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article imageReview: This week’s releases explore the unknown Special

By Sarah Gopaul     Jul 12, 2020 in Entertainment
This week’s releases include a colourful new chapter with a more varied soundtrack; an examination of human and supernatural evil; a classic musical; and a well-executed foray into the slasher genre.
Evil: Season One (DVD)
Paramount Home Entertainment
Where does science end and the supernatural begin? That's the mysterious — and dangerous — line explored by skeptical psychologist Kristen Bouchard (Katja Herbers) when she teams up with priest-in training David Acosta (Mike Colter) to explore the evil humanity is capable of. Together, they dive into the Catholic Church's files of occult phenomena to bring them to rational conclusions — or attempt to. Angel sightings, demonic possessions, prophecies and conspiracies will test their faiths and push them to their limits as they learn that the world's darkness may run deeper than they ever thought possible.
Historically, science and the Church have not seen eye-to-eye, though in recent years that has begun to change. David and Kristen take on a variety of cases that have both supernatural and scientific explanations, and then they try to determine which is more accurate. Though it’s difficult for Kristen to accept a paranormal conclusion, she also admits there are some things that defy understanding. To aid in their investigations, they also bring in a jack-of-all-trades tech expert (Aasif Mandvi) who either helps them record the phenomenon or track the human origin. However, there is a more tangible villain in the series as a man who believes he’s doing Satan’s work poses a danger to Kristen and the world at large.
Special features include: deleted and extended scenes; “Season One: Genesis”; and “Does Evil Exist?” (Paramount Home Entertainment)
Hair (Blu-ray)
Olive Signature
Naïve country boy Claude Hooper Bukowski (John Savage) is a Vietnam War draftee who travels to New York where he’s swept up in a world of free love, hallucinogens and romance, courtesy of hippies Berger (Treat Williams), Jeannie (Annie Golden), Hud (Dorsey Wright) and Woof (Don Dacus). On top of that, a beautiful debutante named Sheila (Beverly D’Angelo) becomes the object of Claude’s affections.
Although the film is based on a stage musical that was adapted from a book, when casting filmmakers sought actors unfamiliar with either. Moreover, many of the cast members were not professional film actors and were shocked to outlast more experienced performers in the audition process. The story, although a relatively straightforward depiction of free love and anti-establishment, packs a pretty powerful ending that is then somewhat overwhelmed by the closing musical number. The characters are all charming with Williams in particular capturing people’s hearts, but it’s the memorable soundtrack that makes the longest lasting impression. From the title song to “Age of Aquarius” to “Let the Sunshine,” the music reached beyond the narrative. And although it’s less celebrated, the “Sodomy” track is generally good for a smile.
Special features include: commentary by assistant director Michael Hausman and actor Treat Williams; “The Tribe Remembers”; “Making Chance Work: Choreographing Hair”; “Cutting Hair”; “Hair Style”; and “Artist, Teacher, Mentor: Remembering Milos Forman.” (Olive Signature)
Trolls World Tour (4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray & Digital copy)
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
Queen Poppy (Anna Kendrick) and Branch (Justin Timberlake) discover their Pop kingdom is only one of six musical realms — Funk, Country, Techno, Classical and Rock being the others — that were once united in perfect harmony. When the power-hungry ruler of the Rocker Trolls threatens to silence all other music so her tribe can reign supreme, Poppy and Branch must embark on an epic quest to unite the realms of Trollskind before the songs in their hearts are lost forever.
One of the key plot points in this picture is a “will they, won’t they” involving Poppy and Branch that relies on his inability to express his feelings, though everyone knows they’ll get it together by the end. Instead, the more interesting story is about Poppy’s desire to be a good leader at any cost, including ignoring the advice of those closest to her. Poppy is convinced she can befriend the rock queen even though all evidence points to the contrary. In the meantime, the rock queen is decimating the other kingdoms and getting closer to Poppy’s home. In the end, the very sweet message that no one can take what’s inside you away is driven home with typical troll flair. Nonetheless, this film isn’t as captivating or heartwarming as the first, though Tiny Diamond (Kenan Thompson) is a hilarious edition to the family.
Special features include: commentary by director Walt Dohrn, producer Gina Shay and co-director David P. Smith; deleted scenes with intros by director Walt Dohrn, producer Gina Shay and co-director David P. Smith; dance party mode; “Tiny Diamond Goes Back to School”; “Trolls Dance Academy”; “Trolls World Tourist Map”; “Trolls Perfect Harmony”; and “Trolls World Tour Backstage.” (Universal Pictures Home Entertainment)
What the Waters Left Behind (Blu-ray)
Unearthed Films
The town of Epecuén was flooded on November 10, 1985 and was deep underwater for more than 30 years. When the waters receded, the town was still intact and stayed deserted, at least so they thought. A group of young filmmakers takes a trip to the ruins to film a documentary. Ignoring the warnings, they get stranded. One by one they soon find that you don’t have to go to Texas for a massacre.
This film is an Argentinian slasher film that combines elements of the classic genre movies, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and The Hills Have Eyes. Led by a survivor of the flood, the documentary crew travels to the desolate location of her childhood. They meet some creepy, forlorn locals along the way, which is enough to put any seasoned horror fan on alert. As they’re picked off or collected one by one, the film grows more gruesomely terrifying. Filmmakers follow the genre’s general formula, while also making it their own. This is one of the better slasher films in recent years, finding the balance between scares, gore and a solid narrative.
Special features include: film footage; photo gallery; and trailers. (Unearthed Films)
More about Trolls World Tour, Evil, What the Waters Left Behind, Hair, Tv series
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