New DVD and Blu-ray Releases for the Week of August 15

From the Big Screen:

Asteroid City

photo for ASTEROID CITY (2023) Takes place in a fictional American desert town circa 1955. The itinerary of a Junior Stargazer/Space Cadet convention (organized to bring together students and parents from across the country for fellowship and scholarly competition) is spectacularly disrupted by world-changing events. Equal parts comedy, drama, and romance (with a touch of science-fiction). Vitals: Director: Wes Anderson. Stars: Jason Schwartzman, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hanks, Jeffrey Wright, Tilda Swinton, Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Adrien Brody, Liev Schreiber, Hope Davis, Stephen Park, Rupert Friend, Maya Hawke, Steve Carell, Matt Dillon, Hong Chau, Willem Dafoe, Margot Robbie, Tony Revolori, Jake Ryan, Jeff Goldblum. CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 104 min., Comedy, North American box office gross: $27.743 million, worldwide $46.909 million, Universal. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray + Digital Code, Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Code, 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo + Digital Code, VOD, Digital. Extras: “The Making of Asteroid City” featurettes. Read more here 3 stars


photo for Nefarious (2023) On the day of his scheduled execution, a convicted serial killer gets a psychiatric evaluation during which he claims he is a demon, and further claims that before their time is over, the psychiatrist will commit three murders of his own. Vitals: Director: Cary Solomon, Chuck Konzelman. Stars: Sean Patrick Flanery, Jordan Belfi, Stelio Savante, Tom Ohmer, Cameron Arnett, Eric Hanson, James Healy Jr., Sarah Hernandez, Jarret LeMaster, Robert Peters. CC, MPAA rating: R, 98 min., Horror, North American box office gross: $5.433 million, worldwide $5.433 million, Amazon. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray, VOD, Digital. 2 stars

This Week’s Highlight:

“Dim Sum: A Little Bit of Heart” (1985), Wayne Wang’s follow-up to his watershed indie “Chan Is Missing,” is a family portrait that gracefully combines the director’s signature gentle humanism and eye for poignant detail. photo for DIM SUM: A LITTLE BIT OF HEART Offering another fresh perspective on San Francisco’s Chinese American community, Wang takes a bittersweet look at the generational pas de deux between an aging immigrant widow and her devoted daughter, torn between filial duty and her own desires. Soulfully performed by an ensemble including real-life mother and daughter Kim and Laureen Chew and Victor Wong, the Yasujiro Ozu–inspired “Dim Sum: A Little Bit of Heart” is as lovingly made as the home-cooked cuisine it celebrates. On Blu-ray, with high-definition digital master of a new director’s cut, supervised by director Wayne Wang, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack. From The Criterion Collection. Read more here.

Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:

“City of the Living Dead” (1980 – Italy) is a three-disc set that includes a 4K UHD and Blu-ray restored versions of Lucio Fulci’s Italian horror classic as well as a Blu-ray extras disc. The death of a priest causes a chain reaction that begins The End of Days. The only hope lies in a jaded reporter (Christopher George) and the psychic (Catriona MacColl) he saved from being buried alive. The two set off for photo for City of the Living Dead Dunwich, New England to shut the gates of hell before it’s too late and the undead rule the Earth. This horror classic features Special FX work by Gino De Rossi of “Zombie” and “Cannibal Ferox” infamy, a score by Fabio Frizzi, and a screenplay co-written by Dardano Sacchetti (“Rat Man,” “Demons”). Formats: 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo. From Cauldron Films. Read more here“Confidential Informant” (2023), starring Dominic Purcell, Mel Gibson, Nick Stahl and Kate Bosworth, is a crime-thriller that tells the tale of two narcotics agents hunting for a cop killer during a crack epidemic. Hoping for leads, Moran (Purcell) and Thorton (Stahl) pay off a junkie informant. Then, in an attempt to provide for his wife (Bosworth) and son, Moran involves the stool pigeon in a deadly scheme. This causes the partners to come under the scrutiny of a suspicious internal affairs agent. On DVD and Blu-ray from Lionsgate. Read more here … Bert Kreischer rose to fame as a stand-up comedian known as “The Machine” (2023), and in his signature set he recounts his true experience with Russian mobsters while on a booze-soaked college trip. Now, 23 years later, that trip has come back to haunt him as he and his estranged father (Mark Hamill) are kidnapped back to Russia by the mob to atone for something they say he did. Together, Bert and his father must retrace the steps of his younger self (Jimmy Tatro) in the midst of a war within a sociopathic crime family, all while attempting to find common ground in their often fraught relationship. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Sony … photo for Kill Shot In “Kill Shot” (2023), starring Rib Hillis, Rachel Cook, Bobby Maximus, Mara Ohara, Mark Murphy and Xian Mikol, during a hunting trip in Montana, a wilderness guide and former Navy SEAL (Hillis) and his client (Cook) stumble upon a cache of heist money, unwittingly making themselves the one obstacle standing between a dangerous terrorist group and its lost fortune. Eager to take some of the cash for themselves, the pair learns far too late how easy it can be to make someone disappear in the vastness of Big Sky country. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Well Go USA … In “Ouija Shark 2” (2023 — Canada), starring John Migliore, Deborah Jayne, Reilly Smith and Kylie Gough, the Ouija Shark emerges from Hell to cause havoc once more on earth, and a sorcerer with a history of fighting the ghostly great white must follow it into a multiverse hellscape for one final battle. But this time he is bringing along some friends to help send the shark into oblivion. On Blu-ray, from Wild Eye Releasing. Read more here … In the dark, comedic thriller, “Wrong Reasons” (2023), starring James Parks, Liv Roush and Ralph Garman, an ambiguously intentioned masked man (Parks) kidnaps a drug addicted punk rock singer (Roush) and triggers a police investigation headed by Detective Charles Dobson (Garman) as well as a media circus. On DVD, Blu-ray, from MVD Visual … photo for
In “Junk Head” (2017 — Japan), in the distant future, humankind — living five miles below the surface — can no longer reproduce because of gene manipulation aimed at making life longer. The clones ruling the bottomless underworld may have become fertile. So a human scientist is selected to go on a mission through a subterranean labyrinth crawling with monsters to secure humanity’s future. Stop motion animated science fiction film written and directed by Takehide Hori, based on his 2013 short film of the same name. On Blu-ray; the DVD was released July 11. From Synergetic … Return to “Babylon 5” as the epic interstellar saga continues with this new feature, “Babylon 5: The Road Home” (2022). Travel across the galaxy with John Sheridan as he unexpectedly finds himself transported through multiple timelines and alternate realities in a quest to find his way back home. Along the way he reunites with some familiar faces, while discovering cosmic new revelations about the history, purpose, and meaning of the Universe. “Babylon 5” celebrates its 30th anniversary this year and returning to voice their characters from the original series are Bruce Boxleitner as John Sheridan, Claudia Christian as Susan Ivanova, Peter Jurasik as Londo Mollari, Bill Mumy as Lennier, Tracy Scoggins as Elizabeth Lochley, and Patricia Tallman as Lyta Alexander. On Blu-ray from Warner.

For the Family:

Based on the Ukrainian drama “The Forest Song” by celebrated poet and author Lesya Ukrainka, the English-language animated adventure “Mavka: The Forest Song” (2023 — Ukraine) unfolds in a universe that blends ancient Slavic traditions and folklore with a modern narrative that showcases Ukrainian culture, values, designs, and music. In addition to having an engaging storyline and memorable characters, this uplifting and colorful animated fairytale is bolstered by a strong young female lead character, fascinating folklores, and the relevant theme of environmental conservation. Mavka – the soul of the forest – has been chosen by the supreme spirits to become the forest’s new guardian. But when she meets a talented human musician named Lucas – a man on the hunt for a mysterious tree with the power to give life, she is faced with an impossible choice between her newfound love and her duty to the spirits. Can humans and the forest live in harmony, or will greed and vice destroy them both? From Shout! Kids.

From TV to Disc:

“Metalocalypse: The Complete Series” (2006-13) is an eight-disc set that includes 62 episodes from all four seasons, plus “Metalocalypse: The Doomstar Requiem – A Klok Opera.” The quarter-hour animated series chronicles the world’s most popular entertainment act in the known universe — extreme metal band, DETHKLOK — as they balance their rabid popularity with the brutality of everyday life. On Blu-ray, from Adult Swim/Warner.

All DVDs and Blu-rays are screened on a reference system consisting of an Oppo BDP-83 Blu-ray Disc Player w/SACD & DVD-Audio, a Rotel RSX-972 Surround Sound Receiver, and Phase Technology 1.1 (front), 33.1 (center), and 50 (rear) speakers, and Power 10 subwoofer.

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