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

From the Big Screen:

“The Meg,” “Mile 22” and “Alpha.” For more information on other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.

This Week’s Highlights:

“Ernie Kovacs: The Centennial Edition:” Celebrate the 100th birthday of television’s original genius and his groundbreaking, rule-breaking, surreal and charmingly silly comedy. Across nine discs and 22 Hours, home audiences will find a cornucopia of Ernie Kovacs’ greatest and most memorable “hits,” showcasing an utterly unique sensibility that has influenced such comedy institutions as Monty Python and “Saturday Night Live” including episodes from his local and national morning shows, episodes from his NBC prime-time show, his five ABC-TV specials, photo for Ernie Kovacs: The Centennial Editionthe rare color version of his legendary silent show, “Eugene”, three complete episodes of his offbeat game show “Take a Good Look”, “A Pony for Chris”, Kovacs’ rarely-seen pilot for “Medicine Man” co-starring Buster Keaton, the only existing filmed solo interview with Kovacs himself, his award-winning commercials for Dutch Masters Cigars, a collection of short films, tributes rarities and much more. While best known as “Television’s Original Genius”, Kovacs’ groundbreaking work in the early days of television has been his legacy, though he also starred in movies, recorded LPs, hosted radio shows, wrote novels, and worked as a columnist for his hometown paper, “The Trentonian”. Many of his fans, however, may not know that the creative giant was also an artist, never without a pen and paper — and the chronic insomniac often worked well into the night. Early in his career, one of Kovacs’ favorite TV segments was his “Illustrated Profuselies.” And during this “visual improv” set to music, the viewing audience got to watch his fertile mind at work, as he quickly sketched doodles. Frequently drawn in pencil and sometimes using colors, these abstract, sometimes surrealistic images soon took shape and were eventually revealed on camera. From Shout! Factory … “Gas Food Lodging:” (1992), starring Brooke Adams, Ione Skye and Fairuza Balk. Adapted from the novel photo for Gas Food Lodging “Don’t Look and It Won’t Hurt” by Richard Peck, Allison Anders whipped up a storm at the 42nd Berlin International Film Festival with her masterfully crafted tale of a young woman trying to find love while struggling to bring up her two daughters. Abandoned by her husband, Nora (Adams) waitresses to keep her head above water while raising two teenagers in a small New Mexico town trailer park. Beautiful and rebellious, Trudi (Skye) quits school to work alongside her mother, while her sister Shade (Balk) whittles away her time watching old movie matinees. Their life is turned on its head when Trudi finds that she has fallen pregnant after a string of promiscuous relationships and the girls’ absent father returns with hopes of mending the relationships he broke when he left. A wonderfully engaging story of the woes of teenagers reaching adulthood, “Gas Food Lodging” is a distinctly American portrayal of a mother trying to raise two wayward teens with growing pains, who are learning about love, life and each other. This director-approved restoration finally affords this 90s modern classic the home video treatment it rightly deserves. On Blu-ray from Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment … “The Last Movie” (1971): Directed by Dennis Hopper and starring Hopper, Stella Garcia, Don Gordon, Tomas Milian, Daniel Ades, Julie Adams, Samuel Fuller and Peter Fonda. New 4K restoration. Dennis Hopper’s radical, much-mythologized lost masterpiece — widely unseen for nearly 50 years. Consciously self-reflexive and co-written by Hopper and “Rebel Without a Cause” screenwriter Stewart Stern, T”The Last Movie” follows a Hollywood movie crew in the midst of making a western in a remote Peruvian village. When production wraps, Hopper, as the baleful stuntman Kansas, remains, attempting to find redemption in the isolation of Peru and the arms of a former prostitute. Meanwhile, the local Indians have taken over the abandoned set and begun to stage a ritualistic re-enactment of the production — with Kansas as their sacrificial lamb. Among the most storied productions of the New Hollywood Era, Hopper was given carte blanche by Universal for his next directorial feature after the tremendous commercial success of “Easy Rider”, and writer-director-star took the money and ran – literally – staging “The Last Movie” in Peru at farthest remove from the Hollywood machine, with an on-screen entourage in tow that included Kris Kristofferson, Julie Adams, Stella Garcia, Peter Fonda, Dean Stockwell, Toni Basil, Russ Tamblyn, Michelle Phillips and director Samuel Fuller. Although it won a special award at the Venice Film Festival, the film would effectively end Hopper’s career for many years — the Hollywood establishment gleefully writing him off as a self-indulgent madman. Yet the movie remains thrillingly innovative and remarkably contemporary – influenced greatly by the work of Bruce Conner and the French New Wave, as well as the Pop and Abstract artists Hopper revered. On DVD, Blu-ray from Arbelos Films … photo for The Wizard of Gore “The Wizard of Gore:” (1970), starring Ray Sager, Judy Cler and Wayne Ratay. From the crazed madman of the macabre, late splatter movie pioneer Herschell Gordon Lewis (“Blood Feast,” “Two Thousand Maniacs!”), comes his most fiendish feat of terrifying onscreen trickery yet — behold, The Wizard of Gore! You’ve all seen the trick in which the magician saws his glamorous assistant in half — but what about the spike through the brain gag? Or the good old smashing punch-press? Montag the Magnificent’s blood-curdling onstage performances shock and dazzle his audiences in equal measure. But when his participants start winding up dead, local TV talk show hostess Sherry Carson suspects his gruesome “act” may be more sinister than it first seems. Featuring some of the most notorious gory setpieces in all of director H.G. Lewis’ blood-soaked career, this is a stomach-churning, Grand Guignol production that’s less sleight of hand and more slice of hand. On Blu-ray from Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment.

And four Blu-ray debuts this week: “Dances With Wolves” (1990): Kevin Costner stars in and directs the triumphant cinematic masterpiece. Winner of seven Academy Awards, including Best Director and Best Picture, this modern classic tells the story of Lt. Dunbar (Costner), a Civil War hero who befriends a tribe of Native Americans while stationed at a desolate outpost on the frontier. What follows is a series of unforgettable moments — from Dunbar’s tender scenes with Stands With A Fist (Mary McDonnell), to the thrilling, action-packed buffalo hunt. Based on the novel by Michael Blake. The three-disc Steelbook Collector’s Edition includes the original theatrical cut for the first time on Blu-ray, an extended cut of the film (both with commentary) and an entire disc of bonus features. From Shout! Factory … “School Daze” (1988): Directed by Spike Lee and starring Laurence Fishburne, Giancarlo Esposito, Tisha Campbell-Martin, Kadeem Hardison and Jasmine Guy. Celebrate 30 years of iconic filmmaker Spike Lee’s music-filled, offbeat comedy that takes an unforgettable look at black college life. Amidst gala coronations, football, fraternities, parades and parties, the students of Mission College find themselves caught up in romance and relationships, rituals and rivalries during one outrageous homecoming weekend. With dynamic music, including EU’s hit “Da Butt,” and dance numbers choreographed by Otis Sallid (“Fame”), Lee successfully challenges viewpoints about self-identity and self-esteem in this original and unforgettable musical comedy. From Sony … photo for Single White Female BLU-RAY DEBUT “Single White Female” (1992): Directed by Barbet Schroeder and starring Bridget Fonda, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Steven Weber and Peter Friedman. The perfect roommate or a perfect nightmare? An innocent wanted ad –- “SWF seeks female to share apt in West 70s; Non-smkr, professional preferred” — opens the door to murderous, psychotic terror. After an unfaithful fiancé leaves her suddenly single, Allison Jones (Fonda) advertises for a roommate to share her spacious apartment. But when the introverted Hedra (Leigh) moves in, she doesn’t just take over Allie’s spare bedroom. She takes over her clothes, her boyfriend … and her identity. From Scream Factory … and “Topper Returns” (1941): The third and final entry in Hal Roach’s famed “Topper” trilogy may very well be the best of the lot. Returning for their third portrayal of Mr. and Mrs. Cosmo Topper, Roland Young and Billie Burke are consistently upstaged by a sparkling new addition to the “Topper” troupe, Jack Benny’s famed manservant, the loveable and irascible Eddie “Rochester” Anderson. This time around there is a “new” ghostly presence in the shapely form of Joan Blondell, who is unceremoniously dispatched by a cloaked knife murderer in a case of mistaken identity. Naturally, Joan floats over to the Topper’s quiet abode and nags Cosmo into investigating her death. From VCI Entertainment/MVD Visual.

From TV to Disc:

“The Crown: Season Two” (2017) is a four-disc set with all 10 episodes. Claire Foy, Matt Smith, Vanessa Kirby, Victoria Hamilton, Matthew Goode. Season Two sees an end of the age of deference, and ushers in the revolutionary era of the 1960s, following Queen Elizabeth II from 1956 to 1964 as she continues to navigate her changing role on the global stage, from the Suez Canal crisis to the resignation of British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan under scandal, and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.On DVD, Blu-ray, from Sony …“Hidden” (2018) is a three-disc set with all eight episodes. A compelling blend of police procedural, serial-killer thriller, and dark mystery set in the beautiful but foreboding mountains of northern Wales. After years away from her isolated hometown, DI Cadi John (Sian Reese-Williams) returns to help her sisters care for their ailing father. Paired with the capable but overloaded DS Owen Vaughan, she soon begins investigating a young woman’s suspicious drowning. With bruises on the victim indicating that she was shackled before her death, Cadi realizes that someone is abducting women and holding them captive. When another girl goes missing, the detectives rush to apprehend the culprit before she becomes his next casualty.From Acorn Media … “Star Trek: Discovery: Season One” (2018) is a four-disc set with all 15 episodes. Follows the voyages of Starfleet on their missions to discover new worlds and new life forms, and one Starfleet officer who must learn that to truly understand all things alien, you must first understand yourself. The series features a new ship and new characters while embracing the same ideology and hope for the future that inspired a generation of dreamers and doers. On DVD, Blu-ray, from CBS/Paramount.

Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:

In “Puzzle” (2018), starring Kelly Macdonald, Irrfan Khan and David Denman, after years of concerning herself exclusively with the needs and wants of her husband and sons, Agnes has found something that she wants to do: puzzling. Stepping out of her domestic bubble to pursue her new hobby, Agnes meets Robert, a wealthy, reclusive inventor who recruits her as his partner for an upcoming world jigsaw tournament. Each day she spends out in the world, takes Agnes further along on the road to a new understanding of herself and an assertiveness that finds her pushing back against the assumptions and routines that have until now defined her role in her family. From Sony … In “The Children Act” (2017), starring Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci and Fionn Whitehead, a British High Court judge (Thompson) who, in the midst of a crisis with her husband (Tucci), must rule on a photo for Puzzlecase concerning a teenage boy whose religious convictions prevent him from accepting the blood transfusion that would save his life. Directed by Richard Eyre (“Iris”) and based on the novel by Ian McEwan. From Lionsgate … “Dating Game Killer” (2018), starring Guillermo Diaz, Carrie Preston and Alma Martinez, is a scripted film based on the true crime story following the investigation and eventual capture of serial killer Rodney Alcala, who appeared on “The Dating Game” amid a string of grisly murders in the 1970s. From Lionsgate … In “Juliet, Naked” (2018), starring Rose Byrne, Ethan Hawke and Chris O’Dowd, Annie (Byrne), the long-suffering girlfriend of Duncan (O’Dowd), develops an unlikely transatlantic romance with the once-admired, now washed-up singer-songwriter Tucker Crowe, who also happens to be the subject of Duncan’s musical obsession. Based on the novel by best-selling author Nick Hornby. On DVD, Blu-photo for Splitray/DVD Combo, from Lionsgate … “Split” (1989), starring Timothy Dwight, Joan Bechtel and John Flynn, is a Sci-fi story about a man in a society of complacent people who can see the stifling control exerted on humankind by beings from another dimension. Living on garbage and in ever-changing disguise, Starker bounces from one person to another, trying to wake the world from its slavery. But as his ideas start to gain traction, he becomes the singular target of the Agency Director, a formidable dictator. Starker must race against advanced surveillance technology and evade countless agents to get his message out to the masses before he is neutralized by the forces of order. New 2K restoration from the original negatives. On Blu-ray from Verboden Video … After deadly terrorists abduct his niece at a soccer match, an ex-soldier with lethal fighting skills (Dave Bautista) wages a one-man war to save her and prevent mass destruction in “Final Score” (2017). Co-stars Ray Stevenson, Pierce Brosnan and Amit Shah. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Lionsgate … In “The Marine 6: Close Quarters” (2018), starring WWE Superstars Mike “The Miz” Mizanin, Shawn Michaels and Becky Lynch, Jack Carter (Mizanin) and another former Marine, Luke Trapper (Michaels), join forces to rescue a kidnapped girl (Louisa Connolly-Burnham) from a gang of international criminals headed up by Maddy Hayes (Lynch). On DVD, Blu-ray, from Sony.

Foreign Films:

In the compelling, slow-burning thriller “The Third Murder” (2017 — Japan), high-powered attorney Shigemori (Masaharu Fukuyama) takes on the defense of murder-robbery suspect Misumi (Koji Yakusho), though he does so with reluctance, knowing that the man already provided a full confession and had been previously convicted of murder 30 years earlier. But as Shigemori digs deeper into the evidence and hears Misumi’s own conflicting testimony, the once-confident lawyer begins to doubt whether his client could be the murderer after all. A gripping and morally complex crime procedural that incisively explores the meaning of truth and innocence. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Film Movement.

Special Interest:

“The Owl’s Legacy” (1989): Long unavailable, Chris Marker’s “The Owl’s Legacy” has been recently restored by the Cinematheque Francaise. Each episode of the 13-part series takes as its starting point a different word that originated in ancient Greece — including “symposium,” “democracy” and “nostalgia” -— inspiring a wide-ranging exploration of that concept in contemporary culture. Interviewees include Elia Kazan, Theo Angelopoulos, Laurence Braunberger, Cornelius Castoriadis, Arielle Dombasle, Angelique Ionatos, Michel Jobert, Michel Serres, Guilia Sissa, and George Steiner among others, while the free play of ideas and the marvelous, mercurial motion of the work is totally, unmistakably Marker. “The Owl’s Legacy” was shot in Paris, Athens, Berkeley, Tbilisi and Tokyo. Includes a 24-page booklet, with essay by film historian Jean-Michel Frodon. From Icarus Films.

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

 Posted by on November 13, 2018 No Responses »
Nov 062018
 

From the Big Screen:

“Incredibles 2,” “BlacKkKlansman” and “Christopher Robin.” For more information on other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.

This Week’s Highlight:

One of a string of late-career masterworks made by Kenji Mizoguchi in the early 1950s, “A Story From photo for A Story from ChikamatsuChikamatsu” (a.k.a. The Crucified Lovers) (1954) is an exquisitely moving tale of forbidden love struggling to survive in the face of persecution. Based on a classic of 18th-century Japanese drama, the film traces the injustices that befall a Kyoto scroll maker’s wife and his apprentice after each is unfairly accused of wrongdoing. Bound by fate in an illicit, star-crossed romance, they go on the run in search of refuge from the punishment prescribed them: death. Shot in gorgeous, painterly style by master cinematographer Kazuo Miyagawa, this subtly sensuous indictment of societal oppression was heralded by Akira Kurosawa as a “great masterpiece that could only have been made by Mizoguchi.” On DVD and Blu-ray, with new 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. From The Criterion Collection.

From TV to Disc:

“The Good Fight: Season Two” (2018) is a four-disc set with all 13 episodes. Season Two of the spin-off from “The Good Wife” follows Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) as she continues to fight her way to the top. With the world going insane and the Chicago murder rate on the rise, Diane, Lucca (Cush Jumbo), Maia (Rose Leslie) and the rest of the law firm find themselves under psychological assault when a client at another firm kills his lawyer for overcharging. After a copycat murder, the firm begins to look at its own clients suspiciously, while Diane battles with a new partner at the firm. Meanwhile, Maia becomes harder and tougher after her parents’ scandal puts her on trial and Lucca is brought back into Cohn’s (Justin Bartha) orbit. From CBS/Paramount … photo for The Good Fight: Season Two“Poldark Season 4” (2018) is a three-disc set with eight episodes. The PBS Masterpiece series returns for a fourth season of action-packed episodes, starring Aidan Turner as the roguish Ross Poldark and Eleanor Tomlinson as his fiery partner, Demelza. In Season 4, it’s 1796, and to defend Cornwall and those he loves from an empowered George, Ross must play the political game on a journey that takes him to the nation’s capital and into new perils. On DVD, Blu-ray, from PBS Distribution … “Succession: The Complete First Season” (2018) includes all 10 episodes. The saga of a fictional, American media family whose wealth and power are matched only by their dysfunctional dynamic. Set in New York City, the series follows the Roy family – headed by the aging patriarch Logan Roy (Brian Cox;) and his four children – who together control one of the biggest media communications and entertainment conglomerates in the world. The Roy’s story is compelling and often comedic, as they out-maneuver each other through cut-throat family and business dynamics, while contemplating what’s in store once their father passes. On DVD, Blu-ray, from HBO.

Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:

“Papillon” (2018), starring Charlie Hunnam, Rami Malek, Yorick van Wageningen, Roland Moller and Tommy Flanagan, is based on the international best-selling autobiographical books “Papillon” and “Banco,” that follow the epic life of Henri “Papillon” Charrière (Charlie Hunnam), a safecracker from the Parisian underworld who is framed for murder and condemned to life in the notorious penal photo for Papilloncolony on Devil’s Island. Determined to regain his freedom, Papillon forms an unlikely alliance with quirky convicted counterfeiter Louis Dega (Rami Malek), who in exchange for protection, agrees to finance Papillon’s escape. A powerful portrait of the resilience of the human spirit, even in the face of utter inhumanity. Remake of the 1973 “Papillon” starring Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Universal … “Breaking Brooklyn” (2018), starring Colin Critchley, Nathan Kress, Madeleine Mantock, Louis Gossett Jr. and Vondie Curtis-Hall, filled with energetic song and dance numbers, tells the story of a homeless young dancer and his brother who are taken in by an old Broadway showman when their father is arrested. When one of the young men learns that their new guardian could lose his theater, they enter a dance contest to save it. From Lionsgate … photo for Girls vs Gangsters In “Girls vs Gangsters” (2018 — China), starring Fiona Sit, Ivy Yi-Han Chen, Janine Chun-Ning Chang and Mike Tyson, a wild bachelorette weekend in a foreign city spins hilariously out of control in this over-the-top sequel to the box office smash Girls. After a drinking contest with some questionable local spirits, three friends wake up naked on a beach to discover two are handcuffed to a locked suitcase, one has a strange new tattoo, and none of them have any clue what happened the night before. When they soon find themselves pursued by local gangsters, their only shot at making it home — and to the altar — is to piece together the previous night’s events while on the run. From Well Go USA … Based on famous folklore, “Mara’s” (2018) storyline tells the tale of criminal psychologist Kate Fuller, who starts to experience the same terrifying symptoms as the victims of an ancient demon who kills people in their sleep. Stars Olga Kurylenko, Craig Conway, Javier Botet and Rosie Fellner. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Lionsgate … In “Loving Pablo” (2017), Javier Bardem and Penélope Cruz star in the true story of drug lord Pablo Escobar and his passionate love affair with journalist Virginia Vallejo that led to his downfall.On DVD, Blu-ray, from Universal … photo for Destination Wedding In “Destination Wedding” (2018), Keanu Reeves and Ryder star as the socially awkward Frank and Lindsay. When they meet on the way to a destination wedding, they soon discover they have a lot in common: they both hate the bride, the groom, the wedding, themselves, and most especially each other. As the weekend’s events continually force them together — and their cheerlessness immediately isolates them from the other guests – Frank and Lindsay find that if you verbally spar with someone long enough, anything can happen. When debate gives way to desire, they must decide which is stronger: their hearts or their common sense. From Universal … In “Beyond the Sky” (2018), starring Ryan Carnes, Jordan Hinson, Martin Sensmeier, Don Stark, Peter Stormare and Dee Wallace, Chris Norton (Carnes) has been hearing about alien abductions his entire life but, in his gut, he knows they are not real. Setting out to disprove the alien abduction phenomenon once and for all, he attends a UFO convention to meet alleged abductees and reveal the truth behind their experiences. It is only when he meets Emily, who claims to have been abducted every seven years on her birthday, that Chris realizes there may be more to these claims than meets the eye. With Emily’s 28th birthday only days away, Chris helps her to uncover the truth as they come face to face with the reality that we are not alone. On DVD, Blu-ray, from RLJE Films … photo for An Interview with God In “An Interview with God” (2018), starring David Strathairn and Brenton Thwaites, after covering the war in Afghanistan, journalist Paul Asher returns home to find his life falling apart. With his marriage near collapse, he’s in the grips of a personal crisis he’s struggling to understand. But the young reporter’s life takes a strange turn when he is offered the opportunity of a lifetime — an interview with a mysterious man claiming to be God. From Universal … “Sleepwalkers” (1992), starring Brian Krause, Alice Krige and Mädchen Amick, is a terrifying tale of modern-day vampires who move from small town to small town to prey on virtuous young women. Imperceptibly inhuman to everyone except for felines, these vicious shape-shifters have their eyes on a new victim: Tanya, the sexually curious virgin who falls for Charles, the new boy in school. Mutating at will from golden boy to savage monster, Charles stalks Tanya to feed his seductive mother. As the tension mounts (and the casualties pile up), the town’s tabbies gather for a final, chilling showdown with the monsters in their midst. Features cameo appearances by Stephen King and horror legend Clive Barker. In a special Collector’s Edition Blu-ray from Scream Factory.

Foreign Films:

“Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts” (2017 — Indonesia): In the deserted hills of an Indonesian island, Marlina (Marsha Timothy), a young widow, is attacked and robbed of all her livestock by a gang of seven bandits. She then defends herself, setting out on a journey to find justice, empowerment, retribution and redemption. But the road is long, especially when she begins to be haunted by the ghost of her victim. A stunning Scope western set to a Morricone-inspired score, this unique tale of female cinematic revenge takes no prisoners. From Icarus Films.

For the Family:

“The Little Witch” (2018 — Germany), starring Karoline Herfurth, Axel Prahl, Luis Vorbach, Momo Beier and Suzanne von Borsody, has a big problem: she’s only 127 years old, which is much too young to dance on the Brocken Mountain on Walpurgis Night. When she unsuccessfully tries to sneak into this most important of all witches’ dances, her punishment is she must learn all 7,892 spells in the great book of magic within one year. Hard work and ambition are not exactly the Little Witch’s strengths, and the evil witch Rumpumpel is trying everything she can to prevent the Little Witch from learning all the spells. With her talking raven Abrazas, the Little Witch sets out to discover what makes a good witch, and puts the entire witches’ world to the test while she is at it. 12+ Dove Foundation Approved adventure. From Breaking Glass Pictures … “Pat Boone and Family: Christmas & Thanksgiving Specials” includes two holiday entertainment programs on DVD for the first time. Pat Boone is joined by his four singing daughters — Debby, Cherry, Lindy and Laurie — and his wife Shirley in these music and comedy specials that first aired on ABC in 1978 and 1979. The Christmas show includes classic holiday songs and comedic moments with the hyper-charged Hudson Brothers plus stars from ABC’s “Three’s Company,” “Happy Days” and “The Love Boat,” as well as appearances by songbirds Dinah Shore and Rosemary Clooney. The Thanksgiving special features Bob Hope and the Hudson Brothers. From MPI Media.

Special Interest:

“Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood” (2018) is the deliciously scandalous story of Scotty Bowers, a handsome ex-Marine who landed in Hollywood after World War II and became confidante, aide-de-camp and lover to many of photo for Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood Hollywood’s greatest male — and female — stars. In the 1940s and ’50s, Scotty ran a gas station in the shadow of the studio lots where he would connect his friends with actors and actresses who had to hide their true sexual identities for fear of police raids at gay bars, societal shunning and career suicide. An unsung Hollywood legend, Bowers would cater to the sexual appetites of celebrities — straight and gay — for decades. While the studio PR machines were promoting their stars as wholesome and monogamous, Bowers was fulfilling the true desires of many of them. This cinéma-vérité documentary by director Matt Tyrnauer (“Valentino: The Last Emperor”) tells his story, as well as presents eyeopening takes on icons from the Hollywood Golden Age including Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Lana Turner, Ava Gardner and many more. 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.

 Posted by on November 6, 2018 No Responses »
Oct 302018
 

Happy Halloween from the crew at OnVideo

From the Big Screen:

“The Spy Who Dumped Me.” For more information on other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.

This Week’s Best Bets:

A high-spirited adventure that pits true love against inconceivable odds, the brilliantly written, directed and acted “The Princess Bride” (1987) has charmed legions of fans with its irreverent gags, eccentric ensemble, and dazzling swordplay. A kid (Fred Savage), home sick from school, grudgingly allows his grandfather (Peter Falk) to read him a dusty storybook — which is how photo for The Princess Bride we meet the innocent Buttercup (Robin Wright, in her breakout role), about to marry the nefarious Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon) though her heart belongs to Westley (Cary Elwes). The wedding plans are interrupted, however, by a mysterious pirate, a vengeful Spaniard, and a good-natured giant, in a tale full of swashbuckling, romance, and outrageously hilarious spoofery. Directed by Rob Reiner from an endlessly quotable script by Oscar winner William Goldman, “The Princess Bride” reigns as a fairy-tale classic. On DVD, and Blu-ray Disc, with a new 4K digital transfer, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray. The Blu-ray also includes a lavishly illustrated, clothbound book. From The Criterion Collection … “Twelve Monkeys” (1985): Following the commercial and critical success of “The Fisher King,” Terry Gilliam’s next feature would turn to science fiction and a screenplay by Janet and David Peoples (“Blade Runner,” “Unforgiven”) inspired by Chris Marker’s classic short film La “Jetée.” In 1996, a deadly virus is unleashed by a group calling themselves the Army of the Twelve Monkeys, destroying much of the world’s population and forcing survivors underground. In 2035, prisoner James Cole (Bruce photo for Twelve MonkeysWillis) is chosen to go back in time and help scientists in their search for a cure. Featuring an Oscar-nominated turn by Brad Pitt as mental patient Jeffrey Goines, “Twelve Monkeys” would become Gilliam’s most successful film and is now widely regarded as a sci-fi classic. Brand new restoration from a 4k scan of the original negative by Arrow Films, approved by director Terry Gilliam. Formats: Blu-ray. From Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment … A talented and versatile journeyman, director Sergio Martino has lent his talents to multiple genres across his long and varied career, but it is undoubtedly his giallo thrillers from the early 70s for which he is best known. Among the most highly acclaimed of these, 1973’s “Torso” revels in the genre’s time-honored traditions while simultaneously laying the groundwork for the modern slasher movie. A sex maniac is prowling the streets of Perugia, targeting the picturesque university town’s female students. Alarmed at the plummeting life expectancy of the student body, Jane (Suzy Kendall) and her three friends elope to photo for Torso a secluded country villa — only to discover that, far from having left the terror behind, they’ve brought it with them. Also known as “Carnal Violence,” “Torso” was released in Italy towards the end of the giallo boom photo for The before enjoying a second life on the American grindhouse circuit. On Blu-ray from Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment “The Retro Afrika Collection” is a new series featuring digitally-restored, apartheid-era classics rarely seen outside the borders of South Africa. From light-hearted comedies, high-octane action films and provocative race dramas that were met with opposition from the apartheid government, the forgotten and discarded classics of African cinema are about to have a new life with The Retro Afrika Collection from IndiePix Films. Through a partnership with Retro Afrika Bioscope, an independent label of Gravel Road Entertainment dedicated to locating, acquiring, restoring and re-releasing retro South African films from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, IndiePix will begin to release these digitally-remastered classics. These Apartheid-era films, produced by and starring native South Africans, pay homage to Hollywood action in groundbreaking B-movie style, a precursor to today’s burgeoning Nollywood industry. Featuring numerous local dialects with English subtitles, the small budget vintage features have all undergone a highly-specialized digital restoration process for optimal viewing. The first three remastered classics include “Umbango” (1986), one of the first Zulu Westerns and an Official Selection at the 2015 Berlin Film Festival, and “Fishy Stones” (1990) and “Gone crazy” (1980), two outsized, humorous crime capers representative of the genre. Read more here. From IndiePix.

Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:

“The Darkest Minds” (2018), starring Amandla Stenberg, Mandy Moore, Bradley Whitford and Harris Dickinson, is a tale of teens who mysteriously develop new abilities and are declared a threat by the government. Ruby, one of the most powerful young people anyone has encountered, escapes and joins a group of runaway teens seeking safe haven. Soon, this newfound family realizes that collective power is needed to take back control of their fate and save future generations. On DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo, from Fox … photo for believer In “Believer” (2018 — South Korea), starring Cho Jin-woong, Ryu Jun-yeol, Kim Joo-hyuck and Kim Sung-ryoung, a low-level drug dealer facing prosecution conspires with a dangerously ambitious cop to bring down a major cartel’s psychotic kingpin in this crime thriller based on Johnnie To’s critically-acclaimed “Drug War.”On DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo, from Well Go USA … “Never Goin’ Back “ (2018), starring Maia Mitchell and Camila Morrone, follows lifelong best friends Angela and Jessie, who dream of escaping their waitressing jobs at a low-rent Texas diner. Taking place over the course of just a few days, the film photo for Dragnet: Collector's Edition follows their unpredictable misadventures on the streets of suburban Dallas as they attempt increasingly madcap and wild schemes to try and raise some cash. From Lionsgate … Also due this week: “Dragnet: Collector’s Edition” (1987), starring Dan Aykroyd, Tom Hanks, Harry Morgan, Dabney Coleman, Christopher Plummer and Alexandra Paul. Aykroyd is at his comedic best as the namesake nephew of Detective Sgt. Joe Friday (originally played by Joe Webb). Like his no-nonsense uncle, he’s a blue-suited, by-the-rules Los Angeles cop who’s forced to reluctantly team up with the footloose, wisecracking Pep Streebek (Hanks). Ordered to investigate a seemingly unrelated series of bizarre ritual killings and robberies, they eventually uncover a dastardly plot by an underground pagan group to undermine all authority in Los Angeles. Can this mistmatched duo rescue the City of Angels from the machinations of a power-mad Reverend and corrupt Police Commissioners before it’s too late? Harry Morgan (“M.A.S.H.”) reprises his original TV series role as Bill Gannon. New 4K scan. On Blu-ray from Shout! Factory Select.

On the Indie Front:

In “Wobble Palace” (2018), starring Dasha Nekrasova, Jack Kilmer, Paige Elkington, Vishwam Velandy and Caroline Hebert, a millennial romance gone awry takes place on the eve of America’s most traumatic election, where a couple on the verge of a nervous break-up decide to split their house up over the weekend. Desperate to make new connections, Jane and Eugene find themselves in a series of unpredictable misadventures, sexual escapades and emotional traumas. From this simple premise we delve into a manic and hilarious world of lust and mistrust, revealing the identity crises and narcissistic self-loathing at the core of the millennial experience. From Breaking Glass Pictures.

Foreign Films:

“Les parents terribles” (1948 — France) is a recently restored Jean Cocteau masterpiece. In this heartbreaking drama based on Cocteau’s highly successful stage play, a mother smothers her grown son with boyish love. When the son (Jean Marais) meets a girl and leaves the family circle, the mother flies into a rage. But when the young man tells his father, it sets off another drama — she is none other than the girl (Josette Day, star of Cocteau’s classic “Beauty and the Beast”)the father has been secretly seeing. Tragedy strikes in this time-honored tale of fledglings leaving the family nest. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Cohen Film Collection).

For the Family:

“Batman: The Complete Animated Series Deluxe Limited Edition” (1992-95) is a 10-disc set with all 109 episodes, plus two bonus disks containing the recently-remastered, fan favorite animated films “Batman: Mask of the Phantasm” and “Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero.” Includes an exclusive ensemble of collectibles highlighted by three Funko mini-figurines (Batman, Joker, Harley Quinn) and seven beautifully-designed lenticular art cards. The entire box set is housed in a stunning layflat-book with a dazzling slipcase. This ultimate collectors Blu-ray box set will be individually numbered for a Limited Edition release of 30,000. More than 2,000 copies were pre-ordered within the first 24 hours of availability on Amazon. On Blu-ray from Warner.

Special Interest:

“Love, Cecil” (2017): Cecil Beaton was a dazzling chronicler of his time. A photographer, writer, painter, and Oscar-winning set and costume designer who captured both the front lines of war and the Queen’s official portrait, Beaton embodied the cultural and political changes of the 20th century. In this documentary, director Lisa Immordino Vreeland (“Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel,” “Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict”) blends archival footage and photographs with voice-over of Beaton’s famed diaries to capture his legacy as a complex and unique creative force. Narrated by Rupert Everett. From Zeitgeist Films/Kino Lorber … “The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling” (2018): Executive producer photo for The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling Judd Apatow’s remarkable portrait of the exceptionally complex, deeply spiritual and endlessly funny comedy icon Garry Shandling. The documentary spans the decades from Shandling’s early childhood in the 1950s in Arizona up to his untimely death in 2016, taking viewers on an intimate journey through a collage of personal testimonials, archival footage and most importantly Shandling’s own handwritten words on life, loss, love, meditation and more, captured in an extensive library of personal notebooks. From a 10-year-old Garry losing his big brother Barry to cystic fibrosis at age 13 in 1960, to a chance encounter with comic legend George Carlin and an impulsive, post-college move to Los Angeles in 1976, Shandling’s unlikely path toward commercial success consistently remained at odds with his own personal search for inner peace. It also offers an extensive examination of Shandling’s stand-up career and landmark HBO comedy series “The Larry Sanders Show,” revealing a fascinating dichotomy between comedic brilliance and personal demons, which Shandling harnessed to create some of the greatest television comedy ever made. From HBO.

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 30, 2018 No Responses »
Oct 232018
 

From the Big Screen:

“Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.” For more information on other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.

This Week’s Best Bets:

In “Sisters” (1973), Margot Kidder is Danielle, a beautiful model separated from her Siamese twin, Dominique. When a hotshot reporter (Jennifer Salt) suspects Dominique of a brutal murder, she becomes dangerously ensnared in the sisters’ insidious sibling bond. A scary and stylish paean to female destructiveness, Brian photo for Sisters De Palma’s first foray into horror voyeurism is a stunning amalgam of split-screen effects, bloody birthday cakes, and a chilling score by frequent Hitchcock collaborator Bernard Herrmann. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc with new 4K digital restoration, approved by director Brian De Palma, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. From The Criterion Collection … “Blood and Black Lace” (1964 — Italy), starring Cameron Mitchell, Eva Bartok, Thomas Reiner, Mary Arden and Enzo Cerusico, is director Mario Bava’s Giallo masterpiece. An unscrupulous business operating under the guise of a top fashion house with exotic models running sexual favors, cocaine dealings and blackmail, becomes a murder scene–after someone is pushed to the edge. The saga begins when a beautiful model photo for is brutally murdered, and her boyfriend, a known addict supplying her drugs, is suspected of the crime…but is he guilty or is someone waiting in the shadows setting him up? New 2018 2K Restoration from original film materials in widescreen/1.85:1 aspect ratio. On Blu-ray from VCI Entertainment … Terence Davies’ feature debut “Distant Voices, Still Lives” (1988), winner of the International Critics’ Prize at the 1988 Cannes Film Festival, heralded one of Britain’s finest filmmaking talents. Loosely based on the director’s own family and upbringing, “Distant Voices, Still Lives” presents an evocative account of working-class life in Liverpool, England during the 1940s and 50s. Births, marriages and deaths — and an expressive use of music — provide the underpinning for a film that is beautiful, heartbreaking, resonant … but never sentimental. Now regarded as a masterpiece of British cinema, and boasting a startling performance from Pete Postlethwaite as the head of the family,” Distant Voices, photo for Distant Voices, Still Lives Still Lives” has been treated to a glorious 4K restoration by the British Film Institute. On Blu-ray from Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment … Director William Wellman’s “You Never Know Women” (1926) is a thrilling romance that constructs a combustible love triangle between a Russian dancer, a handsome escape artist, and a wealthy broker. Vera Janova (Florence Vidor) is on her way to star in a Russian vaudeville revue when a falling girder nearly kills her. A construction worker saves her life, but before she wakes up the conniving Eugene Foster (Lowell Sherman) takes Vera into his arms, pretending to be the one who rescued her. Susceptible to Eugene’s oily charms, Vera begins ignoring Ivan Norodin (Clive Brook), a Houdini-like master of illusion who had loved her his whole life. Racked with jealousy, Norodin plans the ultimate illusion, one that could change their lives forever. Brand new HD master from a 4K of the 35mm nitrate tinted print and 35mm safety dupe negative by Paramount Pictures Archives. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Kino Classics.

Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:

In “I Think We’re Alone Now” (2018), starring Peter Dinklage, Elle Fanning, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Paul Giamatti, the apocalypse proves a blessing in disguise for one lucky recluse — until a second survivor arrives with the threat of companionship. After a mysterious event wipes out most of humanity, a small-photo for I Think We're Alone Nowtown librarian (Dinklage) finds that he prefers his newfound solitude. But his tranquility is suddenly disturbed when a fellow survivor (Fanning) arrives in town and inserts herself into his life. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Sony … An LA public school becomes a hotbed of sex, lies, and hilarity in the star-powered comedy “A Happening of Monumental Proportions” (2017), directed by Judy Greer. It’s Career Day, and two school administrators have just made a shocking discovery: the dead body of the groundskeeper. They decide to hide the body, sparking a series of wildly comic misadventures for teachers and students on a Career Day that no one will ever forget — no matter how hard they try. Stars Common, Bradley Whitford, Anders Holm and Allison Janney. From Lionsgate … In the pandemic thriller “Patient Zero” (2018), starring Matt Smith, Stanley Tucci and Natalie Dormer, humanity is battling intelligent, adrenaline-fueled creatures born from a viral super-strain. After being bitten, human survivor Morgan (Smith) realizes he is asymptomatic and can communicate with the infected, leading the last survivors on a hunt for Patient Zero and a cure. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Sony … In “The Padre” (2018), starring Tim Roth, Luis Guzmán, Nick Nolte and Valeria Henriquez, hell-bent on justice, retired U.S. Judge Randall Nemes (Nolte) and his hired gun, Gaspar (Guzmán), track down a small-time photo for The Padre con man (Roth) posing as a priest in a small Colombian town only to be thrown off-course by a scrappy 16-year-old local girl intent on reuniting with her little sister in the U.S. From Sony … Expect the unexpected in hip-hop artist Boots Riley’s directorial and screenwriting debut, “Sorry to Bother You” (2018), a surreal look at capitalism, corporate greed, and fractured workplace dynamics. In an alternate present-day version of Oakland, California, struggling telemarketer Cassius Green discovers a magical key to professional success, which propels him into a macabre universe. Stars Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Jermaine Fowler, Omari Hardwick and Terry Crews. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Fox … In “I Am Vengeance” (2018), professional wrestler and former champion bare-knuckle boxer Stu Bennett stars as John Gold, an ex-soldier turned mercenary who learns of the murder of his best friend, Dan — and Dan’s parents — and heads to their hometown, seeking justice. Gold soon discovers Dan and his father were murdered while investigating a Special Forces unit led by an enigmatic, highly decorated soldier named Hatcher who went rogue in Afghanistan. Gold’s vengeance is unleashed, as he sets out to take down the killers. Co-stars Anna Shaffer, Mark Griffin, Bryan Larkin and Kevin Leslie. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Lionsgate … In “The Unnamable” (1988), starring Charles Klausmeyer, Mark Kinsey Stephenson, Alexandra Durrell, Laura Albert, Eben Ham and Blane Wheatley, college students from Miskatonic University who retreat to an early 18th-century photo for The Unnamable mansion for a weekend of lust are stalked by a fatalistic female in this horror film taken from a story by H.P. Lovecraft. The demon delights in tearing the limbs off her human victims to carry out a centuries-old family curse. Bloody graphic violence and nudity is combined with some campy comedy. Restored as a beautiful 4k scan and color corrected from the original negative. On DVD, Blu-ray from Unearthed Films … In “An Elephant’s Journey” (2018), starring Elizabeth Hurley, Sam Ashe Arnold and Tertius Meintjes, Phoenix (Arnold) moves to Africa to live with his Aunt Sarah (Hurley) after losing his parents. While on safari with his uncle one day, Phoenix wanders off and becomes lost in the African bush. After rescuing a huge elephant from a trap, Phoenix befriends the great creature, which he names Indlovu (“The Unstoppable”). Riding through the wilderness, the bold duo finds evidence of a local gang of poachers, and together they plot to stop the hunters’ cruel plans. From Lionsgate … In “Snake Outta Compton” (2018), starring Ricky Flowers Jr., Motown Maurice and Joston Theney, Cam and his hip-hop crew are all set to sign a record deal that could change their lives, but their jealous friend Vurkel wrecks their plans when he creates a giant, mutant snake that quickly lays waste to the city of Compton, eating everyone in its path. Aided by two corrupt cops, a crazed gangster, and a mad scientist, the band has one thing to do before getting the record deal they need — get that mother–in’ Snake Outta Compton by blowing it away it by pumping up the jams. From Lionsgate.

Blasts from the past:
In “Maximum Overdrive” (1986), making its Blu-ray debut this week, for three horrifying days, the Earth passes through the tail of a mysterious comet. The skies glow an eerie green as humanity waits to see what the fallout will be. But what they imagine is nothing like the nightmare the find — the comet’s magnetic fields cause all the machines on Earth to suddenly come to life and photo for Maximum Overdriveterrorize their human creators in a horrific killing spree. Now, it’s up to a small group of people trapped in a desolate truck stop to defeat the killer machines. From the mind of Steven King. Stars Emilio Estevez, Pat Hingle, Laura Harrington, Yeardley Smith, Holter Graham. From Lionsgate … In “Creepshow Collector’s Edition” (1982), masters of the macabre — writer Stephen King and director George A. Romero -– conjure up five shocking yarns, each a virtuoso exercise in the ghouls-and-gags style of classic ’50s horror comics. A murdered man emerges from the grave for Father’s Day cake. A meteor’s ooze makes everything … grow. A professor selects his wife as a snack for a crated creature. A scheming husband plants two lovers up to their necks in terror. A malevolent millionaire with an insect phobia becomes the prey of a cockroach army. Stars Hal Holbrook, Adrienne Barbeau, Leslie Nielsen, Ted Danson, E.G. Marshall and King himself and the ghoulish makeup wizardry of Tom Savini. New 4K scan of the original camera negative, with color correction supervised and approved by director of photography Michael Gornick. On Blu-ray from Scream Factory … photo for Get Shorty: Collector's Edition In “Get Shorty: Collector’s Edition” (1995), starring John Travolta, Gene Hackman, Danny DeVito, Rene Russo, Dennis Farina, Delroy Lindo, James Gandolfini and Jon Gries, loan shark Chili Palmer (Travolta) has done his time as a gangster. So when “business” takes him to LA to collect a debt from down-and-out filmmaker Harry Zimm (Hackman), Chili jumps headfirst into the Hollywood scene: He schmoozes a film star (DeVito), romances a B-movie actress (Russo) and even gets reservations at the hottest restaurants in town. In fact, all would be cool for this smooth new producer if it weren’t for the drug smugglers and an angry mobster who won’t leave him alone. But hey, this is Hollywood and no one said it would be easy. Wonderful, quirky adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s 1990 best-seller; featuring a new 4K HD scan. On Blu-ray from Shout! Factory Select … In “I Bought a Vampire Motorcycle” (1990), starring Neil Morrissey, Anthony Daniels, Burt Kwouk, Michael Elphick, Amanda Noar and George Rossi, when a Satanist biker is killed by a gang of Hells Angels, an evil spirit he was summoning possesses his old Norton Commando motorcycle. So, when unsuspecting local courier Nick “Noddy” Oddie (Neil Morrissey) becomes the bike’s new owner, little does he know that it runs on blood photo for Deadbeat at Dawn and has a habit for killing Hells Angels and anyone else who gets in its way. Veteran British TV director Dirk Campbell made his feature film directorial debut with this cult classic which co-stars Michael Elphick (“The Element of Crime”), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO of the “Star Wars” franchise) and Burt Kwouk (Cato Fong of “The Pink Panther” films). Brand New 4K Restoration, on DVD, Blu-ray, from Kino Lorber Studio Classics … “Deadbeat at Dawn” (1988), Jim VanBebber’s notorious, blood-drenched cult classic rises again on the advent of its 30th anniversary, newly restored for the first time on Blu-ray. “”Deadbeat at Dawn”” follows the story of Goose — a gang leader whose girlfriend is brutally slaughtered when he attempts to leave the thug life behind. Pulled back into the gang, who’ve now formed an uneasy alliance with the thugs that butchered his girl, Goose sees an opportunity to exact his brutal, deadly revenge. The very definition of DIY, independent filmmaking (VanBebber quit film school after his first year and used his student loan to fund the movie), “Deadbeat at Dawn” surpasses its low-budget origins to create a revenge movie that delivers more thrills and bloody spills than all of Chuck Norris’ films combined. On Blu-ray from Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment.

On the Indie Front:

In “Wobble Palace” (2018), starring Dasha Nekrasova, Jack Kilmer, Paige Elkington, Vishwam Velandy and Caroline Hebert, a millennial romance gone awry takes place on the eve of America’s most traumatic election, where a couple on the verge of a nervous break-up decide to split their house up over the weekend. Desperate to make new connections, Jane and Eugene find themselves in a series of unpredictable misadventures, sexual escapades and emotional traumas. From this simple premise we delve into a manic and hilarious world of lust and mistrust, revealing the identity crises and narcissistic self-loathing at the core of the millennial experience. From Breaking Glass Pictures.

Foreign Films:

“Trauma” (2017 — Chile), starring Catalina Martin, Daniel Antivilo, Macarena Carrere and Ximena del Solar, is a shocking, brutal tale that blends the dark history of Chile’s recent past (the violent, repressive military dictatorship of Pinochet) with the seemingly modern and progressive Chile of today. The two worlds clash when a group of women venture to the idyllic countryside for a weekend of fun. But their outing soon turns nightmarish a man, himself a victim of torture in the hands of the government, unleashes his pent-up rage on them. The women must fight for their very lives in this film of shocking violence and sexual assault. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Artsploitation Films … photo for Elena Ferrante on Film “Elena Ferrante on Film” is a specially-packaged collection released just prior to HBO’s anticipated series “My Brilliant Friend” that features new digital HD restorations of the only two films based on the novels of Elena Ferrante — both never before available in North America. “The Days of Abandonment” (2005 — Italy) takes place after Olga (Margerhita Buy) is abandoned by her husband. And, during these “days of abandonment”, her life become a desperate, dangerous freefall into the darkest places of the soul, as she roams the empty streets of a city that she has never learned to love. “Troubling Love” (1995 — Italy) focuses on the complicated relationships between mothers and daughters. Following her mother’s untimely and mysterious death, Delia (Anna Bonaiuto) embarks on a voyage of discovery through the streets of her native Naples searching for the truth about her family. A series of mysterious telephone calls leads her to compelling and disturbing revelations about her mother’s final days, and forces her to confront her childhood memories that shaped their family history. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Film Movement … In “A Kid” (2017 — France), starring Pierre Deladonchamps, Gabriel Arcand and Catherine de Léan, thirtysomething Parisian Matthieu learns that the father he never knew he had has died, so he decides to travel to the funeral in Quebec and meet the two Canadian brothers he just found out he had. But once in Montreal, Matthieu realizes that his new family does not share his desire to connect: He is alone, in hostile territory. From Icarus Films.

Special Interest:

In his latest documentary, “American Chaos” (2018), James D. Stern chronicles the cultural divide of the 2016 presidential election as he travels through America’s red states to interview and spend time with Donald Trump supporters from different backgrounds in an attempt to find answers and insights to explain the appeal of the billionaire candidate. In the six months leading up to the 2016 presidential election, director James D. Stern traveled to America’s red states asking about then-candidate Donald Trump’s appeal, and why potential voters were untroubled by things he had said and done. What he learned was a lesson in the central differences that continue to alienate Americans from one another. The film chronicles Stern’s journey, bringing audiences directly into the heart of the cultural divide that is tearing apart our democracy today. From Sony … photo for Yes - Yessongs “Yes – Yessongs” (1972): Yes has always been regarded as a unique rock group and progressive rock legends. Never afraid to innovate or draw their inspiration from music that traversed the spectrum from symphonic to rock, YES has been at the forefront of progressive rock and became a major force in popular music selling over 30 million albums and reaching platinum status multiple times worldwide. Filmed in 1972 at London’s Rainbow theatre, this feature film was released theatrically in the UK the following year with a quadrophonic sound track. The film features their new line-up of the time Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, Steve Howe, Rick Wakeman and Alan White. On Blu-ray, from Screenbound International. Due October 26“God Knows Where I Am” (2016) is the story of Linda Bishop, a well-educated New Hampshire mother who suffered from severe bipolar disorder with psychosis, who was intermittently incarcerated and homeless, inevitably being committed for three years to a state psychiatric facility. Upon her release, she wandered 10 miles down the road from the hospital, broke into an abandoned farmhouse and lived off rainwater and apples picked from a nearby orchard for the next four months, through one of the coldest winters on record. Unable to leave the house, she became its prisoner, and remained there, a prisoner of her own mind, eventually starving to death. Her body was discovered several months later and with it a diary that Linda kept documenting her journey. From Juno Films.

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

 Posted by on October 23, 2018 No Responses »
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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