New to View: Aug. 9

By Bob Bloom
Supergirl: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2015-16, Warner Home Video
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A three-disc set featuring all 20 first-season episodes centering on Kara Zor-El (Melissa Benoist), the cousin of Superman.
Kara, who was adopted by the Danvers family and uses the name Kara Danvers, works for Catco Worldwide Media in National City.
There, she is forced to reveal herself and her powers, setting off a series of adventures as she fights alien and human menaces to her adopted city and planet.
The series, which moves from CBS to the CW this fall, has a light-hearted air to it and is most engaging.
FTC regulations oblige me to include this statement in my review: “Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this post. The opinions I share are my own.”
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.78:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include featurettes on DOE head Hank Henshaw, who, in reality, is J’onn J’onzz, the Martian Manhunter and the planet Krypton; unaired scenes, a gag reel and a 2015 Comic-Con panel.

A Hologram for the King (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2016, Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Rated: R, sexual situations, nudity, drug use, language
The lowdown: Tom Hanks stars as a businessman sent overseas to pitch a state-of-the-art holographic teleconferencing system to the king of a Middle East nation.
Along the way, he strives to understand the nation’s customs as he gets involved in a series of misadventures.
The film did not have much success in theaters, but Hanks fans will enjoy his always-dependable performance.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.40:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English, SDH, English and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: A featurette on adapting the novel for the screen and a making of featurette are the major supplemental offerings.

The Bronze (Blu-ray)
Release date: Aug. 2
Details: 2016, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Rated: R, sexual content, nudity, language, drug use
The lowdown: An edgy comedy about a gymnast who, 12 years earlier, won a Bronze medal at the Olympics and has been clinging to her glory days ever since — using it to scrounge meals at restaurants and take advantage of her fellow townspeople.
When she is asked to coach the town’s newest gymnastics sensation in exchange for a big payoff, she must decide between jeopardizing her “hometown hero” status or hurt her changes to preserve her own legacy.
The movie features a breakout performance by Melissa Rauch as Hope Ann Gregory, who prefers looking back than facing the future.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 widescreen picture; English, French and Portuguese 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English 5.1 audio descriptive track and Thai 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH, English, Chinese (simplified and traditional), French, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish and Thai subtitles.
Don’t miss: Deleted scenes comprise the major bonus features.

Last Days in the Desert
Release date: Aug. 2
Details: 2016 Broad Green Pictures
Rated: PG-13, disturbing images, brief nudity
The lowdown: Ewan McGregor stars as Jesus in a story taken from his 40 days of fasting and praying in the desert.
During his contemplations in the wilderness, he is tempted by the Devil, who also is played by McGregor, who tests the faith of Jesus by presenting him with the crisis of an ordinary family.
Technical aspects: 2.40:1 widescreen picture; English and Spanish 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH and Spanish subtitles.

Female Prisoner Scorpion: The Complete Collection (Blu-ray + DVD)
Details: 1971-73, Arrow Video
Rated: R, violence
The lowdown: An eight-disc set featuring four action films from Japan starring Meiko Kaji (“Lady Snowblood”) in a vengeance saga in which Kaji’s Nami Matsushima assumes the identity of “Scorpion,” who becomes an symbol of revenge and female empowerment in a male-dominated society.
The four titles are “Female Prisoner #701,” “Female Prisoner Scorpion: Jailhouse 41,” “Beast Stable” and “#701’s Grudge Song.”
The series is a prime example of Japanese exploitation cinema of the early 1970s.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 widescreen picture; Japanese LPCM audio; English subtitles; DVD: 1.85:1 widescreen picture; Japanese LPCM monaural; English subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus offerings include archival interviews with directors Shunya Ito and Yasuharu Hasebe, a visual essay by critic Tom Mes, a look at the careers of Hasebe and Ito, appreciatons by critics Kier-La Janisse and Kat Ellinger as well as filmmaker Gareth Evans, an interview with assistant director Yutaka Kohira and a booklet with excerpts from a book about the career of Kaji.

Parched
Details: 2015, Wolfe Video
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A drama set in rural India that centers on four ordinary women who share the harsh lives of Indian women, including abusive and arranged marriages as well as widowhood.
As these friends talk and commiserate about their lots in life, they begin to question the centuries-old traditions that keep them downtrodden.
One night they decide to throw off their shackles and take steps to change their lives.
This inspirational feature will touch you as you watch these women grow and realize their worth.
Technical aspects: Widescreen picture; Hindi 5.1 Dolby digital surround; English subtitles.
Don’t miss: Behind-the-scenes featurettes and interviews comprise the major bonus offerings.

A Monster With a Thousand Heads
Details: 2016, Music Box Films
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A desperate wife trying to save her seriously ill husband is at the center of this searing drama.
Sonia (Jana Raluy) visits the family’s insurer to get emergency medical coverage for her spouse. But, after waiting for hours, she is denied coverage for the treatment needed to save her husband.
With time running out, Sonia and her son confront the treating doctor at his home, beginning a downward spiral that escalates into violence and, later, complicity.
The feature is equal parts thriller and social commentary about an unfeeling and uncaring health system.
Technical aspects: 2.35:1 widescreen picture; Spanish 5.1 Dolby digital; English and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Deleted and extended scenes make up the major bonus features.

Stop the World I Want to Get Off (DVD-R)
Release date: July 26
Details: 1966, Warner Archive Collection
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: This film adaptation of the Anthony Newley-Leslie Bricusse musical about an average British guy named Littlechap was shot on the original Lyric Hammersmith set.
The movie stars Tony Tanner, who replaced Newley, in the starring role and while he is a good performer, he lacks the magic Newley originated in the part.
The music, though, with such songs as “What Kind of Fool Am I,” “Once in a Lifetime” and “Gonna Build a Mountain,” are what makes this movie worth watching.
The release is a made-on-demand DVD-R from the Warner Archive Collection and can be ordered at www.wbshop.com or other online dealers.
Technical aspects: 1.85:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English Dolby digital.

The Tiger (Blu-ray)
Details: 2015, Well Go USA Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A period action-drama about a Korean sharpshooter hunting the kingdom’s last tiger.
The hunter faces challenges from a poacher and Japanese forces that also are seeking the big cat, and who will stop at nothing to claim the prize.
Choi Min-sik of “Oldboy” stars as the sharpshooter in this feature.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 16:9 widescreen picture; Korean 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English subtitles.

“The Golden Age of Musicals”
Details: 1937-57, Film Chest Media
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A five-disc set featuring 17 musicals — all public domain and all previously released on DVD.
However, that should not be a deterrent in checking out this set that includes stars such as Fred Astaire in “Royal Wedding” and “Second Chorus,” James Cagney in “Something to Sing About,” Danny Kaye in “The Inspector General,” Frances Langford in “Career Girl,” Irving Berlin’s delightful “This is the Army” and the MGM all-star feature “Till the Clouds Roll By.”
Other movies in the set include “Private Buckaroo,” which features Harry James and the Andrews Sisters; “Pot O’ Gold” with James Stewart and Paulette Goddard; “Road to Bali” with Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour; “At War with the Army” with Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis; “Stage Door Canteen” with an all-star cast; “All American Co-ed, “People Are Funny,” “The Duke Is Tops,” “The Fabulous Dorseys” and “The Pied Piper of Hamelin.”
The vast majority of these — some in color, others in black-and-white, are entertaining and toe-tapping, reflecting the eras in which they were produced.
Technical aspects: 4×3 full-screen picture; English Dolby digital.

Baa Baa Black Sheep: Black Sheep Squadron: The Final Season
Details: 1978, Shout! Factory
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A three-disc set containing the final 13 episodes loosely based on the exploits of Major Gregory “Pappy” Boyinton and his misfit group of Marine flyers based in the South Pacific during World War II.
The series follows the missions that the group undertakes, many of them too dangerous for other squadrons to tackle.
Robert Conrad stars as Boyington. Other cast members include John Larroquette, Jed Adams, Robert Ginty, Dana Elcar and Jeff MacKay.
Technical aspects: 4×3 full-screen picture; English Dolby digital monaural.

DIGITAL DOWNLOADS AND STREAMING
DC Super Hero Girls: Hero of the Year (Warner Home Video)
Henry & Me (Sunset Studios)
The Nice Guys (Warner Home Video)
Ratchet & Clank (Universal Studios Home Entertainment)
The Disappearance (Acorn TV, Aug. 15)

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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