New to View: Superb performances add to timelessness of ‘Fisher King’

By Bob Bloom
The following Blu-rays and DVDs are being released on Tuesday, June 23:
The Fisher King: Special Edition (Blu-ray)
Details: 1991, The Criterion Collection
Rated: R, nudity, violence, language
The lowdown: Jeff Bridges and Robin Williams star in Terry Gilliam’s contemporary fairy tale about two damaged people seeking redemption and forgiveness.
Bridges plays a former disc jockey who is trying to start over after a scandal, while Williams plays a homeless man seeking the Holy Grail, which is believes is hidden somewhere in Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
The two men, unknowingly linked by tragedy, aid each other to reconnect and rediscover their humanity.
Both actors turn in superb performances in this brilliant and poignant film.
Technical aspects:
1080p high definition, 1.78:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio surround; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include interviews with Gilliam, Bridges, producer Lynda Obst, screenwriter Richard LaGravenese and costars Amanda Plummer and Mercedes Ruehl; interviews with artists Keith Greco and Vincent Jefferds on the creation of the Red Knight; a 2006 interview with Williams; a video essay featuring Bridges’ on-set photographs; footage from 1991 of Bridges training as a radio personality; a commentary track; costume tests; deleted scenes; and a booklet with an essay about the movie.

A MusiCares Tribute to Carole King (Blu-ray)
Details: 2015, Shout! Factory
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Lady Gaga, James Taylor, Gloria Estefan, LeAnn Rimes, Steven Tyler, Pink and will.i.am were among the performers who gathered on Jan. 24, 2014 to honor singer-songwriter Carole King as the 2014 MusiCares Person of the Year.
This Blu-ray highlights these singers and others performing King’s music during this benefit for MusiCares.
King also performs some of her classic hits, making this an entertaining 60 minutes of music.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio.

The Bridge: Special Edition (Blu-ray)
Details: 1959, The Criterion Collection
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: This feature was the first major antiwar movie to come out of Germany after World War II. The film received much acclaim as well as an Academy Award nomination for best foreign language film.
The story, set near the end of the war, follows a group of boys in a small town who face the usual teenage problems of school, girls and parents. The boys enlist and must defend their hometown in a battle that terrifies and confuses the lads.
Like Lewis Milestone’s World War I classic, “All Quiet on the Western Front,” “The Bridge” humanizes the young soldiers.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.37:1 full-screen picture; German LPCM monaural; English subtitles.
Don’t miss: The bonus offerings include an interview with author Gregor Dorfmeister, whose autobiographical book was the basis for the film; an interview with filmmaker Volker Schlondorff about the movie’s impact; a 1989 interview with director Bernhard Wicki; an excerpt from a 2007 documentary featuring test footage from the film; and a booklet with an essay about the movie.

The Forger (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2013, Lionsgate
Rated: R, violence, language
The lowdown: John Travolta stars as the world’s best art forger in this thriller that co-stars Christopher Plummer and Tye Sheridan.
the forgerTravolta makes a deal with a crime syndicate: In exchange for an early release from prison, he will forge a painting by Claude Monet, steal the original from a museum and replace it with his replica.
Complications arise, of course, before the dust settles.
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.
Don’t miss: A behind-the-scenes look at the making of the movie is the major bonus feature.

The Wrecking Crew (Blu-ray)
Release date: June 16
Details: 2015, Magnolia Home Entertainment
Rated: PG, language, smoking
The lowdown: A musical documentary that looks at the instrumentalists who were the backing band in the 1960s and ‘70s for Frank Sinatra, Elvis, the Beach Boys, The Monkees, Sonny & Cher and others.
These are the musicians who helped create the “West Coast Sound” that became a primary factor in music worldwide.
This is a Blu-ray you can blast as the sound will make you want to get up and dance.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.78:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include looks at the musicians, songs, themes, the artists, engineers, producers and arrangers as well as deleted scenes.

Lost For Words
Details: 2014, Green Apple Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A love story centering on a former U.S. Marine and a Chinese ballerina.
Both have been hurt in prior relationships, but despite a language barrier and cultural differences, they are drawn to each other, even as political and other pressures threaten their happiness.
Technical aspects: 2.35:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English and Chinese 5.1 Dolby Digital surround.
Don’t miss: A commentary track, a behind-the-scenes featurette and deleted scenes comprise the major bonus offerings.

Ripper Street: Season Three
Details:
2014, BBC Home Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A three-disc set featuring the third season of the BBC series set in the post-Jack the Ripper Whitechapel district of London.
The crime-fighting team of DI Edmund Reid, Sgt. Bennet Drake and Capt. Homer Jackson are reunited after four years following a train heist that leads to a massive locomotive accident.
Their investigation creates havoc in the district and uncovers many secrets.
Technical aspects: 16×9 anamorphic widescreen picture; English Dolby Digital stereo; English SDH subtitles.

That Show With Joan Rivers
Details: 1968-69, Film Chest Media Group
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A four-disc set featuring the hilarious 29 episodes of the talk show that Joan Rivers hosted in the late 1960s.
Among her guests were Johnny Carson, Ed Sullivan, Steve Lawrence, Barbara Walters and Lily Tomlin. Rivers also covered such topics as “Life in Russia,” “Teenagers Today” and “Wallpaper.”
Technical aspects: 4×3 full-screen picture.

Young Hercules: The Complete Series
Details: 1998-99, Shout! Factory
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A young Ryan Gosling stars as the mythical half-man, half-god in this prequel series to “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys.”
The six-disc set includes all 50 episodes as Gosling’s young hero and his friends struggle to find their place in the young world. Hercules also must learn what it means to be a hero.
Technical aspects: English Dolby Digital; English closed-captioned subtitles.
Don’t miss: A featurette on the writing of the series is the major bonus offering.

Cross
Details:
2012, Well Go USA
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: This Chinese thriller centers on a man who considers himself an angel of mercy doing God’s work.
He also is a serial killer. A police psychologist discovers the killer’s hunting ground — an online website for people planning on killing themselves.
The killer, believing suicide is a sin, is murdering these people in order to save their souls. This is a twisted feature that will engross you.
Technical aspects: 16:9 widescreen picture; Cantonese 5.1 Dolby Digital stereo surround; English subtitles.

Dog Soldiers: Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray + DVD)
Details: 2012, Scream Factory
Rated: R, graphic and gory violence, language
The lowdown: A group of soldiers deployed to the Scottish Highlands is menaced by a pack of werewolves and must fight for their survival. A local girl, who gives them shelter in a deserted farmhouse deep in the forest, comes to their aid.
Horror fans will enjoy the effects and chills.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 1.78:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; DVD: 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby Digital.
Don’t miss: A making of featurette that includes interviews with cast and filmmakers, a commentary track, a short film by the director and a stills gallery comprise the major bonus offerings.

Dear Brigitte
Release date: June 9
Details: 1965, Fox Home Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A comedy about an 8-year-old math prodigy who develops an enormous puppy love crush on actress Brigitte Bardot and the impact this development has on his family.
The movie stars James Stewart, Glynis Johns, Fabian and Billy Mumy of “Lost in Space” fame.
The film is part of the Fox Cinema Archives collection and can be found at www.foxconnect.com or other online dealers.
Technical aspects: 16×9 widescreen picture.

Side Piece
Details:
2015, Cinedigm
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A documentary that looks at the increase in extramarital affairs and the sudden growth and acceptance of “side pieces” in contemporary society.
Secret lovers are blackmailing for power, money and fame and, according to the film, the institution of marriage is slowly crumbling. The film looks at reasons for all these occurrences and if fidelity remains a viable option.
Technical aspects: Widescreen picture; English 2.0 Dolby Digital; English closed-captioned subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include a discussion about whether or not to side piece as well as a deleted scene.

Other Blu-rays and DVDs being released on Tuesday, unless otherwise indicated:
An American Girl: Grace Stirs Up Success (Blu-ray + DVD + Ultraviolet) (Lionsgate Home Entertainment)
If There Be Thorns (DVD + Ultraviolet) (Lionsgate Home Entertainment)
If You Build It (Cinedigm-Docurama)
Song One (Blu-ray) (Cinedigm)
The Sad Horse (Fox Home Entertainment-Fox Cinema Archives, June 9)
FOR KIDS
Curious George 3: Back to the Jungle (Universal Studios Home Entertainment)

Coming next week: Get Hard

Bob Bloom is a member of the Indiana Film Journalists Association. He reviews movies, Blu-rays and DVDs for ReelBob (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.

 

 

 

  • ReelBob

    Let us know what you think about these latest releases on Blu-ray and DVD.