"The movie business is macabre. Grotesque.
It is a combination of a football game
and a brothel."
-- Federico Fellini
Apr 172018

From the Big Screen:

“The Post” and “The Commuter.” For more information on other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.

This Week’s Best Bets:

“Seijun Suzuki: The Early Years. Vol. 2 Limited Edition”: Boundary-breaking early crime thrillers, mob dramas and action movies from legendary cult director Seijun Suzuki. Includes: “Eight Hours of Terror” (1957), “The Sleeping Beast Within” (1960), “Smashing the 0-Line” (1960), “Tokyo Knights” (1961), “The Man with a Shotgun” (1961). Available for home-viewing for the very first time ever outside of Japan, this collection of bleak crime thrillers, brash mob dramas and photo for Seijun Suzuki: The Early Years. Vol. 2 Limited Editionexuberant action movies, made across the first five years of Seijun Suzuki’s career within Nikkatsu’s Borderless Action (mukokuseki akushon) line, presents a heady mix that laid the ground for what was to come. “The Sleeping Beast Within” (1960) is a gripping crime thriller that sees a newspaper reporter’s search for his girlfriend’s missing father lead him into heart of the criminal underworld of Yokohama’s Chinatown. Its companion piece, “Smashing the 0-Line” (1960), follows two reporters’ descent into a scabrous demimonde of drug and human trafficking. In “Eight Hours of Terror” (1957), a bus making its precarious way across a winding mountain road picks up some unwelcome passengers. In “Tokyo Knights” (1961), a college student takes over the family business in the field of organized crime, while “The Man with a Shotgun” photo for Sleeping Dogs (1961) marks Suzuki’s first entry into the territory of the “borderless” Japanese Western. In a Blu-ray/DVD Combo, from Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment … “Sleeping Dogs”: (1977) Adapted from C.K. Stead’s novel “Smith’s Dream,” “Sleeping Dogs” almost single-handedly kickstarted the New Zealand New Wave, demonstrating that homegrown feature films could resonate with both local and international audiences, and launching the big-screen careers of director Roger Donaldson (“No Way Out,” “Species”) and Sam Neill (“Jurassic Park,” “Possession”). Neill — in his first lead role in a feature — plays Smith, a man escaping the break-up of his marriage by finding isolation on an island off the Coromandel Peninsula. As he settles into his new life, the country is experiencing its own turmoil: an oil embargo has led to martial law and civil war, into which Smith reluctantly finds himself increasingly involved. Co-starring Warren Oates as the commander of a US army unit drawn into the conflict, “Sleeping Dogs” is simultaneously a political thriller, a personal drama and a true landmark in New Zealand cinema. On Blu-ray, from Arrow Academy/MVD Entertainment.

“The Awful Truth” (1937): In this Oscar-winning farce, Cary Grant (in the role that first defined the Cary Grant persona) and Irene Dunne exude charm, cunning, and artless affection as an urbane couple who, fed up with each other’s infidelities, resolve to file for divorce. Try as they each might to move on, the mischievous Jerry can’t help but meddle in Lucy’s ill-matched engagement to a corn-fed Oklahoma businessman (Ralph photo for The Awful TruthBellamy), and a mortified Lucy begins to realize that she may be saying goodbye to the only dance partner capable of following her lead. Directed by the versatile Leo McCarey, a master of improvisation and slapstick as well as a keen and sympathetic observer of human folly, “The Awful Truth” is a warm but unsparing comedy about two people whose flaws only make them more irresistible. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc with new 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray, from The Criterion Collection … “The Color of Pomegranates” (1969 — Russia): A breathtaking fusion of poetry, ethnography, and cinema, Sergei Parajanov’s masterwork overflows with images and sounds that burn into photo for The Color of Pomegranates the memory. In a series of tableaux that blend the tactile with the abstract, “The Color of Pomegranates” revives the splendors of Armenian culture through the story of the 18th-century troubadour Sayat-Nova, charting his intellectual, artistic, and spiritual growth through iconographic compositions rather than traditional narrative. The film’s tapestry of folklore and metaphor departed from the realism that dominated the Soviet cinema of its era, leading authorities to block its distribution, with rare underground screenings presenting it in a restructured form. This edition features the cut closest to Parajanov’s original vision, in a restoration that brings new life to one of cinema’s most enigmatic meditations on art and beauty. In Armenian, Azerbaijani, and Georgian with English subtitles. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc with new 4K digital restoration, undertaken by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project in collaboration with the Cineteca di Bologna, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray, from The Criterion Collection.

From TV to Disc:

“The Accident (L’accident)” (2016 — France) is a two-disc set with six episodes. Kindhearted construction boss Gabriel Cauvy lives with his wife, Rebecca, and daughter, Luna, in Sainte Lune, a picturesque but struggling village in Brittany, France. One day, Gabriel notices his wife behaving strangely, and hours later she is killed in a car wreck. Amid his grief, Gabriel also contends with the bizarre circumstances of the crash. Why was Rebecca’s car stopped in the middle of photo for The Accident (L’accident)passenger seat when she didn’t drink liquor? Was it truly an accident? Or could it have been something more sinister? When the police and the rest of Sainte Lune blame Rebecca for the crash, Gabriel determines to clear her name. But as he starts his own investigation, the residents of his quaint little town all seem to be hiding something — and the search for the truth is more dangerous than he could have imagined. From Acorn Media … “Claws: The Complete First Season” (2017) is a three-disc set with all 10 episodes of the midnight-dark, wickedly funny meditation on female badness set in a South Florida nail salon. It follows the rise of five diverse and treacherous manicurists working at the Nail Artisan of Manatee County salon, where there is a lot more going on than silk wraps and pedicures. Claws is about good women caught in bad places with worse men. It’s the story of hardworking women trying to get by in this economy, set against the surreal, bright, gritty landscape of Florida and the luscious, absurd, extreme excesses of the crime world. From Warner.

Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:

Written and directed by Floyd (“The Hollywood Knights,” “American Hot Wax”) Mutrux, “Aloha, Bobby and Rose,” (1975), in a Blu-ray debut this week, sets its sights on the good-looking titular twosome: Bobby (Paul le Mat), who has a souped-up ‘68 Camaro and a dead-end job; and Rose (Dianne Hull), who’s got a 5-year-old son and a nowhere life. The two meet and quickly fall in love, which gives way to Rose’s photo for Aloha, Bobby and Rose fantasy of leaving the Hollywood streets behind and saying “aloha” to life in exotic Hawaii. But when a seemingly safe attempt to rob a liquor store to bankroll their journey goes tragically awry, Bobby and Rose find themselves on the run from the law … and for their lives. Barreling across nighttime L.A. in a bid to make it to the tropics, the young lovers learn that “aloha” can also mean “goodbye.” Remastered in high definition transfer with extensive color correction. Co-stars Robert Carradine, Tim McIntire, Edward James Olmos and Noble Willingham. From Doppelgänger Releasing/Scorpion Releasing … On the eve of an abandoned hospital’s demolition, evil walks its empty corridors to the pulsating echo of 150 beats per minute in “Rave Party Massacre (aka DeadThirsty” (2017), starring Sara Bess, Evan Taylor Williams and Melissa Kunnap. It’s 1992, an uncertain time of uprising, of violent revolution against the so-called New World Order. When Rachel, Branson, and others attend an illegal rave party held in the facility, they encounter the malevolent presence lurking within. From Breaking Glass Pictures … “Deep Blue Sea 2” (2018), starring Danielle Savre, Michael Beach, Rob Mayes, Nathan Lynn and Kim Syster, is a sequel to the 1999 hit directed by Renny Harlin that featured Thomas Jane, Samuel L. Jackson, Saffron Burrows and LL Cool J. Shark conservationist Dr. Misty Calhoun (Savre) is invited to photo for Deep Blue Sea 2consult on a new, top secret project run by pharmaceutical billionaire Carl Durant (Beach). She believes the project, performed at a remote, sea-based facility, focuses on extracting shark antibodies to help work toward cures for human diseases. However, Dr. Calhoun is shocked to learn that the company is using unpredictable bull sharks as its test subjects, and Durant has bio-engineered a shiver of highly intelligent, super-aggressive bull sharks. When science meddles with the time-tested process of nature and nurture, the outcome can be deadly. On DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo, from Warner … With an interminable case of writer’s block and a personal family crisis, playwright Nate (Jemaine Clement) is forced to move into his father’s (Elliott Gould) retirement community in “Humor Me” (2017). But a chance encounter with the local community theatre group may help turn his life around — or signal the end of his once promising career for good. Co-stars Ingrid Michaelson, Annie Potts and Bebe Neuwirth. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Shout! Factory … In “Honor Up” (2018), starring Damon Dash, Cam’ron, Murda Mook, Blackface, Smoke DZA and Nicholas Turturro, OG is a drug lord’s lieutenant struggling to maintain the code of honor — protect the family — within his unruly crew after a Harlem shootout. The film reveals a deadly underworld where beats pound as bullets fly, and even outlaws must live by the code. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc, from Lionsgate.

On the Indie Front:

In “The Happys” (2018), starring Melissa McBride, Janeane Garofalo, Stephen Guarino, Rhys Ward, Tim Abell, Jack DePew, Brian Jordan Alvarez and Arturo Del Puerto, 212-year-old Tracy walks in on her newly minted “movie star” boyfriend having sex with a man and, after assessing her limited options, she returns to him with a deal — if he agrees to marry her, she’ll forget the whole thing ever photo for Russian Dollhappened. Their relationship quickly deteriorates, but Tracy’s world blossoms when she befriends the quirky residents in her Los Feliz (The Happys) neighborhood. As she discovers her sense of self and true passion for cooking, she’s a catalyst that forces everyone around her to grow and connect in unforeseen ways. Features an original score by Patrick Sansone (Wilco). From Indican Picture … In “Russian Doll” (2016), starring Melanie Brockmann Gaffney, Kristine Sutherland, Sarah Hollis, Marem Hassler and Jason T. Gaffney, veteran lesbian police detective Viola Ames (Gaffney) is assigned to investigate the case of a missing woman who uncovered a murder plot set in the theatre world, behind the scenes of a play called “The Russian Doll.” As the play moves towards opening night, Viola and her police partner uncover a complicated and enigmatic series of twists and turns to uncover the identity of the kidnapper as well as a surprising murder suspect. At the same time that Viola deciphers clues to solve the case, Viola’s tough and emotionally closed world begins to change as she falls for a new woman in her life, Faith. From Wolfe Video.


In “A Taxi Driver” (2017 — South Korea), a powerful true story set in 1980, a down-on-his-luck photo for A Taxi Drivertaxi driver from Seoul is hired by a foreign journalist who wants to go to the town of Gwangju for the day. They arrive to find a city under siege by the military government, with the citizens, led by a determined group of college students, rising up to demand freedom. What began as an easy fare becomes a life-or-death struggle in the midst of the Gwangju Uprising, a critical event in the history of modern South Korea. South Korea’s official entry in the 2018 Academy Awards best foreign-language film category. Stars Song Kang-Ho, Thomas Kretschmann, Yoo Hai-Jin and Ryu Jun-Yeol. On Blu-ray from Well Go USA.

Special Interest:

“Doris Day: A Sentimental Journey” (1991) is a celebration of one of Hollywood’s biggest and most beloved stars. Doris Day began her legendary career as a big band singer in the 1940s, made her motion picture debut in 1948 and became box office magic for the next two decades in musicals, comedies and dramas such as “Calamity Jane,” “The Man Who Knew Too Much,” “The Pajama Game,” “Please Don’t Eat photo for Doris Day: A Sentimental Journeythe Daisies,” “The Thrill of It All” and three iconic romantic comedies with Rock Hudson, including her Oscar-nominated “Pillow Talk.” In the late 1960s, Doris moved to television with her top-10 self-titled sitcom followed by music specials in the 1970s and “Doris Day’s Best Friends” in the 1980s. Since retiring from show business, Day has devoted herself to her first love with the Doris Day Animal Foundation.This documentary details her dramatic life story and career, guided by Doris along with famous friends (Betty White, Clint Eastwood) and admirers (film critics Roger Ebert and Molly Haskell). Also featured is rare footage and archival materials from the star’s own collection.From Dark Sky Films/MPI … March 30, 1985: Derek and Nancy Haysom are discovered brutally murdered at their home in Lynchburg, Virginia. The arrest and conviction of the couple’s daughter Elizabeth, a scholarship student at the University of Virginia, and her boyfriend Jens Söring, the brilliant son of a German diplomat, set off a media frenzy, becoming the first trial of its kind to be nationally televised. But what if the justice system got it all wrong? The gripping true crime documentary “Killing for Love” (2016) untangles the web of romantic obsession and betrayal that may have led an innocent man to make the ultimate sacrifice for love: take the fall for a murder he didn’t commit. Features the voices of Daniel Brühl and Imogen Poots. From IFC 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 April 17, 2018  Add comments

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