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DVD/Blu-ray Release Calendar: July 2016

All movies are 2015/16 releases unless otherwise noted. Availability: DVD | Blu-ray | Both Blu-ray and DVD

By the Sea Trailers

Angelina Jolie Pitt’s third feature as director is also the first film in a decade in which she stars opposite her husband, Brad Pitt. Critics liked it about as much as they enjoyed her first two directorial efforts (In the Land of Blood and Honey and Unbroken)—which is to say, not all that much. Set in the 1970s, By the Sea examines the marriage of Roland, a writer, and Vanessa, a former dancer, as they vacation at a seaside resort in France. Melanie Laurent and Melvil Poupaud co-star as young newlyweds, and Niels Arestrup and Richard Bohringer play two of the local inhabitants in this intimate but disappointing drama written by Jolie Pitt and echoing the films of the decade in which it takes place.

I Saw the Light Trailers

A disappointment on the fall film festival circuit last year, Marc Abraham’s biopic of American singer-songwriter Hank Williams stars Tom Hiddleston as Williams and Elisabeth Olsen as Audrey, his long-suffering wife, in two performances that were actually praised (along with the work of cinematographer Dante Spinotti). Unfortunately, it was Abraham’s script and direction that failed to impress reviewers.

Only Yesterday (1991) Trailers

Originally released in Japan in 1991, this Studio Ghibli feature from director Isao Takahata (The Tale of The Princess Kaguya) is the rare animated drama targeted at adults rather than families. While the melancholy film (about a 27-year-old woman reflecting on her life) was a hit in its native country, that adult focus is the likely reason that Only Yesterday's official U.S. release didn't occur until 25 years later. Now arriving on home video, this new English-language dub features the voices of Daisy Ridley and Dev Patel.

Belladonna Of Sadness (1973) Trailers

Like Only Yesterday (above), Belladonna Of Sadness is an adult-targeted Japanese animated feature that was rarely seen in the United States until this year (when it was released in a newly restored version). But this is no Studio Ghibli film. Experimental, ambitious, psychedelic, and truly one of a kind, Eiichi Yamamoto's 1973 feature (very loosely based on the 19th century French book Satanism and Witchcraft) is short on narrative but long on ideas and stylistically diverse visuals—some sexually graphic, and many driven by Masahiko Satoh's psych-rock score.

Everybody Wants Some!! Trailers

Described by the filmmaker as a "spiritual sequel" to his cult hit Dazed and Confused, the latest from Richard Linklater is a 1980s-set comedy that follows a group of college baseball players over the course of a single weekend prior to the first week of fall classes. It may not compete for any awards like Linklater's previous film, Boyhood, but it is still an enjoyable outing, according to reviewers.

Green Room Trailers

Writer-director Jeremy Saulnier’s violent but acclaimed follow-up to the also well-reviewed Blue Ruin stars Alia Shawkat and the late Anton Yelchin and as members of a punk band called The Ain't Rights. They find themselves trying to survive in a backwoods bar after witnessing a murder committed by a group of white supremacists led by Patrick Stewart.

Mountains May Depart Trailers

Award-winning director Jia Zhang-ke offers an ambitious, three-part look at China’s past (1999), present (2014) and future (2025), with each time period depicted in a different aspect ration (as in Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel). In 1999, childhood friends Liangzi and Zhang are both in love with Tao, the town beauty. Tao eventually decides to marry the wealthier Zhang. They soon have a son and Zhang names him Dollar. In 2014 they are separated, and, in 2025, Dollar is in Australia, where the English dialogue became a sticking point for some critics.

My Golden Days Trailers

With his latest, director Arnaud Desplechin (A Christmas Tale and Kings & Queen) returns to the story of Paul Dédalus (Matheiu Amalric) that he began in 1996 with My Sex Life… or How I Got Into an Argument. About to return to Paris, Dédalus reflects on his childhood relationships with his mother, his father, and, most of all, the love of his life, Esther. Quentin Dolmaire, making his screen debut, plays the young Dédalus.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Trailers

If you were dismayed by early casting choices (e.g., Ben Affleck as Batman) and worried by the trailers, then your worst fears were probably confirmed by the actual movie, and its reviews. Critics didn't particularly like this "cluttered," "overstuffed," "forgettable," "lumbering," and "incoherent" sequel to the 2013 Superman reboot Man of Steel that returns director Zack Snyder and star Henry Cavill. Joining the fun (or not) this time around are Jesse Eisenberg as a particularly grating Lex Luthor, Jeremy Irons as Alfred, and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. This "Ultimate Edition" release adds 30 minutes to the already bloated theatrical cut (which is also included on the Blu-ray), but critical reaction suggests that the longer version actually improves the movie's storytelling considerably, though it falls short of solving all of the film's problems.

Miles Ahead Trailers

Don Cheadle makes his feature directing debut with this unconventional biopic of Miles Davis. Working from a script he co-wrote with Steven Baigelman, Cheadle stars as the legendary jazz musician in a film that has earned generally positive early reviews despite its fictional framing story of Davis searching for a stolen recording with a Rolling Stone reporter played by Ewan McGregor.

O.J.: Made in America

A year that has already given us an O.J.-centered TV classic in FX's The People v. O.J. Simpson has somehow delivered another. While the latter series was a fictionalized look at Simpson's murder trial, this five-part miniseries—technically part of ESPN's 30 for 30 series—is a documentary, and broadens the scope considerably to encompass O.J.'s life before and after the trial as well as a history of race relations in Los Angeles. The result may just be the most critically acclaimed TV program of the year—and one that you may actually be hearing from at next year's Oscars, thanks to a clever strategy of screening the eight-hour "film" in a few theaters before debuting it on television.

Sing Street Trailers

Set in 1980s Dublin, this crowd-pleasing musical from writer-director John Carney (Once, Begin Again) follows 14-year-old Conor (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo), whose bickering parents move him from a private school to an inner-city public school, where he’s bullied. But when he meets the stunning Raphina (Lucy Boynton), Conor is inspired to start a band, and, luckily for him, his older brother (Jack Reynor) is ready to mentor him.

View DVD releases from previous months, or take a look at the latest titles just added to stream on Netflix and Amazon Instant Video.

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