New to View: ‘Pixels’ out-of-this-world nonsense
By Bob Bloom
The following Blu-rays and DVDs are being released on Tuesday, Oct. 27:
Pixels (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2015, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Rated: PG-13, suggestive comments, language
The lowdown: A science fiction comedy about aliens who misinterpret video feeds of classic arcade games as a declaration of war and retaliate by attacking our planet with games such as Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Centipede, Space Invaders and Galaga.
Recruited to fend off the attack are a team of old-school arcade champs headed by Adam Sandler, Peter Dinklage and Josh Gad.
The film, though very silly, will hold some nostalgic appeal for onetime arcade players.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.40:1 widescreen picture; English Dolby Atmos (Dolby 7.1 TrueHD compatible), Portuguese 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French, Spanish and Thai 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Dolby surround audio description track; English SDH, English, Chinese (Cantonese, Simplified and Traditional), French, Indonesian/Bahasa, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish and Thai subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus offerings include several behind-the-scenes featurettes, many of which focus on the arcade games used in the film.
Max (Blu-ray + DVD + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2015, Warner Home Video
Rated: PG, action violence and danger, language, mature themes
The lowdown: “Max” was marketed as a fuzzy family drama about the rehabilitation of a combat dog — a tribute to those animals that have bravely served with our troops overseas.
Nothing could be farther from the truth. “Max” does have a few touching moments, but they are wedged inside a crime drama centering on illicit arms sales and betrayal of one’s friends and country.
Thus this salute to these wonderful canines rings false and hollow.
“Max” is a cynical and mostly unpleasant feature, which is too bad because the subject matter deserves better.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 2.40:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English 5.1 Dolby Digital audio descriptive track, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles; DVD: 2.40:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital; English SDH, Spanish and French subtitles.
Don’t miss: A featurette on the dogs that portrayed Max and a behind-the-scenes look at military dogs comprise the major bonus offerings.
Mulholland Dr.: Special Edition (Blu-ray)
Details: 2001, The Criterion Collection
Rated: R, sexual content, language, violence, mature themes
The lowdown: David Lynch wrote and directed this Hollywood story about two women, a novice actress newly arrived in Hollywood and the woman with amnesia she meets and sets off with to help uncover her identity.
At the same time, a movie director is having problems casting his latest movie. How the two threads combine is the crux of Lynch’s strange vision of the cinema capital.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: Interviews with Lynch, cinematographer Peter Deming, cast members Naomi Watts, Justin Theroux and Laura Harring, composer Angelo Badalamenti, production designer Jack Fisk and casting director Johanna Ray; a deleted scene, on-set footage and a booklet with essays about the movie and an interview with Lynch comprise the major bonus materials.
Jurassic World (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Ultraviolet)
Release date: Oct. 20
Details: 2015, Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Rated: PG-13, intense sequences of violence and danger, language
The lowdown: “Jurassic World” is a fun and thrilling adventure because it showcases its dinosaurs in a matter-of-fact manner.
In this latest outing, attendance at Jurassic World is leveling off, so scientists at the park are splicing genetic materials from here and there to create a new, bigger and scarier dinosaur. You’d think these guys would have learned their lessons after the fiasco of the first film.
Of course, this new mean monster escapes and begins to wreak havoc throughout the park. It sets off a domino effect of disaster as workers and tourists alike become dino chow.
The movie looks great and sounds even better on home theater systems.
To take advantage of the Blu-ray 3D, you will need an HD 3D TV, compatible 3D glasses, a 3D Blu-ray player and a high-speed HDMI cable.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 2.00:1 widescreen picture; English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French and Spanish 5.1 DTS surround and English 2.0 Dolby Digital DVS; English SDH, Spanish and French subtitles; DVD: 2.00:1 anamorphic widescreen picture; English, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital and English 2.0 Dolby Digital DVS; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus materials include an Innovation Center tour with star Chris Pratt, a featurette on the movie, an all-access pass to Jurassic World, deleted scenes, a behind-the-scenes featurette and a look at the movie’s dinosaurs.
Back to the Future: 30th Anniversary Trilogy (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Release date: Oct. 20
Details: 1985-1990, Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Rated: PG, violence, language
The lowdown: The future is finally here for Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) and Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) as “Back to the Future” and its two sequels are released in a fun-filled set loaded with extras.
Marty and Doc travel in his super-souped-up DeLorean to the past and the future to set things right for Marty and his family.
The set contains four Blu-rays; three feature the movies and the last contains a few hours of bonus materials.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French and Spanish 5.1 DTS surround; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: The extras include a nine-part retrospective from 2009 on the legacy of the trilogy; a short film, “Doc Brown Saves the World,” with Christopher Lloyd, that shows why some of the futuristic gadgets from the second film do not exist today; a peek at the 2012 restoration of the iconic DeLorean; two episodes from “Back to the Future: The Animated Series;” a 2015 commercial for a hoverboard and a trailer for “Jaws 9”; a five-part documentary on the making of the movies, a look at the franchise’s physics; deleted scenes; a question-and-answer session with Fox; eight archival featurettes; behind-the-scenes footage; music videos; commentaries; and a look at “Back to the Future: The Ride.”
My Fair Lady: 50th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray + DVD)
Details: 1964, CBS Blu-ray-Paramount Home Entertainment
The lowdown: This Academy Award-winning musical adaptation of the hit Broadway show won as Oscar for Rex Harrison as best actor.
The main objection to this lush feature is that Audrey Hepburn played the role created by Julie Andrews, who many believed deserved to reprise her part in the film.
Marnie Nixon handles the more difficult vocals for Hepburn in this newest release of the film, which comes in an attractive steelbook case.
The three-disc set is loaded with bonus features.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 16:9 widescreen picture; English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD and French, German, Italian, Spanish and Japanese Dolby Digital monaural; English SDH, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese, Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish and Danish subtitles; DVD: 16:9 widescreen picture; English Dolby Digital monaural; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: Among the hours of extras are a look back at the making of the movie, a peek at a 1963 production kick-off dinner, Los Angeles and British premieres footage, George Cukor directs Baroness Bina Rothschild, production tests, Rex Harrison’s Golden Globe acceptance speech, Harrison’s British Film Institute honor, highlights from the 1965 Academy Awards ceremony, a trio of behind-the-scenes featurettes, alternate Hepburn vocals, a look at designer Cecil Beaton’s sketches, a comments on a lady featurette, a radio interview with Harrison and behind-the-scenes photos.
Army of Darkness: Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray)
Details: 1992, Scream Factory
Rated: graphic horror violence, disturbing images, language
The lowdown: A three-disc set featuring the theatrical version, Sam Raimi’s director’s cut and an international cut in this funny and bloody third chapter of the “Evil Dead” trilogy.
Bruce Campbell is back as Ash, doing battle with the Deadites. In this outing, he is transported back to the Dark Ages where between battles with the undead, he romances a fetching wench.
Ash fights and woos and hopes to be able to return to his own time in this graphically outrageous feature.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 widescreen picture (theatrical version), 1.78:1 widescreen picture (director’s and international cuts) and 1.33:1 full-screen TV version; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and 2.0 DTS-HD TV cut; English subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus offerings include a making of documentary that includes interviews with Campbell, Ted Raimi and others, original opening and ending, deleted scenes, a commentary with Sam Raimi and others, a featurette on creating the Deadites, behind-the-scenes footage, a vintage making of featurette, extended interviews and behind-the-scenes photos.
The Human Centipede: The Complete Sequence (Blu-ray)
Details: 2009-15, IFC Midnight-Scream Factory
Rated: Not rated, disturbing images, language
The lowdown: This sick trilogy is not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach.
A retired surgeon aims to create a human centipede by connecting people via their gastric systems.
The three films — “The Human Centipede (First Sequence),” “The Human Centipede (Full Sequence)” and “The Human Centipede 3 (Final Sequence)” — are more gross-out than horror, and it will take a very strong-willed individual to sit through all three.
The set includes the director’s cuts of the movies as well as the color version of “Human Centipede 2.”
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.78:1 widescreen picture (“Human Centipede” and “Human Centipede 2”) and 2.35:1 (“Human Centipede 3”); English 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio (“Human Centipede) and 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio (“Human Centipede 2” and “Human Centipede 3”); English subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include a featurette on the women in the movies, commentaries with director Tom Six, behind-the-scenes footage, an interview with Six, deleted scenes, casting tapes, a Foley sessions, a tour of the warehouse set, Laurence R. Harvey’s audition tape, a featurette on the making of the third film and an alternate ending on the third film.
The Horror Network
Details: 2013, Wild Eye Releasing
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: An anthology horror movie that offers six tales of terror featuring serial killers, ghostly phone calls, inner demons, stalkers and otherworldy creatures.
The film is reminiscent of such earlier works as “Tales From the Crypt,” “Vault of Horror” and “Creepshow.”
Six directors share their scary stories in this DVD that will entice fans of the genre.
Technical aspects: Widescreen picture.
Don’t miss: An extended cut of the short, “The Deviant One,” is the major bonus extra.
Other Blu-rays and DVDs being released on Tuesday, unless otherwise indicated:
Mining For Ruby (MVD Visual)
The Exorcism of Molly Hartley: Unrated (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet) (Fox Home Entertainment, Oct. 20)
Adam Ant: The Blueblack Hussar (MVD Visual, Oct. 16)
Coming next week: Inside Out
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can follow Bloom on Twitter @ReelBobBloom and on Facebook. Movie reviews by Bloom also can be found at Rottentomatoes: www.rottentomatoes.com.