New to View: ‘It Follows’ will keep you looking over your shoulder

By Bob Bloom
The following Blu-rays and DVDs are being released on Tuesday, July 14:

It Follows (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2015, Anchor Bay Entertainment
Rated: R, graphic violence, sexual content, nudity, language
The lowdown: One of the scariest movies of the year focuses on a 19-year-old girl who, after a sexual encounter, finds herself plagued by the frightening feel that she is being constantly being followed.
She turns to her friends for help, but the horror seems inescapable for them all.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.40:1 widescreen picture; English 4.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Among the bonus offerings are a conversation with the film composer and a commentary track.

Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2015, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Rated: PG, violence
The lowdown: Kevin James returns as the mall cop keeping American shopping complexes safe. In this unnecessary sequel, James’ Blart takes a Paul Blart Mall Cop 2vacation to Las Vegas with his teenage daughter before she leaves for college.
When trouble arises, however, it is Blart who steps forward to save the day. The results are predictable and the story is routine.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English 5.1 Dolby Digital audio descriptive track, French, Spanish and Thai; English SDH, English, Chinese (simplified and traditional), French, Indonesian/Bahasa, Korean, Spanish and Thai subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include a look at the cast, a featurette on how to make a movie, a gag reel, deleted scenes and six behind-the-scenes featurettes on various aspects of the making of the movie.

The Black Stallion: Special Edition (Blu-ray)
Details: 1979, The Criterion Collection
Rated: G
The lowdown: This adaptation of Walter Farley’s beloved children’s novel is, thanks to cinematographer Caleb Deschanel, one of the most beautiful movies ever shot.
Under the fine direction of Carroll Ballard, this story of a wild horse and a young boy united for life after a shipwreck remains as timeless and magical as when it was released.
The movie features a strong supporting performance by Mickey Rooney and a wonderful score by Carmine Coppola.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 widescreen picture; English 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio surround; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: Among the bonus materials are five short films by Ballard, a conversation between Ballard and film critic Scott Foundas, an interview with Deschanel, a featurette about the still photographs from the set and an essay about the movie.

The Salt of the Earth (Blu-ray + DVD)
Details: 2014, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Rated: PG-13, adult themes, disturbing images, nudity
The lowdown: A documentary that looks at the works of photographer Sebastiao Salgado, who has traveled the globe for more than four decades, capturing major historical events from conflicts to starvation.
Salgado’s latest adventure is a tribute to the beauty of the Earth as he seeks pristine territories of wild fauna and flora as well breathtaking landscapes.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English 5.1 Dolby Digital audio descriptive track; English SDH and English subtitles; DVD: 1.85:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby Digital and audio descriptive track; English SDH and English subtitles.
Don’t miss: A commentary track, deleted scenes and a featurette with directors Wim Winders and Juliano Ribeiro Salgaod comprise the major bonus offerings.

Powers: Season 1 (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2015, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: The premise of this TV series centers on people with superpowers who are not superheroes and members of the police Powers Division, who must keep them in check.
The series is based on a 2004 graphic novel and follows two homicide detectives assigned to investigate cases involving these special people.
The series stars Sharlto Copley and Susan Heyward. The set features the complete first season.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.78:1 widescreen picture; English and French 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH, English and French subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus offerings include a featurette on envisioning and filming the series, a behind-the-scenes on adapting the graphic novel for television, outtakes and deleted scenes.

Maggie (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Release date: July 7
Details: 2014, Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Rated: PG-13, disturbing images, bloody violence, language
The lowdown: A post-apocalyptic thriller that focuses on a deadly virus that turns its victims into zombies.
Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as a father whose daughter, played by Abigail Breslin, has been infected. Dad stands by his daughter, protecting her from the authorities who want to destroy her in order to wipe out the virus.
This is a rather thoughtful thriller, unlike many of the myriad of mindless zombie movies released in the past few years.
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: The extras are comprised of a making of featurette, a deleted scene, a commentary track and interviews with cast members and filmmakers.

Hiroshima Mon Amour: Special Edition (Blu-ray)
Details: 1959, The Criterion Collection
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Director Alain Resnais’ milestone of the French New Wave centers on the affair of a French actress and Japanese architect in postwar Hiroshima.
The movie features a flashback structure that was innovative for its time and remains one of the most influential films of the era.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.37:1 full-screen picture; French LPCM monaural; English subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include interviews with Resnais from 1961 and 1980, interviews with star Emmanuelle Riva from 1959 and 2003, a commentary track, an interview with a Resnais film scholar, an interview that discusses the film’s score, a 2003 program about the film’s restoration and a booklet with essays about the movie.

Howling II (Blu-ray)
Details: 1985, Scream-Shout! Factory
Rated: R, graphic violence, language
The lowdown: This sequel centers on Ben, the brother of newscaster Karen White, whose on-screen transformation and death was featured in the original movie.
Ben meets a mysterious man named Stefan Crosscoe (Christopher Lee), who claims that Ben’s sister has become a werewolf. Crosscoe enlists Ben to accompany him to Transylvania to battle and destroy Stirba (the lovely Sybil Danning), the queen of the werewolves.
The movie is gory and features at that time state-of-the-art transformation sequences, but it is not as good or memorable as the original.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 widescreen picture; English DTS-HD Master Audio monaural.
Don’t miss: Extras include interviews with Danning, leading man Reb Brown and special effects artists Steve Johnson and Scott Wheeler and two commentary tracks comprise the bonus features.

Here Is Your Life: Special Edition (Blu-ray)
Details: 1966, The Criterion Collection
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Noted Swedish director Jan Troell made his debut with this story about a working-class boy’s development and transformation from naïve teenager to intellectually curious adult. The film is set against a slowly industrializing rural landscape
The movie, based on the works of Nobel Prize winner Eyvind Johnson, is shown in its original 168-minute cut.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.66:1 widescreen picture; Swedish LPCM; English subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus materials include an introduction by English director Mike Leigh, a conversation between Troell and film historian Peter Cowie, interviews with actor Eddie Axberg and producer-co-screenwriter Bengt Forslund, a 1965 short film by Troell with Max von Sydow and an essay about the movie.

Little House on the Prairie: Season Six Deluxe Remastered Edition (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Details: 1979-80, Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A five-disc set featuring all 24 sixth-season episodes of this popular TV series about frontier life and the Ingalls family.
In the sixth season, Almanzo Wilder and his sister, Eliza Jane, move to Walnut Grove, which leads to a marriage proposal to Laura.
Other triumphs and tragedies are recorded in this beloved series headed by Michael Landon.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.33:1 full-screen picture; English 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio and Spanish and French 2.0 Dolby Digital; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: The sixth part of the “Little House” phenomenon series is the major bonus feature.

The Outing/The Godsend double feature (Blu-ray)
Details: 1981, 1987, Scream Factory
Rated: R, graphic violence, language, sexual situations
The lowdown: “The Outing” (1981) rests upon a genie released from a lamp by a gang of crooks who ransack an old woman’s home. The thieves are killed, and the lamp is sent to a museum where it will be studied.
The curator’s daughter is soon possessed by the genie, leading to a night of mayhem and murder.
In “The Godsend” (1987), a woman leaves her baby at the doorstep of the Marlowe family. Mother Kate keeps the baby, named Bonnie, and grows to love her. However, as Kate’s own children begin to die in strange and mysterious ways, suspicion falls on Bonnie.
This is a rather disturbing movie, especially since it focuses on the killing of children.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.78:1 widescreen picture; English DTS-HD Master Audio.

Five Came Back
Release date: June 23
Details: 1939, Warner Home Video
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A clipper ship crashes in the jungles of South America in this “B” adventure film directed by John Farrow.
The film’s cast includes Lucille Ball, Chester Morris, Patric Knowles, John Carradine, C. Aubrey Smith, Kent Taylor, Wendy Barrie, Allen Jenkins and Joseph Calleia.
While the pilot and co-pilot strive to repair the battered airliner, native drums hint that there is no good in store for the crash victims.
This is an escapist drama that is fun to watch. Farrow liked it so much, he remade it in 1956 as “Back From Eternity.”
The DVD-R is part of the Warner Archive Collection and can be found at www.warnerarchive.com or other online retailers.
Technical aspects: 1.37:1 (4×3) full-screen picture; Dolby Digital monaural.

Cellar Dweller/Catacombs double feature (Blu-ray)
Details: 1987, 1988, Scream Factory
Rated: Not rated, R, graphic violence, language
The lowdown: A horror comic book artist dies when he confronts the carnage of his own imagination in “Cellar Dweller” (1987, not rated). Years later, a devotee of the artist becomes a resident in his house, which has been transformed into an art academy.
She is unaware that her imagination has awakened horrors from the past.
In “Catacombs” (1988, R), a legendary Beast of the Apocalypse is unleashed because of an evil spell cast hundreds of years earlier.
An American priest and a young schoolteacher uncover the secret and must battle to stop the curse that could unleash terror upon the entire world.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.78:1 widescreen picture; English DTS-HD Master Audio.
Don’t miss: A commentary track with “Catacombs” is the major bonus feature.

Other Blu-rays and DVDs being released on Tuesday, unless otherwise indicated:
Black Beauty (DVD + Ultraviolet) (Lionsgate Home Entertainment)
Dawn Patrol (Alchemy)
Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove: Season Two (Cinedigm)
Poltergeists: Real-Life Hauntings (Lionsgate Home Entertainment)
Playing House: Season 1 (Universal Studios Home Entertainment, July 7)
Mom (Fox Home Entertainment-MGM-Limited Edition Collection, June 30)
Nana (Fox Home Entertainment-MGM-Limited Edition Collection, June 30)
FOR KIDS
I Want My Hat Back … And More Happy Stories (Cinedigm-Scholastic)
The Magic School Bus: Season Three (Cinedigm-Scholastic)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Return to NYC! (Nickelodeon-Paramount Home Entertainment)

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.

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