New DVD and Blu-ray releases for September 29, 2015
It's an eclectic week that sees Paul Feig's Spy, the big-screen debut of Entourage along with a host of television series and highly recommended indie releases.
Paul Feig continues his trend of fantastic films with Spy, a comedic take on the espionage genre with inspired performances from Melissa McCarthy, Rose Byrne, Jude Law and Jason Statham.
Even before the series concluded after eight seasons there was talk of an Entourage movie. Nearly four years after the final episode Vincent Chase and his pack of friends reemerged. Neither critics nor audiences seemed to care as the film received poor reviews and tepid box office results. I found little to love in the film, but I never was much of a fan in the first place.
A few months ago Sony announced that Jon Watts would be directing the next Spider-Man film. It was a puzzling choice to some, but for those of us who had seen his Sundance Film Festival film Cop Car the reasoning seemed fairly sound. Well, as sound as Marc Webb seemed when he was first announced. Cop Car is a simple, but engaging film about two kids who come across a seemingly abandoned police cruiser and take it for a ride. Unbeknownst to the kids the car belongs to the town's corrupt Sheriff (Kevin Bacon).
In 1971 William Friedkin gave us The French Connection, a classic crime drama about a pair of NYC cops who try to stop a large heroin shipment from France from making it to U.S. shores. Cdric Jimenez's The Connection tells the story from a French perspective as Pierre Michel (The Artist's Jean Dujardin), a French police magistrate, looks to take down the country's drug rings.
If you're a Cobie Smulders (The Avengers, How I Met Your Mother) you could go with either Unexpected, a dramedy about a school teacher and one of her students who find themselves both dealing with their own unexpected pregnancies; or Results, a romantic comedy that finds Smulders starring opposite Guy Pearce as a personal trainers who find their lives upended when a wealthy client enlists their services. Both played this year's Sundance Film Festival where Unexpected received better marks.
Shifting to the television front we kick off with Outlander: Season One, Volume Two. Starz's time-traveling drama about a WWII nurse that awakes in Scotland circa 1743 is a beguiling drama with ample potential.
Medical resident turned zombie takes job at morgue where she eats the brains of murder victims which in turn gives her insight into find their killers. Bizarre? A little, but iZombie: The Complete First Season is better than you'd expect.
Set in a divided Germany Deutschland 83 is a fascinating German mini-series about an East German spy masquerading as a West German solider
Elsewhere we also have Jane the Virgin: The Complete First Season, the critically acclaimed comedy about a virgin that is accidentally artificially inseminated and Bones: The Complete 10th Season, the long-running procedural comedy starring Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz.
On the family -friendly front we have Monster High: Boo York, Boo York, the franchise's first musical adventure.
Digging a bit deeper we have SWAT: Unit 887, a by-the-numbers thriller about a domestic terrorist who hopes to level Los Angeles starring Tom Sizemore; the excellent drama White Shadow, a film about an African Albino who is hunted by local doctors who believe his body parts are specific medicinal properties; Black Coal, Thin Ice, a critically acclaimed Chinese thriller about a series of unsolved grisly murders and A Plague So Pleasant, a zombie film with a twist as sometime in the near future the reanimated dead become an endangered species.
Documentary fans will want to hunt down Icarus Film's Five Films By Patrico Guzman, a collection of documentaries from the acclaimed Chilean director featuring The Battle of Chile, Chile, Obstinate Memory, The Pinochet Case, Salvador Allende and Nostalgia for the Light. If you're looking for insight into modern Chile, then this is the place to start.
Also on the documentary front is Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films. If you loved the absurd action films of the 1980s you absolutely must watch this.
Catalog films include the Criterion Collection's Blu-ray releases for James Ivory's wonderful adaptation of E.M. Forster's A Room with a View featuring Helena Bonham Carter, Maggie Smith, Julian Sands, Judi Dench, Daniel Day-Lewis and Denholm Elliott as well as the Blu-ray debut of The Honeymoon Killers a crime drama from Leonard Kastle from 1969 about a hapless nurse who falls for a con man.
Kino Lorber Studio Classics adds four westerns to the fray with James Garner in Support Your Local Sheriff, and a trio of Robert Mitchum titles The Wonderful Country, Man with the Gun and Young Billy Young.
The cult classic Forbidden Zone from Richard Elfman comes to Blu-ray in an Ultimate Edition that features a bonus CD with tracks from Elfman's brother Danny Elfman and his band Oingo Boingo.
If horror is your game Sony is releasing John Carpenter's 1983 take on Stephen King's Christine while Kino adds Savage Weekend, a 1979 slasher from David Paulsen, one of the forces behind Knots Landing, Dallas and Dynasty.
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