New to View: Aug. 30

By Bob Bloom
The following Blu-rays and DVDs are being released on Tuesday, unless otherwise noted:
The Jungle Book (Blu-ray + DVD + digital HD)
Details: 2016, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Rated: PG, scary action and danger, violence
The lowdown: The concept of a live-action adaptation of “The Jungle Book” using CGI-created animals and top voice talents is, for the most part, a pleasing experience.
A live-action film, even though heavily green screened and computer generated, feels more grounded in reality, even with talking wolves, panthers, tigers, primates and bears.
It’s when this seemingly dramatic version of “The Jungle Book” tries to blend it with Disney’s popular animated feature that the movie heads south.
Yep, everyone breaks out in song, and the spell is broken.
It’s as if the movie was hedging its bets, wanting to make sure they were appealing to the youngsters — as well as the nostalgia of their parents.
Still, this is pleasant family entertainment for a popcorn night in front of the flatscreen.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 widescreen picture; English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English 2.0 audio descriptive track and Spanish and French 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles; DVD: 1.85:1 widescreen picture; English, Spanish and French 5.1 Dolby digital and English 2.0 audio descriptive track; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus materials include featurettes on how the film was reimagined from its animation roots to a live-action production, a featurette on young actor Neel Sethi, who plays Mowgli, a behind-the-scenes look at King Louie’s temple and the creation of the “I Wan’na Be Like You” sequence and a commentary track.

Me Before You (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2016, Warner Home Video
Rated: PG-13, mature themes, suggestive material
The lowdown: An optimistic young woman’s sunny disposition is put to the test when she hires on as caregiver and companion for a wheelchair-bound bitter young man, whose active life was cut short by an accident.
The young woman, played by Emilia Clarke, is determined to show her charge, played by Sam Claflin, that life is still worth living.
The two begin a series of adventures that changes their lives as love creeps into the equation.
This is one of those stay-at-home date night movies that go down better with a glass of wine and perhaps some popcorn.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 2.40:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English 5.1 Dolby digital audio descriptive track and French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: A featurette on adapting the film from the best-selling novel, outtakes and deleted scenes comprise the major bonus materials.

Arrow: The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2015-16, Warner Home Video
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: This four-disc set features all 23 fourth-season episodes of the popular CW series based on the DC character.
In season four, Oliver Queen (a k a The Arrow) has left Star City to begin a new life with his longtime girlfriend, Felicity Smoak.
Their peaceful new existence is jarred by the arrival of lawyer-turned-vigilante Laurel Lance and Oliver’s sister, Thea, who recruit him to return to save the city from an evil organization called H.I.V.E., led by Damien Darhk.
Oliver again dons the gear of The Arrow to renew his war on crime.
The set includes a crossover episode with “The Flash” that introduces “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.”
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.78:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and French and Spanish 2.0 Dolby digital; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: The supplemental features include four featurettes: “Star-Crossed Hawks,” “Star-Crossed Hawks: The Hunt for Vandal Savage,” “Smooth Criminal: The Damien Darhk Story” and an “Arrow” 2015 Comic-Con panel, as well as unaired scenes and a gag reel.

NCIS: Los Angeles: Season 7
Details: 2015-16, CBS DVD-Paramount Home Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A six-disc set featuring all 24 episodes from the seventh season of this action-packed “NCIS” franchise series.
Among the highlights of the season are Agent “G” Callen (Chris O’Donnell) learning more about his past and his parents.
Meanwhile, Callen and the rest of his team, Agent Sam Hanna (LL Cool J), Kensi Blye (Daniela Ruah), LAPD Detective Marty Deeks (Eric Christian Olsen), computer genius Eric Beale (Barrett Foa) and expert analyst Nell Jones (Renee Felicia Smith) work to keep their city and country safe from threats, domestic and foreign.
The interplay between the agents, as well as Operations Manager Hetty Lange (Linda Hunt) and Assistant Director Owen Granger (Miguel Ferrer), also keeps the episodes lively.
Technical aspects: 16×9 widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH and Portuguese subtitles.
Don’t miss: Among the extras are an overview of the season with reflections by members of the cast and crew, a look at the celebration of the series’ 150th episode, a behind-the-scenes look at the 175th episode “Revenge Deferred,” a tour of the prop department, a featurette on the visual effects used in the episode “Seventh Son,” a featurette on Callen final meeting his father, a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the real NCIS, deleted scenes and commentary tracks on several episodes.

Shameless: The Complete Sixth Season (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2015, Warner Home Video
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Frank Gallagher and his family return for the sixth season of this series as the Chicago family faces the ups and downs of life with the determination and defiance that has attracted audiences to this Showtime series.
The set features all 12 episodes as the various family members face challenges at work and at home, including the threat of losing their South Side house.
The series stars William H. Macy, Emmy Rossum, Emma Kenney, Jeremy Allen White, Cameron Monaghan and Ethan Cutkosky.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.78:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH and French subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus offerings include deleted scenes, a “Running the Table: A Shameless Conversation featurette and a “Shamelessly Shanola” featurette.

Criminal Minds: Season 11
Details: 2015-16, CBS DVD-Paramount Home Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: The members of the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit go after the worst of the worst in the 22 episodes featured in this six-disc set.
The members of the BAU, Thomas Gibson, Joe Mantegna, Shemar Moore, A.J. Cook, Matthew Gray Gubler, Kirsten Vangsness and Aisha Tyler, risk their lives to stop cunning and deadly hitmen.
The series also details the personal sacrifices of the agents as they work to understand and stop criminal minds.
Technical aspects: 16:9 full-screen picture; English 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: A gag reel, deleted scenes, a featurette with members of the cast and crew looking back at the events that led to the 11th season, a look inside Moore’s final episode, an interview with Tyler about her character, a peek into the most interesting crime stories of the season and commentaries on select episodes comprise the major bonus offerings.

Tab Hunter Confidential (Blu-ray)
Release date: Aug. 23
Details: 2016, Film Rise
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: In the 1950s, Tab Hunter was America’s boy next door, a box office and recording star adored by millions.
He was romantically linked to Debbie Reynolds, Natalie Wood, Sophia Loren and other starlets.
But Hunter was hiding a secret that — in that era — could have ended his career. Hunter was gay.
This feature is based on Hunter’s best-selling memoir, as the actor talks about his career and surviving the cutthroat business of Hollywood.
The film features archival footage and interviews with friends and actors such as Clint Eastwood, George Takei, Robert Wagner, Reynolds, Noah Wyle, Connie Stevens and Robert Osborne.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby digital.
Don’t miss: Additional interview material comprises the major bonus featurettes.

High-Rise (Blu-ray)
Release date: Aug. 2
Details: 2015, Magnolia Home Entertainment
Rated: R, disturbing images, violence, nudity, sexual content, language, drug use
The lowdown: Tom Hiddleston stars as Robert Laing, a well-to-do doctor, who moves into an apartment building designed and owned by Mr. Royal (Jeremy Irons), a rather peculiar individual.
Class distinctions literally divide the high-rise, with the wealthiest residents living on the upper floors and receiving the best amenities, while those on the lower floors routinely experience blackouts and other disruptions.
Soon flaws, physical and sociological, begin popping up in the building, forcing the lower floor residents to revolt and setting off a real class war.
The movie works hard to present itself as a metaphor, and partially succeeds at doing so.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.39:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Among the supplemental materials are a behind-the-scenes look at the special effects, a featurette on building the world of the film, a look at the building’s tenants, a featurette on adapting J.G. Ballard’s novel and a commentary track.

The Strain: The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray)
Release date: Aug. 23
Details: 2015, Fox Home Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: The second season of this monstrous series finds the strange epidemic transforming residents of New York into horrifying and strange creatures continues.
And while two doctors, played by Corey Stoll and Mia Maestro, work diligently to create a biological weapon to destroy the creatures, another ally searches for an ancient book that may hold the secret to defeating the evil “Master” behind the epidemic.
“The Master,” knowing he is hunted, continues to create new and more bloodthirsty monsters.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.78:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and French 5.1 DTS; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include deleted scenes, a behind-the-scenes look at the crew of the series, a gag reel, a “Sentient strigoi” featurette, a “Beyond the Page” featurette, a look at “The White Room” and a commentary on the “Night Train” episode.

The First Monday in May
Release date: Aug. 2
Details: 2016, Magnolia Home Entertainment
Rated: PG-13, language
The lowdown: A documentary that goes behind the scenes of one of New York City’s most glamorous affairs, the Met Gala, sponsored by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The movie looks at the creation of the 2015 gala, which created the theme, “China: Through the Looking Glass.”
The gala is one of the most attended fashion exhibitions in the world. The documentary follows Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief at “Vogue” and the Met Gala chairwoman, and Andrew Bolton, the curator who conceived the show, as they prepare for the evening.
Technical aspects: 1.78:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: An interview with director Andrew Rossi and deleted scenes comprise the major bonus features.

Other Blu-rays and DVDs being released on Tuesday, unless otherwise indicated:
Sunset Song (Magnolia Home Entertainment, Aug. 23)

FOR KIDS
Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir: Spots On (Shout! Kids)

DIGITAL DOWNLOADS AND STREAMING
The Conjuring 2 (Warner Home Video)
Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)
The Neon Demon (Broad Green Pictures)
Viva (Magnolia Home Entertainment)
Halloween Party (Leomark Studios, Sept. 2)
800 Words: Season 1 (Acorn TV, Sept. 5)

Coming next week: Money Monster

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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