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New digital, streaming, and physical release highlights for week of Sept. 5-11, 2022

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On (Photo: A24)

I love this week's variety on digital, Blu-ray and DVD. There's everything from arthouse sensations, book club adaptations, superheroes, children's films. horror movies, classic science fiction, television series, documentaries, and foreign-language releases. And I've only watched a handful of them. There's just so much to choose from.

Digitally, I'm thrilled that "Marcel the Shell with Shoes On" is now able to make its way into homes and smartphones. It's simply one of the most uplifting films and manages to be incredibly smart, poignant, and topical without straying from its cuteness. "Where the Crawdads Sing" is an interesting thriller made all the more palpable by Daisy Edgar-Jones. Everything, except for the surprisingly obscure Ryan Reynolds film "Paperman," is unexplored by me. The election documentary "This Land" is definitely of interest.

On the physical side of things we have the blockbuster prequel "Minions: The Rise of Gru;" Leslie Manville's delightful "Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris;" the must-see (regardless of your personal stance) abortion drama "Happening;" a gaggle of television seasons; and most importantly, the 4K UHD release of the Director's version of "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" that transports me back to sitting on the floor with my father on the couch behind me as I'm introduced to the Enterprise for the very first time.

Digital to Own

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Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

Studio Synopsis: Marcel is an adorable one-inch-tall shell who ekes out a colorful existence with his grandmother Connie and their pet lint, Alan. Once part of a sprawling community of shells, they now live alone as the sole survivors of a mysterious tragedy. But when a documentary filmmaker discovers them amongst the clutter of his Airbnb, the short film he posts online brings Marcel millions of passionate fans, as well as unprecedented dangers and a new hope at finding his long-lost family. A beloved character gets his big-screen debut in this hilarious and heartwarming story about finding connection in the smallest corners.

Where the Crawdads Sing

Studio Synopsis: Where the Crawdads Sing tells the story of Kya, an abandoned girl who raised herself to adulthood in the dangerous marshlands of North Carolina. For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” haunted Barkley Cove, isolating the sharp and resilient Kya from her community. Drawn to two young men from town, Kya opens herself to a new and startling world; but when one of them is found dead, she is immediately cast by the community as the main suspect. As the case unfolds, the verdict as to what actually happened becomes increasingly unclear, threatening to reveal the many secrets that lay within the marsh.

Batman and Superman: Battle of the Super Sons

Studio Synopsis: 11-year-old Jonathan Kent discovers he has superpowers, thrusting the half-Kryptonian into the complicated world of Super Heroes and Super-Villains – who are now under attack by a malevolent alien force known as Starro! It’s a race against time as Jonathan must join forces with assassin-turned-Boy-Wonder Damian Wayne to rescue their fathers (Superman & Batman) and save the planet by becoming the Super Sons they were destined to be!

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Spitfire Over Berlin

Studio Synopsis: In the last days of WWII, Germany, desperate for any last grasp to defeat the allied powers, looked to their last remaining weapons and soldiers. The German Navy and the last remaining U-Boats formed together for one last mission to attack the United States Homeland. Captain Hans Kessler (Lundgren) a grizzled submarine commander from both world wars, is called into service to help turn the tide of the war. The mission was soon to be known as Operation Seawolf. (Also available on Blu-ray and DVD)

Kingdom of the Dinosaurs

Studio Synopsis: In 2030 during World War III in which a small group of survivors make it into a bunker. Two years later they have to exit to find new supplies, but they are greeted by dinosaur predators.

Maika: The Girl from Another Galaxy

Studio Synopsis: After losing his mother to illness and his best friend to an unexpected move, a young boy discovers a crashed spaceship and makes a new friend with awesome powers. Together, they embark on a zany, fun-filled adventure while taking on the bad guys and helping Maika find her way home.

Our American Family

Studio Synopsis: A radically honest portrait of a family grappling with the generational legacy of addiction. Five family members fight to embrace hope, heal resentments, and pull each other out of the deepest depths. No experts. No drug use. No melodrama.

Paperman

Studio Synopsis: A washed-up writer forms an unlikely friendship with a teenager from Long Island. Starring Ryan Reynolds, Emma Stone, Jeff Daniels, Lisa Kudrow, and Kieran Culkin.

Something in the Woods

Studio Synopsis: Nora Thompson, a reporter, has become an overnight celebrity by exposing Senator Morrison’s illegal activities. As a result of the harmful exposé, the senator commits suicide, and his daughter kidnaps Nora and takes her deep into the woods to avenge her father. While Nora battles for her life, they encounter something evil hunting them. Now, the two women must work together to stay alive.

The Movie

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Studio Synopsis: Former child star Janet Gillespie is home alone one night when the doorbell rings and Walter, a delivery boy, shows up with a big package on a dolly. He recognizes her. Takes a selfie with her. Tells her he wrote a screenplay for her and even has it with him. Soon, Janet’s bound to the dolly and Walter’s shooting his movie right there in her house. Of course, Walter is no delivery boy at all. He’s a renegade filmmaker doing whatever it takes to get his movie in the can, which just so happens to be the worst movie of all time, Water Under the Fridge. Walter thinks it’s only compelling if it’s real, so he makes Janet experience the things her character is experiencing for real. There’s an onscreen kiss, a love scene, even a death scene, and Janet’s gotta do it all with or without consent.

This Land

Studio Synopsis: This Land is a lyrical and poetic look at the lives of Americans from all walks of life. Filmed on Election Day 2020 with numerous film crews, it chronicles a historic day from the eyes of everyday Americans, each with their own struggles, triumphs, and goals.

We Are As Gods

Studio Synopsis: A deep dive into the many sides of techno-visionary Stewart Brand— a member of Ken Kesey’s “The Merry Pranksters,” the creator of the counter-culture do-it-yourself bible The Whole Earth Catalog and an early activist in the ’60’s environmental movement. Brand, in his later guise as a cyber futurist, coined the phrase “personal computer” and inspired many in Silicon Valley, including Steve Jobs who cited Brand as a major influence. Now in his ninth decade, still committed to long term thinking, he controversially advocates for a new approach to nuclear power and the bio-reengineering of keystone extinct species.

Blu-ray & DVD

Minions: The Rise of Gru

Studio Synopsis: Long before he becomes the master of evil, Gru (Oscar nominee Steve Carell) is just a 12-year-old boy in 1970s suburbia, plotting to take over the world from his basement. It’s not going particularly well. When Gru crosses paths with the Minions, including Kevin, Stuart, Bob, and Otto—a new Minion sporting braces and a desperate need to please—this unexpected family joins forces. Together, they build their first lair, design their first weapons, and strive to execute their first missions.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture - The Director's Edition 4K UHD

Studio Synopsis: Originally released in 1979, Star Trek: The Motion Picture became the fourth highest grossing movie of the year and earned three Academy Award nominations for Best Visual Effects, Best Art Direction, and Best Music, Original Score. The film successfully launched the Star Trek franchise beyond the original television series, despite having been rushed to theaters with incomplete special effects and forced editing choices.

In 2001, director Robert Wise revisited the film to refine the edit and enhance the visual effects. His updated vision was released on DVD in standard definition and embraced by fans but has never been available in higher definition until now. Meticulously assembled and restored by producer David C. Fein with post-production supervisor Mike Matessino, both of whom originally collaborated with Wise, the film has been prepared for presentation in 4K Ultra HD with Dolby Vision™ high dynamic range (HDR) and a new powerful and immersive Dolby Atmos soundtrack.* Fein and Matessino assembled a team of visual effects experts, led by returning visual effects supervisor Daren R. Dochterman, and utilized the extensive resources in the Paramount Archives to recreate the effects not just in HD, but in Ultra HD. After more than six months of painstaking work, the updated movie looks and sounds better than ever while staying true to Wise’s original intention.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture—The Director’s Edition—The Complete Adventure 4K Ultra HD

  • The Director's Edition
  • The Theatrical Cut
  • The first-ever widescreen presentation of the Special Longer Version of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, originally created for broadcast television in 1983
  • The set is presented in deluxe packaging along with exclusive collectibles, including reproductions of original promotional material, a booklet with behind-the-scenes images, stickers, and more.

Star Trek: The Original Motion Picture Collection

This comprehensive 15-disc collection includes the first six big-screen adventures featuring the original series crew in 4K Ultra HD with Dolby Vision and HDR-10. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture—The Director’s Edition also includes Dolby Atmos). Both Star Trek V: The Final Frontier and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country are making their 4K Ultra HD debuts.

Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris

Studio Synopsis: A humorously heartwarming tale about a London housecleaner Ada Harris (Lesley Manville) who thinks her lonely life might turn around if she can become the owner of a Christian Dior gown. Saying goodbye to her friends like Archie (Jason Isaacs) won’t be easy, and neither will be winning over elite people in Paris from Madame Colbert (Isabelle Huppert) to idealistic accountant André (Lucas Bravo). But Ada’s irrepressible charm just might end up saving the whole House of Dior in this uplifting story of how an ordinary woman becomes an extraordinary inspiration by daring to follow her dreams.

Happening

Studio Synopsis: Based on Annie Ernaux’s semi-autobiographical novel, Happening follows Annie, a bright young student who faces an unwanted pregnancy while abortion was still illegal in 1960s France.

Paradise Highway

Studio Synopsis: Academy Award winners* Juliette Binoche and Morgan Freeman lead this riveting thriller set in the trucking industry and its seamy underbelly of human trafficking. When her brother's life is threatened, Sally (Binoche), a truck driver, reluctantly agrees to smuggle illicit cargo: a girl named Leila (Hala Finley). As Sally and Leila begin a danger-fraught journey across state lines, a dogged FBI operative (Freeman) sets out on their trail, determined to do whatever it takes to terminate a human-trafficking operation - and bring Sally and Leila to safety.

Blow Out

Studio Synopsis:

Young Sheldon: The Complete Season Five

Studio Synopsis: For young Sheldon Cooper, being a once-in-a-generation mind capable of advanced mathematics and science isn't always helpful in East Texas. And while the vulnerable, gifted and somewhat naïve Sheldon deals with the world, his very normal family must find a way to deal with him. His father struggles as a high school football coach and father to a boy he doesn’t understand. Sheldon's mother fiercely protects her son who just doesn't fit in. Sheldon’s older brother does the best he can in high school, but his younger brother is already in college. Sheldon’s twin sister remains the one person who can reliably tell Sheldon the truth. And his beloved Meemaw, his Texas grandmother who supports him and his gifts. For over a decade, Big Bang Theory audiences came to know the iconic, eccentric and extraordinary Sheldon Cooper. Now they join him as he embarks on his innocent, awkward journey toward the man he will become.

Chicago P.D.: Season Nine

Studio Synopsis: Over the past year, Sgt. Hank Voight (Jason Beghe) has had to adapt to changing realities while remaining as committed as ever to bringing criminals to justice. Voight fights to keep the city safe alongside his dedicated team, including Det. Jay Halstead (Jesse Lee Soffer), Officer Adam Ruzek (Patrick John Flueger), Officer Kim Burgess (Marina Squerciati), Officer Kevin Atwater (LaRoyce Hawkins), Det. Hailey Upton (Tracy Spiridakos) and Desk Sgt. Trudy Platt (Amy Morton).

The Funhouse 4K UHD

Studio Synopsis: On her first date with Buzz (Cooper Huckabee, True Blood), Amy (Elizabeth Berridge, Amadeus) disobeys her father and goes to the carnival with Richie (Miles Chapin, Hair) and Liz (Largo Woodruff, The Ladies Club) ... but their first date may end up as their last. After witnessing a murder, the four terrified teens are trapped in the maze of the Funhouse and stalked by a real monster: a horribly deformed killer who lurks among the freakish exhibits to butcher them one by one! Also starring Sylvia Miles (Midnight Cowboy) and Kevin Conway (Invincible) in three roles, The Funhouse features special makeup designs by the ingenious Rick Baker (An American Werewolf In London, Ed Wood).

Outlander: Season Six

Studio Synopsis: Season 6 sees a continuation of Claire and Jamie’s epic fight to protect those they love as they navigate the trials and tribulations of life in the New World. The series follows the Frasers as they strive to maintain peace and flourish within a colonial society which – as Claire knows all too well – is unwittingly marching toward Revolution. Against this backdrop, which heralds the birth of the new American nation, Claire and Jamie have built a home together at Fraser’s Ridge. They must now defend this home – established on land granted to them by the Crown – not only from external forces, but also from the increasing strife and conflict in the community within their care. For the Frasers and their immediate family, then, “home” is more than simply a site in which they live, it is the place they are laying the foundations for the rest of their lives. (Update: Delayed until September 20, 2022)

NCIS Hawai'i: Season One

Studio Synopsis: The world’s most successful television series continues on the seductive shores of the Aloha State with NCIS: HAWAI`I, where the first female Special Agent in Charge of NCIS Pearl Harbor, Jane Tennant, has thrived and risen through the ranks by equal parts confidence and strategy in a system that has pushed back on her every step of the way. Together with her unwavering team of specialists, they balance duty to family and country while investigating high-stakes crimes involving military personnel, national security and the mysteries of the sun-drenched island paradise itself.

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