"The movie business is macabre. Grotesque.
It is a combination of a football game
and a brothel."
-- Federico Fellini
Mar 302020
 

From the Big Screen:

“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” and “The Current War: Director’s Cut.” For more information on other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.

This Week’s Best Bets

“Fist of Fear, Touch of Death” (1980) has been released this week in a 40th Anniversary Edition. A subgenre of 1970s cinema, Bruceploitation clung to the box office success of the Bruce Lee legacy after the star’s untimely demise in 1973, utilizing Lee lookalikes and archival footage from the legend himself. Carving a niche within the grindhouse market, Bruceploitation not only appealed to fans of the day, but has generated a cult status in recent years. True to photo for Fist of Fear, Touch of Death Bruceploitation fashion, “Fist of Fear, Touch of Death” features eye-popping combat scenes viewers will have to see to believe, putting the 1979 World Karate Championship at center stage, where martial artists take their shot at eliminating the competition and claiming the title of “successor to the Bruce Lee legacy.” Using mockumentary-style interviews in the film, hosted by Academy Award-nominee Adolph Caesar, martial arts masters Fred Williamson and Ron Van Clief, among others, emerge from every corner of the martial arts world to give their take on whether any competitor can be deemed worthy of the Bruce Lee legacy. On DVD, Blu-ray, from The Film Detective … Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II’s immortal musical adaptation of Edna Ferber’s sprawling novel receives its most faithful and enduring cinematic adaptation under the elegant direction of James Whale. A rich portrait of changing American entertainment traditions and race relations, “Show Boat” spans four decades and three generations as it follows the fortunes of the stage-struck Magnolia (Irene Dunne), an aspiring actor whose journey takes her from her family’s humble floating playhouse in the 1880s South to the height of fame in the photo for Show Boat 1930s North. The cast of show-business legends includes Helen Morgan, Hattie McDaniel, Charles Winninger, and the great Paul Robeson, whose iconic, soul-shaking rendition of “Ol’ Man River” is one of the crowning glories of the American stage and screen. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc, with new, restored 4K digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. From The Criterion Collection … In “The Prince of Tides” (1991), her second feature as a director, Barbra Streisand crafted a sumptuous, emotionally wrenching adaptation of Pat Conroy’s best-selling novel — which she also produced and starred in. Summoned to New York after his sister attempts suicide, Tom Wingo (Nick Nolte) must serve as her memory, reckoning with the traumas of their southern childhood so that her psychiatrist, Dr. Susan Lowenstein (Streisand), can help her recover. But Tom’s sessions with Lowenstein will plunge him into the depths of his own long-repressed pain — and reawaken the possibility of love within him. Nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Nolte’s soulful performance, “The Prince of Tides” is a life-affirming tale of healing and renewal from a triple-threat filmmaker with a keen and humane insight into her characters’ sorrows, joys, and yearnings. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc, with new 4K digital restoration, supervised by Streisand, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray. From The Criterion Collection.

Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:

In “Bones” (2005), initially set in 1979. Jimmy Bones (Snoop Dogg) is respected and loved as the neighborhood protector. When he is betrayed and brutally murdered by a corrupt cop (Michael T. Weiss, Bones’ elegant brownstone becomes his tomb. Twenty-two years later, the neighborhood has become a ghetto and his home a gothic ruin. Four teens renovate it as an after photo for Bones
hours nightclub, unknowingly releasing Jimmy’s tortured spirit. It’s thrills and chills when Jimmy’s ghost sets out to get his revenge. New 4K scan from the negative. On Blu-ray from Scream Factory … In “The Captain” (2019 — China), starring Hanyu Zhang, Hao Ou and Jiang Du, on the morning of May 14th, 2018, Airbus flight A319 is thrown into a state of panic when the cockpit windshield shatters after takeoff. Cabin temperatures plummet, passengers are losing consciousness, and all communication to control is lost. Heading into an enormous storm with the co-pilot sucked halfway out of the cockpit window, the plane’s strong-willed captain, Liu Chuan Jian, is determined to bring everyone home safely. Based on a true incident. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Well Go USA … photo for Munster, Go Home! Following the wildly popular Munsters series, original cast members Fred Gwynne (Herman Munster), Yvonne De Carlo (Lily Munster), Al Lewis (Grandpa) and Butch Patrick (Eddie Munster) reunited in “Munster, Go Home!” (1966) — in spooky color. Herman inherits a mansion in England and moves the family into an estate full of ghosts and other surprises. Also starring Terry-Thomas, Hermione Gingold, Richard Dawson, Bernard Fox and horror film legend John Carradine. On Blu-ray from Scream Factory … In “Standing Up, Falling Down” (2020), starring Billy Crystal, Ben Schwartz, Eloise Mumford and Grace Gummer, after years of chasing his stand-up comedy dream in Los Angeles, 34-year-old Scott (Schwartz) crashes and burns. Left with little money and a failed career, he has no choice but to regroup and return to his parent’s house in Long Island. Trying to figure out what to do next, he pines after his ex (Mumford), a successful photographer who had since married a former mutual friend. During a night out at the bar, he meets an eccentric dermatologist (Crystal) who, having regrets of his own, helps Scott find the courage to face his failures. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Shout! Factory … photo for Their Finest Hour: 5 British WWII Classics “Their Finest Hour: 5 British WWII Classics” is a five-disc set that brings together some of the most celebrated British war films, digitally restored and available for the very first time on Blu-ray. Titles include the Ealing Studios-produced, Graham Greene adaptation “Went The Day Well?” (1942), Michael Anderson’s Oscar-nominated “The Dam Busters” (1955), and three box-office hits starring John Mills: “The Colditz Story” (1955), “Dunkirk” (1958) and “Ice Cold in Alex” (1958). From Film Movement … When the world’s greatest spy meets the woman of his dreams in “Spy Intervention” (2019), starring Drew Van Acker, Poppy Delevingne, Blake Anderson, Brittany Furlan, Max Silvestri and Natasha Bassett, he abandons his adventurous existence and settles into the security of suburbia. It doesn’t take long for him to be completely bored and while he refuses to admit it, when an evil plot to ruin the world pushes his former spy friend to enact a “spy intervention,” he is easily convinced that if he returns to his old life, the adventure will not only help save his listless marriage, it will also save the world. From Cinedigm.

Special Interest:

He was one of the most iconic figures in athletic history: Muhammad Ali’s incredible story from world champion boxer to inspiring social activist is presented in “What’s My Name: Muhammad Ali” (2019) through archival footage and recordings of his own voice. The film explores Ali’s challenges, confrontations, comebacks and triumphs both in and out of the ring. From HBO/Warner Archive.

All DVDs and Blu-rays are screened on a reference system consisting of an Oppo BDP-83 Blu-ray Disc Player w/SACD & DVD-Audio, a Rotel RSX-972 Surround Sound Receiver, and Phase Technology 1.1 (front), 33.1 (center), and 50 (rear) speakers, and Power 10 subwoofer.

 Posted by on March 30, 2020 No Responses »
Mar 232020
 

From the Big Screen:

“1917” and “The Grudge.” For more information on other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.

This Week’s Best Bets

William Wyler directed the superb adaptation of Sinclair Lewis’ “Dodsworth” (1936) featuring an amazing ensemble of actors led by the great Walter Huston. A tale of middle-aged regret and recriminations and the rebirth of long dormant passions, Wyler cannily gets by the production code and delivers a decidedly adult drama that more comfortably sits alongside the pre-Codes than the photo for Dodsworth post-Codes. Millionaire motor magnate Sam Dodsworth (Huston) sells the Dodsworth auto works in the small midwestern burg of Zenith to a large combine and embarks on a long-postponed honeymoon abroad. But long-time bride Fran (Ruth Chatterton) turns runaway when her head is turned by the swells of the continent (David Niven, Paul Lukas, Gregory Gaye). Bereft and adrift, Dodsworth furthers his friendship with young American widow Edith (Mary Astor) and the relationship uncorks long-buried desires in Dodsworth. But Fran is not done with Dodsworth, yet. Long unavailable, “Dodsworth” returns to print in a stunning restoration that properly gives new life to one of the greatest pictures of the 1930s – resplendent with glorious Black and White cinematography, fabulous art direction and superb mise-en-scene in service to a truly sophisticated cast. Newly restored in 2019 by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Film Archive and The Film Foundation in association with the Samuel Goldwyn Jr. Family Trust. Restoration funding provided by the George Lucas Family Foundation. In a 1080p HD master. On Blu-ray from Warner Archive … Described by critic Mark Kermode as an “extraordinary filmmaker” and “one of the UK’s most imaginative talents,” visionary British director Philip Ridley followed his sensational debut “The Reflecting Skin” with another surreal incursion into the dark heart of the “American dream” in “The Passion of Darkly Noon” (1995). Darkly Noon (Brendan Fraser) is the sole survivor of a military-style attack on an isolated religious community. Stumbling through a photo for The Passion of Darkly Noon forest in a daze, he is rescued by the free-spirited and enigmatic Callie (Ashley Judd). Darkly finds himself feeling strange new desires for Callie as she nurses him back to health … only to watch her jump into the arms of her returning mute lover Clay (Viggo Mortensen). Lost in the woods with only his fundamentalist upbringing to make sense of his unrequited passions, Darkly soon descends into an explosive and lethal rage. Now available for the first time worldwide on Blu-ray, Ridley’s talent for spellbinding, hallucinogenic dream imagery is on full display in a glittering new transfer of his most formally inventive and electrifying film. The mesmerizing soundtrack includes two songs co-written by Ridley for the film, “Look What You’ve Done (To My Skin)” performed by Gavin Friday and “Who Will Love Me Now?” performed by PJ Harvey. New 2K restoration from the original camera negative, approved by Philip Ridley. On Blu-ray from Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment … The landmark film “The Cranes Are Flying” (1957 — Russia) by the virtuosic Mikhail Kalatozov was heralded as a revelation in the post-Stalin Soviet Union and the international cinema community alike. It tells the story of Veronica photo for Leave Her to Heaven and Boris, a couple who are blissfully in love until the eruption of World War II tears them apart. With Boris at the front, Veronica must try to ward off spiritual numbness and defend herself from the increasingly forceful advances of her beau’s draft-dodging cousin. Winner of the Palme d’Or at the 1958 Cannes Film Festival, “The Cranes Are Flying” is a superbly crafted drama with impassioned performances and viscerally emotional, gravity-defying cinematography by Kalatozov’s regular collaborator Sergei Urusevsky. On DVD, Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection … In “Leave Her to Heaven” (1945), novelist Richard Harland (Cornel Wilde) seems to have found the perfect woman in Ellen (Gene Tierney), a beautiful socialite who initiates a whirlwind romance and steers him into marriage before he can think twice. Yet the glassy surface of Ellen’s devotion soon reveals monstrous depths, as Richard comes to realize that his wife is shockingly possessive and may be capable of destroying anyone who comes between them. A singular Hollywood masterpiece that draws freely from the women’s picture and film noir alike, “Leave Her to Heaven” boasts elegant direction by melodrama specialist John M. Stahl, blazing Technicolor cinematography by Leon Shamroy, and a chilling performance by Tierney, whose Ellen is a femme fatale unlike any other: a woman whose love is as pure as it is poisonous. On DVD, Blu-ray, from The Criterion Collection.

Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:

In “Come to Daddy” (2019), starring Elijah Wood, Stephen McHattie, Garfield Wilson, Ronald Plum and Madeleine Sami, Norval Greenwood, a privileged man-child, arrives at the beautiful and remote coastal cabin of his estranged father, who he hasn’t seen in 30 years. He quickly discovers that not only is Dad a disapproving jerk, but he also has a shady past that is rushing to catch up with him. Now, hundreds of miles from his cushy comfort zone, Norval must battle with demons both real and perceived in order to reconnect with a father he barely knows. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Lionsgate … photo for The Wizard In “The Wizard” (1989), haunted by a family tragedy, and desperate to get to California, young Jimmy Woods (Luke Edwards) flees with his conniving brother, Corey (Fred Savage). Along the way they encounter Haley (recording artist and actress Jenny Lewis), a street-smart teen on her way to Reno. Together, they make their way to California, pursued by a sinister bounty hunter, as well as the boys’ father (Beau Bridges) and brother (Christian Slater). Meanwhile, their ticket to California just might be found in Jimmy’s hidden talent: video games. New 4K scan. On Blu-ray from Shout! Select … When Muffy St. John (Deborah Foreman) invited her college friends up to her parents’ secluded island home for the time of their lives, she just forgot to tell them it just might be the last time of their lives in “April Fool’s Day Collector’s Edition Blu-ray” (1986). As soon as the kids arrive on the island, someone starts trimming the guest list … one murder at a time. And what starts out as a weekend of harmless “April Fool’s Day” pranks turns into a bloody battle for survival. On Blu-ray from Scream Factory … In “Lore” (2017), starring Lyndsey Lantz, Max Lesser and Sean Wei Mah, a woman searches for her missing son in the remote wilderness of Washington with the help of her estranged husband and a Native American guide. When an evil creature starts to hunt them, their journey becomes a fight for survival. From Indican Pictures … When their parents leave town, three teenage girls decide to throw a party in their new country home in “Hunter’s Moon” (2020), starring Thomas Jane, Jay Mohr, Sean Patrick Flanery, Katrina Bowden, Juliet Delaney, Amanda Wyss and India Ennenga. But when a gang of dangerous local boys with sinister intentions turn up, the women are forced to not only defend themselves from the evil inside of the house, but an unseen bloodthirsty predator that is hunting them one by one outside of the house. From Lionsgate … photo for The Song of Names “The Song of Names” (2019), starring Tim Roth, Clive Owen, Catherine McCormack, Jonah Hauer-King, Gerran Howell and Luke Doyle, is an emotional detective story spread over two continents and a half century. Several years after his childhood friend, a violin prodigy, disappears on the eve of his first solo concert, an Englishman travels throughout Europe to find him. Beneath the film’s stunning and pulsing musical revelations burn the horror of a war and the lost souls extinguished from history. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Sony … “Frankenstein: The Real Story” (1973), starring James Mason, Leonard Whiting, David McCallum, Jane Seymour, Nicola Pagett and Michael Sarrazin, retells Mary Shelley’s unforgettable story. Victor Frankenstein’s medical experiments result in the shocking discovery that he can revive the dead. But when the creature he brings forth becomes a killer, is anyone safe? New 2K scan of the original telefilm elements to the two-part, 3 hr. and 6 min. version, including the introduction by actor James Mason. On Blu-ray from Scream Factory … Lifetime’s first steamy book-to-screen series from New York Times best-selling author Jane Green — with stars Alyssa Milano, Zane Holtz, Erika Christensen, Antonio Cupo, Andy Favreau, Justina Machado, and Elisabeth Rohm — tell tales of forbidden lust, shocking secrets, and desperate love. “Love & Temptation: 3-Film Collection” set includes the telefilms “Tempting Fate,” “Family Pictures” and “To Have and to Hold.” From Lionsgate.

Foreign Films:

In “Jinpa” (2019 — Tibet), on an isolated road passing through the vast barren plains of Tibet, a truck driver who has accidentally run over a sheep, chances upon a young man who is hitching a ride. As they drive and chat, the truck driver notices that his new friend has a silver dagger strapped to his leg. He comes to understand that this man is out to kill someone who wronged him earlier in life. As he drops the hitchhiker off at a fork in the road, little does the truck driver realize that their short time together has changed everything, and that their destinies are inexorably intertwined. A story of revenge and redemption. From Icarus Films.

Special Interest:

“Shooting the Mafia” (2019 — Italy) is award-winning director Kim Longinotto’s shocking and powerful film about a photojournalist who, at great personal risk, devoted herself to covering organized crime in Italy. Sicilian photographer Letizia Battaglia began a lifelong battle with the Mafia when she first dared to point her camera at a brutally slain victim. A woman whose passions led her to abandon traditional family life and become a photojournalist in the 1970s – the first female photographer to be employed by a daily Italian newspaper – Battaglia found herself on the front lines during one of the bloodiest chapters in Italy’s recent history. She fearlessly and artfully captured everyday Sicilian life – from weddings and funerals to the grisly murders of ordinary citizens – to tell the story of how the community she loved in her native Palermo was forced into silence by the Cosa Nostra. Weaving together Battaglia’s striking black-and-white photographs, rare archival footage, classic Italian films, and the now 84-year-old’s own vivid memories, the documentary paints a portrait of a remarkable woman whose bravery and defiance helped expose the Mafia’s brutal crimes. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Cohen media Group … photo for Cunningham The documentary “Cunningham” (2019) traces Merce Cunningham’s artistic evolution over three decades of risk and discovery (1944–1972), from his early years as a struggling dancer in postwar New York to his emergence as one of the world’s most visionary choreographers. The documentary weaves together Merce’s philosophies and stories, creating a visceral journey into his innovative work. A breathtaking explosion of dance, music and never-before-seen archival material. From Magnolia Home Entertainment … In “Back to the Fatherland” (2017 — Austria), Gil and Kat have been friends since college. Gil is from Israel and the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors; Kat is from Austria, and her grandfather was a Nazi officer. Through them we meet other young men and women whose grandparents were murdered or persecuted during the war, and whose families fled Germany and Austria. What’s interesting is that many have decided to move back to “the Fatherland,” a choice their families don’t agree with or understand. Why do they choose to return? This revealing documentary explores the challenges and opportunities for reconciliation and understanding between the generations on both sides of the Shoah. From First Run Features.

All DVDs and Blu-rays are screened on a reference system consisting of an Oppo BDP-83 Blu-ray Disc Player w/SACD & DVD-Audio, a Rotel RSX-972 Surround Sound Receiver, and Phase Technology 1.1 (front), 33.1 (center), and 50 (rear) speakers, and Power 10 subwoofer.

 Posted by on March 23, 2020 No Responses »
Mar 172020
 

From the Big Screen:

“Jumanji: The Next Level,” “Richard Jewell,” “Black Christmas” and “A Hidden Life.” For more information on other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.

This Week’s Best Bets

“Universal Horror Collection Volume 4” includes four tales of terror from the archives of Universal Pictures, the true home of classic horror. Boris Karloff ignites the screen as an inventor who is kidnapped by a gang of burglars and forced to help them commit robberies in photo for Universal Horror Collection Volume 4 “Night Key” (1937). Bela Lugosi stars in a creepy tale of strange characters, secret passages and a murderer who masters the art of “mind over matter” in “Night Monster” (1942). In “The Climax” (1944), Karloff is terrifying as a mad doctor whose insane jealousy over a beautiful opera singer may drive him to murder. A giant of a man is used as an instrument of evil by a mad sculptor in “House of Horrors” 1946). New 2K scans. On Blu-ray from Scream Factory … With the blisteringly funny, unapologetically confrontational satire “Bamboozled” (2000), writer-director Spike Lee examined the past, present, and future of racism in American popular culture, issuing a daring provocation to creators and photo for Bamboozled consumers alike. Under pressure to help revive his network’s low ratings, television writer Pierre Delacroix (Damon Wayans) hits on an explosively offensive idea: bringing back blackface for a “new-millennium minstrel show.” The white network executives love it, and so do audiences, forcing Pierre and his collaborators to confront their public’s insatiable appetite for dehumanizing stereotypes. Shot primarily on unvarnished digital video and boasting spot-on performances from Savion Glover, Tommy Davidson, Jada Pinkett Smith, Michael Rapaport, Mos Def, and Paul Mooney, Bamboozled is a stinging indictment of mass entertainment at the turn of the twenty-first century that looks more damning with each passing year. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc with New 2K digital restoration, supervised by director of photography Ellen Kuras and approved by director Spike Lee, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray. From The Criterion Collection.

From TV to Disc:

“Crashing: The Complete Third Season” (2019) contains all eight episodes of the series that draws on Peter Holmes’ own experiences as a comedian as he navigates a happy balance between his old, faith-based self and the new, more ambitious comic he’s becoming. “Crashing’s” third season finds a reinvigorated Pete (Holmes) fresh off of his two-month college comedy tour, returning to New York with newfound confidence in his comedic abilities. No longer crashing on other people’s couches — he’s got his own place in Ridgewood! – Pete reenters the NYC stand-up comedy world with newfound vigor, but soon discovers that just because he’s improved, it doesn’t mean he’s at the head of the pack. This season, Pete starts to explore what he really wants out of comedy as he grows more assured of his talents but continues to struggle over finding a happy balance between his old, faith-based self and the new, more ambitious comic he’s becoming. While Pete continues to orbit around fellow comic and ex-girlfriend Ali (Jamie Lee), he connects with a new woman, Kat (Madeline Wise), who has a unique perspective on the comedy world as someone not trying to make it big by telling jokes. Continuing to feature a who’s-who of comedy talent and rising stars, “Crashing” takes a nuanced, but hilarious look at the state of comedy today, as Pete edges closer to success, one stand-up set at a time. On DVD, Blu-ray, from HBO … “Twin” (2019 — Norway) is a three-disc set with all eight episodes. One part thriller, one part character driven drama, this limited series from Norway starring “Game of Thrones” Kristofer Hivju is the story of Erik and Adam (both played by Hivju), identical twin brothers, who live completely different lives. Erik is a broke surfer bum. Adam is a successful family and business man. When Erik seeks out his brother for the first time in 15 years, a quarrel ends with Adam’s wife, Ingrid (Rebekka Nystabakk), accidentally killing her husband. To avoid getting arrested for murder, and save his brother’s family, Erik takes over Adam’s identity. However, it soon turns out that the biggest challenge is not avoiding getting caught — it’s pretending to be someone you’re not. From MHz Networks.

Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:

“By Days End” (2018), starring Andrea Nelson and Lyndsey Lantz, follows a lesbian couple down on their luck and on the verge of breaking up who find themselves fighting against the undead when a pandemic disease that causes insatiable hunger ravages the world around them. Battling depression and a ravenous horde of flesh-eating zombies, they try to survive the apocalypse armed with only a video camera and a quickly dwindling supply of weapons. From Breaking Glass Pictures … photo for Verotika “Verotika” (2019) is a creepy, surreal and bloody horror anthology told in three chilling tales culled from rock legend Glenn Danzig’s long-running edgy comic imprint of the same name. The first segment tells the story of a woman with eyeballs for nipples who conjures a giant, murderous albino man-spider every time she falls asleep. In the second story, a disfigured dancer collects other women’s faces. The third and final segment is a take on the Elizabeth Bathory legend, about a countess who bathes in the blood of virgins in order to remain youthful. On Blu-ray from Cleopatra Entertainment … In “Abigail” (2019 — Russia), starring Tinatin Dalakishvili, Eddie Marsan and Rinal Mukhametov, Abigail’s town has been closed for years due to a mysterious epidemic that caused most of the people in town to be taken away, including Abigail’s father. When Abby discovers her father could still be alive, she sets out on a journey that will completely overturn everything she thought she knew about the world, her family and herself. Set in a cutting-edge magical steampunk world. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Well Go USA … In photo for “Clay Pigeon” (1971), starring Tom Stern, Telly Savalas, Robert Vaughn, John Marley and Burgess Meredith, Joe Ryan (Stern), a returning Vietnam veteran, thinks his life is on “borrowed time” because he jumped over a grenade to save his platoon and it didn’t go off. He just wants to be left alone to collect scrap, pay his rent, and smoke his “weed.” Into his life comes “Redford” (Savalas), a CIA operative looking for a drug kingpin, Neilson (Vaughn), running heroin, cocaine and other habit-forming illegal drugs into the LA area. The CIA names “Joe” as the Kingpin in order to draw him out into the open, where they can catch him, making Joe the “Clay Pigeon.” On DVD from MVD Visual … In “Cannibal Apocalypse (aka Cannibal in the Streets/Invasion of the Flesh Hunters)” (1980 — Italy), the horrors of war take on a whole new meaning for Vietnam vet Norman Hopper (John Saxon), whose quiet domestic life in Atlanta is shattered by the return of Charlie Bukowski, a combat buddy who dredges up terrifying flashbacks of flesh eating and bloodshed in the war-torn jungles. Now on the run from the law after taking a bite out of an unwilling victim, Charlie begs Norman to help him get out of town with another fellow veteran, Tom (Tony King). Soon the ragtag team of cannibals are fighting for their lives, spreading a deadly contagion through the city before heading into the sewers for a gut-wrenching climax no one will soon forget. One of the most infamous Italian horror films of all time, “Cannibal Apocalypse” was heavily censored in many countries where it played under such titles as “Cannibals in the Streets” and “Invasion of the Flesh Hunters.” Experience this thrilling collision of action-packed combat and monstrous horror from cult director Antonio Margheriti (“The Long Hair of Death,” “Castle of Blood,” “Take a Hard Ride,” “Killer Fish”) in its original gory splendor for the first time in fully restored HD. Not for the faint of heart or those with full stomachs! New 4K restoration. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Kino Lorber Studio Classics.

Special Interest:

The documentary “Celebration: Yves Saint Laurent: The Final Show” (2007) offers a rare, behind-the-scenes portrait of the legendary designer: both larger-than-life, yet astonishingly reclusive and fragile, while revealing his integral relationship with partner Pierre Bergé, who initially had the film banned upon the film’s initial release in 2007 for being too revealing. The film also highlights many of the personalities instrumental to the success of the house Saint Laurent, including Loulou de la Falaise, Betty Catroux, Monsieur Jean-Pierre and Dominique Deroche. An essential addition to the fashion doc canon and an opulent tribute to the last of the great Parisian couturiers. From KimStim … photo for Marsha Hunt's Sweet Adversity “Marsha Hunt’s Sweet Adversity” (2019): In 1935, 17-year-old aspiring actress Marsha Hunt was discovered in Hollywood. She signed with Paramount Pictures and went on to a flourishing career at MGM. She made 54 films in 17 years before a series of unfortunate events led to her being unfairly blacklisted. After the blacklist, she championed humanitarian causes, forging a career as one of Hollywood’s first celebrity activists. She was the first Angelina Jolie. As far back as 1955, Eleanor Roosevelt was a mentor of hers as they both worked tirelessly to support the work that the United Nations Association was accomplishing in this country. At age 96, Marsha continues to fight for causes she believes in. This film is a call to action for activists of all ages. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Indie Rights.

All DVDs and Blu-rays are screened on a reference system consisting of an Oppo BDP-83 Blu-ray Disc Player w/SACD & DVD-Audio, a Rotel RSX-972 Surround Sound Receiver, and Phase Technology 1.1 (front), 33.1 (center), and 50 (rear) speakers, and Power 10 subwoofer.

 Posted by on March 17, 2020 No Responses »
Mar 102020
 

From the Big Screen:

“Uncut Gems,” “Bombshell,” “Charlie’s Angels” and “Spies in Disguise.” For more information on other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.

This Week’s Best Bet

“Salesman” (1969), a radically influential portrait of American dreams and disillusionment from Direct Cinema pioneers David Maysles, Albert Maysles, and Charlotte Zwerin captures, with indelible humanity, the worlds of four dogged door-to-door Bible salesmen as photo for Salesman Blu-Ray Debut they travel from Boston to Florida on a seemingly futile quest to sell luxury editions of the Good Book to working-class Catholics. A vivid evocation of midcentury malaise that unfolds against a backdrop of cheap motels, smoky diners, and suburban living rooms, “Salesman” assumes poignant dimensions as it uncovers the way its subjects’ fast-talking bravado masks frustration, disappointment, and despair. Revolutionizing the art of nonfiction storytelling with its nonjudgmental, observational style, this landmark documentary is one of the most penetrating films ever made about how deeply embedded consumerism is in America’s sense of its own values. The film makes its Blu-ray debut with a new, restored 4K digital transfer, undertaken by the Academy Film Archive, The Film Foundation, and the George Lucas Family Foundation, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack. From The Criterion Collection.

From TV to Disc:

“The Affair: The Final Season” (2019) is a four-disc set with all 11 episodes of the series that begins when a struggling novelist and a young waitress strike up an extramarital relationship that promises to forever change the course of their lives. Chronicling the aftermath of last season’s horrific events, the characters come to terms with the consequences photo for The Affair: The Final Season of their choices — as they make the realization that, if they really want to change their futures, they must first face the past. Helen (Maura Tierney) begins the season involved in an intoxicating new affair with charismatic movie star Sasha Mann (Claes Bang), who offers to give her everything she’s been missing. Meanwhile, Noah (Dominic West) has to swallow his pride and jealousy and step in to take care of his family in her absence. Just when things seem to have stabilized, a chance encounter with someone from the distant past sets in motion a sequence of events that brings them both to their knees. Alison (Ruth Wilson) and Cole’s (Joshua Jackson) now adult daughter, Joanie Lockhart (Dominic Paquin), returns some years in the future to piece together the truth about what happened to her mother. On DVD from Showtime/CBS/Paramount … “The Affair: The Complete Series” (2014-19) is a 19-disc collection with all five seasons — 53 episodes — and special features, including featurettes, character profiles, behind-the-scenes content and more. On DVD from Showtime/CBS/Paramount.

Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:

In “The Alpha Test” (2020), starring Rae Hunt, Wynn Reichert, Brad Belemjian and Mack Bayda, a suburban family drives their new gadget, The Alpha Home Assistant, to a killing rampage after mistreating and abusing it, leading to a full A.I. uprising. From High Octane Pictures … Ten years ago in “The Witch: Subversion” (2018 — South Korea), starring Kim Da-mi and Choi Woo-shik, Ja-yoon escaped from a secret government facility in the midst of an inexplicable incident. An old couple photo for The Witch: Subversion finds her alone near death in the woods and takes her in even though she has no memory of who she is or how she got there. She grows up to be a bright high school student and enters a nationally televised audition program to win the top prize and help her struggling family. But as soon as she appears on TV, strange people start appearing in her life and Ja-yoon falls into turmoil as her seemingly ordinary life turns upside down in a blink of an eye. On DVD and Blu-ray from Well Go USA … In “Exit 0” (2019), starring Gabe Fazio, Augie Duke, Peter Greene and Federico Castelluccio, a young couple set out on a weekend getaway in hopes of mending their failing relationship but their seemingly innocent weekend turns dark when the man discovers a videotape chronicling the events of a murder in their hotel room from years before. From Breaking Glass Pictures … “Inherit the Viper” (2019), starring Josh Hartnett, Margarita Levieva, Owen Teague, Valorie Curry, Chandler Riggs, Dash Mihok and Bruce Dern, is a crime thriller about three siblings in Appalachia getting by as local opioid dealers, trying not to get caught in the spiral of violence that comes with the territory. On DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo, from Lionsgate … photo for Little Joe In “Little Joe” (2019 — UK), starring Emily Beecham, Ben Whishaw, Kerry Fox and Kit Connor, Alice Woodward (Beecham), a single mother and dedicated senior plant breeder at a corporation engaged in developing new species, has engineered a special crimson flower, remarkable not only for its beauty but also for its therapeutic value: if kept at the ideal temperature, fed properly and spoken to regularly, this plant makes its owner happy. Against company policy, Alice takes one home as a gift for her teenage son, Joe. They christen it “Little Joe.” But as their plant grows, so too does Alice’s suspicion that her new creation may not be as harmless as its nickname suggests. From Magnolia Home Entertainment … In “Ghost Killers vs Bloody Mary” (2018 — Brazil), starring Dani Calabresa, Léo Lins and Danilo Gentili, a quartet of self-proclaimed ghost hunters, looking for an easy way to Internet stardom, takes an assignment at a local school to rid its halls of the newly unleashed spirit of “Bloody Mary.” But despite their efforts to stage the perfect supernatural hoax, the group discovers instead that the ghost is very real and very much out for blood. An exercise in bad taste, featuring gratuitous sex, violence, profanity and one seriously pissed-off ghost. From Dark Sky Films/MPI … photo for Masked and Anonymous BLU-RAY DEBUT The legendary Bob Dylan leads an incredible all-star cast in the dark and unusual musical tale “Masked and Anonymous” (2003). Dylan plays the enigmatic Jack Fate, a former traveling troubadour who is sprung from jail by his scheming manager to headline a highly sketchy and misguided benefit concert for a decaying America. Fate’s journey finds him crossing paths with a host of humanity, played by an ensemble cast that reads like a Who’s Who of Hollywood, including Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Penélope Cruz, Jessica Lange, Luke Wilson, Angela Bassett, Bruce Dern, Mickey Rourke, and many more. Featuring musical performances by Dylan himself, “Masked and Anonymous” is an uncommonly original film from Larry Charles, the director of “Borat.” Making its Bluray debut, from Shout Select … In “Luz” (2018 — Germany), staring Luana Velis, Jan Bluthardt, Julia Riedler, Johannes Benecke, Nadja Stübiger and Lilli Lorenz, Luz, a young cabdriver, drags herself into the brightly lit entrance of a run-down police station. A demonic entity follows her, determined to finally be close to the woman it loves. Shot entirely on 16mm and featuring a hypnotic synth-driven score, this first-time feature film from director Tilman Singer pays homage to the Euro Horror sensibilities of Andrzej Zulawski’s “Possession” while subverting and reinventing the genre along with contemporaries like Panos Cosmatos (“Mandy”). On Blu-ray from Altered Innocence.

For the Family:

In the family adventure “The Adventures of A.R.I: My Robot Friend” (2020), a boy named Noah finds a broken A.R.I.-9 robot at his dad’s tech job. After he accidentally reboots “Ari,” the smart, playful robot comes to life. Then, when Noah brings Ari to school to show his friend Bethany, they are amazed to learn he can turn invisible — and even fly. But Ari’s angry creators want to steal his circuitry for a new droid. When they send a signal that puts the robot into battle mode, will Noah’s new best friend become his most dangerous enemy? From Lionsgate.

Special Interest:

Told through the eyes of 15-year-old Jamil Sunsin, “Colossus” (2018) is a modern-day immigrant tale of one family’s desperate struggle after deportation leads to family separation, and the elusive search for the American dream. Jamil is the only person in his family born in the U.S. His parents and sister came from Honduras and lived in America for a decade before Jamil’s father was arrested for being undocumented. The entire family was forced to return to Honduras, a country wracked with violence. After a knife attack traumatizes Jamil, his family makes an excruciating choice to send him back to the America – alone. This intimate portrait is a rare look into the aftermath of deportation and family separation, amidst the current backlash against America’s immigrants. From First Run Features.

All DVDs and Blu-rays are screened on a reference system consisting of an Oppo BDP-83 Blu-ray Disc Player w/SACD & DVD-Audio, a Rotel RSX-972 Surround Sound Receiver, and Phase Technology 1.1 (front), 33.1 (center), and 50 (rear) speakers, and Power 10 subwoofer.

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