This first week of March is something of a light one in terms of new releases. But what may be lacking in quantity is more than made up for in terms of quality, as this diverse assortment of Blu-rays and DVDs has a little something for everyone. Take a look at what you’ll be wanting to watch next!
It was 1969, and in his mixed, working-class Ireland neighborhood, young Buddy (Jude Hill) at least knew no shortage of indulgent affection from his mom (Catriona Balfe) and grandparents (Judi Dench, Ciarán Hinds). However, the rising of the Troubles looked to splinter life in his community–and push his oft-absent dad (Jamie Dornan) into taking a stand. Moving and deeply personal effort for writer-director Kenneth Branagh also stars Colin Morgan, Olive Tennant.
Highway to Heaven (2021)
Jill Scott dons the halo for this telefilm reboot of the Michael Landon family fantasy series as probationary angel Angela Stewart, whose first earthly assignment finds her answering middle school principal Bruce’s (Barry Watson) ad for a guidance counselor. Can she help a rebellious kid (Ben Daon) and his widowed ex-restauranteur dad (Robert Moloney) get family and future back on track? Victoria Bidewell, Sasha Rojen also star.
Taking the Reins (2021)
Her journalism career stalled, ex-equestrian Samantha (Nikki Deloach) successfully pitched a magazine piece she’d be passionate about–a horse jumping championship to be held at her family’s Connecticut farm. However, as she learned how much her parents (Janine Turner, Corbin Bernsen) had riding on the event–and that they’d brought in her ex Luke (Scott Porter) for assistance–she might find herself back in the saddle. Eliza Hayes Maher. Megan McNulty also star.
Around the World in 80 Days (Masterpiece)(2021)
London, 1872. Phileas Fogg lives a comfortable but utterly unfulfilling life in London, spending every day at his club with his friends Fortescue and Bellamy. But when he receives a hand-delivered postcard, with only the word ‘COWARD’ written on the back, it turns his world upside down. So much so, that the usual teasing at the hands of Bellamy provokes Fogg into undertaking a wager – to travel around the world in eighty days. David Tennant, Ibrahim Koma, Leonie Benesch star.
Not long after he arrived in Denmark from Afghanistan as an unaccompanied minor, Amin made a fast friend of fellow teen Jonas Poher Rasmussen. Twenty years later, as an established academic and about to marry his long-term boyfriend, Amin opened up to documentarian Rasmussen regarding the family’s flight from Kabul he never spoke about–and the filmmaker relayed his story via animation for a stunning and remarkable effort.
Stranded in Paradise (2014)
Freshly downsized HR manager Tess Nelson (Vanessa Marcil) headed to a business expo in Puerto Rico, looking for a new job and a change in her luck. After a hotel fire left her with no accommodations, and extreme weather closed off the island, the trip looked like a write-off…but a chance encounter with laid-back life coach Carter McConnell (James Denton) wound up ensuring romantic dividends. Charming Hallmark Channel opus co-stars Cindy Pickett, Gladys Rodríguez.
Deadhouse Dark (2020)
There’s dread from Down Under with this Australian series that wrings the utmost in horror from its quarter-hour vignettes. Two teens who happen upon a car wreck find more than they wanted to know from the dashcam; a student athlete’s online mentoring turns dangerously obsessive; a homeowner’s bid for swift rat control goes awry; a nurse’s efforts to clean up for her hoarder charge uncovers terror, and more. Naomi Sequeira, Gemma Bird Matheson, Ryan Morgan, Nicholas Hope, Lauren Orrell, Akosia Sabet star.
Run & Gun (2022)
Former career criminal Ray (Ben Milliken) was just trying to keep his nose clean when a gangster (Richard Kind) sought him out as just the guy to make a $400K cash drop in exchange for a mystery parcel. Of course, the mission goes sideways, and Ray’s got to call on all his skills for an escape that takes its share of surprising turns. Crackling crime actioner also stars Angela Sarafyan, Mark Dacascos, Janel Parrish, Brad William Henke. AKA: “The Ray.”
I Am Mortal (2021)
Two centuries from now, thanks to the effects of a genetically modified vaccine, humankind will be able to live indefinitely–and will see the eradication of war, violence, and crime as a result. However, this new utopia is not without its costs…and a covert coterie of rebels are battling to flee the system and reclaim their right to die. Provocative sci-fi scenario stars Lauren Lindsey Donzis, John Harlan Kim, Nina Kiri, Nia Sioux, and Sean Gunn.
Carly Spencer (Carly Pope) had been long–and understandably–estranged from her disturbed mother Angela (Natalie Boltt), institutionalized after infamously causing mass mayhem. Told that Angela was comatose, and that treatment may lie with an experimental VR system that would let her interface with her mom’s consciousness, a reluctant Carly may not be ready for the inner demons she confronts. Neil Blomkamp’s sci-fi shocker co-stars Chris William Martin, Terry Chen.
I Was a Simple Man (2021)
Miserable and stubborn for a lifetime and now dying, Hawaii native Masao Matsuyoshi (Steve Iwamoto) faces his final days with the grudging attentions of a family that can barely stomach him. As he slips in and out of recollections of his past, he’s visited by the spirit of his long-dead Chinese-American wife (Constance Wu)–bringing striking insight into how his hard exterior was built. Affecting study also stars Tim Chiou, Kanoa Goo, Chanel Akiko Hirai.
Stoker Hills (2020)
Student filmmakers Ryan (David Gridley), Jake (Vince Hill-Bedford), and Erica (Steffani Brass) had gone out to the boonies to shoot their horror project when a car pulled up, snatched Erica, and sped off. The boys pursued with their camera running…and that’s all that was found of them. As the cops investigate, their field activity intercuts with their viewing of the found footage, in this inventive genre wrinkle. With Eric Etebari, William Lee Scott, and Tony Todd.
The Real Charlie Chaplin (2021)
A century ago, his comic imagination made him cinema’s first globally identifiable superstar, but real insight into the complex individual within the emblematic tramp getup was hard to come by, in his heyday and in the generations since. Utilizing footage from his films, rare home movies, and reenactments of personal interviews, this documentary gives a frank overview of Charlie Chaplin’s life and times, celebrating the great artist and acknowledging the problematic man.
The Batman: The Complete Series
Debuting on the WB in 2004, this all-new animated series chronicles the adventures of a young Bruce Wayne, in his third year as the costumed crimefighter, as he comes face to face with the most dangerous members of his Rogue’s Gallery–including the Joker, the Penguin, the Riddler, Catwoman, Mr. Freeze, and more–for the first time. Features the voices of Rino Romano, Ming-Na, Clancy Brown, Robert Englund, Dan Castellaneta, Frank Gorshin, and Adam West. 65 episodes on 6 discs.
Scooby-Doo: Where Are You!: The Complete Series
You know we got a mystery to solve, so Scooby-Doo get ready for your act. Hop in the Mystery Machine with the world’s most terror-shaken, Scooby snack-loving canine and those “meddling kids,” Shaggy, Freddy, Daphne, and Velma, for fantastic frights and fun in these classic Hanna-Barbera animated adventures that originally aired from 1969-70. Season 3 aired from 1978-1979 as part of the “Scooby’s All-Stars” block of cartoons. Voices by Don Messick, Casey Kasem, Frank Welker. 41 episodes on 4 discs.