New to View: Nov. 8

By Bob Bloom

The following  Blu-rays and DVDs are being released on Tuesday, Nov. 8, unless otherwise noted:
Indignation (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2016, Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Rated: R, sexual content, language
The lowdown: “Indignation” is a very literate and compelling drama that is based on a Philip Roth novel.
Its major flaw is that writer-director James Shamus tries to cover too much ground as he tells the story of Marcus Messner, an intense young man from New Jersey, who seems to always have a chip on his shoulder.
Marcus (Logan Lerman) is given a scholarship to a small, conservative Ohio college, becoming the first in his family to attend a university.
Shamus touches upon the social and sexual mores as well as the political and religious climate of the early 1950s.
At times, the movie is the cinematic equivalent of throwing spaghetti on the wall to see what sticks.
Despite its flaws, the movie’s performances make it well worth viewing.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH, English and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus materials include a featurette, “Timeless: Connecting the Past to the Present,” and another on adapting Roth for the screen.

Morris From America (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2016, Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Rated: R, sexual situations, nudity, teen drug use and partying, language
The lowdown: A coming-of-age comedy about 13-year-old Morris (Markees Christmas, making his feature film debut), who has just moved to Heidelberg, Germany, with his single dad (Craig Robinson).
Morris considers himself a hip-hop artist, the next Notorious B.I.G. In Germany, however, he is a fish out of water who finds it a challenge to navigate his new environment.
Complicating matters is a cool 15-year-old classmate on whom Morris develops a crush.
Despite many obstacles, Morris sets out to conquer the hip-hop world and win the girl of his dreams.
This is a sweet and poignant comedy about adolescence and dreams.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus offerings include a making of featurette, a deleted scene, bloopers, casting tapes and a commentary track.

Nine Lives (Blu-ray + DVD + digital HD)
Release date: Nov. 1
Rated: PG, mature themes, rude humor, language
The lowdown: This movie is not a cat-astrophe, but it is not as funny as its premise would indicate.
Kevin Spacey plays Tom Brand, a workaholic billionaire whose lifestyle has cut him off from his wife and daughter.
Hoping to grow closer to his daughter, Rebecca, Tom buys her a cat for her birthday.
However, a bizarre event lands Tom in the cat’s body, where he must prove he can be a loving dad and husband or spend the rest of his nine lives in the feline.
Barry Sonnenfeld, who directed the “Men in Black” films, helmed this comedy, which received a poor 11 percent positive rating at Rottentomatoes.com.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1.85:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH and Spanish subtitles; DVD: 1.85:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include a making of featurette and another on Russian for herding cats.

Bubba Ho-Tep: Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray)
Details: 2003, Scream Factory
Rated: R, violence, sexual content, language
The lowdown: This delightful cult favorite stars Bruce Campbell as an aging Elvis and Ossie Davis as JFK, who are residents of a Texas retirement home.
When mysterious deaths begin to mount at the facility, the two unite to battle a 3,000-year-old Egyptian mummy who loves cowboy boots, bathroom graffiti and, most of all, sucking the souls from the elderly.
The movie is a hoot, with winning performances by Campbell and Davis.
The film, based on a short story by Joe R. Lansdale, was adapted and directed by Don Coscarelli (“Phantasm”).
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English subtitles.
Don’t miss: A bevy of extras include interviews with Campbell, Coscarelli and others, three commentary tracks, deleted scenes, a making of featurette, a featurette on the mummy make-up and effects, a behind-the-scenes look at costuming Elvis, a featurette on the music, a music video and a reading by Lansdale from his story.

The Killing of America (Blu-ray)
Details: 1981, Severin Films
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: This controversial documentary about violence in the United States was briefly shown in New York in 1982, then shelved.
Unearthed 35 years later, the movie provides a disturbing look at crime, equating violence with economic and racial discrimination as well as the proliferation of weapons in the U.S.
The movie is quite graphic and disturbing. It contains interviews with law-enforcement officials and criminals, including Sirhan Sirhan, the assassin of Robert Kennedy.
The Blu-ray also includes a Japanese version of the film, entitled “Violence USA,” that contains footage unavailable in the American version.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, English and Japanese 2.0 Dolby digital; English subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include interviews with director Sheldon Renan, editor Lee Percy and Mondo Movie historian Nick Pinkerton as well as a commentary track with Renan.

Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze (Blu-ray)
Release date: Nov. 1
Details: 1975, Warner Archive Collection
Rated: G
The lowdown: This was the first film adaptation of Kenneth Robeson’s classic pulp fiction character, the subject of about 180 magazine and book adventures.
In the movie, Doc, portrayed by television Tarzan, Ron Ely, and his Fabulous Five comrades, travel to South America to investigate the death of Doc’s father.
The movie has a campy, tongue-in-cheek vibe, partly due to a musical score comprised of marches by John Phillip Sousa.
The release is a made-on-demand Blu-ray from the Warner Archive Collection and can be found at www.wbshop.com or other online sellers.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 widescreen picture; English 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio monaural; English SDH subtitles.

The Lost Bladesman
Release date: Nov. 1
Details: 2013, Anchor Bay Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Donnie Yen stars in this historical action drama set in ancient China during the tumultuous time of the Three Kingdoms.
Gen. Cao Cao, the power behind the emperor, wants to unify the country. To do so, he enlists the help of the greatest warrior in all the kingdoms, Guan Yu (Yen).
A conflict ensues since Guan Yu is a trusted friend to Liu Bei, Cao Cao’s mortal enemy.
The general takes Guan Yu’s beloved Qi Lan hostage as leverage to make him fight.
After helping the general attain victory and reuniting with Qi Lan, the two set out to rejoin Liu Bei.
Cao Cao, however, deems Guan Yu a great threat, and sends forces to destroy him.
The film is loaded with action as well as intrigue.
Technical aspects: 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen picture; Mandarin 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH, English and Spanish subtitles.

The Initiation (Blu-ray)
Details: 1984, Arrow Video
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Daphne Zuniga (“Spaceballs”) stars in this college-based slasher-stalker feature as a sorority pledge whose initiation includes breaking in to her father’s department store.
Things go bad, as they do in such features, when the sorority sisters find themselves trapped in a gigantic mall where a deadly intruder begins hunting them.
The feature was part of a niche genre that included such titles as “The House on Sorority Row” and “The Multilator.”
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 widescreen picture; English LPCM monaural; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include interviews with cast members Christopher Bradley and Joy Jones, a commentary track and a booklet with writings about the film.

Reign of Assassins
Release date: Nov. 1
Details: 2016, Anchor Bay Entertainment
Rated: R, violence
The lowdown: A martial arts action thriller set in ancient China and starring Michelle Yeoh as an infamous assassin on a mission to return the remains of a mystical Buddhist monk to their resting place.
Since the remains are believed to hold a powerful secret, conflicts arise.
Among those is the blossoming love affair between the assassin and a young man whose father was killed by her gang.
The young man also happens to be a martial arts expert.
Despite the tension between the two, they must unite to protect the remains from a team of assassins that covet them.
Technical aspects: 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen picture; Mandarin 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH, English and Spanish subtitles.

Other Blu-rays and DVDs being released on Tuesday, unless otherwise indicated:
Band of Robbers (FilmRise-MVD Visual Entertainment)
Being Evel (FilmRise-MVD Visual Entertainment)
Boonville Redemption (Engine 15 Media Group-MVD Visual Entertainment)
Turn: Washington’s Spies: The Complete Third Season (Anchor Bay Entertainment)

FOR KIDS
Snowtime! (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + digital) (Shout! Kids)

DIGITAL DOWNLOADS and STREAMING
Call of Heroes (Well Go USA Entertainment)
Con Man (Fox Home Entertainment)
Don’t Breathe (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)
Frosty the Snowman (Fox Home Entertainment)
Frosty the Snowman Holiday Collection (Fox Home Entertainment)
Hell or High Water (Lionsgate Home Entertainment)
The Little Drummer Boy (Fox Home Entertainment)
Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol (Fox Home Entertainment)
The Original Christmas Classics Bundle (Fox Home Entertainment)
Pencils Down (Lucky Coffee Productions-Random Media)
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (Fox Home Entertainment)
Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town (Fox Home Entertainment)
USS Indianapolis: The Legacy (Gravitas Ventures)
Veggie Tales: Merry Larry & The True Light of Christmas (Fox Home Entertainment)
Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie (Fox Home Entertainment, Nov. 11)
War Dogs (Warner Home Video, Nov. 11)
Close to the Enemy (Acorn TV, Nov. 14)

Coming next week: Finding Dory
Game of Thrones: The Complete Sixth 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 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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