The summer will be over before you know it, but there’s still some time to sit back and relax in the air conditioning with a great movie or two. (Or ten, or twenty, or…we don’t judge!) There’s a bunch of terrific releases that are making their debut on Blu-ray, DVD and 4K Ultra HD this week. Here’s a rundown of the greatest titles available now!
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (2022)
Having chosen to hang around our reality, Sonic (voiced by Ben Schwartz) was trying to establish himself as Seattle’s new defender. He wouldn’t be under-challenged for long, as a vengeful Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey) made his way back to Earth–in the company of his dangerous new ally Knuckles the Echidna (voiced by Idris Elba). Live action/animation mix co-stars James Marsden, Tika Sumpter, Adam Pally, Shemar Moore, and Colleen O’Shaughnessey as the voice of Tails.
The Green Planet (2022)
Utilizing revolutionary camera rigs and drones for its time-lapse photography, this singular BBC One nature series hosted by David Attenborough captures plant life planet-wide as never before, including its interactions with animals and the environment. Five episodes devoted to flora of the tropics, seas, and deserts–as well as how plants adapt to the seasons, and to the presence of man–make for an unforgettable viewing experience.
Pam & Tommy (2022)
In 1995, the whirlwind courtship between actress/pinup Pamela Anderson (Lily James) and Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee (Sebastian Stan) was unsurprisingly public. The surprise came after a disgruntled contractor (Seth Rogen) availed himself of the couple’s honeymoon sex tape, and marketed it–and the incident’s impact on their turbulent three-year union is dramatized in this guilty-pleasure miniseries. Nick Offerman, Taylor Schilling, Fred Hechinger, Paul Ben-Victor also star.
To mark two decades since the release of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” cast and directors from the entirety of the J.K. Rowling family fantasy franchise reunited for an appealing all-star appreciation. Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson reminisce about their on-screen coming of age, with appearances from Ralph Fiennes, Robbie Coltrane, Tom Felton, Helena Bonham Carter, Jason Isaacs, Gary Oldman, Matthew Lewis, Bonnie Wright, many more.
Crimes of the Future (2022)
As the human species adapts to asynthetic environment, the body undergoes new transformations and mutations. When his partner Caprice (Lea Seydoux), Saul Tenser (Viggo Mortensen), celebrity performance artist, publicly showcases the metamorphosis of his organs in avant-garde performances. Timlin (Kristen Stewart), an investigator from the National Organ Registry, obsessively tracks their movements, which is when a mysterious group is revealed. Their mission: to use Saul’s notoriety to shed light on the next phase of human evolution.
Back to the Beach (1987)
Your favorite surfing sweethearts, Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello, return to the sunny shores of California in this winning spoof of their ’60s beach movies. Now married, Frankie and Annette visit the old haunts with their kids and wind up singing, hanging ten, fighting, and making up–just like in the old days. With Lori Loughlin, Connie Stevens, and lots of cameos.
Hot Seat (2022)
As much as reformed hacker Orlando Friar (Kevin Dillon) wanted an honest job and life, an unknown party wanted his expertise to break into the systems of major banks–and to that end, they wired his office building and desk chair to blow if he didn’t cooperate. Veteran demolitions cop Wallace Reed (Mel Gibson) has his work cut out for him navigating the booby traps to get Friar out in one piece, in this (perhaps) explosive thriller. Shannen Doherty, Sam Asghari, Michael Welch, Eddie Steeples also star.
Based on a true story, this drama focuses on an isolated young man living with his parents in Australia until he meets an eccentric heiress. What follows is a gripping portrait of nihilism and violence. Caleb Landry Jones, Judy Davis, Anthony LaPaglia star.
Next Time We Love (1936)
Though an ambitious journalist (James Stewart) falls head over heels for an aspiring actress (Margaret Sullavan), and vice versa, their new marriage gets a severe testing with her first Broadway break and his winning of a foreign correspondent’s position. Who’ll be the one to put career second when matters reach a crisis point? Affecting drama based on a novel by Ursula Parrott co-stars Ray Milland, Grant Mitchell.
Alexander the Great (1956)
Richard Burton (Equus) portrays the Macedonian king who declared himself emperor in director Robert Rossen’s (The Hustler) big-screen biographical epic Alexander the Great. Tracing his rise to power and glory as he conquered the known world, Alexander the Great also features top-notch supporting performances by Fredric March (A Star is Born), Claire Bloom (The Spy Who Came in from the Cold), Danielle Darrieux (The Earrings of Madame de…), Stanley Baker (Accident), Harry Andrews (Solomon and Sheba), and Michael Hordern (Where Eagles Dare).
A Second Chance at Love (2022)
Since the divorce of Jack (Eriq La Salle) and Brenda (Gloria Reuben), their daughter Alicia (Alvina August) fretted about their futures–to the extent it was harming her own union with developer Arnold (Jared Joseph). She finally convinced the folks to each sign up on Arnold’s blind-meet app…but what do they tell her when the service inevitably steers them towards one another? Charming reunion for the “ER” alums also stars Latonya Williams, BJ Harrison, Jill Morrison.
Street-busking Havana kinkajou Vivo (voiced by Lin-Manuel Miranda) balked at his musician owner Andrés’ (Juan de Marcos González) wish to go to the States and tell old partner/unrequited love Marta (Gloria Estefan) how he truly felt. After his funeral, Vivo guiltily stowed away with great-niece Gabi (Ynairaly Simo) back to Miami on a quest to gift Marta the old man’s final song. Engaging animated effort with songs by Miranda also features the voices of Zoe Saldana, Bryan Tyree Henry, Michael Rooker.
Londoner Harper Marlowe (Jessie Buckley) needed a reset after the abrupt and violent death of her spouse (Paapa Essiedu), so she opted to holiday at a remote Hertfordshire B&B. As the subtly creepy behavior of the landlord (Rory Kinnear)–as well as that of all the local menfolk (Kinnear again, in multiple roles)–grows increasingly hostile, the getaway will prove anything but leisurely. Alex Garland’s unnerving allegory also stars Gayle Rankin, Sarah Twomey, Sonoya Mizuno.
Equus, Peter Shaffer’s Tony Award®-winning play (which he adapted for the film) is brought to life on the screen by director Sidney Lumet (Dog Day Afternoon) and a cast that includes Richard Burton (Alexander the Great) and Peter Firth (Joseph Andrews) as psychiatrist and patient in a disturbing tale of a mysterious and unfathomable crime. Joan Plowright (101 Dalmatians), Colin Blakely (The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes), Jenny Agutter (Logan’s Run), Eileen Atkins (TV’s The Crown) and Harry Andrews (Alexander the Great) turn in bravura supporting performances in a film photographed by Oswald Morris (Fiddler on the Roof) with a score by Richard Rodney Bennett (Murder on the Orient Express).
Code Name Banshee (2022)
The contract assassin (Jaime King) who now only answers to “Banshee” turned to her lethal trade after her father was murdered by mercenary Anthony Greene (Tommy Flanagan), and she got the best of training from black ops legend Caleb (Antonio Banderas). Now, as her long-underground amentor is targeted by Greene’s thugs, she races to protect him–but is the killer’s real endgame to flush her out? Catherine Davis, Wayne Pyle, Keil Oakley Zepernick also star.
Little Man, What Now? (1934)
In Depression-wracked Weimar Germany, a humble accountant (Douglass Montgomery) loses his precious position for marrying his true love (Margaret Sullavan) instead of the boss’s daughter. As the couple sojourns to Berlin in the desperate hope for new opportunity, will their deep mutual affection be enough to sustain them through mounting crises? Frank Borzage’s moving take on the Hans Fallada novel co-stars Catherine Doucet, Alan Hale.
Last Seen Alive (2022)
Will Spann (Gerard Butler) was coming to accept that his marriage to Lisa (Jamie Alexander) was over in all but formality. During a highway gas stop, however, she entered the convenience store…and never emerged. As the doubts of his noninvolvement on the part of the authorities and her family grew, he’d take the investigation into his own hands–with shattering consequences. Effective thriller also stars Russell Hornsby, Ethan Embry, Michael Irby, Bruce Altman.
Solomon and Sheba (1959)
In what would be director King Vidor’s (Duel in the Sun, War and Peace) final feature film, Yul Brynner (The King and I, The Magnificent Seven) stars as King Solomon alongside Gina Lollobrigida (The Hunchback of Notre Dame) as the sultry Queen of Sheba and George Sanders (All About Eve) as Solomon’s duplicitous brother, Adonijah. The epic biblical tale is scripted by Anthony Veiller (The Killers), Paul Dudley (Timbuktu) and George Bruce (Two Years Before the Mast) and features stunning photography by Freddie Young (Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago).
Heat (1995)(4K Ultra HD)
Al Pacino and Robert De Niro appear on-screen together for the first time in writer/director Michael Mann’s intense crime drama. Frazzled LAPD detective Lt. Vincent Hanna (Pacino) is out to stop a group of highly skilled professional thieves headed by mastermind Neil McCauley (De Niro), who’s looking for one last score. The stakes rise to dangerous levels as Hanna and McCauley become locked in a deadly game of cat-and-mouse. Val Kilmer, Ashley Judd, Tom Sizemore, and Jon Voight co-star.