From the Big Screen:
"The Divergent Series: Insurgent," "Child 44" "Far from the Madding Crowd" and "Do You Believe?" For more information on this and other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.
This Week's Best Bets:
Just in time for the August 14 theatrical release of "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." starring Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Hugh Grant and Alicia Vikander, Warner Home Video is releasing a remastered edition of "The Man From U.N.C.L.E.: The Complete First Season" (1964-65), an 11-disc set with 29 episodes for $24.98. "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." captured the hearts of viewers when it premiered in 1964, picking up on the James Bond and "Danger Man" phenomena and recasting it with a decidedly American spoof flavor (set in New York City, the entrance to the headquarters of U.N.C.L.E., which stands for the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement, was located in the back of a tailor shop). Robert Vaughn and David McCallum play top agents Napoleon Solo (a suave American) and Illya Kuryakin (a Ukranian whiz kid) who use their charm, wit, and a never-ending assortment of gadgets to defend the world from evil, chaos and bad taste; Leo G. Carrol starred as British U.N.C.L.E. boss Alexander Waverly. The critically-acclaimed, hit series was the first successful spy show on American television and one of the first series to become an international phenomenon. Guest stars included William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Kurt Russell, Ricardo Montalban and longtime comedy favorite Ken Murray. The first season — in black and white — is as clever and fast-paced as we remember from back in the day. Grab a copy and watch a couple episodes before hitting the theatre for the big screen version. On DVD from Warner.
"Wyrmood: Road of the Dead" (2014) is a zombie mash-up movie on a grand order, funded, written, directed and produced by the Australian Roache-Turner brothers. Chock full of humor and satire, the film riffs on and reanimates (so to speak) such zombie tropes as a worldwide apocalypse (here caused by shooting stars — the "Wormwood" of the title, a mad scientist experimenting on the flesh-eating undead (here a U.S. Army doctor who likes to disco), zombie mind control, and much more. In the aftermath of a comet breaking up over Earth, most of the planet's population quickly succumbs to a strange disease that turns them into "zombies." Trapped in a wilderness teeming with the living dead, one of the survivors, Barry, has lost everything except his sister, Brooke. But Brooke is kidnapped by a gang of paramilitary thugs and dragged off to a terrifying medical lab run by a psychotic "doctor" who is performing deranged experiments on plague survivors. As Brooke struggles to devise an escape plan, she realizes that the doctor's experiments have given her strange powers over his zombie captives. Unaware of his sister's new powers, Barry teams up with fellow survivors to rescue her. Fast paced, full of bloody gore and off-the-cuff scenarios and acting. A worthy addition to your walking dead library. Stars Jay Gallagher, Bianca Bradey, Leon Burchill, Luke McKenzie. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from IFC Midnight/Scream Factory.
From the folks at The Criterion Collection comes a new 4K digital restoration of "Night and the City" (1950), a film noir of the first order, luminously shot in the streets of London while Hollywood blacklisters back home were closing in on director Jules Dassin. Two-bit hustler Harry Fabian (Richard Widmark) longs for a life of ease and plenty. Trailed by an inglorious history of go-nowhere schemes, he tries to hatch a lucrative plan with a famous wrestler. But there is no easy money in this underworld of shifting alliances, bottomless graft, and pummeled flesh — and Fabian soon learns the horrible price of his ambition. "Night and the City," which also stars Gene Tierney, is one of Dassin's crowning achievements.