New to View: Feb. 2

By Bob Bloom
The following Blu-rays and DVDs are being released on Tuesday, Feb. 2:
Bridge of Spies (Blu-ray + DVD + digital HD)
Details: 2015, Touchstone Home Entertainment
Rated: PG-13, violence, language
The lowdown: Something magical happens when director Steven Spielberg and actor Tom Hanks collaborate on a film.
And it especially shows when the subject of the movie is American history — a passion of both artists.
Thus it is with “Bridge of Spies,” a Cold War thriller, inspired by true events involving the 1957 capture and imprisonment of Soviet Union spy Rudolf Abel and the later shooting down and capture by the Soviets of American U-2 spy plane pilot Francis Gary Powers.
“Bridge of Spies” is rich in historical perspective. The anger and paranoia in the U.S. about the Soviets and their intentions are at a fever pitch.
The film is a timely history lesson about an era when two superpowers clawed, scratched and suspiciously eyed each other over their nuclear arsenals.
Thankfully, both were too smart to use those weapons.
The film received six Academy Award nominations, including best picture, original screenplay and Mark Rylance as best supporting actor.
The film’s digital transfer are superb, with the U-2 crash sequence as well as Thomas Newman’s Oscar-nominated score being particularly fine.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 2.40:1 widescreen picture; English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English 2.0 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, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby digital; English 2.0 Dolby digital audio descriptive track; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: A featurette about the making of the film and the real-life characters who inspired it, a behind-the-scenes look at the U-2 spy plane crash sequence, a look at recreating 1961 Berlin and the divisive wall and a look back at the spy swap on the Glienicke Bridge highlight the major bonus offerings.

Our Brand Is Crisis (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2015, Warner Home Video
Rated: R, language, sexual references
The lowdown: Sandra Bullock stars as a political strategist hired by a failing Bolivian presidential candidate to bolster his chances as well as again battle with her longtime nemesis, played by Billy Bob Thornton.
The rivals use all the tricks in their arsenals — fair and foul — to push their candidates as well as best each other.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 5.1 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.
Don’t miss: A featurette on how Bullock challenged the filmmakers to change her role from a man to a woman and how she later collaborated with director David Gordon Green to develop her character is the major bonus offering.

Freeheld (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2015, Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Rated: PG-13, adult themes, language, sexual situations
The lowdown: This film is based on the true love story of Laurel Hester (Julianne Moore) and Stacie Andree (Ellen Page) and their fight for the same rights as heterosexual couples.
The women are aided in their fight by an activist, played by Steve Carell and a detective, portrayed by Michael Shannon who rallies fellow police officers and New Jersey citizens to support the women in their struggle for equality.
The movie features fine performances all around, but, unfortunately, did not do well theatrically.
Hopefully, the movie will gain a second life in home release.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, Spanish 5.1 Dolby digital and English Dolby descriptive audio track; English SDH, English and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include a making of featurette; a look at New Jersey’s Ocean County, where the story took place; the Oscar-winning documentary short, “Freeheld,” which inspired the movie; and a commentary track.

The Last Witch Hunter (Blu-ray + DVD + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2015, Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Rated: PG-13, fantasy violence, frightening images
The lowdown: Vin Diesel stars as an immortal warrior who through the centuries has hunted down and killed witches.
During contemporary times, the worst of the witches have resurrected the Queen Witch, who has the power to destroy mankind.
Elijah Wood and Michael Caine, help Diesel’s Kaulder save humanity.
Genre fans will enjoy all the fantasy violence and special effects.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 2.40:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English DTS X, DTS Headphone X, English 2.0 DTS digital surround, English descriptive audio and Spanish 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH, English and Spanish subtitles; DVD: 2.40:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English and Spanish 5.1 Dolby digital, English 2.0 DTS digital surround and English descriptive audio; English and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: A featurette on the making of the film’s magic, an animated short film on the origins of the Axe and Cross, a sizzle reel, deleted scenes and a commentary track comprise the major bonus components.

Show Me a Hero (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2015, HBO Home Entertainment
Rated: TV-MA, violence, language, sexual content
The lowdown: Oscar Isaac stars in this six-part HBO series based on true events set in Yonkers, N.Y., centering around a federal court order to build a small number of low-income housing units in the white neighborhoods of the community.
This order, of course, paralyzes the city government and creates bad blood among citizens.
The series explores the ideas of home, race, bureaucracy and activism and how trying to do the right thing can destroy a promising political career.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.78:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French 5.1 DTS digital surround and Spanish 2.0 DTS digital surround; English SDH, Spanish and French subtitles.
Don’t miss: An extended making of documentary that goes behind the scenes of the miniseries and includes interviews with cast members and filmmakers.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: The Signature Collection (Blu-ray + DVD + digital HD)
Details: 1937, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Rated: G
The lowdown: Disney’s milestone in movie history — the studio’s first feature-length animated film — has lost none of its magic.
At nearly 80 years old, the movie remains a timeless classic and continues to look magnificent, even compared to some of today’s computer-generated animated features.
For the first time, Disney is making the film available in digital HD so you can download it and take it anywhere, which will be beneficial during long car trips with the youngsters.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition; 1.33:1 full-screen picture; English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and 2.0 monaural and French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles; DVD: 1.33:1 full-screen picture; English, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital and English 2.0 monaural; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include a featurette with Walt Disney talking about the movie, another on how the movie influences pop culture, art and fashion, a behind-the-scenes look at designing the studio’s first princess and how it influenced the look of other characters, a featurette that reveals some intriguing facts about the movie, an alternate sequence in which the prince first meets Snow White and a rap along with a hip reimagining of the story told in 70 seconds.

Night Will Fall
Release date: Jan. 26
Details: 2014, Warner Home Video-Warner Archive Collection
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: This documentary looks at the efforts of British cameramen at the end of World War II filming the atrocities they encountered during the liberation of Nazi concentration camps in 1945.
Sidney Bernstein, of Britain’s Ministry of Information, and filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock collaborated on the documentary as a way to provide undeniable truth about these terrible and horrifying crimes.
What Andre Singer’s film does is explain why the Bernstein-Hitchcock effort was ultimately shelved and not completed until 2014 by the Imperial War Museum.
The movie features recollections from cameramen and camp survivors who took part in the documentary.
The movie can be ordered through the Warner Archive Collection at www.wbshop.com, at Amazon.com and other online retailers.
Technical aspects: Widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include an interview with professor Rainer Schulze, who discusses the British government’s liberation of 35,000 prisoners at Bergen-Belsen in April 1945; a Soviet propaganda film that looks at the liberation of Auschwitz; and a U.S propaganda movie about the concentration camps called “Death Mills.”

Inside Llewyn Davis: Special Edition (Blu-ray)
Release date: Jan. 19
Details: 2013, The Criterion Collection
Rated: R, language, violence
The lowdown: Joel and Ethan Coen’s look at the folk scene of the early 1960s in Greenwich Village focuses on Llewyn Davis, a singer barely eking out a living, a talented performer whose personality defects hold him back.
The film is laced with humor and a decent folk soundtrack that vividly captures the era.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include a commentary track; a conversation between the Coen brothers and filmmaker Guillermo del Toro’ a documentary about the movie; “Another Day, Another Time,” a 2013 tribute concert; a conversation between the Coens and music producer T. Bone Burnett about folk music; a featurette on the early 1960s folk scene in Greenwich Village; a 1961 short film documenting a clash between police and folk musicians in Washington Square Park; and an essay by film critic Kent Jones.

The Man From U.N.C.L.E.: The Complete Season 2
Details: 1965-66, Warner Home Video
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: This TV series, produced in reaction to the success of the James Bond films that created the secret agent-spy craze of the early and mid-1960s, started Robert Vaughn as Napoleon Solo and David McCallum as Illya Kuryakin.
This 10-disc set features all 30 second-season episodes as the pair take on their arch-enemy T.H.R.U.S.H, as well as assorted bad guys around the world.
Among the guest stars are Vincent Price, Rip Torn, Angela Lansbury, Jill Ireland and George Sanders.
“U.N.C.L.E.” was a fun show that mixed action with tongue-in-cheek humor.
Technical aspects: 1.33:1 full-screen picture; English Dolby digital monaural; English SDH subtitles.

Gilda: Special Edition (Blu-ray)
Release date: Jan. 19
Details: 1946, The Criterion Collection
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Rita Hayworth stars in what is probably her most memorable role as the sultry wife of a criminal boss (George Macready) as well as the ex-girlfriend of his bitter henchman (Glenn Ford).
Throughout this film nourish classic, Hayworth’s Gilda drives both men wild with passion and jealousy.
This suspenseful battle of the sexes mostly takes place in an opulent casino in Buenos Aires, where the glittery floor clashes with shadowy back rooms.
Watching Hayworth sing “Put the Blame on Mame” always is a highlight of this feature.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.33:1 full-screen picture; English LPCM monaural; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus offerings include a 2010 commentary with film historian-author Richard Schickel, an interview with film historian Eddie Muller, a 2010 featurette with directors Martin Scorsese and Baz Luhrmann discussing their appreciation of the movie, a 1964 episode of the TV series “Hollywood and the Stars” that focuses on Hayworth and an essay about the film.

Batman: Bad Blood (Blu-ray + DVD + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2016, Warner Home Video
Rated: PG-13, violence, suggestive content
The lowdown: Another animated feature from the DC Universe aimed more for mature audiences than kids.
In this outing, Batman battles Firefly, Tusk and Killer Moth. After the fight, Batman is missing. The only witness is Batwoman.
Soon, Batwoman forms a rather tense alliance with Nightwing, Robin and a newcomer named Batwing, as they fight to uncover a plot that involves mind control and a formidable new villain called the Heretic.
This new film in the Dark Knight saga is filled with action and some exciting new characters.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 1.78:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles; DVD: 1.78:1 (16×9 enhanced); English, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus offerings include a behind-the-scenes look at creating the fight choreography for Batman, a featurette on the addition of Batwoman and Batwing, two 22-minute Batman episodes from the DC Comics Vault and a sneak peek at the next DC Universe offering, “Justice League vs. Teen Titans.”

Man Up (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2015, Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Rated: R, language, sexual references
The lowdown: Simon Pegg and Lake Bell star in this romantic comedy about a young woman named Nancy, who is mistaken for the blind date of Jack (Pegg), and decides to just go with the flow.
This is a funny romantic comedy with two appealing leads that looks at what happens when you actually take a chance and add spontaneity to your life.
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: Extras include clips from interviews with Pegg and Bell, a gag reel and a featurette about the making of the movie.

Meadowland
Details: 2015, Cinedigm
Rated: R, language, sexual content, drug use
The lowdown: A drama about a married couple who come apart after a devastating loss.
Olivia Wilde and Luke Wilson portray Sarah and Phil in this exploration of grief and recklessness.
John Leguizamo, Elizabeth Moss, Giovanni Ribisi, Juno Temple and Kevin Corrigan support Wilde and Wilson in a drama that marks the directorial debut of cinematographer Reed Morano.
Technical aspects: Widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby digital; English closed-captioned subtitles.
Don’t miss: A behind-the-scenes featurette is the major bonus offering.

Slash: Raised on the Sunset Strip (Blu-ray)
Release date: Feb. 5
Details: 2014, Shout! Factory
Rated: TV14
The lowdown: A documentary that profiles the famed guitarist by combining new and archival footage and anecdotes from Slash as well as several friends and fellow musicians.
The feature gives a comprehensive look at the artist and the man, as it looks at Slash’s career and influences.
Fans will definitely enjoy this feature as well as enjoy some off-the-chart sounds.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.78:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH subtitles.

The Beauty Inside (Blu-ray)
Details: 2015, Well Go USA Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A fantasy romantic comedy from South Korea about a young man who wakes up every morning in a different body, with his age, gender and nationality constantly changing.
The only constant in his life is the woman he loves. She knows his secret, and loves him despite his transformations.
What the young man needs to do is figure out how to return to his own body permanently so he can reunite with his love.
The film was a hit at the Cannes Film Festival.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition,16:9 widescreen picture; Korean 5.1 DTS-HD Master audio; English subtitles.

Extraordinary Tales: Special Edition (Blu-ray + DVD)
Details: 2013, Cinedigm
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: An animated anthology horror outing that features five of the best-known stories by Edgar Allan Poe.
The movie utilizes the talents of Christopher Lee, Bela Lugosi, Julian Sands, Roger Corman and Guillermo del Toro.
The stories include “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “The Masque of the Red Death,” “The Pit and the Pendulum” and “The Facts in the Case of Mr. Valedmar.”
For fans of the horror genre, this movie will be a treat to again hear the voices of Lee and Lugosi, especially.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English closed-captioned, French and Spanish subtitles; DVD: 1.85:1 widescreen picture; English 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio; English closed-captioned, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: A look at the art of the film, a making of featurette and a commentary track are the major bonus offerings.

“Nikkatsu Diamond Guys: Volume 1” (Blu-ray + DVD)
Release date: Jan. 26
Details: 1958-59, Arrow Films
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Fans of Asian action movies will get a kick out of these three features from Japan’s Nikkatsu studio.
In the late 1950s, the studio inaugurated a star system, discovering talent and then starring them in a series of genre pictures as the studio’s “Diamond Guys.”
The films in this volume, “Voice Without a Shadow” (1958), “Red Pier” (1958) and “The Rambling Guitarist” (1959), feature actors Hideaki Natani, Yujiro Ishihara and Akira Kobayashi.
The films combine tough-guy action and drama and are pleasing to watch.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 2.35:1 widescreen picture; Japanese LPCM monaural; English subtitles; DVD: 2.35:1 widescreen picture; Japanese Dolby digital monaural; English subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include discussions about Natani and Ishihara; promotional image galleries, a booklet with essays about the film, original trailers and a preview of the second volume in the series.

Take Me to the River (Blu-ray)
Release date: Feb. 5
Details: 2014, Shout! Factory
Rated: PG
The lowdown: A documentary that explores and celebrates the Memphis music scene by bringing together musicians from the city and the Mississippi Delta for a tuneful project.
The movie follows the process of creating and recording a new album honoring the city’s heritage.
Among those featured in the film are Snoop Dogg, Mavis Staples, Otis Clay, Terrence Howard, William Bell, Bobby Rush, Bobby “Blue” Band and the North Mississippi All-Stars.
Music lovers will get a charge from the sounds these artists create.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.78:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 and 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio.
Don’t miss: Extras include interviews featuring Snoop Dogg and Bell, a “Be Like Me” session video featuring the Bar-Kays with 8Ball and MJG and Al Bell telling how he wrote the iconic song, “I’ll Take You There.”

The Iron Curtain
Release date: Jan. 27
Details: 1948, Fox Home Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: An early Cold War story that tells the true story of Igor Gouzenko, a code clerk working in the Soviet embassy in 1940s Canada.
Gouzenko discovers that his government is sneaking atomic secrets through his office. He also realizes his Canadian hosts are less a threat to peace than his homeland, so he decides to steal classified documents and defect.
Dana Andrews and Gene Tierney head the cast of this thriller, with support from June Havoc, Edna Best and Eduard Franz, among others.
The release is a made-on-demand DVD-R that is part of the Fox Cinema Archives collection. It can be found at www.foxconnect.com and other online retailers.
Technical aspects: 4×3 full-screen picture.

The Rise of the Krays (DVD + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2015, Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Rated: R, graphic and bloody violence, language, nudity, sexual situations
The lowdown: Another movie about the infamous twin brothers who ruled London’s underworld during the 1960s.
The movie, while solid, pales in comparison with “Legend,” which starred Tom Hardy as Reggie and Ronnie Kray.
Here, it is newcomer Simon Cotton and actor Kevin Leslie portraying the brothers.
The story is told from the perspective of one of their closest friends. It is a brutal and bloody feature.
Technical aspects: 1.85:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby digital; English closed-captioned and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Deleted scenes comprise the major extras.

Comin’ At Ya (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray)
Release date: Jan. 26
Details: 1981, MVD Visual
Rated: R, violence
The lowdown: This violent spaghetti Western stars Tony Anthony as a bridegroom set on vengeance after two brothers kidnap his bride during her wedding.
The film is filled with 3D effects such as flying arrows.
The story is action-packed and funny, and will keep you engaged throughout.
The set features the film in 3D and standard 2D formats.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.35:1 widescreen picture; English DTS-HD 5.1 surround.

Other Blu-rays and DVDs being released on Tuesday, unless otherwise indicated:
Born to Win (DVD + Ultraviolet) (Lionsgate Home Entertainment)
Fight to the Finish (DVD + Ultraviolet) (Lionsgate Home Entertainment)
For Better or For Worse (Cinedigm)
Hellions (Blu-ray) (IFC Midnight-Scream Factory)
Ladrones (DVD + Ultraviolet) (Lionsgate Home Entertainment)
My Boyfriends’ Dogs (Cinedigm)
Zombie Fight Club (Blu-ray) (Scream Factory)
Danger Has Two Faces
(Fox Home Entertainment-Fox Cinema Archives DVD-R, Jan. 27)
Foxfire Light (Fox Home Entertainment-MGM Limited Edition Collection DVD-R, Jan. 27)
FOR KIDS
Shimmer and Shine (Nickelodeon-Paramount Home Entertainment

Coming next week: Crimson Peak

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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