Morning, Blood of Redemption, Shrek the Musical 


click to enlarge Morning

Morning (R)

Anchor Bay Home Entertainment

Having never had children, I could never, ever even begin to understand what it must feel like to experience the loss of a child. Even given that huge handicap, I still found Morning a gut-wrenching, incredibly moving drama that I figure would affect just about anyone. Leland Orser and Jeanne Tripplehorne star as a couple thrown into turmoil as they try to deal with the death of their son. The grief just overwhelms them, destroying their relationship and their lives. Throughout the film, they desperately try to reconnect, but the emotional toll is just too great. Morning is a film that is so taut with powerful performances and bleak direction that it fully envelops even the most jaded of viewers. It would be a hard film to watch again, but it's definitely worth at least one viewing and, in a just world, would be nominated for numerous awards. — Louis Fowler

click to enlarge Blood of Redemption

Blood of Redemption (NR)

Entertainment One

Underrated B-movie master Billy Zane — the straight-to-DVD Nic Cage — is the impeccably named Quinn Forte, a businessman by day and, yes, a criminal mastermind by night. He's got everything his heart could possibly desire, but when his dad gets murdered in an inside job, he is framed and loses it all. Sent to jail, Forte teams up with, yes, Dolph Lundgren, to not only gain revenge but also to regain his rightful throne as king of the criminal underworld. Blood of Redemption (love that cheesy title!) is fun, entertaining low-budget trash that manages to take the typical action flick tropes and make something original (or original enough) out of them to keep viewers involved up until the hilariously bloody end. These movies are the macho man's version of those goofy Syfy monster movies, and I, for one, eat them up. Seconds, please. — Louis Fowler

click to enlarge Shrek the Musical

Shrek the Musical (NR) (Blu-ray)


Aside from Les Miserables and The Phantom of the Opera, it's exceedingly rare that a Broadway musical finds its way to home video, let alone a multi-disc combo pack. Yet only a handful of years removed from their Tony Award-nominated original Broadway run, that lonely green ogre and his fast-talking donkey buddy are immortalized on Blu-ray in a 10-camera undertaking that captures the spectacle, if not the heart, of David Lindsay-Abaire's book and lyrics. The stage version smartly incorporates what crumbs of music were there in the film ("What's Up, Duloc?") and elaborates and expands others ("Morning Person") for a theatrical mounting that feels familiar and natural. While the cameras often fail to capture much more than wide-smiling blurs when the numbers crescendo, the opportunity to see a modern Broadway hit from your home is too rich to pass up. — Justin Strout


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