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"The movie business is macabre. Grotesque.
It is a combination of a football game
and a brothel."
-- Federico Fellini
Nov 202017
 

Happy Thanksgiving

From the Big Screen:

"The Hitman's Bodyguard," "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets" and "Leap!" For more information on other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.

This Week's Best Bets:

Three cult classic plus Bob Hope arrive this week — what more could one want for a happy Thanksgiving?:

Arturo Ripstein's landmark Mexican Western "Time to Die" (1966 — Mexico) comes to home video for the very first time in a pristine 2K restoration. Fresh from serving 18 years in jail for shooting a man in self-defense, Juan Sayago comes back to his hometown to start life anew and reunite with old flame Mariana. However, the two sons of the man he killed, consumed by an overwhelming thirst for revenge, have been anxiously awaiting his return … they have other plans for him. From an original story by Nobel laureate Gabriel García Márquez ("One Hundred Years of Solitude"), and featuring photo for The Violent Yearsdialogue by iconic Mexican novelist/essayist Carlos Fuentes ("The Death of Artemio Cruz," "The Old Gringo"). On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Film Movement … Written by legendary Hollywood outsider Edward D. Wood, Jr. ("Plan 9 From Outer Space," "Glen or Glenda") and helmed by B-film director William Morgan, the gang-girl saga "The Violent Years" (1956) is the story of Paula Parkins (Jean Moorehead), a good-girl-gone-bad who leads her degenerate teenage hellcats down a path of gas station hijackings, pajama party orgies, and cold-blooded murder. From Wood's patently deranged dialogue to the scene where the gang performs a "man attack," "The Violent Years" is an essential exposé on crime, gender politics, and sweater-stealing. Remember, "This is a story of violence!" New 4K scan from the original camera negative. On Blu-ray Disc from American Genre Film Archive/Something Weird … "The Man From Earth" (2007), the provocative final screenplay by renowned science fiction author and screenwriter Jerome Bixby ("Star Trek", "The Twilight Zone", "Fantastic Voyage," "It! The Terror From Beyond Space") tells the story of a mysterious professor named John Oldman (David Lee Smith). During a cold night in a remote cabin, an uneventful, impromptu goodbye party for Oldman becomes something extraordinary when he makes a prodigious announcement: He is an immortal who has migrated through 140 photo for The Man From Earth centuries of evolution and now must move on. Is Oldman truly Cro-Magnon or simply insane? Now one man will force five scholars to confront their own notions of history, religion, science and humanity, all reading to a final revelation that may shatter their world forever. Bixby's script explores themes first presented in the classic season three "Star Trek" episode "Requiem For Methuselah". He began work on the script in the early 1960s and completed it on his death bed in 1998. A decade after its initial release "The Man From Earth" has become a world-wide cult classic and has become a favorite film among fans of the genre. The film currently ranks among the top 50 science fiction films of all time on the IMDb, was selected by AOL's "Sci-Fi Squad"as one of the Top 10 "Best Science Fiction Films of the Decade" (2000 – 2009) and was nominated for a Saturn Award by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films in 2008. The movie's success has spawned a sequel, "The Man From Earth: Holocene," which is scheduled for release in theaters Fall 2017. On Blu-ray/DVD Combo with original 2.0 Stereo Audio (Uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray) and Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. From MVD Entertainment.

And then there's Bob: "Bob Hope: The Ultimate Movie Collection" features 21 of the funniest movies from the legendary comedian. As a recognized genius of American comedy, Bob Hope has no equal. From his early days in vaudeville to his years as a top Hollywood boxoffice draw photo for Bob Hope: The Ultimate Movie Collectionand star of radio, TV and live performances, Bob Hope’s innocent charm and lightning-quick wit have delighted millions of fans throughout the world. Co-starring some of Hollywood’s greatest stars including Lucille Ball, W.C. Fields, Dorothy Lamour, George Burns, Gracie Allen, Martha Raye, Betty Grable, Paulette Goddard, Jane Russell and, of course, Bing Crosby, this collection will entertain longtime fans and introduce a whole new generation to the unforgettable style of one of the most famous comedians of all time. Check out the complete list of titles here. Extras include a new documentary, "American Masters: This Is Bob Hope"; "Bob Hope and the Road to Success"; "Entertaining the Troops"; "Command Performance 1944"; "Command Performance 1945"; "Hollywood Victory Caravan." From Universal.

From TV to DVD:

"CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: The Complete Series"
(2000-15) is a 93-disc set that includes 19 hours of special features, all 15 seasons and all 337 episodes, plus the two-hour finale, of the drama that changed the television photo for CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: The Complete Series landscape. CSI was the second most-watched show on television by 2002, taking the top position for Season 3, and was named the most-watched show in the world six times, more than any other show (2016 Monte-Carlo TV Festival). All-star cast: William Petersen, Marg Helgenberger, Laurence Fishburne, Ted Danson, Elisabeth Shue. During its 15-year run, "CSI" became a global phenomenon producing three spin-off series: "CSI: Miami," "CSI: NY," and "CSI: Cyber"; a book series; several video games; and an exhibit at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry. Extras include "Procedures of Handling Evidence," "The Autopsy Theater Tour," "The Gun Lab Tour," "The Trace Lab Tour," "The A/V Lab Tour," commentaries, deleted scenes, gag reels, behind-the scenes featurettes, more. From CBS/Paramount … "CSI: Miami: The Complete Series" (2002-12): Horatio Caine (David Caruso), a former homicide detective, heads a group of investigators who work crimes amid the steamy, tropical photo for CSI: Miami: The Complete Series surroundings and cultural crossroads of Miami. His team includes Calleigh Dusquene, a bilingual Southern beauty with a specialty in ballistics; Tim Speedle, a cocky yet disarming investigator who is well connected on the street, and Eric Delko, an underwater recovery expert who knows all the twists and turns of the Florida waterways. Rounding out the team is Alexx Woods, the no-nonsense, know-it-all coroner. And, after Speedle is killed in Action, Former Patrolman Ryan Wolfe joins the team. Together, these investigators collect and analyze the evidence to solve the crimes and to vindicate those who often cannot speak for themselves. Extras include "CSI: Miami Uncovered," "Creating CSI: Miami," "The CSI Tour: Polie Station," "The CSI Shot: Making It Real," "The Writers' Room," "CSI Moves Into Season Three," "Crime Scene Field Kit," "The Evolution of an Episode From Concept to Completion," "Pre-Production," "Production," "Post-Production," commentaries, behind-the-scenes featurettes, character profiles. A 65-disc box set from CBS/Paramount.

Buzzin' the 'B's:

In "The Villainess" (2017 — South Korea), starring Kim Ok-bin, Shin Ha-kyun and Bang Sung-jun, assassin Sook-hee, honed from childhood into a merciless killing machine by a criminal organization, is recruited as a sleeper agent with the promise of freedom after 10 years of service — and she jumps at the chance for a normal life. But soon photo for The Villainessenough, secrets from her past destroy everything she’s worked for, and now nobody can stand in her way as she embarks on a roaring rampage of revenge. On DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo, from Well Go USA … In "Good Time" (2017), staring Robert Pattinson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Taliah Webster and Buddy Duress, Connie Nikas (Pattinson), racing against the clock to get his brother out of jail, finds himself trying to make some quick hustles while evading arrest on the colorful streets of New York. An official selection at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival that received a six-minute standing ovation. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Lionsgate … When 17-year-old Kelly photo for High School Lover (Paulina Singer) sneaks out to the city one night with her friends in "High School Lover" (2017), she isn’t expecting to meet Hollywood’s hottest actor, Christian Booth (François Arnaud). To Kelly’s surprise, Christian contacts her and they begin spending time together. When her father (James Franco) finds out about the relationship — and the wide age gap — he demands that Kelly stop seeing Christian. As Christian’s adoration turns into obsession, Kelly realizes that she’s put her family in danger. From Lionsgate … In "Saving Christmas" (2017), starring Ed Asner, Patrick Muldoon, Brooke Langton and Jack Brunault, Danny and his brainy buddies launch an “X-Files”-style investigation to discover the truth about Santa. But they have no clue that St. Nick (Asner) is real — and he’s making toys right in their hometown. As Danny’s flirty mom (Langton) gets wrapped up with Santa’s social-media director (Muldoon), Danny and his gang of secret sleuths unravel the funny, festive truth that’s out there. From Lionsgate.

On the Indie Front:

"Lemon" (2017): a person or thing that proves to be defective, imperfect, or unsatisfactory. Isaac Lachmann (Brett Gelman) is a dud. Isaac Lachmann is 40. Isaac Lachmann is a man in free fall immobilized by mediocrity. His career is going nowhere. His girlfriend of 10 years is leaving him. And his photo for Crown Heights overbearing family doesn't help matters. What did he do to deserve this? Things were supposed to work out differently for him. Isaac Lachmann had big dreams. Now he just watches as his life unravels. Stars Bret Gelman, Michael Cera, Judy Greer, Gillian Jacobs and Jeff Garlin. From Magnolia Home Entertainment … "Crown Heights" (2017), starring Lakeith Stanfield, Nnamdi Asomugha, Natalie Paul, Amari Cheatom and Marsha Stephanie Blake, is based on an incredible true story. In the spring of 1980, a teenager is gunned down in the streets of Flatbush, Brooklyn. The police pressure a child witness to identify a suspect. As a result, Colin Warner, an 18-year-old kid from nearby Crown Heights, is wrongfully convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. Colin’s childhood friend Carl 'KC' King devotes his life to fighting for Colin’s freedom. He works on appeals, takes loans for lawyer fees and becomes a legal courier to learn the court system. Adapted from the acclaimed "This American Life" piece. From Broad Green Pictures.

Foreign Films:

Set against the backdrop of 1960s San Francisco, "Birth of the Dragon" (2016 — China), starring Philip Ng, Yu Xia and Billy Magnussen, is a modern take on the classic movies that Bruce Lee was known for. It takes its inspiration from the epic and still controversial showdown between an up-and-coming Bruce Lee and kung fu master Wong Jack Man — a battle that gave birth to a legend. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Universal … "After Love" (2016 –France), starring Cédric Kahn and Bérénice Bejo, tells the stark story of Boris (Kahn) and Marie (Bejo), a couple who have decided to separate after 15 years together. They have two girls that they adore. However, cash-strapped Boris is still living in the family home. When all is said and done, neither of the two photo for Birth of the Dragon is willing to give up. Now this apartment is a war zone and their situation a nightmare. The film is a painfully intimate, harrowingly and fascinating drama about the emotional and financial complexities of a separation and the end of a long love story. From Icarus Films/Distrib Films US … In "The Film Critic" (2013 — Argentina), Víctor Tellez, a prestigious film critic who has lost faith in the art form, sparks with a young woman whose tastes run opposite of his. The crotchety Buenos Aires film critic — whose "capacity for gusto" has been sucked out of him — learns that all those sappy, feel-good romantic comedies that he’s come to disdain in Hollywood cinema can be more than simply a movie genre — much more. Tellez is a man who has spent the last 20 years sitting, and must now take action. The excuse is this girl in the movie, but she could very well be the product of his imagination, something created by his unconscious that drives him out of that very rigid structure that traps him. Stars Rafael Spregelburd, Dolores Fonzi and Blanca Lewin. From Music Box Films … In "From the Land of the Moon" (2016 — France), starring Marion Cotillard, Àlex Brendemühl and Louis Garrel, a passionate, free-spirited woman in a loveless marriage falls for another man when she's sent away to the Alps to treat her kidney stones In 1950s France. From IFC Films.

Special Interest:

"Free to Rock: How Rock & Roll Brought Down The Wall" (2017), which was broadcast on PBS stations and worldwide, is a multi-award winning documentary directed by four-time Emmy-winning filmmaker Jim Brown and narrated by Kiefer Sutherland. It captures the dramatic — and at times even humorous — story of how rock 'n' roll tore a hole in the Iron Curtain and spread like a virus across the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe despite photo for Free To Rock: How Rock & Roll Brought Down The Wall Communist attempts to outlaw it. Thousands of underground bands — including the Flowers, Kino and the Plastic People of the Universe — and millions of young fans who yearned for Western freedoms helped fuel the nonviolent implosion of the Soviet regime. Free To Rock features presidents, diplomats, spies and rock stars from the West and the Soviet Union who reveal how rock music helped bring down The Wall. This 10-year production features interviews and performances including: Presidents Jimmy Carter, Mikhail Gorbachev and Latvian President Vike-Freiberga, former KGB General Oleg Kalugin, former NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow, Elvis Presley, The Beach Boys, The Beatles, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Elton John, Billy Joel, Scorpions, Cyndi Lauper ("The Wall – Live in Berlin"), Metallica, Stas Namin, Pits "Pete" Anderson, Boris Grebenshikov, Andrey Makarevich, Valery Saifudinov, Yuri Schevchuk and more. From Pop Twist/MVD Visual … Bertrand Tavernier, one of modern cinema's most revered directors, gives a personal guided tour of his country's film history in "My Journey Through French Cinema"
(2016). Tavernier became an internationally acclaimed director with his first feature, 1974's "The Clockmaker," and in the more than four decades since, he has created such classically rigorous masterpieces as "The Judge and the Assassin," "Coup de Torchon," "A Sunday in the Country," "Life and Nothing But" and "It All Starts Today." Here he looks back over his nation's rich, complicated legacy in a deeply rewarding and highly photo for Atheist Americapersonal documentary that is both educational and revelatory. He discusses — and shows copious clips from — films he enjoyed as a boy to those of his contemporaries and his own early career. The three-hour-plus film is told through portraits of key creative figures, including such towering directors as Jean Renoir, Marcel Carné, Jean-Luc Godard, Francois Truffaut, Claude Chabrol and Jean-Pierre Melville, as well as Jean Gabin (regarded by many as the "French Spencer Tracy") and the composers who've added so much to the films. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc, from Cohen Media Group … Every Sunday afternoon two atheists in Austin debate callers for one hour on the only atheist television show in America. Over the span of 20 years, The Atheist Experience has grown from local oddity to nationwide internet phenomenon. Along the way it has provided concentrated and entertaining insight into the culture wars that divide the nation today. The documentary "Atheist America" (2017) portrays the show, its protagonists, and the funny, touching and often shocking discussions that arise between the hosts and their audience. The film also reveals how religion has permeated public life in Texas — from prayers before rodeos, NASCAR races and Republican party rallies to Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church and David Barton's "WallBuilders" radio show. From Film Movement … "Stefan Zweig: Farewell to Europe" (2016 — Germany) tells the story of the Austrian writer and his life in exile from 1936 to 1942. Zweig was one of the most famous writers of his time, but as a Jewish intellectual he struggled to find the right stance towards the events in Nazi Germany. Driven to emigrate to South America at the peak of his worldwide fame, Zweig fell into despair at the sight of Europe’s downfall. From First Run Features … The new documentary "The Pulitzer at photo for The Pulitzer at 100100" (2017), by Academy Award-winning director Kirk Simon, celebrates the centenary of the Pulitzers – the revered national award for excellence in journalism and the arts. The Pulitzers have had an immeasurable impact on American sensibility and beyond over the past 100 years. The riveting tales of the winning artists give an insider's view of how these pinnacles of achievement are selected and how the award has the power to change lives and communities. The diverse stories explored in the film relate to immigration, race, gender, and above all freedom of speech – all issues that are ever more relevant in America today. Featuring interviews with notable prize recipients including authors, journalists, playwrights and musicians such as Toni Morrison, Michael Chabon, Junot Díaz, Tony Kushner, Paula Vogel, Carl Bernstein, Robert Caro, Nicholas Kristof, Thomas Friedman, David Remnick and Wynton Marsalis, the film also brings Pulitzer-winning works to life through readings by John Lithgow, Helen Mirren, Natalie Portman, Liev Schreiber, Martin Scorsese, and Yara Shahidi. Interwoven with the stories and readings is the history of the man who created it. Joseph Pulitzer came to America to fight as a mercenary in the Civil War, made a fortune in publishing, and, upon his death in 1911, left money to Columbia University, a portion of which was used to establish the Pulitzer Prizes. First awarded in 1917, the iconic prizes represent the highest standards of integrity and excellence in the arts. From First Run Features.

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 20, 2017 No Responses »
Nov 132017
 

From the Big Screen:

"Wind River" and "Atomic Blonde." For more information on other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.

DVD Collectibles:

Donna Deitch’s swooning and sensual first narrative feature, "Desert Hearts" (1985), was groundbreaking upon its 1985 release: A love story about two women, made entirely independently, on a self-financed shoestring budget, by a woman. In the 1959-set film, an adaptation of a novel by Jane Rule, straitlaced East Coast professor Vivian photo for Desert Hearts Bell (Helen Shaver) arrives in Reno to file for divorce but winds up catching the eye of someone new, the younger free spirit Cay (Patricia Charbonneau), touching off a slow seduction that unfolds against a breathtaking desert landscape. With undeniable chemistry between its two leads, an evocative jukebox soundtrack, and vivid cinematography by Robert Elswit, "Desert Hearts" beautifully exudes a sense of tender yearning and emotional candor. On DVD and Blu-ray, with new, restored 4K digital transfer, supervised by cinematographer Robert Elswit and created by the UCLA Film & Television Archive in conjunction with the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project and the Sundance Institute, with uncompressed photo for Le samouraï monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. From The Criterion Collection … Also from Criterion this week is the superb French masterpiece "Le samouraï" (1987), starring Alain Delon in a career-defining performance. Delon plays Jef Costello, a contract killer with samurai instincts. After carrying out a flawlessly planned hit, Jef finds himself caught between a persistent police investigator and a ruthless employer, and not even his armor of fedora and trench coat can protect him. An elegantly stylized masterpiece of cool by maverick director Jean-Pierre Melville, "Le samouraï" is a razor-sharp cocktail of 1940s American gangster cinema and 1960s French pop culture — with a liberal dose of Japanese lone-warrior mythology. On DVD and Blu-ray, with new high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray.

The folks at Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment have put together a fitting homage to the great director George A. Romero, who died this year at age 77. "George Romero "Between Night and Dawn"" is a limited Edition six-disc box set. Three films made between "Night of the Living Dead" and "Dawn of the Dead" showcase the extraordinary versatility and dynamism of this irreplaceable American auteur. When Romero passed away in July, the film world didn't just lose its beloved "King of Zombies," but also a groundbreaking and fearless innovator who inspired not only generations of genre directors, but also experimental and guerilla filmmakers for whom he laid down the template. The three films collected in this box set — two early Seventies "lost films" and a classic plague panic thriller — show there's more to the legendary director than simply gut-munching ghouls. The comedy romance "There's Always Vanilla," psychological thriller "Season of the Witch," and infection horror "The Crazies" — all filmed in and around Pittsburgh — serve to photo for George Romero Between Night and Dawndisplay the broader thematic concerns and auteurist leanings of a skilled craftsman too often pigeonholed within the genre. "The Crazies" is one of his strongest horror offerings, with memorable performances from Lynn Lowry and Richard Liberty. Romero managed to inject his films with subtle social allegories, nuanced examinations of the human condition, and just the right amount of black humor, so that they were immediately recognized as his and his alone. The box set showcases the director feeling his way towards the mainstream and showing a formidable assurance in three very distinct genres. Includes brand new restorations of the three films, a lavish 60-page booklet featuring new writing on this fascinating chapter of Romero's career, a wealth of extras including interviews, featurettes and behind the scenes documentaries, reversible sleeves for all three films featuring original and newly-commissioned artwork, and a beautifully designed and striking slipcase featuring an iconic image of the man himself. In a Blu-ray/DVD Combo.

From TV to DVD:

"D.C. Follies: The Complete Series" (1987-89) is a four-disc set with all 44 episodes. Brought to you by those masters of trippy TV, Sid & Marty Krofft ("H.R. Pufnstuf," "Land of the Lost"), "D.C. Follies" stars the one and only Fred Willard as the bartender in the hottest joint our nation’s capital has ever seen … and where the clientele is made up of puppet caricatures of the biggest names in show biz and affairs of state. From the world stage to the puppet stage, Fred and his most-irregular regulars sock it to the culture of the day with a satiric style like none other: President Reagan tries to wipe out the national debt with a TV home shopping show, Dolly Parton gives photo for D.C. Follies: The Complete Seriesmakeup tips to Barbara Bush, Margaret Thatcher confers with Madonna to find a new image, and Nixon’s Presidential Library … is a bookmobile. Includes non-puppet guest stars such as Betty White, Martin Mull, Bob Uecker, Mike Tyson, Whoopi Goldberg, Leslie Nielsen, “Weird Al” Yankovic, and many more. From Shout! Factory … "Indiscretion" (2016) is a TV movie starring Mira Sorvino, Cary Elwes, Katherine McNamara, Christopher Backus. While her politician husband (Elwes) and precocious teenage daughter (McNamara) are away, New Orleans psychiatrist Veronica Simon (Sorvino) enjoys a weekend fling with Victor (Backus), an alluring young sculptor. But after Veronica calls off the affair, Victor refuses to let go — and will stop at nothing to have Veronica for himself. From MPI Home Video … "Preacher: Season Two" (2017) is a three-disc set with all 13 episodes. The second season is a genre-bending thrill ride that follows West Texas preacher Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper), his bad ass ex-girlfriend Tulip (Ruth Negga) and Irish vampire Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun) as they embark on a road trip to find God (upon learning He is absent from Heaven) and are thrust into a twisted battle spanning Heaven, Hell and everywhere in between. Finding themselves in New Orleans, the gang must dodge local gangsters, dangerous secret agents and the Saint of Killers, an unstoppable murderous cowboy from Hell.On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Sony … "Thanks For The Memories: The Bob Hope Specials Deluxe Collection": Bob Hope, America's greatest entertainer of the 20th century, is celebrated with the most complete collection of his television specials ever assembled, culled from the very best of Hope's 250 network specials spanning five decades, many in support of the photo for Thanks For The Memories: The Bob Hope Specials Deluxe CollectionU.S. Armed Forces. This one-of-a-kind collection is packed with comedy, music, dancing, movie stars, and, of course, Bob's memorable monologues — all perfect for family viewing. Across 19 DVDs, fans will find more than 37 hours of specials, including 20 that have not been seen since their original broadcast, as well as an incredible collection of celebrity guest appearances from the biggest stars of the era such as John Wayne, Bing Crosby, Raquel Welch, Desi Arnaz, Jack Benny, Don Rickles, Barbra Streisand, George Burns, Dean Martin, Ann-Margret, Lucille Ball, Steve McQueen, Lola Falana, Tom Jones, Carol Burnett, Angie Dickinson, Andy Williams, Lana Turner, Jayne Mansfield, Redd Foxx, Zsa Zsa Gabor and many others. Included here: "Thanks for the Memories: The Bob Hope Specials" (six discs) featuring 13 specials from 1956 to 1996; "Bob Hope: Entertaining the Troops" (four discs) featuring 10 shows from 1950 to 1993, including several USO Christmas specials filmed in front of troops serving in locations all over the world, from the Cold War through the Vietnam years to the Persian Gulf; "Bob Hope: TV Legend" (eight discs), a collection of 16 classic variety specials from 1958-1973; "The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts: Bob Hope" (one disc). Includes a 32-page memory book filled with rare, archival photos and stories, all housed in a deluxe collector's box. Formats: On DVD, $249.95 from Time Life.

Buzzin' the 'B's:

In director Michael Apted's action-thriller "Unlocked" (2017), Noomi Rapace stars as Alice Racine, one of the CIA’s top interrogators, whose career is sidelined after she fails to unlock a prisoner in time to save the lives of dozens of innocent people from a terrorist attack in Paris. Now, leading a quiet life in London as a caseworker, Alice is unexpectedly called back into action when the CIA apprehends a suspect believed to have direct knowledge of another imminent attack. Turning to the few people she can trust (Michael Douglas, John Malkovich, and Toni Collette), Alice seeks out the responsible parties as she races against the clock to prevent a deadly biological attack on the citizens of London. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Lionsgate … photo for J.D.'s Revenge It wasn't long before the 1970's Blaxploitation boom moved into the horror market, bringing the world "Blacula," "Blackenstein," "Abby" (Blaxploitation's "The Exorcist") and cult favorite "J.D.'s Revenge" (1976) Law student Ike is enjoying a night on the town with his friends when his life changes dramatically. Taking part in a nightclub hypnosis act, he becomes possessed with the spirit of a violent gangster murdered in the 1940s. Believing himself to be the reincarnation of murderous J.D., Ike launches a revenge campaign against those who had done "him" wrong all those years ago. Directed by Arthur Marks ("Bucktown," "Friday Foster") and starring Glynn Turman ("Cooley High") and Academy Award-winner Louis Gossett Jr., "J.D.'s Revenge" is alternately tough and terrifying — a Blaxploitation gem waiting to be rediscovered. New 2K restoration from original film elements, produced by Arrow Films exclusively for this release. From Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment … In "Amityville: The Awakening" (2017), starring Bella Thorne, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Cameron Monaghan and Taylor Spreitler, Belle and her family move photo for The Incredible Shrinking Woman BLU-RAY DEBUT into a new house, but when strange phenomena begin to occur, she begins to suspect her mother isn’t telling her everything. She soon realizes they just moved into the infamous Amityville house. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc, from Lionsgate … "The Incredible Shrinking Woman" (1981), starring Lily Tomlin, Charles Grodin, Ned Beatty and Henry Gibson, makes its Bli-ray debut this week. Exposed to a heady mix of household chemicals, housewife Pat Kramer (Tomlin) contracts a strange side effect: She begins to shrink! Baffling doctors, Pat’s diminishing size starts to really bring her down — until her story captures the hearts of the American people and the attention of a sinister group of scientists bent on world domination. Getting out of this predicament while still taking care of her family will be no small feat. 2017 high-definition transfer. From Shout! Factory.

Foreign Films:

"Kedi" (2017 — Turkey) is a documentary profile of an ancient city and its unique people, seen through the eyes of the most mysterious and beloved animal humans have ever known, the Cat. Hundreds of thousands of Turkish cats roam the metropolis of Istanbul freely. For thousands of years they’ve wandered in and out of people’s lives, becoming an essential part of the communities that make the city so rich. Claiming no owners, the cats of Istanbul live between two worlds, neither wild nor tame — and they bring joy and purpose to those people they choose to adopt. In Istanbul, cats are the mirrors to the people, allowing them to reflect on their lives in ways nothing else could. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Oscilloscope Laboratories … photo for Afterimage "Afterimage" (2016 — Poland), legendary director Andrzej Wajda's final film, is a passionate portrait of renowned avant-garde painter Wladyslaw Strzeminski, who challenged Stalinist orthodoxy. Looking at the last years of the controversial and visionary artists' life, "Afterimage" follows Poland's best-known interwar artist and theoretician as he wages war against Stalinism. Though he didn't start painting until after becoming a double amputee, the ever-compelling and charismatic Strzeminski eventually became a professor at the National School of Fine Arts in Lodz. It's there that students treat him like the "messiah of modern painting," but university authorities and the Ministry of Culture have a differing opinion. Refusing to comply with Party regulations, the rebellious artist is eventually expelled from the university and the artists' union. And as the Communist authorities continue their efforts to ruin him, Strzeminski, brilliantly played by Polish superstar Boguslaw Linda, remains steadfast in his political and artistic convictions. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Film Movement … "Eight Films By Jean Rouch": Jean Rouch was an inspiration for the French New Wave, and a revolutionary force in ethnography and the study of Africa. Beginning in 1955 with his most controversial film "The Mad Masters" through 1969’s darkly comic "Little By Little," these films represent the most sustained flourishing of Rouch’s practice of “shared anthropology" — a process of collaboration with his subjects. Astonishing on their own terms, now restored in high definition and released for the first time, "Eight Films By Jean Rouch" is essential for anyone interested in better understanding the development of ethnography and the cross-currents of colonialism and post-colonial social change in Africa, as well as documentary film practice, film history, and world cinema as a whole. The four-disc set includes eight newly restored films, a 24-page booklet with two essays about Rouch and his methodology, and a new documentary about Rouch, his films, and his influence on African cinema: "The Adventurous Filmmaker." The eight titles: "The Mad Masters" (1955), "Mammy Water" (1956), "The Human Pyramid" (1961), "The Lion Hunters" (1965), "Jaguar" (1967), "Little By Little" (1969), "The Punishment" (1962) and "Jean Rouch, The Adventurous Filmmaker" (2017). In French & English w/English subtitles. From Icarus Films … photo for The Sissi Collection "The Sissi Collection" (1955-57 — Austria): At the age of 17, Romy Schneider vaulted to international stardom through her portrayal of Princess Elisabeth (Sissi) of Austria in the first of three lavish films directed by Ernst Marischka. And, while she would go on to work with some of the most influential and daring European directors of the era, Schneider will always be remembered by this defining role in the internationally beloved series. Five-disc set, newly restored in 2K and available for the first time ever on Blu-ray in North America. Includes the Cannes Golden Palm-Nominated "Sissi Trilogy" along with "Victoria In Dover" (1954), a precursor to the Sissi films in which Schneider plays Britain's Princess Victoria; and "Forever My Love" (1962), a condensed English-dubbed version of the trilogy. Formats:Blu-ray Disc. Includes a 20-page collector's booklet. From Film Movement … "Tormentero" (2017 — Mexico), starring Jose Carlos Ruiz, Gabino Rodríguez and Monica Jimenez, is an award winning-film that uses the beautiful backdrop of a Mexican fishing village to tell a story of betrayal, love, honor and delusion. Ruiz plays Romero Kantun, a retired fisherman who discovered an oil field in his village. This discovery caused his friends and neighbors to lose their livelihoods, leaving him alienated. Now an alcoholic schizophrenic haunted by his past, Romero sets out to reclaim the love and honor he lost decades ago after he betrayed his village. From FilmRise … photo for Zoology "Zoology" (2016 — Russia) is writer-director Ivan I. Tverdovsky's prize-winning sophomore feature (Special Prize of the Jury at Karlovy Vary Film Festival, Best Picture at Fantastic Fest) that deftly mixes the deadpan humour of Aki Kaurismäki with a poignant examination of social issues including loneliness and aging. Natasha is a middle-aged admin employee at a zoo where her female co-workers take pleasure in making fun of her. She lives with her God-fearing mother and leads a dull existence without prospects, until one day she grows a tail. Medical examinations follow where she meets Peter, a young radiologist and her dreary life is turned upside down. Described as "Kafka meets Cronenberg," Tverdovsky's film is a beautifully photographed portrait of Eastern Europe that recalls the recent New Romanian Cinema and features a brave and brilliant central performance from Natalya Pavlenkova. In a Blu-ray/DVD Combo from Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment.

For the Family:

In the animated "Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature" (2017), with the voices of Will Arnett, Katherine Heigl, Maya Rudoplh, Bobby Moynihan, Isabela Moner, Jeff Dunham and Gabriel Iglesias, Surly Squirrel (Arnett) and the gang are back, returning to Liberty photo for Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature Park after they are forced to leave their easy life at the nut store. Getting back to nature is the last thing Surly wants to do, but when a greedy mayor decides to destroy the park to build an amusement park, Surly and his ragtag critter friends must band together to save the place they call home. The film introduces new characters including Mr. Feng (Jackie Chan), the adorable but deadly city mouse, and Frankie, the love-struck bulldog (Bobby Canavale). On DVD, Blu-ray Disc, from Universal … Narrated and executive produced by Mariah Carey, the animated family film "Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas Is You" (2017) follows little Mariah as she chases her dream of having a puppy of her very own, making her ultimate wish for Christmas come true. Joining Carey in the voice cast are Breanna Yde as little Mariah; Henry Winkler as Grandpa Bill; Lacey Chabert as Mariah’s mother Penelope; and Phil Morris as Mariah’s father Bud. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc, Digital. From Universal.

Special Interest:

"Hamilton: Building America" (2017) is a HISTORY documentary that captures the amazing life and times of our nation’s forgotten founding father: Alexander Hamilton. Explores the iconic American political and financial institutions he helped to create — from the U.S. Mint and Wall Street to the two-party political system. Ron Chernow, whose biography of Alexander Hamilton served as the basis for the hit Broadway play, along with other notable names including Tom Brokaw and Maria Bartiromo, contribute to an all-encompassing look at one of our nation’s most accomplished leaders. From Lionsgate … photo for Whose Streets? Told by the activists and leaders who live and breathe this movement for justice, "Whose Streets?" (2017) is an unflinching look at the Ferguson uprising. When unarmed teenager Michael Brown is killed by police and left lying in the street for hours, it marks a breaking point for the residents of St. Louis. Grief, long-standing racial tensions, and renewed anger bring residents together to hold vigil and protest this latest tragedy. Empowered parents, artists, and teachers from around the country come together as freedom fighters. As the national guard descends on Ferguson with military-grade weaponry, these young community members become the torchbearers of a new resistance. From Magnolia Home Entertainment.

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, 2017 No Responses »
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