New to View: April 25

By Bob Bloom

The following Blu-rays and DVDs are being released on Tuesday, April 25, unless otherwise noted:
Rumble Fish: Special Edition (Blu-ray)
Details: 1983, The Criterion Collection
Rated: R, language, violence
The lowdown: After doing “The Outsiders,” Francis Ford Coppola returned to the works of young adult novelist S.E. Hinton to present “Rumble Fish,” a story of estrangement and reconciliation between two brothers, set in Tulsa, Okla.
Shot in black and white, with visuals that reflect the German expressionism movement, “Rumble Fish” stars Matt Dillon, Mickey Rourke and Diane Lane, along with Dennis Hopper, Diana Scarwid, young Larry (Laurence) Fishburne, Nicolas Cage and Sofia Coppola, as well as Christopher Penn and Tom Waits.
The movie, while a bit muddled and pretentious, features an intense percussive score by Stewart Copeland.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 and 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio surround; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus offerings include a commentary track with Coppola; interviews with Coppola, Hinton, associate producer Roman Coppola, Dillon and Lane; a conversation between director of photography Stephen H. Burum and production designer Dean Tavoularis; an archival featurette about the score and production with Dillon, Lane, Spano and producer Doug Claybourne; a 1984 French television interview with Rourke; a 2013 documentary about the impact of the movie; a featurette about the film’s existential elements; deleted scenes; a music video; and an essay by critic Glenn Kenny.

Peanuts by Schulz: Go Team Go!
Details: 2017, Warner Home Video
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: This two-disc set features 19 sports-themed episodes from the newly launched “Peanuts” cable TV series.
Whether it’s baseball, football or some other sport, Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus and the rest of the gang receive lessons about the values of friendship, being a team player, winning and losing.
The episodes are based on Charles Schulz’s legendary comic strip.
To be clear, I must state that “Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the DVD I reviewed in this blog post. The opinions I share are my own.”
Technical aspects: Widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby digital surround; English SDH subtitles.

The Vampire Bat (Blu-ray)
Details: 1933, The Film Detective
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: The success of Universal’s “Dracula” in 1931 spurred a series of vampire-related movies, mostly from small, independent studios.
One of the best was “The Vampire Bat,” a 1933 low-budget release starring Lionel Atwill, Melvyn Douglas and Fay Wray.
The story is set in a small European village where bodies are turning up drained of blood. The superstitious villagers suspect a vampire is at large.
They immediately focus on Herman Gleib, the legendary Dwight Frye, the village idiot who has an affinity for bats. But when Herman is killed and the murders continue, the frustrated police inspector Karl Brettschneider (Douglas) does not know where to turn.
The outcome involves a mad scientist and his susceptible-to-hypnosis assistant.
This is one of the better vampire features of the era with a fine cast that keeps the short 63-minute running time moving.
The movie has been restored by the UCLA Film & Television Archive.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 1.33:1 full-screen picture; English Dolby digital; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: The major extras include an interview with Douglas’ son, Gregory Hesselberg and a commentary track with film historian Sam Sherman.

Tampopo: Special Edition (Blu-ray)
Details: 1985, The Criterion Collection
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: This highly-acclaimed Japanese feature centers on food.
The story follows a truck driver who helps a widow make her noodle shop a successful venture.
The movie ventures into satire in the way that it shows how social conventions distort such natural functions as our appetites.
The movie is a homage to the sensual joys of nourishment and the joys of food.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 widescreen picture; Japanese LPCM monaural; English subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus materials include a 1986, 90-minute documentary on the making of the movie, an interview with actor Nobuko Miyamoto, interviews with various food stylists, ramen scholars and chefs, a 1962 short film by “Tampopo’s” director, a video essay about the movie’s themes of self-improvement and mastery of a craft and an essay about the film.

Mars (Blu-ray)
Release date: April 11
Details: 2016, Fox Home Entertainment
Rated: TV-PG
The lowdown: This National Geographic event, set in 2033, follows an international crew of astronauts on the first manned voyage to Mars.
The mission is the colonize the planet.
The docudrama blends scripted drama, documentary sequences and top-notch visual effects.
It also features some of today’s best thinkers who are working on getting mankind to Mars, including Elon Musk, Neil deGrasse Tyson and Stephen Petranek.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.78:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and Spanish and French 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH, Spanish and French subtitles.
Don’t miss: The set features more than two hours of extras, including a making of featurette, a “Before Mars” prequel; a “Before Mars” behind-the-scenes, featurettes on getting to Mars, featurettes on living on Mars, behind-the-scenes featurettes and cast and crew interviews.

Brother Can You Spare a Dime? (Blu-ray)
Release date: April 11
Details: 1975, The Sprocket Vault
Rated: PG, disturbing images
The lowdown: This movie chronicles events in the United States from the Wall Street crash of 1929 to the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.
The documentary looks at the Great Depression through newsreel footage, but relies heavily on movies of the day, especially those of Warner Bros. featuring James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart and other stars.
The films highlighted mostly are musical and gangster features that mirror the temperament of the times and the country.
The Dust Bowl, the march of workers striking to gain the right to unionize and the politics of the era — especially the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt to the presidency and his creation of such program as the NRA, also are covered.
This Blu-ray is being sold exclusively through Amazon.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.37: full-screen picture; English 2.0 Dolby digital; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus features include a series of Pathe Newsreels from the 1930s.

The Rounders (Blu-ray)
Release date: April 18
Details: 1965, Warner Archive Collection
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Henry Fonda and Glenn Ford star in this modern comedy-Western about a pair of veteran bronco riders who are tasked with taking a high-strung, ornery roan named Old Fooler and gentle him down.
When they find the task nearly impossible, they hit upon a money-making plan to enter the horse in the rodeo and make money by betting that no one can stay atop Old Fooler, either.
Western veteran director Burt Kennedy, who also wrote the script, is behind the camera. The film costars Sue Ane Langdon, Hope Holiday and Western veterans Chill Wills and Edgar Buchanan.
The release is a Blu-ray on demand from the Warner Archive Collection and can be found at www.wb.com/warnerarchive, or other online retailers.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.35:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio monaural; English SDH subtitles.

The Mysterious Airman
Release date: April 18
Details: 1928, The Sprocket Vault
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: This 1928, 10-chapter serial captures the fascination with aviation that gripped the nation during the Roaring 20s and into the 1930s.
Walter Miller, who starred in several silent serials, plays Jack Baker, the head of Baker Airways, who turns detective to discover and hunt down the person responsible for destroying his airplanes.
Miller, aided by his fiancé, Shirley, sets out the capture the air pirates, headed by the mysterious Pilot X.
The serial has been restored from the only surviving 35mm print. Some missing footage, because of nitrate decomposition, from chapter nine, reel one, has been supplanted by stills and titles.
Henry Revier, who directed hundreds of low-budget serials and B-Westerns in the silent and sound eras, was behind the camera.
The DVD release is an Amazon exclusive.
Technical aspects: 1.33:1 full-screen picture; Dolby digital 2.0 musical score, English intertitles.
Don’t miss: Supplemental materials include a 1928 short, “Flying Cadets,” a commentary with film historian and author Richard M. Roberts, a New York Censor Board file on the film and original lobby card and posters.

Caltiki, the Immortal Monster (Blu-ray + DVD)
Details: 1959, Arrow Video
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Two legends of Italian cult cinema — Mario Bava and Ricardo Freda — collaborated on this creature feature set in Mexico.
The movie was one of those that featured a threatening amorphous blob such as those found in, of course, “The Blob,” as well as “X the Unknown” and “Enemy From Space.”
In his famous book about science fiction films of the 1950s and early 1960s, legendary author Bill Warren noted that “Caltiki” was “somewhat overplotted” and that the “cut American release … spared (viewers) the worst excesses the film had to offer.”
The plot deals with a group of scientists investigating a Mayan temple where, in a cave beneath the temple, the encounter the titular character, who devours one of their party and injures another.
Of course, in the end, Caltiki, is destroyed and the world is saved.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 1.66:1 picture; Italian and English LPCM monaural; English SDH and English subtitles; DVD: 1.66:1 picture; English and Italian LPCM monaural; English SDH and English subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include alternate opening titles for the U.S. version of the movie, an archival introduction with critic Stefano Della Casa, an archival interview on the origin of the film with filmmaker Luigi Cozzi, an interview with Della Casa about Freda, a discussion with author and critic Kim Newman about the influence of classic monster movies on “Caltiki,” two commentary tracks and a collector’s booklet with essays about the film.

Django, Prepare a Coffin (Blu-ray + DVD)
Details:1968, Arrow Video
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Django was a mainstay character of spaghetti Westerns, being portrayed by various actors through the years.
In this feature, Terence Hill stars as the gunfighter who is employed by a local crooked boss as a hangman to execute locals who are framed by his employer, who wants their land.
The big boss doesn’t know that Django is double crossing him, faking the hangings and using the men he saves to form his own gang to take revenge on the big boss, who years earlier with his best friend, caused the death of Django’s wife.
This is a fun Western, though not on the epic scale of the Sergio Leone features from the same era.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 1.66:1 picture; Italian and English LPCM monaural; English SDH and English subtitles; DVD: 1.66:1 picture; Italian and English LPCM monaural; English SDH and English subtitles.
Don’t miss: An interview with spaghetti Western expert Kevin Grant about the Django character is the major bonus offering.

The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave (Blu-ray)
Release date: April 18
Details: 1971, Arrow Video
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: This Italian horror outing — part of the popular giallo boom of the early 1970s — centers on a British nobleman released from a psychiatric clinic after the death of his wife.
He comes to believe she is still alive after finding her crypt empty. This is a rather humdrum outing in which you can easily figure out where the story is heading.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.35:1 widescreen picture; English and Italian DTS-HD Master Audio monaural; English SDH and English subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include archival and new interviews and a commentary track.

Detour (Blu-ray)
Details: 2017, Magnolia Home Entertainment
Rated: R, graphic violence, nudity, sexual content, language, drug use
The lowdown: A law student suspects that his stepfather was responsible for the accident that put his mother in a coma.
Harper (Tye Sheridan) is a good guy, but he begins drowning his sorrow in booze. He ends up drinking with Johnny Ray (Emory Cohen), a redneck who offers to take care of the stepdad.
Sobering up, Harper realizes what he has done, and wants Johnny Ray to reconsider.
But the young man and his companion refuse, causing Harper to tag along with them as they head to Las Vegas for a showdown.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.39:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: A featurette on the film’s characters as well as the filmmakers, interviews with Sheridan and director Christopher Smith and deleted scenes comprise the major supplemental components.

Other Blu-rays and DVDs being released on Tuesday, unless otherwise indicated:
Animal Kingdom: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray) (Warner Home Video-TNT)
Catfight (Blu-ray) (Dark Sky Films)
Three Brothers (Blu-ray + DVD) (Arrow Academy)
The Assassin (Blu-ray + DVD) (Arrow Academy, April 18)
The Red Queen Kills Seven Times (Blu-ray) (Arrow Video, April 18)

DIGITAL DOWNLOADS and STREAMING
50 Shades Darker (Universal Studios Home Entertainment)

Coming next week: The Red Turtle

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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