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This week’s releases feature people exceeding expectations

This week’s releases include a fast-paced action adventure; a higher-stakes sequel; a drama steeped in mystery; a cowboy reboot; and more.

A scene from 'The Suicide Squad' courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

This week’s releases include a fast-paced action adventure; a higher-stakes sequel; a drama steeped in mystery; a cowboy reboot; an insightful documentary; a multi-layered ghost story; and many classics from the library.

Audrey Hepburn 7-Film Collection on Blu-ray
Paramount Home Media Distribution

The Audrey Hepburn 7-Movie Collection (Blu-ray & Digital copy)

Roman Holiday: A bored and sheltered princess (Audrey Hepburn) escapes her guardians and falls in love with an American newsman (Gregory Peck) in Rome. Hepburn won an Oscar for her first starring role.
Sabrina: A playboy (William Holden) becomes interested in the daughter (Hepburn) of his family’s chauffeur, but it’s his more serious brother (Humphrey Bogart) who would be the better man for her.
War and Peace: Napoleon’s (Herbert Lom) tumultuous relations with Russia including his disastrous 1812 invasion serve as the backdrop for the tangled personal lives of two aristocratic families.
Funny Face: Dick Avery (Fred Astaire) is sent out by his female boss, Maggie Prescott (Kay Thompson), to find a ‘new face’. It doesn’t take Dick long to discover Jo (Hepburn), an owlish Greenwich Village bookstore clerk. Dick whisks the wide-eyed girl off to Paris and transforms her into the fashion world’s hottest model. Along the way, he falls in love with Jo, and works overtime to wean her away from such phony-baloney intellectuals as Professor Emile Flostre (Michel Auclair).
Breakfast at Tiffany’s: Holly Golightly (Hepburn), a young New York socialite, becomes interested in a young man (George Peppard) who has moved into her apartment building, but her past threatens to get in the way.
My Fair Lady: Eliza Doolittle (Hepburn) is a sassy, working-class London street vendor, and elitist Professor Higgins (Rex Harrison) attempts to turn Eliza into a sophisticated lady through proper tutoring. But, when the humble flower girl blossoms into the toast of London society, her teacher may have a lesson or two to learn himself.
Paris When it Sizzles: Richard Benson (William Holden) is a Hollywood screenwriter being pressured by movie producer Alexander Meyerheimer (Noël Coward) to finish his script, entitled ‘The Girl Who Stole the Eiffel Tower.’ Meyerheimer gives Richard a two-day ultimatum to complete his work, unaware that Richard has yet to even start on the script. In an effort to get moving on his project, Richard hires a live-in secretary, Gabrielle Simpson (Hepburn), to help him. Soon enough, the two fall in love and spend the time enacting various scenes from the unwritten screenplay as the time slips away and Richard’s deadline looms.

This seven-film collection is a fitting snapshot of Hepburn’s career and some of her most notable roles. It’s not difficult to draw the line from the rebellious Princess Ann to the free-spirited Holly Golightly, yet each character she plays is unique. She fully invests herself in the individual’s personality and reacts genuinely to their situations. Everyone has a favourite Hepburn role, but they all standout for different reasons — though her energy is always consistent. It is a little odd to see her frequently playing opposite men 10 to 30 years her senior, no matter if they were the era’s top leading men. But it doesn’t really matter since Hepburn is always the main attraction in any film she starred, as evidenced in these movies.

Special features include: trailers. (Paramount Home Media Distribution)

Children Of The Corn - 4K
Arrow Video

Children of the Corn (4K Ultra HD)

A young couple (Peter Horton and Linda Hamilton) travelling cross-country find themselves stranded in the small town of Gatlin, where they meet a mysterious religious cult of children. With no adults in sight, the terror brews as the new arrivals find the secrets of the prospering corn fields and the children who inhabit them. Led by the mysterious Isaac (John Franklin) and the unhinged Malachi (Courtney Gains), the blood-curdling secrets of the children of Gatlin are soon revealed to their new ‘outlander’ guests.

There have been several film adaptations of Stephen King’s book, as well as numerous sequels. This picture starts with a menacing scene that, although confined to one space, is meant to be representative of similar happenings across town. The catalyst for the violence is never revealed, though audience’s quickly see who would’ve given the orders and ensured they were carried out. Most of the narrative relies on the performances of Franklin and Gains, though their internal squabbles has unexpected consequences. The look back featurette in the bonus features reveals some interesting tidbits about casting and the dynamics on set, including the town’s complete accommodation of the production.

Special features include: commentary with director Fritz Kiersch, producer Terrence Kirby and actors John Franklin and Courtney Gains; commentary with horror journalist Justin Beahm and Children of the Corn historian John Sullivan; “Harvesting Horror: The Making of Children of the Corn”; “It Was the Eighties!”; “Return to Gatlin”; “Stephen King on a Shoestring”; “Welcome to Gatlin: The Sights and Sounds of Children of the Corn”; “Cut from the Cornfield”; theatrical trailer; and reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Gary Pullin. (Arrow Video)

Crocodile Dundee Trilogy on Blu-ray
Paramount Home Entertainment

Crocodile Dundee Trilogy (Blu-ray & Digital copy)

“Crocodile” Dundee: Paul Hogan’s endearing performance made “Crocodile” Dundee the no. 1 comedy at the U.S. box office in 1986, surpassed only by Top Gun in ticket sales. Michael J. “Crocodile” Dundee (Hogan) is a free spirited Australian who hunts crocodiles with his bare hands, stares down giant water buffaloes, and drinks mere mortals under the table. But he’s about to face the ultimate torture test — a trip to New York City. 
“Crocodile” Dundee II: Just as the eccentric Australian is starting to adjust to life in New York City, Dundee (Paul Hogan) and his girlfriend (Linda Kozlowski) are targeted by a gang of ruthless drug dealers. Dundee evens the odds by leading the big-city hoods into the treacherous Australian outback.
“Crocodile” Dundee in Los Angeles: He’s wrestled crocodiles Down Under and fought crime in New York, but can Michael J. “Crocodile” Dundee (Paul Hogan) swim with the sharks in L.A.?

Crocodile Dundee is an extreme fish-out-of-water story as the Aussie is used to spending most of his time in the Outback with more animals than people. In contrast, Dundee’s naiveté nurtures a lot of humorous interactions as it’s pitted against the fast-paced, ill-mannered lifestyle of the Big Apple. Consequently, the film’s most popular line has the outdoorsman engaging in a knife-measuring contest with some street thugs. The first sequel takes audiences back to Dundee’s home turf, which is quite amusing to see how much more efficient and quick-witted he is in his natural environment. In addition, meeting more of his friends makes him a more well-rounded character. The last film in the trilogy falls into the typical third film pitfalls, trying too hard to capture the magic of the earlier pictures. Nonetheless, Hogan was always wonderful in the role, establishing the still iconic character that still inspires laughter and imitations.

Special features include: behind-the-scenes of “Crocodile” Dundee II featurette; making-of “Crocodile” Dundee in Los Angeles; and theatrical trailers. (Paramount Home Entertainment)

Don't Breathe 2 on Blu-ray
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Don’t Breathe 2 (Blu-ray & Digital copy)

Norman Nordstrom (Stephen Lang) has been hiding out for several years in an isolated cabin. He lives with a young girl and has recreated the family stolen from him by a drunk driver. However, their quiet life together is shattered when a group of unseemly criminals kidnap her and force Norman to tap into even darker and more creative instincts in an effort to save her.

The first film was a hard-hitting thriller that demanded people not underestimate those with disabilities. Norman is an incredibly formidable foe who’s keenly adapted to his blindness. One of the things both of these films do is blur the lines between the good and bad guys. Although Norman is generally the defender, he’s done a lot of terrible things and they aren’t restricted to those trespassing on his property. This movie takes that concept even further, showing there are different kinds of bad people in the world and some are unquestionably worse than others. The addition of a young girl changes the dynamic as she trades between being capable and unable to save herself. The picture’s revelation is both disturbingly shocking and somewhat expected as it has a too-good-to-be-true feeling about it. The action is equally gruesome with an alternate ending that actually works better.

Special features include: commentaries with filmmakers; alternate ending; “Friends & Filmmakers”; “Bad Man (Slang is Back)”; and “Designing Deception.” (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)

The Haunting of Bly Manor on DVD
Paramount Home Entertainment

The Haunting of Bly Manor (DVD)

The next highly anticipated chapter of The Haunting anthology series is set in 1980s England. After an au pair’s tragic death, Henry Wingrave (Henry Thomas) hires a young American nanny (Victoria Pedretti) to care for his orphaned niece and nephew (Amelie Bea Smith and Benjamin Evan Ainsworth) who reside at Bly Manor with the estate’s chef, Owen (Rahul Kohli), groundskeeper, Jamie (Amelia Eve), and housekeeper, Mrs. Grose (T’Nia Miller). But all is not as it seems at the manor, and centuries of dark secrets of love and loss are waiting to be unearthed in this chilling gothic romance. At Bly Manor, dead doesn’t mean gone.

This sequel introduces a new ghost story in which some of the spirits are indiscriminately menacing, while others are entirely unaware they’ve exited their corporeal states. The children are simultaneously sweet and odd, playing unsanctioned games to maintain the house’s secrets. The estate’s employees have a friendly repertoire, but very distinct personalities that display varying levels of humour. Each episode draws audiences deeper into the manor and gets closer to revealing the horrors contained within its grounds. The movie presents a mix of traditional ghostly phenomenon and true horror, regularly surprising viewers. The cast is excellent, each embodying their characters and bringing their motivations to life regardless of their intentions.

Special features include: commentary by director/creator Mike Flanagan; commentary by director Liam Gavin; commentary by director Axelle Carolyn; “Home for the Haunted: The Ghosts of Bly Manor”; and “Welcome to Bly Manor.” (Paramount Home Entertainment)

Legend on Blu-ray
Arrow Video

Legend [Limited Edition] (Blu-ray)

In an idyllic, sun-dappled forest, the pure-hearted Jack (Tom Cruise) takes his true love, Princess Lili (Mia Sara), to see a pair of unicorns frolicking at the forest’s edge. Little do they know, however, that the Lord of Darkness (Tim Curry) has dispatched his minions to capture the unicorns and sever their horns so that he may plunge the world into everlasting night. After Lili and the unicorns are taken prisoner, Jack must team with a group of forest creatures and descend into Darkness’ subterranean lair to face off against the devilish creature before it is too late.

Though Ridley Scott would build a reputation on blockbuster thrillers, he was also responsible for bringing this beautiful and sometimes scary fantasy to life. In the same tradition as Labyrinth, the film is a whimsical tale of good vs. evil filled with creatures that only exist in our imaginations. However, instead of puppets, this picture relies on the incredible make-up artistry designed by The Thing‘s Rob Bottin, including Curry’s epic transformation into a looming, red, horned devil-like creature. Moreover, the first spotting of the unicorns is carefully constructed to be a truly magical moment in the picture that establishes the incredible harm that will result in the loss of their species. Jack is a reluctant hero, but the forest’s inhabitants have faith in his courage, which a young Cruise plays with genuine innocence.

Special features include: commentary by Ridley Scott; commentary by Paul M. Sammon author of “Ridley Scott: The Making of His Movies”; alternate ‘Four Goblins’ opening and ‘The Fairie Dance’ deleted scene; storyboard galleries for three deleted scenes; two drafts of William Hjortsberg’s screenplay; “Creating A Myth: Memories of Legend”; “A Fairytale in Pinewood”; “Incarnations of a Legend”; “The Directors: Ridley Scott”; “Is Your Love Strong Enough?” music video by Bryan Ferry; 2002 reconstructed isolated score by Tangerine Dream; isolated music and effects track; still galleries; TV spots; trailers; illustrated perfect-bound book; double-sided poster; glossy full-color portraits of the cast photographed by Annie Leibovitz; six double-sided postcard-sized lobby card reproductions; and reversible sleeve featuring newly commissioned artwork by Neil Davies and original theatrical artwork by John Alvin. (Arrow Video)

Roadrunner A Film About Anthony Bourdain on DVD
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain (DVD)

It’s not where you go. It’s what you leave behind . . . Chef, writer, adventurer, provocateur: Anthony Bourdain lived his life unabashedly. This documentary is an intimate, behind-the-scenes look at how an anonymous chef became a world-renowned cultural icon. From Academy Award-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville, this unflinching look at Bourdain reverberates with his presence, in his own voice and in the way he indelibly impacted the world around him.

Bourdain was known for his indulgence, adventurous spirit and frank approach. His willingness to try anything once and his ability to communicate through food made him a great travelling foodie. However, there was much more to him that didn’t come through his many television programs. This documentary takes viewers behind-the-scenes to reveal a man whose life went through significant phases via the memories of those who loved him and were there for his best and worst moments. There’s no attempt to villainize him, though everyone is very honest about his addictions and substance abuse. In addition, the film doesn’t focus on his suicide, leaving it to a very brief section at the end of the picture that concentrates on how people felt to lose him. For those only familiar with Bourdain’s public personality, this documentary is a very interesting exploration of the man beyond the camera.

There are no special features. (Universal Pictures Home Entertainment)

Star Trek The Original Series The Complete Series steelbook on Blu-ray
Paramount Home Entertainment

Star Trek: The Original Series: The Complete Series steelbook (Blu-ray)

Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) and the crew of the Starship Enterprise explore the Galaxy and defend the United Federation of Planets.

It’s impossible to have foretold that this sci-fi series would have the impact it has had on the cultural zeitgeist. In addition to still being a revered TV show, it spawned a number of spin-offs, movies and documentaries that have emerged over the last 50 years and given audiences new space adventures. The crew was uniquely diverse and the aliens they encountered were well-constructed. Each episode presented a new story and Kirk could often be found seducing a female species (though no one ever questioned their biological compatibility). The ship filled with Tribbles is still a favourite and one-liners from many of the characters are still uttered in conversations today. The bonus features take fans behind the curtain with vintage video, as well as looking at how being on the show affected the careers of its forever recognizable actors. Live long and prosper.

Special features include: “Spacelift: Transporting Trek Into the 21st Century”; “Reflections on Spock”; “Billy Blackburn’s Treasure Chest: Rare Home Movies and Special Memories” parts 1-3; “Writer’s Notebook: D.C. Fontana”; “Trials and Tribble-ations: An Historic Endeavor”; “Star Trek’s Divine Diva: Nichelle Nichols”; “Life Beyond Trek: Walter Koenig”; “Star Trek’s Impact”; “Collectible Trek”; “Captain’s Log: Bob Justman”; preview trailers; and more. (Paramount Home Entertainment)

Stillwater on Blu-ray
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Stillwater (Blu-ray, DVD & Digital copy)

Bill Baker (Matt Damon) is an American oil-rig roughneck from Oklahoma who travels to Marseilles to visit his estranged daughter (Abigail Breslin), in prison for a murder she claims she did not commit. Confronted with language barriers, cultural differences and a complicated legal system, Bill builds a new life for himself in France as he makes it his personal mission to exonerate his daughter.

This is a somewhat of a departure for Damon as he plays a gruffer and less charming man than his typical roles. It feels like so much of his career has been built around his baby face smile, it’s refreshing to see the actor take on a more challenging fish-out-of-water story. Bill is an all-American who struggles with the way things work in Marseilles, from the language and cultural barriers to the way investigations are conducted. He trusts his daughter’s word, is convinced of her innocence and will do anything necessary to prove it, which unsurprisingly puts him in compromising positions in a foreign country. He meets an incredibly kind and empathetic mother who offers to help him navigate these unfamiliar waters and to whose young daughter he takes an immediate liking. In a roundabout way, it’s a story about redemption and devotion that doesn’t necessarily have the fairy tale ending it purports.

Special features include: “An Alchemy of Viewpoints”; “An American in Marseilles: The Locations of Stillwater”; and “With Curiosity & Compassion: Director Tom McCarthy.” (Universal Pictures Home Entertainment)

The Suicide Squad on 4K
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

The Suicide Squad (4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray & Digital copy)

Welcome to hell — a.k.a. Belle Reve, the prison with the highest mortality rate in the US of A. Where the worst super-villains are kept and where they will do anything to get out — even join the super-secret, super-shady Task Force X. Today’s do-or-die assignment? Assemble a collection of cons, including Bloodsport (Idris Elba), Peacemaker (John Cena), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), Ratcatcher 2 (Daniela Melchior), Savant (Michael Rooker), King Shark (Sylvester Stallone), Blackguard (Pete Davidson), Javelin (Flula Borg) and everyone’s favorite psycho, Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie). Then arm them heavily and (literally) drop them on the remote, enemy-infused island of Corto Maltese. Trekking through a jungle teeming with militant adversaries and guerrilla forces at every turn, the Squad is on a search-and-destroy mission with only Colonel Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) on the ground to make them behave…and Amanda Waller’s (Viola Davis) government techies in their ears, tracking their every movement. And as always, one wrong move and they’re dead (whether at the hands of their opponents, a teammate, or Waller herself). If anyone’s laying down bets, the smart money is against them — all of them.

This film has one of the most impactful opening acts in a superhero movie in decades as writer/director James Gunn pulls no punches. The film also reunites him with some of his earliest collaborators, including Nathan Fillion, Rooker and his brother, Sean Gunn. Moreover, Stallone’s portrayal of King Shark is unrecognizable but spot on, while Elba’s deadpan performance provides the perfect balance to the outlandish Cena who is completely ridiculous. Kinnaman reprises his role as the formidable leader who has learned to respect the convicts who follow him into battle and Robbie never disappoints as the incredible Quinn, which she has molded into one of the most liked supervillains in cinematic history. Unlike its disappointing predecessor, this movie is fun from beginning to end, though sadly not everyone makes it across the finish line in spite of their best efforts. Gunn proves he is a master of the genre that can comfortably exist in both universes so they can each benefit from his exceptional creativity.

Special features include: commentary by director/writer James Gunn; deleted and extended scenes; “Gotta Love the Squad”; “The Way of The Gunn”; “It’s a Suicide Mission Scene Breakdown”; “My Guns Bigger Than Yours Scene Breakdown”; “Harley’s Great Escape Scene Breakdown”; “The Fall of Jotunheim Scene Breakdown”; “Starro: It’s a Freakin Kaiju!”; “Bringing King Shark To Life”; war movie retro trailer; horror movie retro trailer; and buddy-cop retro trailer. (Warner Bros. Home Entertainment)

Walker Season 1 on DVD
Paramount Home Entertainment

Walker: Season One (DVD)

Cordell Walker (Jared Padalecki) is a widower and father with his own moral code. Upon returning home to Austin, Texas after being undercover for nearly a year, he discovers there’s harder work to be done at home as he attempts to reconnect with his creative and thoughtful son, August (Kale Culley), and his headstrong, somewhat rebellious teenaged daughter, Stella (Violet Brinson). At work, Walker’s former colleague, Larry James (Coby Bell), is now his Ranger Captain and both men need time to adjust to their new dynamic. Walker finds unexpected common ground with his new partner, Micki Ramirez (Lindsey Morgan) — one of the first women in Texas Rangers’ history. The intense first season closely follows Walker as he takes on new challenges, while growing increasingly suspicious about the circumstances surrounding his wife’s death.

This reboot is significantly different from the original series, which featured Chuck Norris as a Lone Ranger-type who took down the bad guys with an old school cowboy swagger. Cordell is much more modern and troubled, living in the grey area of his life and career. He has a family that makes other demands on his time, which at times he resents but must learn to embrace for everyone’s sake. The heavy grief of his wife (played by Padalecki’s real-life wife, Genevieve Padalecki) influences the entire season, particularly as the mystery surrounding her death begins to reveal itself. Morgan is the spark the series needs to keep audiences engaged through Cordell’s brooding, while also setting a great example for women and minorities. It will be interesting to see what storylines they decide to pursue in the next season to prove the show isn’t a one-trick pony.

Special features include: deleted scenes; “Walker: Tragic Hero”; “The Edge of the Coin”; and gag reel. (Paramount Home Entertainment)

Written By

Sarah Gopaul is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for film news, a member of the Online Film Critics Society and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer-approved critic.

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