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“The Lion King” is also new to Blu-Ray this week.

Right off the bat I was struck by the intriguing premise of “Strange But True.” One day a pregnant woman in her early twenties named Melissa (Margaret Qualley) shows up at the doorstep of Charlene (Amy Ryan) and her son Philip (Nick Robinson). Turns out that Melissa is the ex-girlfriend of their other son Ronnie (Connor Jessup) and claims that the child is his, since he is the only man she’s ever been with. One problem: Ronnie’s been dead for five years.

As your mind spins with how this may be possible, so do the minds of Charlene and Philip. Theories about frozen sperm and immaculate conceptions abound. Charlene, who is a bitter woman and skeptical at first, even goes so far as to go to the library where she used to work to do research on how it’s possible. She very much wants to believe that a part of her son will live on with this child.

Read moreBlu-Ray Pick of the Week: Strange But True

“Crawl” and “3 from Hell” are also new to Blu-Ray this week.

I’m not sure what planet “The Art of Self Defense” takes place on, but it’s not Earth. Or if it is Earth, then it’s an alternate reality Earth that is very offbeat to human behavior as we know it. Sure, everything looks and sounds like reality in present day USA, but there is something not quite right about it—in a fun, quirky way.

It took me a good portion of the movie to put my finger on it, but it has to do with the way emotions are expressed. While the characters definitely feel emotions, they express their emotions through words rather than behavior. Everyone is very even-keeled and fairly well-tempered, even when one character is saying they are going to kill the other one, or occasionally, actually killing another one. It’s all done in a charmingly matter of fact way.

Read moreBlu-Ray Pick of the Week: The Art of Self Defense

“Toy Story 4” and “Midsommar” are also new to Blu-Ray this week.

It was shortly after the release of the first “Annabelle” movie in 2014 that I learned the truth about the doll. First and foremost, it’s actually a Raggedy Anne doll and not the uber creepy porcelain monstrosity we see in the series. Second, that the drive home for Ed and Lorrraine Warren, played then and in “Annabelle Comes Home” by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, was a troubled one, complete with their car breaking down.

It’s one thing to think about what that might have been like—creepy doll in the back seat, dark, barely lit road, evil spirits abound, and having to get out and fix the car. It’s another to see it dramatized by director Gary Dauberman, who wrote the screenplay from a story by James Wan. The fact that the car breaks down in front of some cemetery gates and Lorraine, who is a magnet for the spirit world, draws the spirits roaming the graveyard to her, is I am sure a bit of Hollywood creative license. However, it is effective, and sets the right mood and atmosphere for the rest of “Annabelle Comes Home.”

Read moreBlu-Ray Pick of the Week: Annabelle Comes Home

“Itsy Bitsy” is also new to Blu-Ray this week.

Let’s start by stating the obvious: “Avengers: Endgame” is no easy act to follow. Anything coming after will be on a smaller scale and pale in comparison to the epic, universe-shaking events of the last Avengers movie. So, who better to bring things back to Earth than Peter Parker (Tom Holland), AKA the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man?

Though, he doesn’t stay in the neighborhood for long in “Spider-Man: Far From Home.” After dealing with both his newfound fame during a guest appearance in his Queens, NY, neighborhood, and learning that his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) and his watchful guardian Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) are getting romantic, it’s off to Europe. It’s supposed to be a science tour, but it seems more like a sight-seeing vacation. The chaperones also leave something to be desired. Both Mr. Harrington (Martin Starr) and Mr. Dell (JB Smoove) are weak, inept, and silly. They’re both a far cry from Shan Omar Huey, the man who played the teacher at the beginning of the 2002 Sam Raimi “Spider-Man.” He was a bit strict, but was also watchful and kept the students in line and paying attention. I can’t help but think how much different this movie would be if this teacher took the class to Europe and not the two dolts in this movie.

Read moreBlu-Ray Pick of the Week: Spider-Man: Far From Home
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