New to View: Jan. 2

By Bob Bloom
The following titles are being released on Tuesday, Jan. 2, unless otherwise noted:

Lucky
Details: 2017, Magnolia Home Entertainment
Rated: Not rated, language
The lowdown: Actor John Carroll Lynch’s directorial debut is a valentine and a tribute to its star, Harry Dean Stanton, who died earlier this year.
This small, intimate feature is a character study of an old and independent individual who lives life on his own terms, asking nothing from others.
Lucky’s journey of self-exploration and contemplation is a rather slow and quiet journey, yet, because of Stanton, we gladly travel along, embracing him as he goes.
“Lucky” impressed critics, who gave it a 98 percent fresh rating at Rottentomatoes.com.
Technical aspects: 2.40:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus features include “A Few Words From Harry Dean Stanton” featurette, a behind-the-scenes look at Stanton’s final movie, and interviews with Lynch and writers-producers Logan Sparks and Drago Sumonja.

Shadowman
Details: 2017, Film Movement
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Richard Hambleton left his mark on lower Manhattan in the 1980s, painting hundreds of silhouettes on walls throughout the area.
Hambleton, along with Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat, sparked the street art movement.
Drug addiction and homelessness derailed Hambleton for about two decades. But he soon had a second chance. The question is whether Hambleton, known as the Shadowman, would take advantage return to displaying his art.
The documentary takes viewers to the Lower East Side where Hambleton first gained fame, through his struggles with heroin to his triumphant comeback as a popular and successful street artist.
Hambleton’s journey impressed critics, who gave the movie a 92 percent fresh rating at Rottentomatoes.com.
Technical aspects: 1.85:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby digital; English closed-captioned subtitles.
Don’t miss: More than 30 minutes of additional footage and deleted scenes comprise the major bonus offerings.

The Mountain Between Us (Blu-ray + DVD + digital)
Release date: Dec. 26
Details: 2017, Fox Home Entertainment
Rated: PG-13, a scene of sexuality, danger, injury images, language
The lowdown: Two strangers must struggle to survive after the plane they chartered to beat a storm, crashes in a remote mountain area.
The two, portrayed by Kate Winslet and Idris Elba, must learn to trust each other in order to survive the elements and begin a trek that will hopefully take them to safety.
The chemistry between the two is palatable, however, the film’s shift from survival thriller to a romantic drama throws you off and nearly takes you out of the moments.
At Rottentomatoes.com, the movie received a tepid 41 percent fresh rating.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 2.39:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English 5.1 descriptive audio and Spanish and French 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles; DVD: 2.39:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby digital and 5.1 descriptive audio and French and Spanish 2.0 Dolby digital; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Supplemental offerings include a featurette on creating the chemistry between Winslet and Elba, a behind-the-scenes look at filming in the mountains, a look at the survival stunts, deleted scenes and a commentary track.

Chavela
Details: 2017, Music Box Films
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A documentary that looks at the life and career of this trailblazing performer.
Chavela Vargas was a favorite for her rendition of Mexican popular music, who voice and performances drew acclaim in her adopted country.
In the 1950s, she smashed social norms by wearing pants and ponchos onstage, smoking cigars, downing tequila and singing love songs to women.
She lost many years because of alcoholism and personal problems before making a triumphant return and becoming a muse for many other artists, most notably filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar.
Technical aspects: 1.85:1 widescreen picture; Spanish 5.1 Dolby digital; English subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include a 1991 interview with Chavela, a concert performance, a question-and-answer session with the filmmakers and a commentary track with the directors.

The Teacher
Details: 2017, Film Movement
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A drama set in 1983 Czechoslovakia that centers on a middle-school teacher who, at the beginning of the term, greets her students by asking each to announce what their parents to for a living.
It soon becomes apparent that her pupils’ grades are linked to how helpful their families can be with various favors — large or small — for the teacher.
Some parents object, while others go along since the teacher also is a high-ranking Communist Party official.
The film’s drama centers on which family will go along with the status quo and which will stand up against a corrupt system.
The movie received a very respectable 89 percent positive rating at Rottentomatoes.com.
Technical aspects: 1.78:1 widescreen picture; Slovak 5.1 Dolby digital surround; English subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include a bonus short film entitled “Sacrilege,” about the power and ill-effects of rumors.

Hell Night: Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray + DVD)
Details: 1981, Scream Factory
Rated: R, graphic violence, sexual situations, language
The lowdown: A fraternity initiation goes horribly wrong when four pledges must spend the night in Garth Manor, where 12 years earlier, the previous resident killed his entire family.
Of course, members of the frat begin to disappear. Could a crazed killer be haunting the mansion?
The young cast is headed by Linda Blair and also includes Vincent Van Patten, Peter Barton and Kevin Brophy.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 widescreen picture; English DTS-HD Master Audio monaural; English subtitles; DVD: 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen picture; English Dolby digital monaural; English subtitles.
Don’t miss: The major bonus offering are archival interviews and commentary with cast and crew.

Shock Wave
Details: 2017, Cinedigm
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Action star Andy Lau stars in this thriller as a dedicated officer of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit.
Before joining the unit, he spent time undercover in a criminal organization led by a ruthless crime boss infamous for his explosives expertise.
His undercover work led to the disbanding of the mob and the arrest of its leader’s brother.
It also set in a motion a thirst for revenge that begin with fiery attacks throughout the city as well as a shocking hostage situation.
It is up to Lau’s Cheung to end this new threat and save his city.
Technical aspects: 2.39:1 widescreen picture; Cantonese and Mandarin 5.1 Dolby digital; English subtitles.
Don’t miss: A making of featurette is the major bonus component.

The Adventurers (Blu-ray + DVD)
Details: 2017, Well Go USA Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A group of the world’s top thieves join forces to pull off the heist of a lifetime.
The thieves, played by Andy Lau, Yo Yang and Shu Qi, are successful in their venture.
However, they are soon being pursued across Europe by a famed French detective, played by Jean Reno.
To keep ahead of him, the thieves must use their wits and every trick they know.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 2.39:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; Mandarin DTS X; English subtitles; DVD: 2.39:1 (16×9 enhanced) widescreen picture; Mandarin Dolby digital; English subtitles.
Don’t miss: A making of featurette is the main bonus option.

Other titles being released on Tuesday, unless otherwise indicated:
Babes with Blades (Breaking Glass Pictures)
No Solicitors (VMI Distribution-Cinedigm)

DIGITAL DOWNLOADS and STREAMING
Cannibal Farm (High Octane Pictures)
The Rizen (Uncork’d Entertainment)

Coming next week: Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House

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

    Are you a fan of Harry Dean Stanton? Share your memories of your favorite movie moments from his career.