From reboots to relaunches to classics and recent original releases, there’s a bit of something for everyone in this week’s exciting batch of new Blu-rays and DVDs. So sit back, relax and enjoy this overview of what films and TV releases that you’ll want to make a point to check out ASAP!
In the ’90s, the burb of Woodsboro was murderously menaced by the shrouded slasher dubbed Ghostface–and now, someone has claimed the mantle and is continuing the body count. A new generation of pop culture-savvy teens struggles to suss out the killer’s identity before they’re picked off in this effective and winking “requel” for the meta mayhem franchise. Melissa Barrera, Jenna Ortega, Jack Quaid co-star with legacy performers including Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, and David Arquette.
Death on the Nile (2022)
Kenneth Branagh takes a stylish second pass as director and star in this lavish all-star take on the classic Agatha Christie whodunit, as an Egyptian vacation for Belgian detective Hercule Poirot (Branagh) turns into a working holiday–and the steamship-set slaying of a newlywed heiress (Gal Gadot) confronts him with no shortage of possible suspects. With Armie Hammer, Annette Bening, Sophie Okonedo, Russell Brand, Letitia Wright, Rose Leslie, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French.
As scientist and statesman, he’d become one of the 18th century’s most consequential individuals, and his achievements endure today, from his familiar aphorisms to Philadelphia civic institutions to the American republic he helped found. Ken Burns offers up a remarkable and comprehensive portrait of Benjamin Franklin, considering society’s enrichment through his multiple disciplines as well as the more complex aspects of his legacy presented by his evolving stances on race.
Of Mice and Men (1968)
Effective take on the John Steinbeck classic, originally presented on ABC’s “Theatre Nights,” follows the relationship of two transitory farmhands in Depression-era California–the hulking, mentally disabled Lennie Small (Nicol Williamson) and the protective George Milton (George Segal)–whose wistful aspirations to a small spread of their own will run headlong into cruel fate. Will Geer, Moses Gunn, Don Gordon, Joey Heatherton, Donald Moffat also star.
The Lost Valentine (2011)
Every Valentine’s Day for over six decades, Caroline Thomas (Betty White) has returned to L.A.’s Union Station to honor the last time she saw her navy pilot husband, Neil, before he was declared missing in action during World War II. As TV reporter Susan Allison (Jennifer Love Hewitt) becomes determined to find out what happened to Neil, she also starts to fall for Caroline’s grandson (Sean Faris). Based on the novel by James Michael Pratt, this “Hallmark Hall of Fame” drama co-stars Billy Magnussen, Meghann Fahy.
n a dystopian future where fertility rates have dropped to dangerous levels, what was once the United States is now a totalitarian, Christian fundamentalist society that subjugates women. As one of the few remaining women able to bear children, June Osborne (Elisabeth Moss) must serve as a “handmaid” to a ruthless government official (Joseph Fiennes) and his wife (Yvonne Strahovski). Debuting in 2017, this acclaimed adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s novel co-stars Alexis Bledel, Madeline Brewer. 10 episodes on 4 discs.
CSI: Vegas: Season One (2021)
After six years’ quiet retirement, Gil Grissom (William Petersen) and Sara Sidle (Jorja Fox) found themselves reclaiming their badges and acclimating to a new generation of colleagues when an internal scandal threatened to shut the LVPD’s crime lab down. Fifth franchise entry, and direct sequel to the original series, also starred Paula Newsome, Matt Lauria, Mandeep Dhillon, Mel Rodriguez; “CSI” regulars Paul Guilfoyle and Wallace Langham would appear as well. 10 episodes on 3 discs.
Parallel Mothers (2021)
Photojournalist Janis (Penélope Cruz) sought the help of anthropologist Arturo (Israel Elejalde) in locating the remains of her Civil War dead ancestor…but the liaison left her pregnant. Bonding with her maternity ward roommate–the withdrawn teenager Ana (Milena Smit)–they’d respectively find challenges expected and unexpected in their fatherless households. Pedro Almodovar’s affecting study also stars Rossy de Palma, Aitana Sánchez-Gijón.
Doctor Who: Galaxy 4 (1965)
Most of its video erased by the BBC, this 1965 adventure of the First Doctor (William Hartnell) is presented in animated form. Landing on a planet that will soon explode, the Doctor, Vicki, and Steven become caught up in the war between two alien species–only one of which is willing to help the other escape the ill-fated world.
Tom Baker donned the long, multicolored scarf once again for his sixth season as the Fourth Doctor. In “Destiny of the Daleks,” the Doctor and Romana (Lalla Ward) are caught in the middle of a centuries-long battle between the Time Lord’s oldest foes and the equally merciless Movellans. Then, an alien spaceship trapped on prehistoric Earth, a mysterious count (Julian Glover) living in present-day Paris, and a locked room full of authentic Mona Lisa paintings add up to a tantalizing mystery for the Doctor and Romana, in “City of Death.” Scripted by Douglas Adams. Landing on the jungle planet Chloris, the Doctor, Romana, and K-9 (voiced by David Brierley) fall prey to evil ruler Lady Adrasta (Myra Francis), who seeks to control the world’s only metal mine, in “The Creature from the Pit.” “Nightmare of Eden” finds a scientist’s crystalline “recordings” of creatures from the planet Eden threatening to overrun an interstellar liner, and only the Doctor and his companions can save the ship and its occupants. As if a black hole didn’t put the Doctor, Romana, K-9, and their disabled TARDIS in enough jeopardy, they must also save the people of planet Aneth from falling victim to invasion plans by the Skonnon Empire, in “The Horns of Nimon.” And finally, a BBC strike halted filming of “Shada,” a never-broadcast adventure presented here as a mix of live-action and animation. The story follows the Doctor, Romana, and K-9 as a visit to a Time Lord living incognito on Earth leads to a desperate race to a distant prison planet.
You Had Me at Aloha (2021)
After seeing cute producer Paige banter with host applicant Ben during job interview, the TV network makes them co-hosts for a travelogue for Oahu. Can they work together? Pascale Hutton and Kavan Smith star in this Hallmark romance.
Desperate Riders (2022)
Gunslinger Kansas Red (Drew Waters) was approached for help by desperate youngster Billy (Sam Ashby), who told him the notorious outlaw Thorn Larson (Trace Adkins) had dry-gulched his father…and had run off with his mother Carol (Victoria Pratt) for the object of matrimony. They may pull up from their vengeance ride for a stunning reason, in this sturdy sagebrusher co-starring Vanessa Evigan, Rob Mayes, Cowboy Troy, and Tom Berenger.
After a life-changing cash bequest, repairman Louis Carrier (Jean Yanne) decided that he wanted attention, as well–and proceeded to issue a string of credible death threats to politicians and celebrities signed by “Armageddon.” Psychologist Michel Ambrose (Alain Delon) was brought in to help identify and collar the threat…a need that grew in urgency as Carrier proved more than a harmless crank. Suspenser co-stars Renato Salvatori, Marie Déa.
Vicious Fun (2020)
Back in 1983, full-of-himself horror magazine film critic Joel (Evan Marsh) picked a bad night to get blackout drunk at the local watering hole. Waking up as the place was being taken over after-hours by a 12-step group, he then decided to try and fit in…but he comes to realize to his terror that the support klatch is made up of serial killers, and they’re not interested in getting better. Dark farce co-stars Ari Millen, Amber Goldfarb, Robert Maillet, Julian Richings, Sean Baek, and David Koechner.
Volume 5 contains the next 12 Our Gang sound shorts produced by the Hal Roach Studios: Anniversary Trouble (1935) to Arbor Day (1936) — with each short newly scanned and restored from the original Hal Roach 35mm film elements. A must-have for any true Our Gang fan, this releases features the talents of George “Spanky” McFarland, Scotty Beckett, Billie “Buckwheat” Thomas, Matthew “Stymie” Beard, Carl “Alfalfa” Switzer, Darla Hood and Eugene “Porky” Lee.