New DVDs: September 2021

Zack Snyder’s Justice League

Determined to ensure Superman’s (Henry Cavill) ultimate sacrifice was not in vain, Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) aligns forces with Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) with plans to recruit a team of metahumans to protect the world from an approaching threat of catastrophic proportions. The task proves more difficult than Bruce imagined, as each of the recruits must face the demons of their own pasts to transcend that which has held them back, allowing them to come together, finally forming an unprecedented league of heroes. Now united, Batman (Affleck), Wonder Woman (Gadot), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Cyborg (Ray Fisher) and The Flash (Ezra Miller) may be too late to save the planet from Steppenwolf, DeSaad and Darkseid and their dreadful intentions.

Rated R for violence and some language.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“It shares a vague shape and a handful of specific, linchpin scenes with its predecessor, but everything about it lands differently: characters that were previously empty or ludicrous now have real grit and depth, while action sequences that were once incoherent, lightweight and garish now number among the most thunderously spectacular in the genre.” – Robbie Collin, The Telegraph

“This film is gorgeous, massive in scope, well-written, and superbly acted. It goes beyond being a Michael Bay-explosion fest and definitively transcends action and destruction porn. This is a real movie. Every single issue I had with the original release is fixed—everything from pacing, cinematography, acting, characterization, and even the film’s score.” – Anthony Ray Bence, Film Threat

“The new movie — and make no mistake, it really is a new movie — is more than a vindication of Snyder’s original vision. It’s a grand, nimble, and immersive entertainment, a team-of-heroes origin story that, at heart, is classically conventional, yet it’s now told with such an intoxicating childlike sincerity and ominous fairy-tale wonder that it takes you back to what comic books, at their best, have always sought to do: make you feel like you’re seeing gods at play on Earth. ” – Owen Gleiberman, Variety

Available Formats [9/7]:

DVD


Together Together

MetascoreWhen young loner Anna (Patti Harrison) is hired as the gestational surrogate for Matt (Ed Helms), a single man in his 40s who wants a child, the two strangers come to realize this unexpected relationship will quickly challenge their perceptions of connection, boundaries and the particulars of love.

Rated R for some sexual references and language.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“It’s bright and witty and packed with laughs, but those laughs stem from real empathy and understanding of its characters. – Alonso Duralde, The Wrap

“It’s a lovely sort of chemistry that develops in fits and starts over the course of the film, with both Helms and Harrison giving carefully modulated performances that are full of delightfully specific verbal tics and terrific comedic timing.” – Nina Metz, Chicago Tribune

“A wry low-key dramedy that lands with surprising sweetness.” – Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly

Available Formats [9/7]:

DVD


Great White

MetascoreA blissful tourist trip turns into a nightmare when five seaplane passengers are stranded miles from shore. In a desperate bid for survival, the group try to make it to land before they either run out of supplies or are taken by a menacing terror lurking just beneath the surface.

Not rated, contains violence and language.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“The acting is good (Jakubenko and Bowden’s relationship feels especially real), the effects are great (moving above and below the waterline to show shark and lifeboat is a nice cinematic touch), and the suspense effectively earned my investment. This film might just surprise you too.” – Jared Mobarak, The Film Stage

“…it doesn’t reinvent the shark film, but it’s a good entry in a genre that seems to get a new one (or five) each summer.” – Emilie Black, Cinema Crazed

“What distinguishes Great White from numerous Jaws wannabes is that we do feel an emotional investment about who lives and who becomes chum. It’s a promising debut from Wilson.” – Randy Myers, San Jose Mercury News

Available Formats [9/7]:

DVD


Young Sheldon: Season 4

The daily life of 11-year-old new college student Sheldon.

Rated TV-PG for mild language.

Description provided by The Big Bang Theory Wiki.

Available Formats [9/7]:

DVD


Black Widow

Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow confronts the darker parts of her ledger when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past arises. Pursued by a force that will stop at nothing to bring her down, Natasha must deal with her history as a spy and the broken relationships left in her wake long before she became an Avenger.

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence / action, some language and thematic material.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“Shortland has given us a fast-paced movie with action sequences, character depth, and very subtle social and political subtexts about the way women are seen, treated and exploited in the world.” – Karen Gordon, Original Cin

“If Widow, with its winky one-liners and spandexed catsuits, is purely pop feminism, the movie’s female gaze still reads like more than a cynical marketing ploy; it’s one step closer to real, messy life, Marvel-size and amplified.” – Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly

“As a reintroduction to the cinematic universe after a year off due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s definitely worth a look. Here’s hoping more Marvel flicks take inspiration from this one: shrink their scope, focus on the characters, and get the action right. And for God’s sakes, give us better third acts.” – Clint Worthington, Consequence

Available Formats [9/14]:

DVD


Zola

MetascoreZola (Taylour Paige), a Detroit waitress, strikes up a new friendship with a customer, Stefani (Riley Keough), who seduces her to join a weekend of dancing and partying in Florida. What at first seems like a glamorous trip full of “hoeism” rapidly transforms into a 48-hour journey involving a nameless pimp, an idiot boyfriend, some Tampa gangsters and other unexpected adventures in this wild, see-it-to-believe-it tale based on a series of uproarious, viral tweets.

Rated R for strong sexual content and language throughout, graphic nudity, and violence including a sexual assault.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“At the very end of Janicza Bravo’s Zola, just as you’re struggling to comprehend what on earth the film is supposed to amount to, there is a wonderful moment when you realise that’s the entire point.” – Robbie Collin, The Telegraph

“Zola’s authorship and Bravo’s respect for her storytelling make Zola a wholly original experience. It’s a brutally honest account of sex work, often dangerous and infrequently sexy, punctuated with Zola’s one-liners, observations and recounting of laugh-out-loud moments.” – Katie Walsh, Los Angeles Times

Zola feels utterly contemporary but will no doubt be examined for decades to come, as a marker of both this particularly crazy time in history and of the moment that social media became self-aware. Whip-smart, funny, complicated, and just plain wild, Zola is 90 minutes of brilliance.” – Yolanda Machado, The Wrap

Available Formats [9/14]:

DVD


Censor

MetascoreFilm censor Enid takes pride in her meticulous work, guarding unsuspecting audiences from the deleterious effects of watching the gore-filled decapitations and eye gougings she pores over. Her sense of duty to protect is amplified by guilt over her inability to recall details of the long-ago disappearance of her sister, recently declared dead in absentia. When Enid is assigned to review a disturbing film from the archive that echoes her hazy childhood memories, she begins to unravel how this eerie work might be tied to her past.

Not Rated, contains graphic violence, language, and sexual content.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

Censor is an off-brand horror treat that walks the distance between artistic freedom and the scrutiny of morbid excess to which the title refers.” – Thom Ernst, Original Cin

“Welsh director Prano Bailey-Bond’s feature debut, Censor, is one of those horror movies that sticks with you well after the credits roll. That’s because it doesn’t follow the typical horror movie formula.” – Lorry Kikta, Film Threat

Censor is an impressive, visually-stunning, deeply disturbing debut from Bailey-Bond and a showcase for Algar, who gives a truly spectacular performance. ” – Charles Barfield, The Playlist

Available Formats [9/14]:

DVD


Mare of Easttown

MetascoreMare Sheehan (Kate Winslet), a small-town Pennsylvania detective, investigates a murder even as her personal life is falling apart in this limited series created by Brad Ingelsby.

Rated TV-MA for strong language, violence, nudity, and thematic material.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“As the twists and turns of the cases are revealed, it becomes a show greater than the sum of its already considerable parts. By the time you get to the revelation at the end of the second episode, you become less stunned by the news itself than you are by the computation of what it will mean for all involved. Everything and everyone is real and you care about every tiny part. Wonderful.” – Lucy Mangan, The Guardian

“Sterling drama… A seven-part series whose powers derive as much from its enthralling focus on that town and its society as from the unsteady life and career of its heroine, known simply as Mare, a police detective born and raised there. Kate Winslet’s eloquent command of the role is obvious from the outset… It’s a testament to the writing (Brad Ingelsby wrote the script) that no moment in this saga ever feels even remotely unreal.” – Dorothy Rabinowitz, Wall Street Journal

“It’s the first true must-see drama of 2021, an excellent ensemble piece that works as character study, murder mystery, and actor’s showcase. Finely detailed in both setting and character, it’s a tapestry of a mini-series, a piece that centers one of our best living actors while also providing rich, complex characters for an extended ensemble of fantastic performers.” – Brian Tallerico, RogerEbert.com

Available Formats [9/14]:

DVD


The Boss Baby: Family Business

MetascoreTim and his wife, Carol, the breadwinner of the family, live in the suburbs with their super-smart 7-year-old daughter Tabitha, and adorable new infant Tina. Tabitha, who’s at the top her class at the prestigious Acorn Center for Advanced Childhood, idolizes her Uncle Ted and wants to become like him, but Tim, still in touch with his overactive youthful imagination, worries that she’s working too hard and is missing out on a normal childhood. When baby Tina reveals that she’s—ta-da!—a top secret agent for BabyCorp on a mission to uncover the dark secrets behind Tabitha’s school and its mysterious founder, Dr. Edwin Armstrong, it will reunite the Templeton brothers in unexpected ways, lead them to re-evaluate the meaning of family and discover what truly matters.

Rated PG for rude humor, mild language, and some action.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“The movie’s most piercing barbs are left for the tech world and the inevitability that our phones will make zombies of us all. Does that make the Boss Baby franchise a bold cinematic bet? Not exactly. But as a safe play for parents and kids alike, it’s tough to complain about the return on your investment.” – Thomas Floyd, Washington Post

The Boss Baby: Family Business delivers middle-road mirth, full of action and quasi-clever jokes, and featuring the fun voice additions of James Marsden, Jeff Goldblum, and Amy Sedaris.” – Matt Fowler, IGN

“Overall, The Boss Baby: Family Business is a fun way for adults to spend some time with their kids, and in that regard, the movie completely succeeds in its purpose.” – Sarah Bea Milner, Screen Rant

Available Formats [9/14]:

DVD


F9

MetascoreDom Toretto (Vin Diesel) is leading a quiet life off the grid with Letty and his son, little Brian, but they know that danger always lurks just over their peaceful horizon. This time, that threat will force Dom to confront the sins of his past if he’s going to save those he loves most. His crew joins together to stop a world-shattering plot led by the most skilled assassin and high-performance driver they’ve ever encountered: a man who also happens to be Dom’s forsaken brother, Jakob (John Cena).

Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and action, and language.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“It’s hard to argue with too many of the decisions considering what a fitfully entertaining and satisfying entry it really is. This is a movie stuffed (perhaps overstuffed) with moments that will make you gasp, giggle and applaud, whether this is your first Fast and Furious movie or you’re a longtime fan.” – Drew Taylor, The Playlist

F9 is a welcome blast of fizzy action glee. You won’t come out of it a better or smarter person – quite possibly dumber! – but you will leave satisfied that your summer movie season wasn’t a completely life- and joy-less bore.” – Barry Hertz, The Globe and Mail

“This deafening fantasia of internal and external combustion delivers outrageous action spectacle magnificently divorced from the rules of narrative or gravity… I think we can include Isaac Newton among the people who are getting their asses kicked here.” – Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

Available Formats [9/21]:

DVD


Cruella

Set in 1970s London amidst the punk rock revolution, Cruella follows a young grifter named Estella (Emma Stone), a clever and creative girl determined to make a name for herself with her designs. She befriends a pair of young thieves who appreciate her appetite for mischief, and together they are able to build a life for themselves on the London streets. One day, Estella’s flair for fashion catches the eye of the Baroness von Hellman (Emma Thompson), a fashion legend who is devastatingly chic and terrifyingly haute. But their relationship sets in motion a course of events and revelations that will cause Estella to embrace her wicked side and become the raucous, fashionable and revenge-bent Cruella.

Rated PG-13 for some violence and thematic elements.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“This film is so sexy and cool and punk rock, you forget all about that Mickey logo and Cinderella’s cutesy castle.” – Johnny Oleksinski, New York Post

“The fashion alone, designed by the great Jenny Beavan (an Oscar winner for A Room with a View and Mad Max: Fury Road), is worth the ticket price; if that doesn’t do it for you, there’s also slyly brilliant work from the two Emmas — Stone and Thompson — working hard to upstage the gorgeous outfits in which they’re swathed.” – Moira Macdonald, Seattle Times

“Despite its winks at its source material, Cruella is very much a fun, stand-alone movie that lets two formidable actresses fly while everyone else stands back.” – Jim Slotek, Original Cin

Available Formats [9/21]:

Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack


Last Call

A local success story and real estate developer, Mick (Jeremy Piven), returns home to his offbeat blue collar Irish neighborhood in the shadows of Philadelphia for a funeral and is obligated to stay to ensure his parents’ ailing family business gets back on course. Amidst all of this, he grows closer to his childhood crush (Taryn Manning) who is also back in town, while enduring the constant ridicule from his old hometown crew. As Mick begins to reconnect with the neighborhood he grew up in, he finds himself at a crossroads when forced to either raze or resurrect the family bar.

Rated R for crude sexual content, pervasive language, and some drug use.

Description provided by Metacritic.

Available Formats [9/21]:

DVD


A Dark Foe

A guilt-ridden FBI agent, stranded in the painful memory of the abduction of his sister, will have to face-off with the cunning serial killer who took her away.

Rated R for disturbing violent content, gruesome images, a rape, sexual content, nudity, language, and drug material.

Description provided by Metacritic.

“I’d describe A Dark Foe as a dark ride at Disneyland. You’re invited to step into a vehicle, buckle up, sit back, and enjoy what happens around you. The steady progression into darkness moves rather quickly through one revelation after the other.” – Alan Ng, Film Threat

A Dark Foe isn’t Maria Gabriela Cardenas’s masterpiece, but there is evidence here that she has one in her – and for a feature debut film, that’s no small thing.” – Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, AWFJ Women on Film

Available Formats [9/21]:

DVD


Boys from County Hell

MetascoreStrange events unfold in Six Mile Hill – a sleepy Irish town that claims to have been traveled by the famed author Bram Stoker – when construction on a new road disrupts the alleged grave of Abhartach, a legendary Irish vampire said to have inspired Dracula. Deadly and sinister forces terrorize the work crew led by Francie Moffat and his son Eugene, a free-spirited young man who prefers pints to pickaxes, and they’re forced to fight to survive the night while exposing the true horror that resides in the town’s local myth.

Not rated, contains violence and strong language.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“Combining genuine emotional stakes, biting black humour and enough blood and dismembered limbs to satisfy even seasoned gorehounds, Chris Baugh’s terrific, unorthodox vampire flick has got it where it Counts.” – Jordan King, Empire

“[A] fun little flick that horror fans will want to check out, especially those itching to see someone try something a little new with vampirology.” – Sean Farrell, AFPL Journal

“By the time Boys from County Hell works its way to its final face-offs, the film’s good humor and care for its characters is just as appealing as the gore. Vampire hounds might balk, but Boys from County Hell has it right: This is a story about people, not monsters.” – Kate Erbland, IndieWire

Available Formats [9/21]:

DVD


Clarice: Season 1

MetascoreSix months after the events of The Silence of the Lambs, FBI Agent Clarice Starling (Rebecca Breeds) begins a new case in the series co-created by Alex Kurtzman and Jenny Lumet.

Rated TV-14 for some violence and mild language.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“A stellar cast and detailed storytelling make Clarice addictively enjoyable.” – Terry Terrones, The Gazette

“Gripping… Wisely, Breed underplays with a quiet intensity, projecting empathy and intelligence in her soft-spoken but firm resolve to be taken seriously… I miss Hannibal Lecter, but so far, Clarice is convincing me she’s worthy of her own show.” – Matt Roush, TV Guide

“An unusually well-made network procedural… Clarice is made with curiosity, confidence, and craft, and it comes as a happy surprise to say that it cares more about its protagonist’s mind than anyone else’s insides.” – Daniel D’Addario, Variety

Available Formats [9/21]:

DVD


Sibyl

MetascoreSibyl follows a psychotherapist (Virginie Efira) who decides to quit her practice and return to writing instead. As Sibyl starts dropping patients, she begins to struggle with excess time and a lack of inspiration–until she gets a call from Margot (Adèle Exarchopoulos), a young actress wrapped up in a dramatic affair with her costar, Igor (Gaspard Ulliel), who happens to be married to the film’s director (Sandra Hüller). Becoming further enmeshed in Margot’s life, Sibyl starts to blur past and present, fiction with reality, and the personal with the professional as she begins to use Margot’s life as source material for her novel.

Not Rated, contains adult language and sexual content.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“There are visually stunning scenes throughout, but the acting and writing are the pièce de résistance of Sibyl and should be exactly why you put this film on your radar as one to watch… It’s certainly going on my end of year favorite list.” – Lorry Kikta, Film Threat

“A smart and absorbing new French comedy that initially unfolds like a series of psychotherapy sessions and eventually brings its story to a suitably mythic climax not far from a sputtering volcano.” – Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times

“Triet’s chic, blackly comic psychodrama piles up bad decisions like so many profiteroles in a croquembouche, admiring the teetering spectacle of its chaos as it goes.” – Guy Lodge, Variety

Available Formats [9/21]:

DVD


The Vigil

MetascoreSteeped in ancient Jewish lore and demonology, The Vigil is supernatural horror film set over the course of a single evening in Brooklyn’s Hasidic Borough Park neighborhood. Low on funds and having recently left his insular religious community, Yakov reluctantly accepts an offer from his former rabbi and confidante to take on the responsibility of an overnight “shomer,” fulfilling the Jewish practice of watching over the body of a deceased community member. Shortly after arriving at the recently departed’s dilapidated house to sit the vigil, Yakov begins to realize that something is very, very wrong.

Rated PG-13 for terror, some disturbing / violent images, thematic elements, and brief strong language.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“Intense and atmospheric, Keith Thomas’ The Vigil invigorates demonic horror by centering on Jewish traditions, especially those concerning death. Part haunted house, part tech thriller, and entirely grounded by Dave Davis’ harrowing performance, the film never loses sight of questions of cultural identity, and the ways it intersects with personal and collective trauma.” – Siddhant Adlakha, IGN

“Dave Davis’s petrified protagonist is nothing short of star-making.” – Tara Brady, The Irish Times

The Vigil is the most original, most chilling horror film of the new year. And let me hasten to add, it’s not even close.” – Roger Moore, Movie Nation

Available Formats [9/21]:

DVD


The Forever Purge

Adela (Ana de la Reguera) and her husband Juan (Tenoch Huerta) live in Texas, where Juan is working as a ranch hand for the wealthy Tucker family. Juan impresses the Tucker patriarch, Caleb (Will Patton), but that fuels the jealous anger of Caleb’s son, Dylan (Josh Lucas). On the morning after The Purge, a masked gang of killers attacks the Tucker family—including Dylan’s wife (Cassidy Freeman), and his sister (Leven Ram-bin), forcing both families to band together and fight back as the country spirals into chaos and the United States begins to disintegrate around them.

Rated R for strong / bloody violence, and language throughout.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“Thanks to the stylish directing by Everardo Valerio Gout, a tight screenplay from series creator James DeMonaco and a terrific ensemble cast that elevates the material, The Forever Purge is a fast-paced jam that would play well on a drive-in movie screen. Take the whole thing with a big tub of popcorn and many grains of salt.” – Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times

“A satisfying action pic that finally realizes the potential of its pulp-meets-sociopolitics conceit.” – John DeFore, Hollywood Reporter

“Consider The Forever Purge as the ‘well, well, well, if it isn’t the consequences of my own actions’ meme as a horror film.” – Andrew Crump, Paste

Available Formats [9/28]:

DVD


Blithe Spirit

MetascoreBest-selling crime novelist Charles (Dan Stevens) suffers from terrible writer’s block and is struggling to finish his first screenplay. His picture-perfect new wife Ruth (Isla Fisher) is doing her best to keep him focused so they can fulfill her dream of leaving London for Hollywood. Charles’ quest for inspiration leads him to invite the eccentric mystic Madame Acarti (Judi Dench) to perform a séance in his home. He gets more than he bargained for when Madame Acarti inadvertently summons the spirit of his first wife: the brilliant and fiery Elvira (Leslie Mann). Ready to pick up her life right where she left off, Elvira is shocked to discover the prim and proper Ruth is now married to her husband and running her household. Charles finds himself stuck between his two wives and their increasingly over-the-top attempts to outdo one another.

Rated PG-13 for suggestive references and some drug material.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“Leaving aside one’s devotion to the previous versions of Blithe Spirit, this latest version is well cast, upbeat and a bit of a rainbow in a time marked so heavily by unwavering rain clouds.” – Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, ABC Radio

Blithe Spirit is a fun colorful remake to escape in. Check it out, it may even lift your spirits!” – Rosalie Kicks, MovieJawn

“For those coming in with no preconceptions it is a delightfully silly movie.” – Daniel M. Kimmel, North Shore Movies

Available Formats [9/28]:

DVD


Whitstable Pearl: Season 1

Pearl (Kerry Godliman) opens up a private detective agency at her family restaurant at a English coastal town but runs into conflict with new DCI Mike McGuire (Howard Charles) in this series based on the books by Julie Wassmer.

Rated TV-14 for violent images and language.

Description provided by Metacritic.

“Pearl is extremely likable, and rumpled, and so is the series—a low-key, six-episode foray into storylines that are as much about the town and the locals as they are about crime and punishment.” – John Anderson, Wall Street Journal

“… the performances are solid across the board… the texture the show gets from having filmed everything on location, in the middle of a Kentish winter, is palpable…” – Alexis Gunderson, Paste

“[A] solid balance of the somber, the suspenseful, and the cozy-mysterious.” – Allison Shoemaker, AV Club

Available Formats [9/28]:

DVD

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