New to View: May 16

By Bob Bloom
The following Blu-rays and DVDs are being released on Tuesday, May 16, unless otherwise noted:
The Space Between Us (Blu-ray + DVD + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2017, Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Rated: PG-13, language, sexual content
The lowdown: Asa Butterfield stars as Gardner Elliot, who has lived his entire life in a colony on Mars.
His mother was an astronaut who gave birth to him on the Red Planet. Gardner has spent his entire life living among the scientists on the planet.
For years, he has longed to visit Earth and find the father he has never known and meet Tulsa (Britt Robertson), a girl he met online.
When Gardner’s chance to visit Earth finally arrives, doctors discover the teen’s heart cannot withstand the Earth’s atmosphere.
Despite the danger, Gardner and Tulsa embark on a cross-country trek to find his father before time runs out for the teenager.
This mish-mash of science fiction and teen-age star-crossed lovers was dismissed by critics, who gave it a 17 percent fresh rating at Rottentomatoes.com, because of its clichés and schmaltz.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 2.40:1 widescreen picture; English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English SDH and Spanish subtitles; DVD: 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus offerings include an alternate ending, a love featurette, deleted scenes and a commentary track.

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2016, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Rated: R, graphic violence
The lowdown: Milla Jovovich returns as Alice in this sequel that picks up where “Resident Evil: Retribution” left off.
Alice is mankind’s last stand against the undead. To save humanity, she must return to where the nightmare started — The Hive in Raccoon City, where the Umbrella Corp. is gathering its army for a final strike against the survivors of the apocalypse.
The movie is a fitting finale for those who have followed the series from its inception.
While the movie received a tepid 33 percent fresh rating at Rottentomatoes.com, a few critics singled out Jovovich’s performance as being one of the feature’s saving graces.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.40:1 widescreen picture; English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, Portuguese 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and English audio description track and French, Spanish and Thai 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH, English, Cantonese, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), French, Indonesian/Bahasa, Korean, Malay, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai and Vietnamese subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus offerings include a featurette with Jovovich and director Paul W.S. Anderson breaking down key moments and discussing the franchise; a look at the movie’s stunt work and weaponry; a behind-the-scenes look at The Hive; a featurette on the women of “Resident Evil”; and a sneak peek at “Resident Evil: Vendetta.”

Willard (Blu-ray + DVD)
Ben (Blu-ray + DVD)
Details: 1971, 1972, Scream Factory
Rated: PG, violence
The lowdown: The real stars of these two movies are the rat wranglers. If both were remade today, probably CGI rats would be used.
But this was the early 1970s, so it was real rats or perhaps animatronic substitutes. Either way, props to the cast members who had to interact with these rodents — trained as they were (the rats, not the actors).
Bruce Davison stars as Willard in this 1971 feature, who lives with his ailing mother — played by the great Elsa Lanchester — in a crumbling, old house.
Willard works at a factory once owned by his father. The business was stolen by the crass and cruel Al Martin (Academy Award-winner Ernest Borgnine), who works Willard to death.
On the verge of a breakdown, Willard makes friends with one of the many rats that infest his dilapidated old house. He names his new friend Ben.
Willard quickly learns that he can communicate with Ben, and that the rodent will do his bidding. He then embarks on a deadly campaign to use Ben and his fellow rodents to exact revenge.
In the follow-up, “Ben,” a detective, played by Joseph Campanella, learns that the rats that killed Willard in the previous feature, are now an organized army led by Ben.
Campanella sets out to destroy the rodents before things get too out of hand. The movie features the Oscar-nominated theme song, sung by Michael Jackson.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 widescreen picture; English DTS-HD Master Audio; DVD: 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen picture; English Dolby digital monaural.
Don’t miss: “Willard” extras include a commentary track and interview with Davison, while “Ben” features a commentary track and interview with costar Lee Montgomery.

Seven Days in May (Blu-ray)
Release date: May 9
Details: 1964, Warner Archive Collection
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: John Frankenheimer directed this excellent adaptation of Fletcher Knebel and Charles W. Bailey II’s Cold War-novel about an attempted military overthrow of the United States government initiated by a nuclear disarmament treaty with the Soviet Union.
Burt Lancaster stars as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff leading the coup, while Kirk Douglas stars as his aide who uncovers the plot.
The all-star cast also includes Fredric March as the president, Edmund O’Brien as a senator, Martin Balsam as the president’s chief of staff, Ava Gardner as Lancaster’s former mistress and, in his film debut, John Houseman as a naval admiral with a secret.
An excellent script by Rod Serling keeps you in suspense.
The release is a made-on-demand Blu-ray from the Warner Archive Collection and can be found at www.wb.com/warnerarchive or other online retailers.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.78:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio monaural; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: A commentary track with Frankenheimer is the major bonus offering.

The Loved One (Blu-ray)
Release date: May 9
Details: 1965, Warner Archive Collection
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: An all-star cast is featured in this black comedy-satire about the funeral business, based on Evelyn Waugh’s novel, adapted by Terry Southern and Christopher Isherwood and directed by Tony Richardson.
A relative’s death puts the focus on a burial, in which greed, chicanery, religion and mother love take center stage
The movie was advertised as having something to offend everyone, and that basically holds true even today.
The highlight of the film is Rod Steiger’s performance as Mr. Joyboy.
The cast also includes Robert Morse, Robert Morley, Jonathan Winters, Anjanette Comer, Milton Berle, John Gielgud, Tab Hunter, Dana Andrews, Liberace, Roddy McDowall and Barbara Nichols.
The release is a made-on-demand Blu-ray from the Warner Archive Collection and can be ordered at www.wb.com/warnerarchive or other online sellers.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.78:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio monaural.
Don’t miss:
A look at the making of the movie is the main bonus feature.

Streets of Fire: Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray)
Details: 1984, Shout! Factory
Rated: PG, violence
The lowdown: Walter Hill co-wrote and directed this action, rock ‘n’ roll fable centers on the kidnapping of diva Ellen Aim (Diane Lane) by the Bombers motorcycle club, led by the maniacal Raven Shaddock (Willem Dafoe).
Coming to her rescue is soldier of fortune Tom Cody (Michael Paré) and his kick-ass sidekick, McCoy (Amy Madigan).
They are joined by Ellen’s manager, Billy Fish (Rick Moranis).
The film, a cult favorite, features songs written by Jim Steinman, Stevie Nicks, Ry Cooder and Tom Petty. The music is performed by The Blasters and The Fixx.
This two-disc set is loaded with special features.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and stereo; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: The supplemental offerings include a making of featurette that includes interviews with Paré, Madigan, costar Deborah Van Valkenburgh and screenwriter Larry Gross; a look back on the film and its impact, music videos and five vintage featurettes.

Man of La Mancha (Blu-ray)
Release date: April 25
Details: 1972, Shout! Broadway
Rated: PG
The lowdown: This classic Broadway musical, featuring some great songs, including “The Impossible Dream, faltered in its transfer to the big screen, mostly because of its casting.
Peter O’Toole and Sophia Loren are fine — even at times great — performers. O’Toole in “Lawrence of Arabia,” “Becket” and “The Ruling Class” are memorable, while Loren won a much-deserved Academy Award for “Two Women.”
As singers, however, both are not up to the task of Mitch Leigh and Joe Darion’s score and lyrics.
And that is the movie’s major flaw. It has always bothered me when Hollywood adapts a well-known musical and casts non-singers in the lead roles.
“Man of La Mancha,” directed by Arthur Hiller, is a prime example of that, alongside “Paint Your Wagon,” which featured bad vocals by Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood.
Still, “La Mancha’s” supporting cast is solid, most notably, James Coco as Sancho.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 widescreen picture; English DTS-HD Master Audio stereo; English subtitles.
Don’t miss: A vintage featurette and a photo montage with overture music are the major bonus offerings.

A Mermaid’s Tale
Details: 2017, Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Rated: G
The lowdown: This family-friendly feature is centered on the relationship between a young girl and the mischievous mermaid she befriends.
The story begins when the girl, Ryan (Caitlin Carmichael), and her father, played by Jerry O’Connell, move in with her fisherman grandfather, played by Barry Bostwick.
Ryan is lonely because she has not friends in this coastal town. Then she meets, Coral, a teenage mermaid who can live on land and sea.
The two share adventures and fun, with a fairy-tale ending that will please everyone.
Technical aspects: 1.78:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby digital; English closed captioned, English and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include a making of featurette and a commentary track.

The Accidental Tourist (Blu-ray)
Release date: May 9
Details: 1988, Warner Archive Collection
Rated: PG
The lowdown: Lawrence Kasdan directed this adaptation of Anne Tyler’s best-seller about a revered travel writer who can tell you where the find the best fast-food hamburger in Paris, but is clueless in matters of the heart.
William Hurt stars as Macon Leary, who, after the death of his son, has locked himself away from everyone, including his wife, played by Hurt’s “Body Heat” costar, Kathleen Turner.
After an accident, Leary encounters kooky dog-trainer Muriel (best supporting actress Academy Award-winner Geena Davis) and an awkward romance ensues.
The movie, a made-on-demand Blu-ray from the Warner Archive Collection, was one of the most acclaimed of 1988. The film can be ordered at www.wb.com/warnerarchive or other Internet dealers.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.40:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio stereo; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: Supplemental materials include an introduction by Kasdan, screen-specific commentary by Davis, a featurette about the film and deleted scenes.

Duck Dynasty: The Complete Series
Details: 2012-17, Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: This 24-disc collection features all 130 episodes — 11 seasons worth of the adventures, humor and conflicts of the Robertsons, the family that built an empire out of a small duck-call business.
Relive the antics of Jase, Kay, Korie, Phil, Si and Willie, who grabbed the hearts of viewers as well as making them chuckle at their various endeavors.
Fans of the show will enjoy reconnecting with these backwoods stars.
Technical aspects: 1.78:1 widescreen picture; English 2.0 Dolby digital; English closed captioning (season), English SDH (seasons two-11) and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: More than five hours of bonus materials, including behind-the-scenes featurettes, are included.

Brain Damage: Special Edition (Blu-ray + DVD)
Release date: May 9
Details: 1988, Arrow Video
Rated: Not rated, graphic violence, sexual content
The lowdown: This cult favorite follows Elmer, a parasite with the ability to induce euphoric hallucinations in his or her hosts.
Unfortunately, he has one very specific side effect — Elmer’s preferred food source is brains.
This cult favorite from Frank Henenlotter, who gave horror fans “Basket Case” and “Frankenhooker,” features TV host John Zacherley as the voice of Elmer.
The movie features some gory gags and sexual scenes that may offend some people. Genre aficionados, however, will not object.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH subtitles; DVD: 1.85:1 widescreen picture; English LPCM monaural; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus offerings include a look at Al Magliochetti, the movie’s visual effects supervisor; a featurette with Elmer creator Gabe Bartalos; a featurette on the making of the movie; a commentary track with Henenlotter; an isolated score track; a featurette on the film’s New York City locations; a featurette on Karen Ogle, the film’s assistant editor, stills photographer and script supervisor; an interview with one of the movie’s superfans; a question-and-answer session with Henenlotter; an animated short featuring Zacherley; and a collector’s booklet.

Other Blu-rays and DVDs being released on Tuesday, unless otherwise indicated:
The Outcasts (Monarch Home Entertainment)
Starlight (Blu-ray) (Cleopatra Entertainment-MVD Visual Entertainment, May 9)
A Street Cat Named Bob (Blu-ray) (Cleopatra Entertainment-MVD Visual Entertainment, May 9)

FOR KIDS
Bubble Guppies: Super Guppies (Nickelodeon-Paramount Home Entertainment)

DIGITAL DOWNLOADS and STREAMING
Fist Fight (Warner Home Video)
Logan (Fox Home Entertainment)
The New Adventures of Aladdin (Under the Milky Way)
The Shack (Lionsgate)
Special Blood (Random Media)
The LEGO Batman Movie (Warner Home Video, May 19)

Coming next week: Get Out

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 releases on Blu-ray and DVD, including “The Space Between Us,” “Willard” and “Ben.”