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"The movie business is macabre. Grotesque.
It is a combination of a football game
and a brothel."
-- Federico Fellini
Oct 162018
 

From the Big Screen:

“Ant-Man and the Wasp” and “Unfriended: Dark Web.” For more information on other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.

This Week’s Best Bets:

Let’s flash back to the past with a host of collectibles from the 70s and 80s (and one from the 50s:

“Shampoo” (1975) gives us a day in the life of George, a Beverly Hills hairdresser and Lothario who runs around town on the eve of the 1968 presidential election trying to make heads or tails of his financial and romantic entanglements. His attempts to scrape together the money to open his own salon are continually sidetracked by the distractions presented by his lovers — played photo for Shampoobrilliantly by Goldie Hawn, Julie Christie, and Lee Grant (in an Oscar-winning performance). Star Warren Beatty dreamed up the project, co-wrote the script with Robert Towne, and enlisted Hal Ashby as director, and the resulting carousel of doomed relationships is an essential seventies farce, a sharp look back at the sexual politics and self-absorption of the preceding decade. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc with 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray and alternate 5.1 surround soundtrack, presented in DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray. From The Criterion Collection … In “Trilogy of Terror” (1975), legendary producer-director Dan Curtis (“The Night Stalker”) teamed with renowned sci-fi/horror writers Richard Matheson (“I Am Legend”) and William F. Nolan (“Logan’s Run”) to present three tales of horrific suspense in this highly rated and critically acclaimed made-for-television anthology that also showcases the tremendous acting talent of Karen Black, who plays four distinct roles. In “Julie,” an aggressive college student seduces and ultimately blackmails his seemingly shy English professor; in “Millicent and Therese,” two polar-opposite sisters become increasingly hell-bent on the undoing of one another; and in “Amelia,” a woman falls prey to a murderous Zuni fetish doll.On DVD, Blu-ray, in a brand New 4K restoration. From Kino Lorber Studio Classics … From writer-director John Landis, the mind behind “The Blues Brothers” and “An American Werewolf in London,” comes is a love story that transcends the boundaries of nature and good taste — the one and only “Schlock” (1973). Carnage! Terror! Banana skins! The mighty prehistoric ape Schlocktropus has emerged from hiding to embark on a full-scale rampage across a quiet Southern Californian suburb. The police are baffled. The army is powerless. The body count is rising. But when Schlocktropus encounters a kindly blind woman (Eliza Garrett) who sees beyond his grotesque visage, the homicidal simian is presented with a chance at redemption. Shot over 12 days on a micro-budget, “Schlock” launched the careers of both Landis and legendary effects makeup artist Rick Baker (“Videodrome”). An uproarious pastiche of monster movies, packed to the gills with irreverent humor and biting photo for Schlocksatire, “Schlock” serves as the outrageous missing link between the creature features of yesteryear and its creators’ subsequent varied and celebrated careers. On Blu-ray from Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment … Nicolas Cage and Deborah Foreman star in the totally awesome comedy “Valley Girl” (1983), making its Blu-ray debut this week. When Julie dumps her preppy boyfriend, the last thing she expects is to find love with the rockin’ Randy (Cage). The future’s open wide for Julie … but when her disapproving friends (E.G. Daily, Heidi Holicker, Michelle Meyrink) find Randy to be grody to the max, she is caught up in a culture clash between her Valley lifestyle and her Hollywood punk. Featuring a so-bitchin’ soundtrack packed with New Wave hits, “Valley Girl” is a sweetly romantic slice of 80s nostalgia from director Martha Coolidge. Are you going to love it? We’re, like, so sure! In a new HD film transfer. From Shout! Factory … And, lastly, “A Woman Without Love” (1951 — Mexico), a little-known satire of bourgeois life by the great director Luis Bunuel, produced during his Mexican exile period. A married woman has an affair and returns to her husband. Twenty years later, the man dies and leaves his fortune to her younger son, leading to questions of his parentage. Based on Guy de Maupassant’s story “Pierre et Jean.” From Facets.

From TV to Disc:

“Ash vs Evil Dead: The Complete Collection” (2015-18) is a six-disc set with all 30 episodes. Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell), the chainsaw-wielding, wisecracking antihero of the legendary “The Evil Dead” films, is back for more gore-filled adventure in this complete 30-episode collection of the “Ash vs Evil Dead” TV series. Follow Ash’s journey as he returns home to Elk Grove, Michigan, meets his long-lost daughter, and unites with former enemy Ruby (Lucy Lawless) and fellow demon fighters Pablo (Ray Santiago) and Kelly (Dana DeLorenzo) for a final blood-splattering stand to save the world. On DVD, Blu-ray, Blu-ray/DVD Combo, from Lionsgate … “Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance” (2017) is the royal love story that captured the world’s attention. Prince Harry, consistently seen in the tabloids, is infamous for his bad-boy persona. Television star Meghan — photo for When Calls the Heart: Year Five (The Television Movie Collection) ambitious, outspoken, and divorced, along with having a tumultuous relationship with her sister — doesn’t appear to be “princess material.” After their blind date, Harry and Meghan quickly realize they are kindred spirits. A whirlwind romance ensues and, despite a few missteps, they soon win the hearts of each other and the hearts of the public. Lifetime movie. From Lionsgate … “When Calls the Heart: Year Five (The Television Movie Collection)” (2017-18) is a six-disc set that collects all of the romance and drama from Year Five of the series. Return once again to the town of Hope Valley as schoolteacher Elizabeth (Erin Krakow), Mountie Jack (Daniel Lissing), Café owner-turned-Mayor Abigail (Lori Loughlin), and all of your favorite characters bravely face the challenges of frontier life … and those of the heart. Released to Walmart on Oct. 2 with a devotional book by Brian Bird and Michelle Cox entitled “When God Calls the Heart.” From Shout! Factory.

Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:

In “Arizona” (2008), starring Danny McBride, Rosemarie DeWitt, Luke Wilson, Elizabeth Gillies, Kaitlin Olson and David Alan Grier, Cassie (DeWitt) is a real estate agent and single mom struggling to keep it all together during the housing crisis of 2009. Her problems go from bad to worse when disgruntled client Sonny (McBride) violently confronts Cassie’s boss and then kidnaps Cassie — making one outrageously bad, and bloody, decision after another. Things completely spiral out of control in this action comedy. On DVD, Blu-ray, from RLJE Films … In photo for Arizona“Reprisal” (2018), starring Frank Grillo, Bruce Willis, Johnathon Schaech and Olivia Culpo, Jacob (Grillo), a bank manager haunted by a violent heist that took the life of a coworker, teams up with his ex-cop neighbor, James (Willis), to bring down the assailant. While the two men work together to figure out the thief’s next move, Gabriel (Schaech), the highly trained criminal, is one step ahead. When Gabriel kidnaps Jacob’s wife and daughter, Jacob barrels down a path of bloodshed that initiates an explosive counterattack, bringing all three men to the breaking point. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Lionsgate … In “Boundaries” (2018), starring Vera Farmiga, Bobby Cannavale, Christopher Plummer, Kristen Schaal, Christopher Lloyd and Peter Fonda, Laura (Farmiga) is a single mother who has a constant need to put rescue animals before her. When her estranged, criminally-minded father Jack (Plummer) is kicked out of his retirement home, Laura agrees to drive him to live with her sister. Along for the ride is her bright but troubled son Henry, and an assortment of animal charity cases. Jack convinces Henry to help him sell off his copious supply of marijuana at every stop of their journey, resulting in unexpected reunions with old friends and family. From Sony… In “Down a Dark Hall” (2018), starring AnnaSophia Robb, Isabelle Fuhrman, Victoria Moroles, Noah photo for Boundaries Silver, Taylor Russell, Rosie Day and Uma Thurman, Kit Gordy (Robb), a difficult young girl, is sent to the mysterious Blackwood Boarding School when her heated temper becomes too much for her mother to handle. Once she arrives at Blackwood, Kit encounters eccentric headmistress Madame Duret (Thurman) and meets the schools’ only other students, four young women also headed down a troubled path. While exploring the labyrinthine corridors of the school, Kit and her classmates discover that Blackwood Manor hides an age-old secret rooted in the paranormal. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Lionsgate … After surviving the slaughter of her entire squad in a drug raid compromised by dirty cops, anti-narcotics special operative Nina Manigan (Anne Curtis) is eager to go head-to-head with the drug cartels that hold a bloody photo for Buybust grip on Manila in “Buybust” (2018 — Philippines). But when her new mission in the city’s most dangerous slum goes south, the angry civilians turn on her squad. Trapped between a brutal drug gang and hordes of bloodthirsty citizens, their only option is to fight their way out, turning one claustrophobic street at a time into a symphony of apocalyptic violence. Co-stars Brandon Vera, Victor Neri. From Well Go USA … And, last but not least, we have “City Slickers: Collector’s Edition” (1991), a comedy about cowboys, careers and midlife crises that stars Billy Crystal as 39-year-old New Yorker Mitch Robbins, who’s tired of his job and bored with his life. So he and his two best friends (Bruno Kirby and Daniel Stern) trade their briefcases for saddlebags and set out to find freedom and adventure herding cattle under the wide New Mexico sky. But what they discover instead is scorching sun, sore backsides … and more about themselves and each other than they ever thought possible. Also stars the inimitable Jack Palance, who captured the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his role as leathery trail boss, Curly. In a new 4K scan on Blu-ray from Shout! Factory Select.

Foreign Films:

In “Longing” (2017 — Israel), starring Shai Aviv, Assi Levy, Neta Riskin, Yoram Toledano and Shimon Mimran, Ariel, a well-off, childless man, gets a phone call from his college girlfriend. She needs to tell him two very surprising things. First, when they broke up twenty years ago, she was pregnant and went on to have a lovely boy. The second thing will make Ariel explore the hidden aspects of parenthood and change his life forever. On DVD, Blu-ray, from (Breaking Glass Pictures.

For the Family:

“My Little Pony: 35th Anniversary Edition Collection” gets its Blu-ray debut from Lionsgate. The release includes the original 1986 movie and the 2017 remake in a four-disc Blu-ray/DVD combo. Featuring the guest voices of comedy legends Danny DeVito, Madeline Kahn, Cloris Leachman, Rhea Perlman, and Tony Randall, the 1986 movie delivers ’80s nostalgia with high-definition sparkle. The new 2017 movie features the voice talents of the My Little Pony Mane 6 alongside a star-studded cast, including Emily Blunt, Kristin Chenoweth, Liev Schreiber, Taye Diggs, Uzo Aduba, Zoe Saldana, and Sia.

Special Interest:

The documentary “Generation Wealth” (2018) is an extraordinary visual history of our growing obsession with wealth. Weaving two and a half decades of work into an epic narrative, Lauren Greenfield (“The Queen of Versailles”) has created a revelatory cultural documentation of wealth for viewers to explore through a retrospective film, book and exhibition. Through riveting first-person photo for Generation Wealth interviews, Greenfield’s journey starts in Los Angeles and spreads across America and beyond, as she documents how we export the values of materialism, celebrity culture, and social status to every corner of the globe. We embark on this journey with Greenfield as she travels the world – from Los Angeles to Moscow, Dubai to China – bearing witness to the global boom-and–bust economy and documenting its complicated consequences. We hear the stories of students, single parents, and families overwhelmed by crushing debt, yet determined to purchase luxury houses, cars, and clothing. We visit the homes and observe the rituals of the international elite—from Bel-Air to Monaco, Russia to China. We gain intimate access into the lives of those that rose to extraordinary wealth and then lost “big” during the global economic crash of 2008. And we encounter the A-list celebrities we follow on reality TV and social media, the same influencers who shape our consumer desires and sense of self. Provoking serious reflection, “Generation Wealth” is not about the rich, but about the desire to be wealthy, at any cost. From Lionsgate … Whitney Houston was a music sensation who starred in several blockbuster movies before her brilliant career gave way to erratic behavior, scandals, and death at age 48. Using never-before-seen archival footage, exclusive demo recordings, rare performances, interviews, and audio archives, “Whitney” (2018), from Oscar-winner Kevin Macdonald, reveals the truth behind the superstar’s meteoric rise and tragic fall. On DVD, Blu-ray from Lionsgate … “Elvis Presley: The Searcher” (2018) is an inside look at a rarely seen side of Elvis — that of a music artist on a life-long search for self-expression. From the archives of Graceland and executive producer Priscilla Presley, this is a three-hour documentary film presentation that focuses on Elvis the artist and musician, taking viewers on a comprehensive creative journey from his childhood photo for Elvis Presley: The Searcher through the final 1976 Jungle Room recording sessions. Containing never-before-seen footage and music recordings, the film features commentary and interviews from some of the biggest names in music including Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, Emmylou Harris, music producer Jon Landau and Elvis’ guitarist, Scotty Moore, among others. A Limited Collector’s Edition will also feature commemorative packaging and a 20-page digibook featuring rare photos from the Graceland archives. From Sony … “Dust 2 Glory” (2018), the much-anticipated follow-up to “Dust to Glory,” from acclaimed director Dana Brown (“Step Into Liquid,” “Highwater”), tracks the world’s toughest point-to-point desert race, the SCORE Baja 1000. Chronicles the brutal beauty of the race and high-octane action sequences as these ground-pounding, 900-horsepower Trophy Trucks, Motorcycles, ATVs and everything in between roar through the Baja Peninsula. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Magnolia Home Entertainment/Magnet Label.

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 October 16, 2018 No Responses »
Oct 082018
 

From the Big Screen:

“Hotel Transylvania 3,” “Skyscraper” and “Eighth Grade.” For more information on other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.

This Week’s Best Bet:

“Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day” (1972-73): Commissioned to make a working-class family drama for public television, up-and-coming director Rainer Werner Fassbinder took the assignment and ran, dodging expectations by depicting social realities in West Germany from a critical — yet far from cynical — perspective. photo for Eight Hours Don't Make a DayOver the course of several hours, the sprawling story tracks the everyday triumphs and travails of the young toolmaker Jochen (Gottfried John) and many of the people populating his world, including the woman he loves (Hanna Schygulla), his eccentric nuclear family, and his fellow workers, with whom he bands together to improve conditions on the factory floor. Rarely screened since its popular but controversial initial broadcast, “Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day” rates as a true discovery, one of Fassbinder’s earliest and most tender experiments with the possibilities of melodrama. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc with new 2K digital restoration by the Rainer Werner Fassbinder Foundation, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. From The Criterion Collection.

From TV to Disc:

There’s two classic sets of Golden Age TV series due this week from VCI Entertainment (distributed by MVD):
“I Married Joan: Classic TV Collection Vol 4” (1952-55): The show centers on Joan (Joan Davis), a scatterbrained housewife, and her husband, Bradley Stevens (Jim Backus), who was a staid and settled domestic court judge. Beverly Wills, Joan Davis’ real-life daughter, also co-starred on the show playing the part of her sister. The show was cut from the same mold as the “I Love Lucy” series, with Davis’ comedy antics derived from the physical school of humor. This hilarious series ran for three seasons on the NBC Network from 1952 to 1955. This Collection photo for I Married Joan: Classic TV Collection contains 10 episodes from all three seasons. On DVD … and “Television’s Lost Classics Volume 2: Rare Pilots,” which contains four rare pilot episodes. Pilot 1 – “Case of the Sure Thing” with Reed Hadley, Louise Currie and Milburn Stone. This introduced the series “Racket Squad”, which lasted for three seasons and was nominated for two Primetime Emmys. Broadcast on CBS, Thursday, June 7, 1951. Pilot 2 – “Cool and Lam” with Billy Pearson, Benay Venuta, Alison Hayes, Sheila Bromley. A light-hearted, detective yarn featuring characters first created by Erle Stanley Gardner. Bertha Cool runs a detective agency and Donald Lam is her junior partner, hence “Cool and Lam.” Pilot 3 – “The Life of Riley” with Lon Chaney, Jr., Rosemary DeCamp, John Brown. A heretofore lost pilot which starred Lon Chaney, Jr. as Chester Riley. This stand-alone episode was produced in 1948 but by the time the first season went into full production in 1949, Chaney had been replaced by no less than Jackie Gleason. Pilot 4 – “Nero Wolfe” with Kurt Kasznar, William Shatner, Alexander Scourby. Includes a bonus CBS Blooper Reel hosted by James Arness.

Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:

“A Prayer Before Dawn” (2018), starring Joe Cole, Vithaya Pansringarm and Nicolas Shake, is the remarkable true story of Billy Moore, a young English boxer incarcerated in two of Thailand’s most violent prisons. When the prison authorities allow Billy to participate in Muay Thai boxing tournaments, he goes from one savage fight to the next in a relentless, action-packed journey to preserve his life and regain his freedom. Shot in an actual Thai prison with a cast comprised of real inmates. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Lionsgate … In photo for Making A Killing “Making a Killing” (2018), starring Mike Starr, Jude Moran, Christopher Lloyd, Michael Jai White, Gillian White and Aida Turturro, Arthur Herring is the mayor, priest and mortician in a quaint small town nestled in the mountains of New Mexico. He and his brother, Vincent, are well-respected pillars of the community. Arthur and Vincent once agreed to safeguard fellow mortician Lloyd’s (Lloyd) rare coin collection worth a small fortune while he served time in prison, but when Lloyd is released and requests that his coins be returned, the brothers hatch an elaborate scheme to keep his treasure for themselves. From Cleopatra Entertainment … “Her Stolen Past” (2018), starring Shanice Banton and Barbara Eve Harris, is a Lifetime Movie Network movie. Based on the novel of the same name by best-selling author Lynette Eason, this thriller follows a young woman trying to uncover the connection between her mother’s murder and a kidnapped baby’s birth certificate hidden in her mother’s house, but it soon becomes clear that someone will stop at nothing to prevent her from discovering the truth. From Lionsgate … Forty years after William Castle’s 1959 cult classic, Warner Bros. did this remake, “House on Haunted Hill Collector’s Edition BLU-RAY DEBUT” (1999), starring Geoffrey Rush and Famke Janssen, Taye Diggs, Ali Larter, Bridgette Wilson, Peter Gallagher, and Chris Kattan. Rush plays twisted theme park bigshot Stephen Price, who’s hosting a photo for House on Haunted Hill birthday bash for his wife (Janssen) at a house that was once an institute for the criminally insane. Five strangers are each offered a chance to earn one million dollars if they can survive a night in the house. But what starts out as a harmless birthday prank soon turns into a night of horrific terror. New 2K scan of the film. With collectible slipcover featuring newly rendered artwork and a reversible cover wrap featuring original key art. On Blu-ray from Scream Factory … “Trick ‘r Treat Collector’s Edition BLU-RAY DEBUT” (2007) features four interwoven tales set on Halloween night. A high school principal (Dylan Baker) moonlights as a vicious serial killer; the quest of a young virgin (Anna Paquin) for that special someone takes a gruesome turn; a group of teens carries out a cruel prank with disastrous consequences; and a cantankerous old man (Brian Cox) battles a mischievous trick-or-treating demon. From Scream Factory … “A Prayer Before Dawn” (2018), starring Joe Cole, Vithaya Pansringarm and Nicolas Shake, is the remarkable true story of Billy Moore, a young English boxer incarcerated in two of Thailand’s most violent prisons. When the prison authorities allow Billy to participate in Muay Thai boxing tournaments, he goes from one savage fight to the next in a relentless, action-packed journey to preserve his life and regain his freedom. Shot in an actual Thai prison with a cast comprised of real inmates. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Lionsgate … “The Man in the Iron Mask 20th Anniversary Edition” (1998) stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Jeremy Irons, John Malkovich, Gérard Depardieu, Gabriel Byrne, Anne Parillaud and Judith Godrèche, in a new 4K scan of the film. Louis XIII, King of France, had a son, Louis, who succeeded his father to the throne. But, known to very few, the heir had a twin brother, Philippe, hidden away after birth and forced to languish in prison, his identity unknown behind an iron mask. His brother, now grown and King Louis XIV, proved to be both corrupt and a photo for The Man In The Iron Mask 20th Anniversary Edition tyrant. Louis sends Athos’ (one of the Musketeers) son, Raoul off to certain death in war, so that he could have his woman for himself. Athos, together with two of the other Musketeers, Porthos and Aramis, swear revenge. Only D’Artagnan remains loyal to the crown, but will he join his former compatriots to free Philippe from prison, kill the king, and put Philippe on the throne in his place? On Blu-ray from Shout! Factory Select) … In the DC Entertainment animated film “Constantine: City of Demons” (2018), a decade after a tragic mistake, family man Chas and occult detective John Constantine set out to cure Chas’s daughter Trish from a mysterious supernatural coma. With the help of the mysterious Nightmare Nurse, the influential Queen of Angels, and brutal Aztec God Mictlantecuhtli, the pair just might have a chance at outsmarting the demon Beroul to save Trish’s soul. In a world of shadows and dark magic, not everything is what it seems, and there’s always a price to pay. The path to redemption is never easy, and if Constantine is to succeed, he must navigate through the dark urban underbelly of Los Angeles, outwit the most cunning spawns of hell, and come face to face with arch-nemesis Nergal – all while battling his own inner demons. Based on the acclaimed DC animated series from CW Seed. On 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo, Blu-ray/DVD Combo from Warner.

Foreign Films:

“Angels Wear White” (2018 — China), starring Vicky Chen, Meijun Zhou, Ke Shi and Le Geng, is a film by Vivian Qu, the first ever female director to be awarded the “Oscars of Asia,” the Golden Horse Award. In a small seaside town, two schoolgirls are assaulted by a middle-aged man in a motel. Mia, a teenager who was working on reception that night, is the only Extras:witness. For fear of losing her job, she says nothing. Meanwhile, 12-year-old Wen, one of the victims, finds that her troubles have only just begun. Trapped in a world that offers them no safety, Mia and Wen will have to find their photo for Angels Wear White own way out. From Icarus Films … “The Official Story” (1985 — Argentina) features a 2K restoration of director Luis Puenzo’s universally hailed debut feature, which won the Academy Award for Best Foreign-Language Film of 1985. A stirring character drama and a haunting rumination on the sins of the past. Set in Buenos Aires during the final years of the Argentinean military dictatorship’s “Dirty War” against its own people, it tells the story of Alicia (Oscar nominee Norma Aleandro), the wife of a wealthy businessman, who discovers that their adopted child may be the progeny of a desaparecido, a victim of the forced disappearances that occurred during the dictatorship’s reign of terror. This revelation forces her to reveal the truth about her country’s legacy of corruption and murder. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Cohen Film Collection.

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 October 8, 2018 No Responses »
Sep 172018
 

From the Big Screen:

“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.” For more information on other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.

This Week’s Best Bets:

“My Man Godfrey” (1936): Carole Lombard and William Powell dazzle in this definitive screwball comedy, directed by Gregory La Cava — a potent cocktail of romantic repartee and Depression-era social critique. Irene (Lombard), an photo for My Man Godfreyeccentric Manhattan socialite, wins a society-ball scavenger hunt after finding one of the “items” on the list, a “lost man” (Powell), at a dump. She gives the man she believes to be a down-and-out drifter work as the family butler, and soon falls head over heels in love. Her attempts to both woo Godfrey and indoctrinate him in the dysfunctional ways of the household make for an unbeatable series of madcap hijinks. La Cava’s deft film was the first to garner Oscar nominations in all four acting categories, and it is one of Hollywood’s greatest commentaries on class and the social unrest of its time. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc with new high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. From The Criterion Collection … “The Hired Hand” (1971): Having been at the forefront of America’s here-and-now with “Easy Rider” and the counterculture movies of Roger Corman, Peter Fonda retreated to the past and the American West for his directorial debut. Fonda photo for The Hired Handplays Harry, a man who deserted his wife and child to explore the wide-open plains with his best friend Archie (Warren Oates). “Tired of the life,” he decides to finally return home in order to rekindle his marriage and reacquaint himself with his daughter. Scripted by Alan Sharp, shot by Vilmos Zsigmond and with a standout score by folk musician Bruce Langhorne, “The Hired Hand” is a beautiful, elegiac picture that ranks alongside “The Outlaw Josey Wales” and “Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid” as one of the finest Westerns the seventies had to offer. Co-stars Verna Bloom. On Blu-ray from Arrow Academy … “Horrors of Malformed Men” (1968 — Japan): Cult director Teruo Ishii presents a nightmarish, hallucinogenic tale drawn from the feverish pen of Japan’s celebrated pioneer ofero-guro (“erotic grotesque”) literature, Edogawa Rampo. Medical student Hirosuke Hitomi slips out of the asylum in which he has been wrongfully confined and stealthily assumes the identity of a recently deceased nobleman with whom he bears an uncanny resemblance. Hirosuke eases his way into photo for Horrors of Malformed Men the nobleman’s household and his dead double’s marital bed. But as long-repressed memories begin to bubble to the surface, he soon finds himself drawn to a remote isle where he is confronted by a mad scientist and his malformed men, and discovers the key that will unlock some long-suppressed mysteries of his own. A dark labyrinth of the monstrous and perverse that fuses mystery and horror while incorporating motifs from a myriad of Rampo’s tales, “Horrors of Malformed Men” boasts astonishing carnivalesque art design and haunting performances. Withdrawn from cinemas by its own studio after its original scandalous release nearly 50 years ago, the film is among the very best screen interpretations of the author’s macabre brand of horror-fantasy fiction, and a unique oddity of Japanese cult cinema. On Blu-ray from Arrow Video … “The Pyjama Girl Case” (1977): Throughout the late 1960s and into the 70s, the Italian giallo movement transported viewers to the far corners of the globe, from swinging San Francisco to Soviet-occupied Prague. Only one, however, brought the genre’s unique brand of bloody mayhem as far as Australia: director Flavio Mogherini’s tragic and poetic “The Pyjama Girl Case.” The body of a young woman is found on the beach, shot in the head, burned to hide her identity and dressed in distinctive yellow pyjamas. With the Sydney police stumped, former Inspector Timpson (Ray Milland) comes out of retirement to crack the case. Treading where the “real” detectives can’t, Timpson doggedly pieces together the photo for The Pyjama Girl Case sad story of Dutch immigrant Glenda Blythe (Dalila Di Lazzaro) and the unhappy chain of events that led to her grisly demise. Inspired by the real-life case which baffled the Australian police and continues to spark controversy and unanswered questions to this day, “The Pyjama Girl Case” is a uniquely haunting latter-day giallo from the tail end of the genre’s boom period. Co-stars Michele Placido, Howard Ross. On Blu-ray from Arrow Video … “The Pink Panther Cartoon Collection Volume 3 (1968-69)” includes 22 Pink Panther cartoon from 1968 to 1969. By the end of the 1960s, The Pink Panther had achieved the status of iconic cartoon character, and the cosmopolitan cat left his big-city habitat and began crossing into more universal comedy settings: a military base (“G.I. Pink”), caveman times (“Prehistoric Pink” and “Extinct Pink”) and Olde England (“Pink Valiant” and “Pinkcome Tax”). But the panther never completely changed his stripes. In color-splashed urban landscapes (a hallmark of the DePatie-Freleng studios), the sublime feline continued to engage in duels of wits-with the establishment “Little Man” as well as the occasional inanimate object (a cuckoo clock in “In The Pink of the Night”). On DVD, Blu-ray, from Kino Lorber Studio Classics.

From TV to Disc:

“An American Murder Mystery Collection” (2016-17) is a three-disc set collection of murder mystery documentaries. Through riveting interviews and real-life footage, this collection reopens the files of seven sensational cases that captivated the nation. Explore the mysteries of Casey Anthony, Scott Peterson, JonBenét Ramsey, Jodi Arias, Chandra Levy, and Natalie Wood in this compelling set that delivers stunning revelations from beginning to end. From Lionsgate … “Fahrenheit 451” (2018) stars Michael B. Jordan and Michael Shannon in a TV remake of the famous 1966 François Truffaut classic (and Ray Bradbury novel). photo for Fahrenheit 451 Imagine a society where books are outlawed and “firemen” have been tasked to burn and destroy any remaining literature, erasing history right before our eyes. Based on Ray Bradbury’s classic sci-fi novel of the same name, the thought-provoking parable depicts a frighteningly plausible future where media is an opiate, history is purged and dissent is outlawed. The dystopian thriller centers on Montag (Jordan), a young fireman who forsakes his world and struggles to regain his humanity as he battles his mentor, fire captain Beatty (Shannon). On DVD, Blu-ray, from HBO … “The Looming Tower” (2018) is a two-disc set with all 10 episodes of the Hulu series that chronicles the events that led to the deadliest terrorist attacks ever to take place on American soil. The series traces the rising threat of Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda in the late 1990s and how at the time, the FBI and the CIA may have inadvertently set the path for the tragedy of 9/11. The series follows members of the I-49 Squad in New York and Alec Station in Washington D.C., the counter terrorism divisions of the FBI and CIA, respectively, as they travel the world fighting for ownership of information. Adapted from the best-selling, Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Lawrence Wright. Stars Jeff Daniels, Peter Sarsgaard, Tahar Rahim, Michael Stuhlbarg, Bill Camp, Wrenn Schmidt. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Warner … “Madam Secretary: Season Four” (2017-18) is a six-disc set with 22 episodes. It’s never politics as usual for Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord (Téa Leoni). In Season 4, McCord faces everything from international issues to personal upheavals. Whether she’s being accused of murdering a foreign diplomat, trying to contain a smallpox outbreak, or sending her daughter off to college, there s no crisis she can’t handle. Her husband, CIA Agent Henry (Tim Daly), stirs controversy by recruiting a former member of the Russian military to work for the Agency. She continues to advise President Conrad Dalton (Keith Carradine), even as she goes toe-to-toe with the White House Chief of Staff Russell Jackson (Zeljko Ivanek). photo for Madam Secretary: Season Four Navigating the complicated twists and turns of the D.C. machine gets even more challenging when loyal State Department insider Nadine Tolliver (Bebe Neuwirth) decides to retire. From CBS/Paramount … “Supergirl: The Complete Third Season” (2017-18) includes all 23 episodes. In Season Three, Kara Danvers grapples with the sacrifices she’s made personally while saving National City as Supergirl. She even considers covering up her human identity altogether. As Kara struggles with her path forward, she continues to work with Hank Henshaw and her sister, Alex, at the Department of Extranormal Operations to battle all threats to National City, including new villains Morgan Edge, and the “Worldkiller,” known as Reign. In five-disc DVD, four-disc Blu-ray sets, from Warner … “The X-Files Season 11” (2018): The next chapter of “The –X-Files” is a three-disc, 10-episode installment of the classic, mind-bending series. David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson return as FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, investigating unsolved cases rife with government conspiracies, unexplainable mysteries, and alien cover-ups. Mulder and Scully’s pursuit of the truth continues with a search for their long-lost son, William. But they aren’t the only ones looking for him; dark forces gather, and the very fate of the world could be at stake. One thing is certain: secrets will be revealed… and the truth may finally be within reach. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Fox.

Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:

In “Damsel” (2017), starring Robert Pattinson, Mia Wasikowska and Robert Forster, Samuel Alabaster (Pattinson), an affluent pioneer, ventures across the American frontier to marry the love of his life, Penelope (Wasikowska). As his group traverses the West, not everything goes quite as planned, and the once-simple journey grows treacherous, blurring the lines between hero, villain, and photo for Siberia damsel. From Lionsgate … In “Siberia” (2018), starring Keanu Reeves, Ana Ularu, Pasha D. Lychnikoff, Dmitry Chepovetsky, James Gracie and Eugene Lipinski, U.S. diamond merchant Lucas Hill (Reeves), in Russia to sell rare jewels to a businessman with underworld connections, falls into a torrid affair with Katya (Ularu), a local café owner. When the deal suddenly goes south, Lucas and Katya are caught in a deadly crossfire between the buyer and Russian agents, as Lucas takes up arms in a furious fight to save Katya and himself. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Lionsgate … In the gospel-driven drama “Saving Faith” (2018), starring Donny Richmond, Jenn Gotzon, Jim Chandler, Henry Cho, Amy Grant, Vince Gill and Victoria Jackson, poor Faith is ready to give up hope. Her struggling small-town theater is about to get foreclosed by the bank — when her charming Uncle Donny convinces his famous friends to play live and save the business. But when a local developer decides to sabotage the concert, it’ll take a miracle to make the show go on. From Lionsgate … In “The ToyBox” (2018), starring Denise Richards, Mischa Barton, Jeff Denton and Brian Nagel, Jennifer (Richards) and her family go on a summer road trip in a used RV with her husband’s estranged father and brother. Along the way, they find Samantha (Barton) and her brother, broken down on the side of the highway. After driving into the middle of nowhere, the RV takes on a mind of its own, crashing and stranding them in the scorching and isolated desert. Little by little, the unsuspecting group of travelers is blindsided by the terrible secrets within the walls of the RV and find themselves fighting to survive. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Skyline Entertainment/Uncork’d Entertainment … photo for Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum Based on the local legends and stories of people who’ve visited the real-life abandoned hospital, the horror thriller “Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum” (2018 — South Korea) follows the crew of a horror web show who plan to stream live from inside the asylum. To attract more viewers, the show’s host arranges some scares for the team, but as they move further into the nightmarish old building, they begin to encounter much more than expected. On DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo, from Well Go USA … In “Lost Child” (2018), starring Leven Rambin, Jim Parrack, Taylor John-Smith and Landon Edwards, Army veteran Fern, suffering from PTSD, returns home to the Ozarks to look for her estranged brother, only to discover an abandoned boy lurking in the woods behind her childhood home. After taking in the boy, she searches for clues to his identity, and discovers the local folklore about a malevolent, life-draining spirit that comes in the form of a child; the Tatterdemalion. From Breaking Glass Pictures … There’s three horror film Blu-ray debuts this week: In “Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead” (1994), starring A. Michael Baldwin, Bill Thornbury, Reggie Bannister and Angus Scrimm, The Tall Man is back with a vengeance. Fifteen years after the original horror classic, writer-director Don Coscarelli reunites brothers Mike and Jody to help their friend Reggie destroy The Tall Man (Scrimm) once and for all. Is the photo for Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead BLU-RAY DEBUT ultimate of evil any match for a bald, former ice cream vendor with a 70 Hemicuda and a four-barrel shotgun? An insane sequel packed with violence and gore galore that takes the Phantasm series to a whole new dimension. From Well Go USA … In “Phantasm IV: Oblivion” (1996), Mike (A. Michael Baldwin) has once again escaped from the Tall Man (Angus Scrimm) who had begun to transform him. Leaving Reggie (Reggie Bannister) and his spherical brother, Jody (Bill Thornbury), he travels through various dimensions and time in order to discover more about his nemesis and find out what really happened the night his brother died. Also from Well Go USA … Terror invades an upper-class New York community as 17-year old Christie Cromwell cleverly uncovers her stepfather’s horrifying plot to murder her wealthy mother in “Scream for Help” (1984), starring Rachael Kelly, Marie Masters and David Allen Brooks. She’s on to him, yet no one will believe her because she’s just a kid: smart, imaginative, maybe she’s just taken a crazy idea to the limit. Suspense builds when a series of shocking events confirms her worst fears. Alone, afraid and helpless, terrified Christie and her mother are held prisoner in their own home at the mercy of ruthless killers. New 2K scan from the original film elements, from Scream Factory.

Special Interest:

“Nana” (2016) is the story of an Auschwitz survivor who spent her life fighting intolerance. Born in Poland, Maryla Michalowski-Dyamant survived Ravensbruck, Malchow and Auschwitz, where she was the forced translator for the “Angel of Death,” Josef Mengele. Maryla dedicated her life after the war to publicly speaking about her survival to younger generations. Directed by her 25-year-old granddaughter, “Nana” documents Serena’s journey with her mother Alice as they retrace her grandmother’s story. They explore how Maryla’s outspoken activism continues today, in a world where survivors are disappearing, and intolerance, racism and antisemitism are on the rise. From First Run Features … Available for the first time at retail on any format, the Four Hall of Fame Ceremonies featured (2010-2013) in “Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in Concert: Encore” (2018), include 44 iconic performances from inductees such as Genesis, The Stooges, The Hollies, Tom photo for Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame In Concert: Encore Waits, Dr. John, Leon Russell, Darlene Love, Freddie King, Donovan, Small Faces/Faces, Heart, rare artist collaborations and more. Each year, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame honors rock music’s pioneering figures during a prestigious black-tie ceremony. As the Hall of Fame enters its third decade, it’s these singular induction ceremonies-featuring the biggest names in classic rock from the 60s, 70s and 80s-that have become nearly as epic as the artists they celebrate. Highlights include Alice Cooper ripping into ferocious versions of “Eighteen” and “Under My Wheels” before closing the set with Rob Zombie on “School’s Out,” “The Hurdy Gurdy Man” Donovan is joined onstage by John Mellencamp for a chilling performance of “Season of the Witch,” complete HOF induction speeches including Don Henley inducting Randy Newman, Neil Young inducting Tom Waits and many more. Four-disc DVD, two-disc Blu-ray, Due Sept. 21, from Time Life … When Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs met at Columbia University in the 1940s, they spawned a movement, then called the Beats, that set precedents for the political, hippie and spiritual movements of the 1960s and 70s. “The Source: The Story of the Beats and the Beat Generation” (1999), a comprehensive portrait of the Beat Generation, includes interviews with virtually every surviving figure from this period. Johnny Depp, Dennis Hopper and John Turturro perform dramatized readings of works by Kerouac, Burroughs and Ginsberg. The Source is the definitive film portrait of the Beat Generation and the countercultural movements that followed, directed with flair by Academy Award- winner Chuck Workman. From Kino Lorber.

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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