New to View: ‘Walking Dead’ continues to thrill, frighten

By Bob Bloom
The following Blu-rays and DVDs are being released on Tuesday, Aug. 25:
The Walking Dead: The Complete Fifth Season (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2014, Anchor Bay Entertainment
Rated: Not rated, violence
The lowdown: This five-disc set features all 16 season five episodes of the hit AMC zombie-related series.
The season looks at the motives of the people of Terminus, the bright prospect of a cure in Washington, D.C. and the fate of the group’s lost members.
Mixed in, of course, are new characters, new locales, new conflicts and new obstacles to overcome, including the cannibalistic Hunters.
The biggest battle is the interior one as members struggle to retain their humanity.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.78:1 widescreen picture; English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD and French 2.0 Dolby Digital surround; English SDH and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Hours of extras include a behind-the-scenes look at the show, an overview of the season, a featurette on the making of Alexandria, looks at the journeys of Beth, Bob, Noah and Tyreese, looks at days in the life of cast members Michael Cudlitz and Josh McDermitt, commentaries, deleted scenes an a look at Rotters in the flesh.

Citizenfour (Blu-ray)
Details: 2014, Anchor Bay Entertainment
Rated: R, language
The lowdown: This film about Edwards Snowden 2014’s Academy Award-winning documentary.
The film details director Laura Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald’s encounters with the wanted whistleblower in a hotel room where he gives them classified documents that details a massive invasion of privacy by the National Security Agency of citizens’ emails, phones, credit cards and websites.
It’s a frightening proposition knowing that your government is spying on you and using the excuse that they are doing so in order to protect your freedom.
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: Bonus materials include deleted scenes, a “New York Times” discussion with Snowden, Poitras, Greenwald and David Carr, a Film Society of Lincoln Center question-and-answer session with Poitras and Dennis Lim and a “New York Times” Op-Doc by Poitras.

Two Days, One Night: Special Edition (Blu-ray)
Details: 2014, The Criterion Collection
Rated: PG-13, language
The lowdown: The wonderful Marion Cotillard received an Academy Award best actress nomination for her portrayal of a working-class woman two days, one nightdesperately trying to hold onto her factory job.
Cotillard plays a wife and mother who suffers from depression. She discovers that while she was on sick leave, a majority of her coworkers voted in favor of laying her off over giving up their annual bonuses.
Cotillard spends a weekend going from house-to-house trying to convince coworkers to change their minds.
This is a humane drama that examines the importance of community in a world that is growing more and more impersonal.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 widescreen picture; French 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English subtitles.
Don’t miss: Interviews with co-directors Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, Cotillard and co-star Fabrizio Rongione, a 1979 documentary by the Dardenne brothers, a tour of the movie’s locations with the directors, a video essay by critic Kent Jones and an essay about the film comprise the major bonus features.

Throne of Blood: Special Edition (Blu-ray)
Details: 1957, The Criterion Collection
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Legendary director Akira Kurosawa’s adaptation of “Macbeth” puts a traditional Japanese spin on Shakespeare’s tragedy, but using formal elements of Noh theater.
Toshiro Mifune plays the doomed nobleman and Isuzu Yamada is his ruthless wife in this tale of deadly ambition and guilt transported from Scotland to feudal Japan.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.37:1 full-screen picture; Japanese LPCM monaural; English subtitles.
Don’t miss: A documentary on the creation of the film, a commentary track, two alternate and subtitle translations and a booklet about the movie and the subtitling constitute the bonus materials.

The Good Wife: The Sixth Season
Details: 2014-15, CBS DVD-Paramount Home Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A six-disc set featuring all 22 sixth season episodes of the popular CBS series.
During the season, Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) enters the political arena as she decides to run for state’s attorney.
Besides campaigning, she must balance the demands of her law firm and support her partner, Cary (Matt Czuchry), during developments that could end his career.
The series also features Christine Baranski, Alan Cumming, Chris Noth and Archie Panjabi.
Technical aspects: 16:9 full-screen picture; English 5.1 and 2.0 Dolby Digital; English SDH and Portuguese subtitles.
Don’t miss: Supplemental materials include a look inside the season final, a featurette on the temptations facing Alicia Florrick, deleted scenes, a gag reel and a featurette about Margulies and Baranski.

Elementary: The Third Season
Details: 2014-15, CBS DVD-Paramount Home Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) and Dr. Joan Watson (Lucy Liu) return for another season of helping the New York Police Department solve baffling crimes.
The six-disc set includes all 24 episodes as the eccentric Holmes uses his brilliant mind to unravel complex cases and unmask culprits.
Technical aspects: 16:9 full-screen picture; English 5.1 Dolby Digital; English SDH and Portuguese subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include a look at the cast and crew, the wardrobe of Liu’s Watson, a featurette on the writing team, a commentary track, an interview with guest star Ophelia Lovibond, a gag reel and a look at the creation of some of the crime scenes.

The Singing Detective (Blu-ray)
Details: 2003, Olive Films
Rated: R, language, violence, sexual situations
The lowdown: This Americanized feature, adapted by Dennis Porter from his own BBC series, tries hard to live up to the original British production, but falls a bit short, despite an excellent cast headed by Robert Downey Jr.
The movie is a hallucinatory tale about pulp author Don Dark, who is hospitalized for treatment for a disease that has crippled his body and mind.
He continually slips in and out of consciousness and begins to combine fragments from his life and his writings.
The impressive cast includes Mel Gibson, Adrien Brody, Robin Wright Penn and Katie Holmes.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.78:1 widescreen picture.

Criminal Minds: The Tenth Season
Details: 2014-15, CBS DVD-Paramount Home Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: The FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit returns in this six-disc set that features all 23 10th-season episodes.
New to the cast is Jennifer Love Hewitt, who helps the team investigate and solve disturbing and strange cases, nab serial killers and, along the way, deal with personal issues and problems.
Technical aspects: 16:9 full-screen picture; English 5.1 Dolby Digital; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: The bonus offerings include a look at the cast, a tribute to actor Meshach Taylor, a featurette on the origins of the BAU, a featurette with composers discussing their favorite music tracks, an interview with star and director Thomas Gibson, a look at the making of episodes 10 through 19, a behind-the-scenes with fan and rapper H.I.M. and commentaries.

Daniel (Blu-ray)
Details: 1983, Olive Films
Rated: R, violence, language
The lowdown: Sidney Lumet directed this adaptation of E.L. Doctorow’s “The Book of Daniel,” which is a fictionalized account of the case of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were executed in the 1950s for treason for allegedly giving nuclear secrets to the Soviet Union.
In the film, the family is named the Isaacsons. Timothy Hutton stars as Daniel Isaacson, the anti-war activist son of parents executed as spies. Daniel believes his parents were wrongly convicted and sets out to clear their names.
Mandy Patinkin and Lindsay Crouse play his parents, while Amanda Plummer plays Daniel’s sister.
Doctorow wrote the screenplay for this drama.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.78:1 widescreen picture.

Iris (Blu-ray)
Details: 2015, Magnolia Home Entertainment
Rated: PG-13, language
The lowdown: Acclaimed documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles turns his camera on Iris Apfel, the flamboyant 93-year-old style maven who has been a driving force on the New York fashion scene for decades.
The movie is not so much a look at fashion as it is of a free spirit whose creativity has not waned with age.
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: An interview with Apfel and deleted scenes comprise the major bonus features.

Berry Gordy’s The Last Dragon: 35th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Details: 1985, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Rated: PG-13, violence, language
The lowdown: A movie that combines martial arts and music and is definitely a product of the 1980s.
The story centers on a martial arts student named Leroy Green (Taimak) who is seeking an all-powerful force known as “The Glow.”
Along the way he must rescue a singer, played by Vanity, from an obsessed record promoter and battle the self-proclaimed “Shogun of Harlem.”
The film, which is aimed at a juvenile audience, combines a Motown soundtrack, dance and action.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and Portuguese, French and Spanish Dolby Digital monaural; English SDH, English, traditional Chinese, French, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish and Thai subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus offerings include a look back at the movie with Taimak, Gordy and others as well as a commentary track.

Father Forgive Him
Details: 2015, Cinedigm
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A look at the problem of abuses in the Christian church where, because of various cultural and economic situations that make people feel hopeless and vulnerable, those in power sometimes take advantage of those weaknesses.
The documentary looks at people who have been the victims of abuse and exposes the systemic power that often leads to such problems.
Technical aspects: Widescreen picture; English 2.0 Dolby Digital; English closed-captioned.
Don’t miss:
Extended interviews comprise the major bonus features.

Animals
Details: 2015, Oscilloscope Laboratories
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A drama about a young drug-addicted couple and their struggles to survive.
In reality, they are close to homeless, wandering the streets of Chicago. But their fantasy lives are rich with imagination. They steal and con to stay a step ahead of their addiction. Ultimately, though, they are forced to take a good look at themselves and face the reality of their desperate lives.
Technical aspects: 2.35:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby Digital; English SDH subitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus features include a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the movie and deleted scenes.

“Gene Autry Collection 11”
Details: 1936-37, Timeless Media Group
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Singing cowboy star Gene Autry returns in four features on two discs from his early years at Republic Pictures.
Autry, along with costar Smiley Burnette, sang their way into the hearts of B-Western fans, all the while offering lots of action, stunts and laughs.
Autry, of course, at the outset of his career, relied on Republic’s crack team of stuntmen for his derring-do, but that should not diminish the enjoyment of these films.
This set features “The Singing Cowboy” (1936), which deals with a murder, a severely injured child who needs a brain operation and the formation of a hillbilly orchestra to raise money for surgery; “Guns and Guitars” (1936), find Autry and partner Frog Millhouse (Burnette) as medicine show performers who land in the middle of a Texas cattle war; “Round-Up Time in Texas” (1937) is one of the oddest movies in the series, as Autry and Frog travel to South Africa to aid Gene’s brother who has discovered a diamond mind; and “Springtime in the Rockies” (1937) finds cattle-ranch foreman Autry discovering that the new owner wants to raise sheep instead of cattle.
All the films have been digitally restored from Autry’s personal film collection.
Technical aspects: 4×3 full-screen picture; Doldby Digital monaural; English closed-captioned.
Don’t miss: Extras include excerpts from Autry’s “Melody Ranch Theater” television and radio shows as well as trivia and movie facts about Autry and the films.

Skin Trade (Blu-ray)
Details: 2015 Magnolia Home Entertainment
Rated: R, graphic and bloody violence, disturbing images, nudity, sexual content, drug use, language
The lowdown: Dolph Lundgren and Tony Jaa star in this action thriller about a detective who blazes a deadly path to Bangkok in search of a human trafficker who attempted to kill his family.
His presence creates problems for a Thai detective as well as the FBI agent sent to bring the detective home.
Circumstances, though, force the two detectives to unite to bring down the trafficker.
Technical aspects: 2.39:1 (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 fight sequences, a making of featurette, a featurette on the director, a commentary track, deleted scenes and an interview with Lundgren comprise the extras.

The Falling
Release date: Aug. 18
Details: 1987, MGM-Fox Home Entertainment
Rated: R, violence, language
The lowdown: A horror feature about three American teens on vacation in Spain who drive their RV into a town where a large piece of Skylab fell.
An alien parasitic microbe that drives people crazy and turns them into killing mutants, has infected the town’s residents.
The cast includes “Breaking Away’s” Dennis Christopher and “Ice Castle’s” Lynn-Holly Johnson.
The feature is a video-on-demand DVD-R from the MGM Limited Edition Collection and can be found at www.foxconnect.com, www.mgm.com/dvd and other online dealers.
Technical aspects: 16:9 widescreen picture.

Crack House
Release date: Aug. 18
Details: 1989, MGM-Fox Home Entertainment
Rated: R, violence, language, sexual situations
The lowdown: A “Romeo and Juliet”-like love story-drama set in the world of Los Angeles gangs.
Two teenagers madly in love dream of a better life, but can’t escape the nightmare of the violence that rips through their neighborhood and lives.
The film, a video-on-demand DVD-R release from the MGM Limited Edition Collection, features Jim Brown, Richard Roundtree and Anthony Geary.
The film can be found at www.foxconnect.com, www.mgm.com/dvd and other online retailers.
Technical aspects: 1.85:1 widescreen picture.

Other Blu-rays and DVDs being released on Tuesday, unless otherwise indicated:
Camilla Dickinson (Random Media-Cinedigm)
Metamorphosis/Beyond Darkness double feature (Blu-ray) (Scream Factory)
Where Hope Grows (DVD + Ultraviolet) (Lionsgate Home Entertainment)
FOR KIDS
Nickelodeon Favorites: Puppy Palooza! (Nickelodeon-Paramount Home Entertainment)

Coming next week: Mad Max: Fury Road
Bessie

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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