Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Hot on Home Video: 'The Equalizer 3,' 'The Nun II,' 'For All Mankind,' 'Spirited Away: Live on Stage'


Following a five-year break, the ageless Denzel Washington is back as former government assassin Robert McCall, who starts the story seeking peace in Southern Italy. As things tend to go for McCall, he finds himself in a battle with local crime bosses, forced to defend some new friends from oppression. Striking dialogue, excellent combat scenes and a fast-paced story help the film maintain the series' high standard.

Extras include a bevy of featurettes, including "Postcards from the Amalfi Coast," a look at the relationship between Washington and filmmaker Antoine Fuqua, as well as Washington's collaboration with co-star Dakota Fanning. There is also a profile of the lead character, called "Robert McCall: A Man of the People."


The well-regarded 2019 Apple TV+ sci-fi miniseries stars Joel Kinnaman, Michael Dorman, Sarah Jones and Shantal VanSanten in an alternate-history saga in which the space race continued to escalate after the 1969 Moon landing. The 10-episode season is packed with twists and turns, accompanied by excellent visuals. 


A step in the right direction after the limp 2018 original, the sequel expands on "The Conjuring" universe, the mid-20th century prequel follows the exploits of the demon Valak, who takes the form of a nun in order to torment the faithful. The cast of the creepfest includes Taissa Farmiga, Jonas Bloquet, Storm Reid and Anna Popplewell. 

Extras include the featurettes "Demon in Paradise" and "Handcrafter Nightmares."


Since its 2002 release, I've been captivated by Hayao Miyazaki's "Spirited Away" and its cast of sublime characters, including the haunting, masked monster No Face. The new Blu-ray captures the stage show that was inspired by that film, showing the dizzying displays of emotion and stagecraft it took to bring the anime to life. 

The performance, delivered at Tokyo's Imperial Theatre, stars Kanna Hashimoto and Mone Kamishirashi. It's not to be missed for fans of the legendary animated effort who, like me, never got the chance to see the stage show.

Studios sent screeners for review.

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