New to View: Despite violence, ‘Kingsman’ a rollicking adventure

By Bob Bloom

The following Blu-rays and DVDs are being released on Tuesday, June 9:

Kingsman The Secret Service (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2015, Fox Home Entertainment
Rated: (R), graphic and bloody violence, language, sexual situations
The lowdown: This violent action-adventure feature plays as if it were the love child of å ménage a trios among a vintage James Bond thriller, an Austin Powers comedy and “Kick-Ass.”
The film is veddy, veddy British and cheeky fun, despite the graphic violence and language that peppers the feature. What makes “Kingsman” so entertaining is that it is totally aware of what it is doing, giving you a nudge to inform you know that, yes, we are letting you in on the joke as well.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.39:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English 5.1 audio descriptive track and Spanish and French 5.1 Dolby Digital; English SDH and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus offerings include featurettes on the cast, the making of the movie, its heroes and villains, the tools of the Kingsman, a look at the film’s violence and the comic book origins of the story.

The DUFF (Blu-ray + DVD + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2015, CBS Films-Lionsgate
Rated: PG-13, crude and sexual material, language, teen partying
The lowdown: A high school teen comedy about a young woman who learns she has been designated a “DUFF” (Designated Ugly Fat Friend).
She sets out to erase the label and enlists the help of some friends to do so.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 2.35:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH, English and Spanish subtitles; DVD: 2.35:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby Digital; English SDH, English and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Among the extras are an extended gag reel, “The DUFF” on the red carpet, a look at bringing the book to the screen, a featurette on teen comedies as they relate to “The Duff,” an “I Am the DUFF” featurette and “The DUFF” files.

Red Army
Details: 2015, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Rated: PG, adult themes, language
The lowdown: A documentary that looks at how the Cold War was played out on the ice rink and the Russian athletes who stood up to a powerful system.
The film examines the successful Red Army hockey team as told from the perspective of its captain, Slave Fetisov, who went from national hero to enemy of the state because of his activities.
Technical aspects: 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby Digital; English, English SDH and French subtitles.
Don’t miss: A question-and-answer session with filmmaker Gabe Polsky at the Toronto International Film Festival and a commentary track comprise the bonus features.

GETT: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem
Details: 2015, Music Box Films
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: “GETT” will so outrage your sense of justice that you need GETTto restrain yourself from jumping at the screen.
This Israeli feature follows a woman’s five-year battle to secure a divorce from her husband.
Under Israel’s religious marriage laws, only Orthodox rabbis can legalize a marriage or authorize a divorce — and only with the husband’s consent. We feel sorry for Viviane as she battles for her rights as a person and citizen.
Technical aspects: 1.85:1 widescreen picture; French, Hebrew and Arabic 5.1 Dolby Digital; English, French and Hebrew subtitles.
Don’t miss: Supplemental offerings include a making of documentary, an interview with co-director Shlomi Elkabetz, a 2015 Golden Globes symposium, a radio interview with Shlomi Elkabetz and a booklet about the film.

Killing Jesus (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Release date: June 2
Details: 2015, Fox Home Entertainment
Rated: TV-14
The lowdown: This made-for-TV movie, based on the book by Bill O’Reilly, chronicles the life and death of Jesus.
The film, shot in the Moroccan desert, adds some thought-provoking details as it delves into the history of the teachings of Jesus as well as the political turmoil that led to his death.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.78:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include cast members talking about their characters, a look at the costumes, makeup and design of the film, featurettes on the location and production, a look at the director’s vision for the movie, a featurette on the power struggle of the era and a behind-the-scenes featurette.

Parks and Recreation: The Complete Series
Release date: June 2
Details: 2009-15, Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: All 125 hilarious episodes of this highly-acclaimed TV series, set in small-town Pawnee, Ind., are offered in this multidisc set. Amy Poehler heads a wonderfully funny ensemble cast that includes Chris Pratt, Aziz Ansari, Nick Offerman, Adam Scott, Aubrey Plaza, Retta and Jerry Gergich.
For viewers in the Lafayette area, the series has much more significance, since the setting is loosely — very loosely — based on Lafayette.
Technical aspects: 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby Digital; English SDH and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus offerings include a featurette celebrating the show’s 100th episode, deleted scenes, gag reels, a music video, webisodes, commentaries and a T-Dazzle commercial.

Serena (Blu-ray)
Details: 2014, Magnolia Home Entertainment
Rated: R, violence, sexual content
The lowdown: Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence reteam in this period romantic drama about a newlywed couple striving to build a timber empire.
But with the acquisition of wealth and power comes the revelation of secrets that threaten to destroy the couple’s lives and thwart their ambitions.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.39:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus offerings include a making of featurette, deleted scenes and several behind-the-scenes look at various facets of the production.

Apollo 13: 20th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Release date: June 2
Details: 1995, Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Rated: PG, language, intense sequences
The lowdown: This Oscar-winning movie gets another Blu-ray reissue, this one celebrating the 20th anniversary of the movie’s release.
Despite being based on true events and knowing the outcome, director Ron Howard and his high-class cast, headed by Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, Kevin Bacon, Ed Harris and Gary Sinese, create enough tension to keep you engrossed until splashdown.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.35:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Japanese and Brazilian Portuguese 5.1 DTS Digital surround; English SDH, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Swedish, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian and Brazilian Portuguese subtitles.
Don’t miss: A new bonus feature is a conversation with Howard and producer Brian Grazer, reflecting on the 20 years since the film was made. Other extras, which appeared on earlier releases of the film, include behind-the-scenes featurettes, a look at the actual Apollo 13 mission and two commentary tracks.

The Last Unicorn: The Enchanted Edition (Blu-ray + DVD + digital)
Details: 1982, Shout! Factory
Rated: G
The lowdown: Jeff Bridges, Mia Farrow, Christopher Lee and Angela Lansbury are among the talents lending their voices to this animated feature about a unicorn who, hearing she may be the last of her kind on Earth, goes in search of others.
To protect the unicorn from the evil King Haggard, she is transformed into a beautiful young woman, where new feelings begin to confuse her, as does her attraction to the evil king’s son.
It’s fantasy fun for the entire family.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH subtitles and English closed-captioned; DVD: 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby Digital; English SDH subtitles and English closed-captioned.
Don’t miss: A look at the making of the movie, a commentary track, animated storyboards and highlights from the film’s worldwide screening tour comprise the major bonus offerings.

The Swirl
Details: 2014, Cinedigm
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A documentary that examines the topic of interracial dating and marriage and how its social acceptance has grown.
The film, though, does examine the real-life conversations people in the shadows have on the subject as people on both sides of the debate express their views.
Technical aspects: Widescreen picture; English 2.0 Dolby Digital; English closed-captioned subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus offerings include deleted scenes, a comedic look at the subject, a black and proud featurette, a couples therapy session, a girls talk featurette, a word on the street featurette and people telling why they swirl.

Healing
Details:
2014, Anchor Bay Entertainment
Rated: R, language
The lowdown: An inmate, who has been in prison for 18 years, is transferred to a low-security facility to serve the final months of his sentence. There, he is put in a rehabilitation program where inmates are assigned as caretakers to injured eagles, falcons and owls.
The inmate is assigned an eagle, and as the two bond, the healing process impacts man and bird.
Technical aspects: 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby Digital; English closed-captioned subtitles.
Don’t miss: A making of featurette and deleted scenes comprise the major bonus offerings.

Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray + DVD)
Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray + DVD)
Details: 1987, 1988, Scream-Shout! Factory
Rated: R, graphic violence
The lowdown: More bad campers are taught the error of their ways by crazy counselor, Angela (Pamela Springsteen), in “Sleepaway Camp II.” This sequel is set five years after the original, and contains the same weird mixture of horror and gruesome laughs.
Angela (Springsteen, again) returns in “Sleepaway Camp III.” This time, she is at Camp New Horizons where she has a group of obnoxious rich kids to choose from.
Once again, Angela targets immoral teenagers and teaches them that misbehaving can prove fatal.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 1.78:1 widescreen picture; English DTS-HD Master Audio monaural; DVD: 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen picture; English Dolby Digital monaural.
Don’t miss: Extras on both include commentaries, behind-the-scenes featurettes, cast and filmmaker interviews, deleted gore footage and a work print of the longer version of “Sleepaway Camp III” from the VHS copy.

Bronco: The Complete Fourth Season
Release date: May 26
Details: 1961-62, Warner Home Video
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: This four-disc set features the final 18 episodes of this Warner Bros. television series starring Ty Hardin as hard-riding Bronco Layne.
During his final adventures, Bronco teams with his Irish counterpart, helps Shakespearean actor Edwin Booth, helps avert an outlaw gang war and undertakes a final mission for the late President Lincoln.
Among the guest stars are Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Jack Elam, James Best and Chad Everett. The release is part of the Warner Archive collection and can be found at www.warnerarchive.com, www.wbshop.com or other online DVD sellers.
Technical aspects: 1.37:1 (4×3) full-screen picture; English Dolby Digital monaural.

Thunderbirds: The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
Details: 1965-66, Timeless Media Group
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: This cult-favorite series from the Gerry Anderson Collection features all 32 episodes in a six-disc set.
The series showcases the Supermarionation technique Anderson used on several series aimed at kids.
The show takes place in 2065 with the Thunderbird team take on various missions to save the Earth and mankind from all types of villains and dangers.
Technical aspects: 4×3 full-screen picture; English Dolby Digital monaural.
Don’t miss: Extras include a documentary that looks at the creation of the series and a pdf printable publicity brochure.

Robin Hood of El Dorado
Release date: May 26
Details: 1936, Warner Home Video
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: William A. Wellman directed this Western about famed Mexican bandit Joaquin Murrieta, played by Warner Baxter, who turns outlaw in Gold Rush-era California after gold-hungry Americans and outlaws cause the deaths of his wife and brother.
The movie is part action-adventure as well as an indictment of prejudice in the vain of Wellman’s later “Ox-Bow Incident” and earlier “Wild Boys of the Road.”
The release, which costars J. Carrol Naish, Bruce Cabot, Margo and Ann Loring, is part of the Warner Archive Collection and can be found at www.warnerarchive.com, www.wbshop.com or other Internet retailers.
Technical aspects: 1.37:1 (4×3) full-screen picture; English Dolby Digital monaural.

Thank Your Lucky Stars (Blu-ray)
Release date: May 26
Details: 1943, Warner Home Video
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: This is one of those all-star concoctions the Hollywood studios released during World War II to entertain the troops abroad and their families back home.
Almost the entire Warner Bros. roster appeared in the film. The highlights are Bette Davis’ rendition of “They’re Either Too Young or Too Old” and Errol Flynn spoofing his swashbuckling-he-man image. Other performers include Olivia deHavilland, John Garfield, Humphrey Bogart, Eddie Cantor, Dennis Morgan and Dinah Shore.
This Blu-ray upgrade is released as part of the Warner Archive Collection and can be found at www.warnerarchive.com, www.wbshop.com or other online retailers.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.37:1 full-screen picture; English 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio monaural; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include a patriotic short, two cartoons, a musical short, a newsreel and a radio broadcast.

Other Blu-rays and DVDs being released on Tuesday, unless otherwise indicated:
Comeback Dad (Alchemy)
Gunslingers: Season 1 (Cinedigm)
Pastor Brown/Sins of the Mother double feature (Lionsgate)
Walker, Texas Ranger: Standoff (CBS DVD-Paramount Home Entertainment) (Walmart exclusive)
FOR KIDS
Back to the Jurassic (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD) (Alchemy)
Power Rangers Super Megaforce: Sky Strike (DVD + Ultraviolet) (Lionsgate)
Scaredy Squirrel and Bink & Gollie double feature (Scholastic Storybook Treasures)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: NYC Showdown (Nickelodeon-Paramount Home Entertainment)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Pulverizer Power (Nickelodeon-Paramount Home Entertainment)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Search for Splinter (Nickelodeon-Paramount Home Entertainment)

Coming next week: Chappie
Wild Tales

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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