New to View: June 7
By Bob Bloom
The following Blu-rays and DVDs are being released on Tuesday, June 7, unless otherwise noted:
Zootopia (Blu-ray + DVD + digital HD)
Details: 2016, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Rated: PG, action, rude humor, scary themes
The lowdown: A charming and imaginative animated comedy-adventure set in the mammal metropolis of Zootopia, where Judy Hopps goes to fulfill her dream of becoming the first bunny of the city’s police force.
Judy is an eager beaver bunny who, getting her chance to solve her first case, must reluctantly partner with Nick Wilde, a scam-artist fox, to solve a mystery.
Kids as well as adults will enjoy the film’s humor and story.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 2.39:1 widescreen picture; English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and 2.0 descriptive audio and Spanish and French 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles; DVD: 2.39:1 widescreen picture; English and Spanish 5.1 Dolby digital and English 2.0 descriptive audio; English SDH and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include Ginnifer Goodwin, who voices, Judy, hosting a look at the characters, animation and film environment; a featurette on the story’s evolution; a behind-the-scenes look at filmmakers traveling the world for inspiration for the various characters; deleted scenes; deleted characters; a search for the film’s Easter eggs; a look at five of the musicians who helped create the sounds in the musical score; and a music video.
Hail, Caesar! (Blu-ray + DVD + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2016, Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Rated: PG-13, suggestive content, smoking
The lowdown: Joel and Ethan Coen’s feature is a series of funny and satiric sequences — vignettes, really — that fail to mesh as a cohesive motion picture.
The film’s point of reference is murky. Set during the Hollywood studio system of the late 1940s or early 1950s, it’s difficult to tell whether it is lampooning movies, the communist scare that gripped the industry during that era or the artifice of filmmaking.
In trying to encompass all three, the movie lacks a definitive focus and theme.
The one constant that ties together all these threads is Josh Brolin as studio fixer Eddie Mannix, who spends a harried day resolving problems linked to his major stars, all the while contemplating a big change in his life.
The major part of the film centers on the kidnapping of star Baird Whitlock (George Clooney), a dunderheaded actor starring in the studio’s big-budget biblical spectacle.
How everything resolves itself, with the help of young cowboy star Hobie Doyle (Alden Ehrenreich), is the crux of the film.
The big-name cast also includes Scarlett Johansson, Ralph Fiennes, Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum and Tilda Swinton.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; Spanish and French 5.1 DTS digital surround and English 2.0 descriptive audio track; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles; DVD: 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen picture; English, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby digital and English 2.0 descriptive audio track; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus materials include a featurette on the Coen brothers and their desire to make the movie; a featurette on the major cast members; a look at the film’s sets, costumes and production design; and a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film’s two major musical numbers.
Vinyl: The Complete First Season (DVD + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2016, HBO Home Entertainment
Rated: TV-MA, drug use, sexual situations, language
The lowdown: Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger were among the creators of this dramatic series that looks at the music industry of the 1970s through the eyes of Richie Finestra (Bobby Cannavale), the founder and president of American Century Records.
The four-disc set follows Finestra as he battles his inner demons and addiction, as well as fighting to save his soul and his musical empire.
The series costars Olivia Wilde as Finestra’s wife and Ray Romano.
Technical aspects: 1.78:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby digital; English closed-captioned subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include a featurette on creating the series, an inside-the-episodes featurette and commentaries.
A War (Blu-ray)
Details: 2015, Magnolia Home Entertainment
Rated: R, war-related images, language
The lowdown: This Academy Award nominee for best foreign language film centers on a Danish company commander in Afghanistan and the aftermath of a split-second decision with fatal consequences.
To protect his men and local civilians, the commander, whose soldiers are caught in a heavy crossfire, orders an attack on a fortified compound to try saving his men.
In that battle, civilians are killed, which creates grave consequences, not only for the commander, but also for his family back home.
For greater authenticity, writer-director Tobias Lindholm features actual Danish soldiers, Taliban fighters, relatives and refugees.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; Danish and English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH, English and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Among the extras are an interview with Lindholm, a behind-the-scenes featurette and Los Angeles screening reactions.
Game of Thrones: The Complete Third and Fourth Seasons: Steelbook Collectors Sets (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2013, 2014, HBO Home Entertainment
Rated: TV-MA, graphic violence, sexual content, nudity, language
The lowdown: HBO reissues the third and fourth seasons of its popular and acclaimed series based on the books by George R.R. Martin in steelbook sets that include collectible sigil magnets.
The series follows the machinations of various royal houses for control of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. The episodes are loaded with violence, treachery, betrayal, murder, love and honor.
This Blu-ray upgrade is an exciting addition to the “Game of Thrones” canon.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.78:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English Dolby Atmos and 7.1 Dolby TrueHD, French, Spanish (Castilian), German and Italian 5.1 Dolby digital and Spanish (Latin) 2.0 Dolby digital; English SDH, French, Spanish (Castilian and Latin), German, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, Dutch, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Both sets are filled with extras, including behind-the-scenes featurettes, histories and lore, commentaries, a look at various families, deleted and extended scenes and character profiles.
Roots: The Complete Original Series (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Details: 1977, Warner Home Video
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: With the anticipated airing of the remake of this landmark TV miniseries, the original is reissued in an upgraded Blu-ray edition that includes a 32-page booklet with behind-the-scenes photos and background about the series.
The eight-part series, based on the book by Alex Haley, follows an 18th-century African youth, Kunta Kinte (LeVar Burton), who is kidnapped, brought to the United States and sold into slavery.
The story follows the generations of his descendants through the Civil War and its aftermath, showing the struggles and brutality of slavery, as well as their will to survive and attain freedom.
The miniseries’ all-star cast also includes Louis Gossett Jr., Leslie Uggams, John Amos, Richard Roundtree, Lorne Greene, Ed Asner, Robert Reed, Cicely Tyson, Chuck Connors, Olivia Cole, Beverly Todd, Madge Sinclair, Vic Morrow and Georg Stanford Brown.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.78:1 (4×3) full-screen picture; English, French and Spanish 2.0 Dolby digital; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Besides, the booklet, extras include the impact of the series, a featurette on cast members reflecting on the series, how the series captivated the nation, the struggle to make the miniseries, a featurette on connecting with the past, Burton’s screen test, David Frost’s interview with Haley and a “Roots: One Year Later” featurette.
Mr. Right (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2015, Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Rated: R, violence and language
The lowdown: Anna Kendrick and Sam Rockwell star in this action, romantic-comedy about a young woman who meets the man of her dreams, who turns out to be a infamous assassin.
With his numerous enemies trying to kill him, the young woman must decide if she should join forces to help save him or simply dump him.
The mixture of mayhem and mirth does not always work as well as it should, but Kendrick and Rockwell are likable enough performers to keep you entertained.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.40:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH, Spanish and French subtitles.
Don’t miss: A featurette on the movie’s sweet couple is the major bonus offering.
Rizzoli & Isles: The Complete Sixth Season
Details: 2015, Warner Home Video
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A four-disc set featuring all 18 sixth-season episodes of this popular TV series about tough detective Jane Rizzoli (Angie Harmon) and medical examiner Dr. Maura Isles (Sasha Alexander), who solve cases in the Boston area, using brains and, when needed, brawn.
Among the challenging cases confronting the pair are the murder of a champion tournament fisherman, the discovery of a teenage girl’s body inside a cage and the death of a dog trainer.
The duo also deals with conflicts and problems in their personal, off-duty lives that make this a well-rounded and entertaining series.
Technical aspects: Widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH and French subtitles.
Don’t miss: A featurette, “From the Shadows: A Criminal Revealed,” is the major bonus component.
Touched With Fire (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2016, Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Rated: R, disturbing images, language, sexual situations, drug use
The lowdown: Katie Holmes and Luke Kirby star in this romantic drama about bipolar poets who meet in a treatment facility and begin a love affair.
The romance brings forth the challenges — the beauty and highs as well as the dark sides and lows — of their extremes.
Griffin Dunne, Christine Lahti and Bruce Altman costar in the feature.
Technical aspects: 2.40:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH, English and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: The supplemental materials include a making of featurette, a commentary track with writer-director Paul Dalio and producer-director of photography Kristina Nikolova and a conversation with Dalio and Dr. Kay Jamison.
Journey Into Space (Blu-ray)
Details: 2015, Shout! Factory
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Patrick Stewart narrates this overview of mankind’s accomplishments in space as well as activities for future endeavors.
The movie puts into context man’s achievements, the contributions of the space shuttle program and the pioneers who have journeyed into space.
The film highlights the deployment and repair of the Hubble Space Telescope as well as the assembly of the International Space Station.
The movie explains how the ISS is building the foundation for future leaps and programs into deeper space, concluding with a realistic look at how astronauts will get to Mars and back home.
This is a movie space buffs will definitely find fascinating.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.78:1 widescreen picture; English Dolby Atmos and French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: Behind-the-scenes footage and a photo gallery comprise the major bonus offerings.
Other Blu-rays, DVDs and digital downloads being released on Tuesday, unless otherwise indicated:
The Abandoned (Blu-ray) (IFC Midnight-Scream Factory)
The Funhouse Massacre (Blu-ray) (Scream Factory)
Steven Universe: The Return (Cartoon Network-Warner Home Video)
Jarhead 3: The Siege (Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Midnight Special (Warner Home Video)
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (Universal Studios Home Entertainment)
Coming next week: Ballers: The Complete First Season
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.