SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) — I know that this is primarily an article dedicated to new streaming titles and the Blu-ray and DVD highlights are a bonus, but I'd much rather be talking about "Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse" (which debuts on physical formats today) rather than "Strays." I loved "Across the Spider-Verse." I survived "Strays." Mostly. I mostly survived “Strays.”
Since I’m not talking about “Strays,” may I direct your attention to “Birth/Rebirth”? This horror/sci-fi/thriller was one of my favorite films at Sundance 2023. It’s something of a Frankenstein story: Maybe we should let the dead stay dead. We never do.
Elsewhere you'll find the animated "Goodbye Monster," a family -friendly redemption story, as well as the 20th anniversary release of "Oldboy."
I’ll be looking to watch Paul Schrader’s “Master Gardener” at some point. Schrader’s films can be a draining experience.
On the Blu-ray front, I was surprised by the “Sleepy Hollow” 4K release. I love the way that the heads spin before being lopped off. There’s a silliness to the gore that almost makes you cheer the headless horseman. Almost. Maybe just a little. It’s not like the villagers are all that welcoming.
Those looking for something to share with the family, “Matilda” and “The Princess Bride” now come in 4K. Those wanting to start (or continue) their pre-Halloween festivities should note the “Night of the Comet” 4K release from Shout! Factory.
Studio Synopsis: Plucky pup Reggie (Will Ferrell) thought he and his owner Doug (Will Forte) were playing an innocent game of fetch. It isn’t until he meets Bug (Jamie Foxx), a streetwise stray who says only suckers have owners, that Reggie realizes his miserable master intentionally abandoned him in the big city. With two more pooches (Isla Fisher and Randall Park) adding fuel to his furry fire, Reggie goes from cute to cunning as he and Bug concoct a crazy scheme to get back to Doug and give him a big bite between his legs. Revenge has never been this riotous, or this irreverent, as the hilariously absurd antics of these four furballs turn typical animal adventures totally upside down.
Studio Synopsis: After disobeying orders and using an untested idea to defeat the Dark Spirit, a promising young doctor accidentally destroys his island and is banished from Kunlun Hospital, forbidden from ever practicing medicine again. But when a young boy comes to him for healing, he may have one more chance to redeem himself—and restore his home.
Also available on: Blu-ray and DVD
Studio Synopsis: Rose (Marin Ireland) is a pathologist who prefers working with corpses over social interaction. She also has an obsession — the reanimation of the dead. Celie (Judy Reyes) is a maternity nurse who has built her life around her bouncy, chatterbox six-year-old daughter, Lila (A.J. Lister). When one tragic night, Lila suddenly falls ill and dies, the two women's worlds crash into each other. They embark on a dark path of no return where they will be forced to confront how far they are willing to go to protect what they hold most dear.
Studio Synopsis: Synopsis: Directed by Academy Award nominee Paul Schrader based on his original screenplay, "Master Gardener" follows Narvel Roth (award-winner Joel Edgerton), the meticulous horticulturist of Gracewood Gardens. He is as much devoted to tending the grounds of this beautiful and historic estate, to pandering to his employer, the wealthy dowager Mrs. Haverhill (three-time Academy Award nominee Sigourney Weaver). When Mrs. Haverhill demands that he take on her wayward and troubled great-niece Maya (Quintessa Swindell) as a new apprentice, chaos enters Narvel’s spartan existence, unlocking dark secrets from a buried violent past that threaten them all.
Also available on: Blu-ray and DVD
Studio Synopsis: After being kidnapped and imprisoned for fifteen years, Oh Dae-Su (Choi Min-sik) is released, only to find that he must find his captor in five days.
Studio Synopsis: A brief trip back home turns into a longer stay as Eric (Michael Cera) finds himself caught between catching up with his two sisters and conquering his old poker group. The longer Eric extends his visit so he can leave his mark as the best poker player in town, the harder it becomes to avoid unearthing the tumultuous relationship with his sister Rachel (Hannah Gross). As their little sister Maggie (Sophia Lillis) attempts to recreate the intimate world the three of them once shared, Eric and Rachel are faced with the divide between their childhood selves and the adults they are now.
Studio Synopsis: In Georgia Oakley’s stunning directorial debut "Blue Jean," it’s 1988 England and Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government is about to pass a law stigmatizing gays and lesbians, forcing Jean (Rosy McEwen, in a powerhouse performance), a gym teacher, to live a double life. As pressure mounts from all sides, the arrival of a new student catalyzes a crisis that will challenge Jean to her core. The BAFTA-nominated film won the Venice Film Festival’sPeople’s Choice Award, as well as four British Independent Film Awards.
Studio Synopsis: Directed by acclaimed Filmmaker Mary Harron ("American Psycho"), "Dalíland" stars Ben Kingsley ("Schindler’s List") as the titular Salvador Dali, one of the most world-renowned artists of the 20th century and focuses on the later years of the strange and fascinating marriage between Dalí and his wife, Gala (Barbara Sukowa, "Hannah Arendt"), as their seemingly unshakeable bond begins to stress and fracture. Set in New York and Spain in 1974, the film is told through the eyes of James (Christopher Briney, “The Summer I Turned Pretty”), a young assistant keen to make his name in the art world, who helps the eccentric and mercurial Dalí prepare for a big gallery show. Rupert Graves ("V for Vendetta"), Suki Waterhouse (“Daisy Jones and the Six”), Andreja Pejic ("The Other Me"), and Ezra Miller ("The Flash") also star.
Studio Synopsis: A half century after its release, "Midnight Cowboy" remains one of the most original and groundbreaking movies of the modern era. With beguiling performances from Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman as two loners who join forces out of desperation, blacklist survivor Waldo Salt’s brilliant screenplay, and John Schlesinger’s fearless direction, the 1969 film became the only X-rated film to ever win the Academy Award for Best Picture. Its vivid and compassionate depiction of a more realistic, unsanitized New York City and its inhabitants paved the way for a generation’s worth of gritty movies with complex characters and adult themes. But this is not a documentary about the making of "Midnight Cowboy": it is about the deeply gifted and flawed people behind a dark and difficult masterpiece; New York City in a troubled time of cultural ferment; and the era that made a movie and the movie that made an era. Featuring extensive archival material and compelling new interviews, director Nancy Buirski illuminates how one film captured the essence of a time and a place, reflecting a rapidly changing society with striking clarity.
Also available on: DVD
Studio Synopsis: A group of friends that go on a holiday to St. Joseph's Guesthouse, unaware that it was the site of accused witchcraft and a sacrifice of an innocent girl centuries before. They soon realize that it may be haunted by the spirit of 'The Hanged Girl.'
Studio Synopsis: a secluded cottage becomes the stage for a terrifying sequence of gruesome murders. Unbeknownst to the unsuspecting inhabitants, a malevolent and otherworldly presence lurks within the very walls they call home. As the body count rises, a couple residing in the cottage finds themselves at the heart of this nightmarish ordeal. Determined to uncover the truth and break free from the clutches of this supernatural entity, they embark on a harrowing journey to solve the mystery of the cursed grounds they inhabit.
Studio Synopsis: July 2014. Expectant parents Irka and Tolik live in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine near the Russian border, disputed territory in the early days of the Donbas war. Their nervous anticipation of their first child’s birth is violently disrupted as the vicinal crash of flight MH17 elevates the forbidding tension enveloping their village. The looming wreckage of the downed airliner and an incoming parade of mourners emphasize the surreal trauma of the moment.
As Tolik’s separatist friends expect him to join their efforts, Irka’s brother is enraged by suspicions that the couple has betrayed Ukraine. Irka refuses to be evacuated even as the village gets captured by armed forces, and she tries to make peace between her husband and brother by asking them to repair their bombed house.
Studio Synopsis: Insomnia spreads in a small town, causing fear and panic. As the situation becomes dire, two couples find salvation on an abandoned ranch until nefarious characters descend upon the land, claiming it as their own, and chaos ensues.
Studio Synopsis: In a small German town in the 1970s, young Stephanie takes solace in exploring the mysteries hidden away in her untidy house, particularly the trunk full of her grandfather's butcher equipment.
Studio Synopsis: Miles Morales returns for the next chapter of the Oscar-winning Spider-Verse saga, (2018, Best Animated Feature Film), "Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse." After reuniting with Gwen Stacy, Brooklyn's full-time, friendly neighborhood Spider-Man is catapulted across the Multiverse, where he encounters a team of Spider-People charged with protecting its very existence. But when the heroes clash on how to handle a new threat, Miles finds himself pitted against the other Spiders and must redefine what it means to be a hero so he can save the people he loves most.
Studio Synopsis: The stakes have never been higher as "Star Trek: Picard" boldly goes into its third and final season. Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, LeVar Burton, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis, and Michael Dorn of Star Trek: The Next Generation join series star Patrick Stewart for an epic adventure.
Studio Synopsis: The mayhem and madness continue in season three of this biting and uproarious adult animated comedy series. Wrapping up their “Eat. Bang! Kill. Tour,” Harley Quinn (Kaley Cuoco) and Poison Ivy (Lake Bell) return to Gotham as the new power couple of DC villainy. Along with their ragtag crew – King Shark (Ron Funches), Clayface (Alan Tudyk), Frank the Plant (JB Smoove) - "Harlivy" strives to become the best version of themselves while also working towards Ivy’s long desired plan of transforming Gotham into an Eden paradise.
Studio Synopsis: See the world from a kid's-eye view with "Matilda," a modern fairytale that mixes hilarious humor with the magical message of love. "Mrs. Doubtfire's" Mara Wilson stars as Matilda, a super-smart little girl who's woefully misunderstood by her parents (Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman), her brother, and an evil school principal. But with the help of a brave best friend and a wonderful teacher, Matilda discovers she doesn't have to get mad to get even.
Studio Synopsis: It’s the first comet to buzz the planet in 65 million years, and everyone seems to be celebrating its imminent arrival. Everyone, that is, except Regina Belmont (Catherine Mary Stewart, "The Last Starfighter") and her younger sister Samantha (Kelli Maroney, "Chopping Mall"), two Valley Girls who care more about fashion trends than the celestial phenomenon. But upon daybreak, when the girls discover that they’re the only residents of Los Angeles whom the comet hasn’t vaporized or turned into a zombie, they do what all good Valley Girls dothey go shopping! But when their day of malling threatens to become a day of mauling, these gals flee with killer zombies and blood-seeking scientists in hot pursuit!
Studio Synopsis: A high-spirited adventure that pits true love against inconceivable odds, "The Princess Bride" has charmed legions of fans with its irreverent gags, eccentric ensemble, and dazzling swordplay. A kid (Fred Savage), home sick from school, grudgingly allows his grandfather (Peter Falk) to read him a dusty storybook—which is how we meet the innocent Buttercup (Robin Wright, in her breakout role), about to marry the nefarious Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon) though her heart belongs to Westley (Cary Elwes). The wedding plans are interrupted, however, by a mysterious pirate, a vengeful Spaniard, and a good-natured giant, in a tale full of swashbuckling, romance, and outrageously hilarious spoofery.
Studio Synopsis: Master storyteller Tim Burton weaves an eerie, enchanting version of this classic tale of horror. Johnny Depp is Ichabod Crane, an eccentric investigator determined to stop the murderous Headless Horseman. Christina Ricci is Katrina Van Tassel, the beautiful and mysterious girl with secret ties to the supernatural terror.