New to View: Day-Lewis’ breakthrough performance highlights ‘Laundrette’

By Bob Bloom
The following Blu-rays and DVDs are being released on Tuesday, July 21:

My Beautiful Laundrette: Special Edition (Blu-ray)
Details: 1985, The Criterion Collection
Rated: R, sexual content, language
The lowdown: Director Stephen Frears culture-clash comedy is a subversive feature critical of the homophobia and sociopolitical marginalization that was rampant in Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s England.
The film stars Gordon Warnecke as a young South London Pakistani who decides to open an upscale launderette. He is helped by his childhood friend, a skinhead portrayed by Daniel Day-Lewis in one of his early, breakthrough performances.
This is one of the seminal works of 1980s British cinema, and should not be missed.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.66:1 widescreen picture; English LPCM; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus offerings include a conversation between Frears and producer Colin MacCabe, interviews with screenwriter Hanif Kureishi, producers Tim Bevan and Sarah Radclyffe and director of photography Oliver Stapleton and an essay about the film.

72%
Details: 2014, Cinedigm
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A documentary that looks the rise of single mothers in the African American community, where 72 percent of black children are born out of wedlock.
The feature investigates the effects of colonization and slavery has had on the black family dynamic, and what is behind the rise of single mothers in the community.
The movie also deals with the misconceptions about single black mothers.
Technical aspects: Widescreen picture; English 2.0 Dolby Digital; English closed-captioned.
Don’t miss: Extended interviews and deleted scenes comprise the major bonus features.

Kung Fu Killer (Blu-ray)
Details: 2014, Well Go USA Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Donnie Yen stars as a convicted killer and kung fu expert who volunteers to help the police find a killer who is menacing Hong Kong by executing top martial arts competitors.
In return, he wants his freedom. The police agree, and a cat-and-mouse game between the hunter and the hunted begin. But the stakes are raised when the woman the convict loves is threatened.
Technical aspects: 2.39:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; Cantonese 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio surround stereo; English, Spanish and French subtitles.
Don’t miss: A making of featurette is the major bonus option.

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Release date: July 14
Details: 2015, Fox Home Entertainment
Rated: PG, suggestive comments, adult themes, language
The lowdown: A sequel that lacks nearly feels like a remake of the original, except for the welcome arrival of Richard Gere to spark some new interest and romance.
In this outing, Dev Patel’s Sonny is planning a second resort and his wedding, both of which are hampered by various complications usually found only in movies.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.39:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and Spanish, French and English descriptive track 5.1 Dolby Digital; English SDH and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: A series of featurettes that look at the cast, the story, returning to the hotel, a look at the changing relationships among the characters, filming in India and the wedding are the major extras.

Seeds of Yesterday (DVD + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2015, Lionsgate
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: The fourth and final installment centering on the tormented Dollanganger family that began with “Flowers in the Attic.”
As in the previous V.C. Andrews adaptations, dark secrets, relationship problems and tragedy dog the Dollangangers. Now all the family’s troubles come to a head in this dramatic finale.
Technical aspects: 1.78:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby Digital; English SDH subtitles.

Lawman: The Complete First Season
Release date: July 14
Details: 1958-59, Warner Home Video
The lowdown: John Russell stars as Marshal Dan Troop who keeps the peace in Laramie, Wyo., in this classic Warner Bros. Western series.
Peter Brown costars as young deputy, Johnny McKay. Among the guests in this five-disc set that contains all 39 first-season episodes are Jack Elam, Adam West, Robert Conrad, Dick Foran, Wayne Morris and Lee Van Cleef.
The video-on-demand release is part of the Warner Archive Collection, and can be sound at www.warnerarchive.com or other Internet DVD dealers.
Technical aspects: 1.37:1 (4×3) full-screen picture; English Dolby Digital monaural.

Kid Blue
Release date
: July 14
Details: 1973, Fox Home Entertainment
Rated: PG
The lowdown: Dennis Hopper stars in this Western comedy as a turn-of-the-century, not-too-successful outlaw who decides to give up his life of crime and start anew.
Hopper’s Kid Blue settles in a town filled with eccentrics, where he finds it hard to fit in. This pseudo-hip feature deals with drugs, sex and flight. It features an impressive supporting cast, including Warren Oates, Peter Boyle, Ben Johnson, Howard Hessman, Lee Purcell and Janice Rule.
This video-on-demand release is part of the Fox Cinema Archives collection and can be found at www.foxconnect.com or other online outlets.
And, like many of this Fox VOD releases, this is a widescreen picture released in a pan-and-scan format.
Technical aspects: 4×3 full-screen, pan-and-scan picture.

When the Legends Die
Release date: July 14
Details: 1972, Fox Home Entertainment
Rated: PG
The lowdown: Frederic Forrest (“The Rose”) made his film debut in this Western about Tom Black Bull, a Ute Indian, who journeys into the world of the white man after the death of his parents.
He finds work at a rodeo, where he becomes a bronco-riding star, but is exploited. The film costars Richard Widmark, and is part of the Fox Cinema Archives collection. It can be found at www.foxconnect.com or other online retailers.
Technical aspects: 4×3 full-screen picture.

Snorks: The Complete Second Season
Release date: July 14
Details: 1985, Warner Home Video
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A DVD set featuring all 20 second-season episodes of this undersea Hanna-Barbera animated series.
Most of the action takes place in the city of Snorks, where a group of friends find adventure, fun and mischief.
Being a kids’ show, of course, positive lessons about self-esteem and cooperation are woven into the stories.
The release is part of the Warner Archive Collection and can be found at www.warnerarchive.com or other online DVD dealers.
Technical aspects: 1.37:1 (4×3) full-screen picture; English Dolby Digital monaural.

Other Blu-rays and DVDs being released on Tuesday, unless otherwise indicated:
Ancient Aliens: Season 7 (Blu-ray)
I, Madman (Scream Factory)
The Jokesters (Cinedigm-Random Media)
Witches of East End: The Complete Season 2 (Fox Home Entertainment-Fox Cinema Archives, July 7)
FOR KIDS
Let’s Learn: Kindness (Nickelodeon-Paramount Home Entertainment)

Coming next week: The Water Diviner

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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