New to View: March 14

By Bob Bloom
The following Blu-rays and DVDs are being released on Tuesday, March 14, unless otherwise noted:
Collateral Beauty
(Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2016, Warner Home Video
Rated: PG-13, adult themes, strong language
The lowdown: If you like cheap, artificial and manipulative sentimentality than this is the movie for you.
It is unimaginable to understand the pain and suffering a parent must go through after the loss of a child, which is what makes “Collateral Beauty” such an emotionally disgusting feature.
The cynical and insincere fashions in which the film deals with grief are unpardonable and outrageous.
So many aspects of the film are so phony that you can easily create a laundry list of shortcomings.
The movie also is simplistic and predictable: You know everything that is going to happen within the first 10 minutes.
And that is a shame because the movie features a stellar cast, including Will Smith, Helen Mirren, Edward Norton, Kate Winslet, Keira Knightley, Michael Pena and Naomi Harris.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.40:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English 5.1 descriptive audio and French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: The primary bonus feature is a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the movie.

Jackie (Blu-ray + DVD + digital HD)
Release date: March 7
Details: 2016, Fox Home Entertainment
Rated: R, graphic violence, language
The lowdown: No one encapsulated the life of celebrity — of living in that public fishbowl — as much as Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
This private woman was thrust into a whirlwind life of politics and campaigning after marrying up-and-coming politician John F. Kennedy, who rose from Massachusetts senator to president of the United States.
After her husband was elected, she decided to add some class and culture to the “people’s house,” making it her mission to heighten sophistication and art through example.
The assassination of John F. Kennedy threw a very glaring spotlight on this quiet woman, thrusting her into the public eye in a manner never before experienced by any first lady.
And, that, basically is where we meet her in “Jackie,” which is not a biopic, but a character study of a woman in turmoil — trying to maintain her dignity and secrecy, preserve her husband’s legacy, take care of her young children and get on with a life that has been cruelly and brutally interrupted — all under the scrutiny of an inquisitive and curious public and media.
As portrayed by Natalie Portman, Jacqueline Kennedy is a soft-spoken woman with a backbone of steel who is determined to do things her way.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 1.66:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English 5.1 descriptive audio and Spanish 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH, Spanish and French subtitles; DVD: 1.66:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby digital and descriptive audio and Spanish 2.0 Dolby digital; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus offerings include a featurette on the making of the movie and a look at Portman’s portrayal and a commentary track.

45 Years: Special Edition (Blu-ray)
Release date: March 7
Details: 2015, The Criterion Collection
Rated: R, language, sexual content
The lowdown: Veteran actors Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay star in this dark drama about a couple of the eve of celebrating their 45th wedding anniversary when a letter to Courtenay’s Geoff shakes the foundation of their relationship.
The letter tells Geoff that the body of his first love has been discovered, frozen and preserved in an icy glacier in the Swiss Alps.
Geoff and Rampling’s Kate go about their daily lives, doing their usual mundane routine.
But the letter unearths cracks in their marriage that, by the time the anniversary celebration arrives, the couple may have little to celebrate.
This is a slowly-paced feature that is carried by the performances of these two longtime British stars.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus offerings include a commentary track, interviews with Rampling, Courtenay, director Andrew Haigh, producer Tristan Goligher, editor Jonathan Alberts and director of photography Loi Crawley, an interview with author David Constantine, whose short story was the basis for the film, and an essay about the movie.

For the Love of Spock
Details: 2016, FilmRise
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Adam Nimoy made this documentary about his famous father, Leonard, the beloved Mr. Spock of “Star Trek,” and his influence on people and culture.
This tribute to a father by his son includes interviews with William Shatner, Zachary Quinto, JJ Abrams and astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson.
The feature looks at Nimoy’s life and career.
Technical aspects: Widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby digital; English, Spanish, German, Japanese, Russian and French subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include a Boston TV special about Nimoy, a commentary track, a “Star Trek” trivia featurette with Jason Alexander, an on-set at “The Big Bang Theory” featurette and a Tribeca question-and-answer session with Adam Nimoy and Quinto.

Solace (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2017, Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Rated: R, graphic violence, bloody images, sexual content, nudity, language
The lowdown: Anthony Hopkins, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Colin Farrell and Abbie Cornish star in this thriller about a serial killer and the psychic who is helping the FBI find him.
Morgan is the FBI agent who turns to his clairvoyant colleague, Hopkins, to help in the case after three bodies turn up with identical wounds and cryptic notes near the murder scenes.
Farrell, of course, plays the killer in this tense, cat-and-mouse feature.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.40:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH, English and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: A making of featurette and a commentary track are the major bonus components.

Firestarter: Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray)
Details: 1984, Scream Factory
Rated: R, graphic violence, language
The lowdown: A very young Drew Barrymore stars in this adaptation of the Stephen King novel about a “Charlie,” a little girl who can start fires with simply a glance.
An evil government agency, “The Shop,” wants to control “Charlie” and harness her powers. The Shop uses “Charlie’s” love for her dad, played by David Keith, to pressure her into conducting experiments for them.
The cast includes Martin Sheen, George C. Scott and Roscoe Lee Brown as the evil Shop representatives. The cast also includes Art Carney and Louise Fletcher.
A score by Tangerine Dream helps move the film along.
If you like to see people incinerated, then “Firestarter” is your cup of tea.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.35:1 widescreen picture; English DTS-HD Master Audio; English subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus offerings include a commentary track and interviews with cast members and filmmakers.

Red Dawn: Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray)
Details: 1984, Shout! Factory
Rated: PG-13, violence, language
The lowdown: John Milius directed this fantasy that looks at what could have happened if the Cold War turned hot.
The movie follows a group of Colorado high school students who wage a guerrilla war against invading troops, including Russians, who have occupied their home town.
Patrick Swayze leads the small band, which includes Charlie Sheen, C. Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson and Jennifer Grey.
The adults in the cast include Harry Dean Stanton, Ben Johnson, Powers Booth, William Smith and Ron O’Neal.
The movie utilizes several World War II clichés, but, nevertheless has become a cult favorite.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include a new featurette that looks back on the making of the movie and its impact and archival featurettes that go behind-the-scenes with the cast and crew.

Other Blu-rays and DVDs being released on Tuesday, unless otherwise indicated:
Country Crush (Blu-ray) (Shout! Factory)

DIGITAL DOWNLOADS and STREAMING
A Monster Calls (Universal Studios Home Entertainment)
Harry Benson: Shoot First (Magnolia Home Entertainment)
Miss Sloane (Fox Home Entertainment)
Psychos (Leomark Studios, March 17)
Striking Out (Acorn TV, March 17)

Coming next week: Sing

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

    Check out the latest Blu-ray and DVD releases. Share with other readers which ones appeal to you.