SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) — We drift into June with an unusual collection of new DVD and Blu-ray titles . There's a bit of spycraft, B-movie mayhem and everything in between.
New to Blu-ray and DVD
- The Courier - The story of Greville Wynne isn't well known. It should be. Wynne played a major role in the Cuban Missile Crisis. That's somewhat surprising considering he was an unassuming British salesman. Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Wynne and Dominic Cooke ("On Chesil Beach," "The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses") directs. I remember being taught about the Cuban Missile Crisis in school. It never occurred to me how little I actually know about the events leading to the standoff between Kennedy and Khrushchev. History tends to focus on just the Soviets and the Americans. It forgets that the crisis was something that would have been felt worldwide. "The Courier" changed the way I look at history. What once felt like a very American conflict now feels more universal. You really need to see this film.
- Spare Parts - Caught somewhere between a Mad Max film and a slice of Japanese exploitation cinema, "Spare Parts" sees the members of an all-female punk band "recruited" (they have no say) as gladiatorial fighters in a junkyard arena where each "volunteers" (again, they have no say) to have one of their arms replaced with a weapon. Made on a shoe-string budget with a concept, rather than a fully-realized plot, "Spare Parts" is the sort of violent mayhem that appeases some and appalls others. Once you get past the gore, there's nothing really there.
- Shoplifters of the World - The break up of British act The Smiths in 1987 was a traumatic experience for their devoted fanbase. The split between Morrissey and Marr was felt around the world. That's only slightly hyperbolic. "Shoplifters of the World" is a fictional tale of a fan in Denver, Colorado, who decides to take over a radio station at gunpoint to make the heavy metal DJ play their records. Director/co-writer Stephen Kijak is clearly a devoted fan and while there's something amusing about teenagers speaking lines lifted from songs it's a little too on the nose.
- Genndy Tartakovsky's Primal: The Complete First Season - Following the brief resurrection of "Samurai Jack," Genndy Tartakovsky returns with a new Adult Swim. This series is centered on the unlikely duo of a dinosaur and a caveman as they journey together through the wilds of a not-so-civilized world.
- The Vault - Freddie Highmore and Famke Janssen star in this heist film that sees a group of thieves attempt to rob the Bank of Spain while the country is distracted by their team's World Cup Final match.
- The World to Come - Set in mid-19th century America, "The World to Come" stars Katherine Waterston as a grieving mother who has just lost her child and Vanessa Kirby as the new neighbor who becomes a welcomed distraction. Darkness and jealous husbands linger at the edges.
- But I'm a Cheerleader - Released in 1999, "But I'm a Cheerleader" is a satire that sees cheerleader Megan Bloomfield (Natasha Lyonne) sent to conversion therapy camp to cure her attraction to women. She promptly starts to fall for Graham Eaton (Clea DuVall) who has also been sent to camp. Soul searching and a lot of antics follow.
- Doctor Who: Jon Pertwee : Complete Season Two - Jon Pertwee was the Third Doctor in the original Doctor Who series for five seasons. His second, the eighth for the franchise, is collected here. The collection features the stories "Terror of the Autons," "The Mind of Evil," "The Claws of Axos," "Colony in Space," and "The Dæmons."
- Samurai Jack: The Complete Series - Samurai and time travel might seem like an odd combination but Genndy Tartakovsky made it work. Well, until the show was cancelled mid story after four seasons. Thankfully, a decade later Tartakovsky was given the opportunity to go back and give this story of good vs. evil a proper sendoff.
- Lara Croft: Tomb Raider 2-Movie Collection 4K UHD - Both Angelina Jolie Tomb Raider films in 4K UHD.
- Mommie Dearest - The latest title to find itself features in the Paramount Presents series is 1981's "Mommie Dearest." Directed by Frank Perry and starring Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford, the film is a rare example of a slice of cult cinema that was also a box office success. It's unintentionally campy, a film that is often placed atop the "So Bad They're Good" sort of lists. It's the sort of movie that demands to be seen.