From the Big Screen:
This Week’s Best Bet:
One of the first Merchant Ivory productions, the sumptuous “Shakespeare Wallah” (1965) established the tone for so many of the collaborations to come from producer Is mail Merchant and director James Ivory: the deft, multilayered screenplay by their frequent collaborator Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, luminous cinematography, a wry sense of humor and a cast of characters rich in their very human complexity. The true story of British actor-manager Geoffrey Kendal and his family of traveling theatrical players is used as a fascinating lens into the ever-evolving relationship between Great Britain and India. The film follows Tony Buckingham and his wife, Carla, as the actor-managers of a troupe who travel through 1960s post-colonial India staging Shakespeare’s plays. But the Buckinghams come to realize to their dismay that classic English theater is falling out of favor in a changing country where the public has become more excited by the explosion of vibrant Bollywood films — and, more deeply, is looking to move beyond everything British. Stars Geoffrey Kendal, Laura Liddell, Shashi Kapoor and Madhur Jaffrey. Extras include a conversation with the filmmakers, featuring Is mail Merchant, James Ivory, Shashi Kapoor and Felicity Kendal; original trailer; 2017 rerelease trailer. From the Cohen Film Collection.
From TV to Disc:
“Ballers: The Complete Third Season” (2017) is a single disc with 10 episodes. This season, retired football superstar Spencer Strasmor (Dwayne Johnson), along with longtime colleague Joe Krutel (Rob Corddry), return with a new outlook and fresh goals, hoping to forge bonds with new players across the country while improving his relationships with existing clients. In an ever-changing business where the shelf life for stardom and multi-million-dollar contracts are short, Spencer is intent on proving that the key to successful sports management isn’t just about making money and having fun — it’s about delivering on the promises you make. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc, from HBO … “The Governor: The Complete Collection” (1995-96) is a five-disc set with all 12 episodes. Two-time Academy Award-nominee Janet McTeer stars in this gritty prison drama by acclaimed British crime writer Lynda La Plante (“Above Suspicion,” “The Commander”). After a disastrous riot at Barfield Prison, Helen Hewitt (McTeer) helps investigate an inmate’s suspicious death. When the governor of Barfield is subsequently ousted, Helen takes the job, becoming the youngest woman in charge of an all-male prison. Determined to clean up the place, she causes resentment among both prisoners and officers with her new ideas and no-nonsense attitude. Despite the odds stacked against her, Helen works tirelessly to earn the respect she deserves. From Acorn Media … “13 Reasons Why Season One” (2017) is a four-disc set with all 13 episodes of the critically acclaimed ground-breaking drama. Clay Jensen (Dylan Minnette) returns home from high school to discover a box of cassette tapes, recorded by Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford), his classmate and secret crush, who died by suicide only two weeks before. Hannah’s tapes reveal the 13 reasons that led to her untimely death, and the people she felt were responsible. This begins an emotional journey of suspense and heartbreak to uncover the mystery behind Hannah’s tragic end. Based on the best-selling mystery by author Jay Asher. Named one of the top 15 pop culture moments that defined 2017 by USA Today, “13 REASONS WHY” inspired more than 11 million tweets, becoming one of the top 10 most-tweeted about television shows and Google’s most-searched show of the year. Season Two will debut on Netflix in 2018. From Paramount.
Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:
“My Friend Dahmer” (2017), starring Anne Heche, Vincent Kartheiser, Ross Lynch, Alex Wolff and Dallas Roberts, is based on the acclaimed graphic novel about one of the most notorious serial killers of our time. Jeffrey Dahmer committed the rape, murder, and dismemberment of 17 men and boys between 1978 and 1991. Many of his later murders involved necrophilia, cannibalism, and the permanent preservation of body parts. He would become one of America’s most infamous serial killers. Jeff Dahmer (Lynch) was an awkward teenager struggling to make it through high school with a family life in ruins. He collected roadkill, fixated on a neighborhood jogger (Kartheiser), and coped with his unstable mother (Heche) and well intentioned father (Roberts). He began to act out at school, and his goofball antics won over a group of band-nerds who formed The Dahmer Fan Club, headed by Derf Backderf (Wolff). But this camaraderie didn’t mask his growing depravity. Approaching graduation, Dahmer spirals further out of control, inching ever closer to madness. From FilmRise … “Basmati Blues” (2017), starring Brie Larson, Saahil Sehgal and Utkarsh Ambudkar, is a musical romantic comedy about two people who reach across cultures, fight against corporate greed, and find love. Academy Award-winner Larson leads an ensemble cast as Dr. Linda Watt, a sheltered but brilliant young scientist who is sent on a work trip to India. She’s welcomed by almost everyone, and embraces a world she is unfamiliar with. She’s also assigned a guide, an ambitious young bureaucrat, who immediately takes a liking to her. But when Linda meets Rajit, a rebellious college student forced to drop out by lack of funds, there’s instant chemistry. And through their playful antagonism, Linda’s eyes are ultimately opened to the fact she has unknowingly become part of a destructive plan against the farmers. When she and the villagers discover her company’s greedy agenda, they work together to fight against the abusive agricultural giant. Features original songs written for the film by global artists Pearl Jam, Kristian Bush of Sugarland, Goldspot, Dave Baerwald, and Sonu Nigam. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Shout! Factory … “The Tag-Along 2” (2017 — Taiwan), starring Rainie Yang, Wei-Ning Hsu and Francesca Kao, is based on 1998 home video footage that spawned an urban legend with never-before-seen viral activity. This sequel to 2015’s “The Tag-Along” (Taiwan’s highest grossing horror film) continues the frightening mystery of “The Little Girl in Red” to critical praise and box office success. When social worker Shu-fen (Yang) discovers her pregnant teenage daughter has disappeared, the only clue to the teen’s whereabouts is a video of her being led away by a mysterious girl in red. As she attempts to unravel the mystery behind the little girl and the disappearance of her daughter, Shu-fen is drawn to the Red Forest where her discovery of an abandoned hospital leads to a series of terrifying experiences that can all be traced back to the legend of the girl in the red dress. From Cinedigm … The classically inspired neo-noir “Trouble Is My Business” (2018), starring Vernon Wells, Brittney Powell, Thomas Konkle, Steve Tom, Jordana Capra and Ben Pace, follows Roland Drake, a 1940s private investigator trying to untangle a mystery that’s only landing him in deeper trouble, in an adventure that ticks all the classic boxes — seductive femme fatales, corrupt cops, murder, a weary PI, troublesome thugs and dames, a priceless gem, and a journey into a world peeled back to reveal a twisted family and the immoral underbelly of human nature. Features the film in color and black & white. From Random Media.