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DISCussion: New on DVD and Blu-ray (5.19.15)

"New on DVD and Blu-ray this Week!"

There are only a few new releases this week, but one of them is the highest-grossing film of 2014, American Sniper. Due to its massive popularity, we though it would be a great chance to promote one of Charlie Chaplin’s most suppressed films, by making Limelight our Recommendation of the Week.

New Release:
American Sniper – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant)
Hot Tub Time Machine 2 – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant)
Zombeavers – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant)

The Rose (1979) – (Criterion Blu-ray)
Limelight (1952) – (Criterion Blu-ray)


New on DVD

Limelight (1952) – (Criterion Blu-ray) *Recommendation of the Week*
Directed and written by Charles Chaplin
Starring: Charles Chaplin, Claire Bloom, Nigel Bruce

An intimate picture of life at the end of a career in humor, Chaplin’s final American film is considered one of his most personal. A once adored vaudevillian has become an alcoholic loner, desperate to find meaning beyond the stage. After meeting a suicidal ballet dancer, he begins to scrape together points of hope in an attempt to maintain his happiness. Featuring the only time Chaplin and fellow silent comedy icon Buster Keaton came together on film, Limelight is Chaplin at his most most searingly authentic.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 96% (Superb)
IMDB: 8.1 (Excellent)
Entertainment Fuse: 9.5/10


Special Features: 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray; Chaplin’s “Limelight”: Its Evolution and Intimacy, a new video essay by Charlie Chaplin biographer David Robinson; Interviews with actors Claire Bloom and Norman Lloyd; Chaplin Today: “Limelight,” a 2002 documentary on the film; Archival audio recording of Chaplin reading two short excerpts from his novella Footlights; Two short films by Chaplin: A Night in the Show (1915) and the uncompleted The Professor (1919); Outtake and two trailers; PLUS: An essay by critic Peter von Bagh and excerpts from an on-set piece by journalist Henry Gris

Amazon: $27.99 (Criterion Blu-ray)


New on DVD

American Sniper – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant)
Directed by Clint Eastwood
Written by Jason Hall, Chris Kyle (book), Scott McEwen (book), and Jim DeFelice (book)
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Kyle Gallner

The most polarizing film of 2014, American Sniper either enthralled patriotic audiences with its portrayal of the United States’ most deadly soldier, or shunned those who saw its message as being far more jingoistic. Winning the Oscar for Best Sound Editing, and earning five more nominations (Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay, Achievement inFilm Editing, and Achievement in Sound Mixing), American Sniper soared at the box office, and was one of the most talked about films of the year.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 73% (Good)
Metacritic: 72 (Very Good)
IMDB: 7.4 (Very Good)
Entertainment Fuse: 7/10 (Read our Review)


Amazon: $24.96 (Blu-ray); $14.24 (DVD); $3.99/$14.99 (Instant Rent/ Buy)


New on DVD

Hot Tub Time Machine 2 – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant)
Directed by Steve Pink
Written by Josh Heald
Starring: Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, Clark Duke

Receiving a markedly lower critical approval than its predecessor, Hot Tub Time Machine 2 follows 3/4 of the original cast as they get involved in more time-traveling hijinks. A confusing ride into the past and future, Lou (Corddry), Nick (Robinson) and Jacob (Duke) must alter various timelines to save the “present.”

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 14% (Swing and a Miss)
Metacritic: 29 (Strike Two)
IMDB: 5.2 (Okay)


Amazon: $19.99 (Blu-ray); $16.99 (DVD); $4.99/$12.99 (Instant Rent/ Buy)


New on DVD

Zombeavers – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant)
Directed by Jordan Rubin
Written by Al Kaplan (screenplay), Jon Kaplan (screenplay) and Jordan Rubin (screenplay)
Starring: Rachel Melvin, Cortney Palm, Lexi Atkins

This independent, satirical gorefest looks like a SyFy movie on steroids (and hallucinogenic drugs). When a group of vacationing teens come across a pond infested with zombie beavers, all hell breaks loose. Where words fail to capture the magnificence that is Zombeavers, music prevails:

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 66% (Fresh)
Metacritic: 44 (Bad)
IMDB: 4.7 (Bad)


Amazon: $27.97 (Blu-ray); $9.79 (DVD); $3.99/$9.99 (Instant Rent/ Buy)



New on DVD

The Rose (1979) – (Criterion Blu-ray)
Directed by Mark Rydell
Written by Bo Goldman (screenplay), Bill Kerby (screenplay and story) and Michael Cimino (uncredited)
Starring: Bette Midler, Alan Bates, Frederic Forrest

The Rose is Mark Rydell’s beautifully shot portrayal of the cost of fame. Bette Midler’s first major cinematic role launched her career in movies, and garnered her an Oscar Nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role. Singer Mary “The Rose” Rose (Midler) is a rising star whose life and mental health are put to the test by the rigors of stardom. Incredibly life-like concert scenes and a powerfully real performance from Midler are the stunning core to this heartfelt, emotional drama.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 82% (Very Good)
IMDB: 6.9 (Good)


Special Features: 4K digital restoration, supervised by director of photography Vilmos Zsigmond, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD master audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray; Audio commentary featuring director Mark Rydell; Interview with actor Bette Midler; Conversation between Rydell and film historian and filmmaker Charles Dennis; Conversation between Zsigmond and cinematographer John Bailey; Archival interviews with Midler and Rydell, with on-set footage; PLUS: An essay by critic Paula Mejia

Amazon: $22.99 (Criterion Blu-ray)

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