New DVD and Blu-ray Releases for the Week of May 28

photo for Kung Fu Panda 4

Kung Fu Panda 4

(2024) After learning he must find a new hero to take over as Dragon Warrior so that he may fulfill his destiny as the next spiritual leader of the Valley of Peace, Po decides to take one last adventurous mission. He teams up with a quick-witted thief named Zhen, a corsac fox, to discover the truth about recent sightings of villains he’s defeated in the past. In a journey that puts both to the test, it will take a wicked, powerful sorceress, The Chameleon, to bring them together and remind Po that heroes can be found in the most unexpected places. Vitals: Director: Mike Mitchell. Stars: Voices of Jack Black, Awkwafina, Viola Davis, Dustin Hoffman, Bryan Cranston, James Hong, Ian McShane, Ke Huy Quan. CC, MPAA rating: PG, 93 min., Animated Family Adventure, North American box office gross: $192.6 million, worldwide $533.5 million, Universal. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Code, 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo + Digital Code, VOD, Digital. Extras: Dueling Dumplings”; “Mastering the Dumpling”; “Bad Bunny Review”; deleted scenes; “Kung Fu Talking”; “Meet the Cast”; “Kung Fu Panda 4 All!!”; “How to Draw: Po, Zhen, The Chameleon, The Bad Bunnies”; “Shadow Puppet Theater”; feature commentary with director Mike Mitchell, co-director Stephanie Ma Stine, production designer Paul Duncan, head of story Calvin Tsang, and head of character animation Sean Sexton. 3 stars Read more here.

photo for Bob Marley: One Love

Bob Marley: One Love

(2024) Bio-drama celebrates the life and music of an icon who inspired generations through his message of love, peace, and unity. The film highlights Bob Marley’s powerful story of overcoming adversity and the journey behind his revolutionary music that changed the world. Vitals: Director: . Stars: Kingsley Ben-Adir, Micheal Ward, James Norton, Lashana Lynch, Michael Gandolfini, Anthony Welsh. CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 107 min., Bio-Drama, North American box office gross: $96.893 million, worldwide $177.193 million, Paramount. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray + Digital Code, 4K Ultra HD + Digital Code, VOD, Digital. Extras: “Becoming Bob Marley”; “The Story: Bringing Bob Marley’s Story to Life”; “The Cas”; “On Location: Jamaica And England”; “The Band”; extended and deleted scenes. 3 stars

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Anatomy of a Fall

(2023 — France) The closer we look, the less we know in Justine Triet’s masterful Palme d’Or–winning film, an eerily riveting courtroom thriller that examines the line where truth becomes fiction and fiction becomes truth. When Sandra Voyter (a transfixing Sandra Hüller), a writer who turns the material of her life into autofiction, is put on trial for the suspicious death by defenestration — or was it suicide? — of her husband, it opens up an inquiry that will turn a troubled home inside out. Tapping into the minimalist intensity of a chamber drama — and using intricate, elliptical editing — Triet constructs a mystery that is ultimately less about a death than about the hidden lives we lead. Vitals: Director: Justine Triet. Stars: Sandra Hüller, Milo Machado Graner, Antoine Reinartz. CC, MPAA rating: R, 151 min., Drama Mystery, North American box office gross: $4.624 million, worldwide $28.375 million, The Criterion Collection. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray, VOD, Digital. Extras: New interview with director Justine Triet; deleted and alternate scenes; audition footage of actors Milo Machado Graner and Antoine Reinartz and rehearsal footage of Machado Graner and actor Sandra Hüller; trailer; an essay by critic Alexandra Schwartz. 3 stars Read more here.

photo for Arthur the King

Arthur the King

(2024) An unbreakable bond is forged between pro adventure racer Michael Light (Mark Wahlberg) and a scrappy street dog companion dubbed Arthur over the course of a grueling 10-day, 435-mile racecourse. Based on true events, “Arthur the King” follows Light, desperate for one last chance to win, as he convinces a sponsor to back him and a team of athletes for the Adventure Racing World Championship in the Dominican Republic. Pushing the team to the outer limits of endurance and sacrifice, Arthur redefines what victory, loyalty, and friendship truly mean. Vitals: Director: Simon Cellan Jones. Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Simu Liu, Juliet Rylance, Nathalie Emmanuel, Ali Suliman, Paul Guilfoyle. CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 107 min., Adventure, North American box office gross: $24.453 million, worldwide $30.206 million, Lionsgate. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Code, VOD, Digital. Extras: “Adventure Racing: On Set” featurette. Blu-ray adds Audio commentary with director Simon Cellan Jones and Author Mikael Lindnord; commentary with producers Tucker Tooley and Tessa Tooley; commentary with producer Mark Canton and executive producer Dorothy Canton; “Finding Arthur” featurette; “A Love Letter to Arthur” featurette; “A Dog’s Journey: Making Arthur the King” featurette; Mark Wahlberg and Best Friends Animal Society; theatrical trailer. 2 stars Read more here.

This Week’s Best Bets

Bullied by her father at home and feeling adrift at school, Diana Guzman (Michelle Rodriguez) finds refuge in an unexpected pocket of her native Brooklyn — a timeworn boxing gym, where photo for Girlfight she learns to channel her strength, discovers a sense of community, and falls for a rival fighter. In Karyn Kusama’s raw, understated feature debut “Girlfight” (2000), Rodriguez commands the screen with both tightly coiled intensity and deep wells of vulnerability as a young woman hitting back at society’s expectations and her own personal demons. Capturing the full emotional weight of Diana’s journey and the kinetic thrill of bodies in motion, Kusama crafts a singularly uncompromising story of self-realization. On Blu-ray, with new 4K digital restoration, supervised by director Karyn Kusama and director of photography Patrick Cady, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. Read more here. From the Criterion Collection.

Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:

In “Knox Goes Away” (2024), starring Michael Keaton, James Marsden, Al Pacino, Marcia Gay Harden and Ray McKinnon, Keaton directs and stars in this unpredictable thriller as John Knox, a hit man attempting to make amends before his recently discovered dementia takes over. Aided by a trusted friend (Pacino) with his own shady past, Knox races against the police — and his own rapidly deteriorating mind — to save his estranged son (Marsden) from a vengeance-fueled mistake and “cash out” before it’s too late. On Blu-ray/DVD combo. From Lionsgate. Read more here … When a rogue insurgent blackmails the CIA by assassinating foreign journalists and framing the government, the agency must lure their most brilliant yet rebellious operative out of retirement to unravel the international conspiracy in “The Bricklayer” (2024), directed by Renny Harlin and starring Aaron Eckhart, Nina Dobrev, Clifton Collins Jr., Tim Blake Nelson, Ilfenesh Hadera, Oliver Trevena. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Vertical Entertainment… In photo for Pandemonium [Limited Edition] “Pandemonium” (2023), director Quarxx (“All the Gods in the Sky”) explores the peculiar, welcoming all those hungry for wonder, in this unique cinematic blend of fantasy, drama, genre, and humor. Nathan (Hugo Dillon) and Daniel (Arben Bajraktaraj) are caught in a road accident that kills them both. As they come to grips with their deaths, Nathan confronts his past and the consequences of his actions. Now trapped in the hellish void of Pandemonium, he encounters tortured souls like Jeanne (Manon Maindivide), a disturbed child; Julia (Ophélia Kolb), a grief-stricken mother; and Norghul (Jean Rousseau), the guide of the great void. Will he find a way to escape the torment that awaits him for eternity? “Pandemonium” takes the viewer on a chilling journey as three interconnected stories unravel in this macabre exploration of tales depicting fallen souls. From the intricacies of everyday drama to the realms of supernatural intrigue, each narrative weaves a haunting tapestry that blurs the lines between the mortal and the supernatural. On Blu-ray from Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment. Read more here … In “Red Right Hand” (2024), starring Orlando Bloom, Andie MacDowell, Chapel Oaks and Garret Dillahunt, Cash (Bloom) is trying to live an honest and quiet life taking care of his recently orphaned niece Savannah (Oaks) in the Appalachian town of Odim County. When the sadistic kingpin Big Cat (MacDowell) who runs the town forces him back into her services, Cash learns he’s capable of anything — even killing — to protect the town and the only family he has left. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Magnolia Home Entertainment. Read more here … In “Into the Blue” (2005), starring Paul Walker, Jessica Alba, Josh Brolin, Scott Caan and Ashley Scott, while diving off the coast of the Bahamas, four friends Jared (Walker), Sam (Alba), Amanda (Scott), and Bryce (Caan) discover the wreckage of a legendary sunken ship. Nearby lies a crashed transport plane, with a different kind of cargo on board, landing each of the friends in hot water as greed turns their idyllic setting into a living nightmare. On DVD, Blu-ray from Capelight Pictures.

Foreign Films:

When Edward’s search for his biological family leads him and his girlfriend Ryley to a magnificent villa high in the mountains of Northern Portugal, he is full of excitement at meeting his long-lost mother and twin brother in “Amelia’s Children” (2024 — Portugal), starring Brigette Lundy-Paine and Carloto Cotta. Finally, he will discover who he is and where he comes from. But nothing is as it seems, and Edward will soon learn that he is linked to them by a monstrous secret. From Magnolia Home Entertainment/Magnet Label. Read more herephoto for Prison Walls: Abashiri Prison I-III “Prison Walls: Abashiri Prison I-III” (1965 — Japan) includes the first three entries in the landmark series, directed by Teruo Ishii and starring Ken Takakura. Presented for the first time ever on Blu-ray from brand new restorations. Available as part of The Masters of Cinema Series, the first print run of 2000 copies in each territory will feature an O-card slipcase. Constructed in the late 19th century to house political prisoners, Japan’s infamous Abashiri Prison served as the inspiration for a popular and prolific run of yakuza movies released between 1965 and 1972. This release presents the first three entries in the landmark series, directed by the “King of Cult” Teruo Ishii and starring a titan of Japanese genre cinema, Ken Takakura: “Abashiri Prison,” “Another Abashiri Prison Story” and “Abashiri Prison: Saga of Homesickness.” On Blu-ray from Eureka/MVD Entertainment. Read more here … In “Creation of the Gods I: Kingdom of Storms” (2023 — China), starring Kris Phillips, Li Xuejian, Huang Bo, Yu Shi and Chen Muchi, after conspiring with a conniving fox demon to kill the emperor and seize power, King Zhou reigns as a tyrant so brutal that he incurs the wrath of Heaven. In a final attempt to save the mortal world from desperate peril, the gods decide to intervene and invest in an unlikely champion brave enough to challenge the evil king—even if it may cost him everything. Lavish, fantasy action epic. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Well Go USA … photo for A Queen's Ransom Perhaps even God can’t save the Queen in the Martial Arts classic “A Queen’s Ransom” (1976 — Hong Kong). As Queen Elizabeth II arrives in Hong Kong for a state visit, a band of skilled mercenaries plan her assassination. Contracted by an Irish Republican (George Lazenby), the international group of hired killers includes a Japanese explosives expert (Chang Pei-shan), a Thai boxer (Bolo Yeung), a Filipino sniper (Peter Chan Lung), and a veteran of the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam (Wang Yu). As the conspirators move to carry out their plot, two police officials (Ko Chun-Hsiung and Charles Heung) work with a young socialite (Tanny Tien Ni) in a race against time to save the Monarch’s head – while also trying to manage a crisis that has brought a huge number of refugees to Hong Kong, including a young Cambodian princess (Mao). On Blu-ray from Eureka/MVD Entertainment. Read more here … Nominated for Best International Feature at the Academy Awards, and from the acclaimed director of “Gomorrah and Dogman,” “Io Capitano” (2024 — Italy), starring Seydou Sarr and Moustapha Fall, narrates the epic journey of a teenage boy and his cousin as they decide to leave Senegal for the promise of Europe. Throughout this compelling odyssey, the young man confronts a myriad of challenges, from the harsh realities of the desert to the harrowing experiences in Libyan detention centers and the risks of the open sea. Filmed over a span of 13 weeks in Senegal, Italy, and Morocco, with a cast of non-professional actors, this uplifting film ventures into the intricacies and contradictions of the human experience. In Wolof and French with English subtitles. On DVD, Blu-ray from Cohen Media Group … photo for The Valiant Ones In “The Valiant Ones” (1975 — Hong Kong), during the reign of the Jiajing Emperor (Chao Lei), China’s coastal regions have come under attack by wokou – Japanese pirates under the leadership of the infamous Hakatatsu (Sammo Hung). To combat this threat, the Emperor tasks a trusted general, Zhu Wan (Tu Kuang-chi), with assembling a group of skilled warriors to find and eliminate the pirates. Under the command of General Yu Dayou (Roy Chiao), the band of soldiers – including husband-and-wife sword-fighters Wu Ji-yuan (Wing Bai) and Wu Ruo-shi (Feng Hsu) – set out to draw Hakatatsu, his ally Xu Dong (Han Ying-chieh) and their pirate clan into a series of spectacular showdowns. On Blu-ray, 4K UHD from Eureka/MVD Entertainment. Read more here … It’s the 16th century and Japan is in chaos in “Shinobi” (1962 — Japan). Samurai clans engage each other in battle over who gets to rule the nation, while warlords call upon the ninja to spy on and assassinate their rivals. Goemon, an photo for Shinobi [Limited Edition] ambitious young member of a ninja family, is thrown into the turmoil of Japanese history when his village is wiped out by the forces of leading warlord Oda Nobunaga, who has sworn to eradicate the ninja in his quest for absolute power. Fueled by vengeance, Goemon uses every weapon in his arsenal to bring down Oda and to prove that a ninja is an army of one. Starring “the Japanese James Dean” Raizo Ichikawa alongside Tomisaburo Wakayama and Ayako Wakao, the Shinobi series was an epoch-making success and became a social phenomenon that left deep marks on Japan of the 1960s, from children’s playgrounds to the leftist counter-culture. Packed with spectacular and oft-copied action scenes, it also established the ground rules for all ninja movies that followed, introducing such classic tropes as the shuriken throwing star and the iconic black mask and suit. Two-disc set with all three Shinobi films: “Band of Assassins,” “Revenge” and “Resurrection.” Limited Edition of 3000 copies, presented in a rigid box with full-height Scanavo cases and removable OBI strip leaving packaging free of certificates and markings. On Blu-ray from Radiance/MVD Entertainment. Read more here.

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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