New to View: Dec. 22

By Bob Bloom
The following Blu-rays and DVDs are being released on Tuesday, Dec. 22:
Pan (Blu-ray + DVD + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2015, Warner Home Video
Rated: PG, fantasy action violence, language, mature themes
The lowdown: Director Joe Wright’s uneven fantasy about how a rebellious 12-year-old boy is taken to Neverland, where he becomes the immortal Peter Pan.
On his journey to becoming a legend, he searches for the secret of his mother.
He also meets Tiger Lily, makes a new friend in James Hook and must battle the evil pirate, Blackbeard in order to discover whom he really is.
The film has some high moments, but overall is erratic and badly paced.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 2.40:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English Dolby Atmos, English 5.1 Dolby Digital audio descriptive track, French and Spanish; 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, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus materials include a look at the legend of Pan and world of J.M. Barrie’s creation, a featurette on the search to cast Peter, a featurette on the backstory of Blackbeard, a behind-the-scenes tour of Neverland and a commentary track.

War Room (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2015, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Rated: PG, mature themes
The lowdown: A faith-based drama about a family that seemingly has the perfect life.
But the outside is a façade, covering a failing marriage, as the husband is consumed by his professional success, while the wife basks in bitterness.
A new client helps the wife realize that she must establish a “war room” to fight for her husband and her family and help bring them all together again.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.40:1 widescreen picture; English and Portuguese 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and English 5.1 Dolby Digital audio descriptive track, French, Spanish and Thai; English SDH, English, Chinese (simplified and traditional), French, Indonesian/Bahasa, Portuguese, Korean, Spanish, Tagalog, Thai and Vietnamese subtitles.
Don’t miss: Among the many bonus offerings are bloopers and outtakes, a look at the art of jumping rope, a music video, deleted scenes, a making of featurette, a look at the casting and a commentary track.

Nasty Baby
Details: 2015, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Rated: R, sexual content, violence, nudity, drug use, language
The lowdown: An indie feature written by, directed and starring Sebastian Silva as an artist who, along with his boyfriend, Mo (Tunde Adebimpe), and their best friend, Polly (Kristen Wiig), are trying to have a baby.
The film focuses on the complications of trying to have a baby, while having to deal with an annoying neighbor, who might just be a very crazy person.
Technical aspects: 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby Digital; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: A behind-the-scenes featurette and a commentary track comprise the major bonus offerings.

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (Blu-ray + DVD + Ultraviolet)
Release date: Dec. 15
Details: 2015, Fox Home Entertainment
Rated: PG-13, action violence, mature themes, language, substance abuse
The lowdown: This continuation of the young adult adventure series finds Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) and his fellow Galders facing a much bigger challenge as they search for clues about the secret organization known as WCKO.
Their journey takes them to the Scorch, a wasteland where they face many dangers. No matter how hard they search, it seems the mystery continues to deepen.
Along the way, they must figure out how to survive as well as they purpose in the world around them.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 2:40:1 widescreen picture; English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English 5.1 Dolby Digital audio descriptive track and French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles; DVD: 2.40:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby Digital and audio descriptive track and Spanish and French 2.0 Dolby Digital; English SDH, Spanish and French subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus offerings include classified debriefing videos, deleted and extended scenes with optional commentary, a commentary track, a six-part behind-the-scenes documentary, a gag reel, visual effects reel and concept art and storyboards.

The Brain That Wouldn’t Die (Blu-ray)
Details: 1962, Scream Factory
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A classic schlocky guilty pleasure horror movie that delivers the goods.
Herb Evers stars as a doctor who loses his girlfriend in a car accident. Refusing to lose her, he takes her decapitated head to his laboratory and brings her head back to life.
All she wants to do is die, but he sets out to find her a new body.
Meanwhile, there is some mutant, failed experiment locked in a closet in the laboratory basement and it and the head begin communicating.
You have to feel sorry for actress Virginia Leith as she sat under a prop table with her head visible and had to act.
The film is a hoot.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.66:1 picture; English DTS-HD Master Audio monaural.
Don’t miss: Extras include a “Mystery Science Theater 3000” episode on the movie, an alternate scene from the film’s international cut and a commentary track.

It Happened in Flatbush
Release date: Dec. 15
Details: 1942, Fox Home Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: In 1941, the Brooklyn Dodgers won their first National League pennant in 21 years.
To capitalize on the event, Fox released this fictionalized baseball yarn a year later in which Lloyd Nolan stars as the beleaguered manager of the Dodgers who is hated by his players as well as the team’s new, young and beautiful owner, played by Carole Landis.
The film, though filled with clichéd characters and situations, is loads of fun, especially for baseball fans.
This is a video-on-demand DVD-R release from the Fox Cinema Archives collection that can be found at www.foxconnect.com or other online retailers.
Technical aspects: 4×3 full-screen picture.

Turned Towards the Sun
Release date: Dec. 15
Details: 2014, MVD Visual
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A documentary that looks at the fascinating life of Micky Burn, who led a life that is the stuff of fiction.
His father worked for the royal family. As a young man, Burn became the lover of communist spy Guy Burgess. He was originally fascinated with Nazism and even expressed admiration for Hitler.
Later, Burn took part in a British commando raid on the French port of St. Nazaire, where he was captured and imprisoned in Colditz, where he spent the remainder of the war.
Later, he was credited with saving the life of Audrey Hepburn.
The movie is a candid examination of this fascinating man, who died in 2010.
Technical aspects: 1.78:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; Dolby Digital.
Don’t miss: Extras include outtakes, a tour of the St. Nazaire raid site, Burn’s poems and a tour of his home.

Dragon Blade (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2015, Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Rated: R, graphic and bloody violence
The lowdown: Adrian Brody stars as Roman emperor Tiberius, who travels to the Far East to claim the Silk Road.
However, a group of warriors, headed by Jackie Chan, and an elite legion of defected Roman soldiers, led by John Cusack, unite to thwart the despotic emperor.
A massive battle, featuring armies from 36 nations, gather to fight Tiberius and his troops in an epic confrontation.
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: Bonus offerings include a behind-the-scenes featurette, a music video featuring Chan and extended interviews with cast members and filmmakers.

Four Men and a Prayer
Release date: Dec. 15
Details: 1939, Fox Home Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Richard Greene, George Sanders, David Niven and William Henry star as four brothers who rally around their father, an Indian Army colonel dishonorably discharged.
The colonel, played by the venerable C. Aubrey Smith, tells his sons he is the victim of a conspiracy before taking his own life.
The sons set out to seek the truth and clear their father’s name.
John Ford directed this adventure that also features Loretta Young, John Carradine, Alan Hale, J. Edward Bromberg, Reginald Denny and Barry Fitzgerald, among others.
The feature is a video-on-demand DVD-R release from the Fox Cinema Archives series. It can be found at www.foxconnect.com or other online sellers.
Technical aspects: 4×3 full-screen picture.

Nightmares (Blu-ray)
Details: 1983, Scream Factory
Rated: R, violence, language
The lowdown: Four tales of terror are featured in this anthology film directed by Joseph Sargent.
In “Terror in Topanga,” Cristina Raines plays a young woman who insists on going out for cigarettes even though an escaped madman is on the loose. Emilio Estevez stars as a hot-shot video gamer who takes on a strange challenge that could cost him his life in “The Bishop of Battle.”
“The Benediction” stars Lance Henriksen as a troubled priest on the road who finds that someone — or something — in the desert is trying to drive him mad. Veronica Cartwright stars in “Night of the Rat,” about a wife who hears rats in the wall. Her husband, played by Richard Masur, assures her he can take care of the problem with some traps, but, unfortunately, the problem only seems to get bigger.
Horror fans will enjoy these short stories of mayhem and bumps in the night. The feature is available in widescreen and full-screen versions.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.78:1 widescreen and 1.33:1 full-screen pictures; English DTS-HD Master Audio monaural. English subtitles.
Don’t miss: A commentary track is the major bonus component.

Bad Boy
Release date: Dec. 15
Details: 1935, Fox Home Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: James Dunn, who went on to win a supporting actor Academy Award a decade later, stars in this 1935 programmer as a pool hustler who is trying to reconcile his lifestyle with his desire to marry his girlfriend.
Things get more complicated when he hustles his girlfriend’s father, plus gangsters are putting the squeeze on him.
By the last reel, the shark and the girlfriend are working together to sort things out and save the day.
The release is a video-on-demand DVD-R from the Fox Cinema Archives collection. It can be found at www.foxconnect.com or other online dealers.
Technical aspects: 4×3 full-screen picture.

Other Blu-rays and DVDs being released on Tuesday, unless otherwise indicated:
12 Rounds 3: Lockdown (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet) (Lionsgate Home Entertainment)
Avalanche (MGM-Fox Home Entertainment) (MGM Limited Edition Collection, Dec. 15)
Committed (MGM-Fox Home Entertainment) (MGM Limited Edition Collection, Dec. 15)
Married: The Complete Season 2 (Fox Home Entertainment, Dec. 15)
The Peacekillers (MGM-Fox Home Entertainment) (MGM Limited Edition Collection, Dec. 15)
Sun Ra: A Joyful Noise (Blu-ray) (MVD Visual, Dec. 11)
FOR KIDS
The Giant King (DVD + Ultraviolet) (Lionsgate Home Entertainment)

Coming next week: The Perfect Guy

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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