stars in this story, based on true events, as a coach who tries to build a cross-country team at a predominantly Latino high school.
Costner’s coach is tough, but fair, working to get his runners to realize and utilize their full potential, while also learning about the power of family and commitment.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.39:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English 2.0 audio descriptive track and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital; English SDH and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Among the bonus features is a look back with Costner, the real coach Jim White and members of his 1987 cross-country team, a music video, deleted and extended scenes and a profile of the McFarland community.

Seventh Son (Blu-ray + DVD + Ultraviolet)
Release date: May 26
Details: 2015, Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Rated: PG-13, intense fantasy action and violence, scary images, language
The lowdown: Academy Award-winners Jeff Bridges and Julianne Moore lend their talents to this costume fantasy about a young man destined to become a hero who saves the world from a dark queen and an army of supernatural assassins.
It’s all quite silly, of course, with Bridges and Moore adding a bit of class to the preposterous proceedings.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 2.40:1 widescreen picture; English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English Dolby Digital 2.0 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, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital and English 2.0 Dolby audio descriptive track; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: A trio of making of featurettes, alternate ending, deleted and alternate scenes, a visual effects gallery, and a look at the film’s legend and lore make up the extras.

The Wire: The Complete Series (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2002-08, HBO Home Entertainment
Rated: TV-MA, language, violence, sexual content
The lowdown: This highly acclaimed HBO series depicted life in Baltimore and how drug dealers, politicians, the media, educators and city government all failed to help improve the lives of those in the city needing the most help.
This was a dark and disturbing drama that was compelling viewing.
The 20-disc set features all 60 riveting episodes.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 16×9 full-screen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French, German and Latin and Castilian Spanish 2.0 DTS Digital surround; English SDH, French, Latin and Castilian Spanish, Dutch, German, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Among the major bonus offerings are four behind-the-scenes documentaries, 22 commentary tracks, three prequels that look at life before “The Wire” and a “Wire” reunion at the Paley Center for Media.

“The John Wayne Westerns Film Collection” (Blu-ray)
Details:1948-73, Warner Home Video
Rated: PG, not rated
The lowdown: A five-disc set featuring a quintet of John Wayne Westerns — two of which — “The Train Robbers,” (PG, 1973) and “Cahill U.S. Marshal” (PG, 1973) — are making their Blu-ray debuts.
The other films in the set are a trio of classics, two “Fort Apache” (not rated, 1948) and “The Searchers” (not rated, 1956), were directed by John Ford, and “Rio Bravo” (not rated, 1959), was directed by Howard Hawks.
These action flicks show Wayne in his prime and as a later iconic figure.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, full-screen and widescreen pictures; various DTS-HD and Dolby Digital audios; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include various behind-the-scenes featurettes and commentary tracks.

1776 (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Details: 1972, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: This lively musical offers a different look at the founding of the United States, told through song and dance by members of the Continental Congress as they try to cobble together a Declaration of Independence and break from England.
The cast features William Daniels as John Adams, Ken Howard as Thomas Jefferson and Howard Da Silva as Benjamin Franklin.
The Blu-ray features the director’s cut and an extended cut of the movie.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.35:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH, English and French subtitles.
Don’t miss: The bonus offerings include deleted and alternate scenes, four screen tests and a commentary track.

Monsters: Dark Continent (Blu-ray)
Details: 2014, Anchor Bay Entertainment
Rated: R, graphic violence, language, sexual content, drug use
The lowdown: This sequel is set 10 years after the events of the original film, which was set in Mexico.
In this feature, a platoon of soldiers is deployed to an “infected zone” in the Middle East to battle a new breed of aliens. Along the way, they also must confront the monsters within themselves.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.39:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: An on-the-set featurette is the major bonus supplement.

Rectify: The Complete Second Season
Details: 2014, Anchor Bay Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: The second season of the Sundance TV series about a man sentenced to death for the rape and murder of his teenage girlfriend who, after 19 years, is exonerated and freed thanks to newly discovered DNA evidence.
But adjusting to the real world can be frustrating and challenging, especially when many people still believe he is the guilty culprit.
Technical aspects: 1.78:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby Digital; English SDH and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: An overview of the second season is the major bonus offering.

Blindsided
Details: 2012, Cinedigm
Rated: R, graphic violence, language
The lowdown: A photojournalist blinded in Iraq is terrorized by two men who are looking for a fortune in stolen diamonds hidden somewhere in her penthouse. Michelle Monaghan plays the photojournalist and Michael Keaton is one of her tormentors. The plot sounds very similar to the old thriller, “Wait Until Dark,” as the blind woman causes a power blackout that turns the tables and gives her the advantage.
Technical aspects: Widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby Digital; English SDH and Spanish subtitles.

The Taking of Tiger Mountain (Blu-ray)
Details: 2014, Well Go USA Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Tony Leung stars in this action-adventure flick as a bandit leader in northeast China who comes under attack from an investigator. The film, set in the 1940s, follows the bandit and his liberation army as they operate from their base on Tiger Mountain.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 16:9 widescreen picture; Mandarin 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English subtitles.

Bonanza: Season Eight, Volume One and Volume Two
Details: 1966-67. CBS DVD-Paramount Home Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Return to the Ponderosa, as the Cartwrights ride again in the eighth season of this classic NBC Western series.
This nine-disc set features the complete eighth season as Ben Cartwright (Lorne Greene) and his sons, Adam (Pernell Roberts), Hoss (Dan Blocker) and Little Joe (Michael Landon) mix action, adventure and family drama.
Technical aspects: 4×3 full-screen picture; English Dolby Digital monaural; English SDH subtitles.

“Henry Fonda 3-Film Collection”
Release date: May 19
Details: 1939-59, Fox Home Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Henry Fonda was a marvelous actor who made some great films at 20th Century Fox, especially with director John Ford, where they collaborated on “Young Mr. Lincoln,” “Drums Along the Mohawk” and “The Grapes of Wrath.”
In between, though, he, like other contract players, worked on routine studio features.
This set offers Fonda in a supporting role in “The Story of Alexander Graham Bell” (1939) with Don Ameche and Loretta Young; “Rings of Her Fingers” (1942) with Gene Tierney; and “Warlock” (1959) with Richard Widmark, Anthony Quinn and Dorothy Malone.
Technical aspects: 1.33:1 full-screen pictures; “Warlock” is a pan-and-scan of a widescreen production.

“Tyrone Power 3-Film Collection”
Release date: May 19
Details: 1937-52, Fox Home Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A triple feature starring Tyrone Power is the focus of this DVD offering.
Power stars with Loretta Young and Don Ameche in the 1937 romantic comedy, “Love Is News.” Power fights the Japanese in “American Guerrilla in the Philippines” (1950) and deals with Cold War espionage in “Diplomatic Courier” (1952), co-starring Patricia Neal.
The release is part of the Fox Cinema Archives series and can be found at www.foxconnect.com or other Internet DVD dealers.
Technical aspects: 1.33:1 full-frame picture.

“John J. Malone Mystery Double Feature”
Release date: May 19
Details: 1944, 1950, Warner Home Video
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A couple of comedy-mysteries featuring the character of lawyer John J. Malone, who appeared in 11 novels, 39 short stories and a radio series.
Pat O’Brien portrays Malone in 1944’s “Having Wonderful Crime,” in which the lawyer helps friends George Murphy and Carole Landis solve the disappearance of a stage magician.
James Whitmore takes over in 1950’s “Mrs. O’Malley and Mr. Malone,” in which Malone and a smart-talking widow, played by Marjorie Main, are framed for the murder of Malone’s client.
The DVD is part of the Warner Archive Collection and can be found at www.warnerarchive.com, www.wbshop or other online retailers.
Technical aspects: 1.37:1 (4×3) full-screen picture; English Dolby Digital monaural.

“Anthony Quinn 3-Film Collection”
Release date: May 19
Details: 1941-44, Fox Home Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: From the mid-1930s and into the 1940s, Anthony Quinn appeared in several supporting roles at 20th Century Fox, playing a variety of ethnic characters.
He appeared in dramas, musicals and comedies for the studio.
This set features three movies attesting to his versatility: “The Perfect Snob” (1941) with Charles Ruggles, Charlotte Greenwood and Cornel Wilde; “Irish Eyes Are Smiling” (1944) wit Monty Woolley, June Haver and Dick Haymes; and “Ladies of Washington” (1944) with Trudy Marshall and Sheila Ryan.
The release is part of the Fox Cinema Archives series and can be found at www.foxconnect.com or other online DVD dealers.
Technical aspects: 1.33:1 full-screen picture.

“Victor Mature 3-Film Collection”
Release date: May 19
Details: 1942-48, Fox Home Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A trio of movies featuring hunky Victor Mature are featured in this three-film collection.
The set offers the musical “My Gal Sal” (1942), co-starring Rita Hayworth and Carole Landis; “Moss Rose” (1947), a period drama co-starring Peggy Cummins, Ethel Barrymore and Vincent Price; and “Fury at Furnace Creek” (1948), a Western co-starring Coleen Gray and Albert Dekker.
The releases are part of the Fox Cinema Archives collection and can be found at www.foxconnect.com or other online dealers.
Technical aspects: 1.33:1 full-screen picture.

Where Was God? Stories of Hope After the Storm
Details: 2015, Cinedigm-VCI Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: On May 20, 2013, an EF5 tornado leveled Moore, OK. This DVD looks at the aftermath of that catastrophe as it interviews families and first responders to see how they coped not only with their losses, but with rebuilding their lives and how their faith helped strengthen their determination to move on.
Technical aspects: 1.78:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby Digital; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include more stories of faith, filmmaker interviews and a Bible program insert.

“Cesar Romero 3-Film Collection”
Release date: May 19
Details: 1935-48, Fox Home Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Cesar Romero was a 20th Century Fox fixture from the 1930s through the late 1940s, supporting — and sometimes starring — in dozens of movies.
This set offers a triple feature of Romero, starting with the crime drama “Show Them No Mercy” (1935), co-starring Bruce Cabot. The other two features are the musical “Coney Island” (1943) with Betty Grable, George Montgomery and Phil Silvers and “Deep Waters” (1948) with Dana Andrews, Jean Peters and Dean Stockwell.
The set is part of the Fox Cinema Archives series and can be found at www.foxconnect.com and other online retailers.
Technical aspects: 1.33:1 full-screen picture.

Dr. Kildare: The Complete Fourth Season, Part One and Part Two
Release date:
May 19
Details: 1964-65, Warner Home Video
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Richard Chamberlain returns as the idealistic Dr. James Kildare and veteran Raymond Massey is his wise mentor, Dr. Leonard Gillespie, in the fourth season of this TV medical drama.
This eight-disc set contains all 34 episodes, including a three-part excursion to Rome. Among the season’s guest stars are silent film heartthrob Ramon Novarro, Oscar-winner Mercedes McCambridge, Robert Young, Robert Culp, Angie Dickinson, Leslie Nielson, Kim Darby, Walter Matthau, a young Ron Howard and Lee Marvin.
The set is part of the Warner Archive Collection and can be found at www.warnerarchive.com, www.wbshop.com or other online dealers.
Technical aspects: 1.37:1 full-screen picture; English Dolby Digital monaural.

“Jane Withers 3-Film Collection”
Release date: May 19
Details: 1935-41, Fox Home Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: During the 1930s, Jane Withers was the “other” child star at 20th Century Fox, sometimes playing the bad girl in support of the great Shirley Temple.
But Withers was a versatile talent in her own right, as she proved in several pictures during the era.
This collection features a trio of her efforts: “The Farmer Takes a Wife” (1935), in which she supported Janet Gaynor and newcomer Henry Fonda; “Chicken Wagon Family” (1939), in which she starred with Leo Carrillo, Marjorie Weaver and Spring Byington; and “Golden Hoofs” (1941), in which she was supported by Charles (Buddy) Rodgers.
The set is part of the Fox Cinema Archives series and can be found at www.foxconnect.com or other online retailers.
Technical aspects: 1.33:1 full-screen picture.

Other Blu-rays and DVDs being released on Tuesday, unless otherwise indicated:
American Badboy (DVD + Ultraviolet) (Lionsgate)
Asylum (DVD + Ultraviolet) (Lionsgate)
Touched by An Angel: I Will Walk With You (CBS DVD-Paramount Home Entertainment)
American Dad: Volume 10 (Fox Home Entertainment)
FOR KIDS
The Legend of Longwood (Shout! Kids, June 4)
Bubble Guppies: The Puppy and the Ring (Nickelodeon-Paramount Home Entertainment)
Nickelodeon Big Little Movies: Dora’s Explorer Girls: Our First Concert (Nickelodeon-Paramount Home Entertainment)
Nickelodeon Big Little Movies: Dora Saves Fairytale Land (Nickelodeon-Paramount Home Entertainment)
Nickelodeon Big Little Movies: Umi Space Heroes (Nickelodeon-Paramount Home Entertainment)
Max & Ruby: Sharing & Caring (Nickelodeon-Paramount Home Entertainment)

Coming next week: Kingsman The Secret Service
Red Army

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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