New to View: July 11
By Bob Bloom
The following Blu-rays and DVDs are being released on Tuesday, July 11, unless otherwise noted:
The Fate of the Furious (Blu-ray + DVD + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2017, Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Rated: PG-13, action violence and destruction, language, suggestive content
The lowdown: In this outing in the popular franchise, Dom (Vin Diesel) and Letty (Michelle Rodriquez) are married and happy.
But then, a mysterious woman, played by Academy Award-winner Charlize Theron, seduces Dom back to the criminal life, where he goes so far as to betray those closest to him.
The action moves from Cuba to New York City to the Arctic, and includes fast cars, lots of chases and stunts, explosions and a submarine.
Returning cast members include Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges and Kurt Russell.
The set includes an extended version of the movie on the digital option.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 2.40:1 widescreen picture; English DTS-X immersive audio, DTS-X 2.0 headphones, English 2.0 DVS and French and Spanish 5.1 DTS digital surround; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles; DVD: 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen picture; English, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby digital and English 2.0 DVS; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus offerings include a behind-the-scenes look on filming in Cuba, a featurette offering an inside look at the movie’s family feud, a featurette showcasing the film’s vehicles, a behind-the-scenes look at the stunts, extended fight scenes and a commentary track.
A Quiet Passion
Details: 2017, Music Box Pictures
Rated: PG-13, mature themes, disturbing images, suggestive material
The lowdown: Cynthia Nixon gives a stellar performance as American poet Emily Dickinson in this quiet and delicate bio-pic.
The film captures not only Dickinson’s genius — which, unfortunately, was not recognized until after her death — but her wit, charm, independence and pathos.
The movie, directed by noted British filmmaker Terence Davies, emphasizes Dickinson’s close-knit family, including here sister, Vinnie (Jennifer Ehle), and father, Edward (Keith Carradine).
The feature also spotlights the mores, manners and religious convictions of its era.
Nixon’s performance was universally praised, as was the film, which received a 92 percent fresh rating at Rottentomatoes.com.
Technical aspects: 2.35:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby digital; English and French subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus features include a behind-the-scenes look at the film, a question-and-answer session with Nixon and Davies, an interview with Nixon, the poems of Dickinson and a booklet with an essay about the film and the poet.
Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer
Details: 2017, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Rated: R, language
The lowdown: Richard Gere stars as Norman Oppenheimer who lives on the fringes of power and money in New York City.
Norman is always networking, but never reaching the top rung of that ladder he continually climbs.
His fortunes change when he befriends an Israeli politician, Micha Eshel (Lior Ashkenazi), during a low point in his life.
Three years later Eshel becomes Israel’s prime minister and Norman uses the leader’s name to leverage a big deal linking Eshel’s name to Norman’s nephew, played by Michael Sheen, a rabbi, played by Steve Buscemi, a mogul, portrayed by Harris Yulin, his assistant (Dan Stevens) and a treasury official from the Ivory Coast.
However, the plan goes south creating potential international complications that Norman must battle to prevent.
Gere gives an infuriating, but sympathetic, performance as a wannabe power broker who reaches too far and too high.
Gere, as well as the film, were warmly received, with the picture earning an 89 percent fresh rating at Rottentomoatoes.com.
Technical aspects: 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby digital and audio description track; English SDH, English, Chinese (traditional) and French subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include a question-and-answer session with Gere and writer-director Joseph Cedar and a look at the red carpet premiere of the film.
Prison Break: Event Series (Blu-ray)
Release date: June 27
Details: 2017, Fox Home Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell return as brothers Michael and Lincoln Scofield in this three-disc set that begins seven years after the events in the original series.
A photograph shows that Michael, who was believed dead and buried, is alive in a prison in Yemen.
Lincoln sets out to rescue his brother, enlisting the help of C-Note (Rockmond Dunbar).
Other complications included in this miniseries are the remarriage of Michael’s wife, Sara (Sarah Wayne Callies) and the uncertainty about what kind of man Michael has become after so many years in a Middle East hellhole.
The set features all nine episodes of this reboot.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.78:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: A making of featurette is the main bonus attraction.
Terror in a Texas Town (Blu-ray + DVD)
Details: 1958, Arrow Academy
The lowdown: The legendary Joseph H. Lewis, who directed and edited hundreds of B-movies and B-Westerns, directed this atmospheric sagebrush tale of vengeance.
A son returns to his father’s ranch outside the Texas town of Prairie City to learn that his father has been killed.
Behind a local reign of terror is a greedy land baron who wants the area for its oil deposits.
The movie stars Sterling Hayden, with Sebastian Cabot as the villain and actor-screenwriter Nedrick Young as his hired gunslinger. Young would win an Academy Award that year for his script for “The Defiant Ones.”
This Western is very atmospheric, almost noir-like, in its presentation.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 widescreen picture; English LPCM monaural; English SDH subtitles; DVD: 1.85:1 widescreen picture; English stereo; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus materials include scene-select commentaries, an introduction to the movie by author Peter Stanfield and a booklet with new writing about the film.
Underground: Season Two
Details: 2017, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A three-disc set that features the second season of the popular WGN America series about the dangerous journey made by many escaped slaves who sought freedom in the North in pre-Civil War America and those who risked their lives helping them.
The series also looks at such historical figures as Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass who helped and inspired the cause of freedom for black men, women and children in a divided nation.
A strong ensemble cast helps create the tension, suspense and dangers that those who fled bondage faced.
The series is an enlightening look at a dark chapter in U.S. history.
Technical aspects: 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH, English and French subtitles.
Don’t miss: Supplemental materials include deleted scenes and a gag reel.
Gospel According to Al Green (Blu-ray)
Release date: July 7
Details: 1984, Mug-Shot Productions-MVD Visual Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A documentary by filmmaker Robert Mugge that looks at singer Al Green’s metamorphosis from successful soul and pop singer to his finding religion, opening a church, installing himself as pastor and beginning a part-time career as a gospel singer.
Mugge’s film documents Green’s seventh-anniversary service at his Full Gospel Tabernacle Church, a rehearsal in his Memphis recording studio, a concert at Bolling Air Force Base in Washington, D.C., and an extended interview with the artist.
Other friends and associates of Green’s also are interviewed to offer perspective on his life and career.
Fans of Green will not be disappointed by this feature that explores a man who overcame personal demons to resurrect his talent and his spirituality.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, widescreen picture; English closed-captioned subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include film and audio concert and church service outtakes, an interview with Green and about 17 minutes of commentary by Mugge.
Alive and Kicking
Details: 2017, Magnolia Home Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A documentary that looks at the origins, culture and power of swing dancing, which originated during the Great Depression and has advanced and changed along with American society.
The movie follows professionals and enthusiasts who embrace this joyful form of dance as a method of expressing happiness and enthusiasm.
And while the movie follows a few specific dancers, its overall arc is the dynamics of the dance itself and its many generations of proponents.
Technical aspects: 1.78:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include a commentary track, deleted scenes and an interview with director Susan Glatzer.
Other Blu-rays and DVDs being released on Tuesday, unless otherwise indicated:
Do You Take This Man? (DVD + digital) (Breaking Glass Pictures)
Pulse (Blu-ray + DVD) (Arrow Video)
Stormy Monday (Blu-ray + DVD) (Arrow Video)
Tom and Jerry: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (Warner Home Video)
DIGITAL DOWNLOADS and STREAMING
The Answer (High Octane Pictures)
Gifted (Fox Home Entertainment)
Going in Style (Warner Home Video)
Gremlin (Uncork’d Entertainment)
Leftovers (Uncork’d Entertainment)
Love at First Child (Under the Milky Way)
Not My Day (Under the Milky Way)
The Saint (Fox Home Entertainment)
Shot! The Psycho-Spiritual Mantra of Rock (Magnolia Home Entertainment)
Midsomer Murders: Series 19, Part 2 (Acorn TV, July 17)
Coming next week: Tommy’s Honour
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.