New to View: McKellen shines as Holmes in his twilight

By Bob Bloom

The following titles are being released on Tuesday, Nov. 10:
Mr. Holmes (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2015, Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Rated: PG, mature themes, disturbing images, smoking
The lowdown: Ian McKellen stars as the Great Detective in the twilight of his career, as he battles to retain his memory and comes out of retirement to face the ghosts that haunt him.
A trip to Japan is the springboard for Holmes’ latest mystery, as he also reflects on his final, tragic case.
McKellen gives a very strong performance as the elderly Holmes who finds it difficult to cope with his diminishing mental powers.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.35:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH, English and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Featurettes on the making of the movie and the character of Holmes comprise the major bonus offerings.

Tangerine (Blu-ray)
Details: 2015, Magnolia Home Entertainment
Rated: R, sexual content, nudity, language, drug use
The lowdown: This funny and innovative feature that centers on two transgender sex workers was shot on an iPhone5s, and was nominated for best feature at the IFP Gotham Independent Film Awards.
The movie, set during Christmas Eve in Hollywood, centers on Sin-Dee (newcomer Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) who, after being released from jail, hears that her pimp boyfriend has been unfaithful while she was away.
She sets out with her best friend, Alexandra (Mya Taylor), to unearth the origins of the rumor and discover if they are true.
This rip-roaring feature takes you on a journey through various Los Angeles subcultures. And you will enjoy the ride.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.35:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include a featurette on Kiki and Mya, a behind-the-scenes look at the story and the film’s production, a featurette on the casting and a visual style test.

Code Unknown: Special Edition (Blu-ray)
Details: 2000, The Criterion Collection
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Austrian director Michael Haneke shot this movie, which focuses on characters connected to a seemingly minor incident, in Paris.
The film is a criticism of the lack of social conscience throughout Europe as well as an examination of racial inequality and the failure to communicate.
The movie is one of the most influential European features of the early 21st century.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 widescreen picture; French 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English subtitles.
Don’t miss: Among the bonus materials are a new interview with Haneke, a 2001 introduction to the film by the director, a 2000 making of documentary that includes on-set footage with filmmakers and cast members, a 2001 interview with Haneke discussing the filming of an important boulevard sequence, an interview with film scholar Roy Grundmann and an essay by critic Nick James.

The End of the Tour (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Release date: Nov. 3
Details: 2015, Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Rated: R, language, including sexual references
The lowdown: Jason Segel and Jesse Eisenberg” star in this exceptional feature that takes you inside the psyche and insecurities that cling to a writer The End of the Tourlike barnacles to a rusty ship.
The movie centers on author David Foster Wallace whose 1,000-plus page novel, “Infinite Jest,” created a sensation that spread beyond the literary world after it was published in 1996.
The movie takes place over five days during Wallace’s book tour when “Rolling Stone” reporter David Lipsky interviews the reluctant writer.
The film is a cerebral cat-and-mouse exercise in which two strong-willed men politely duel — for the most part — to control how Wallace will be portrayed in the article.
“The End of the Tour” is one of the best movies of the year and should be in the conversation for Academy Award consideration.
Technical aspects: 2.40:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include a commentary track, deleted scenes, a behind-the-scenes featurette and a conversation with composer Danny Elfman.

She’s Funny That Way (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Release date: Nov. 3
Details: 2015, Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Rated: R, language, including sexual references
The lowdown: A backstage comedy about a director who casts a call-girl-turned-actress in a new play to star with his wife and her ex-lover.
The director, played by Owen Wilson, turns to his therapist, played by Jennifer Aniston, for help. But she is distracted by her insecure relationship with the director’s playwright, who happens to be smitten by the call girl.
The strong cast also includes Imogen Poots, Will Forte, Kathryn Hahn, Cybill Shepherd, Rhys Ifans and Richard Lewis.
Peter Bogdanovich directed this screwball affair.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH, English and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include a behind-the-scenes featurette and a commentary track with the always-interesting Bogdanovich and co-writer Louise Stratten.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail: 40th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray)
Release date: Oct. 27
Details: 1975, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Rated: PG, violence, sexual content, language
The lowdown: This classic spoof of King Arthur, his knights and the quest for the Holy Grail remains as funny today as the day it was released.
Sight gags and jokes abound as the Python troupe puts its unorthodox and irreverent spin on this medieval tale of chivalry.
So, don’t run away, but run to your nearest outlet to pick up this very, very funny feature.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.66:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and monaural; French, Japanese and Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital; English SDH, English, Chinese (traditional), French, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish and Thai subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include a new 30-minute question-and-answer session with remaining Python members Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, Eric Idle and John Cleese, hosted by John Oliver; outtakes and extended scenes hosted by Jones, lost animation footage with an introduction by Gilliam; a commentary track; a featurette on the film’s locations; a featurette on The Knights of the Round Table in LEGO; a special Japanese version of the movie; an educational film on how to use your coconuts; three sing-along songs; and a BBC on location film night.

The Bat (Blu-ray)
Release date: Oct. 20
Details: 1959, The Film Detective
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Vincent Price and Agnes Moorehead star in this thriller about a mystery writer (Moorehead) whose town is being terrorized by a killer known as “The Bat.”
Price plays a sinister doctor who helps the writer, but who also has his own greedy agenda.
The cast also includes former “Our Gang” sweetheart Darla Hood in her final film appearance.
The movie is old-time spooky fun.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 widescreen picture; English Dolby Digital.

A Bucket of Blood (Blu-ray)
Release date: Oct. 20
Details: 1959, The Film Detective
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Roger Corman directed this horror-comedy-satire about a busboy (the immortal Dick Miller) who, impressed with the beatnik scene, decides to try his hand at sculpture.
While working, he accidentally kills his landlady’s cat and, to conceal the crime, he covers the pet in clay. The work cements his reputation as an artist.
Pressured to create more works, he turns to murder as a solution.
This crazy-quilt was shot for $50,000 in five days, and reminds us of what made Corman the filmmaking legend he now is.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 widescreen picture; English Dolby Digital monaural.

Bound for Vengeance (Blu-ray + DVD)
Details: 2015, IFC Midnight-Scream Factory
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A young woman escapes from the basement where she has been chained and abused for nine months.
She learns that there are other women like her around town and she makes it her mission to make her captor the captive and force him to take her to the other girls so they can be freed as well.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 2.40:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH and Spanish subtitles; DVD: 2.40:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby Digital; English SDH and Spanish subtitles.

Nathan For You: Seasons One & Two
Details: 2014-15, Shout! Factory
Rated: TV-14
The lowdown: Nathan Fielder helps real small businesses turn a profit by devising strategies that are avoided by most traditional consultants.
And that is the premise of his Comedy Central series. The set features all 16 episodes from the first two seasons as Fielder creates a spoof coffee shop and invents a poo-flavored yogurt.
His ideas don’t always work out, but they do grab attention.
Technical aspects: 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen picture; English 2.0 Dolby Digital; English closed-captioned.
Don’t miss: Extras include extended first cuts, deleted sequences, extended parody songs and a press conference for Dumb Starbucks.

Other Blu-rays and DVDs being released on Tuesday, unless otherwise indicated:
Automan: The Complete Series (Fabulous Films)
Manimal: The Complete Series (Fabulous Films)
Four Warriors (DVD + Ultraviolet) (Lionsgate Home Entertainment, Nov. 3)
More Money More Family (DVD + Ultraviolet) (Lionsgate Home Entertainment, Nov. 3)
FOR KIDS
Super Sentai: Gosei Sentai Dairanger: The Complete Series (Shout! Factory)
Peppa Pig: Cold Winter Day (E One Entertainment, Nov. 3)

Coming next week: The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Meru

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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