New to View: Jan. 31

By Bob Bloom
The following Blu-rays and DVDs are being released on Tuesday, Jan. 31, unless otherwise indicated:

Queen of Katwe (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet HD)
Details: 2016, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Rated: PG, mature themes, suggestive material, accident scene
The lowdown: This family-friendly feature is based on the true story of a young girl from the slums of Uganda whose world is changed when she discovers the game of chess.
Her lessons and subsequent skills at the game, as well as the support of her friends and family, give her confidence, pride and determination to better her life and the lives of those around her.
Newcomer Madina Nalwanga gives an inspirational performance as chess champion Phiona Mutesi. She is ably supported by David Oyelowo and Lupita Nyong’o.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.39:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English 2.0 descriptive audio and French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH, Spanish and French subtitles.
Don’t miss: A featurette telling the stories of the people who helped bring the film to life; a short film by director Mira Nair about chess champion Robert Katenda, who coached Phiona; a behind-the-scenes look with Alicia Keys at her recording of the film’s song; a sing-along with Keys; a music video; deleted scenes; and a commentary track comprise the hours of bonus offerings.

Masterminds (Blu-ray + DVD)
Details: 2016, Fox Home Entertainment
Rated: PG-13, crude and sexual humor, language, violence
The lowdown: Zach Galifianakis heads the cast of this action-comedy caper about an armored-truck driver who is lured into a robbery scheme by a beautiful coworker, played by Kristen Wiig) and her accomplice, Owen Wilson.
The driver improbably succeeds, making off with $17 million. However, his cohorts double cross him, making him the target for the authorities as well as a determined hitman, played by Jason Sudekis.
The movie has some funny moments, but it also is uneven in spots.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 1.78:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH and Spanish subtitles; DVD: 1.78:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: A featurette on the making of the movie and a look at the crime is the major bonus component.

Gimme Danger
Details: 2016, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Rated: R, drug content, language
The lowdown: Filmmaker Jim Jarmusch wrote and directed this documentary about legendary rockers Iggy and the Stooges.
The film is an affectionate look at Michigan-born Iggy Pop and his bandmates, David Alexander, Ron Asheton, Scott Asheton and James Williamson.
The film traces the band’s rise, successes and disintegration. Music, clips and anecdotes abound as you hear from Iggy and several of his contemporaries.
Technical aspects: 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH, English and Spanish subtitles.

Ballers: The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2016, HBO Home Entertainment
Rated: TV-MA, language, sexual situations
The lowdown: A two-disc set featuring the second season of the fun HBO series about retired superstar-turned-financial agent Spencer Strasmore (Dwayne Johnson) and his team as they work to protect their clients’ financial interests — from others as well as themselves.
Strasmore faces competition from Andre (Andy Garcia), who knows the ropes and the rules, but doesn’t mind skirting them.
The series looks at the high-stakes world of pro football and the players who make millions, but find it difficult to keep them.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.78:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French 5.1 DTS digital surround and Spanish 2.0 DTS digital surround; English SDH, French, Spanish, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include “Inside the Episode” bonus segments on all 10 episodes that include interviews with the cast and filmmakers.

The Handmaiden
Release date: Jan. 24
Details: 2016, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Rated: Not rated, nudity, sexual content, graphic violence, language
The lowdown: Korean director Park Chan-wook helmed this stylish period crime drama that creates a labyrinth of lies, deceits and double crosses.
The movie is a sensual tale of two vastly different women — a Japanese lady living on a secluded estate and a low-born Korean woman hired to be her handmaiden.
The handmaiden, though, is secretly plotting with a con man to defraud the lady of her large inheritance.
This lavish thriller will hold you through all its twists and turns until its shocking finale.
Technical aspects: 2.39:1 anamorphic widescreen picture; Korean 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH, English and Spanish subtitles.

Pinocchio: Walt Disney Signature Collection (Blu-ray + DVD + digital HD)
Details: 1940, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Rated: G
The lowdown: One of Disney’s finest animated classics gets a reissue as part of the studio’s new Walt Disney Signature Collection.
The story of a puppet who wants to lose his strings and dreams of being a real boy has entertained children and adults alike for more than 75 years.
Like most early Disney animated features, “Pinocchio” is filled with thrills, specifically the chase with Monstro the whale, and chills, the transformation of the wicked boy, Lampwick into a jackass.
Overall, though, the movie is a story of love, courage and sacrifice and is as exciting today as when it was originally released.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 1.33:1 full-screen picture; English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French 7.1 DTS-HDHR and Spanish 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH, Spanish and French subtitles; DVD: 1.33:1 full-screen picture; English, Spanish and French 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Various behind-the-scenes and archival featurettes from earlier “Pinocchio” releases are included. New extras include a new version of the iconic tune, “When You Wish Upon a Star,” a look at an early concept of Pleasure Island that never made it to the screen, early recordings of Disney discussing the making of the movie and a 1927 Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoon entitled “Poor Papa.”

Jim: The James Foley Story
Release date: Jan. 17
Details: 2016, FilmRise
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A documentary that looks at the life and career of journalist James Foley, who was captured and later executed by ISIS.
The film, made by Foley’s childhood friend, Brian Oakes, travels from Foley’s youth in New England to the front lines of Libya and Syria.
As a journalist, Foley pushed the boundaries of danger to report on the fighting’s impact on civilians.
The movie includes interviews with Foley’s family, friends and colleagues, as well as fellow captives.
Technical aspects: Widescreen picture; English Dolby digital.

Danny Says
Details: 2016, Magnolia Home Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: This documentary looks at the life and career of Danny Fields, who is well known in the music industry for his work with The Doors, Lou Reed, Nico, Judy Collins, The Stooges and MC5.
The movie follows Fields from a Harvard Law dropout to Andy Warhol’s Silver Factory to a job as director of publicity at Elektra Records.
Beyond that, he was a pioneer in the punk music movement.
The film highlights Fields’ ability to spot talent and look ahead at what will eventually trend.
Rock fans and historians will thoroughly enjoy following Fields’ journey.
Technical aspects: 1.78:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus materials include a question-and-answer session with Fields; an audio recording of Fields and Lou Reed; a talk with Michael Alago about Fields and Henry Rollins; other interviews; and an interview with director Brendan Toller.

Bells Are Ringing (Blu-ray)
Release date: Jan. 24
Details: 1960, Warner Archive Collection
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: This feature, directed by the legendary Vincente Minnelli, is one of the last of the great MGM musicals that flourished from the late 1930s through the early 1960s.
The film’s premise is a curio today, dealing with the entanglements of a big-hearted switchboard operator for an answering service.
Judy Holliday reprises her role from the Broadway show, with Dean Martin co-starring as her romantic interest.
Others in the cast include Jean Stapleton and Eddie Foy Jr.
The tunes are catchy, Holliday is bubbly and Martin is funny.
The Blu-ray release is a made-on-demand product from the Warner Archive Collection and can be found at www.wbshop.com or other online retailers.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.35:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include a featurette on the making of the movie, an alternate take on “The Midas Touch” song and outtake musical numbers.

Wait Until Dark (Blu-ray)
Release date: Jan. 24
Details: 1967, Warner Archive Collection
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Audrey Hepburn stars in this thriller, based on the play by Frederick Knott, about Susy, a recently blind woman still learning to cope with a sighted world, who is being threatened by a psychotic killer named Roat — a terrifying Alan Arkin — who believes she has a heroin-stuffed doll in her apartment.
Richard Crenna and Jack Weston play Roat’s henchmen in this cat-and-mouse game that will keep you at the edge of your seat.
The release is a made-on-demand Blu-ray from the Warner Archive Collection and can be found at www.wbshop.com or other Internet sellers.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio monaural; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: The major extra is a conversation between Arkin and producer Mel Ferrer, who was Hepburn’s husband at the time, about the making of the movie.

Poltergeist II: The Other Side: Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray)
Poltergeist III: Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray)
Details: 1986, 1988, Scream Factory
Rated: PG-13, violence, disturbing and frightening images
The lowdown: Unfortunately, these two sequels are inferior to the original and totally unnecessary.
In “Poltergeist II,” the Freeling family has moved into a new house after the supernatural events of the original.
However, the evil spirits of the dead are still determined on luring little Carol Anne to the other side.
“Poltergeist III” finds Carol Anne living with relatives in Chicago, but still being targeted by new and more fierce demonic forces.
The spirits have taken over most of the skyscraper where Carol Anne lives, creating havoc and waiting to strike.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.35:1 widescreen picture (“Poltergeist II”) and 1.85:1 widescreen picture (“Poltergeist III”)’ English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English subtitles.
Don’t miss: “Poltergeist II” extras include two commentary tracks, an interview with Oliver Robins, an interview with the special effects team, a featurette on the contributions of artist H.H. Giger, including an interview with his friend and agent. “Poltergeist III” bonus materials include two commentary tracks, an interview with the film’s screenwriter, an interview with actress Nancy Allen and an interview with the film’s special effects creator.

Other Blu-rays and DVDs being released on Tuesday, unless otherwise indicated:
4th Man Out (FilmRise)
Addicted to Fresno (FilmRise, Jan. 17)
Murder Rap: Inside the Biggie and Tupac Murders (FilmRise, Jan. 17)
Out of Darkness (FilmRise, Jan. 17)
Silicon Cowboys (FilmRise, Jan. 17)
Yoga Hosers (Blu-ray + DVD + digital HD) (Invincible Pictures, Jan. 17)

DIGITAL DOWNLOADS and STREAMING
The Edge of Seventeen (Universal Studios Home Entertainment)
Two Lovers and a Bear (Fox Home Entertainment)

Coming next week: Vice Principals: 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 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.

  • ReelBob

    A based-on-true-events family film leads new releases. Let us know which titles intrigue you.