Hakuna Matata! There will be “no worries” when it comes to finding some great new releases this week! Led by a CGI makeover of one of Disney’s most beloved animated classics, this batch of Blu-rays and DVDs will be sure to appease even the pickiest moviegoers! Here we go:
Disney’s beloved, song-filled 1994 animated African opus got a CGI makeover from “Jungle Book” director Jon Favreau, and the results were no less of an audience sensation. Guiltily goaded as a cub by conniving uncle Scar into fleeing home and heritage after the death of his regent father Mufasa, the grown Simba must return and face his responsibilities to his oppressed pride. With the voices of Donald Glover, Beyoncé, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Seth Rogen, Billy Eichner, and James Earl Jones.
When Henry VIII (Robert Shaw) sought a divorce and remarriage, he thought he could count on the support of Sir Thomas More (Best Actor Oscar-winning Paul Scofield) in splitting the nation from the Catholic Church. The regent didn’t reckon with his Lord Chancellor’s refusal to compromise either piety or principle, no matter the cost. Adapted by Robert Bolt from his play, this winner of six Academy Awards, including Best Picture and director Fred Zinnemann, co-stars Wendy Hiller, Orson Welles, Susannah York.
In the 18th century, Dutch slave ship captain John Reinker (Curd Jurgens) set sail for Cuba from Africa with what he planned to make his last human cargo. The captive Tamango (Alex Cressan) successfully foments a rebellion amongst his former prisoners…but when he makes a hostage of Reinker’s enslaved mistress (Dorothy Dandridge), the stage was set for stunning tragedy. Controversial period tale based upon a Prosper Mérimée novella also stars Jean Servais, Roger Hanin.
When We Were Kings (Criterion Collection)
Academy Award-winning documentary chronicling 1974’s “Rumble in the Jungle” bout that saw Muhammad Ali regain the heavyweight title from George Foreman. Along with exciting boxing footage, director Leon Gast captures the charismatic Ali at his greatest, the fight’s incredible hoopla and commentary by Norman Mailer, Spike Lee and George Plimpton.
Here’s three more tales of horror and suspense from writer/director Dan Curtis and writers Richard Matheson and William F. Nolan. A woman (Lysette Anthony) is forced to face “The Graveyard Rats” after she murders her husband for his money. Next, Anthony stars as a mother trying to bring her dead son back to life, in “Bobby.” Finally, the Zuni fetish doll returns in “He Who Kills,” as a doctor (Anthony) becomes its latest unfortunate victim. Geraint Wyn Davies, Matt Clark, Geoffrey Lewis co-star.
In the European nation of San Senova, American ex-pro figure skater Katie (Merritt Patterson) is recruited to help young Princess Christina (India Fowler) stage an ice-bound Christmas show in an attempt to convince the citizenry that her father, King Alexander (Andrew Cooper), loves the holidays. What Katie didn’t count on was striking up a romance with the handsome royal. Can two people from such different worlds really make it work? With Brittany Bristow, Nicholas Banks.
Architect Taylor Scott (Tia Mowry-Hardrict) recruits baker and single father Adam Dale (Duane Henry) to work with her on a Christmastime contest to build life-sized gingerbread houses after her original partner bails out. A win could mean a promotion and relocation for Taylor, but as she begins to bond with Adam and his daughter Brooke (Melody Nosipho Niemann), she finds she may want to stick around for good. Heartwarming holiday tale from Hallmark co-stars Jordana Lajoie, Giles Panton.
Young Frenchman Martin Guerre leaves his 16th-century village to go off to war and see the world…and comes home to his wife and family years later. But is this man (Gérard Depardieu) with intimate knowledge of the long-removed soldier’s life the real Martin Guerre? This unforgettable romantic mystery based on a true story is highlighted by rich period flavor and magnetic performances from Depardieu and Nathalie Baye. With Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu, Isabelle Sadoyan.
This action-packed animated adventure reveals the origin of the enduring DC Comics character. Amazonian warrior Diana (voiced by Rosario Dawson) leaves the safety of the island of Themyscira and travels to the outside world where she and pilot Steve Trevor (Jeffrey Donovan) must do battle against the sinister criminal cabal Villainy, Inc. Also stars the voices of Michael Dorn, Adrienne C. Moore, Constance Zimmer, Nia Vardalos.
Charles Band’s gory sci-fi shocker stars Demi Moore as Patricia Welles, a young woman living in a dystopian future (well, 1992) controlled by the sinister Merchants. Patricia must help scientist Dr. Paul Dean (Robert Glaudini) destroy a pair of slithery creatures he created–one of which is living inside him–while being pursued by a relentless Merchant agent (James Davidson). Luca Bercovici, Vivian Blaine, and Cherie Currie also star.
When neurotic housewife Sally and her executive husband Alex inherit a dilapidated Victorian mansion, they discover a mysterious locked room. After unlocking the door and removing bricks from a blocked fireplace in her late father’s old study, Sally begins to glimpse demons everywhere. But when Alex is unable to see the monsters, Sally questions her sanity while becoming overwhelmed by terror. Kim Darby, Jim Hutton, Barbara Anderson star in this thrilling telefilm.
In this offbeat horror yarn, an explosion reveals the Romanian tomb of Dracula’s vampiric pet, Zoltan, and loyal servant, Veidt Smit (Reggie Nalder). Meanwhile, in the United States, vacationing husband and father Michael Drake (Michael Pataki) is unaware that he’s a descendent of the bloodsucker, and that the newly awakened Zoltan and Smit are about to track him down and make him a replacement for their long-dead master. Jose Ferrer, Jan Shutan also star. AKA: “Dracula’s Dog.”
Since the loss of her young daughter in a fire, Lizzie (Noomi Rapace) has seen the disintegration of her marriage to Mike (Luke Evans)…and her grip on reality growing ever more tenuous. Making the acquaintance of a couple (Yvonne Strahovski, Richard Roxburgh) whose little girl (Annika Whiteley) bears a striking resemblance to her own, Lizzie starts insinuating herself into their lives…to their everlasting regret. Disquieting thriller from Australia co-stars Finn Little, Emily Gruhl.
Dumped in short order by both employer and boyfriend, blasé L.A. millennial Olive (Amanda Crew) took her circle’s advice to get away from it all…and rented a Ventura County farmhouse from crusty, conservative boomer Harvey (Robert Patrick). It isn’t long before Harvey’s pent-up anger against the world in general and her generation in particular manifests in sociopathic ways…but she might not be the one who needs rescuing. Satirical shocker co-stars Kim Delaney, Ray Wise, Johnny Pemberton.
Five years ago, embittered Charlene (Amy Ryan) lost her teenage son Ronnie (Connor Jessup) to a prom night tragedy…and, now, his girlfriend Melissa (Margaret Qualley) has shown up at the door, claiming to be carrying his child. After first dismissing her as delusional, her subsequent pursuit of some feasible explanation leads her down uncanny paths. Shot-in-Pennsylvania British/Canadian thriller co-stars Greg Kinnear, Blythe Danner, Brian Cox, Nick Robinson.
College student Paul Barton (Stephen Shellen), in an effort to uncover the roots of passion, starts working on a bizarre research project that finds him secretly filming the sexual encounters occurring in a sleazy Hollywood motel room. It’s not long before Paul has the entire place wired and he has fully immersed himself in the world of voyeurism. Marie Laurin, Barry Primus, Sybil Danning, Sally Kirkland also star in this erotically charged drama.
Rudolph Valentino as Lt. Vladimir Dubrovsky, a valiant Russian military officer whose father dies after the sinister nobleman Kyrilla Troekouroff (James A. Marcus) seized his land. Dubrovsky dons the mask of the Black Eagle to avenge his father’s death, but has soon fallen in love with Troekouroff’s beautiful daughter (Vilma Bánky). Based on the novel “Dubrovsky” by Alexander Pushkin, this thrilling costume drama also stars Louise Dresser, Albert Conti.
Click here for a complete overview of all of this week’s new releases.