New to View: May 3

By Bob Bloom
The following Blu-rays and DVDs are being released on Tuesday, May 3, unless otherwise noted:
The Choice (Blu-ray + DVD + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2015, Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Rated: PG-13, mature themes, sexual content
The lowdown: Another Nicholas Sparks romantic tearjerker is transposed from book to screen.
In this feature, we find fun-loving player Travis (Benjamin Walker) falling for his new neighbor, Gabby (Teresa Palmer), who initially plays hard to get.
Of course, they soon fall head-over-heels in love. Fate, of course, steps in to create obstacles and alter their lives and choices.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 2.40:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English Dolby digital audio descriptive track and Spanish 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH and Spanish subtitles; DVD: 2.40:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English and Spanish 5.1 Dolby digital and English Dolby digital audio descriptive track; English SDH and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include a making of featurette, deleted scenes, a featurette on Sparks and North Carolina, a behind-the-scenes look at Sparks, a featurette on the film’s dogs and a commentary track.

The 5th Wave (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2016, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Rated: PG-13, science fiction violence and destruction, disturbing thematic elements, language, teen partying
The lowdown: Another young adult science fiction-based franchise is brought to the screen with middling results.
This one follows 16-year-old Cassie (Chloe Grace Moretz) as she tries to protect her younger brother after a wave of alien attacks threaten to wipe out mankind or at least send it back to the Stone Age.
The film feels as if we’ve seen sections of this all before in other adaptations of dystopian young adult books.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.39:1 widescreen picture; English and French 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English and French audio descriptive tracks and Spanish 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH, English, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include featurettes on creating a devastated world, the training of Squad 53 and a survival guide, a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film and Sammy on the set, deleted scenes, a gag reel, commentary track and an excerpt from author Rick Yancey’s new book, “The Last Star.”

Janis: Little Girl Blue
Release date: May 6
Details: 2015, FilmRise-MVD Visual
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: This documentary is an intimate and insightful look at the tragic rock star whose death at 27 in 1970 cut short a brilliant career.
Writer-director Amy Berg (“West of Memphis”) tells the story of the driven and beleaguered artist in depth, through letters, interviews with bandmates and fellow rock stars and, most importantly, Joplin’s music.
The film offers a new understanding of this bright and complex personality. Even people who were not fully aware of Joplin’s music and impact will find this a stimulating experience.
Technical aspects: Widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby digital.
Don’t miss: Among the major bonus offerings are Big Brother singing a capella, Joplin’s influences, a look at the Avalon vs. The Fillmore venues and a Walk of Fame ceremony.

Remember (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2015, Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Rated: R, violence, language
The lowdown: Academy Award-winners Christopher Plummer and Martin Landau star in this drama about two aged Holocaust survivors who seek retribution.
Zev (Plummer), an Auschwitz survivor, discovers that the Nazi guard who murdered his family nearly 70 years ago is living in the United States under an assumed identity.
Despite their various infirmities, the two begin a journey that tests their stamina and memories, as they close in on the revenge they believe will give them justice and peace.
The movie, directed by Atom Egoyan, co-stars Bruno Ganz, Jürgen Prochnow and Henry Czerny.
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 bonus materials are a look at the performances, a featurette on remembering the past and a commentary track.

The Last Ship: The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2015, TNT-Warner Home Video
Rated: TV-14, language, violence
The lowdown: The second season of this TNT series about a global catastrophe that nearly kills all of mankind finds the crew of the Navy destroyer USS Nathan James fighting to distribute the cure developed by a paleo-microbiologist.
When the ship arrives back on U.S. soil, however, they face new obstacles, including a new world order that may hinder mass production of the cure and a new enemy group, The Immunes, who aim to take over the world.
The Blu-ray includes all 13 episodes of the series that stars Eric Dane, Adam Baldwin and Rhona Mitra.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.78:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English DTS-HD Master Audio and Spanish and French Dolby digital; English SDH, Spanish and French subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include a making of season two featurette, a look inside the episodes, a season one recap, a featurette on the Navy, a profile of the Vulture Team and character profiles.

East Side Sushi
Details: 2015, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Rated: PG, suggestive content, violence, language
The lowdown: A single mom who has worked for years at a fruit-vending cart decides she wants to work at a local Japanese restaurant.
She is fascinated by the food, and decides to make several sushi dishes of her own, blending it with her own cultural cuisine.
Her attempts to become a sushi chef are thwarted because she is the wrong gender and race. This forces her on a journey in which she discovers her true self and finds the determination not to allow anyone to deter her dream.
Technical aspects: 1.78:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH, English, Spanish and French subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include a making of featurette, a look at the film’s unusual score and deleted scenes.

The Club
Details: 2015, Music Box Films
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A drama about four middle-aged men and their female caretaker who live in a secluded house in a small seaside village.
The men are former priests who were exiled because of past transgressions. They keep a strict daily schedule devoid of temptations.
The training of their racing greyhound is the highlight of their day.
Their tranquility is disrupted by the arrival of a houseguest from the outside world followed by an emissary from the Vatican.
With their stability upended, buried secrets bubble to the surface. Chilean director Pablo Larraín, who helmed the political drama “No,” a couple of years ago, creates a darkly comic critique of organized religion, responsibility and the combustible interactions of individuals.
Technical aspects: 2.35:1 widescreen picture; Spanish 5.1 Dolby digital; English, Spanish and French subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus materials include interviews with Larraín and actress Antonia Zegers, a commentary track, a press conference excerpt and a booklet with cast and crew interviews and an essay about the film.

Pride and Joy: The Story of Alligator Records (Blu-ray)
Release date: April 22
Details: 1992, MVDvisual Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Documentary filmmaker Robert Mugge turns his lens on Alligator Records, creating a dynamic and musically pleasing portrait of the famed blues label.
The film presents musical highlights from concerts in Philadelphia featuring Alligator recording artists such as Elvin Bishop, Koko Taylor and her Blues Machine, Katie Webster and Lil’ Ed and the Blues Imperials.
The movie also takes viewers inside Alligator’s Chicago offices and presents profiles of artists and key staff personnel.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition.
Don’t miss: Additional performances from the Alligator Records 20th anniversary tour comprise the major bonus feature.

Submerged (Blu-ray)
Details: 2015, IFC Midnight-Scream Factory
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A former soldier, now a bodyguard hired to protect a young woman, must use all his resources to save her after a limousine joyride goes horribly wrong.
A gang of kidnappers forces the vehicle off the road and into the water, then dive in to finish off the job.
It’s up to the bodyguard to fight off the bad guys, protect his client and keep the vehicle from becoming a watery grave.
The film, despite being far-fetched, offers some suspenseful and exciting moments.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.35:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH and Spanish subtitles.

Kingdom of Blood (DVD + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2015, Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Rated: R, violence
The lowdown: A martial arts costume drama with a side order of supernatural shenanigans centers on the kidnapping of the Emperor Huizong and the efforts to rescue him.
Coming to the forefront are the former members of the Divine Constabulary, who are unaware that a former member of their group is the abductor.
The remaining members must rescue the emperor, convince the kidnapper to rejoin the Constabulary and battle to bring peace to the kingdom.
The feature is loaded with action and visual effects.
Technical aspects: 2.35:1 (16×9) widescreen picture; English and Mandarin 5.1 Dolby digital; English closed-captioned and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include a trio of featurettes on the making of the film and the main characters.

Mojin: The Lost Legend (Blu-ray)
Details: 2015, Well Go USA Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A trio of famed grave robbers, pitted against rivals and the law, receive an offer from a mysterious stranger to attempt one last big heist.
The job, finding the tomb of an ancient Mongolian princess, turns into an adventure that pushes their skills to their limits as well as testing their friendship and their souls, especially when they learn that their employer really seeks an ancient artifact that can raise the dead.
Technical aspects: 16:9 widescreen picture; Mandarin 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English and Chinese subtitles.
Don’t miss: A making of featurette is the major bonus component.

Sharkansas Women’s Prison Massacre (Blu-ray)
Details: 2015, Scream Factory
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A wild horror feature about a fracking accident that splits the Earth’s crust, creating a gaping hole that reveals an underground waterway leading to a subterranean ocean.
Of course, this creates a gateway for giant prehistoric sharks to begin swimming upward toward a bog in the heart of the Arkansas bayou, where a group of female inmates are on a work detail.
The sharks attack and those who survive take refuge in a cabin the heart of the wetlands. But how long before the sharks come through?
Dominque Swain and Traci Lords head the cast of this over-the-top production.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.78:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio.
Don’t miss: A commentary track is the major bonus offering.

Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir
Details: 2015, Shout! Kids
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A DVD featuring seven first-season episodes of this TV series about two friends, Marinette and Adrien, who appear to lead normal lives in Paris, with going to school and hanging out with friends.
But when an evil villain known as Hawk Moth threatens their city, they transform into superheroes Ladybug and Cat Noir, using super powers they have acquired from their magical pets.
Hawk Moth is using his powers to transform normal people into super villains.
Can Ladybug and Cat Noir save the day? Kids will enjoy these action-filled episodes.
Technical aspects: 1.78:1 widescreen picture; English and French 5.1 Dolby digital; English subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include cast and crew interviews, sing-alongs and episode animatics.

Let’s Learn: S.T.E.M.: Vol. 2
Details:
2012, 2015, Nickelodeon-Paramount Home Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A DVD featuring seven adventures from such Nick Jr. shows as “Blaze and the Monster Machines,” “PAW Patrol,” “Dora and Friends” and “Team Umizoomi” that are designed to introduce youngsters to the S.T.E.M. disciplines: science, technology, engineering and math.
The kids will find these shows entertaining and educational as they learn how to solve various problems.
Technical aspects: Widescreen and full-screen pictures; English, Spanish and French 5.1 Dolby digital.

Other Blu-rays and DVDs being released on Tuesday, unless otherwise indicated:
Scherzo Diabolico (Dark Sky Films)
Sniper: Special Ops (DVD + Ultraviolet) (Lionsgate Home Entertainment)
Die Fighting (Blu-ray) (MVDvisual Entertainment, April 26)

DIGITAL DOWNLOADS
How to Be Single (Warner Home Video)
Restoration (Ucork’d Entertainment)

Coming next week: Where to Invade Next
The Boy

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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