New to View: March 1

By Bob Bloom
The following Blu-rays and DVDs are being released on Tuesday, March 1:
The Danish Girl (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2015, Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Rated: R, sexual content, nudity, violence
The lowdown: This movie received four Academy Award nominations, including one for Eddie Redmayne as best actor.
The film is an emotional experience about identity and being true to oneself — no matter the cost.
The movie also features a strong performance from Alicia Vikander.
The film, set in the late 1920s, follows Redmayne’s Einar Wegener’s slow realization that, in actuality, he is a woman trapped in a man’s body.
This poignant biopic chronicles Einar’s struggles as he searches for a way to reveal his true persona, a woman he names Lili Elbe.
It also deals with the conflicts enveloping Vikander’s Gerda, as she tries to support her husband — even as he is slipping away from her.
This is an emotionally wrenching movie that will tug at your heart.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and French 5.1 DTS digital surround; English SDH, Spanish and French subtitles.
Don’t miss: The major bonus offering is a making of featurette.

Creed (Blu-ray + DVD + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2015, Warner Home Video
Rated: PG-13, violence, language, sexual situations
The lowdown: Director Ryan Coogler and actor Michael B. Jordan reteam after their “Fruitvale Station” success with this boxing drama that refocuses the “Rocky” saga.
Adonis Johnson (Jordan) is the son of famed boxer Apollo Creed. Despite opposition from his mother, he loves boxing and heads to Philadelphia to convince his father’s former rival, Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) to train him.
The movie does an excellent job of moving the franchise in a new direction, while also honoring what had come before.
Fine performances by Jordan and Stallone — who was nominated for a best supporting actor Academy Award — propel the film.
The punches land solidly, especially if you have a sharp audio system on your home entertainment unit.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 2.40:1 (16×9 enhanced) 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, Spanish and French subtitles; DVD: 2.40:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English, Spanish and French 5.1 Dolby digital and English 5.1 Dolby digital audio descriptive track; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: The bonus features include deleted scenes, cast and crew discussing the challenges of continuing and building upon the “Rocky” series and a look at Jordan prepared for his role.

The Night Before (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2015, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Rated: R, language, drug use, nudity, sexual content
The lowdown: This feature opens with a promising premise that quickly descends into the usual comic holiday cacophony of lowbrow, banal and tedious sex, drug and dick jokes.
The movie stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen and Anthony Mackie as Ethan, Isaac and Chris, three childhood friends united more deeply by a tragedy — the death of Ethan’s parents.
On Christmas Eve that year, Isaac and Chris decide to help bolster Ethan’s spirits by taking him out and doing the town — bingeing on drugs and drink.
The event soon becomes an annual tradition that continues for a decade, even after Isaac marries and Chris becomes a famous athlete and social-media star.
The movie plays like a steroid-driven, drug-fueled version of “A Christmas Carol,” with Michael Shannon along for the ride as Mr. Green, who portrays a drug-dealing combination of the ghosts of Christmas past, future and present.
“The Night Before” is filled with laughs, but they are vulgar, crude and sophomoric.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.40:1 widescreen picture; English and French 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English 5.1 Dolby digital audio description track and Spanish and Thai; English SDH, English, Cantonese, Chinese (simplified and traditional), French, Indonesian/Bahasa, Korean, Spanish and Thai subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include a featurette that looks on on-set hijinks, a gag reel, an extended strip club scene, a featurette on the spirit of Christmas, a midnight mass with Nana featurette and a look at the drunkest Santas on the block.

I Smile Back
Release date: Feb. 23
Details: 2015, Broad Green Pictures
Rated: R, sexual content, nudity, substance abuse, language, disturbing behavior
The lowdown: Sarah Silverman gives a devastating performance as a wife and mother whose compulsions, depression and disillusionment send her into a downward spiral of drugs and meaningless sexual encounters.
The film is difficult to watch because of Silverman’s highly praised performance. But it also is a movie that will grab and hold your attention from the outset.
Technical aspects: 2.40:1 widescreen picture; English and Spanish 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: A conversation with Silverman is the major bonus feature.

Strike Back: Cinemax Season 4 (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2015, HBO Home Entertainment
Rated: TV-MA, violence, language
The lowdown: A three-disc set featuring the fourth and final season of this Cinemax series that follows the missions of Section 20, a secret British anti-terrorist organization that travels the globe to thwart attacks as well as carry out other assignments.
The team, headed by British soldier Michael Stonebridge (Phillip Winchester) and American Damien Scott (Sullivan Stapleton), head to Bangkok to solve a missing-persons case that leads to a much bigger terrorist plot.
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, French, Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Among the bonus offerings are behind-the-scenes looks at the various shooting locations and the two stars reminiscing about their most memorable scenes.

Life
Details: 2015, Cinedigm
Rated: R, sexual content, nudity, language
The lowdown: A drama that follows photographer Dennis Stock (Robert Pattinson) as takes a cross-country journey with James Dean (Dana DeHaan), while capturing images of him for “Life” magazine.
The movie is set in 1955 as the two travel from Los Angeles to New York, culminating in a stop at Dean’s childhood farmhouse in Indiana.
Stock believed he was photographing a young actor on the cusp of stardom, not realizing that he was shooting the last months of a life cut tragically short.
The movie, directed by Anton Corbijn (“A Most Wanted Man,” “The American”), also features Joel Edgerton and Ben Kingsley.
Technical aspects: Widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby digital; English closed-captioned.
Don’t miss: Bonus features include interviews with Pattinson, DeHaan, Edgerton and Corbijn.

Miss You Already (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2015, Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Rated: PG-13, adult themes, sexual situations, language
The lowdown: Toni Collette and Drew Barrymore star in this drama about two women — friends since childhood — who always have shared everything from secrets to boyfriends.
Their bond is tested when Collette’s Milly is diagnosed with breast cancer, and she begins to lean more and more on Barrymore’s Jess for support.
The film, directed by Catherine Hardwicke, also features Dominic Cooper, Jacqueline Bisset, Paddy Considine and Frances De La Tour.
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: A making of featurette, deleted scenes, a music video, on-set selfies, a featurette with Hardwicke on Milly’s party and a commentary track comprise the major extras.

LEGO Star Wars: Droid Tales
Details: 2015, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Rated: TV Y7 FV
The lowdown: Five episodes are included in this kids-friendly DVD set in the “Star Wars” universe.
The story begins following the victory celebration in the Ewok village on Endor as R2-D2 and C-3PO have gathered to tell Luke, Leia, Han, Chewbacca and other rebels of their adventures that led to the events in “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.”
This leads to a retelling by the droids of the entire “Star Wars” saga.
The set is fun for children and fans of “Star Wars” alike.
Technical aspects: 1.78:1 widescreen picture; English and Spanish 5.1 Dolby digital and French 2.0 Dolby digital; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.

The Big Sleep (Blu-ray)
Release date: Feb. 23
Details: 1946, Warner Archive Collection
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Humphrey Bogart plays Raymond Chandler’s private eye Philip Marlowe in this confusing whodunit about murder and blackmail.
The movie, which costars Lauren Bacall, features a convoluting plot, as well as snappy dialogue and a brisk pace.
Howard Hawks directed the movie, based on an adapted screenplay by William Faulkner, Leigh Brackett and Jules Furthman.
The Blu-ray features the original theatrical version as well as the 1945 alternate version of the movie.
The release is a made-on-demand Blu-ray from the Warner Archive Collection, and can be found at www.wbshop.com or other online sellers.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.37:1 full-screen picture; English 2M DTS-HD Master Audio and French and Spanish 2M Dolby digital; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include a comparison between the alternate and theatrical versions with an introduction by film historian Robert Gitt.

Key Largo (Blu-ray)
Release date: Feb. 23
Details: 1948, Warner Archive Collection
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: John Huston directed and co-wrote, with Richard Brooks, this loose adaptation of Maxwell Anderson’s play.
Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall again co-star in this drama about a mobster, played by Edward G. Robinson, who commandeers a hotel in Key Largo at the tip of Florida, in order to return to the United States and resume his criminal undertakings.
Bogart plays the war veteran who reluctantly sees the necessity for stopping him.
The high-velocity cast also includes Claire Trevor, who won a supporting actress Academy Award as Robinson’s moll, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Gomez, Monte Blue and, in a small role, future Tonto, Jay Silverheels.
This is a made-on-demand Blu-ray from the Warner Archive Collection and can be found at www.wbshop.com and other online dealers.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.37:1 full-screen picture; English 2M DTS-HD Master Audio and French and Spanish 2M Dolby digital; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.

Don Verdean (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2015, Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Rated: PG-13, crude and suggestive humor, violence, language
The lowdown: A comedy about a self-proclaimed biblical archaeologist who, hired by a small-town pastor to find relics, comes up empty.
He devises a scam in order to cover up his failure that leads to a conspiracy of biblical proportions.
Sam Rockwell heads the cast that also included Will Forte, Leslie Bibb and Danny McBride.
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: Behind-the-scenes and sounds featurettes and a commentary track comprise the bonus materials.

Flowers
Details: 2014, Music Box Films
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: This rare Basque-language movie centers on a woman trapped in a lifeless marriage who begins receiving flowers from an anonymous sender.
At the same time, a tollbooth attendant and her crane operator husband struggle to please the man’s mother, who wishes for a grandchild.
A tragic event unites these two stories, with flowers playing an integral part in the plot.
The drama is a reflection of loss, memory, love and missed connections.
Technical aspects: 2.35:1 widescreen picture; Basque (Euskara) 5.1 Dolby digital; English and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus offerings include a making of featurette, a press conference from the San Sebastian Film Festival and a question-and-answer session from the film’s Los Angeles premiere.

I Confess (Blu-ray)
Release date: Feb. 16
Details: 1953, Warner Archive Collection
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: This thriller was not one of Alfred Hitchcock’s better movies, even though an average Hitchcock film is better than efforts by many other directors.
Montgomery Clift plays a priest who hears a killer’s confession, but because the sacrament of penance forbids him to speak, he remains silent.
This causes complications, especially when the priest becomes the prime suspect in the case.
Unlike many of Hitchcock’s studio-bound efforts, “I Confess” was filmed in Quebec, taking advantage of that city’s Old World architecture and culture.
This release is part of the Warner Archive Collection and can be found at www.wbshop.com or other online sellers.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.37:1 full-screen picture; English DTS-HD Master Audio and English, French and Spanish 2.0 Dolby digital; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include a making of documentary and newsreel footage from the film’s premiere.

She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry
Details: 2014, Music Box Films
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A documentary that looks at the birth and legacy of the women’s liberation movement in the late 1960s.
The movie also shines a spotlight on the women who led and had an impact on the movement, as it shows the founding of the National Organization of Women, as well as more radical groups such as the Women’s International Terrorist Conspiracy from Hell.
The film details how women from all walks of life confronted such issues as race and sexual preference as the fought for the equality they so richly deserved.
Technical aspects: 16:9 widescreen picture; English 2.0 Dolby digital; English, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: The major extra is a series of interviews with pioneering members of the women’s rights movement.

When Bette Met Mae
Release date: Feb. 23
Details: 2014, MVD Visual
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: This documentary, directed by Wes Wheadon, as well as researched and narrated by him, recreates a cocktail party in fall 1973 thrown by Hollywood designer Charles Pollack for his houseguest, Bette Davis and her guest, Mae West.
Wheadon, a neighbor and friend of Pollack and Davis, also was present. Wheadon served as the bartender and, as he served drinks, he tape-recorded the evening.
Through the course of the night, questions from the guests and the flow of alcohol loosened the tongues of the two divas, who talked about their careers, their styles of acting and crafting their screen images.
They also discussed writing scripts, pay issues, screen rights, residuals, the movie business and the politics related to it, husbands, boyfriends, the Hays Code, children, family and those who impersonated them.
The film was begun in 2011 when Wheadon restored the tape recording and synched to on-screen actors’ movements.
The feature also adds backstory clarification to the many topics discussed, narrated by Sally Kellerman, heightening the cultural impact of the women on society and film history.
Technical aspects: Dolby digital stereo.

“George O’Brien Western Collection”
Release date: Feb. 23
Details: 1938-40, Warner Archive Collection
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A three-disc set featuring nine sturdy Westerns starring George O’Brien.
O’Brien was a bulwark at RKO Pictures in the 1930s and early 1940s, making a series of solid B-Westerns that showcased his athletic ability and humor.
In his book “Hollywood Corral,” author Don Miller wrote that “the strength of the O’Briens rested in their ability to be appreciably better than most other company Westerns, with a continuance of strong casting, plus a solid physical look, workmanlike screenplays and direction and .. first-rate photography.”
The nine movies in this set are “Lawless Valley” (1938), “Arizona Legion” (1939), “Trouble in Sundown” (1939), “Racketeers of the Range” (1939), “Timber Stampede” (1939), “The Fighting Gringo” (1939), “Bullet Code” (1940), “Prairie Law” (1940) and “Stage to Chino” (1940).
The set is a made-for-video DVD-R from the Warner Archive Collection. It can be found at www.wbshop.com or other online retailers.
Technical aspects: 1.37:1 (4×3) full-screen picture; English Dolby digital monaural.

Mr. Moto Takes A Chance
Release date: Feb. 16
Details: Fox Home Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: In the late 1930s, 20th Century Fox, having success with its series of Charlie Chan detective features, got the rights to J.P. Marquand’s Mr. Moto for a second group of mystery thrillers.
The studio contracted Peter Lorre, a Hungarian actor schooled in the German theater of the 1920s and who made his mark in the 1931 German classic, “M,” to play the sleuth.
Lorre starred in four films as Moto.
In this outing, the Japanese detective is part of an archaeological expedition in remote Indochina. A young aviatrix, who is on a secret diplomatic mission, crash lands on the island where she tries to get the tyrannical ruler to help thwart an uprising led by a maniacal priest.
Adding to the mix is two American newsreel cameramen.
Moto, using his wits and various disguises, sets everything right, defeats the bad guys and saves the woman and the Americans.
This film has been released previously on DVD and as part of a Mr. Moto collection that features all the movies in the series.
This latest release is a made-on-demand DVD-R from the Fox Cinema Archives collection and can be found at www.foxconnect.com or other online retailers.
Technical aspects: 4×3 full-screen picture.

Made in America
Release date: Feb. 23
Details: 1993, Fox Home Entertainment
Rated: PG-13, sexual situations, language
The lowdown: Whoopi Goldberg and Ted Danson star in this comedy about Goldberg’s daughter seeking her biological father — who was an anonymous sperm donor — learns that he is white — and the obnoxious car salesman whose TV ads pollute the airwaves.
The discovery creates complications and problems for all involved, but, of course, everything is resolved by the end of the movie, which costars Nia Long and Will Smith.
The release is a made-on-demand DVD-R that can be found at www.foxconnect.com or other online retailers.
Technical aspects: 1.33:1 full-screen picture.

Revolt of the Slaves
Release date: Feb. 16
Details: 1960, MGM-Fox Home Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Like many American actors in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Rhonda Fleming took a film offer in Italy as roles in American films were drying up.
In this sword-and-sandal movie set in the later years of the declining Roman Empire, she is featured in an adventure that finds the daughter of a wealthy patrician falling in love with a Christian slave.
The movie includes the usual laughable dubbing that was common to these types of movies.
This is a made-on-demand DVD-R from the MGM Limited Edition Collection and can be found at www.foxconnect.com or other Internet dealers.
Technical aspects: 16:9 widescreen picture.

The Bold Ones: The New Doctors: The Complete Series
Details: 1973, Shout! Factory
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: This medical drama was part of the revolving “Bold Ones” series on NBC.
The new doctors followed the tried-and-true formula of a veteran and wise physician, played by E.G. Marshall, and his two young assistants, portrayed by David Hartman and John Saxon, as they dealt with the then-contemporary medical crises of the day.
The series, which was co-created by Steven Bochco, explored cutting edge medical techniques and social concerns of those times.
It may look a bit quaint today, but it was powerful drama back in the early 1970s.
The multidisc set includes all 43 episodes, including a crossover with Raymond Burr’s “Ironsides.”
Technical aspects: 1.33:1 full-screen picture; English Dolby digital monaural.

The Boy (Blu-ray)
Details: 2015, Scream Factory
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A young boy and his father are the proprietors of a motel in an isolated part of the American West.
The boy is mostly left to his own devices because his father is continually despondent over the loss of his wife.
A mysterious stranger arrives and forms a strange bond with the youngster that unleashes something evil within the child.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.78:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English subtitles.
Don’t miss: A behind-the-scenes featurette is the major bonus component.

These Thousand Hills
Release date: Feb. 16
Details: 1959, Fox Home Entertainment
The lowdown: This adaptation of the A.B. Guthrie Jr. novel stars Don Murray as an ambitious cowboy, who is a bit of a cad.
First, he borrows money from his girlfriend to buy a ranch. He then dumps her to marry the daughter of a banker.
He then runs for political office and, to not hurt his chances of winning, joins a posse to find his best friend, accused of rustling. Once captured, he does nothing to stop the lynching of his friend.
He finally comes to his senses after being shot protecting his former girlfriend from an evil land baron.
The release is a made-on-demand DVD-R from the Fox Cinema Archives collection and can be found at www.foxconnect.com or other online sellers.
Technical aspects: 16:9 widescreen picture.

The Midnight Man
Details:
2015, Cinedigm
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A hitman who cannot feel pain is sent on a mission that goes wrong and results in a brutal beating.
When he awakes, he feels pain for the first time.
Confused, but determined, he faces his fears and takes on his enemies, while experiencing a world he never imagined.
The movie is loaded with action.
Technical aspects: Widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby digital; English closed-captioned.

“The Unauthorized Collection”
Details: 2014-15, Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A four-disc set spotlighting behind-the-scenes stories on a quartet of TV shows.
Included are “The Unauthorized Beverly Hills 90210 Story,” “The Unauthorized Melrose Place Story,” “The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story” and “The Unauthorized Full House Story.”
These made-for-TV movies are basically for fans of these series as they claim to show the pressures and backstage drama that went into the making of these shows.
Technical aspects: 1.78:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 and 2.0 Dolby digital; English SDH subtitles.

Other Blu-rays and DVDs being released on Tuesday, unless otherwise indicated:
Dudes & Dragons (Momentum Pictures)
God’s Club (Cinedigm)
Narcopolis (Blu-ray) (IFC Midnight-Scream Factory)
Breaking Up (DVD-R, Fox Home Entertainment, Feb. 23)
Carpool (DVD-R, Fox Home Entertainment, Feb. 23)
Goodbye Lover (DVD-R, Fox Home Entertainment, Feb. 23)
The New Age (DVD-R, Fox Home Entertainment, Feb. 23)
The Power of One (DVD-R, Fox Home Entertainment, Feb. 23)
American Friends (DVD-R, MGM-Fox Home Entertainment) (Fox Limited Edition Collection, Feb. 16)
FOR KIDS
Digimon Fusion: Season 2
(Flatiron Film Co.-Cinedigm)
Paw Patrol: Brave Heroes, Big Rescues (Nickelodeon-Paramount Home Entertainment)

Coming next week: In the Heart of the Sea
Macbeth
Coming Home

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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