New on DVD/Blu-ray: ‘Love & Basketball’; HBO’s ‘Mare of Easttown’; the Essential Films of Melvin Van Peebles

Ten new and classic films and TV shows now available on DVD and Blu-ray.

Blithe Spirit. 99 min. Edward Hall, Universal. 2021. DVD UPC 826663219852. $12.99; Blu-ray UPC 826663219869. $17.99. Rated: PG-13. COMEDY
This latest version of the oft-adapted Noel Coward play tells the story of a novelist (Dan Stevens) dealing with writer’s block who employs the services of a mystic (Judi Dench) and gets caught between his dead wife and his current missus.

Censor. 84 min. Prano Bailey-Bond, Magnolia. 2021. DVD UPC 876964017329. $26.99. HORROR
A “video nasties” censor named Enid (Niamh Algar) reviews a horror film that may be connected to her sister’s mysterious disappearance, which leads her to figure out the puzzle posed by the flick and its cryptic director.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame. 94 min. Wallace Worsley, Kino Lorber. 1923. Blu-ray UPC 738329255725. $19.99. DRAMA
Silent-film sensation Lon Chaney stars as the titular cathedral bell ringer who falls for Esmeralda (Patsy Ruth Miller) in this early adaptation of Victor Hugo’s celebrated novel. Restored in 4K.

In the Heights. 143 min. Jon M. Chu, Warner. 2021. DVD UPC 883929701391. $19.99; Blu-ray UPC 883929701377. $24.99. MUSICAL
Cowritten by Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton) and directed by the maker of Crazy Rich Asians, this musical, set in an Upper Manhattan neighborhood, centers on a charismatic bodega owner (Anthony Ramos).

Love & Basketball. 124 min. Gina Prince-Bythewood, Criterion. 2000. DVD UPC 715515263412. $29.99; Blu-ray UPC 715515263313. $39.99. Rated: PG-13. DRAMA
A young Black couple (Omar Epps and Sanaa Lathan) who grew up in the same neighborhood fall in love while sharing their passion for basketball.

Mare of Easttown: The Complete Limited Series. 420 min. Craig Zobel, Warner. 2021. DVD UPC 883929728817. $24.99. Rated: TV-MA. DRAMA
Kate Winslet brings her Oscar-winning acting chops to this critically acclaimed HBO miniseries where she stars as Mare Sheehan, a small-town Pennsylvania detective investigating a local murder that has implications for her own family.

Melvin Van Peebles: Essential Films. b/w & color. 395 min. Criterion. 1967–2003. Blu-ray UPC 715515264617. $124.95. DRAMA / COMEDY / MUSICAL
The director, writer, actor, and composer Melvin Van Peebles revolutionized American indie cinema with these four newly restored films: the anarchic Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song; the Euro-influenced The Story of a Three-Day Pass; the comedic Watermelon Man; and the musical Don’t Play Us Cheap. Extras are also included.

Together Together. 90 min. Nikole Beckwith, Decal. 2020. DVD UPC 843501036266. $14.99. Rated: R. COMEDY
An aspiring father (Ed Helms) employs a young pregnancy surrogate (Patti Harrison) to carry his baby. They begin to develop a bond that goes beyond their business deal—until he gets a bit too personal and risks their unusual relationship.

Throw Down. 95 min. In Cantonese and Japanese w/English subtitles. Johnnie To, Criterion. 2004. DVD UPC 715515264112. $29.99; Blu-ray UPC 715515264013. $39.99. DRAMA
A former judo champion dealing with addiction (Louis Koo) finds redemption after the death of his teacher prompts him to mentor a martial-arts prodigy (Aaron Kwok) and take a young singer (Cherrie Ying) under his wing.

The Vigil. 89 min. Keith Thomas, Shout Factory. 2021. DVD UPC 826663219838. $15.49; Blu-ray UPC 826663219845. $17.99. Rated: PG-13. HORROR
A young man (Dave Davis) reluctantly agrees to watch over the body of a deceased member of his former Orthodox Jewish community, a decision he comes to rue after the appearance of supernatural phenomena that force a reckoning with the past.

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