New to View: Jan. 19
By Bob Bloom
The following Blu-rays and DVDs are being released on Tuesday, Jan. 19:
Straight Outta Compton: Unrated Director’s Cut (Blu-ray + DVD + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2015, Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Rated: Unrated and R, language, violence, drug use, nudity, sexual content
The lowdown: This hit movie tells the true story of five young black men who used music and lyrics to express their anger and frustration over the ill treatment by police and society in general of people who lived, not only in the hood, but throughout the country.
F. Gary Gray’s movie does more than chronicle the rise and fall of N.W.A. It turns a light onto the social upheaval of the times, as well as the shady and brutal tactics that were widespread in the music industry during those turbulent years.
This release features the theatrical version of the movie and a director’s cut with 20 additional minutes, which brings the run time to 147 minutes.
And it is worth it. The sound translates well to the home theater venue, and ramping it up offers a concert-like experience.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 2.40:1 widescreen picture; English, Spanish and French 5.1 Dolby digital, English 2.0 Dolby digital and descriptive audio track; English SDH, Spanish and French subtitles; DVD: 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen picture; English, Spanish and French 5.1 Dolby digital, English 2.0 Dolby digital and audio descriptive track; English SDH, Spanish and French subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus materials include a look at the origins of N.W.A., the group’s impact, a featurette on Gray, a behind-the-scenes look at filming in Compton, a featurette on N.W.A.’s performance in Detroit and commentary track with Gray.
The Diary of a Teenage Girl (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2015, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Rated: R, sexual content, nudity, drug use, language, drinking
The lowdown: A coming-of-age story about a teenage girl, Minnie Goetze, played by Bel Powley, growing up in 1976 San Francisco, who begins a sexual affair with her mother’s boyfriend.
Despite the premise, the film is funny and edgy.
Kristen Wiig plays Minnie’s mother and Alexander Skarsgard plays the boyfriend.
The movie, a festival favorite and a critics’ favorite at Rottentomatoes.com, was adapted from the novel by Phoebe Gloeckner by Marielle Heller, who also directed.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.40:1 widescreen picture; English and Portuguese 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and English audio descriptive, Spanish and French 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH, English, Spanish, Portuguese and French subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include a featurette on Heller bringing the book to the screen, a Los Angele Film Festival question-and-answer session with Heller, Powley and Skarsgard and a commentary track with Heller and the cast.
The Intern (Blu-ray + DVD + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2015, Warner Home Video
Rated: PG-13, suggestive content, adult themes, language
The lowdown: This is a gentle, inoffensive comedy that follows a predictable path with expected twists and turns as well as a couple of unnecessary detours.
Jules Olstin (Oscar-winner Anne Hathaway) is the harried owner of a booming start-up women’s online clothing store.
One of her top aides has instituted an intern program for seniors — no, not high school or college, but as in senior citizens.
Ben Whittaker (Oscar-winner Robert De Niro) is a 70-year-old widower, a bored retiree and a one-time business executive, who is hired.
At first, Jules is reluctant to accept him as her intern, but her aides explain that she must set an example for the rest of her company, so she grudgingly endures Ben.
Of course, as time passes, she comes to see Ben as not only a calming influence, but also a font of wisdom and reassurance.
You can clearly see where “The Intern,” written and directed by Nancy Meyers, is headed.
The film is an enjoyable stay-at-home, popcorn night feature.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and English audio description, Spanish, French and Portuguese 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH, Spanish, French and Portuguese subtitles; DVD: English, English audio description, Spanish and French 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH, Spanish and French subtitles.
Don’t miss: A featurette with Meyers and the cast discussing bridging the generation gap, a look at the movie’s production design and fashions and interviews with Comedy Central performers Adam DeVine, Zack Pearlman and Jason Orley, who portray interns.
Stonewall (DVD + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2015, Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Rated: R, sexual content, language, violence, drug use
The lowdown: This dramatization of the beginnings of the gay movement and the event that triggered it fails to raise any spark or interest.
Buried somewhere deep inside the film is a story screaming to be told. The movie lacks the urgency and historic impact of a project such as “Milk.”
The movie is told through the eyes of a fictional and bland youth, which does not help the story.
Technical aspects: 2.40:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: A series of behind-the-scenes featurettes comprises the major bonus offerings.
Sherlock: The Abominable Bride
Release date: Jan. 12
Details: 2015, BBC Home Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman return as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson for this mystery thriller that, unlike the series, is set in 1895 Victorian England.
It’s interesting to see Cumberbatch as The Great Detective in the era in which he is best served.
Other portrayers, especially Basil Rathbone, played Holmes in what were then-contemporary times just as Cumberbatch does in his excellent series.
But, something magical happens when a Holmes feature is produced in its correct period.
Either way, Cumberbatch makes one of the best Holmes ever to solve a case, and this production will not disappoint fans of the sleuth.
Technical aspects: 16:9 anamorphic widescreen picture; English Dolby digital surround; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include a 30-minute making of documentary with co-writer Mark Gatiss, a Gatiss production diary, a featurette on creating the feature’s look, an interview with Gatiss and co-writer Steven Moffat and a Sherlockology question-and-answer featurette.
Forever: The Complete Series
Details: 2014-15, Warner Home Video
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A five-disc set containing all 22 episodes of this one-time ABC series about a New York City medical examiner, Dr. Henry Morgan (Ioan Gruffudd), who carries a very big secret.
It seems every time he dies, he comes back to life. He uses his two centuries of knowledge to help the NYPD solve cases, while also trying to discover the truth behind his immortality.
Only one person, Morgan’s friend, Abe (Judd Hirsch), knows his secret, which he tries to hide from detective Jo Martinez (Alana De La Garza).
The set is a video-on-demand DVD-R release from the Warner Archive Collection and can be found at www.wbshop.com and www.warnerarchive.com.
Technical aspects: Widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby digital surround; English SDH, English, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Unaired scenes comprise the major bonus component.
The Guardian (Blu-ray)
Details: 1990, Scream Factory
Rated: R, violence, language
The lowdown: William Friedkin directed this horror feature about a young couple who hire whom they believe is the perfect live-in babysitter for their newborn child.
But as time passes, the couple realize the young woman is not whom she says she is. A battle for the baby’s soul pits the parents against the woman.
To see who prevails, you’ll have to watch Friedkin’s first foray into horror since “The Exorcist.”
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English subtitles.
Don’t miss: New interviews with cast members Dwier Brown and Gary Swanson and makeup effects artist Matthew Mungle as well as interviews with Friedkin, cast member Jenny Seagrove and co-writer Stephen Volk comprise the major bonus features.
Other Blu-rays and DVDs being released on Tuesday, unless otherwise indicated:
The Condemned 2 (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet) (Lionsgate Home Entertainment)
Swamp People: Season 6 (Lionsgate Home Entertainment)
Army Dog (DVD + Ultraviolet) (Lionsgate Home Entertainment, Jan. 12)
Duck Dynasty: Wedding Special (DVD + Ultraviolet) (Lionsgate Home Entertainment, Jan. 12)
Power Rangers Dino Charge: Unleashed (DVD + Ultraviolet) (Lionsgate Home Entertainment, Jan. 12)
Coming next week: The Assassin
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.