Running from and to danger is this week’s apparent theme in home entertainment.
A little boy raised in the jungle must flee for his life in Disney’s outstanding new version of The Jungle Book, a German seeks refuge in rural France in Liebmann, and gay Aussie teen just released from prison returns to the scene of his crime for answers in Downriver (above).
Now for more details and trailers!
($39.99 Blu-ray, $29.99 DVD; Disney)
Mowgli lives! Director Jon Favreau ushers the Disney animated classic into the modern CGI era with this superb and entertaining feature. Neel Sethi portrays the oprhaned Mowgli, whose rearing by wolves comes to an abrupt end when a hateful tiger named Shere Khan (voiced by Idris Elba), wary of human men, turns his attentions to ending the boy’s life. So begins the adventure and encounters with bear Baloo (Bill Murray), a snake (Scarlett Johannson) and others. Absolutely stunning to look at with flawless digital environments and talking animals, plus a couple of the animated version’s iconic songs, although Disney has, bizarrely, not released the 3D Blu-ray stateside (those with multi-region Blu-ray players can order it via UK Amazon). Extras include three featurettes and a commentary.
($21.99 DVD; Breaking Glass Pictures)
Convicted of drowning another boy, whose body was never found, Aussie teenager James finally is released from juvenile lockup, leaving a cellmate-boyfriend behind. An epileptic, James doesn’t have any recollection of the tragic event that sent him away, so he returns to the scene of the crime while trying to avoid a ne’er-do-well former friend, and struggling to reconnect with his mother… This Aussie drama snagged four awards as San Diego’s FilmOut including best actress for Kerry Fox (as James’ mom) and best actor for newcomer/star Reef Ireland. Extras include two short films, interviews, commentary, and more.
($24.99 DVD; TLA)
Burned out fortysomething teacher Antek Liebmann leaves his native Germany for a respite in rural France. There, he takes a job at second-hand shop and connects with his new neighbors including the scruffy pastry chef Sebastian, with whom he ends up in bed. However, when Antek’s sister appears, its clear that whatever he was trying to leave behind in Germany may have followed, too…
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