New DVD’s: October 2019

The days are cooler and shorter, which means it’s becoming the perfect weather to spend an evening inside watching a movie or TV show. Luckily, this month’s new releases are of an unusually high caliber, with even the worst-reviewed in the bunch looking like a passably good time. Of course, October also brings with it Halloween, and a host of horror hits arrive on home video to help set the mood for the holiday. Check out the list below for trailers and information about the month’s biggest titles and for links to put yourself on hold before they come out.


SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME

MetascoreOur friendly neighborhood Super Hero decides to join his best friends Ned, MJ, and the rest of the gang on a European vacation. However, Peter’s plan to leave super heroics behind for a few weeks are quickly scrapped when he begrudgingly agrees to help Nick Fury uncover the mystery of several elemental creature attacks, creating havoc across the continent!

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“It’s an out-and-out triumph, an adrenaline blast of pure action and emotion that lives up to its predecessors and ably forwards the MCU story in memorable and even touching ways.” – Tasha Robinson, The Verge

“Sometimes, a movie can just make you feel better, and that’s no small gift.” – Moira McDonald, Seattle Times

Available Formats (10/1):

Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack


ANNA AND THE APOCALPYSE

MetascoreA zombie apocalypse threatens the sleepy town of Little Haven – at Christmas – forcing Anna and her friends to fight, slash and sing their way to survival, facing the undead in a desperate race to reach their loved ones. But they soon discover that no one is safe in this new world, and with civilization falling apart around them, the only people they can truly rely on are each other.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“In the Christmas zombie teen musical Anna and the Apocalypse, a whole lot of genre is stuffed into one neat little package, and happily, giddily, it is perfectly executed, landing like a triumphant triple axel splattered in gore, and wrapped in tinsel.” – Katie Walsh, Los Angeles Times

picks itself up, dusts itself off, and comes home with a finale that’s so satisfying and sincere, it’ll make some viewers misty-eyed.” – Richard Kuipers, Variety

Available Formats (10/1):

Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack


CHERNOBYL

MetascoreSoviet nuclear physicist Valery Legasov (Jared Harris), Soviet Deputy Prime Minister Boris Shcherbina (Stellan Skarsgård), and Soviet nuclear physicist Ulana Khomyuk (Emily Watson) are some of the people who worked to stop radioactive material from spreading further during the 1986 nuclear disaster at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in this HBO/Sky co-production five-part miniseries.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“Powerful and haunting… As bleak as it all sounds, Chernobyl is a riveting drama that’s full of payoffs. It’s a thoroughly researched account of an event that’s still misunderstood, and it captures the sacrifices made by the Russian people — knowingly and inadvertently — in their efforts to clean up another state-sponsored mess.” – Lorraine Ali, Los Angeles Times

“The series is a vivid and detailed retelling of the cataclysm. It begins as a near-real-time thriller… This miniseries doesn’t have too many flourishes, and doesn’t need them. Whenever Vasily explains the statistics involved — the scope of the environmental disaster, the possibility of a meltdown seeping into the water supply — the scares are tangible.” – Darren Franich, Entertainment Weekly

Available Formats (10/1):

Blu-ray | DVD


MAIDEN

MetascoreMaiden is the story of how Tracy Edwards, a 24-year-old cook in charter boats, became the skipper of the first ever all-female crew to enter the Whitbread Round the World in 1989. Tracy’s inspirational dream was opposed on all sides: her male competitors thought an all-women crew would never make it, the chauvinistic yachting press took bets on her failure, and potential sponsors rejected her, fearing they would die at sea and generate bad publicity. But Tracy refused to give up: she remortgaged her home and bought a secondhand boat, putting everything on the line to ensure the team made it to the start line. Although blessed with tremendous self-belief Tracy was also beset by crippling doubts and was only able to make it through with the support of her remarkable crew. With their help she went on to shock the sport world and prove that women are very much the equal of men.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

Maiden is a grand adventure, the likes of which we don’t always see too often anymore.” – Katie Walsh, Chicago Tribune

“What we have from director Alex Holmes — a guy who knows a great cinematic story when he hears one — is a documentary with all the nervous-making energy of a first-rate drama; a cast of sailors who are both endearing and intelligent; and a delicately wrought suspense story.” – John Anderson, Wall Street Journal

Available Formats (10/1):

Blu-ray | DVD


TOY STORY 4

MetascoreWoody has always been confident about his place in the world, and that his priority is taking care of his kid, whether that’s Andy or Bonnie. So when Bonnie’s beloved new craft-project-turned-toy, Forky, declares himself as “trash” and not a toy, Woody takes it upon himself to show Forky why he should embrace being a toy. But when Bonnie takes the whole gang on her family’s road trip excursion, Woody ends up on an unexpected detour that includes a reunion with his long-lost friend Bo Peep. After years of being on her own, Bo’s adventurous spirit and life on the road belie her delicate porcelain exterior. As Woody and Bo realize they’re worlds apart when it comes to life as a toy, they soon come to find that’s the least of their worries.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“This franchise has demonstrated an impressive ability to beat the odds and reinvent itself, over a span of time long enough for two generations to grow up in. It’s a toy store of ideas, with new wonders in every aisle.” – Matt Zoller Seitz, RogerEbert.com

“A diverting, visually dazzling concoction of wily schemes and daring adventures, Toy Story 4 achieves that something that eludes most sequels, especially this far into a series: a near-perfect balance between familiarity and novelty, action and emotion, and joyful hellos and more bittersweet goodbyes.” – Ann Hornaday, Washington Post

Available Formats (10/8):

Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack


ANNABELLE COMES HOME

MetascoreDetermined to keep Annabelle from wreaking more havoc, demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren bring the possessed doll to the locked artifacts room in their home, placing her “safely” behind sacred glass and enlisting a priest’s holy blessing. But an unholy night of horror awaits as Annabelle awakens the evil spirits in the room, who all set their sights on a new target—the Warrens’ ten-year-old daughter, Judy, and her friends.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“What follows is excellent, uncomplicated and well-wrought house-of-horrors fun, complete with a message about self-blame and the real things that haunt us. Gary Dauberman is a first-time director, but don’t worry, Mom and Dad, your kids (and everyone else) are in good hands with him.” – Brad Wheeler, The Globe and Mail

“A smart, controlled film, made with considerable integrity. It doesn’t try to scare you with loud noises or threaten you with the imminent certainty of seeing something disgusting. Instead, it throws a handful of characters into a simple, yet harrowing, situation and then explores that situation in depth.” – Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle

Available Formats (10/8):

Blu-ray


MIDSOMMAR

MetascoreDani (Florence Pugh) and Christian (Jack Reynor) are a young American couple with a relationship on the brink of falling apart. But after a family tragedy keeps them together, a grieving Dani invites herself to join Christian and his friends on a trip to a once-in-a-lifetime midsummer festival in a remote Swedish village. What begins as a carefree summer holiday in a land of eternal sunlight takes a sinister turn when the insular villagers invite their guests to partake in festivities that render the pastoral paradise increasingly unnerving and viscerally disturbing.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“If there was one thing last year’s occult shocker Hereditary taught us about its deviously gifted writer-director, Ari Aster, it’s not to trust him in the slightest. Think Midsommar, his much-hyped follow-up, looks like Aster’s answer to The Wicker Man? Well, it is, kind of – but that’s not to say you’ll come anywhere near predicting its singular, warped response.” – Tim Robey, The Telegraph

“Every shot in Midsommar is such a feast for the senses that you’re happy to go wherever it takes you — a sunshine-and-flowers-filled waking nightmare.” – Vince Mancini, Uproxx

Available Formats (10/8):

Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack


THE WEDDING GUEST

MetascoreJay (Dev Patel) is a man with a secret who travels from Britain to Pakistan to attend a wedding—armed with duct tape, a shotgun, and a plan to kidnap the bride-to-be (Radhika Apte). Despite his cool efficiency, the plot quickly spirals out of control, sending Jay and his hostage on the run across the border and through the railway stations, back alleys, and black markets of New Delhi—as all the while attractions simmer, loyalties shift, and explosive secrets are revealed.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“Patel excels as a smouldering, enigmatic antihero who gradually begins to drop his defences; Apte might be even better as the duplicitous femme fatale.” – Simran Hans, The Observer

“It’s all quite gorgeous, and surprisingly moving. The Wedding Guest shows just how much you can do with a wisp of a story and a whole lot of cinematic vision.” – Bilge Ebiri, Vulture

Available Formats (10/8):

Blu-ray | DVD


CRAWL

MetascoreWhen a massive hurricane hits her Florida hometown, Haley (Kaya Scodelario) ignores evacuation orders to search for her missing father (Barry Pepper). Finding him gravely injured in the crawl space of their family home, the two become trapped by quickly encroaching floodwaters. As time runs out to escape the strengthening storm, Haley and her father discover that the rising water level is the least of their fears.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

Crawl is a great example of a simple story exceedingly well-told. It’s a bloody adventure full of teeth-gnawing turns of fortune, mordant wit, vicious gator kills, and surprising tenderness — that clocks in at a blessedly fleet 87 minutes. It’s a perfect horror film for the summer, as much an ode to the cataclysmic, humbling aspects of Mother Nature as it is a love letter to father-daughter relationships.” – Angelica Jade Bastien, Vulture

Crawl’s virtues, however, remain formidable: It’s fast, efficient, crisply directed, and delivers on the promised alligator thrills. In another year, that might be worth a polite nod. This year, however, those B-movie values feel especially refreshing, and illuminating too.” – Keith Phipps, Slate

Available Formats (10/15):

Blu-ray


STUBER

MetascoreWhen a mild-mannered Uber driver named Stu (Kumail Nanjiani) picks up a passenger (Dave Bautista) who turns out to be a cop hot on the trail of a brutal killer, he’s thrust into a harrowing ordeal where he desperately tries to hold onto his wits, his life and his five-star rating.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“Nanjiani and Bautista are terrific together, but Stuber also benefits from a quartet of wonderful actresses who are all effective despite limited screen time.” – Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times

“This silly trifle might not stand the test of time, or even be remembered by the time you get home, but it gets you where you’re going with a smile on your face.” – David Ehrlich, IndieWire

Available Formats (10/15):

Blu-ray


THE LION KING

MetascoreIn the African savanna, a future king is born. Simba idolizes his father, King Mufasa, and takes to heart his own royal destiny. But not everyone in the kingdom celebrates the new cub’s arrival. Scar, Mufasa’s brother—and former heir to the throne—has plans of his own. The battle for Pride Rock is ravaged with betrayal, tragedy and drama, ultimately resulting in Simba’s exile. With help from a curious pair of newfound friends, Simba will have to figure out how to grow up and take back what is rightfully his.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“The new version amplifies and deepens all that is good in the original. The key is in the visuals. Photorealistic computer-generated imagery renders its African landscapes and animals with astonishing realism.” – Soren Andersen, Seattle Times

The Lion King is, for the most part, a shot-for-shot remake of the original from 1994, but unlike the Beauty and the Beast remake, this photo-realistic Lion King leaps ahead of the original as the better picture.” – Alan Ng, Film Threat

Available Formats (10/22):

Blu-ray | DVD


VERONICA MARS: SEASON 4

MetascoreVeronica is hired to find the killer of one of the victims of Neptune’s serial killer, who is targeting spring breakers as the fourth season premieres on Hulu.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“If Hulu’s revival is everything the movie should have been, that’s surely in part because it’s so timely… So many teen dramas have struggled to grow up along with their audiences, but Veronica Mars never sugarcoated or condescended when tackling the adult themes that made it so prescient. It makes for an elegant transition.” – Judy Berman, TIME

“While it can’t capture the lightning of the original, which aired on UPN/The CW from 2004 to 2007, it’s been nurtured with such love, camaraderie and snark that fans (who go by ‘Marshmallows’) should be more than satisfied — and newcomers might find a new series obsession.” – Sara Stewart, New York Post

Available Formats (10/22):

DVD


LUCE

MetascoreAn all-star high school athlete and accomplished debater, Luce (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) is a poster boy for the new American Dream. As are his parents (Naomi Watts and Tim Roth), who adopted him from a war-torn country a decade earlier. When Luce’s teacher (Octavia Spencer) makes a shocking discovery in his locker, Luce’s stellar reputation is called into question. But is he really at fault, or is Ms. Wilson preying on dangerous stereotypes?

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“This film, ultimately, is a major work of contemporary American cinema: complex, beguiling, and full of meaty discussion points that will challenge audiences throughout 2019 and beyond.” – Jake Howell, The Film Stage

“To say that it unfolds like a play is both accurate and undersells how gorgeously it has been rendered for the screen.” – Ben Kenigsberg, New York Times

Available Formats (10/29):

Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack


A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES: SEASON 1

MetascoreBased on Deborah Harkness’ novel of the same name, historian (and reluctant witch) Diana Bishop (Teresa Palmer) meets scientist (and vampire) Matthew Clairmont (Matthew Goode) after she discovers a manuscript thought lost hundreds of years ago in the Oxford library.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“Elegant and satisfying.” – Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times

“While the longing looks and cravings for blood might make some roll their eyes, every second of A Discovery of Witches is pure catnip for fans of this genre, and it’s nice to be able to dive into a decadent love affair for a few hours of escapism at the end of the day… There’s also more than enough unique elements and impressive world-building going on alongside those tropes to sustain the series’ weaker elements.” – Lindsay McDonald, TV Guide

Available Formats (10/29):

Blu-ray | DVD

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