New to View: April 4
By Bob Bloom
The following Blu-rays and DVDs are being released on Tuesday, April 4, unless otherwise noted:
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Blu-ray + DVD + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2016, Lucasfilms Ltd.
Rated: PG-13, extended sequences of sci-fi violence and action
The lowdown: The newest movie in the iconic “Star Wars” universe looks back on a time before we encountered Luke Skywalker or Han Solo.
This exciting, thrilling and captivating science-fiction adventure takes place during a time when the Rebel Alliance is fractured and the evil Galactic Empire is building a new weapon — the Death Star — to maintain order in the galaxy.
The movie, directed by Gareth Edwards, is reminiscent of those behind-the-lines World War II thrillers, such as “The Dirty Dozen” or “The Guns of Navarone,” in which a small group must defeat overwhelming odds to complete a nearly impossible mission.
“Rogue One” is a blast, filled with action, drama, heart and darkness.
What makes “Rogue One” so refreshing, especially within the “Star Wars” canon, is that it’s totally self-contained.
A group of disparate characters unite to steal the plans for the Death Star — that was built with a flaw, which we know from “Star Wars: A New Hope” — and get the plans to the Alliance and help its cause.
The movie is rousing action that looks and sounds great on home entertainment systems.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 2.39:1 widescreen picture; English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English 2.0 Dolby digital descriptive audio and Spanish and French 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH, Spanish and French subtitles; DVD: 2.39:1 widescreen picture; English, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby digital and English 2.0 Dolby digital descriptive audio; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Hours of bonus materials including a look at the conception and making of the film, profiles of major characters, a look at the evil Galactic Empire, behind-the-scenes looks at recreating Princess Leia and Governor Tarkin and an epilogue as the story continues.
Story of Sin (Blu-ray)
Release date: March 28
Details: 1975, Arrow Video
Rated: Not rated, sexual situations
The lowdown: A drama about a beautiful, young and pious woman whose life is thrown into chaos when her parents take in a handsome and suave lodger.
After the two begin a passionate affair, the lodger leaves to get a divorce from his estranged wife.
The impatient young woman, yearning for her lover, recklessly leaves home. But, she falls prey to the infatuations and lustful intentions of a band of noble admirers and others.
The movie is a surreal mediation on the power and dangers of love.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.66:1 picture; Polish stereo; English subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include an interview about the director, another with the movie’s star, a discussion about the film’s score and use of music and a booklet with writings about the movie.
Vitaphone Varieties: Volume Three: 1928-1929 (DVD-R)
Release date: March 21
Details: 1928-29, Warner Archive Collection
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: This third collection of vaudeville and other sound shorts feature many Broadway and stage stars of the era.
The set includes music by Ben Bernie and His Orchestra, Jewish comedian-character actress Molly Picon, Horace Heidt and His Californians, tennis star Bobbie Arnst and others.
These shorts helped popularize sound, making it acceptable to audiences who then began craving feature-length sound movies, which forced many theaters that were slow to convert from silent films to add the equipment needed to project “the talkies.
The release is a made-on-demand DVD-R from the Warner Archive Collection and can be found at www.wbshop.com or other online retailers.
Technical aspects: 1.37:1 (4×3) full-screen picture; English Dolby digital monaural.
Property Is No Longer a Theft (Blu-ray)
Release date: March 28
Details: 1973, Arrow Academy
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Capitalism is the target in this dark satire from Italian filmmaker Elio Petri.
The story centers on a young bank clerk who, denied a loan by his employer, decides to exact his revenge by targeting the local butcher, one of the bank’s best customers.
The clerk quits his job and begins tormenting the butcher, stealing his possessions one at a time, including his mistress.
The movie features an outstanding score by the legendary Ennio Morricone, which abets this comic look at a corrupt society.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 widescreen picture; Italian LPCM monaural; English subtitles.
Don’t miss: Supplemental materials include an interviews with the movie’s make-up artist, lead actor and producer and a booklet with essays about the movie.
DIGITAL DOWNLOADS and STREAMING
The Bounce Back (Fox Home Entertainment)
Generation Found (Broad Green Pictures)
Split (Universal Studios Home Entertainment)
Aftermath (Lionsgate Home Entertainment, April 7)
Bethany (Uncork’d Entertainment, April 7)
The Art Detectives (Acorn TV, April 10)
Murdoch Mysteries: Season 10, Episode 16 (Acorn TV, April 10)
Rake: Series 2 (Acorn TV, April 10)
Trust (Acorn TV, April 10)
The Young Pope (HBO Home Entertainment, April 10)
Coming next week: The Bye Bye Man
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can follow Bloom on Twitter @ReelBobBloom and on Facebook. Movie reviews by Bloom also can be found at Rottentomatoes: www.rottentomatoes.com.