New On Blu-ray & DVD

Thor Diakow | posted Tuesday, Apr 14th, 2020

Hit the movie titles for trailer links.

April 14, 2020: 1917, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Dolittle, Little Women, Just Mercy.

1917

SYNOPSIS: In 1917 at the height of the First World War, two young British soldiers, Schofield (MacKay) and Blake (Chapman) are given a seemingly impossible mission. In a race against time, they must cross enemy territory and deliver a message that will stop a deadly attack on hundreds of soldiers—Blake’s own brother among them.

A technical marvel and stirring war drama, Mendes’ seemingly one-take wonder may lose some points for an average script and basic plot. However, the gorgeous Oscar-winning cinematography from veteran Roger Deakins, stirring performances, innovative direction, and rousing musical score elevate this epic to must-own status.

BONUS FEATURES:
•The Weight of the World: Sam Mendes – Academy Award® winner Sam Mendes discusses his personal connection to World War 1.
•Allied Forces: Making 1917 – Learn how the one shot, 360-degree format was executed and the pivotal role Academy Award® winner Roger Deakins served in bringing Sam Mendes’ vision to life.
•The Music of 1917 – Composer Thomas Newman and filmmakers discuss the important role of the Academy Award®-nominated score.
•In The Trenches – Go behind the scenes with the cast of 1917.
•Recreating History – Filmmakers offer a detailed look at the production design challenges of recreating the First World War.
•Feature Commentary with Director/Co-Writer Sam Mendes.
•Feature Commentary with Director of Photography Roger Deakins.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

SYNOPSIS: Lucasfilm and director J.J. Abrams join forces once more to take viewers on an epic journey to a galaxy far, far away with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Experience the riveting conclusion of the landmark Skywalker saga, in which new legends will be born—and the final battle for freedom is yet to come.

The saga is over and fans may be left feeling a bit divided but there’s no denying this final installment in the Skywalker series goes out with a PEW-PEW BANG! A feast of eye-popping visuals and a relentless pace will help overcome some of the clunkier moments of exposition. Regardless of what you feel about the final film, the Blu-ray bonus materials are exhaustive and should prove fascinating for anyone looking for extra insight into the franchise.

BONUS MATERIALS:
• The Skywalker Legacy – The story lives forever in this feature-length documentary that
charts the making of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
• Pasaana Pursuit: Creating the Speeder Chase – Dive into the making of the movie’s epic
landspeeder chase and discover how this spectacular sequence was brought to the
screen.
• Aliens in the Desert – See what it took to create the Pasaana desert scenes, from the
sheer scale and complexity of the shoot to its colourful details.
• D-O: Key to the Past – Explore the ship that connects Rey to the mystery of her missing
parents and get to know the galaxy’s newest, irresistible droid.
• Warwick & Son – Warwick Davis, who played Wicket in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, dons
the Ewok costume once more; this time joined by his son Harrison.
• Cast of Creatures – The team behind the film’s memorable creatures reveal the puppetry,
makeup, prosthetics and digital magic that bring them to life!
Digital Exclusive:
• The Maestro’s Finale – Composer John Williams reflects on his body of work for the Star
Wars saga and shares insights on scoring Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

Dolittle

SYNOPSIS: After losing his wife, he hermits himself away behind the high wall of his manor but is forced to set sail on an epic adventure when the queen falls gravely ill. Helping Dolittle in search of a rare cure are his rambunctious animal friends—including Chee-Chee (Malek), an anxious, self-conscious gorilla; Dab-Dab (Octavia Spencer, The Help), an enthusiastic but bird-brained duck; the bickering duo of cynical, neurotic ostrich Plimpton (Kumail Nanjiani, The Big Sick, “Silicon Valley”) and chilly-but-chill polar bear Yoshi (Cena); as well as a headstrong parrot named Polynesia (Thompson).

Sure, it’s got some immature gags and RDJ’s accent is a bit wonky (was that Welsh he was going for?) BUT Dolittle is actually sumptuous to look at and perfect for young kids. The story, however familiar, moves at a great pace and the voice work is genuinely entertaining, giving the various animals distinct characteristics; throw in some Robert Downey Jr. charm and you’re good to go!

BONUS FEATURES:
•TALK TO THE ANIMALS – Dolittle is surrounded by a motley cast of characters. Take a peek at all the fun the cast had giving each of the animals their unique voice.
•ROBERT DOWNEY JR. & HARRY: MENTOR AND MENTEE – Acting opposite a legendary actor like Robert Downey Jr. can be an intimidating experience, but Harry Collett handled it like a pro. See the unique bond the two actors formed on-set, and how Downey took the film’s young co-star under his wing.
•BECOMING THE GOOD DOCTOR – See the process of how this team of talented artists brought this film to life, and how Robert Downey Jr. transformed into the iconic Dolittle.
•ANTONIO BANDERAS: PIRATE KING – Antonio Banderas discusses what attracted him to the project, his experiences working with Robert Downey Jr., and what he brought to the role of King Rassouli.
•THE WICKED DR. MÜDFLY – Who is the nefarious villain Dr. Blair Müdfly? Michael Sheen dives into his character’s motivations for being Dolittle’s foil.
•A MOST UNUSUAL HOUSE – It takes a special home to accommodate humans and animals alike. Explore the unique rooms and modifications that allow Dolittle to house anyone or anything – big or small.

Little Women

SYNOPSIS: Writer-director Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird) has crafted a LITTLE WOMEN that draws on both the classic novel and the writings of Louisa May Alcott, and unfolds as the author’s alter ego, Jo March, reflects back and forth on her fictional life. Gerwig’s take on the beloved story of the March sisters—four young women each determined to live life on their own terms—is both timeless and timely. Portraying Jo, Meg, Amy and Beth March, the film stars Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh and Eliza Scanlen, with Timothée Chalamet as their neighbour Laurie, Laura Dern as Marmee and Meryl Streep as Aunt March.

Greta Gerwig’s sweeping historical romance features superb performances and a unique narrative structure that ensures a swift pace despite the seemingly dry subject matter. Little Women‘s ultimate victory is how it eschews typical period dramas with an injection of contemporary style, verve, and (perhaps most importantly) humour.

BONUS MATERIALS:
•A New Generation of Little Women: The superb cast recreated the beloved world of the March family with realism, humor and vulnerability
•Making a Modern Classic: The film combines its modern elements—kinetic camerawork and overlapping dialogue—with the historically authentic bespoke costumes, sets and locations
•Greta Gerwig: Women Making Art: Go behind the camera with Writer/Director Greta Gerwig, discover her process and how she applied her own style to the story
•Hair & Make-Up Test Sequence: A lovely showcase featuring the outstanding costumes, hair and make-up crafted for the film
•Little Women Behind the Scenes: Take a quick look behind the scenes on the set of LITTLE WOMEN
•Orchard House, Home of Louisa May Alcott: Find out more about Louisa May Alcott and visit the real-life Orchard House in Concord, MA

Just Mercy

SYNOPSIS: “Just Mercy” is based on the powerful and thought-provoking true story of young lawyer Bryan Stevenson (Michael B. Jordan) and his history-making battle for justice. After graduating from Harvard, Bryan had his pick of lucrative jobs. Instead, he heads to Alabama to defend those wrongly condemned or who were not afforded proper representation, with the support of local advocate Eva Ansley (Brie Larson). One of his first, and most incendiary, cases is that of Walter McMillian (Jamie Foxx), who, in 1987, was sentenced to die for the notorious murder of an 18-year-old girl, despite a preponderance of evidence proving his innocence and the fact that the main testimony against him came from a criminal with a motive to lie. In the years that follow, Bryan becomes embroiled in a labyrinth of legal and political maneuverings, as well as overt and unabashed racism as he fights for Walter, and others like him, with the odds—and the system—stacked against them.

Sadly, this movie was largely overshadowed when it came to last year’s awards season and it’s a damn shame because Just Mercy is a riveting, powerful and timely drama, despite taking place in the ’80s. Michael B. Jordan is predictably awesome but it’s Jamie Foxx who steals the show with a beautifully nuanced performance as an innocent man on death row. The film may cover some issues examined many times before but its earnest direction and commanding courtroom finale make it a profound movie.

SPECIAL FEATURES:
•Making ‘Mercy’
•This Moment Deserves
•The Equal Justice Initiative
•Deleted Scenes

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