From the Big Screen:
This Week’s Best Bets:
“An Angel at My Table” (1990), Academy Award-winning filmmaker Jane Campion brought to the screen the harrowing autobiography of Janet Frame, New Zealand’s most distinguished author. Three actors in turn take on the lead role (including Kerry Fox in a marvelous performance as the adult Frame), as the film describes a journey from an impoverished childhood marked by tragedy to a misdiagnosis of schizophrenia resulting in electroshock therapy and a narrowly escaped lobotomy to, finally, international literary fame. Unobtrusively capturing the beauty and power of the New Zealand landscape while maintaining the film’s focus on the figure at its center, Campion broke new ground for female filmmakers everywhere and earned a sweep of her country’s film awards, along with the Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival. Formats: Blu-ray Disc with high-definition digital restoration, supervised by director of photography Stuart Dryburgh and approved by director Jane Campion, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. From The Criterion Collection … From Billy Wilder, the legendary director of Five Graves to “Cairo,” “Double Indemnity,” “Some Like It Hot,” “Irma La Douce” and “The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes,” comes the classic comedy “A Foreign Affair” (1948) that mixes romance with hard-boiled wit in a story about stiff-necked Iowa congresswoman Phoebe Frost (Jean Arthur) mired in jaded postwar Berlin. As she investigates the morale of American troops, she is cynically wooed by fellow Iowan Captain John Pringle (John Lund), who is trying to cover up his affair with Nazi-tainted chanteuse Erika von Schlütow (Marlene Dietrich). In this often amusing and forever endearing film, Wilder peppers the love story with tart dialogue and satiric jabs at Midwestern naïveté. From Kino Lober Studio Classics.
From TV to Disc:
“The Best of The Carol Burnett Show: 50th Anniversary Edition”
(1967-78) Twenty-one disc set with 60 hand-picked episodes covering every one of the 11 seasons. Includes “The Best of The Carol Burnett Show” (10 discs), “11 Years, Together Again” (10 discs) and “The Final Show” (March 29, 1978) (1 disc). Guest stars include Lucille Ball, Sammy Davis Jr., Phyllis Diller, Ella Fitzgerald, Rita Hayworth, Rock Hudson, Steve Lawrence, Bob Newhart, Bernadette Peters, Carl Reiner, Burt Reynolds, Don Rickles, Neil Sedaka, Lily Tomlin, Mel Tormé, Flip Wilson, Jim Nabors, Soupy Sales, Cass Elliot, Ben Vereen, Ray Charles, Andy Griffith, Chita Rivera and more. Extras include exclusive interviews with Carol, Vicki Lawrence, Tim, Alan Alda, Julie Andrews, Carol Channing, Steve Lawrence, Don Rickles, and more; a cast reunion and backstage tour of Studio 33; never-before-seen outtakes including Harvey Korman as Mother Marcus; newly produced featurettes including “11 Years of Laughter,” “11 Years of Style” and “The End of 11 Years: Saying So Long.” From Time Life.
Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:
In “Alice, Sweet Alice” (1976), starring Linda Miller, Mildred Clinton and Paula E. Sheppard, a young Brooke Shields meets an untimely end in this religious-themed proto slasher par excellence from director Alfred Sole. On the day of her first communion, young Karen (Shields) is savagely murdered by an unknown assailant in a yellow rain mac and creepy translucent mask. But the nightmare is far from over — as the knife-wielding maniac strikes again and again, Karen’s bereaved parents are forced to confront the possibility that Karen’s wayward sister Alice might be the one behind the mask. Bearing influences from the likes of Hitchcock, the then-booming Italian giallo film and more specifically, Nicolas Roeg’s “Don’t Look Now,” “Alice, Sweet Alice” is an absolutely essential — if often overlooked — entry in the canon of 1970s American horror. Brand new 2K restoration of the theatrical version from the original camera negative. On Blu-ray from Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment … “The Command” (2019 — Belgium), starring Matthias Schoenaerts, Léa Seydoux and Colin Firth, is the true story of the K-141 Kursk, a Russian flagship nuclear powered submarine that sank to the bottom of the Barents Sea in August 2000. As 23 sailors fought for survival aboard the disabled sub, their families desperately battled bureaucratic obstacles and impossible odds to find answers and save them. Based on Robert Moore’s book, “A Time to Die.” On DVD, Blu-ray, from Lionsgate … In “The Night Sitter” (2018), starring Elyse DuFour, Jack Champion and Jermaine Rivers, a scheming con artist poses as an innocent babysitter to steal from a wealthy occult enthusiast. Just as the thief arrives to clean out the house, the home owner’s reclusive son stumbles upon one of his father’s artifacts and unwittingly summons a trio of witches known as The Three Mothers. As the playful, sadistic witches start picking people off, the humans form an unlikely bond and try to survive the night together. From Uncork’d Entertainment … In “Project Ithaca” (2018), starring James Gallanders, Deragh Campbell and Daniel Fathers, a malevolent alien species has been abducting humans for decades … possibly centuries. Their endgame: to harvest enough human emotional energy to open a wormhole through which their spacecrafts can pass and conquer our world. To end this threat, the U.S. military initiates Project Ithaca, a top-secret plan to teleport a human-alien hybrid, SERA, aboard the “mother ship” to destroy it. SERA awakes inside the alien craft along with five others. Divided, they will die; only together, can they defeat the aliens and find a way home. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Lionsgate … In “American Killing” (2019), starring Trevor Peterson, Persia White and Caitlin Gerard, a writers retreat for a failing TV cartoon show takes a very dark turn when its obsessive showrunner manipulates his team into playing along in his disturbed, hidden-camera “masterpiece” that involves him murdering his writers one-by-one, on camera. From High Octane Pictures … In “D-railed” (2019), starring Lance Henriksen, Shae Smolik, Frank Lammers, Carter Scott, Everette Wallin and Tonya Kay, a woman boards a train that derails into a lake in the middle of the night. She, along with other surviving passengers, find themselves trapped within the sinking wreckage … but what they discover beneath the surface is far more terrifying as they fight to stay alive against a deadly predator determined to kill them all. From Uncork’d Entertainment … “The Outsider” (2019) starring Trace Adkins, John Foo, Sean Patrick Flanery and Danny Trejo, is a gritty tale of revenge in a small Western boomtown. In search of the American dream, a railroad worker (Foo) finds himself on the wrong side of a lawless frontier. As the Marshall (Adkins) attempts to control his corrupt town, tragedy strikes sending the railroad worker on a path of retaliation. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Cinedigm … “Batman: Hush” (2019), the latest animated feature from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and DC, centers on a shadowy new villain known only as Hush, who uses Gotham’s Rogues Gallery to destroy Batman’s crime-fighting career, as well as Bruce Wayne’s personal life — which has already been complicated by a relationship with Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman. In a Blu-ray/DVD Combo, from Warner … In “3 Lives” (2019 — Germany), starring Mhairi Calvey, Anatole Taubman and Victor Alfieri, a woman on the run in the wilderness from ruthless kidnappers — three ex-soldiers –discovers her rescuer is the man jailed for attacking her 15 years earlier. From High Octane Pictures … In “Wicked Witches” (2019), starring Duncan Casey, Justin Marosa and Samantha Schnitzler, after being thrown out of his home by his wife for being promiscuous, Mark finds himself back at Dumpling Farm, a place of youthful memories and parties, but things aren’t quite right. His old buddy Ian, who has never left the place, is possessed by a group of demonic, flesh eating Witches. Using Ian and his farm, these beautiful Witches trap Mark and his friends to consume their souls. Due August 9 from Midnight Releasing.