New to View: Feb. 6

By Bob Bloom

The following titles are being released on Tuesday, Feb. 6, unless otherwise noted:
Only the Brave (DVD + digital)
Details: 2017, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Rated: PG-13, mature themes, sexual situations, language, drug use
The lowdown: This film is an impressive undertaking, chronicling the courage and brotherhood of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, an arm of the Prescott, Ariz., Fire Department, tasked with battling wildfires.
The Hotshots made tragic national headlines in 2013 when 19 members were killed in Arizona battling the Yarnell Hill Fire.
Director Joseph Kosinski’s movie traces the challenges the Granite Mountain crew faced when they were being certified.
“Only the Brave” is more a portrait of dedicated men — regular guys with flaws and problems like the rest of us — who perform extraordinary deeds to protect their neighbors, homes and families.
The technical expertise Kosinski and his crew bring to the film, especially during fire sequences, is amazing. These scenes equal the pyrotechnics used in Ron Howard’s 1991 “Backdraft.”
“Only the Brave” serves as a fitting and emotional tribute to the spirit and grit of these valiant men, who, without hesitation, put their lives on the line.
The movie received a solid 88 percent fresh rating at
Technical aspects: 2.39:1 anamorphic widescreen picture; English and French 5.1 Dolby digital and Dolby surround audio description track; English SDH, English, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus offerings include deleted scenes, a featurette honoring the men who lost their lives, a look at the characters, a behind-the-scenes featurette on becoming a Hotshot, a music video and featurette and a commentary track.

A Bad Moms Christmas (Blu-ray + DVD + digital)
Details: 2017, Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Rated: R, sexual content, language, drug use
The lowdown: Another unnecessary sequel that follows the three underappreciated moms — played by Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn — from the first comedy.
In this holiday-themed feature, the women take up arms against the expectations of them for Christmas.
Not only do they have to contend with creating the perfect holiday atmosphere for their families, but they also must deal with hosting their own mothers, played by Susan Sarandon, Christine Baranski and Cheryl Hines.
It’s all very predictable as the young moms realize how close they really are to their own mothers.
Critics put coal in this movie’s stocking, giving it a 29 percent fresh rating at
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 2.40:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH and Spanish subtitles; DVD: 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus offerings include a gag reel, additional scenes and a crew music video.

The Dumb Girl of Portici (Blu-ray)
Shoes (Blu-ray)
Details: 1916, Milestone Films
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Today, when movie audiences applaud the inclusion — and recognition — of women directors, it is apropos that two titles directed by a pioneering woman director are being released.
Unfortunately, the name of Lois Weber is not very well known, except by a few film buffs and silent movie devotees.
Weber directed 138 films, 137 of them in the silent era, and also wrote 119 screenplays. The vast majority of her work was done before 1920.
Milestone has restored and made available to the public, two of Weber’s features from 1916.
The first is “The Dumb Girl of Portici,” which stars legendary prima ballerina Anna Pavlova.
The movie is an adaptation of “La Muette de Portici,” with Pavlova portraying Fenella, a fisher-girl living during the Spanish occupation of Naples in the mid-17th century.
She is seduced and later abandoned by a Spanish nobleman. Her betrayal and the oppression of her people inspire Fenella’s brother to lead a revolt.
The title, by the way, refers to the fact that Fenella, as the film explains, is wordless.
“Shoes” dramatizes the struggles of a shop girl, as Weber, filming on locations in Los Angeles — including Pershing Square — chronicles the daily life of a young woman working for meager wages at a five-and-dime store.
She is the sole support for her three younger sisters, her mother and a slacker father.
Because of the family’s financial situation, the girl is forced to patch the holes in her shoes with cardboard. As conditions worsen, she is forced to consider other options.
These are two rare movies that will entice film buffs as well as spotlight a director whose output should be recognized and honored.
Technical aspects: 1.33:1 full-screen picture; English titles.
Don’t miss: Extras on “The Dumb Girl of Portici” include a 1935 documentary, “The Immortal Swan,” a 13-minute 1925 short, produced by Douglas Fairbanks, of Pavlova dancing, Pavlova in newsreels and Pavlova home movies.
Bonus materials on “Shoes” include a commentary track by Weber biographer and film historian Shelley Stamp, a 1932 bad spoof of “Shoes” entitled “Unshod Maiden,” a 1971 interview with the movie’s star, Mary MacLaren, a 1911 short film written by and starring Weber and the EYE Filmmuseum’s before-and-after video and original Dutch introduction to “Shoes.”

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women
Release date: Jan. 30
Details: 2017, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Rated: R, strong sexual content, adult themes, language, smoking
The lowdown: William Moulton Marston is known for two creations — an early prototype of the lie detector and Wonder Woman.
In the same year that Wonder Woman smashed onto the big screen in a big-budget superhero film, it is apropos that a movie explaining Marston’s inspiration for his Amazonian character also was released.
In “Professor Marston & the Wonder Women,” writer-director Angela Robinson traces how Marston’s unconventional personal life and views about women led to the creation of his iconic comic-book figure.
We first meet Marston (Luke Evans) and his wife, Elizabeth (Rebecca Hall), in 1928 at Radcliffe where Marston is teaching psychology.
He and Elizabeth are partners in human behavior research.
They soon choose one of Marston’s students, Olivia Byrne (Bella Heathcote), to serve as an intern and help in their experiments.
The movie overflows with sexual tension. Both Marstons are attracted to Byrne, who soon reciprocates.
The trio eventually fall into an unusual lifestyle that is definitely outside the norms of society.
But the movie is not some kinky examination of their alternative living and sexual arrangements.
Rather, it’s a slowly building meditation of how Marston views the women in his life and — on a larger canvas — how women in society are restrained and treated by convention.
At times, the movie makes you squirm and feel uncomfortable, as if you are invading the privacy of these three people who have chosen a singular path.
Robinson creates a couple of sequences that foreshadow who Wonder Woman will be, as she slowly percolates in Marston’s mind.
The film impressed critics who gave it an 86 percent fresh rating at
Technical aspects: 2.39:1 anamorphic widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH, English and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus materials include a featurette on the three main performers and a look at the making of the movie plus a featurette on writer-director Angela Robinson.

Accident Man (Blu-ray)
Details: 2017, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Rated: R, graphic and brutal violence, sexual content, language, drug use
The lowdown: Fallon, a stone-cold killer, known as the “Accident Man,” turns against his own people when the London underworld murders a loved one.
He sets out to avenge the person who meant the most to him in this adaptation of a popular United Kingdom comic book.
This action-thriller stars Scott Adkins, who co-wrote the script. He is supported by Ashley Greene, Michael Jai White, Ray Park, Ray Stevenson, David Paymer and others.
For those who like plenty of action and kick-ass violence, this movie fits the bill.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.39:1 widescreen picture; English and French 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH, English, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Supplemental offerings include as assassin’s role call featurette, a behind-the-scenes look at filming a fight sequence and a commentary track.

The Gruesome Twosome (Blu-ray)
Details: 1967, Arrow Video
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Another of Herschell Gordon Lewis’ gorefests, this one centering on a crazy wigmaker and her equally demented son who procure the finest heads of hair for their Little Wig Shop by scalping the local co-eds from a nearby college.
The film contains the usual stomach-churning sequences of violence and brutality that were the hallmarks of Lewis’ movies.
The film is not recommended for those with sensitive stomachs or psyches.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.33:1 picture; English DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH subtitles.

Walking Out (Blu-ray)
Details: 2017, Shout! Factory-IFC Films
Rated: PG-13, mature themes, bloody injury images, language
The lowdown: An estranged father and son are forced to rely on each other in order to survive in this dramatic thriller.
Once a year, 14-year-old David travels from his home with his mother in Texas to visit his loner father, Cal, in his remote home in the mountains of Montana.
In Montana, David and his dad take their annual hunting excursion, during which Cal makes every effort to connect with his son.
A turn of events leaves Cal critically wounded and it’s up to David to grow up quickly and take the responsibility of saving both of them.
The movie is a survival saga and a father-son bonding story.
The film, which had a limited theatrical release, warmed the hearts of critics, who gave it a 92 percent fresh rating at
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.40:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and stereo; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: Behind-the-scenes footage comprises the major bonus features.

War of the Worlds: The Complete Series
Details: 1988-90, CBS DVD-Paramount Home Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: This 11-disc set features all 43 episodes of this TV series that is a sequel to the classic 1953 science fiction film.
The premise of the series is that many decades after the Martian invaders were felled by common earthly bacteria, increased radiation has wiped out the organisms.
Brought back from suspended animation, the aliens use their body-snatching abilities — not demonstrated at all in the movie — to adopt human form and begin their conquest of the planet anew.
The show’s first season focuses on a small army of resistance fighters who manage to thwart the aliens attempts to take over Earth.
Season two finds the world in a post-apocalyptic state from the war, with the remaining fighters battling a new wave of aliens.
The series is routine, borrowing bits and pieces from other sci-fi TV shows and movies.
One interesting note, Ann Robinson, who costarred in the movie, makes a guest appearance as the character she played in the 1953 film.
Technical aspects: 4×3 full-screen picture; English Dolby digital stereo; English closed-captioned (season one) and English SDH (season two).

Aida’s Secrets
Release date: Jan. 30
Details: 2016, Music Box Films
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Two brothers, Shep and Izak, born inside the Bergen-Belsen Displaced Persons’ Camp after World War II are separated as babies.
Izak was sent to Israel and Shep to Canada. Neither knew of the other’s existence until 70 years later with the discovery of family records.
The discovery lead to an emotional reunion of the brothers and with their elderly mother, Aida,
This moving documentary is a story about identity, family secrets, resilience and the plight of displaced people.
Technical aspects: 1.85:1 widescreen picture; English and Hebrew 5.1 Dolby digital; English subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include a commentary track, deleted scenes, a family archive photo gallery and a filmmaker question-and-answer session at the New York premiere.

The Guardian: The Complete Series
Details: 2001-04, CBS DVD-Paramount Home Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Simon Baker followed up his stint as “The Mentalist” with this series in which he portrayed Nick Fallin, a hotshot lawyer arrested on a drug charge and sentenced to 1,500 hours of community service.
At first resentful, Fallin eventually finds his true calling by helping those less fortunate than himself.
Conflicts arise between Fallin’s father, Burton (Dabney Coleman), who founded the Pittsburgh law firm where his son originally worked, and Alvin Masterson (Alan Rosenberg), who runs the firm where Nick now works as a child advocate lawyer.
This 18-disc set features all 67 episodes.
Technical aspects: 16:9 widescreen picture; English Dolby digital stereo surround; English closed-captioned (season one) and English SDH subtitles (seasons two and three).
Don’t miss: CBS launch promotions are the set’s major extras.

Extraordinary Mission (Blu-ray)
Details: 2017, Crimson Forest-Cinedigm
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A Chinese action feature about a police officer who goes undercover to bring down a drug cartel.
Unfortunately, he does his job too well and soon becomes a drug addict.
As he works to bring down the criminals, he uncovers a plot against his police supervisor, which puts his loyalties to the test.
Fans of Asian action movies will enjoy this outing.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.39:1 widescreen picture; Mandarin 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English subtitles.
Don’t miss: A making of featurette is the major bonus component.

Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamilton
Details: 2017, IFC Films
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A documentary that looks at Laird Hamilton, regarded as the greatest big-wave surfer of all time.
Hamilton also is a controversial figure in the surfing community for his innovations that have revolutionized the sport.
The movie follows his journey from his childhood in Hawaii to his first forays into surfing and his constant search for even-bigger waves.
The movie features interviews and breathtaking surfing footage that will leave viewers gaping.
Technical aspects: 1.78:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH and Spanish subtitles.

The Jackie Gleason Show in Color
Details: 1966-70, Time Life
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Jackie Gleason moved his show to Miami Beach, Fla., where he entertained audiences between 1966 and 1970.
Gleason liked Miami Beach because it also allowed him plenty of sunshine to play golf, as well as work.
He broadcast his weekly CBS series from the city where his sketches, including the beloved “Honeymooners” were performed.
This DVD features four never-before-released episodes of “The Jackie Gleason Show” as well as three “Honeymooners” sketches making their home video debut.
Among Gleason’s guest stars during his Florida stint were Milton Berle, Red Buttons, George Carlin, Phil Silvers, Nipsy Russell, Florence Henderson and Frankie Avalon.
Fans of Gleason will wax nostalgic about “The Great One” and his antics.
Technical aspects: 1.33:1 (4×3) full-screen picture; English Dolby digital stereo; English SDH and closed-captioned subtitles.

Duckman: The Complete Series
Details: 1994-97, CBS DVD-Paramount Home Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A 10-disc set containing all 70 episodes of this animated series featuring the vocal talents of Jason Alexander (“Seinfeld”) as the voice of Duckman.
Duckman is a rude, crude, lewd private eye who somehow manages to solve crimes while being a single parent to his dysfunctional son.
The series is irreverent, low-brow and funny.
Technical aspects: 4:3 full-screen picture; English Dolby digital surround; English closed-captioned subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include promotional spots, an inside Duckman featurette, an interactive “Six Degrees of Duckman,” the original animatic drawings and animation from the unaired pilot and storyboards and pencil tests.

Other titles being released on Tuesday, unless otherwise indicated:
Demons (Uncork’d Entertainment)
Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Inferno (Arrow Academy)
Inoperable (DVD + digital) (Zorya Films-Millman Productions-ITN Distribution)
Sebastian (DVD + digital) (Wolfe Video)

JoJo Siwa: My World (Nickelodeon-Paramount Home Entertainment)
Rugrats: Seasons 3 & 4 (Nickelodeon-Paramount Home Entertainment)
Shimmer and Shine: Beyond the Rainbow Falls (Nickelodeon-Paramount Home Entertainment)

The Music of Silence (AMBI Distribution, Feb. 2)
Curse of the Witch’s Doll (High Octane Pictures)
Darkest Hour (Universal Studios Home Entertainment)
Basmati Blues (Shout! Factory, Feb. 9)
Coffee (Uncork’d Entertainment, Feb. 9)
Signature Moves (Music Box Films, Feb. 9)
Doctor Finlay: Series 2 (Acorn TV, Feb. 12)
Girlfriends: Episode 3 (Acorn TV, Feb. 12)
The Heart Guy: Series 2, Episodes 3 & 4 (Acorn TV, Feb. 12)
The Joy of … (Acorn TV, Feb. 12)
Murdoch Mysteries: Season 11, Episode 8 (Acorn TV, Feb. 12)

Coming next week: The Deuce: The Complete First Season

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