New to View: Dec. 26

By Bob Bloom
The following titles are being released on Dec. 26, unless otherwise noted:

The Apartment: Limited Edition (Blu-ray)
Details: 1960, Arrow Academy
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Billy Wilder’s movie won five Academy Awards, including best picture, best director for Wilder and best original screenplay for Wilder and his writing partner I.A.L. Diamond.
Jack Lemmon stars as an office worker who advances by letting his firm’s personnel director use his apartment for trysts with his mistress, played by Shirley MacLaine.
Lemmon is caught in a moral dilemma when he discovers that the woman his boss, played by Fred MacMurray, is seeing is the girl of his dreams, played by MacLaine.
The movie, considered one of Wilder’s best, is biting and fun, like the majority of Wilder’s movies.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.35:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and French and Spanish Dolby digital monaural; English SDH, French, Spanish and Japanese subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include a 150-page book with behind-the-scenes photos and writings about the movie, a BD-ROM of the screenplay, an interview with cast member Hope Holiday, a 2007 making of featurette, a commentary track, a look at the movie’s score, a featurette on the collaborations between Wilder and Lemmon and an overview of Wilder’s life and career.

Dunkirk (Blu-ray + DVD + digital)
Release date: Dec. 19
Details: 2017, Warner Home Video
Rated: PG-13, intense war experiences and violence, language
The lowdown: The evacuation of more than 338,000 mostly British forces evacuated from Dunkirk between May 26 and June 4, 1940, was a defeat for the Allies, but came to be seen as a victory of morale for the forces battling Nazi Germany.
Writer-director Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk” looks at this miraculous story of heroism and survival in a most unique way.
Nolan intertwines his story in three parts — The Mole — one week — the mole being the protective harbor where soldiers waited for the ships that would carry them home; The Sea — one day — which followed the flotilla of merchant marine ships, private fishing boats and pleasure crafts that crossed the English Channel at great risk to help in the operation; and The Air — one hour — that covered the protection given the vessels by a pair of Royal Air Force Spitfires.
Nolan’s film is an ensemble piece that continually intercuts between men on the beaches awaiting rescue, civilians on tiny boats braving the Channel and the pilots above.
Time is a toy in Nolan’s hands. As in his sci-fi thriller “Inception,” he bends it and shapes it to meet his dramatic needs, continually building tension and suspense as “Dunkirk’s” three storylines begin to merge and march ever forward.
The actors are mere chess pieces on the director’s cinematic board, as Nolan moves from shore to water to banking, soaring and diving in the air, masterfully pulling his performers’ strings.
It is done is such a dynamic fashion that despite knowing very little about any of the players involved, you become emotionally connected to them — mourning those who die, grateful for the ones that survive.
The movie, which has made a few top ten lists for 2017, received a 92 percent fresh rating at Rottentomatoes.com.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 2.21:1 & 1.78:1 (IMAX sequences) widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English 5.1 descriptive audio and French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles; DVD: 2.21:1 & 1.78:1 (IMAX sequences) widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby digital, English 5.1 descriptive audio and French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus materials include a documentary with Nolan and his crew recreating the miracle of Dunkirk on land, at sea and in the air.

Game of Thrones: The Complete Seventh Season (Blu-ray + Ultraviolet)
Release date: Dec. 12
Details: 2017, HBO Home Entertainment
Rated: TV-MA, graphic and bloody violence, language, sexual content, nudity
The lowdown: Winter has definitely arrived in this seventh and penultimate season of this acclaimed HBO series based on the books by George R.R. Martin.
The four-disc set is loaded with bloody battles, palace intrigue, game-changing discoveries and new alliances.
Among the seasons’ highlights is the arrival of Daenerys Targaryen and her army arriving in Westeros, her subsequent alliance with John Snow, the ascension of Cersei Lannister to the Iron Throne, the reunion of the Stark sisters and the execution of a conniving nobleman.
Plus, the threat from beyond the Wall becomes more dangerous than imagined.
Watching or revisiting the season merely whets your appetite for the final group of episodes to see who lives, who dies — and who finally wins the great game.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.78:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby audio, English Dolby Atmos, French, Castilian Spanish and German 5.1 Dolby audio, Latin Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese 2.0 Dolby audio; English SDH, French, Castilian and Latin Spanish, German, Brazilian Portuguese, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus materials include “Conquest & Rebellion,” an animated story of the events that shaped Westeros; in-episode guides; a look at the mythology of Westeros and Essos as told by various characters; a look inside the show’s art department, a featurette on creating the invasion of Westeros and 11 commentary tracks.

The LEGO NINJAGO Movie (Blu-ray + DVD + digital)
Release date: Dec. 19
Details: 2017, Warner Home Video
Rated: PG, mild action, rude humor
The lowdown: Kids will enjoy this latest LEGO outing because it has the same mixture of action, silliness and sly humor as previous releases.
Here, we have Lloyd, a high school student by day, but at night he transforms into the Green Ninja, battling evil with his ninja warrior friends.
Led by the wise and wisecracking Master Wu, they must defeat the evil Garmodon, who also happens to be Lloyd’s dad.
Wow, talk about complications.
The movie offers lessons in bonding, cooperation, inner strength and family — and does it in an enjoyable manner.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.40:1 widescreen picture; English Dolby Atmos TrueHD, English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles; DVD: 2.40:1 widescreen picture; English, Spanish and French 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include a series of mini movies, music videos, a look at the LEGO NINJAGO television series, deleted scenes, a commentary track and more.

England Is Mine (Blu-ray)
Release date: Dec. 19
Details: 2017, Cleopatra Entertainment-MVD Visual Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Jack Lowden (“Dunkirk,” “A United Kingdom”) stars as Steven, better known as Morissey, frontman of the band, The Smiths.
He is a restless young man, looking to escape his working-class background, dreaming of being in a band and writing music.
He soon meets Linder (Jessica Brown Findlay (“Downtown Abbey”), an intelligent, artistic and literate young woman. They become confidants, and she helps him gain self-confidence.
His courage and sense of purpose increases daily. Young Steven soon has his first gig, but Linder must follow her own path, and Steven must now rely on himself to fulfill his dream.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.39:1 widescreen picture; DTS-HD stereo.
Don’t miss: Extras include behind-the-scenes footage and deleted materials, a look at the cinematography and a commentary track.

Camelot
Release date: Dec. 8
Details: 1982, S’More Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Richard Burton may have originated the role of King Arthur on Broadway in the musical “Camelot,” but no one played the king more than Richard Harris.
Harris starred as Arthur in the 1967 movie version as well as Broadway revivals of the Lerner & Lowe musical. He also took the show on the road in a few traveling productions.
Harris knew the role of Richard like the back of his hand, and he enjoyed the part.
The story of “Camelot” is well known. Arthur has created a paradise in his kingdom until a French knight, Lancelot, arrives to join the Roundtable.
He and Arthur’s wife, Guinevere, fall in love, disrupting the peace of the realm.
The show contains some memorable numbers such as the title song, “If Ever I Would Leave You,” “The Lusty Month of May” and “How to Handle a Woman.”
Technical aspects: 1.33:1 full-screen picture; English Dolby digital stereo.

Other titles being released on Tuesday, unless otherwise indicated:
Frank Zappa: Summer ’82 — When Zappa Came to Sicily (Blu-ray) (MVD Visual Entertainment, Dec. 15)
Bad Kids (FilmRise-MVD Visual Entertainment, Dec. 12)
Magnus (FilmRise-MVD Visual Entertainment, Dec. 12)
National Bird (MVD Visual Entertainment, Dec. 12)
L.A.M.F. (MVD Visual Entertainment, Dec. 8)

DIGITAL DOWNLOADS and STREAMING
Blade Runner 2049 (Warner Home Video)
Todd Barry: Spicy Honey (Netflix)
Dave Chappelle: Equanimity (Netflix)

Coming next week: Lucky

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 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 the latest releases on Blu-ray and DVD. Any interest you as holiday gifts?