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Independent films lead movies on DVD and Blu-ray this week

Posted October 9

New independent movies lead titles released on DVD and Blu-ray this week.

“My Many Sons” (Well Go, 2016, not rated/PG, Lipscomb University commercial, trailer). Judge Reinhold (still best known for his roles in the “Beverly Hills Cop” and “Santa Clause” movies) stars in this uplifting family film as real-life college basketball coach Don Meyer, a legendary figure whose career was almost cut short by a near-fatal car crash.

Meyer had a leg amputated as a result of the accident and during surgery doctors discovered cancer. This led to his being wheelchair-bound, but he went back to coaching and eventually earned the record for the most wins in college basketball history.

“Being Canadian” (Candy Factory, 2016). This is a comic documentary of Canadian pride as comedy writer Rob Cohen, who lives and works in the United States, visits with celebrity Canadians and others about his homeland. On hand are Michael J. Fox, Alex Trebek, William Shatner, Dan Aykroyd, Martin Short, Mike Myers, Cobie Smulders, Alanis Morissette and many more.

“Amazonia” (Lionsgate, 2016, G, featurette, “Miniscule” episodes). Following a plane crash, a domesticated capuchin monkey must learn to survive in the Amazon jungle in this mix of a fictional story with a wildlife documentary, narrated by Martin Sheen.

“Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV” (Sony, 2016, PG-13, featurettes). The land of Lucis receives magic and power from a sacred crystal, but an enemy empire, Niflheim, is threatening to steal it, so the king commands an elite force of soldiers to weigh in. This Japanese computer-animated fantasy based on a video game mixes the medieval with the futuristic. The voice cast includes Sean Bean, Aaron Paul and Lena Headey.

“Complete Unknown” (Sony, 2016, R for language, audio commentary). This is an intriguing film noir about a married man (Michael Shannon) celebrating his birthday when he’s surprised to see that a friend’s guest is his old flame (Rachel Weisz). He approaches her but she says he’s mistaken and soon leaves. So he pursues her, only to discover that in the 15 years since they were together she has changed her name and occupation several times — and she suggests that he can do the same. Kathy Bates and Danny Glover have supporting roles.

“Into the Forest” (Lionsgate, 2016; R for violence, language, sex, nudity; audio commentary, featurette). This overly familiar dystopian thriller has a continent-wide power outage causing people to go rogue, with the focus on two sisters (Ellen Page, Evan Rachel Wood) who struggle to survive in their remote home in the woods. It is illogical and distasteful.

“The Purge: Election Year” (Universal, 2016, R with violence and language, deleted scenes, featurettes). This is the third in the “Purge” horror franchise about a dystopian future where the United States allows an annual 12-hour period when all crime, including murder, is legal. Here, a presidential candidate (Elizabeth Mitchell) and her head of security (Frank Grillo) unexpectedly find themselves on the streets of Washington, D.C., during the Purge.

“Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” (Fox, 2016; R for sex, language, drugs, nudity; deleted/extended scenes, audio commentary, featurettes, bloopers, photo gallery). This is another sleazy comedy, this time about two hard-partying brothers (Zac Efron, Adam Devine) told by their parents they can only attend their sister’s wedding if they bring sober, sane dates. They find two women (Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Plaza) they think fit the bill, but who prove to be raunchier and crazier than they are.

“Swiss Army Man” (Lionsgate, 2016, R for language and sex, deleted scenes, audio commentary, featurettes). A man (Paul Dano) stranded on a deserted island and about to commit suicide comes across a corpse (Daniel Radcliffe) that has washed ashore — a corpse that can speak and displays supernatural abilities. Is it all to be taken literally or as a nightmarish descent into madness?

“The Wailing” (Well Go, 2016; not rated/probable R for violence, language, sex, nudity; in Korean with English subtitles, featurettes, trailer). This is a Korean supernatural thriller about hysteria gripping a small rural village when locals suddenly and mysteriously become violent, savagely attacking their neighbors, an event that coincides with the appearance of a Japanese stranger.

“The Demolisher” (Dark Sky, 2016, not rated/probable R for violence and language, deleted scenes, featurettes, trailer). After a policewoman is assaulted by a gang and left disabled, her cable-repairman husband gets revenge by donning riot gear and taking to the streets to kill bad guys. This Canadian effort is a throwback to 1970s and ’80s “Death Wish”-style vigilante flicks.

“The Last King” (Magnet, 2016, R for violence and sex, in Norwegian with English subtitles or dubbed in English, featurette, music video, trailer). This Norwegian action film set against a civil war in the Middle Ages, and supposedly a true story, depicts the dying Norwegian king revealing he has a son born in secret who needs to be protected from those who seek to end his bloodline.

“6 Plots” (Lionsgate, 2016; R for language, violence, drugs, featurette, trailers). This Australian slasher flick is a “Saw” wannabe as a teenage girl is awakened by a phone message explaining that six of her friends have been abducted and buried in boxes around the city, and there will be live internet video streams of their gruesome deaths unless she can find them first.

Chris Hicks is the author of "Has Hollywood Lost Its Mind? A Parent’s Guide to Movie Ratings." He also writes at www.hicksflicks.com and can be contacted at hicks@deseretnews.com.

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