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"The movie business is macabre. Grotesque.
It is a combination of a football game
and a brothel."
-- Federico Fellini
Aug 132018
 

From the Big Screen:

"Avengers: Infinity War" and "Bad Samaritan." For more information on other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.

This Week's Best Bet:

"The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez" (1982): Forced to run from the Texas Rangers after a heated misunderstanding leads to the death of a lawman, Mexican American farmer Gregorio Cortez sets off in desperate flight, evading a massive manhunt on horseback for days. Producer-star photo for The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez Edward James Olmos, seeking to shed new light on a historical incident that had been enshrined in a corrido (folk song), enlisted director Robert M. Young, a longtime practitioner of socially engaged realism, to helm this trailblazing independent film, a landmark of Chicano cinema. Shifting its perspective between the pursuers and the pursued, "The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez" is a thrilling chase film and a nuanced procedural that peels away the layers of prejudice and myth surrounding Cortez, uncovering the true story of an ordinary man persecuted by the law and transfigured by legend. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc with new 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. From The Criterion Collection.

From TV to Disc:

"Arrow: The Complete Sixth Season" (2017-18) is a four-disc set with all 23 episodes. Following the devastating explosion on Lian Yu, Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) returns home to confront a challenge unlike any he’s ever faced: fatherhood. Oliver is determined to embrace this new role while continuing to serve and protect Star City as both Mayor and The Green Arrow. But enemies past and present, including Black Siren (Katie Cassidy), Vigilante (Johann Urb), Ricardo Diaz (Kirk Acevedo), Cayden James (Michael Emerson) and others, threaten photo for Arrow: The Complete Sixth Seasonhim on all fronts. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Warner … "The Blacklist: Season Five" (2017) is a five-disc set with all 22 episodes. Feeling surprisingly unencumbered, Raymond “Red” Reddington (James Spader) is back and in the process of rebuilding his criminal empire. His lust for life is ever-present as he lays the foundation for this new enterprise — one that he'll design with Elizabeth Keen, living with the reality that Red is her father. Liz finds herself torn between her role as an FBI agent and the temptation to act on her more criminal instincts. In a world where the search for Blacklisters has become a family trade, Red will undoubtedly reclaim his moniker as the "Concierge of Crime." On DVD, Blu-ray from Sony … The 10 episodes of Season One of "Here and Now" (2018) follows the Boatwrights, a progressive, suburban family led by philosophy professor, Greg (Tim Robbins), and conflict-resolution consultant, Aubrey (Holly Hunter), in Portland, Oregon. They’re a Caucasian couple with three now-grown adopted children from Liberia, Vietnam, and Colombia, as well as one teenage biological daughter. Although the Boatwrights are materially rich, each member lacks happiness or fulfillment behind a seemingly perfect façade. Four-disc DVD, three-disc Blu-ray, from HBO.

"Buzzin' the 'B's:"

In "Affairs of State" (2018), starring David Corenswet, David James Elliott, Adrian Grenier, Mimi Rogers, Grace Victoria Cox and Thora Birch. In his quest for power, D.C. aide Michael Lawson (Corenswet) will do anything to take part in Senator Baines’s (Elliott) White House campaign, including blackmailing Baines’s shady advisor (Grenier) and sleeping with the candidate’s wife (Mimi Rogers). But when he gets involved with the senator’s alluring daughter, Lawson (Cox) learns his dangerous game could have a deadly payoff. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Lionsgate … In "The Yellow Birds" (2017), starring Tye Sheridan, Alden photo for The Yellow BirdsEhrenreich, Toni Collette, Jack Huston and Jennifer Aniston, set against the explosive backdrop of the Iraq War, young soldiers Brandon Bartle (Ehrenreich) and Daniel Murphy (Sheridan) forge a deep bond of friendship. When tragedy strikes the platoon, one soldier must return home to face the hard truth behind the incident, and help a grieving mother (Aniston) find peace. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Lionsgate … "Destined to Ride" (2018), starring Madeline Carroll, Joey Lawrence, Denise Richards, Cassi Thomson, Amber Frank and Manolo Gonzalez Vergara, is a family drama about a teenager who thinks her social life is over when she's sent to her aunt’s ranch for the summer — but to her surprise she develops an unbreakable bond with a horse named Pistachio. She tames the spirited horse and finds herself in a competitive race to save her aunt’s land from nasty neighbors and avoid losing her now treasured new companion. From Sony … In "The Escape" (2017 — UK), starring Gemma Arterton, Dominic Cooper and Frances Barber, Tara (Arterton), a housewife in suburban London, is living a life that is no longer hers: It belongs to her overworked, photo for The Escapeself-absorbed husband (Cooper), her young son and daughter, and the numbing routine of housework and child care. In desperate need of a change, Tara one day makes a bold decision. Armed with a one-way ticket to Paris, she leaves everything behind to rediscover herself in a new city – but walking out on your life isn't so simple. From IFC Films … When the Universe decides what it wants, it’s pointless to resist in "Higher Power" (2018), starring Austin Stowell, Jordan Hinson and Ron Eldard. With his family’s life at stake, Joseph Steadman (Eldard) finds himself the unwilling test subject of a maniacal scientist in a battle that could save the world, or destroy it. On DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo, from Magnolia Home Entertainment/Magnet Label … In "The House of Tomorrow" (2017), starring Ellen Burstyn, Nick Offerman, Asa Butterfield, Alex Wolff, Maude Apatow and Michaela Watkins, Sebastian (Butterfield) is a 16-year-old who has spent most of his life with his Nana (Burstyn) in their geodesic dome home, a tourist attraction where she raises him on the futurist teachings of her former mentor Buckminster Fuller in hopes that one day Sebastian will carry Fuller's torch and make the world a better place. But when illness sidelines Nana, photo for The House of Tomorrow Sebastian begins sneaking around with Jared (Wolff), a chain-smoking, punk-obsessed 16-year-old with a heart transplant who lives in the suburbs with his Bible-banging single father, Alan (Offerman), and teenage sister Meredith (Apatow). Sebastian and Jared form a punk band and with his Nana's dreams, his first real friendship, and a church talent show at stake, Sebastian must decide if he wants to become the next Buckminster Fuller, the next Sid Vicious, or something else entirely. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Shout! Factory … In "How to Talk to Girls at Parties" (2018), starring Alex Sharp, Elle Fanning and Nicole Kidman, Enn (Sharp) is a shy suburban teenager who sneaks out to after-hours punk parties in London in 1977. One night, Enn and his friends meet some teens who seem like they’re from another planet; in fact, they are from another planet, visiting Earth to complete a mysterious rite of passage. Enn falls for beautiful alien Zan (Fanning) — and into a delirious adventure that will test the limits of their love in this latest film from director John Cameron Mitchell ("Hedwig and the Angry Inch"). On DVD, Blu-ray, from Lionsgate … When his friend Paul dies unexpectedly, Travis heads deep into the woods to say goodbye in "Show Yourself" (2018), starring Ben Hethcoat, Corsica Wilson, Barak Hardley, Clancy McCartney, David McElwee, Stephen Cone and Robert Longstreet. As Travis deals with his grief, and the way it has affected the relationships in his life, he starts to realize that he actually might not be alone in the woods. Curiosity turns to horror as Travis comes face-to-face with something both inexplicable and frighteningly familiar. From Summer Hill Entertainment.

Blasts From the Past:
"Lady Street Fighter" (1981), starring Renee Harmon, Jody McCrea and Trace Carradine, is written and produced by exploitation demigod Renee Harmon. It's the story of Linda (Harmon), a tough-as-nails karate cop on the trail of the ruthless scumbags who murdered her twin sister. From the outrageous fight scenes to Harmon's incredible outfits, the film is a joyous blast of no-holds-barred chaos from one of the most important female filmmakers in genre history. A new 2K transfer of this trash-action classic. On Blu-ray from American Genre Film Archive photo for The Unborn [AGFA] … When two bumbling employees at a medical supply warehouse accidentally release a deadly gas into the air, the vapors cause the dead to rise again as zombies in "Return of the Living Dead Part II Collector’s Edition" (1985), starring James Karen, Thom Matthews, Dana Ashbrook, Marsha Dietlein, Philip Bruns and Michael Kenworthy. In a new 2K scan of the film from Scream Factory … In "The Unborn" (1991), starring Brooke Adams, Jeff Hayenga and James Karen, a couple who can't have children joins an in-vitro fertilization program but the young wife (Adams) suspects that a mysterious doctor (Karen) has inseminated her with mutated sperm in an attempt to create a super-human fetus. Unfortunately, there are extreme side-effects. In a Blu-ray debut with a new 2K scan from Scream Factory.

Foreign Films:

In the offbeat, acclaimed blend of Japanese erotica, folklore and animation photo for The Suffering of Ninko "The Suffering of Ninko" (2016 — Japan), a devout Buddhist monk is the object of every woman's desire. Ninko, a young, diligent Edo period Buddhist monk, has one serious problem: women can't seem to resist him. They pester him so much that he can't even ask for alms in town. Since sexual indulgence is considered a sin, he blames himself for not being virtuous enough. One day, he runs into a masked woman in the forest who tries to seduce him. Running away from her, his problem only gets worse. Nearly driven mad, he escapes deep into the mountains to be alone. There, he finds a deserted village, victimized by a rapacious mountain goddess, Yama-onna, who seduces and kills the men of the valley. When a samurai claims that he can kill the goddess, Ninko follows him, hoping that he'll rid him of his curse. From IndiePix Films.

For the Family:

"Arthur: D.W. and the Beastly Birthday" (2018) features two episodes from television’s longest-running children’s animated series and one of the top-rated kids series on PBS KIDS: “D.W. and the Beastly Birthday” and “Arthur’s Birthday.” Formats: DVD, Digital. From PBS Distribution.

Special Interest:

The Documentary "To Auschwitz & Back: The Joe Engel Story" (2018) tells an incredible story of persecution, one man's inner-strength and fortitude and a photo for To Auschwitz & Back: The Joe Engel Storydaring escape from internment in Nazi Germany. Born in Zakroczym, Poland in 1927, Engel was taken by the Nazis at 14 and never saw his parents again. From the overwhelming despair of the Warsaw Ghetto, to the shroud of unceasing death and suffering that was Birkenau and Auschwitz, Engel vividly takes viewers to hell and back through his escape from a Death Train at 17 and covert work as a freedom fighter until Liberation in 1945. With the assistance of The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's film and photographic archives, filmmaker Ron Small has successfully woven Engel's incredible storytelling into a riveting visual presentation that is both historic and contemporary. This is the first film to be released from the newly launched Holocaust Education Film Foundation, a 501c3 organization founded with the objective of assuring that the painful legacy of the Holocaust is never forgotten by producing documentaries with survivors from around the world. From Dreamscape Media.

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 August 13, 2018 No Responses »
Aug 062018
 

From the Big Screen:

"Life of the Party" and "Breaking In." For more information on other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.

This Week's Best Bets:

A pivotal work in the yakuza movie genre and in the career of director Kinji Fukasaku ("Battle Royale"), "Street Mobster" (1972 — Japan) presents an abrasive portrait of the rise and fall of a reckless street punk caught in the crossfire of a bloody turf war raging in the mean streets of Kawazaki. When Okita Isamu (Bunta Sugawara) re-emerges onto the mean streets of Kawazaki after five years in prison for a string of brutal crimes, he comes face to face with prostitute Kinuyo, who immediately pinpoints him as one of the participants in her brutal sexual assault years earlier that left her shell-shocked and consigned to photo for Street Mobster the life of a sex worker. While the two outcasts form an unlikely bond, Okita returns to his criminal ways. He is approached by veteran gangster Kizaki (Noboru Ando), who encourages him to round up a group of local chinpira street punks to shake up the uneasy agreement between the two rival yakuza groups, who between them control the city's bars, gambling dens and entertainment areas. However, when the new outfit goes too far into the turf of the big boys, they find themselves caught in the midst of a violent reprisal, before an offer of patronage appears from an unlikely source. "Street Mobster" is the first film in which Fukasaku's vital and exhilarating approach to the contemporary-set gangster picture was paired with the untamed, raw charisma of Japan's top screen mobster Sugawara Bunta. On Blu-ray from Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment … The countdown has begun! Against the real-life backdrop of the US deployment of WMDs in Europe during the escalating Cold War, the dramatically involving and agonizingly graphic film "The Day After" (1983), about nuclear holocaust, detonated a direct hit into the heartland of America, becoming the most watched TV movie of all time and remains one of the most talked-about programs in history. When Cold War tensions reach the ultimate boiling point, the inhabitants of a small town in Kansas learn — along with the rest of America — that they have less than 30 minutes before 300 Soviet warheads begin to appear overhead. Can anyone survive this ultimate nightmare … or the nuclear winter that is sure to follow? Top-notch direction by Nicholas Meyer ("Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan," "Company Business"), from a teleplay by Edward Hume ("Two-Minute Warning," "21 Hours at Munich") and starring Jason Robards, John Lithgow, JoBeth Williams, Steve Guttenberg and Amy Madigan. Includes both the 122-minute TV cut (1.33:1) and the 127-minute theatrical cut. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Kino Lorber Studio Classics.

From TV to Disc:

"The Good Doctor: Season One" (2017-18) is a five-disc set with all 18 episodes. Freddie Highmore stars as Dr. Shaun Murphy, a young surgeon with autism and savant syndrome, who relocates from a quiet country life to join a prestigious hospital's surgical unit. Alone in the world and unable to personally connect with those around him, Shaun uses his extraordinary medical gifts to save lives and challenge the skepticism of his colleagues. From Sony … "No Offence, Series 1" (2015 — UK) is a three-disc set with eight episodes of the outrageous female-driven police procedural that follows an unorthodox team of cops in Manchester. Charismatic DI Vivienne Deering leads an ace but unorthodox squad that tackles Manchester’s most gruesome and off-the-wall crimes, including drug dealers, neo-Nazis, and black-market organ sellers. When strong-willed DC Dinah Kowalska connects a body at the morgue to a group of murdered girls with Down’s syndrome, Viv and her team begin the hunt for a serial killer. What they uncover could leave even the most seasoned officers reeling. Loaded with dark humor and shocking plot twists. From Acorn Media … "Riverdale: The Complete Second photo for Riverdale: The Complete Second Season Season " (2017-18) is a fur-disc set with all 22 episodes. Based on the characters from Archie Comics, "Riverdale" returns with its subversive take on small-town life. Determined to protect the sanctity of his town in the wake of his father’s shooting by the Black Hood, Season Two finds Archie (KJ Apa) seeking justice … and vengeance. As a civil war brews between the Northside and the Southside, loyalties are divided. Betty (Lili Reinhart) and Jughead’s (Cole Sprouse) relationship enters fragile territory when Jughead decides to join the Southside Serpents and Betty’s long-lost brother Chic returns. Veronica (Camila Mendes) finds her life upended by her father Hiram’s (Mark Consuelos) arrival and his dark schemes for the town’s future. Everyone will have to pick a side, including Queen Bee Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch), star-to-be Josie McCoy (Ashleigh Murray), Kevin Keller (Casey Cott), and Reggie Mantle (Charles Melton). Things are never what you’d expect in Riverdale, and that’s especially true as Archie and the gang race to avert a full-on riot and to solve the mystery of the Black Hood. Though there's many twists and turns in "Riverdale," this season isn't as startling as the first … but still very, very entertaining and watchable. If you grew up with Archie and the gang — which means anyone from 20 to 80, then this is a must see. On DVD, Blu-ray from Warner … "SIX: Season 2" (2018) is a two-disc set with all 10 episodes. Follows Navy SEAL Team Six in a mission to destroy the terrorist network responsible for an attack on their former team leader. From Lionsgate.

"Buzzin' the 'B's:"

After deciphering a message found in a satellite, a genius cryptographer finds himself stalked by government agents and otherworldly beings in the sci-fi thriller "Alien Code" (2017), starring Kyle Gallner, Azura Skye, Mary McCormack and Richard Schiff. Cryptographer Alex Jacobs finds himself recruited and sent to a secret lab to decipher an encrypted message. After breaking the code that is housed inside a mysterious satellite, Alex becomes convinced that the message is a disturbing warning … from the future. Once he returns home, a string of unexplainable incidents start happening, and Alex finds himself caught up in an unexpected journey to discover the reality about the warnings and himself. From Sony … photo for On Chesil Beach "On Chesil Beach" (2017) takes place in 1962 England, where two young people from drastically different backgrounds — well-to-do Florence (Saoirse Ronan) and working-class Edward (Billy Howle) — meet and begin an idyllic courtship. Though their love is true, the societal pressures and sexual mores of the time cause strain between the young couple, leading to an awkward and fateful wedding night. Adapted by Ian McEwan from his bestselling novel. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Universal) … "Aardvark " (2017) follows Josh Norman (Zachary Quinto), a troubled man who has lived in the shadow of his brother Craig (Jon Hamm) for so long he starts seeing that shadow everywhere. After experiencing a series of hallucinations involving Craig — an actor, and the star of a popular TV drama — Josh places himself in the care of Emily (Jenny Slate), a young therapist. Emily wades deeper and deeper into Josh's psychologically-troubled world and suddenly finds herself falling for the famous brother. Caught between family dysfunction and her alluring neediness, is Emily willing to risk her career and reputation all for the sake of love? On DVD, Blu-ray, from Universal … photo for Revenge In "Revenge" (2018 — France), starring Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz, Kevin Janssens and Vincent Colombe, debut director Coralie Fargeat announces her stunning arrival, painting a crimson canvas of hypnotic beauty and bloody retribution in this razor-sharp feminist subversion of the revenge-thriller. Jen's (Matilda Lutz) romantic getaway with her wealthy married boyfriend is suddenly disrupted when his sleazy friends arrive for an unannounced hunting trip. Tension mounts in the house until the situation abruptly –– and viciously –– intensifies, culminating in a shocking act that leaves Jen left for dead. Unfortunately for her assailants, Jen survives and reemerges with a relentless, wrathful intent: revenge On DVD, Blu-ray, from Universal … In "Blackmark" (2017), starring Jeff Hatch, Kaiwi Lyman and Corey MacIntosh, an unknown entity has hacked into a Soviet missile and aimed it at the United States. With minutes before Mutually Assured Destruction, an American military industrialist and a Soviet nuclear commander race against the clock to prevent a nation from nuclear annihilation. Unbeknownst to them the threat is just the beginning of an even bigger crisis – one that will change the course of history forever. From Sony … In "Measure of a Man" (2018), starring Blake Cooper, Donald Sutherland, Luke Wilson, Beau Knapp and Judy Greer, 14-year-old Bobby (Cooper) is enduring a torturous family vacation. His summer job is backbreaking, his parents appear on the verge of divorce, his sister is forcing him to keep her secrets, and his best friend is leaving. On top of that, a crazy townie is out to get him. Over the course of an emotional roller coaster of a summer, Bobby learns what makes up the true measure of a man in this coming-of-age story. from Lionsgate … photo for The Death of Superman "The Death of Superman" (2018) is a new animated feature-length DC Universe Movie. The Man of Steel meets his ultimate match when Doomsday comes to Earth – hell bent on destroying everything and everyone in his path, including the Justice League. Ultimately Superman finds himself in a fight to the finish when the Man of Steel becomes the only hero who can stand in the way of the monstrous creature. A Blu-ray Deluxe Gift Set includes a collectible Superman figurine. On DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo, 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo, from Warner … in "The Rider" (2018), starring Brady Jandreau, Jim Jandreau and Lilly Jandreau, young cowboy Brady (Jandreau), once a rising star of the rodeo circuit, is warned that his competition days are over after a tragic riding accident. Back home, Brady finds himself wondering what he has to live for when he can no longer do what gives him a sense of purpose: to ride and compete. In an attempt to regain control of his fate, Brady undertakes a search for new identity and tries to redefine his idea of what it means to be a man in the heartland of America. Based on Brady Jandreau’s real life story. From Sony … Four siblings move to America with their mother to escape a troubled past in "Marrowbone" (2017), starring George Mackay, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Heaton and Mia Goth. When she dies, they vow to stay together, no matter what. But when a ghostly presence torments what’s left of their family, and a lawyer threatens their pact, the four must stand together or be torn apart forever. On DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo, 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo, from Magnet Label/Magnolia Home Entertainment … photo for Pickings "Pickings" (2018), starring Elyse Price, Katie Vincent, Emil Ferzola, Yaron Urbas, Joe Trombino, Joel Bernard and Michelle Holland, is billed as a neo-noir spaghetti western. Jo Lee-Haywood (Price) is a devoted single mother and sister who divides her time between her family and Pickings, the local Michigan tavern that she owns. When a local mob boss (Ferzola) and his goons try to muscle in and wet their beaks off Jo’s hard work, it’s up to Jo to embrace her inner demons and tap into her mysterious and violent past to protect her family and livelihood. It doesn’t take too long for the haunted, hardboiled Jo and her pistol-packing posse to lock and load and take on the mob the only way they know how. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Music Box Films … When you’re dealing with demons, be careful what you wish for. In the ultra-unsettling occult nightmare "Pyewacket" (2017), starring Nicole Muñoz and Laurie Holden, teenage Leah (Muñoz) finds solace from the recent death of her father — and from her strained relationship with her mother (Holden) — by dabbling in the dark arts. It all seems like harmless fun at first … until an argument leads Leah to do the unthinkable: put a death curse on her mother. On DVD, Blu-ray, from IFC Midnight/Scream Factory … In "Dead Shack" (2017), starring Matthew Nelson-Mahood, Lizzie Boys and Gabriel LaBelle, it’s shaping up to be a good weekend for Jason, a shy teenager. He’s driving up to a cabin in the woods photo for Dead Shack with his brash best friend Colin, Colin’s older sister, Summer, and their father and step-mother, Roger and Lisa, who are permanently stuck in party mode. But things quickly go south when Jason, Colin and Summer witness their neighbor feeding two locals to her undead husband and kids. Realizing their own potential fate, the kids must work together to bash in some zombie skulls and save themselves from the neighbor’s ghoulish family. On DVD, Blu-ray, Blu-ray/DVD Combo, from Shudder … Set amidst the seedy underbelly of Los Angeles, the bloody thriller "Lowlife" (2017) zigzags back and forth in time as it charts how fate — and a ruthless crime boss — connects three down-and-out reprobates mixed up in an organ harvesting scheme that goes from bad to worse to off-the-rails insane. On DVD, Blu-ray, from IFC Midnight/Scream Factory … A teenage girl’s coming-of-age arrives with a terrifying twist in "Wildling" (2018), a spellbinding take on the werewolf legend. Since birth, Anna (Bel Powley) has been raised in isolation by a man she knows only as Daddy (Brad Dourif). He has done everything possible to conceal the truth about her origins from her. But when the teenage Anna is suddenly thrust into the real world under the protection of no-nonsense police officer Ellen (Liv Tyler), it soon becomes clear that she is far from ordinary. On DVD, Blu-ray, from IFC Midnight/Scream Factory.

On the Indie Front:

"Brotherly Love" (2018), starring Anthony J. Caruso, Derek Babb, Chance McKee and David Blackwell, is an LGBTQ religious-drama about Which call do you answer? The one you feel from God or the one you feel about your authentic self? This is the dilemma at hand for Brother Vito, struggling with a decision as he must decide between becoming a Brother or allowing himself to declare his love for Gabe. From Breaking Glass Pictures.

Foreign Films:

In "Speed Walking" (2014 — Denmark), starring Villads Bøye, Anders W. Berthelsen and Sidse Babett Knudsen, situated in a quirky, small town situated on the outskirts of everything, 14-year-old Martin is getting ready for one of the most formal transitions from boy to man: the communion. It’s 1976, music’s in the air and hormones are blossoming. But in the midst of it all, Martin’s mother suddenly passes away. Her tragic death triggers a series of events that not only change Martin’s life forever, but also affects everyone else in the local community. Speed Walking is an intense, humorous, and evocative story about how life and death demand a transition in us all. From Breaking Glass Pictures … "Big Fish & Begonia" (2018 — China) is an animated feature that captures the unique aesthetics, mystique, and rich cultural traditions of ancient China: a photo for Big Fish & Begonia tale of love, sacrifice, and grand adventure, the film entwines new storytelling, mythical legends, and lyrical characters from beloved Chinese literary classics. Under the ocean is a mystical race of beings that control the tide and the changing of the seasons. One of these beings, a restless young girl named Chun, wants to experience the human world, not simply observe it. When she turns 16, she is allowed to transform into a dolphin to explore the human world. However, the world is a dangerous place. Trapped in a vortex, she is nearly killed but saved at the last minute by a human boy, who drowns as a result. Consumed by guilt, Chun decides to go on an epic adventure to give the boy life again. As protector of his soul, Chun must defeat those who stand in her way, including her own family. On DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo, from Shout! Factory … In "Zama" (2017 — Argentina), starring Daniel Giménez Cacho, Lola Dueñas and Matheus Nachtergaele, the titular character, Zama, an officer of the Spanish Crown born in South America, waits for a letter from the King granting him a transfer from the town in which he is stagnating, to a better place. His situation is photo for Bye Bye Germany delicate. He must ensure that nothing overshadows his transfer. He is forced to accept submissively every task entrusted to him by successive Governors who come and go as he stays behind. The years go by and the letter from the King never arrives. When Zama notices everything is lost, he joins a party of soldiers that go after a dangerous bandit. From Strand Releasing … "Bye Bye Germany" (2018 — Germany), starring Moritz Bleibtreu, Antje Traue, Tim Seyfi, Mark Ivanir and Anatole Taubman, takes place in Frankfurt in 1946. David Bermann (Bleibtreu) is determined to make the most of the ravaged postwar era by recruiting some friends from a displaced persons camp to sell linens at inflated prices to unsuspecting Germans. Most of the group have a simple motivation: to raise the money necessary to leave Germany behind and move on to the United States. But David has a secret, and the beautiful American Army investigator Sara Simon (Antje Traue) is determined to uncover it. From Film Movement.

For the Family:

"Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Complete Series (25th Anniversary Edition Steelbook)": In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the multi-generational pop culture phenomenon, Shout! Factory, in collaboration with Saban Brands, will release this stunning Power Rangers collection. Spanning the first three seasons of the Power Rangers television series and spotlighting "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie" for the first time on Blu-ray, this collection features over 60 hours of action-packed entertainment across 19 DVDs and 1 Blu-ray, including hours of bonus content with brand-new interviews specific to the movie. In 1993 two unsuspecting astronauts unleashed the greatest evil Earth had ever known — the heinous witch Rita Repulsa. In the 25 years since, with each new villain more photo for Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Complete Series (25th Anniversary Edition Steelbook) sinister than the last, the citizens of Earth have relied on the Power Rangers to protect them. As a superhero team comprising “teenagers with attitude,” the Power Rangers must use their individual strengths combined with the virtue of teamwork to vanquish their foes, keeping Earth safe for another day. Following its debut in 1993, Saban’s iconic live-action pop culture franchise quickly became the most watched children’s television program in North America. Emphasizing the importance of teamwork, responsibility and helping others by following the adventures of a group of ordinary young people who “morphed” into superheroes, this long-running series has been seen in more than 60 countries, translated into numerous languages, and remains a mainstay in children’s programming blocks. On DVD, Blu-ray.

Special Interest:

"The Us Festival: 1982: The Us Generation" (2017) is an in-depth look at one of the most influential music festivals of all time. "The Us Generation" is from award winning filmmaker and rockumentarian Glenn Aveni, who is also the film's director. Co-photo for The Us Festival: 1982: The Us Generationdirected by Jay Cederholm and produced by Bruce Gibb & Rich Schmig, the film blends rare concert footage and insightful interviews with both organizers and performers. The film tells the story of the groundbreaking 1982 Us Festival — an epic three-day event featuring an eclectic and unprecedented lineup boasting some of the biggest names in music, performing live in front of over one million people at Glen Helen Regional Park in San Bernardino, CA. The Us Festival was the brainchild of Apple visionary Steve Wozniak, who wanted to create something that was a true celebration of Americana, cultivating positive vibes and building a deep sense of community through the power of technology and music. Highlights include performances by chart-topping superstars Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, alt-rock trio The Police, blues rock heroes Fleetwood Mac, guitar virtuoso Carlos Santana, retro-chic favorites The B-52s, and new wave icons The Cars; as well as archived appearances by Johnny & Joey Ramone, Carlos Santana, Sting, Ric Ocasek, Danny Elfman, and Fred Schneider; plus exclusive sit-downs with festival founder Steve Wozniak, Mick Fleetwood, Eddie Money, Marky Ramone, Kate Pierson, Stewart Copeland, and Mickey Hart, among others. In a Blu-ray/DVD Combo, from MVD Visual.

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 August 6, 2018 No Responses »
Jul 312018
 

From the Big Screen:

"Tully," "Overboard" and "The Miracle Season." For more information on other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.

It's the end of July and the lazy days of Summer are upon us — with a paucity of new and exciting releases.

"Buzzin' the 'B's:"

In "Kings" (2017), starring Halle Berry, Daniel Craig, Lamar Johnson, Kaalan “KR” Walker and Rachel Hilson, Millie (Berry) is the foster mother of a dozen children in South Central LA in 1992. Jesse, her eldest, is fighting with newcomer William over a beautiful runaway they meet at school. On television, the Rodney King trial is in full swing and has captured the attention of the nation. Desperate to keep her family safe as riots erupt around the city, Millie seeks help from her eccentric neighbor (Daniel Craig). From Lionsgate … photo for Dark Crimes In "Dark Crimes" (2017), starring Jim Carrey, Marton Csokas and Charlotte Gainsbourg, police officer Tadek (Carrey) finds similarities between an unsolved murder and a crime outlined in a book by famed writer Krystof Kozlov, and he begins to track Kozlov and his girlfriend, a mysterious sex-club worker (Gainsbourg). As his obsession with Kozlov grows, Tadek descends into a deadly underworld of sex, lies, and corruption to find the shocking, deadly truth. On DVD, Blu-ray from Lionsgate … In "Final Portrait" (2017), starring Geoffrey Rush, Armie Hammer, Tony Shalhoub, while on a short trip to Paris in 1964,, the American writer and art-lover James Lord is asked by his friend, the world-renowned artist Alberto Giacometti, to sit for a portrait. The process, Giacometti assures Lord, will take only a few days. Flattered and intrigued, Lord agrees. So begins not only the photo for Piranha II: The Spawningstory of a touching and offbeat friendship, but, seen through the eyes of Lord, a uniquely revealing insight into the beauty, frustration, profundity and, at times, downright chaos of the artistic process. Adapted from Lord’s memoir "A Giacometti Portrait." From Sony … And don't forget the Blu-ray debut of "Piranha II: The Spawning" (1981), James Cameron's directorial debut, starring Tricia O’Neil, Lance Henriksen, Steve Marachuk and Ricky Paull Goldin. While investigating the mysterious death of a diver, scuba instructor Anne Kimbrough makes a horrific discovery: Piranha-like fish, with wings that enable them to fly, are responsible for the death. As the body count rises, Anne desperately tries to convince the manager of the Club Elysium resort to call off the annual fish fry on the beach, but he’s determined to give his guests the ultimate feeding frenzy. Sequel to Joe Dante’s original "Piranha." From Scream Factory.

From TV to Disc:

"Murdoch Mysteries, Season 11" (2017-18) contains eighteen episodes of the Canadian period mystery. Detective William Murdoch and his friends face new challenges in Edwardian Toronto. With Murdoch languishing in jail for murder, Constable Crabtree, Inspector Brackenreid and Detective Watts race to prove his innocence, while Dr. Julia Ogden remains in hiding from the corrupt forces that have taken over Station House No. 4. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Acorn Media.

On the Indie Front:

"Lou Andreas-Salome, The Audacity to be Free" (2018), starring Katharina Lorenz, Liv Lisa Fries, Alexander Scheer and Harold Schrott, is the award-winning film based on the life of Lou Andreas-Salome, the world’s first female psychoanalyst, author, and contemporary of Freud, Nietzsche, Rilke and Reé. While photo for Lou Andreas-Salome, The Audacity to be Free the greatest minds of the 18th and 19th centuries treated her as an equal, society and history did not. Andreas-Salomé enraptured 19th century Europe’s greatest minds. In her youth, she scandalized society by pursuing an education and living a life free from convention. She befriended philosophers Paul Rée and Friedrich Nietzsche, denying them both an intimate relationship so as to remain their equal. As a published author and lecturer, she met the poet Rainer Maria Rilke who became one of her lovers, while she maintained a platonic marriage with another man. In her maturity, she gained another admirer in Sigmund Freud and, with him, helped to develop psychoanalysis becoming its first female practitioner. From Cinema Libre Studio.

For the Family:

In "LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes: Aquaman – Rage of Atlantis" (2018), Aquaman must battle foes in the air, on land and in the depths of the Seven Seas, along with some help from The Justice League, to save the day in his latest animated adventure. The King of Atlantis must make some difficult decisions to ensure the future of his ocean realm. Under attack from Atrocitus and the Red Lanterns, Aquaman realizes he must relinquish his sovereignty and go on a journey to regain his confidence before returning to his rightful throne. Along the way, Aquaman reunites with the Justice League — including Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and newest member Jessica Cruz/Green Lantern – to conquer Atlantis’ latest enemy and reemerge as the ruler of the Seven Seas. On DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo, from Warner.

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 July 31, 2018 No Responses »
Jul 232018
 

From the Big Screen:

"Ready Player One." For more information on other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.

This Week's Best Bets:

The long-awaited "A Matter of Life and Death" (1946) comes to home video shelves this week in a scrumptious Criterion Collection edition. After miraculously surviving a jump from his burning plane, RAF pilot Peter Carter (David Niven) encounters the American radio operator (Kim Hunter) to whom he’s just delivered his dying wishes and, face-to-face on a tranquil English beach, the photo for A Matter of Life and Death pair fall in love. When a messenger from the afterlife arrives to correct the clerical error that spared his life, Peter must mount a fierce defense for his right to stay on earth — painted by production designer Alfred Junge and cinematographer Jack Cardiff as a rich Technicolor Eden — climbing a wide staircase to stand trial in a starkly beautiful, black-and-white modernist heaven. Peppered by humorous jabs intended to smooth tensions between the wartime allies Britain and America, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s richly humanistic "A Matter of Life and Death" traverses time and space to make a case for the transcendent value of love. On DVD and Blu-ray, with new 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray … In the noirish classic "I Walk Alone" (1947), starring Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Lizabeth Scott, partners-in-crime Frankie (Lancaster) and Noll (Douglas) split up to evade capture by the police. Frankie is caught and jailed, but Noll photo for I Walk Alone manages to escape and open a posh New York City nightclub. Years later Frankie is released from the clink and visits Noll with the intention of collecting his half of the nightclub's profits. But Noll, who has no intention of being so equitable, uses his ex-girlfriend Kay (Scott) to divert Frankie from his intended goal. Co-starring Wendell Corey and legendary noir baddies Marc Lawrence and Mike Mazurki. Brand new HD master from a 4K scan of the 35mm safety dupe negative by Paramount Pictures Archive. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Kino Lorber Studio Classics … Legendary serial and western director William Witney directed the film noir "A Strange Adventure" (1956), starribng Ben Cooper, Joan Evans, Marla English, Nick Adams and Jan Merlin, about a trio of armored-car robbers who make their getaway by forcing a young hot-rodder (Cooper) to be their driver. The vicious criminals take over a mountain cabin for a hideout after overpowering its occupants. Beautifully shot in black-and-white by Bud Thackery. Brand new HD master from a 4K scan of the 35mm original negative by Paramount Pictures Archive. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Kino Lorber Studio Classics.

Also due this week: "The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey" (1988): Following the release of his 1984 debut feature "Vigil," Vincent Ward returned four years later with "The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey," a film that would cement his position as one of the most exciting filmmaking talents to emerge during the photo for The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey eighties. Cumbria, 1348 — the year of the Black Death. Griffin, a young boy, is plagued by apocalyptic visions that he believes could save his village. Encouraging a small band of men to tunnel into the earth, they surface in 1980s New Zealand and a future beyond their comprehension — but they must complete their quest. Nominated for the Palme d'Or at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, "The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey" is a bold and often startling fusion of medieval fantasy and time travel science fiction, quite unlike anything you've seen. Formats: Blu-ray. From Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment … "Dagon" (2001): H.P. Lovecraft’s iconic tale comes to life when the Vestron Video Collector’s Series releases the modern retelling of the horror classic "Dagon" on limited edition Blu-ray. Directed by horror mastermind Stuart Gordon and starring Ezra Godden, evil rises and a legend unleashes the rage of Hell after a yacht crashes on the Spanish coast and the survivors are forced to face their nightmares. Restored and remastered.In a Blu-ray debut from Lionsgate.

From TV to Disc:

"Keeping Faith" (2017 — UK) is a three-disc set with all eight episodes about Faith Howells, a fun-loving lawyer with a happy marriage and three children, enjoying an extended maternity leave from the law firm she founded with her husband, Evan. One day, however, Evan leaves for work but never arrives. Faith scrambles to handle the clients Evan left behind, all while trying to find out what happened to her husband. As the days go by with no sign of him, Faith becomes the police’s prime suspect, and her search for the truth leads her to the criminal underbelly of her quiet Welsh town. When long-buried family secrets come to light, photo for Spiral Season Six Faith wonders if she ever really knew her husband at all. On DVD, Blu-ray from Acorn Media … The long-awaited new season of the hard-hitting Parisian cop thriller "Spiral" makes its way to DVD this week. "Spiral Season Six" (2017) is a three-disc set with all 12 episodes of one of my favorite TV series. Originally released in France as "Engrenages" in 2005, the series became a critically acclaimed blockbuster success across Europe and Australia and won the International Emmy Award for Best Drama. It's been a well-kept secret here in the US but more and more people are finding out about this gritty, down-to-earth Parisian crime drama that goes "Law & Order" one better by focusing on criminals, police, prosecutors and defense attorneys — with all their successes and failures. Many of the flawed characters are not very likeable but their humanity sucks you into their stories from episode to episode. The main emphasis is, of course, on the working class cops — fighting working class crime in working class neighborhoods in working class clothes — and fighting the self-serving higher-ups only concerned with promotions and monetary compensation. BAFTA nominee Caroline Proust returns as Captain Laure Berthaud, as she and her team begin a complex new investigation after a human torso is discovered in the 20th arrondissement in Paris. Backed up by her team of detectives including Thierry Godard as Lt. Gilou and Fred Bianconi as Tintin, the investigation is overseen by Judge Roban, played by veteran French actor Philippe Duclos. Audrey Fleurot also returns as lawyer Joséphine Karlsson, who continues to juggle her professional ambitions with her personal demons. From MHz Network. "Engrenages," by the way, translates as "the act of putting into gear" or just "gears." From MHz Network. (You can stream previous seasons via MHz Network or Hulu).

"Buzzin' the 'B's:"

There's three Blu-ray debuts this week from Scream Factory, all directed by John Carpenter: "In the Mouth of Madness [Collector’s Edition]" (1994), starring Jürgen Prochnow, Charlton Heston and Sam Neill. Sutter Cane (Prochnow) is the best-selling author whose newest novel is literally driving readers insane. When he inexplicably vanishes, his publisher (Heston) sends special investigator John Trent (Neill) to track him down. Drawn to a town that exists only in Cane's books, Trent crosses the barrier between fact and fiction and enters a terrifying world from which there is no escape. 4K scan of the original film elements. From Scream Factory … photo for Memoirs of an Invisible Man BLU-RAY DEBUT "Memoirs of an Invisible Man" (1992), starring Chevy Chase, Sam Neill and Daryl Hannah, makes its Blu-ray debut this week. Thanks to a nuclear accident, Nick Halloway (Chase) has become invisible. Invisibility makes it easier to spy on agents (particularly chief adversary Neill) who've put him in his predicament. And he can romance a lovely documentary producer (Hannah) in a way she's never "seen" before. New 2K scan of the original film elements … "Someone’s Watching Me" (1978), starring Lauren Hutton, David Birney and Adrienne Barbea. Los Angeles newcomer Leigh Michaels (Hutton) moves into a chic high-rise apartment building. She loves the view. So does the Peeping Tom who lives somewhere in the adjacent tower. Leigh fights back, matching her tormentor's obsession with her own relentless drive to uncover his identity. The prey is now predator — and that escalates the stalker's game to a deadly new level. New 2K scan from the original film elements — in both 1.85:1 and 1.33:1 aspect ratios.

In "Tiger by the Tail" (1970), starring Christopher George, Tippi Hedren, Dean Jagger, Charo, R.G. Armstrong, Lloyd Bochner, Skip Homeier, John Dehner, Alan Hale Jr. and Dennis Patrick, a Vietnam War veteran (George) returns home to restore his relationship with his estranged brother (Patrick), a principal shareholder of a California racetrack. Upon arrival, he discovers that his brother has been murdered during a robbery. After being framed for his brother's murder, he looks up his old flame (Hedren) to assist him in solving the robbery and murder. The ex-lovers are now caught in the callous greed of corrupt and vicious shareholders responsible for the cover-up and his brother's murder. Brand new HD master from a 4K scan of the 35mm original negative and interpostive by Paramount Pictures Archive. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Kino Lorber Studio Classics … In "Love Me Deadly" (1972), starring Mary Charlotte Wilcox, Lyle Waggoner, Christopher Stone, Timothy Scott and H.B. Halicki, Lindsay (Wilcox) has an unusual photo for Operation Red Seafascination with the dead, she often finds herself at funerals for people she doesn't even know. Once the mourners have cleared out, she's drawn to the corpse by an unspeakable sexual curiosity. It appears that this obsession with the recently deceased has been brewing within Lindsay for quite some time and might have been something to do with her late father. She makes an attempt at a normal relationship with Lyle Waggoner, but is also lured into a corpse-loving cult by a creepy undertaker. Equal parts sick soap opera and exploitation, "Love Me Deadly" still has the power to disturb and disgust 46 years later after its original release. Brand new 2K scan of the original camera negative. On Blu-ray from Code Red/Kino Lorber … In "Operation Red Sea" (2018 — China), starring Zhang Yi, Huang Jingyu, Hai Qing, Du Jiang, Jiang Luxia, Yin Fang, Wang Yutian and Simon Yam, famed action director Dante Lam returns with an explosive follow-up to his 2016 "Operation photo for The Night of the Virgin Mekong." When a terrorist plot to obtain nuclear materials is hidden under the cover of a violent coup, only the Chinese Navy's elite Jiaolong (Sea Dragon) Assault Team have the deadly skill and precision needed to take on the situation and rescue Chinese citizens and foreign refugees. Set amid militant unrest in a fictional Middle Eastern country.On DVD, Blu-ray, from Well Go USA … In "Beyond Re-Animator" (2003), starring Jeffrey Combs, Jason Barry, Elsa Pataky and Javier Sandoval, everyone’s favorite mad scientist continues his re-animation research, turning the penitentiary he’s been incarcerated in for the past 14 years into a new branch of hell. After causing the Miskatonic University Massacre, Dr. Herbert West has been serving a prison sentence for the past 14 years. When Howard, a new young doctor, comes to work as the prison MD and requests Dr. West’s assistance, Dr. West discovers that Howard has something he left behind 14 years ago. On Blu-ray from Vestron Video Collector’s Series/Lionsgate … In the horror-comedy "The Night of the Virgin" (2016 — Spain), starring Javier Bódalo, Miriam Martín and Víctor Amilibia, Nico, a naive 20-year-old, sets out to lose his virginity — at all costs — at a New Year's Eve party. In the middle of the party, his gaze crosses Medea, a cunning and attractive mature woman. Look out Nico. From Cleopatra Entertainment.

Foreign Films:

In "You Will Be Mine" (2009 –France), starring Judith Davis and Isild Le Besco, Marie Dandin (Davis), a promising young concert pianist, leaves home to study at the prestigious Lyons National Conservatory. Shy and innocent, she moves in with her childhood friend Emma (Le Besco) who has lived alone since the death of her father years earlier. The intimate bond that the two women share eventually develops into an intense sexual relationship. But as Emma grows more possessive and controlling, Marie struggles to reconcile her feelings of desire with the need to escape Emma's suffocating passion. From Film Movement … photo for You Will Be Mine "Tainted Souls" (2017 — Italy), starring Vinicio Marchioni, Anna Foglietta and Giulia Bevilacqua, is set in a working-class apartment building in Rome where the lives of a bisexual former body builder, his wife, his male lover, and a pair of ambitious criminals intersect against a backdrop of crime, confused sexual feelings, and tainted relationships. Soon these lost souls will come to find that the hunger for power is an unstoppable disease from which there is no cure. From Breaking Glass Pictures … "Indivisible" (2016 — Italy) is an award-winning Italian drama about the unbreakable bonds of sisterhood. Dasy and Viola (Angela and Marianna Fontana) are conjoined twin sisters living in the suburbs of Naples. They are blessed with beautiful voices and, thanks to their performances at local weddings, communions and baptisms, have become the breadwinners for their entire family. Kept isolated from the world by their exploiting father, their lives are turned upside down when one of them falls in love for the first time … and they discover that it is possible for them to be separated. On DVD, Blu-ray from Kino Lorber Studio Classics … In "The Great Game" (2015 — France), starring Melvil Poupaud, André Dussollier and Clémence Poésy, Pierre (Poupaud), a onetime daring novelist disgusted with the publishing world, lets a duplicitous government insider (Dussollier) tempt him into ghostwriting a manifesto designed to transform French public opinion. This act has risky consequences for the activist (Poésy) with whom he soon becomes involved. Nicholas Pariser’s debut feature is an elegant political thriller that makes much use of its stellar cast, particularly in the performance of André Dussollier, who commits to his character’s malevolence with relish. From Distrib Films/Icarus Films … photo for The Three-Way Wedding In "The Three-Way Wedding" (2010 — France), starring Pascal Greggory, Julie Depardieu, Louis Garrel and Agathe Bonitzer, renowned playwright Auguste (Greggory) is struggling to complete his latest play. Looking for inspiration, he invites the cast to join him at his country estate. Harriet (Depardieu), his leading lady, is also his ex-wife, and her leading man, Théo (Garrel), is her new lover. Sensing their attraction, Auguste decides to seduce Fanny (Bonitzer), his beautiful young assistant. But as sparks fly and resentments flare, Auguste wonders whether he could have a three-way marriage with both women. From Film Movement … In this searing and mesmerizing drama "Razzia" (2017 — Morocco), starring Maryam Touzani, Arieh Worthalter, Amine Ennaji, Abdelilah Rachid and Dounia Binebine, five Moroccans from different social and religious strata are pushed to the fringe by their extremist government. Spanning three decades and several storylines, director Nabil Ayouch weaves an intricate tale of lost loves, forbidden desires, and fragile dreams in modern day Morocco. The Moroccan Entry for the 2018 Academy Awards. On DVD from First Run Features … "O Fantasma" (2000 — Portugal), starring Ricardo Meneses, Beatriz Torcato and Andre Barbosa, is an erotic cautionary tale about a marginalized young man (Meneses), a trash collector living and working in the seedy north of Lisbon, exploring his sexuality. The film charts the young man's odyssey, with its potential for self-discovery as well as self-obliteration, with psychological insight and visual power. From Strand Releasing.

Special Interest:

"American Masters — Ted Williams: The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived"
(2018): During his remarkable career with the Boston Red Sox, Ted Williams earned many nicknames — The Kid, The Splendid Splinter and Teddy Ballgame, but the only nickname that he wanted was “the greatest hitter who ever lived.” In that pursuit, he combined his preternatural gifts with a fierce work ethic to become widely regarded as one of the greatest ever to play the game of baseball and in the process elevated the science of hitting in ways still emulated today. Through never-before-seen archival footage and in-depth interviews with those who knew and photo for American Masters -- Ted Williams: The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived studied Williams, including his daughter Claudia Williams, author/journalist Ben Bradlee, Jr., veteran baseball writer Roger Angela, and award-winning broadcasters Bob Costas and the late Dick Enberg, the program demonstrates the power of the heroic myth-making culture in which Williams flourished. Lesser-known topics explored include Williams’ Mexican-American background, his experiences serving during World War II and the Korean War, and his deep rage over his mother’s virtual abandonment of him and his younger brother. Narrated by Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning actor Jon Hamm, the documentary also looks at the legendary player’s impact on the game of baseball and his relevance in the almost 60 years since his retirement, highlighted by Williams’ iconic achievement — he is the last player to hit over .400, finishing the 1941 season batting .406. Former players — including Baseball Hall of Famers Willie McCovey and Wade Boggs, three-time All-Star Jim Kaat, and current Cincinnati Reds first baseman and former National League MVP Joey Votto — share how Williams’ philosophy, commitment to greatness and approach to hitting influenced them in the film. From PBS Distribution.

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 July 23, 2018 No Responses »
Jul 172018
 

From the Big Screen:

"Rampage," "Isle of Dogs," "Super Troopers 2," "I Feel Pretty" and "Blumhouse's Truth or Dare." For more information on other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.

This Week's Best Bets:

"Woman Is the Future of Man/Tale of Cinema: Two Films By Hong Sangsoo" (2004/2005): This collection brings together "Woman is the Future of Man" and "Tale of Cinema," the fifth and sixth films by Hong Sangsoo, the masterful South Korean filmmaker who has been favorably compared to that great French observer of human foibles, Eric Rohmer. "Woman is the Future of Man" tells of two long-time friends, a filmmaker (Kim Taewoo) and a teacher (Yoo Jitae), who have had an photo for Woman Is the Future of Man/Tale of Cinema: Two Films By Hong Sangsoo affair with the same woman (Sung Hyunah). The friends decide to meet the girl one more time and see what happens. "Tale of Cinema" uses the trope of a film within a film to tell two stories, that of a depressive young man (Lee Kiwoo) who forms a suicide pact with a friend (Uhm Jiwon); and the tale of a filmmaker (Kim Sangkyung) who sees a film that he believes was based on his life, and who meets the actress from the film with a view to turning their onscreen relationship into reality. With these critically acclaimed films, presented here in high definition for the first time with a wealth of extras, Hong Sangsoo employs his idiosyncratic, measured style to create two compelling and truthful tapestries of human emotion and behavior. On Blu-ray from Arrow Academy/MVD Entertainment.

"sex, lies, and videotape"(1989): With his provocative feature debut, 26-year-old Steven Soderbergh trained his focus on the complexities of human intimacy and deception in the modern age. Housewife Ann (Andie MacDowell) feels distant from her lawyer husband, John (Peter Gallagher), who is sleeping with her sister (Laura San Giacomo). When John’s old friend Graham (a magnetic, Cannes-award-photo for sex, lies, and videotapewinning James Spader) comes to town, Ann is drawn to the soft-spoken outsider, eventually uncovering his startling private obsession: videotaping women as they confess their deepest desires. A piercingly intelligent and flawlessly performed chamber piece, in which the video camera becomes a charged metaphor for the characters’ isolation, the Palme d’Or–winning "sex, lies, and videotape" changed the landscape of American film, helping pave the way for the thriving independent scene of the 1990s. On DVD and Blu-ray, with new, restored 4K digital transfer, supervised by director Steven Soderbergh, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray. From The Criterion Collection.

"Doom Asylum" (1987): If you thought "Sex and the City 2" was a stomach-churner, you ain't seen nothing yet. Long before playing one of Carrie Bradshaw's best gal pals, actress Kristen Davis found herself up against an altogether different kind of horror in 1987's" Doom Asylum": a riotous mix of gore, gags and goth girl groups galore. When a group of horny teens wind up on the grounds of a creepy abandoned asylum, they think they've found the perfect place to party. Little do they know that inside the building's crumbling walls lurks a freakishly photo for Doom Asylum deformed maniac, driven to madness by the tragic loss of his fiancée in a car accident. With an array of grisly surgical tools at his disposal, it's only a matter of time before the youngsters begin meeting various splattery ends at the hands of the ghoulish Coroner. Brand new 2K restoration from the original camera negative. On Blu-ray from Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment.

"The Case of the Scorpion's Tail" (1971): One of the major consequences of Western Europe's post-war Economic Miracle was the proliferation of international travel. Eager to tap into audiences' desire to experience the glamor of the jet set lifestyle, the popular filmmakers of the day rushed to make the most of the exotic locales at their disposal. Arguably no other giallo captured this trend as vividly as "The Case of the Scorpion's Tail." The film begins in London, where Lisa Baumer (Evelyn Stewart) learns that her husband has died in a freak plane accident. Summoned to Athens to collect his generous life insurance policy, she soon discovers that others besides herself are keen to get their hands on the money — and are willing to kill for it. Meanwhile, private detective Peter Lynch (George Hilton) arrives to investigate irregularities in the insurance claim. Teaming up with a beautiful reporter, Cléo Dupont (Anita Strindberg), Lynch resolves to unearth the truth … before he too ends up on the wrong end of the murderer's straight razor. The second giallo by genre master Sergio Martino, "The Case of the Scorpion's Tail" combines stunning views of Athens and the Greek coastline with brutal bursts of violence, a typically tangled script by Ernesto Gastaldi ("Death Walks on High Heels"), and a cast overflowing with Euro cult talent. Brand new 4K restoration of the film from the original camera negative. On Blu-ray from Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment.

photo for Irma La Douce
"Irma La Douce" (1963): The stars and director of "The Apartment" reunite in the bawdy, charming and romantic farce about a French policeman (Lemmon) who falls in love with a prostitute. To keep his beloved, the proud and profitable lady of the streets Irma la Douce (MacLaine), off the streets, he disguises himself as Lord X, who immediately becomes Irma's sole client and means of support. But what's a jealous boyfriend to do when the illustrious Irma claims that the man she's really in love with is not the smitten Nestor, but the dotty old Lord himself? The wonderful character actors Lou Jacobi and Herschel Bernardi co-star in this classic comedy co-written and directed by the great Billy Wilder. André Previn won an Oscar for his rousing score. The film also received Oscar nominations for Best Actress in a leading role (MacLaine) and Best Cinematography, Color (Joseph LaShelle). Brand new HD master from a 4K scan of the original camera negative. On Blu-ray from Kino Lorber Studio Classics.

From TV to Disc:

"The Good Place: The Complete Second Season" (2017-18) is a two-disc set with all 13 episodes. When Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell) finds herself in the afterlife, she's both relieved and surprised that she's made it into the Good Place. But it doesn't take long for Eleanor to realize she's there by mistake. Co-stars Jameela Jamil, Manny Jacinto, Ted Danson, D'Arcy Carden. Formats: DVD. From Shout! Factory … "Modus Season 1" (2015) is a single-disc set photo for The Good Place: The Complete Second Season with all eight episodes. A smart and brooding Swedish detective series that follows psychologist and ex-FBI profiler Inger Johanne Vik (Melinda Kinnaman) as she finds herself and her autistic daughter drawn into an investigation of a series of disturbing and brutal deaths in Stockholm. The case leads her to team up with local detective Ingvar Nymann (Henrik Norle´n) and together they set about uncovering the clues to these shocking crimes. As the number of mysterious murders starts to increase, Inger Johanne is driven by her need to protect her daughter and starts noticing a pattern. But her discovery of the killer's weakness and the connection to a ruthless international network unintentionally turns the entire threat towards herself and her family. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Kino Lorber … "Sneaky Pete: Season 1" (2017) is a single disc with 10 episodes. A con man (Giovanni Ribisi) on the run from a vicious gangster takes cover from his past by assuming photo for The Tunnel: Vengeance Season 3the identity of his prison cellmate, Pete. “Reuniting” with Pete’s estranged family, a colorful, dysfunctional group, threatens to drag him into a world just as dangerous as the one he’s trying to escape — and, just maybe, give him a taste of the loving family he’s never had. From Sony … "The Tunnel: Vengeance Season 3" (2018) is the final season of the critically acclaimed bilingual crime thriller reunites Stephen Dillane in his International Emmy Award-winning role as Karl Roebuck with Clémence Poésy as Elise Wassermann for their last outing as the unlikely Anglo-French police duo. This season, the investigative pair takes on a toxic and terrifying folie à deux whose mutual defining quality is an existential death wish. When the question posed by the couple — what is a life worth? — is directed straight back at Karl, he is forced to confront an utterly impossible choice that will haunt the audience long after the closing credits. Set amidst mid-Brexit hysteria, “The Tunnel: Vengeance” tackles an escalating refugee crisis and examines the increasing threat of terror occasioned by disenfranchised, exiled souls on whom society has turned its back. From PBS Distribution.

"Buzzin' the 'B's:"

In "You Were Never Really Here" (2018), starring Joaquin Phoenix, Ekaterina Samsonov, Alessandro Nivola and Judith Roberts, a traumatized veteran, unafraid of violence, tracks down missing girls for a living. When a job spins out of control, his nightmares overtake him as a conspiracy is uncovered leading to what may be his death trip or his awakening. On DVD, Blu-ray,from Lionsgate … "Across the River" (2018 — UK), starring Elizabeth Healey, Keir Charles and Liz Richardson, is a "slice of life" story about one couple's second-chance at goodbye. It's the emotionally resonant tale of first lovers reunited by accident as both, thwarted by the challenges of a public transportation strike, seek to get home on a busy London afternoon — but to opposite sides of the river. As they reminisce, laugh and cry, the reality of their current lives pulls them apart, but the memory of what they had — and could have had — tempts them. From Random Media.

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 July 17, 2018 No Responses »

 
 Posted by on February 22, 2018 Comments Off on
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