New to View: April 19

By Bob Bloom
The following Blu-rays and DVDs are being released on Tuesday, April 19:
The Revenant (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2015, Fox Home Entertainment
Rated: R, graphic and gory violence, nudity, sexual situations, language, disturbing images
The lowdown: Leonardo Di Caprio won his first Academy Award, director Alejandro Gonzalez Inárritu wins his second Oscar and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki also took home a statue for their work on this harrowing story of betrayal, survival and revenge on the Western frontier in the early 19th century.
“The Revenant” is a technically impressive movie that compensates for a ponderous and drawn-out, man-against-nature, story.
The problem with the movie is that Inárritu and Lubezki continually intrude on the story, using such tricks as having actors fog up the camera lens, so you know they are really out in the cold.
The point of a movie should be to tell the story and advance the plot, not to show off the talents of the people behind the camera.
At nearly 160 minutes, “The Revenant” is too long and cumbersome, as it tells the harrowing survival story of Di Caprio’s Hugh Glass, an explorer who is guiding a fur-trapping expedition.
The digital transfer to Blu-ray is superb, capturing the desolation and bleakness of the wilderness Glass must forge to save himself.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.40:1 widescreen picture; English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English 5.1 descriptive audio track and French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: The major extra is a documentary on the making of the movie entitled “A World Unseen.”

The Lady in the Van
Details: 2015, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Rated: PG-13, unsettling images, language
The lowdown: Maggie Smith gives a humorous and touching performance as a homeless woman who ensconces herself and her live-in van in the driveway of playwright Alan Bennett in this film, based on a memoir by the writer.
The film tells the true story of the relationship between Bennett and Miss Shepherd, a woman with a murky past, who “temporarily” parked her van in the driveway of his London home and lived there for 15 years.
The film is a treatise on British society in the mid-1970s to the late 1980s, which — at least in the section of London where Bennett resides — seems to be more tolerant of and helpful toward those on the fringes of society.
Smith creates a memorable character who will infuriate you as well as make you laugh.
Technical aspects: 1.85:1 widescreen picture; English, French, Portuguese, Spanish and Thai 5.1 Dolby digital; English Dolby surround audio descriptive track; English SDH, English, Chinese (traditional), French, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish and Thai subtitles.
Don’t miss: A making of featurette, a look at the visual effects and a commentary track with director Nicholas Hytner are the major bonus offerings.

Veep: The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2015, HBO Home Entertainment
Rated: TV-MA, language
The lowdown: Julia Louis-Dreyfus returns as former vice president and now-President Selina Meyer in the fourth season of this HBO political satire series.
The season focuses on how insular the Washington world of politics has become.
During the 10 episodes, President Meyer must run for re-election, with her staff grappling with how to make her seem more presidential and who to choose as a running mate.
The writing on the series is witty and sharp, and is as much fun as watching today’s real-life political world.
A strong supporting cast, abetted by Anna Chlumsky, Kevin Dunn, Reid Scott and Sufe Bardshaw add to the enjoyment.
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 and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Deleted scenes comprise the major bonus features.

Silicon Valley: The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2015, HBO Home Entertainment
Rated: TV-MA, language
The lowdown: The second season of the HBO series that simultaneously celebrates and skewers the tech world.
During season two the TechCrunch Disrupt team, after taking the tech world by storm, faces a bright and profitable future.
But new competition and rivals threaten the team’s security and longevity.
The series offers funny and sharp insights into the tech industry and those vying for power in that world.
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, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Six commentary tracks, deleted scenes and a featurette on the art and science behind the series comprise the major bonus components.

Barcelona: Special Edition (Blu-ray)
Details: 1994, The Criterion Collection
Rated: PG-13, mature themes, language, sexual situations
The lowdown: Writer-director Whit Stillman’s comedy of manners follows American cousins — a salesman and a Navy officer — who work in the Spanish city of Barcelona in the 1980s.
There, they argue about romance and politics, as Stillman examines American exceptionalism, Cold War foreign policy and international dating.
The cast includes Taylor Nichols, Chris Eigerman, Mira Sorvino, Jack Gilpin and Thomas Gibson.
Criterion also is releasing “Barcelona” as part of “A Whit Stillman Trilogy” that also includes “Metropolitan” and “The Last Days of Disco.”
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 widescreen picture; English 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: A commentary track, a video essay abut the trilogy by film critic Farran Smith Nehme, a 1994 short, behind-the-scenes footage and on-set interview with Stilman and cast members, deleted scenes and an alternate ending, 1991 appearances by Stillman on “Today” and “The Dick Cavett Show,” a 1994 appearance on “Charlie Rose” and an essay about the movie comprise the major bonus offerings.

Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon (Blu-ray)
Details: 2015, Magnolia Home Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A documentary that looks at the eccentric and very smart and witty brains behind the growth of the “National Lampoon” from a cult magazine to radio, live stage performances and movies.
The film features interviews with writers and actors such as Matty Simmons, Bill Skurski, Chevy Chase, Bruce McCall and Chris Cerf as well as celebrity fans such as Judd Apatow, Kevin Bacon, John Goodman and Billy Bob Thornton.
Fans of “Lampoon” will get a kick out of this entertaining and insightful movie.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.78:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Among the many bonus offerings are additional interview footage, Goodman reading Doug Kenney, thoughts on “National Lampoon’s Animal House,” a featurette on drugs in the workplace, working in New York City, thoughts about “Saturday Night Live,” a “Jaws 3 People 0” featurette, favorite “Lampoon” pieces, artists in “Lampoon,” Chase’s pot seeds story and reading John Hughes with Beverly D’Angelo, Bacon, Stephen Furst, Chase and Anthony Michael Hall.

Misconduct (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2015, Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Rated: R, language, violence, nudity, sexual content
The lowdown: A dynamic duo of Oscar-winners Anthony Hopkins and Al Pacino are featured in this drama about an ambitious lawyer (Josh Duhamel), who receives incriminating evidence about the corrupt pharmaceutical executive his ex-girlfriend works for.
Soon, he finds himself in a struggle between the magnate, Hopkins, and his firm’s senior partner, Pacino. When the entire affair takes a deadly turn, the young lawyer must work quickly to uncover the truth before he loses his wife, his career and possibly his life.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 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 making of featurette and deleted scenes.

And Then There Were None (Blu-ray)
Details: 2015, RLJ Entertainment-Acorn Media
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A two-disc set offering a three-part adaptation of one of Agatha Christie’s most famous mysteries, which has been filmed several times before.
The drama is set in a pre-World War II period on isolated Soldier Island where 10 people — strangers — are invited.
None of them know who their host is, but the reason soon becomes clear as one of them is dead by the end of the night.
The mystery features a strong cast, including Sam Neill, Charles Dance, Noah Taylor, Toby Stephens, Aidan Turner, Miranda Richardson, Maeve Dermody, Anna Maxwell Martin, Douglas Booth and Burn Gorman.
Even if you have seen it before, this adaptation of the Christie classic holds up very well.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 16:9 picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: A behind-the-scenes featurette, a profile of Christie and an interview with writer Sarah Phelps are the main extras.

“Forbidden Hollywood: Volume 10” (DVD-R)
Details: 1931-33, Warner Archive Collection
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A five-disc set featuring a quintet of pre-Hollywood Code classics with such stars as Lionel Barrymore, Barbara Stanwyck and Warren William.
The set features “Guilty Hands” (1931), with Barrymore as a district attorney who commits the perfect crime; “The Mouthpiece” (1932) with William as a defense attorney who leaves his morals behind; “Secrets of the French Police” (1932) with Frank Morgan as a Surete inspector who, with the aid of a thief (John Warburton), scours the underworld for a waif (Gwili Andre) who may be the Princess Anastasia; “The Match King” (1932) with William and Glenda Farrell in a story about an unscrupulous man who buys the worldwide rights to produce matches; and “Ever in My Heart,” with Stanwyck as a spouse torn between love and country. Otto Kruger and Ralph Bellamy costar.
The set is a made-on-demand DVD-R from the Warner Archive Collection and can be found at www.wbshop.com or other online dealers.
Technical aspects: 1.37:1 (4×3 full-screen) picture; English Dolby digital monaural.

Bulldog Drummond/Calling Bulldog Drummond (DVD-R)
Release date: April 5
Details: 1929, 1951, Warner Archive Collection
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Ronald Coleman made his talking picture debut as H.C. McNeile’s former British Army officer who, bored, becomes a gentleman adventurer, helming damsels in distress and solving crimes.
In his first outing as Drummond, Coleman helps a young American woman rescue her uncle who is being held in an asylum by a sadistic doctor.
“Bulldog Drummond,” released in 1929, was the first of a series of adventures about Drummond. Coleman reprised the role in 1934’s “Bulldog Drummond Strikes Back.”
Ray Milland, John Lodge and John Howard played Drummond in a series of programmers released between 1937 and 1939.
In 1951, Walter Pidgeon took on the role as an older Drummond in “Calling Bulldog Drummond.” Here, Drummond is called out of retirement by Scotland Yard to help hunt down a band of sophisticated thieves who use military hardware.
Pidgeon, a solid actor, lacks the spark that Coleman brought to the role.
This double feature is a made-on-demand DVD-R from the Warner Archive Collection and 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.

Cinema’s Exiles: From Hitler to Hollywood (DVD-R)
Release date: April 5
Details: 2007, Warner Archive Collection
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A documentary that examines the more than 800 Jewish members of the German film industry — actors, directors, writers, composers and others — who fled Hitler and his Nazis to resettle and begin new lives in Hollywood.
These artists had an impact on the American film industry, influencing genres from comedies to mysteries, dramas, horror and film noir.
Sigourney Weaver narrates this interesting feature that touches upon such artists as Fred Zinnemann, Curt Siodmak, Billy Wilder, Fritz Lang, Franz Waxman and Peter Lorre.
This is a made-on-demand DVD-R from the Warner Archive Collection and can be found at www.wbshop.com or other Internet dealers.
Technical aspects: 1.37:1 (4×3) full-screen picture; English Dolby digital monaural.

Little House on the Prairie: The Ninth and Final Season: Deluxe Remastered Edition (DVD + Ultraviolet)
Details: 1982-83, Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A six-disc set featuring the final 21 episodes of this beloved family-oriented series featuring the Wilders family, their friends and townsfolk.
Events wrap up with Laura winning a book-writing contest, Willie surprising the family with his engagement and Nancy running away.
Technical aspects: 1.33:1 full-screen picture; English, Spanish and French 2.0 Dolby digital; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: The movie special, “Bless All the Dear Children,” is the major bonus feature.

“Outlaw: Gangster VIP Collection” (Blu-ray & DVD)
Details: 1968-69, Arrow Video
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: This set features six movies directed by Toshio Masuda and starring Tetsuya Watari as lone wolf gangster “Slasher” Goro.
The series looks at the Japanese underworld and offered a realism rarely seen in films about the yakuza.
The movies in the set are “Gangster VIP,” “Gangster VIP 2,” “Heartless,” “Goro the Assassin,” “Black Dagger” and “Kill!”
The movies offer a sympathetic portrayal of a protagonist who is haunted by his past.
Fans of Japanese cinema will enjoy these rarely seen features.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.35:1 widescreen picture; Japanese LPCM monaural; English subtitles.
Don’t miss: Among the supplemental materials are a visual essay covering the entire series, a commentary on “Gangster VIP” and a booklet containing an interview with Masuda and essays about the series.

The Stuff (Blu-ray)
Details: 1985, Arrow Video
Rated: R, violence, language
The lowdown: A silly horror outing about a new dessert treat that is sweeping the nation.
However, it turns out to have some nasty — and fatal — after effects.
The movie has that throwback appeal to 1950s sci-fi-horror features.
The cast includes Michael Moriarity, Paul Sorvino, Danny Aiello, Andrea Marcovicci and Alexander Scourby.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 widescreen picture; English LPCM monaural; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include a making of featurette and a booklet with essays about the films and promotional materials.

Haunted Honeymoon (DVD-R)
Release date: April 5
Details: 1940, Warner Archive Collection
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Robert Montgomery stars as Dorothy L. Sayers’ Lord Peter Wimsey in this MGM production made in England.
The story centers on Wimsey and his bride, crime novelist Harriet Vale (Constance Cummings) vowing to keep crime out of their lives.
Easier said than done when the country cottage they’ve just purchased comes fully equipped with the body of the previous owner hidden in the basement.
The cast also includes Robert Newton, Googie Withers and Leslie Banks.
The feature is a made-on-demand DVD-R from the Warner Archive Collection and can be found at www.wbshop.com or other online dealers.
Technical aspects: 1.37:1 (4×3) full-screen picture; English Dolby digital monaural.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2: Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray)
Details: 1986, Scream Factory
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Dennis Hopper takes center stage in this sequel directed by Tobe Hooper about a Texas Ranger, played by Hopper, who wants to avenge the murder of his kin by the cannibalistic Sawyer family.
He gets help from a disc jockey (Caroline Williams), who also wants to end the clan’s reign of terror.
Hopper gives one of his most enjoyable over-the-top performances as he slices through the line separating good from evil.
The set features two versions of the film, one from a new 2K HD scan from the interpositive film element, the other the original HD master.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and stereo; English subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include a trio of commentary tracks with Hooper, cast members and filmmakers, an interview with the special effects artists, interviews with cast members, the film editor and stuntman-Leatherface performer Bob Elmore, a visit to the shooting location, an alternate opening credit sequence, an 85-minute documentary titled “It Runs in the Family” and deleted scenes.

Yellow Jack (DVD-R)
Release date: April 4
Details: 1938, Warner Archive Collection
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Robert Montgomery heads the cast of this historical drama set in Cuba after the Spanish-American War that follows the efforts of Dr. Walter Reed (Lewis Stone) and his medical team to battle yellow fever that killed more U.S. soldiers than the war itself.
The doctors use the theory of a noted, but discredited researcher, played by Charles Coburn, who insists that an infected mosquito is responsible for the disease.
Montgomery plays a corpsman who weighs the risks to himself in order to help with a breakthrough, while Virginia Bruce plays a nurse who inspires him.
The cast also includes Andy Devine, Henry Hull, Buddy Ebsen, Sam Levene and Stanley Ridges.
The release is a made-on-demand DVD-R from the Warner Archive Collection and can be found at www.wbshop.com or other online sellers.
Technical aspects: 1.37:1 (4×3) full-screen picture; English Dolby digital monaural.

Earthrise
Details: 2016, Indie Rights-MVD Visual Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A science fiction feature about the few remaining people on Earth who are working to rehabilitate the planet after 99 percent of the population has colonized Mars.
The movie is a psychological thriller that looks at the impact on those returning to Earth for the first time.
The film works on a few levels, which makes for interesting viewing.
Technical aspects: Widescreen picture.

Other Blu-rays and DVDs being released on Tuesday, unless otherwise indicated:
A Dog Named Gucci (MVD Visual Entertainment)
Convict (MVD Visual Entertainment)

FOR KIDS
Albert — Up, Up and Away (Shout! Factory)

DIGITAL DOWNLOADS
A Royal Night Out (Fox Home Entertainment)
The Choice (Lionsgate Home Entertainment)

Coming next week: Son of Saul

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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