New to View: Sept. 12
By Bob Bloom
The following Blu-rays and DVDs are being released on Tuesday, Sept. 12, unless otherwise noted:
The Mummy (Blu-ray + DVD + digital HD)
Details: 2017, Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Rated: PG-13, action violence, scary images, partial nudity, suggestive content
The lowdown: If “The Mummy” is any indication, then the lights should be turned off immediately on Universal Pictures’ “Dark Universe” series.
This movie is the first in a series in which all future reincarnations will be grouped under the banner of “Dark Universe.”
Basically, this new world of gods and monsters will fall under the aegis of Prodigium, an organization that tracks and studies monsters in the world. Think of it as a S.H.I.E.L.D. against menacing creatures.
In “The Mummy’s” newest incarnation, Sofia Boutella’s Ahmanet is evil for evil’s sake. She is a bitter, spoiled brat who, in ancient Egypt, murdered her family so she could rule.
Ahmanet wanted more and embraced the darkness of the Set, the god of death. She was thwarted, entombed and buried alive in a secret place in Mesopotamia —known today as Iraq.
Her tomb is discovered, and her sarcophagus is disturbed by Tom Cruise’s Nick Morton and his comic sidekick, Chris (Jake Johnson).
This “The Mummy” is a disjointed mess. It lacks horror and suspense.
It is very generic and formulaic, as if written by rote, with a fill-in-the-monster-blank antagonist.
Bluntly, the movie is an embarrassment and a disappointment.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 2.40:1 widescreen picture; English Dolby Atmos; English 2.0 Dolby digital 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 Dolby digital DVS; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus features include deleted and extended scenes, a discussion about the making of the movie with Cruise and producer-director Alex Kurtzman, a behind-the-scenes look on creating the movie’s plane crash, a featurette on Boutella’s take on reinventing her iconic monster, a look at Cruise performing stunts for the film, a look at Russell Crowe’s casting of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the outdoors clash, a conversation with Cruise about his character, a graphic novel about the mummy Ahmanet and a commentary track.
Beatriz at Dinner
Details: 2017, Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Rated: R, language, violence
The lowdown: Salma Hayek and John Lithgow star in this brittle comedy that takes place at a dinner during which Beatriz, a spiritual health practitioner who also is an immigrant from Mexico, butts heads with Doug Strutt, a rich and ruthless real-estate developer, who may remind you of a certain U.S. president.
The two battle over various issues during a night that will alter both their lives.
The movie, written by Mike White, also features Connie Britton, Jay Duplass and Chloe Sevigny, features some wonderful verbal sparring that will keep you entranced.
The movie received a 77 percent fresh rating at Rottentomatoes.com.
Technical aspects: 1.85:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH and Spanish subtitles.
E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial: 35th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray + DVD + digital HD)
Details: 1982, Universal Studios Home Entertainment
The lowdown: One of Steven Spielberg’s most beloved movie receives a 35th anniversary release with more than three hours of extras celebrating the warmth and adventure of this science fiction classic.
The story about Elliot, his young sister, Gertie and older brother, Michael, and the visitor from outer space they adopt and hid have captured the hearts of audiences for more than 30 years and remains a timeless classic.
The winning performances of Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore and Robert MacNaughton are delightful.
This is one of the greatest American films ever made. If you have never seen it — get it and embrace it. You won’t be sorry.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 widescreen picture; English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles; DVD: 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen picture; English, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus offerings include an “E.T. Journals” featurette, an interview with Spielberg as he looks back on the movie, a discussion with composer John Williams about his music, featurettes on the designs, photographs and marketing of the movie, a cast reunion, the 20th anniversary premiere of the film and deleted scenes.
Veep: The Complete Sixth Season (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2017, HBO Home Entertainment
Rated: TV-MA, language
The lowdown: Julia Louis-Dreyfus is so much fun to watch, which makes viewing her satiric HBO political series, “Veep,” such a pleasure.
The sixth season of the show finds former vice president and one-time president Selina Meyer out of office after a vote in the Senate to resolve an Electoral College tie from the previous season.
Meyer forges ahead working on securing her legacy and finding her place outside of politics for the first time in several years.
Meanwhile, many of her former staff members are pursuing their own agendas.
The humor in this two-disc set is biting and non-partisan in this hilarious series that will come back for one more season before retiring for good.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.78:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French 5.1 DTS digital surround and Spanish 2.0 DTS digital surround; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus materials include seven commentary tracks.
Rebecca: Special Edition (Blu-ray)
Release date: Sept. 5
Details: 1940, The Criterion Collection
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Alfred Hitchcock’s first Hollywood film was this elegant and dark adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s best-selling novel.
The movie also marked Hitchcock’s first collaboration with producer David O. Selznick as well as actress Joan Fontaine, who later starred alongside Cary Grant in Hitchcock’s “Suspicion.”
“Rebecca” earned two Academy Awards — best picture and best cinematography for George Barnes, who expressive black-and-white lighting helped set the mood for the feature.
The story centers on a young woman (Fontaine) who marries a British nobleman, Maxim de Winter, played by Laurence Olivier, but continually lives in the shadow of his former wife who died under mysterious circumstances.
The sets, especially de Winter’s ancestral mansion of Manderley, adds texture to the overall tone of the film.
One of the movie’s standout performances is by Judith Anderson as the sinister housekeeper.
Hitchcock brought all the tricks he used in his English features to his American debut and it paid off handsomely.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.33:1 full-screen picture; English LPCM monaural; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: Included in the extras are isolated music and effects tracks, a commentary track, a conversation between film critic and author Molly Haskell and film scholar Patricia White, an interview with film historian Craig Barron on the movie’s visual effects, a French television documentary on du Maurier, a 2007 making of featurette, footage of screen, hair, makeup and costume tests for Fontaine, Anne Baxter, Vivien Leigh, Margaret Sullivan and Loretta Young, a casting gallery with notes from Hitchcock and Selznick, a 1975 interview of Hitchcock by Tom Snyder on “Tomorrow,” a 1980 “Tomorrow” interview with Fontaine, 1986 audio interviews with Fontaine and Anderson, a trio of radio adaptations from 1938, 1941 and 1950, including Orson Welles’ adaptation of the novel for his Mercury Theatre, an essay by Selznick biographer David Thomson and selected production correspondence from Selznick, including those with Hitchcock.
Scorpion: Season Three
Details: 2016-17, CBS DVD-Paramount Home Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A six-disc set featuring all 24 episodes of this thrilling series about a group of genius misfits who are the last line of defense when the U.S. is threatened by high-tech terrorists and criminals.
These brainiacs may be socially awkward, but they are comfortable interacting with each other as they defuse dangerous situations using their intellect and various skills.
Technical aspects: 16:9 full-screen picture; English 5.1 Dolby digital surround and stereo surround; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include an in-depth look at the third season, a featurette on the courtship and marriage of two members of the show’s team, a talk with composer Tony Morales about the show’s music, a gag reel and a featurette on the series’ graphic design.
Silicon Valley: The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Details: 2017, HBO Home Entertainment
Rated: TV-MA, language
The lowdown: The major arc of this HBO series’ fourth season is the attempts by the Pied Piper guys pursuing their video chat app, PiperChat, while Richard (Thomas Middleditch) continues to grip his dream of putting his algorithm to better use.
The rest of the team follows their personal agendas in this series that tweaks the self-important world of high tech and pokes fun at those who reside within its sphere.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.78:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and Spanish 2.0 DTS digital surround; English SDH, French, Spanish, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Deleted scenes comprise the major bonus components.
The Big Knife (Blu-ray)
Details: 1955, Arrow Academy
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Robert Aldrich directed this adaptation of a Clifford Odets’ cynical play about Hollywood.
Jack Palance stars as an actor going through a series of crises, while Rod Steiger chews up some scenery as a bombastic studio head.
At times, the drama is overheated, but a strong supporting cast, including Ida Lupino, Shelley Winters, Wendell Corey, Ilka Chase and Jean Hagen, compensate for some of the flaws.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.37:1 full-screen picture; English LPCM monaural; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus materials include a discussion with Saul Bass about the opening credit sequence, a commentary track and a collector’s booklet.
The Prison (Blu-ray)
Release date: Sept. 19
Details: 2017, Well Go USA Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A Korean thriller about a former police inspector sentenced to hard time in prison after a fatal accident.
Once there, he discovers that a vicious crime syndicate runs the prison. They break out at night and use their incarceration as the perfect alibi to commit various heists.
Seeking revenge on the system that put him behind bars, the ex-cop joins the crooks in their illicit endeavors.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.35:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; Korean 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English subtitles.
I Love You Both
Details: 2017, Magnolia Home Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A romance about a pair of co-dependent twins, Doug and Kristin Archibald, who are charmed by the same guy at their birthday party.
When they both start dating him, they must decide which of them likes him better so it does not break their brother-sister bond.
Doug Archibald directed the movie, from a screenplay by him and his sister.
Technical aspects: 2.35:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Supplemental offerings include interviews with the Archibalds and the movie’s producer, deleted scenes and a behind-the-scenes photo gallery.
Other Blu-rays and DVDs being released on Tuesday, unless otherwise indicated:
Erik the Conqueror (Blu-ray + DVD) (Arrow Video)
P. King Duckling: Seize the Day! (Shout! Kids)
Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Wanted Bebop & Rocksteady (Nickelodeon-Paramount Home Entertainment)
DIGITAL DOWNLOADS and STREAMING
Clowntergeist (High Octane Pictures)
The Confession (Uncork’d Entertainment)
George Lopez: The Wall, Live From Washington, D.C. (HBO Home Entertainment, Sept. 11)
Newton’s Law (Acorn TV)
The Show (Lionsgate Home Entertainment, Sept. 15)
The Commander: Series 1-5 (Acorn TV, Sept. 18)
Coming next week: The Big Sick
I am a member of the Indiana Film Journalists Association. I review 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can follow me on Twitter @ReelBobBloom and on Facebook. My movie reviews also can be found at Rottentomatoes: www.rottentomatoes.com.