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Video releases for June 2020

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NEW YORK — The following are capsule reviews from Catholic News Service of new and recent video releases available on DVD and/or Blu-ray — as well as for online viewing. Theatrical movies have a Catholic News Service classification and Motion Picture Association rating. These classifications refer only to the theatrical version of the films below, and do not take into account any extra content.


Blood on the Moon (1948)


Convoluted Western in which a cowboy (Robert Mitchum) switches sides in the fight against a rancher (Tom Tully) waged by homesteaders whose wily leader (Robert Preston) is interested only in making himself a quick fortune. Directed by Robert Wise, the action propels the story through a tangle of intrigues involving, among others, the rancher's two daughters (prim Phyllis Thaxter and tomboy Barbara Bel Geddes).


Watch out for: Frontier violence and romantic complications.


Rated: A-II, adults and adolescents; MPAA: Not rated. (Warner Archives; also available on Blu-ray)


Burden (2020)


Uplifting fact-based conversion story in which a veteran Ku Klux Klan member (Garrett Hedlund) falls for a more enlightened single mother (Andrea Riseborough) who eventually demands that he choose between his racist pals and his relationship with her. As he struggles with the consequences of renouncing his allegiance to the local Klan leader (Tom Wilkinson), whom he has long regarded as a father figure, he comes under the healing influence of an African American minister (Forest Whitaker). Writer-director Andrew Heckler's drama is rich in such Gospel values as repentance, forgiveness, hope and the rejection of violence. Though strictly for grown-ups who can tolerate foul dialogue, including nasty epithets, it's ultimately an inspiring reminder of the power of long-suffering, courageous, charitable love.


Watch out for: Scenes of stylized violence, including beatings, cohabitation, a scatological incident, about a half-dozen profanities, a couple of milder oaths, constant rough and much crude and crass language. Spanish titles option.


Rated: A-III, adults; MPAA: R. Universal Studios Home Entertainment; also available on Blu-ray)


Caravans (1978)


A young State Department official (Michael Sarrazin) in 1948 Iran is ordered to locate a missing American (Jennifer O'Neill) reportedly in the mountainous domain of a nomad chief (Anthony Quinn). Directed by James Fargo, the effort is a silly misfire, with a rambling and unfocused plotline, atrocious dialogue and leadfooted pacing.


Watch out for: A bloody execution as well as a sequence involving a homosexual dancer make it mature fare.


Rated: A-III, adults; MPAA: PG. (KL Studio Classics; also available on Blu-ray)


Corpus Christi (2020)


Polish production in which director Jan Komasa and screenwriter Mateusz Pacewicz, who reworked his fact-based book, tell the grim story of a young man (Bartosz Bielenia), just paroled from a violent juvenile detention facility, who, having found his faith there as an altar server, aspires to become a priest. But his past makes this impossible and he's assigned instead to work in a sawmill in a remote community. There, he almost accidentally begins to impersonate a clergyman and turns out to be compassionate and courageous in the role, providing pastoral care to the town where a drunk driving tragedy has resulted in widespread grief. The film takes Christian faith seriously, but it’s often-cynical portrayal of the priesthood and the faithful may disturb many. It also tacitly promotes the misguided idea that priestly authority originates with the congregation and not with sacramental ordination. Subtitles.


Watch out for: Religious themes requiring mature discernment, some bloody violence, two nonmarital sexual encounters, brief male rear nudity, drug use, frequent rough language.


Rated: L, limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling; MPAA: Not rated. (Film Movement; available on Blu-ray)


© Arlington Catholic Herald 2020