New to View: Aug. 15

By Bob Bloom
The following Blu-rays and DVDs are being released on Tuesday, Aug. 15, unless otherwise noted:
Everything Everything (Blu-ray + DVD + digital)
Details: 2017, Warner Home Video
Rated: PG-13, mature themes, sexuality
The lowdown: Another adaptation of another young adult novel, this one centering on Maddy, an 18-year-old young woman, who, due to an illness, cannot leave her home.
Maddy meets Olly, the boy next door, who ignites her desire to escape the safety of home and perhaps sacrifice her life to experience love.
The movie, which received a 47 percent fresh rating at Rottentomatoes.com, seems to be specifically aimed at teen girls with a romantic bent.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English 5.1 Dolby digital descriptive audio and French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles; DVD: 1.85:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby digital and English descriptive audio; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include a making of featurette and deleted scenes.

Hopscotch: Special Edition (Blu-ray)
Details: 1980, The Criterion Collection
Rated: R, violence, language, sexual situations
The lowdown: Walter Matthau and Glenda Jackson star in this comedy thriller of international intrigue.
Matthau plays Miles Kendig, a disillusioned CIA agent who, with the help of a lovely widow (Jackson), threatens to publish his memoirs and expose the innermost secrets of every major intelligence agency around the globe.
Kendig is pushed to the breaking point by his idiotic boss at the agency, played by Ned Beatty. Kendig refuses to toe the line because he is having a lot of fun tormenting his superior.
The film, directed by Ronald Neame, is based on the best-selling novel by Brian Garfield, who co-authored the screenplay.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.39:1 widescreen picture; English LPCM monaural; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus materials include 2002 interviews with Neame and Garfield, a 1980 appearance by Matthau on “The Dick Cavett Show,” an optional audio track for family viewing and an essay by critic Glenn Kenny.

Billions: Season Two
Details: 2017, Showtime-CBS DVD-Paramount Home Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A four-disc set featuring all 12 second-season episodes of the popular Showtime series that pits no-nonsense U.S. attorney Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti) against hedge fund billionaire Bobby “Axe” Axelrod (Damian Lewis).
Season two picks up immediately after the events of season one with Axelrod using his vast resources to get even with Rhoades, by putting the spotlight on the attorney and forcing an investigation to be opened into his activities.
Rhoades uses his vast legal skills to fight back, proving to Axelrod that money cannot buy everything or everyone.
The performances of the two leads are the main attractions of this series.
Technical aspects: 16:9 full-screen picture; English 5.1 Dolby digital surround; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: A featurette on filming in New York, a look at cast members discussing their characters and what they would do if they were as rich as Axelrod and a profile of new character Taylor Mason.

Obit (Blu-ray)
Release date: Aug. 1
Details: 2017, Kino Lorber
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: This is a fascinating documentary that looks at the writers who compose the obituaries for “The New York Times.”
And while the movie may sound morbid, it is anything but.
The movie looks at the process these reporters go through in deciding on whom is worthy of a “Times” obit and the painstaking methods they choose to write them.
With newspapers offering fewer and fewer reading options, obituaries are one of the last bastions of community publications. Many smaller papers have delegated the writing of obituaries to funeral homes and/or family members.
“Obit” details the dedication and art the “Times” writers take in crafting their words.
This is a movie that is a paean to — no pun intended — a dying art.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.78:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH subtitles.

Descendants 2
Details: 2017, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Rated: TV-G
The lowdown: This Disney live-action, made-for-TV movie follows the children of some of the studio’s most evil characters.
These “Villain Kids” from the Isle of the Lost are undertaking a new adventure that kids will enjoy.
In this outing, Mal leaves idyllic Auradon after struggling to be perfect. Her friends, including Evie, set out to retrieve her.
On the Isle, though, Mal comes up against her former archenemy, Uma, daughter of Ursula, who has seized power.
With Uma preparing to destroy the Auradon and the VKs, the friends once again unite to defeat a common foe.
Technical aspects: 1.78:1 widescreen picture; English, Spanish and French Dolby digital; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Supplemental offerings include cast members taking you behind the scenes of the shoot, bloopers, deleted and extended songs and a collection of animated shorts from the first season.

Britney Ever After
Details: 2017, Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Rating: Not rated
The lowdown: This made-for-TV Lifetime movie follows the life and chaotic up-and-down career of Britney Spears, including her rise to superstardom, her fall from grace and her triumphant return to the top.
The film is mostly superficial taken from press and tabloid accounts.
It’s not bad, but you really won’t learn anything new about Spears that you haven’t seen on any tabloid newspaper, news or entertainment news show.
Technical aspects: 1.78:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH subtitles.

The Zodiac Killer (Blu-ray)
Release date: July 25
Details: 1971, AGFA
Rated: R, violence, language
The lowdown: This movie, directed by former pizza restaurant chain owner Tom Hanson, was made in an attempt to lure in the real Zodiac Killer, who was terrifying the San Francisco area.
Hanson’s plan obviously did not work out, despite planting traps in theaters to try capturing the killer.
The movie is a tabloid horror that is a schlock cult favorite.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.33:1 full-screen picture; English 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio.
Don’t miss: Extras include a DVD of the exploitation movie “Another Son of Sam” and two commentary tracks.

Other Blu-rays and DVDs being released on Tuesday, unless otherwise indicated:
Baby Steps (DVD + digital download) (Gravitas Ventures)
Aretha Franklin — Divas Live (DVD + CD) (MVD Visual Entertainment, Aug. 18)
Jane’s Addiction — Alive at Twenty-Five (Blu-ray + DVD + CD) (Cleopatria Entertainment, Aug. 4)

FOR KIDS
The Powerpuff Girls: The Last Donnycorn (Warner Home Video)

DIGITAL DOWNLOADS and STREAMING
Batman and Harley Quinn (Warner Home Video)
DC Universe Original Movies: 10th Anniversary Collection (Warner Home Video)
Fate (Self Destruct Films)
The Lion King (Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment)
The Passion of Augustine (Under the Milky Way)
The Ice Cream Truck (Uncork’d Entertainment, Aug. 18)
The Good Karma Hospital (Acorn TV, Aug. 21)

I am a member of the Indiana Film Journalists Association. I reviews movies, Blu-rays and DVDs for ReelBob (ReelBob.com), The Film Yap and other print and online publications. I can be reached by email at bobbloomjc@gmail.com. You also can follow me on Twitter @ReelBobBloom and on Facebook. My movie reviews also can be found at Rottentomatoes: www.rottentomatoes.com.

  • ReelBob

    Check out some of the new releases on Blu-ray and DVD and share with me the ones you are interested in or excited about. Let’s discuss.