SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) — It's a busy week for new releases, particularly on the Blu-ray front, but we'll kick things off with a look at the digital titles that are now available from your online retailer of choice.
"Golda" stars Helen Mirren as Golda Meir in this war room drama that takes place during the Yom Kippur War in Israel. It's not as straightforward as you might think. I admire the more experimental approach director Guy Nattiv and writer Nicholas Martin have taken. It’s not nearly as effective as a documentary would be, but it does give a sense of the chaotic of war and insight to the relationship that existed between Israel and the United States in the 1970s.
My digital pick of the week is “Neither Confirm Nor Deny,” a great Cold War documentary about a Soviet nuclear submarine that inexplicably sunk in the Pacific Ocean. There’s a sense of mystery and the foundation for what could be a fantastic horror/thriller (with or without supernatural embellishments).
It's an amazing week for Blu-ray releases as my favorite film (thus far) of 2023 "Past Lives," a romantic drama that draws outside the traditional lines of the genre. It's an incredibly smart film with great performances. We also get 4K UHD versions of Orson Welles’s "The Trial," the original "The Exorcist" and the campy '80s classic "The Last Dragon." Disney is also releasing its recent live-action adaptation of "The Little Mermaid."
All this and more. Go and take a look.
Studio Synopsis: A ticking-clock thriller set during the tense 19 days of the Yom Kippur War. Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir (Helen Mirren) must navigate overwhelming odds, a skeptical cabinet and a complex relationship with U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (Liev Schreiber) with millions of lives in the balance. Her tough leadership and compassion would ultimately decide the fate of her nation.
Studio Synopsis: Eager to discover the truth about his late father, King Derek and Queen Odette set off on an epic adventure. As newly appointed members of the Council of Crowns, Derek and Odette begin to "smoke out" the true story. But an attempt on their lives drives them undercover where they pose as the Barrymores, world-famous traveling magicians. With the help of Rogers, Scully and the animals, Derek and Odette piece the mystery together, only to have it all unravel. Will they ever know the truth about King Max?
Studio Synopsis: During the Cold War, the CIA secretly raised a sunken Soviet nuclear submarine from the depths of the Pacific Ocean. The six-year operation included an intricate cover story by billionaire Howard Hughes. Drawing on declassified documents and never-before-seen interviews, "Neither Confirm Nor Deny" tells one of the highest-stakes, yet least known stories of the Cold War.
Studio Synopsis: Over a decade in the making, this inspiring and unforgettable documentary follows children impacted by homelessness as they discover the magic of self-expression through dance. Guided by mentor Steven, whose journey leads back to his childhood shelter, their path within a remarkable ballet program becomes a celebration of joy and triumph in the face of adversity.
Studio Synopsis: Starring Academy Award-winner Hilary Swank, the film follows a journalist grieving the murder of her son who forms an unlikely alliance with his pregnant girlfriend (Olivia Cooke) to track down the killers in the seedy world of drugs and corruption.
Studio Synopsis: When famed paranormal psychologist Dr. Nandor Fodor (Simon Pegg) investigates a family's claims of a talking animal, he uncovers a mysterious web of hidden motives. Soon, everyone becomes a suspect in Dr. Fodor's relentless pursuit of the truth
Studio Synopsis: As the pandemic steadily brings the world to a halt, Parker and her best friend Miri decide to quarantine at the family lake house alone—or so they think. Directed by John Hyams ("Alone"), written by Kevin Williamson ("Scream," "I Know What You Did Last Summer") and Katelyn Crabb, "Sick" stars Gideon Adlon ("Blockers,' "The Craft: Legacy"), Bethlehem Million ("And Just Like That"), Marc Menchaca ("The Outsider," 'Ozark") and Jane Adams ("Twin Peaks," "Poltergeist," "Hacks").
Studio Synopsis: "Beaten to Death" unfolds after a desperate choice leads a man named Jack down a path that leaves him beaten and bruised as he struggles against man, nature, and his own sanity. Stranded in the middle of nowhere after barely surviving a horrific assault, Jack encounters one local after another and quickly learns that a sick game of cat and mouse is about to begin. Battling the deranged country psychos and the harsh landscape, Jack must go to extreme lengths to survive.
Studio Synopsis: From the creator of Final Destination, a runaway bride must fight for survival against her vengeful former fiancé and his seven deadly groomsmen.
Studio Synopsis: Two childhood sweethearts, after decades apart, are reunited for one fateful week in New York as they confront notions of destiny, love, and the choices that make a life in this heartrending modern romance.
Studio Synopsis: "The Little Mermaid" is visionary filmmaker Rob Marshall's live-action reimagining of Disney's beloved animated musical classic, the story of Ariel, a beautiful and spirited young mermaid with a thirst for adventure. The youngest of King Triton's daughters and the most defiant, Ariel longs to find out more about the world beyond the sea and, while visiting the surface, falls for the dashing Prince Eric. While mermaids are forbidden to interact with humans, Ariel must follow her heart. She makes a deal with the evil sea witch, Ursula, which gives her a chance to experience life on land but ultimately places her life – and her father's crown – in jeopardy.
Studio Synopsis: Long plagued by poverty and crime, Kaiko City has been torn apart by rampant corruption and growing violence between the local Yakuza faction and a notorious Korean crime boss. But when a mafia-connected businessman runs for mayor and begins systematically eliminating his opponents, a former police captain imprisoned for a brutal murder is released in a final desperate effort to reclaim the city.
Studio Synopsis: William Friedkin directs one of the most horrifying movies ever made. When a charming 12-year-old girl takes on the characteristics and voices of others, doctors say there is nothing they can do. As people begin to die, the girl's mother realizes her daughter has been possessed by the devil--and that her daughter's only possible hope lies with two priests and the ancient rite of demonic exorcism.
Studio Synopsis: A feverishly inspired take on Franz Kafka’s novel, Orson Welles’s "The Trial" casts Anthony Perkins as the bewildered office drone Josef K., whose arrest for an unspecified crime plunges him into a menacing bureaucratic labyrinth of guilt, corruption, and paranoia. Exiled from Hollywood and creatively unchained, Welles poured his ire at the studio system, the blacklist, and all forms of totalitarian oppression into this cinematic statement—a bold, personal film that he himself considered one of his greatest. Dizzying camera angles, expressionistic lighting, increasingly surreal locations—Welles unleashed the full force of his visual brilliance to convey the nightmarish disorientation of a world gone mad.
Studio Synopsis: Martial arts student Leroy Green (Taimak) is on a quest to obtain the elusive all-powerful force known as “The Glow.” Along the way, he must battle the evil, self-proclaimed “Shogun of Harlem” – a kung fu warrior also known as Sho’nuff (Julius J. Carry III) – and rescue a beautiful singer (Prince protégée Vanity) from an obsessed record promoter. Combining pulsating music, cutting-edge dancing and the best in non-stop action, Berry Gordy's "The Last Dragon" kickin’ good fun featuring an amazing Motown soundtrack, including music by Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, Vanity and DeBarge performing their smash hit “Rhythm of the Night.”