"The movie business is macabre. Grotesque.
It is a combination of a football game
and a brothel."
-- Federico Fellini
Apr 112021
 

This Week’s Best Bets

Suffused with intoxicating romanticism, “History Is Made At Night” (1937) is a sublime paean to love from Frank Borzage, classic Hollywood’s supreme poet of carnal and spiritual desire. On the run through Europe from her wealthy, cruelly possessive husband, an American (Jean Arthur) is thrown together by fate with a suave stranger (Charles Boyer) — and soon the two are bound in a consuming, seemingly impossible affair that stretches across continents and brings them to the very edge of catastrophe. Lent a palpable erotic charge by the chemistry between its leads, this delirious vision of lovers beset by the world passes through a dizzying array of tonal shifts — from melodrama to romantic comedy to noir to disaster thriller — smoothly guided by photo for History Is Made at Night Borzage’s unwavering allegiance to the power of love. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray, with new, restored 4K digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. From The Criterion Collection … Paola Mendoza made her remarkable debut as a writer-director-star in the poignant, heart-rending drama “Entre Nos” (2009). Mariana (Mendoza) is determined to keep her family together. Her children, Gabriel (Sebastian Villada Lopez), 10, and Andrea (Laura Montana Cortez), 6, have grown up in Colombia without their father, who immigrated to the U.S. years earlier to make a better life for his family. Finally, after years of separation, the family is reunited in New York City. However, one day, Antonio announces he has found work in Miami and will be moving there alone and will send for the family when he is settled. Days go by, and Mariana does not hear from him. Worried and desperate, she goes to her only friend’s home to find out that her husband will not be coming back. With no one to turn to, rent coming due and fifty dollars to her name, Mariana must find a way, in a strange city where she barely speaks the language, to provide for her family, financially and emotionally. In Spanish with English subtitles. From IndiePix Classics … “Green Dolphin Street” (1947) is an Academy Award winner about star-crossed love that spans the years – and the globe. After her triumph as the lunchroom temptress in the crime classic “The Postman Always Rings Twice,” Lana Turner expanded her range with “Green Dolphin Street.” Set in 19th century Europe and New Zealand, this sweeping romance tells the story of two beautiful sisters, one headstrong (Turner) and one gentle (Donna Reed), and of the man (Richard Hart) who marries one even though he loves the other. The film’s riptides of emotion are matched by breathtaking physical tumult: a fierce Maori uprising plus a catastrophic earthquake and tidal wave that earned the film a 1947 Oscar for special effects. With its dramatic story and spectacular visuals, “Green Dolphin Street” drew huge audiences for epic moviemaking, being one of the top-ten box office hits of the year. In a Blu-ray debut from Warner Archives … In photo for Broadway Melody of 1940 BLU-RAY DEBUT “Broadway Melody of 1940” (1940), the job – a career breakthrough – is supposed to go to hoofer Johnny Brett, but a mix-up in names gives it to his partner. Another example of Broadway hopes dashed? Not when Johnny is played by Fred Astaire. Sparkling Cole Porter songs, clever comedy and dance legends Astaire and Eleanor Powell make the final” Broadway Melody” (co-starring George Murphy) a film to remember. Powell’s nautical “All Ashore” routine (a/k/a I Am the Captain”), Astaire’s blissful “I’ve Got My Eyes on You” and Fred & Eleanor’s elaborate routine to Cole Porter’s classic “I Concentrate On You” are more than enough to please any fan. But they’re just a warm-up for the leads to tap one finale number into immortality: “Begin the Beguine,” introduced by Frank Sinatra in “That’s Entertainment!” with, “You can wait around and hope, but you’ll never see the likes of this again.” In a Blu-ray debut from Warner Archive … Is there a (mad) doctor in the house? “Yes!” shrieks “Doctor X” (1932), filmed in rare two-strip Technicolor. An eminent scientist aims to solve a murder spree by re-creating the crimes in a lab filled with all the dials, gizmos, bubbling beakers and crackling electrostatic charges essential to the genre. Lionel Atwill is Doctor Xavier, pre-King Kong scream queen Fay Wray is a distressed damsel and Lee Tracy snaps newshound patter, all under the direction of renowned Michael Curtiz. The new two-color Technicolor master was restored by UCLA Film and Television Archive and The Film Foundation in association with Warner Bros. Entertainment, with funding provided by the Hobson/Lucas Foundation. Also includes the separately filmed B&W version (which has been restored from its original nitrate camera negative) originally intended for small U.S. markets and international distribution, and which has been out of distribution for over 30 years. In a Blu-ray debut from Warner Archive.

Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:

In “The Boonies” (2021), starring Matt Schultz, James Quinn, Daniel Johnson and Brian Balog, a fun weekend excursion turns deadly when Aaron (Schultz) joins his brother, Jeremy (Quinn), and a group of his friends for a weekend in the Appalachian woods. Instead of a peaceful weekend getaway, the group soon discovers their itinerary includes more than a traditional outdoor adventure. When they unexpectedly meet a couple who report strange local occurrences, the group soon find themselves on a terrifying trek during their fight for survival. From Indican Pictures … photo for Fukushima 50 “Fukushima 50” (2019): March 11, 2011 – 2:46 PM – Japan’s Tohoku Region: at a magnitude of 9.0, the strongest earthquake in the country’s history strikes, triggering a huge tsunami and carnage that would end up killing thousands of people and displacing many more. It mercilessly engulfs the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima prefecture, causing a crippling station blackout. Unable to be cooled, the nuclear reactors quickly turn into hydrogen bombs at the brink of explosion. If the power plant is abandoned, Japan’s destruction is assured. Facing a life or death situation, the power plant workers known as the “Fukushima 50,” including shift supervisor Izaki and plant manager Yoshida, remain on the site until the bitter end. As the world holds its breath, the Fukushima 50 fight for their hometown, their families, and the future of Japan. On DVD, Blu-ray, from MPI. Read more here … In “The Penthouse” (2021), starring Michael Pare, Nicholas Turturro and Krista Grotte Saxon, takes place in sunny Carolina Beach, where Peter and Amanda’s new penthouse condo has a perfect view of the marina. One day, they notice a couple bickering aboard a docked sailboat, and Amanda befriends frightened Tess, who soon vanishes without a trace. After Peter confronts her boyfriend Charles, Charles vows to make the nosy couple’s life a living hell. From Lionsgate … In “Phobias” (2021), starring Leonardo Nam, Martina Garcia, Hana Mae Lee, Lauren Miller Rogen and Macy Gray, five dangerous patients, suffering from extreme phobias at a government testing facility, are put to the ultimate test under the supervision of a crazed doctor and his quest to weaponize fear. From Lionsgate … In “Willy’s Wonderland” (2021), starring Nicolas Cage, Emily Tosta, Beth Grant, Ric Reitz, Chris Warner and Kai Kadlec, when his car breaks down, a quiet loner (Cage) agrees to clean an abandoned family fun center in exchange for repairs. He soon finds himself waging war against possessed animatronic mascots while trapped inside Willy’s Wonderland. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Screen Media Films … photo for Hercules and the Captive Women The epic sword-and-sandal adventure “Hercules and the Captive Women” (1963 — Italy), directed by Vittorio Cottafavi and starring Reg Park, Fay Spain and Laura Altan, was originally released in 1961 as “Ercole alla conquista di Atlantide” in Italy; “Hercules and the Captive Women” is the version edited for the U.S., released for audiences in 1963. Action-packed from the beginning, Hercules (Park) first encounters Ismene (Altan) when he must save her from a shape-shifting creature. Victorious, Ismene brings Hercules home to Atlantis where they come face to face with Ismene’s mother, the evil Queen Antinea (Spain), prepared for battle to end her pursuit of world conquest. The release was produced from rare 35mm archival elements beautifully restored from a 4K transfer in its original aspect ratio and features a showing of exclusive commentary and special features just as strong-if not stronger- than Hercules himself. Extras include the full “Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K)” version of the film, released in 1992; “Hercules and the Conquest of Cinema: A Swords and Sandals” documentary from Daniel Griffith at Ballyhoo Motion Pictures; “The Duel of the Titan,” a 12-page, full-color booklet insert with an essay from author and historian C. Courtney Joyner; more. On DVD, Blu-ray, from The Film Detective.

On the Indie Front:

“West Michigan” (2021), starring Chloe Ray Warmoth, Seth Lee, Berkley Bragg, Sydney Agudong and Riley Warmoth, is the story of a depressed 17-year-old who searches for meaning while driving up the coast of Western Michigan with her older brother. When siblings Charlie photo for West Michigan and Hannah receive the call that their grandfather has been hospitalized, they load up the car and drive north to visit him. Halfway to their destination, Hannah’s depression takes a serious hold on her. She abandons her brother and runs off into the woods and down the beach. Cold and exhausted, she happens upon three teenagers camping in the forest. She befriends them, and this gives her temporary fulfillment until she learns more about their intentions with her. Discouraged, Hannah runs off again to walk alone in the woods. When she reaches the top of a sand dune, she admires the expansive view of Lake Michigan. It’s extraordinary. This begins to bring Hannah the peace of mind she seeks, and she reconvenes with her worried brother to finish their journey together. From Freestyle Digital Media. Read more here.

Foreign Films:

A hybrid of fiction and documentary filmmaking, “My Mexican Bretzel”
(2019 — Spain), the feature film debut of Nuria Giménez, uses silent home movies, fleeting snippets of sound, and diaristic narration to tell the story of Vivian Barrett, a wealthy Swiss woman, and her husband, Leon, a WWII pilot-turned-entrepreneur. Partial hearing loss photo for My Mexican Bretzel doesn’t impede Leon from creating a pharmaceutical wonder drug that changes their lives, propelling the go-lucky couple into a world of adventure, romance, and mystical truth-seeking. From the 40s through 60s, from the Alps to Le Mans to Manhattan to Hawaii, vulnerability, belonging, truth, and mid-century opulence are explored in a way that only the magic of cinema allows … with a dazzling twist. The idea for the film originated in 2011, when Giménez came across a few home movies made by her grandparents, mid-way through the last century. Based on that rich material, which shows the couple travelling around the world (from Paris to New York, Majorca to Florence, between meetings with friends, excursions and lunches), the filmmaker set about planning a sophisticated and fascinating film structure: she wrote a diary on behalf of Barret, recounting specific moments of her existence, her worries and her innermost thought. She then illustrated those words with material selected from amongst her forebears’ 50 reels of 16mm film. In so doing, Giménez has crafted an impressive audiovisual trompe l’oeil, almost entirely lacking in sound, which involves the viewer reading the protagonist’s memories in text form on screen. From IndiePix Films … “Women Without Men”photo for My Little Sister (2009 — Persian), loosely adapted from Shahrnush Parsipur’s magic realist novel of the same name, was Iranian artist Shirin Neshat’s feature film debut — for which she was nominated for the Best Director Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival (she took home the Silver Lion). The film chronicles the intertwining lives of four Iranian women during the summer of the 1953 coup d’tat. The 1953 Iranian Islamic revolution a cataclysmic moment in history when an American led, British backed mission led to the over throw of Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh, and reinstalled the Shah to power. Over the course of several days four disparate women in the Middle East from the Iranian culture are brought together against the backdrop of political and social chaos. As the political turmoil swells in the streets of Tehran, each woman seeks to be liberated from her predicament. It is only a matter of time before the world outside the walls of unrest seep into the lives of these four women as their country’s history takes a tragic turn. From IndiePix Classics … In  “My Little Sister” (2020 — Switzerland), staring Nina Hoss, Lars Eidinger and Marthe Keller, Lisa (Hoss), once a brilliant playwright, no longer writes. She lives with her family in Switzerland, but her heart remains in Berlin, beating in time with that of her twin brother Sven (Eidinger), the famous theatre actor. Since Sven has been suffering from an aggressive type of leukemia, the relationship between them has become even closer. Lisa does not want to accept this blow of fate, and she does everything in her power to bring Sven back on stage. For her soulmate she neglects everything else and even risks losing her husband, but Lisa only has eyes for her brother, who reflects her deepest longings and awakens in her the desire to create again. Switzerland’s Oscar entry for best international film. From Film Movement.

Special Interest:

“Ancient Aliens: Season 13” (2020) is a three-disc set with 12 episodes. Join Giorgio Tsoukalos and other ancient astronaut theorists as they continue their search for evidence of extraterrestrial contact in the distant past as well as the present. From Tibet, Chile, and the Mediterranean to the iconic UFO site of Roswell to the Pleiades star cluster, this season travels to the far reaches of the globe and beyond to delve into mankind’s origins, mysterious government organizations and the secrets of the universe. All in an effort to finally find out if we are in fact alone in the universe, or if extraterrestrial forces have been aiding and guiding us all along. From Lionsgate … “Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on The Exorcist” (2019) is a complete dissection and sweeping examination of the award-winning genre classic “The Exorcist.” Explore the uncharted depths of William Friedkin’s mind’s eye, the nuances of his filmmaking process, and the mysteries of faith and fate that helped shape his life and filmography, as told by the man himself. On Blu-ray from RLJE Films.

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 April 11, 2021 No Responses »
Apr 042021
 

This Week’s Best Bet

“The Man in Search of His Murderer”
photo for The Man in Search of His Murderer(1931) Prior to emigrating to the U.S., where he would make such classics as “The Spiral Staircase” and “The Killers,” Robert Siodmak took a familiar black comedy premise and transformed it into a diabolical thriller. Heinz Rühmann, employing his trademark persona of the childlike naïf, portrays Hans, a despondent young man who decides to murder himself by hiring a burglar to commit the crime. But when Hans’s life takes an unexpected turn for the better, he realizes he must locate and stop the killer before the contract can be fulfilled. Combining morbid comedy with broad slapstick, “The Man in Search of His Murderer” owes much of its comic sensibilities to screenwriters Billy Wilder and Curt Siodmak who were also soon to leave Germany, to later enjoy fruitful careers in Hollywood. On Blu-ray from Kino Classics.

Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:

In “The Grounds” (2018), starring Michael Welch, Trevor Morgan and Ashley Hinshaw, alcoholic Calvin cons his way into a job tending the grounds of a hillside mansion owned by the reclusive Jack. On the night Calvin stumbles into a bathroom to see Jack with a gun to his head, an unlikely friendship is born. From Indican Pictures … In “Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar” (2021), starring Kristen Wiig, Annie Mumolo, Jamie Dornan and Damon Wayans photo for Jr., lifelong friends Barb and Star embark on the adventure of a lifetime when they decide to leave their small Midwestern town for the first time ever to go on vacation in Vista Del Mar, Florida. There’s romance, friendship, and a villain’s evil plot — hold onto your culottes! On DVD, Blu-ray, from Lionsgate … In “Doors” (2021), starring Wilson Bethel, Lina Esco and Josh Peck, without warning millions of mysterious alien “doors” suddenly appear around the globe. In a rush to determine the reason for their arrival, mankind must work together to understand the purpose of these cosmic anomalies. Bizarre incidents occurring around the sentient doors leads humanity to question their own existence and an altered reality as they attempt to enter them. In a rush to determine the reason for the arrival of these cosmic anomalies, the government enlists volunteers to brave the journey to enter the doors: a ragtag band of high school students discover a door for the first time, volunteers explore the parallel reality beyond the threshold, and a lonesome hermit manages the seemingly impossible: establishing communication with a door. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Epic Pictures. Read more here. … In “Son of the South” (2020), starring Julia Ormond, Lucy Hale and Lucas Till, a grandson of a Klansman comes of age in the deep south and eventually joins the Civil Rights Movement. Based on Bob Zellner’s autobiography “The Wrong Side of Murder Creek.” On DVD, Blu-ray, from Lionsgte … In “The Reckoning” (2020), starring Charlotte Kirk, Joe Anderson, Steven Waddington and Sean Pertwee, after losing her husband during the Great Plague, Grace Haverstock (Kirk) is unjustly accused of being a witch and placed in the custody of England’s most ruthless witch-hunter, Judge Moorcroft (Pertwee). Forced to endure physical and emotional torture while steadfastly maintaining her innocence, Grace must face her own inner demons as the Devil himself starts to work his way into her mind. On DVD, Blu-ray, from RLJE Films … photo for Death Has Blue Eyes “Death Has Blue Eyes” (1976 — Greece) is a gripping paranormal action thriller with shades of giallo from the director of the cult classic video nasty “Island of Death” (1976). When local gigolo Chess (Chris Nomikos) greets his vacationing friend Bob Kovalski (Peter Winter) at Athens airport, the pair embark on a string of scams and erotic dalliances that eventually lead them into contact with an elegant wealthy woman, Geraldine Steinwetz (Jessica Dublin), and her glamorous daughter Christine (Maria Aliferi). Geraldine blackmails the two cheeky bachelor boys into acting as bodyguards for Christine, whom it transpires has telepathic abilities and has had her eye on them for some time. After fleeing from a series of assassination attempts, it soon becomes clear that Geraldine herself might not be quite whom she seems, as the two young men find themselves caught up in a political conspiracy of international dimensions. In his debut feature, maverick filmmaker Nico Mastorakis presents us with a generous meze of non-stop car, bike and helicopter chases, a bevy of beautiful girls with guns, sensational softcore sex scenes, psychic thrills and Cold War political intrigue set against the picturesque landscapes of 70s Greece, all presented for the very first time in a new HD master in both widescreen and full-frame versions, from the original camera negative approved by the director. Two versions of the film: the widescreen 1.85:1 version and the full-frame 1.33:1 version. On Blu-ray from Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment … In the throes of World War II, Captain Maude Garrett (Chloe Grace Moretz) joins the all-male crew of a B-17 bomber with a top-secret package in “Shadow in the Cloud” (2020). Caught off guard by the presence of a woman on a military flight, the crew tests Maude’s every move. Just as her quick wit is winning them over, strange happenings and holes in her backstory incite paranoia surrounding her true mission. Something sinister is tearing at the heart of the plane and, trapped between an oncoming air ambush and an evil lurking within, Maude must push beyond her limits to save the hapless crew and protect her mysterious cargo. Co-stars Nick Robinson, Beulah Koale, Taylor John Smith. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Vertical Entertainment.

Foreign Films:

“Preparations to Be Together for an Unknown Period of Time” (2020 — Hungary), starring Natasa Stork, Viktor Bodo, Benett Vilmanyi, Zsolt Nagy, Andor Lukats and Peter Toth, is a hauntingly provocative psychological thriller that is Hungary’s official entry for Best International Feature Film at the Academy Awards. Márta, a 40-year-old neurosurgeon, falls in love. She leaves her shining American career behind and returns to Budapest to start a new life with the man she loves. But she waits for him at the Liberty Bridge in vain — he does not appear at their rendezvous. Márta starts to search for him desperately, but when she finally finds him, the love of her life claims that they have never met before. From Greenwich Entertainment … Acclaimed actresses Monique van de Ven (“Turkish Delight”) and Maria Schneider (“Last Tango In Paris”) star alongside Peter Faber (“Soldier of Orange”) in the groundbreaking film “A Woman Like Eve” (1979 — Netherlands), which focuses on a married woman’s affair with another woman. Directed by pioneering filmmaker Nouchka van Brakel, this acclaimed film was a major hit at LGBT film festivals and was the Dutch entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards. Presented for the first time on Blu-ray in North America in a newly restored high-definition transfer. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Cult Epics.

For the Family:

“Earwig and the Witch” (2020 — Japan), with the voice cast for the English dub photo for Earwig and the Witchfeaturing Richard E. Grant, Kacey Musgraves, Dan Stevens and Taylor Paige Henderson, is the first new release in four years from the legendary Studio Ghibli. Growing up in an orphanage in the British countryside, Earwig has no idea that her mother had magical powers. Her life changes dramatically when a strange couple takes her in, and she is forced to live with a selfish witch. As the headstrong young girl sets out to uncover the secrets of her new guardians, she discovers a world of spells and potions, and a mysterious song that may be the key to finding the family she has always wanted. On DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo, from GKIDS/Shout! Factory.

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 April 4, 2021 No Responses »
Mar 282021
 

From the Big Screen:

Wonder Woman 1984

photo for Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) Diana Prince (aka Wonder Woman) lives quietly among mortals in the vibrant, sleek 1980s — an era of excess driven by the pursuit of having it all. Though she’s come into her full powers, she maintains a low profile by curating ancient artifacts, and only performing heroic acts incognito. But soon, Diana will have to muster all of her strength, wisdom and courage as she finds herself squaring off against Maxwell Lord and the Cheetah, a villainess who possesses superhuman strength and agility. Vitals: Director: Patty Jenkins. Stars: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Kristen Wiig, Pedro Pascal, Robin Wright, Connie Nielsen. 2019, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 151 min., Action Adventure, US box office gross: $40.3 million, worldwide $154.6 million, Warner. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo, 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo, VOD, Digital. Extras: “The Making of Wonder Woman 1984: Expanding the Wonder,” “Gal & Kristen: Friends Forever,” “Small But Mighty,” “Gal & Krissy Having Fun” and “Meet the Amazons,” “Scene Study: The Open Road,” “Scene Study: The Mall,” gag reel, the Black Gold Infomercial seen in the film, and a “Wonder Woman 1984 Retro Remix.” Read more here.

This Week’s Best Bets

Is there love after death? Acerbic everyman Albert Brooks finds a perfect balance between satirical bite and romantic-comedy charm as the writer, director, and star of the wonderfully warm and imaginative existential fantasy “Defending Your Life” (1991). After he dies suddenly, the hapless advertising executive Daniel Miller (Brooks) finds himself in Judgment photo for Defending Your Life City, a gleaming way station where the newly deceased must prove they lived a life of sufficient courage to advance in their journey through the universe. As the self-doubting Daniel struggles to make his case, a budding relationship with the uninhibited Julia (Meryl Streep) offers him a chance to finally feel alive. Buoyed by a brilliant supporting cast that includes Rip Torn, Lee Grant, and Buck Henry, “Defending Your Life” is a rare feat of personal, philosophical filmmaking that happens to also be divinely entertaining. On DVD, Blu-ray, with new 4K digital restoration, supervised by director Albert Brooks, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray. From The Criterion Collection … In “Secrets & Lies” (1996), writer-director Mike Leigh reached new levels of expressive power and intricacy in his ongoing contemplation of unembellished humanity with a resonant exploration of the deceptions, small and large, that shape our relationships to those we love. When Hortense (Marianne Jean-Baptiste), a black optometrist who was adopted as a child, begins the search for her birth mother, she doesn’t expect that it will lead her to Cynthia (Brenda Blethyn), a desperately lonely white factory worker whose tentative photo for Secrets & Lies embrace of her long-lost daughter sends shock waves through the rest of her already fragile family. Born from a painstaking process of rehearsal and improvisation with a powerhouse ensemble cast, “Secrets & Lies” is a Palme d’Or–winning tour de force of sustained tension and catharsis that lays bare the emotional fault lines running beneath the surface of everyday lives. On DVD, Blu-ray, with new 2K digital restoration, supervised by director Mike Leigh and director of photography Dick Pope, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray. From The Criterion Collection … Cecil B. DeMille’s Academy Award-winning film “The Greatest Show On Earth” (1952) captures the thrills, chills and exhilaration of the circus. Featuring three intertwining plotlines filled with romance and rivalry, the film includes spectacular action sequences, including a show-stopping train wreck, and boasts a sensational cast, including Betty Hutton, Cornel Wilde, Charlton Heston, Dorothy Lamour, Gloria Grahame, and James Stewart. Newly restored from a 4K scan of the original negative, in collectible packaging with a foldout image of the film’s theatrical poster and an interior spread with key movie moments. In a Blu-ray debut from Paramount.

Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:

“Our Friend” (2021), starring Jason Segel, Dakota Johnson and Casey Affleck, is the inspiring and extraordinary true story of the Teague family – journalist Matt (Affleck), his vibrant wife Nicole (Johnson) and their two young daughters – and how their lives are upended by Nicole’s heartbreaking diagnosis of terminal cancer. As Matt’s responsibilities as a caretaker and parent become increasingly overwhelming, the couple’s best friend Dane Faucheux (Segel) offers to come and help out. As Dane puts his life on hold to stay with his friends, the impact of this life-altering decision proves greater and more profound than anyone could have imagined. From Universal. Read more here.photo for The Widow In “The Widow” (2020 — Russia), starring Viktotiya Potemina, Anastasiya Gribova and Margarita Bychkova, people have been going missing for three decades in a densely forested area north of St. Petersburg. Very few corpses were ever found, and the few that were recovered were naked. On October 14, 2017, a team of volunteers went out into the woods in search of a missing teenager. Soon, all communication with them was lost. Locals believe they were taken by the same dark spirit that took the others … they call it the Limping Widow. Based on true accounts from the region. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Scream Factory. Read more here.“55 Steps” (2018), starring Helena Bonham Carter, Hilary Swank, Jeffrey Tambor, Johan Heldenbergh and Michael Culkin, is based on the inspiring true story of an outrageous and smart Eleanor Riese (Carter), a patient in a psychiatric hospital where she’s been mistreated, and her attorney, a patients’ rights lawyer, Colette Hughes (Swank). When patients’ rights lawyer Hughes goes to meet her new client, Riese, a patient in the psychiatric unit of a San Francisco hospital, she has no idea that besides taking on an uphill legal battle to improve treatment for mental patients in hospitals, she is meeting a woman who will make it her mission to transform Colette’s workaholic life. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Sony … photo for Perdita Durango For his English-language debut “Perdita Durango” (1997 — Mexico/Spain), writer-director Álex de la Iglesia (“Day of the Beast”) chose novelist Barry Gifford’s prequel to “Wild At Heart” featuring sociopath priestess Perdita Durango. But when the U.S. distributor saw the finished film, they slashed 10+ minutes of gleefully profane sex and violence and dumped it under the title “Dance With the Devil.” This is the complete Director’s Cut starring Oscar nominee Rosie Perez and Academy Award winner Javier Bardem in an amoral love story filled with human sacrifices, kidnapping, murder, fetus trafficking and the dogged DEA agent (James Gandolfini) on the trail of it all. Don Stroud, Demián Bichir, Alex Cox and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins co-star in this joyride to the dark side, now restored in 4K. On Blu-ray, 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo, from Severin Films. Read more here.photo for The Day of the Beast In between his cult hit debut “Acción Mutante” and proudly depraved “Perdita Durango”, writer-director Álex de la Iglesia delivered “The Day of the Beast” (1995 — Spain), an international smash that remains one of the best horror comedies of our time: When a rogue priest (Álex Angulo) discovers the exact date The Antichrist will be born, he enlists a Death Metal record store clerk (Santiago Segura) and a cheesy TV psychic (Armando De Razza) for an urban spree of gore, sacrilege and twisted humor to prevent the Apocalypse by summoning Satan himself. Winner of six Goya Awards including Best Director, now restored in 4K from the original negative. On Blu-ray, 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo, from Severin Films. Read more here. … In “The Toll” (2020), starring Jordan Hayes, Max Topplin, James McGowan, and Rosemary Dunsmore, when Cami orders a taxi service to take her to her father’s country home, she’s hoping for a quiet and uneventful ride. But a wrong turn by Spencer, her chatty driver, results in the car stalling on a dark and remote road. After several threatening and inexplicable occurrences, Cami and Spencer realize they are being watched by an unseen presence — one that sees them as trespassers, and is ready to exact a deadly toll. On DVD, Blu-ray with digital code, from Lionsgate … photo for A Scream in the Streets From infamous producer Harry Novak — whose Box Office International Pictures brought the world such classics as “Axe,” “Mantis in Lace” and “Wham Bam Thank You, Spaceman” — comes the still-startling sickie “A Scream in the Streets” (1973), about a pair of L.A.P.D. detectives hunting a transvestite psychopath through a polyester jungle of massage parlor perverts, suburban sex fiends, violence-crazed cops and one of the worst examples of cross-dressing ever filmed. Joshua Bryant, Sandy Carey, Linda York and Sharon Kelly (aka 80s adult film superstar Colleen Brennan) star in this garish display of rampant depravity directed by Carl Monson (“Please Don’t Eat My Mother!”), now scanned uncut in 2K from the original negative. On Blu-ray from Severin Films. Read more here.photo for Nosferatu in Venice What was intended to be an unofficial sequel to Werner Herzog’s “Nosferatu” (1979) instead became one of the most notoriously fascinating productions in EuroCult history: Klaus Kinski gives his penultimate performance as the legendary vampire resurrected in modern-day Venice with an insatiable hunger for warm blood and rough sex in “Nosferatu in Venice” (1988 — Italy). Donald Pleasence and Academy Award-winner Christopher Plummer co-star in this sumptuously insane shocker that features music by Oscar winner Vangelis (“Chariots of Fire”), employed five different directors — including Mario Caiano, Luigi Cozzi, writer/producer Augusto Caminito and reportedly Kinski himself, now scanned in 2K from the original negative. On Blu-ray from Severin Films. Read more here.

Special Interest:

“My Journey Through French Cinema” (2016), Bertrand Tavernier’s César-nominated three-and-a-half-hour tour through French film history, was too short to introduce audiences to all that photo for Journeys Through French Cinemahe wanted to share. In this new eight-part series, “Journeys Through French Cinema” (2017 — France), the acclaimed director of such films as “Coup de Torchon” and “‘Round Midnight” guides us through a roster of filmmakers both influential and forgotten, explores how his country’s cinema was shaped by the German occupation and changed again through the New Wave, spotlights little-known female filmmakers, and more. Subjects include: René Clément, Henri-Georges Clouzot, Julien Duvivier, Henri Decoin, Claude Autant-Lara, as well as composers who made movie music an art in and of itself, far from the Hollywood spotlight. On Blu-ray from Cohen Media. Tavernier died on March 25 at the age of 80. Read more here.

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 28, 2021 No Responses »

 
 Posted by on February 22, 2018 Comments Off on
OnVideo News via Email

Get our free new-release newsletter every week in your inbox:

Subscribe to our weekly new-release newsletter. Join here.

Want more? Keep up-to-date with OnVideo's Breaking News, sent straight into your email box. Subscribe here.

Subscribe to OnVideo's Email News