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Headsup: Justice, Shakespeare, and Apocalyptic Fungus

Disclaimer: Warner Brothers Home Entertainment requests that we note it provided a free copy of Evil Dead Rise, Justice League: Warworld, and The Last of Us for review purposes. The opinions I share are my own.

Jim Carrey stars as Truman Burbank, a man whose life is a nonstop TV show. Truman doesn’t realize that his quaint hometown is a giant studio set run by a visionary creator (Ed Harris), that folks living and working there are Hollywood actors, and that even his incessantly bubbly wife (Laura Linney) is a contract player. Gradually, Truman gets wise, and his response leaves viewers laughing, crying, and cheering like few films ever have. — from Paramount

There are some films that just inherently require the 4K treatment. There are some films that inherently don’t. Then there’s the gray area of the Venn diagram: the It Depends section. The Truman Show bonus bits are all legacy: a two-part making-of docu, an FX featurette, deleted scenes, and so forth. What’s new is this upgraded, remastered 4K edition. If you love the film and have the sort of home rig that can let you take full advantage, definitely worth snagging. Everyone else must ponder their own requirements. It can be acquired at Amazon.

In “Evil Dead Rise,” the action moves out of the woods and into the city, and tells a twisted tale of two estranged sisters, played by Sullivan and Sutherland, whose reunion is cut short by the rise of flesh-possessing demons, thrusting them into a primal battle for survival as they face the most nightmarish version of family imaginable. — from Warner Brothers

So another Evil Dead film has come out, was well received by both critics and had a decent box office. Bruce Campbell might reverse his decision to retire from playing Ash Williams. Raimi might direct some more of the franchise. It’s all happening. Sadly, while the film looks great in this 4K version, what’s not happening are any bonus bits. You’d think that a film that employed 6500 liters of fake blood would have some gag reel material somewhere in there. But alas, no. Fans of the movie will want to own, since the coin will help convince the studio to perhaps continue the franchise. Snag it at Amazon.

Until now, DC’s Justice League has been a loose association of super-powered individuals. But when they are swept away to Warworld, a place of unending brutal gladiatorial combat, Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and the others must somehow unite to form an unbeatable resistance able to lead an entire planet to freedom. — from Warner Brothers

While the live action DC Universe struggles and lurches around, rather drunkenly, the animated side of the house has been pleasing a lot of people for a while now. Here you get a focus on the Trinity and the fun of watching them thrown into different setups and different genres. If you’re already a fan of the animated “Tomorrowverse” you’re going to want to snag this as it does come with two new featurettes. Available at Amazon.

Disbarred, disgraced, and all but destroyed, ex-judge Michael Desiato (Cranston) is offered a ray of hope when a federal agent recruits him to take down the empire of corruption and vengeance that runs New Orleans. Also starring Isiah Whitlock Jr. (The Wire), Emmy nominees Michael Stuhlbarg (Doctor Strange) and Hope Davis (About Schmidt) and featuring guest appearances from Academy Award nominee Rosie Perez (White Men Can’t Jump) and Emmy winner Margo Martindale (The Americans). — from Paramount

Your Honor’s second season is the continuation (and maybe ending?) of Bryan Cranston’s character, the story told in ten episodes across three discs. There are some bonus bits to be enjoyed, including an episode featurette, a set featurette, deleted scenes and more. Hardcore Cranston fans (of which there are many) will want to own for the sake of posterity, but everyone else might be fine with streaming the season. It can be grabbed at Amazon.

The Last of Us takes place 20 years after modern civilization has been destroyed. Joel, a hardened survivor, is hired to smuggle Ellie, a 14-year-old girl, out of an oppressive quarantine zone. What starts as a small job soon becomes a brutal and heartbreaking journey as they both must traverse the U.S. and depend on each other for survival. — from HBO / Warner Brothers

You can do an acclaimed adaptation of an acclaimed video game? Who knew? HBO, obviously. And once I heard that the creator of Chernobyl was involved, I knew it was going to be the feel good hit of the year. But seriously, fans of the show will be pleased with this release. Each episode has a short featurette accompanying it, a featurette about adapting the video game, and also a look at how close to reality the show is. Which can be a little disturbing. The bonus bits make it worth owning for a fan of the show. And you’ll want it because at some point the second season is going to arrive. You can find it at Amazon.

In Shakespeare Was a Woman and Other Heresies, journalist and literary critic Elizabeth Winkler sets out to probe the origins of this literary taboo. Whisking you from London to Stratford-Upon-Avon to Washington, DC, she pulls back the curtain to show how the forces of nationalism and empire, religion and mythmaking, gender and class have shaped our admiration for Shakespeare across the centuries. As she considers the writers and thinkers—from Walt Whitman to Sigmund Freud to Supreme Court justices—who have grappled with the riddle of the plays’ origins, she explores who may perhaps have been hiding behind his name. A forgotten woman? A disgraced aristocrat? A government spy? Hovering over the mystery are Shakespeare’s plays themselves, with their love for mistaken identities, disguises, and things never quite being what they seem. — from Simon & Schuster

The idea that Shakespeare didn’t write Shakespeare is something that’s been toyed with for a long time now. If you’re a diehard he-must-be-the-one-and-only-author-no-questions-asked kind of Shakespeare fan, you will not enjoy this book. If, though, you’re someone who enjoys the occasional poke at centuries-old institutional beliefs, there’s a good chance you’ll at least appreciate the questions the author poses, whether you agree with her conclusions or not. Find it in its different versions here.