A beautifully animated tale tops a week of limited DVD and Blu-ray releases.
"Tito and the Birds"; 4 stars: Directors Gustavo Steinberg, Gabriel Bitar and Andre Catoto deliver a heartwarming and inspirational story through a lavish design that flows with beauty and strength. Their fluid style of animation wipes away the traditional stiff borders to make the film look like it is alive. The production is both staggeringly beautiful in look and story.
The film is a cautionary tale presented through a shy 10-year-old boy who is called on to do heroic things in a world on the brink of a pandemic. It is not a disease that threatens the world, but fear that manifests itself through the crippling and then transformation of people.
Tito realizes the research his father had been doing for years could provide the cure. All he has to do is find a way to utilize the local pigeon population and their songs to create a way to counteract the fear. That mission becomes more and more impossible as those around him are consumed by fear.
The release contains both the original Portuguese language version of the film with English subtitles, and the English language dub, as well as an interview with Steinberg and Bitar as a bonus feature.
"A Place to Call Home: The Complete Collection"; 3.5 stars: This period drama, which debuted on Acorn TV, follows nurse Sarah Adams (Marta Dusseldorp) after she returns home to 1950s Australia after being in Europe for 20 years. It doesn't take long for Adams to become involved in the lives of the wealthy Bligh family, from dashing widower George (Brett Climo) to his demanding mother, Elizabeth (Noni Hazlehurst).
Although the series is gorgeously filmed, it is the strong cast and smart writing that makes it such a strong offering. At the top of the list is Dusseldorp, who brings both an intelligence and timeless beauty to the role.
The collection also includes two hours of bonus features, drink coasters, notecards and more.
ALSO NEW ON DVD AND BLU-RAY APRIL 23
"Target: St. Louis": Exposes the conspiracy of the U.S. Army's aerosol radiation testing in segregated neighborhoods of North St. Louis during the Cold War.
"Escape Room": Six strangers gather for what they think is a fun time in an escape room only to discover they are playing for their lives.
"The Green Inferno": The 2013 film about a group of student activists captured by a pack of bloodthirsty cannibals is being rereleased.
"Alien 40th Anniversary Edition": The film that proved in space no one can hear you scream is being released to mark the 40th anniversary.
"Destroyer": Nicole Kidman plays a self-destructive detective who must pull herself together when the head of a drug ring returns.
"Shameless: The Complete Ninth Season": William H. Macy stars in this cable series featuring one of the most functional dysfunctional families on television.
"Farinelli": In the 18th century, during Handel's time, no man could eclipse the fame or passion of the opera singer Farinelli.
"I Spit on Your Grave: Deja Vu": Woman who suffered through attack and acts of revenge faces a new threat to her life and her daughter's.
ON DIGITAL HD APRIL 23
"What Men Want": Successful sports agent (Taraji P. Henson) mysteriously gains the ability to hear men's thoughts. Will be released on DVD and Blu-ray on May 7.