New to View: Feb. 7
The Black Panther saga continues and a compilation of 10 Mickey Mouse cartoons headline the newest releases in New to View at ReelBob.
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The following titles are being released on Tuesday, Feb. 7, unless otherwise noted:
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Blu-ray + digital)
Details: 2022, Marvel Studios
Rated: PG-13, strong violence, action, language
The lowdown: A sequel that is a moving tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman as well as a satisfying feature that propels the franchise forward.
Wakanda is mourning the death of its king, T’Challa, and the rest of the world sees that as an opportunity to pressure the reclusive African nation into sharing its most precious resource — vibranium — which Wakanda’s queen, Ramonda (Angela Bassett), defiantly refuses.
A year later, the CIA and Navy SEALs utilize a vibranium-detecting device to locate an underwater deposit of the substance.
However, the expedition is attacked and killed by a group of blue-skinned warriors from the underwater kingdom of Talokan. Namor, the Talokan leader, evades Wakandan security, demanding the death of the scientist who created the detection device and proposing an alliance with Wakanda against the rest of the world.
When Ramonda refuses, Namor and some of his warriors invade Wakanda and wreak death and destruction.
Princess Shuri (Letitia Wright) recreates the herb that gave the Black Panther his superhuman abilities, takes it and becomes the new Black Panther.
The movie, at 161 minutes, is a bit too long, but the action sequences and special effects compensate for some of the slow moments.
Returning cast members include Lupito Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Winston Duke and Martin Freeman. Tenoch Huerta Mejia portrays Namor and Dominique Thorne is Riri, the teenage inventor of the detecting device. The cast also includes Julia-Louis Dreyfuss and Richard Schiff.
The movie earned an 84 percent fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.39:1 widescreen picture; English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, 2.0 descriptive audio and Spanish 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus options include a look at Mayan history and culture and how it connects with Wakandan history and culture, a look at how the journeys of Shuri, Queen Ramonda and Riri ultimately impact Wakanda, a gag reel, deleted scenes and a commentary track.
“Mickey & Minnie: 10 Classic Shorts: Volume 1” (Blu-ray + DVD + digital)
Details: 1928-47, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Beginning its celebration of 100 years of Disney, the studio is releasing a new set of 10 animated shorts with introductions by Mickey and Minnie.
The set includes “Mr. Mouse Takes a Trip,” “Mickey’s Delayed Date,” “Figaro and Frankie,” “The Little Whirlwind,” “Hawaiian Holiday,” “On Ice,” “Brave Little Tailor,” “Bath Day,” “Thru the Mirror” and the very first Mickey Mouse cartoon, “Steamboat Willie.”
If you’ve never seen them, these cartoons are delightful. The set includes a couple of my favorites, “Thru the Mirror” and “Brave Little Tailor.”
By the 1940s, Mickey was losing his luster, with cartoons featuring Donald Duck and Goofy gaining more traction. The set would have been better served utilizing more Mickey Mouse cartoons from the 1930s.
Still, if you are new to Disney animation, this set is a good place to start.
Though the shorts originally were released in a 1.37:1 full-screen aspect ratio, the set indicates these releases are in 1.78:1 widescreen ratio.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 1.78:1 widescreen picture; English, French and Spanish 2.0 Dolby digital; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles; DVD: 1.78:1 widescreen picture; English, French and Spanish 2.0 Dolby digital; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
Legion of Super-Heroes (4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + digital)
Details: 2023, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
Rated: PG-13, violence, language
The lowdown: The latest entry in the DC Universe series is set in the 31st century. It follows a new generation of heroes who are honing their powers in hopes of joining the Legion of Super-Heroes.
Among them is Supergirl, who is struggling to adjust to life on Earth after the loss of Krypton. She takes the advice of her cousin, Superman, and travels to the 31st century to attend the Legion Academy.
There, she quickly makes new friends as well as a new enemy with old ties: Brianiac 5.
Hiding in the shadows is the sinister group, Dark Circle, which seeks a powerful weapon held in the academy’s vault.
It is up to these heroes-in-training to thwart the group’s objectives.
Technical aspects: 4K: 2160p ultra high definition, 1.78:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and Spanish 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles; Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 1.78:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and Spanish 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH, French and Soanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include a “Legion Behind the Legion” featurette, a featurette on the story of Supergirl, a “Meet the Legionnaires” featurette, a look at Brainiac and two cartoons from the DC Vault.
If I Were King (Blu-ray)
Details: 1938, Kino Lorber Studio Classics
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Ronald Coleman and Basil Rathbone star in this historical romantic adventure about vagabond poet Francois Villon (Coleman) who is given the rank of chief constable by King Louis XI (Rathbone) and given a week to save a besieged Paris from the army of the Duke of Burgundy.
The story unfolds with the king in disguise going undercover to try ferreting out traitors within the city. When he hears Villon criticizing the king and talking about what he would do if he were in charge, Villon is arrested.
The crafty king makes Villon his Lord High Chancellor, who immediately sets out to raise the king’s reputation. He opens the stores of food, giving it to the poor starving people and the sentences he hands out are fair and merciful.
Villon seems to be succeeding, not knowing that the king has given him just one week to accomplish his goals.
During the week, Villon works diligently to convince the French army to fight the Burgundians and win.
Coleman gives his usual fine performance, while Rathbone received a best supporting actor Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of the crafty king.
The cast also includes Frances Dee as Villon’s love interest, Henry Wilcoxon, C.V. France, Stanley Ridges, Heather Thatcher and Alma Lloyd.
The witty screenplay was written by Preston Sturges, adapting a play by Justin Huntly McCarthy.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.37:1 full-screen picture; English 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio monaural; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: A commentary track by film historian-writer Julie Kirgo is the main extra.
A World Apart (Blu-ray)
Details: 1988, Kino Lorber Studio Classics
The lowdown: An anti-apartheid drama set in 1963 that stars Barbara Hershey as activist Diana Roth who continues her crusade against the racist system even after her husband, Gus (Jeroen Krabbé), is forced to flee the country to avoid arrest.
Diana’s daughter, Molly (Jodhi May), finds her life a shambles because of her parents activism. She is shunned by her friends and peers, but slowly grows closer to her mother and begins to appreciate her dangerous work.
The family is challenged when Diana is taken from Molly and her sisters and jailed under South Africa’s disreputable 90-Day Detention Act.
The movie was the directorial debut of Oscar-winning cinematographer Chris Menges. It costars David Suchet, Paul Freeman and Tim Roth.
The film received a 91 percent fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 widescreen picture; English DTS-HD Master Audio; English subtitles.
Don’t miss: Supplemental materials include an interview with Krabbé and a commentary track with the movie’s screenwriter, Shawn Slovo, moderated by historian-filmmaker Daniel Kremer.
A Woman Kills (Blu-ray)
Details: 1968, Radiance Films
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: This little-seen French murder mystery has been rediscovered and released for contemporary audiences.
A prostitute, Hélène Picard, is sentenced and executed for a series of murders of other prostitutes. Soon after her execution, similar crimes continue.
Executioner Louis Guilbeau and Solange, the investigating officer on the case, have seen begun an affair, with Solange soon coming to realize that Guilbeau may not be who he says he is.
The movie, which runs a mere 69 minutes, tips its hand before the finale, but still makes for interesting viewing.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.33:1 full-screen picture; French 2.0 LPCM monaural; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus options include a commentary track by critics Kat Ellinger and Virginie Sélavy, an introduction to the film by Sélavy, a documentary about the films or director Jean-Denis Bonan, four short films by Bonan and rushes from his incomplete film, “Tristesses del anthropophages” and a booklet with writings about the film and Bonan.
That Man Bolt (Blu-ray)
Details: 1973, Kino Lorber Studio Classics
Rated: R, violence, sexual situations, language
The lowdown: Fred Williamson stars as Jefferson Bolt, a former Special Forces soldier who now works as a high-priced courier who delivers sensitive items for governments, secret organizations and banks.
He is recruited in Hong Kong to deliver a secure briefcase with $1 million to Mexico City via Los Angeles.
En route, he must battle Asian gangsters, Ninjas, paid assassins and Las Vegas mobsters. He also finds the time to bed a few glamourous women who continually hit on him.
Eventually Bolt discovers he is carrying funny money and has been set up to take fall. Being a man of action, Bolt sets out to eradicate the crime syndicate that set him up.
The movie features hand-to-hand fighting sequences, in which Bolt demonstrates his karate skills, and high-speed chases.
Fans of Williamson will definitely enjoy the movie.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 widescreen picture; English 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: An interview with Williamson is the main extra.
The Return of Swamp Thing (4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray)
Details: 1989, Lightyear
Rated: PG-13, violence
The lowdown: This is one of those movies that is so bad that it’s good.
The sequel features the wonderful Louis Jourdan as Dr. Anton Arcane, who is obsessed with staving off the effects of aging.
Aided by Dr. Lana Zurrell (Sara Douglas), Arcane has combined genes from various swamp creatures as well as people to create an army of monsters called Un-Men.
Arcane’s stepdaughter, Abigail (Heather Locklear), comes to Florida after the death of her mother to confront her evil stepparent.
Arcane, though, only sees Abigail as another subject for his experiments. But before he can destroy her, she is rescued by Swamp Thing (Dick Durock).
The movie is undemanding, simplistic, laughable entertainment that cannot hold a candle to its predecessor.
Technical aspects: 4K: 2160p, 1.85:1 (16x9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 5.1 and 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH subtitles; Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 (16x9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 5.1 and 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include two commentary tracks, interviews with director Jim Wynorksi, editor Leslie Rosenthal, composer Chuck Cirino and Lightyear Entertainment executive Arnie Holland, a 1989 promo reel and two Greenpeace public service announcements.
Congress Dances (Blu-ray)
Details: 1932, Kino Classics
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: This period German import is a combination of music and risqué comedy starring Lilian Harvey as a smart shopkeeper who promotes her wares by ambushing world leaders with floral bouquets.
The story, set in 1815, finds Harvey’s Christel falling in love with Russia’s Czar Alexander (Willy Fritch). The wily Metternich (Conrad Veidt) tries to use this development to keep the czar from attending the Vienna Conference.
The film is bright and cheery, with strong camera work, catchy and romantic tunes and inventive sound.
English and French versions of the film also was produced at the time, but this disc features the original 99-minute German version.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.19:1 full-screen picture; German audio; English SDH and English subtitles.
Don’t miss: A commentary track by Eddy von Mueller is the main extra.
Marco Polo (Blu-ray)
Details: 1962, Kino Cult-Kino Lorber Studio Classics
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: The only historical fact about this movie is that Marco Polo left his home in Italy and traveled to China to open trade routes with that empire.
Rory Calhoun plays the adventurer in this joint Italian-French production. In China, he meets a princess, played by Yôko Tani, thwarts a plot to overthrow her father the emperor, meets an old hermit who has invented gunpowder and, with it, builds a special cannon to fight the evil warlord who wants the throne.
The movie is rather silly and Calhoun is definitely too old to portray Marco Polo.
Still, if you like sword-and-sandal-type movies, this will do.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.35:1 widescreen picture; English DTS-HD Master Audio; English subtitles.
Don’t miss: A commentary track by novelist-critic Tim Lucas is the main bonus component.
Divide & Conquer (Blu-ray)
Details: 2021, Troma Films
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: This Troma release, directed and written by and co-starring Mercedes the Muse, finds three women warriors in Tromaville who find themselves on the run and kicking the ass — or other body parts — of any misogynist who dares to get in the way.
Troma founder Lloyd Kaufman labeled the movie, “A feminist movie for the 21st century.” It’s a tribute to the grindhouse movies of the past, but with the usual Troma humor and violence.
The cast also includes Vade Callisto, Knotty Peach, Irie Divine, Michael Herz, Kaufman and Mark Torgi.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 16:9 widescreen picture; English audio.
Don’t miss: Extras include a commentary track, a “Three Muses” featurette, a question-and-answer session from the Los Angeles premiere and an introduction by Kaufman.
.com for Murder (Blu-ray)
Details: 2002, Arrow Video
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: This cyber-psycho-thriller directed by Greek cult filmmaker Nico Mastorakis features a rather interesting cast, including Roger Daltrey, Huey Lewis, Natassja Kinski and Nicolette Sheridan.
The story follows Kinski’s Sondra Brummel, a young woman stuck in a wheelchair after a skiing accident. Bored, she decides to have some fun with her friend Misty (Sheridan) on an Internet dating site, after her architect boyfriend, Ben (Daltrey), leaves her alone for the weekend in the hi-tech intelligent mansion he has built for them.
While fooling around on the Internet, the women invoke the ire of a young man who uses the handle “Werther.” Soon they find the virtual world violently intruding upon the real one.
Mastorakis shows us the dark side of the web in this thriller that recalls moments from Hitchcock’s “Rear Window” and “Dial M for Murder.”
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 and 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: Supplemental materials include archival interviews with Daltrey and Lewis, a featurette with Mastorakis revisiting the production, a making of featurette and a booklet.
The Vagrant (Blu-ray)
Details: 1992, Arrow Video
Rated: R, violence, language
The lowdown: This demented dark comedy stars Bill Paxton in a messy mix of laughs and horror.
The cast, which also includes Michael Ironside, Colleen Camp and Marshall Bell, tells the story of Paxton’s Graham Krakowski, a mild-mannered financial clerk, who buys a run-down starter home.
He quickly discovers a vagrant living in the empty lot across the street who keeps showing up inside Krakowki’s new home. Attempts to remove the homeless man quickly begin to escalate, testing Karowski’s sanity as the vagrant plays several mind games, including defiling the home and framing the new owner for some gruesome murders.
This cult favorite spotlights Paxton’s range of talent from sanity to paranoia.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 widescreen picture; English 2.0 LPCM monaural; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: Featured extras include interviews with Camp, Ironside, Bell and director Chris Walas and a collector’s booklet.
Other titles being released on Tuesday, unless otherwise indicated:
Kamen Rider: Ryuki: Complete Series (Blu-ray) (Shout! Factory)
Millennium Bugs (DVD & VOD) (Indican Pictures)
DIGITAL DOWNLOAD, STREAMING or VOD
Empire of Light (Buena Vista-Disney)
I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)
The Last Deal (Scatena & Rosner Films)
Line of Fire (VMI Releasing)
Murder, Anyone? (Uncork’d Entertainment)
Nana’s Boys (Breaking Glass Pictures)
One Year Off (Lionsgate Home Entertainment)
To the End (Lionsgate Home Entertainment)
The Wedding Hustler (1091 Pictures)
Bill Russell: Legend (www.netflix.com/billrusselllegend) (Netflix)
Stolen Youth: Inside the Cult at Sarah Lawrence (Hulu)
Among the Beasts (Gravitas Ventures)
Dear Edward: Episode 4 (Apple TV+)
Seriously Red (Gravitas Ventures)
Servant: Season 4, Episode 5 (Apple TV+)
Shrinking: Episode 4 (Apple TV+)
Sweetheart (Film Movement)
Truth Be Told: Season 3, Episode 4 (Apple TV+)
The Way Out (Terror Films)
Your Place or Mine (www.netflix.com/YourPlaceOrMine) (Netflix)
Coming next week: Strange World
I am a founding member of the Indiana Film Journalists Association. I review movies, 4K UHD, Blu-rays and DVDs for ReelBob (ReelBob.com), The Film Yap and other print and online publications. I can be reached by email at email@example.com. You also can follow me on Twitter @ReelBobBloom and on Facebook at ReelBob or the Indiana Film Journalists Association. My movie reviews also can be found at Rotten Tomatoes: www.rottentomatoes.com.