Another slow week movie lovers, but a couple of big ones in there for you to keep the TV fired   up and warm. First up is the highly anticipated new film version of Frank Herbert’s Dune. Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) is a brilliant and gifted young noble on the planet Caladan who inherits his family’s duty to travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to secure its supply of the most precious resource in the universe, spice, which enables people to expand the consciousness of the navigators who plot faster than light jumps, "folding" space time to travel instantly from one planet to another. But in order to secure the spice, Paul must battle with his parents and an army against some of the most malevolent forces ever in order to unlock humanities greatest potential.

Dune is a tricky property for lovers of fantasy storytelling. Its fans are devoted to the expansive text in the books and protective of its story. David Lynch’s 1984 film version became a cult hit, but the story of Dune seemed to be of too great a scale to tell with the technology available in the 80s. Along comes 2021 and director Denis Villeneuve, no stranger to scale in films after directing such films as Blade Runner 2049 and Arrival. For me, as a sci-fi and fantasy film lover but not necessarily a fan of the Dune story, I found the movie to be a little laggy and talkative but one thing is for sure, Denis Villeneuve knows how to make a film look gorgeous. The performances across the board are excellent from Chalamet to Oscar Isaac, Rebecca Ferguson, Zendaya, Jason Momoa, Josh Brolin and many others. But it really is the production design and overall digital effects that steal the show. If you have access to 4K, this is absolutely the way to go with Dune. In 4K this is one of the best looking movies of the past few years and even if you are like me and don’t totally vibe with the whole Dune story, this is still worth checking out and even owning in 4K just for sheer spectacle.

Next up this week is pretty much the exact opposite of Dune, Mass. Years after a horrible tragedy tore their lives apart, two sets of parents (Jason Isaacs and Martha Plimpton, Reed Birney and Ann Dowd) agree to meet in a small room in a local church to discuss the events that took both their sons in an effort to come to terms with it once and for all and move forward.

Mass takes place almost entirely in one room with four people. But it is captivating from the first frame and a masterclass in writing and acting. The dialogue and the course of the story is just mesmerizing to witness, and is an in depth and very intimate look at grief and societal violence. I found myself hanging on every word from all the participants and the film left me thinking about it for days afterwards. A beautifully made character study, Mass is a must see for fans of drama and those looking for a charged emotional experience of a film. Highly recommended.

Also of note this week is the second chapter in the new Halloween reboot series from David Gordon Green, Halloween Kills with Jamie Lee Curtis, the artsy Spencer with Kristen Stewart as the late Princess Diana, and the 4K debut of the classic Steve McQueen-starring ensemble WWII film The Great Escape.

Until next week movie lovers, stay safe!

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday January 11, 2022

Almost Summer (1978)*

Billions: Season Five

Breaking In (1989)*

Camp Manna

Dune (2021)

Gambit (1966)*

Halloween Kills (2021)

Heart of Champions (2021)

I'm Your Man (2021)

Impasse (1969)*

Journey to Shiloh (1968)*

Juice (1992) 4K

Maria's Lovers (1984)*

Mass (2021)

Multiverse (2019)

Ren & Stimpy: The Almost Complete Collection

Spencer (2021)

The 7th Dawn (1964)*

The Card Player (2004)

The Celebration (1998) - Criterion Collection

The Great Escape (1963) 4K

The Pink Jungle (1968)*

The Temp (1993)*

Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy (2021)

Whispers in the Dark (1992)*

*New to Blu-ray