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New to View: Sept. 19
Director Rob Marshall's live-action remake of "The Little Mermaid" hits most of the right marks. Check it and other new releases in my New to View at ReelBob.
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The following titles are being released on Tuesday, Sept. 19, unless otherwise noted:
The Little Mermaid (Blu-ray + DVD + digital)
Details: 2023, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment-Buena Vista
Rated: PG, action, danger, scary images
The lowdown: Disney’s record has been inconsistent with its live-action remakes of animated feature films.
But this updated version “The Little Mermaid” mostly holds up, despite its 135-minute run time — compared to 83 minutes for its animated predecessor.
Much of the credit goes to director Rob Marshall who has crafted a feature that follows the basic contours of the original, adding a couple of songs and some basically routine dance numbers.
One of the movie’s high points is the performance of Halle Bailey as Ariel. She is wholesome, energetic and courageous, plus she has a beautiful singing voice.
The cast also features Melissa McCarthy as a not very menacing Ursula, the sea witch; Javier Bardem brings gravitas to his King Triton; and Daveed Diggs, Jacob Tremblay and Awkwafina add some energy to the proceedings as Ariel’s friends and helpers.
The movie garnered a respectable 67 percent fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
Technical aspects: Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 2.39:1 widescreen picture; English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, 2.0 Dolby digital descriptive audio and French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles; DVD: 2.39:1 widescreen picture; English, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby digital and English 2.0 Dolby digital descriptive audio; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus materials include a behind-the-scenes look at how the production was brought to life and the swimming sequences were filmed; a featurette on Bailey working with original “Mermaid” Jodi Benson; bloopers; a song selection option; a look at the musical numbers; and featurette on the characters of Sebastian, Flounder and Scuttle.
Bad City (Blu-ray)
Details: 2022, Well Go USA Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A Japanese thriller about a city, wracked by crime, poverty and corruption as well as increased violence between the local Yakuza faction and a ruthless Korean crime lord.
When a mafia-connected businessman decides to run for mayor, he begins eliminating his opponents.
A former police captain imprisoned for murder is released and tasked with cleaning up the city so decent citizens can reclaim it.
The movie features a series of impressive fight scenes and action sequences.
Its star, veteran Hitoshi Ozawa, is no stranger to the genre.
The movie received an 85 percent fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.39:1 (16x9 enhanced) widescreen picture; Japanese and English (dubbed) 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English subtitles.
Sex, Power, and Money: Films by Beth B (Blu-ray)
Details: 1983-2017, Kino Classics
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Beth B was a force in the No Wave film movement of the New York underground in the 1970s and ’80s.
In the 1990s, she emerged as a confrontational, multi-disciplinary artist who created a series of visual works exploring the dynamics of sex, power and money.
Her works are not traditional films, rather they are meant to challenge and stir your emotions.
This two-disc set features 13 of Beth B’s works, ranging in length from two-minute shorts to 71-minute features.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.33:1 full-screen picture; audio also derived from analog video elements.
Don’t miss: The main extra is an interview with Beth B.
NCIS: The Twentieth Season (DVD)
Release date: Aug. 22
Details: 2022-23, CBS DVD-Paramount Home Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: In his first full season as Special Agent Alden Parker, Gary Cole and his team have meshed.
Season 20 begins with the resolution of the season 19 cliffhanger, which found Parker on the run while his fellow agents work on trying to clear his name.
From there, the agents investigate a myriad of cases domestically and abroad. And, as a nice change of pace, the series begins to delve into the personal lives of the agents, including Sean Murray’s Agent Timothy McGee, Wilmer Valderrama as Agent Nick Torres, Katrina Law as Agent Jessica Knight, Diona Reasonover as forensic specialist Kasie Hines, Brian Dietzen as Dr. James “Jimmy” Palmer, Rocky Carroll as NCIS Director Leon Vance and David McCallum as Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard.
The six-disc set features all 22 episodes, including three crossover episodes with “NCIS: Los Angeles” and “NCIS: Hawai’i.”
Technical aspects: 16:9 widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby digital; English SDH subtitles.
Don’t miss: Bonus options include featurettes on the crossover episodes, commentary tracks on select episodes, and various featurettes celebrating 20 seasons of the series.
Kiss the Girls (4K Ultra HD + digital)
Release date: Sept. 12
Details: 1997, Paramount Home Entertainment
Rated: R, terror, violence, language
The lowdown: Morgan Freeman stars as police detective-forensic psychologist Alex Cross in this suspenseful drama based on the best-seller by James Patterson.
Eight young women — all beautiful and talented — have been kidnapped. One of the women in Cross’s niece, which gets him involved in the case. He goes to Durham, N.C., where he learns the facts about the disappearances.
The kidnapper, who calls himself Casanova, has the women imprisoned in a secret lair.
When kidnap victim Kate McTiernan (Ashley Judd) manages to escape, she begins to help Cross and the police hunt for Casanova.
The case moves from Durham to California and back before the case in solved and the women are rescued.
The cast also includes Cary Elwes, Tony Goldwyn, Jay O. Sanders, Bill Nunn and Jeremy Piven.
Freeman would reprise his role as Cross four years later in an adaptation of Patterson’s “Along Came a Spider.”
The title can be purchased at www.moviezyng.com or other online sellers.
Technical aspects: 2160p ultra high definition, 2.35:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH and English subtitles.
The Dead Mother: Limited Edition (Blu-ray + CD)
Details: 1993, Radiance Films
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: Ismael, a burglar, breaks into the house of a fine art restorer and shoots the homeowner dead. The tragedy leaves her daughter traumatized.
Years later, the burglar is working in a bar when he again sees the daughter. Paranoia grips Ismael who, fearing that she recognized and will report him to the police, kidnaps the girl, holding her hostage. He demands that her hospital pay a ransom for her release.
As time passes, a bond grows between Ismael and the girl, causing him to delay the ransom demand or accomplish his threats to kill her.
This Spanish suspense thriller features some black humor that keeps it from going totally dark.
Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.35:1 widescreen picture; Spanish 2.0 LPCM monaural; English subtitles.
Don’t miss: Extras include a documentary on the making of the movie with cast and filmmaker interviews; a commentary track with director Juanma Bajo Ulloa; a short film by Ulloa; and a booklet with new writings about the movie.
George & Tammy (DVD)
Release date: Sept. 12
Details: 2022-23, Paramount Home Entertainment-Showtime Entertainment
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: This two-disc set chronicles the tumultuous relationship between country music stars George Jones, played by Michael Shannon, and Tammy Wynette, portrayed by Jessica Chastain.
The 310-minute miniseries, which originally aired on Showtime, deals not only with their personal lives and problems, but how those inspired some of their most memorable music, including Wynette’s “Stand by Your Man,” and Jones’ “He Stopped Loving Her Today.”
The series was nominated for four Emmy Awards.
Technical aspects: 16:9 widescreen picture; English 5.1 Dolby digital.
Don’t miss: Extras include a first look the miniseries, a behind-the-curtain featurette and a look at the characters.
Single, Out: Season 1 (DVD)
Details: 2022, Cinephobia Releasing
Rated: Not rated
The lowdown: A gay comedy TV series from Australia that centers on Adam, a cute young man, surrounded by loyal, loving, but not always-too-helpful family and friends.
Adam is learning to juggle his life since coming out, his job, passion for art and a new relationship.
The performance of Will Hutchins as Adam is one of the show’s mainstays as Adam learns that being single is easy, but being out is difficult.
The set features all six season one episodes.
Technical aspects: 1.78:1 widescreen picture; English 2.0 Dolby digital; English closed-captioned subtitles.
Don’t miss: A short series of bloopers and other extras is the main featurette.
Other titles being released on Tuesday, unless otherwise indicated:
DIGITAL DOWNLOAD, STREAMING or VOD
Dreamin’ Wild (Lionsgate Home Entertainment)
The Morning Show: Season 3, Episodes 1 & 2 (Apple TV+)
Nandor Fodor and the Talking Mongoose (Saban Films-Paramount Home Entertainment)
Rude Boy (Kino Lorber)
The Swan Princess: Far Longer Than Forever (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)
The D’Amelio Show: Season 3, Episodes 1 & 2 (Hulu)
Invasion: Season 2, Episode 5 (Apple TV+)
Only Murders in the Building: Season 3, Episode 8 (Hulu)
The Super Models (Apple TV+)
Strange Planet: Episode 9 (Apple TV+)
Designer $hit (The Best Part)
Barber (Brainstorm Media)
Cassandro (Amazon Prime)
The Changeling: Episode 5 (Apple TV+)
Condition of Return (Stonecutter Media)
Dark Asset (Saban Films)
Everybody Dies by the End (Terror Films)
Lift (Vulcan Productions-Paramount Pictures)
Neither Confirm Nor Deny (Kino Now)
Night Asset (Saban Films)
Peanuts Anthology III & IV (Apple TV+)
Still Up: Episodes 1-3 (Apple TV+)
COMING NEXT WEEK: Elemental
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.