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New on DVD and Blu-ray Week of March 7-March 13

View Harley Lond's Profile

By Harley Lond - 03/07/17 at 11:27 AM CT

FROM THE BIG SCREEN:
Disney's latest foray into animated musical family fare is "Moana," a fantasy tale about Moana, the only daughter of a Polynesian chief in a long line of ocean navigators. When her island's fishermen can't catch any fish and the crops fail, she learns that the demigod Maui (Dwayne Johnson) caused the blight by stealing the heart of the goddess, Te Whiti. The only way to heal the island is to persuade Maui to
Dwayne Johnson (as the demigod Maui) and newcomer Auli'i Cravalho (as title character Moana) go on an epic adventure to return life to the islands in the 2016 top animated film, Moana. return Te Whiti's heart, so Moana sets off on an epic journey across the Pacific to find him. What with direction by animation pros Ron Clements and John Musker, music by Lin-Manuel Miranda ("Hamilton"), Opetaia Foa'i and Mark Mancina; and the voices of Auli'i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Alan Tudyk, Jemaine Clement, Nicole Scherzinger, Temuera Morrison, Disney had another smash hit on its hands. Moana is available in DVD, Blu-ray and 3D editions -- all loaded with extras.

"Jackie" is an intimate portrait of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy (Natalie Portman) in the days after the assassination of JFK in 1963. The First Lady struggles with her loss, the country's loss, and her children's loss; deals with the political machinations swirling around her; and plans the funeral; all the while trying to maintain the dignity that epitomized her reign in the White House. It's an attempt at a psychological portrait of the First Lady as she struggles to maintain her husband's legacy and the world of "Camelot" that they created and loved so well. Portman turns in a tour-de-force performance but Pablo Larrain's formal directing style puts too much distance between the viewer and the viewed, with an emphasis on sets and design at the expense of emotion and understanding. And, even at a brief 95 minutes, the film seems too slow and too long. Co-stars Peter Sarsgaard, Greta Gerwig, John Hurt, Billy Crudup, Max Casella, Richard E. Grant and Beth Grant. From Fox.

BUZZIN' THE 'B'S:


In "The Brand New Testament" (2016), starring Pili Groyne, Benoît Poelvoorde and Catherine Deneuve, God exists … and He’s a jerk. Or so it appears in the world of this irresistible and irreverent comedy-fantasy from veteran Belgian filmmaker Jaco Van Dormael. In the beginning things went a bit differently than the Good Book would have us believe. “God” (Benoit Poelvoorde), you see, rules the universe from a high-rise photo for The Brand New Testament apartment in Brussels and rarely changes out of His T-shirt and ratty bathrobe. Sitting behind a computer, He takes sadistic delight in dreaming up new “laws” to torment humanity and tyrannizes His wife (Yolande Moreau) and 10-year-old daughter, Ea (Pili Groyne). Like her brother JC before her, Ea has had enough of her Father’s abuse and when she spies the right opportunity, she hacks into His computer and leaks to the entire world — by text message — the only thing He has over them: everyone’s inevitable death date. As the world’s denizens react (and over-react) to the information, Ea takes the elevator down to Earth — with daddy in pursuit — and gathers apostles to help write her own New Testament to try to fix the mess her Father has made of humanity. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Music Box Films ... "Bloodrunners" (2017) is a thriller that centers on a turf war between a crooked cop and a power-hungry vampire over a small town soaked in illegal hooch during the height of Prohibition. Stars Ice-T, Michael McFadden, Chris James Boylan and Airen DeLaMater. In a Blu-ray/DVD Combo from Speakeasy Pictures/IMPULSE-FX ... "Resistance " (2011) starring Michael Sheen, Iwan Rheon, Tom Wlaschiha and photo for Bloodrunners Andrea Riseborough, is an alternate universe drama based on the acclaimed novel by Owen Sheers and set in Nazi-occupied Britain. D-Day has failed, and, as Panzer divisions and Nazi troops sweep westward across the dispirited countryside, the British Resistance Organization (BRO), Churchill's top-secret and highly trained civilian army designed to wreak havoc on occupying enemy forces, mount resistance to the German invaders. From Film Movement ... "Cold War 2" (2016 -- Hong Kong), starring Aaron Kwok, Tony Leung and Chow Yun-fat, is a sequel to the 2012 Hong Kong box-office smash, and continues the saga of intra-police rivalry, picking up some time after the events in the first movie. Sean Lau (Aaron Kwok) is now the Commissioner of Police. A suspected criminal mastermind escapes from police custody, throwing the city into turmoil. Things get worse when Lau's wife and daughter are kidnapped and he must seek help from a former rival (Tony Leung) to save their lives. With the police department now divided, rival police chiefs are forced to take their fight to the streets of Hong Kong -- with deadly consequences. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Well Go USA ... In "The Eyes of My Mother" (2016), starring Kika Magalhaes Will Brill and Olivia Bond, a mother, formerly a surgeon in Portugal, teaches her daughter, Francisca, to understand anatomy photo for Cold War 2 and be unfazed by death. One afternoon, however, a mysterious visitor horrifyingly shatters the idyll of Francisca’s family life, deeply traumatizing the young girl, but also awakening some unique curiosities. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Magnolia Home Entertainment ... In "Incarnate" (2017), starring Aaron Eckhart, Carice van Houten, Catalina Sandino Moreno and David MazouzAaron, Eckhart stars as Dr. Seth Ember, an unconventional exorcist who uses science instead of religion to tap into the minds of the possessed to remove the demon from their subconscious. When an 11-year-old boy becomes possessed by a creature of unspeakable evil, Ember enters the mind of the boy to attack the vengeful demon, but he finds himself facing the battle of his life and the horrors of his own past. On DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo from Universal ... "The Lesson" (2015), starring Robert Hands, Evan Bendall and Rory Coltart, is a UK horror thriller about a bullied school teacher who has a mental breakdown, resulting in a terrifying act of revenge on his students. ON DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Shout! Factory ... In "Man Down" (2015), starring Shia LaBeou, Jai Courtney, Charlie Shotwell, Kate photo for Man Down Mara and Clifton Collins Jr., LaBeouf stars as a former U.S. Marine who returns home from Afghanistan to a completely different world, and sets out on a mission to find his estranged wife and son. When U.S. Marine Gabriel Drummer returns home from his tour in Afghanistan, he finds that the place he once called home is no better than the battlefields he fought on overseas. Accompanied by his best friend Devin Roberts (Courtney), a hard-nosed Marine whose natural instinct is to shoot first and ask questions later, he searches desperately for the location of his estranged son, Johnathan (Shotwell), and wife Natalie (Mara). In their search, the two intercept Charles (Collins Jr.), a man carrying vital information about the whereabouts of Gabriel’s family. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Lionsgate ... The ensemble drama "100 Streets" (2016), starring Idris Elba, Gemma Arterton, Tom Cullen, Franz Drameh, Kierston Wareinga and Ken Stott, follows three contrasting and interwoven stories as they play out in one square mile of modern day London. A former rugby player struggles to find a life off the field while fighting to save his marriage to a former actress; a small time drug dealer desperately seeking a way off the street meets a local thespian, who gives him the push he needs out of his dead end life and into a very different, creative world; a cab driver and his wife Kathy dream of having kids but a devastating road accident puts their hopes on hold even testing their otherwise strong marriage. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Sony ... In "Trespass Against Us" (2016), starring Michael Fassbender, Brendan Gleeson and Georgie Smith, a man looks to find a way to escape the photo for Incarnate criminal ways of his outlaw family. Set across three generations of the Cutler family who live as outlaws in their own anarchic corner of a rich countryside. Chad Cutler (Fassbender) is heir apparent to his bruising criminal father, Colby (Gleeson) and has been groomed to spend his life hunting, thieving and tormenting the police. But with his own son, Tyson (Smith) coming of age, Chad soon finds himself locked in a battle with his father for the future of his young family. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc, from Lionsgate ... At a time where online dating could prove fatal, Jack and Kristy decide they're ready to meet in person in "Slasher.com" (2017). Aiming for an adventurous first date, they plan a weekend getaway to a cozy cabin deep in the woodlands of rural Missouri. While discovering each other, they soon learn of the terrorizing horrors that the forest, and the family lurking there, has in store for outsiders. Stars Jewel Shepard, R.A. Mihailoff, Ben Kaplan, Morgan Carter. From Firefly Films/ITN Distribution.

ON THE INDIE FRONT:


After his house is destroyed by a tornado (what his insurance company deems an "act of God"), former hotshot lawyer David Frank is determined that someone must pay. He decides to serve God ... with a lawsuit in "Frank vs. God" (2014), starring Henry Ian Cusick, Ever Carradine and Natalya Oliver. From Random Media ... In the Dove approved (for ages 12+) romantic drama "New Life" (2016), starring Jonathan Patrick Moore, Erin Bethea, James Marsters, Bill Cobbs, Irma P. Hall and Terry O’Quinn, seven-year-old photo for New Life Benjamin Morton’s life changed forever the day he met Ava, the little girl next door. What began as a childhood friendship grows into a meaningful relationship as the two plan out their lives together. When life takes a turn neither of them expect, their entire future is called into question. From Broad Green Pictures ... "Departure" (2016 -- UK), starring Juliette Stevenson, Alex Lawther, Phénix Brossard, Finbar Lynch and Patrice Juiff, is an intimate and restrained story of an English mother (Stevenson) and her son, a 15-year-old dreamy eyed would-be writer (Lawther) who is exploring his dawning sexuality. When they take an emotional journey to the South of France, they become embroiled in a love triangle with a rugged, handsome French boy. From Wolfe Video ... In "Fair Haven" (2017), starring Tom Wopat, Michael Grant, Josh Green and Gregory Harrison, a young man returns to his family farm, after a long stay in ex-gay conversion therapy, and is torn between the expectations of his emotionally distant father, and the memories of a past, loving relationship he has tried to bury. From Breaking Glass Pictures.

FOREIGN:


"Tanna" (2016 -- Australia) was an Academy Award nominees for Best Foreign-Language Film. On a remote island in the South Pacific, Wawa, a young girl, falls in love with her chief’s grandson. But when war with their enemies escalates, Wawa is unknowingly betrothed as part of a peace deal. The young lovers run away, but are pursued by warriors of both tribes. With their lives on the line, the star-crossed photo for Tanna lovers must choose between their hearts and the peaceful future of the tribe. The film is based on a true story -- an event that occurred in 1987 in one of the world’s last tribal societies. The people of Yakel, on the island of Tanna, are fully aware of the outside world, but have chosen to live according to the ways of their ancestors, after resisting the colonial powers that used to control the area, the missionaries that tried to assimilate them to a Western way of life, and finally the lure of money. The film was crafted in full collaboration with the islanders, and is the first feature film to be shot entirely in the nation of Vanuatu, which is an archipelago of 83 islands and an estimated 110 different languages. The island of Tanna is dominated by an active volcano, which plays an important part in the film, as well as the tribe’s culture. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Momentum Pictures/Sony Home Entertainment.

FOR THE FAMILY:


From award-winning director Keiichi Hara ("Colorful") and Japanese powerhouse Production I.G ("Ghost in the Shell") comes "Miss Hokusai" (2016), a remarkable story of the daughter behind one of history's most famous artists. As all of Edo flocks to see the work of the revered painter Hokusai, his daughter O-Ei toils diligently, creating the photo for Miss Hokusai paintings sold under her father's name. Shy in public, in the studio O-Ei is brash and uninhibited. Seeking to come into her own as an artist, O-Ei sets out into the bustling city of Edo (present-day Tokyo), where she encounters spirits, dragons, courtesans, and rival artists. Set in 19th century Japan as the age of the samurai draws to a close. On DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo from Universal ... The latest PAW Patrol collection, "PAW Patrol: Pups Save the Bunnies" (2017), features seven new heroic rescues, including a double-length mission to save Adventure Bay's Easter Egg Hunt. Kids can watch as the pups try to protect Farmer Yumi's vegetable garden, save Mayor Goodway's tulip garden, investigate the disappearance of the songbirds and look for the lost sheep. From Paramount ... photo for Kikoriki: Legend of the Golden Dragon In the new animated feature "Kikoriki: Legend of the Golden Dragon" (2017) , the lovably simple residents of peaceful Kikoriki Island are thrown kicking and screaming into big adventure when their resident scientist invents an amazing device (a helmet called "the Improverizor") which takes personality traits from one person and swaps them with someone else’s. But when spineless young Wally tries to use the untested device to cure his cowardice, he ends up even more spineless: by getting accidentally body-switched with a squirmy little caterpillar. Now he’s got more to fear than he ever dreamed, and so do his fellow villagers, as they’re dragged into a madcap adventure packed with plane crashes, mistaken identities, erupting volcanoes and angry natives on the warpath. From Shout! Factory ... "The Legend of Chupacabras" (2016 -- USA/Mexico) is an animated adventure about a heroic boy and some magical friends uncovering the mystery of a legendary monster from popular Latin American folklore. Fourth installment in the "La Leyenda" franchise. From Lionsgate.

SPECIAL INTEREST:


One out of two people will get cancer in their lifetime. Until recently, we thought that cancer was only due to a genetic predisposition, or to an unlucky draw. "The C Word" (2016) presents a distinguished look into the connection between the current cancer epidemic and our western lifestyle from a scientific, documented and optimistic point of view. The latest research findings clearly show that up to 70% of cancer deaths are linked to our daily behaviors: smoking, a diet of processed foods, a sedentary lifestyle, excessive stress, and a continued exposure to daily contaminants. Narrated by Morgan Freeman. From Virgil Films.

FROM TV TO DVD:


In "Kendra On Top: Season 4 and 5" (2015-16), Kendra Wilkinson is back series that follows the life and times of the reality queen. After the scandal that nearly ripped her marriage apart, Kendra aims to strengthen her relationships both in her career and at home. From MPI/Dark Sky Films ... "Mama's Family: The Mama's Family Favorites Collection" (1983-90) is a six-disc set featuring 37 complete episodes hand-picked photo for Mama's Family: The Mama's Family Favorite by Mama (Vicki Lawrence) herself, packaged together for the very first time at retail. After breaking out from "The Family" sketches on "The Carol Burnett Show," Thelma "Mama" Harper's home-spun humor earned its own well-loved sitcom which ran for six seasons. Set in the fictional city of Raytown, "Mama's Family" revolves around the eye-opening escapades of the Harper clan, headed by Mama Harper, who does not suffer fools gladly. In fact, she makes everybody suffer a little with her patented snappy retorts that truly put the "diss" in dysfunction. From Time Life ... "Suspects, Series 5" (2016 -- UK) is a two-disc set with six episodes. Filmed from an eyewitness perspective with improvised dialogue, this one-of-a-kind procedural delivers an immersive, authentic look at police investigations. "Suspects" relies on the cast to develop their own dialogue, creating a photo for Wentworth, Season 2 uniquely realistic tone. DS Jack Weston and DC Charlie Steele are shocked when their boss, DI Martha Bellamy, is shot dead in her home. DCI Daniel Drummond joins Jack and Charlie to lead the investigation into Martha’s murder, also bringing in detectives Alisha Brooks and Gary Roscoe. The new team soon realizes that Martha’s murder could be connected to a cold case she was investigating. Could one of those suspects have killed her? From Acorn Media ... "Wentworth, Season 2" (2014 - Australia) is a four-disc set with all 12 episodes of the second season of the critically acclaimed Australian prison series. Drastic changes are in store for the women at Wentworth Prison. In Season 2, Bea languishes in solitary, plotting revenge for her daughter’s murder, while Franky runs the prison unopposed. But the arrival of sadistic new governor Joan Ferguson threatens Franky’s top-dog status. With Franky’s contraband operation in her crosshairs, Ferguson attempts to recruit informants, and the inmates are forced to choose a side. From Acorn Media.


Check out other March 7-13 DVD/Blu-ray releases and reviews at OnVideo.

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