From the Big Screen:
This Week’s Best Bets:
A pivotal work in the yakuza movie genre and in the career of director Kinji Fukasaku (“Battle Royale”), “Street Mobster” (1972 — Japan) presents an abrasive portrait of the rise and fall of a reckless street punk caught in the crossfire of a bloody turf war raging in the mean streets of Kawazaki. When Okita Isamu (Bunta Sugawara) re-emerges onto the mean streets of Kawazaki after five years in prison for a string of brutal crimes, he comes face to face with prostitute Kinuyo, who immediately pinpoints him as one of the participants in her brutal sexual assault years earlier that left her shell-shocked and consigned to the life of a sex worker. While the two outcasts form an unlikely bond, Okita returns to his criminal ways. He is approached by veteran gangster Kizaki (Noboru Ando), who encourages him to round up a group of local chinpira street punks to shake up the uneasy agreement between the two rival yakuza groups, who between them control the city’s bars, gambling dens and entertainment areas. However, when the new outfit goes too far into the turf of the big boys, they find themselves caught in the midst of a violent reprisal, before an offer of patronage appears from an unlikely source. “Street Mobster” is the first film in which Fukasaku’s vital and exhilarating approach to the contemporary-set gangster picture was paired with the untamed, raw charisma of Japan’s top screen mobster Sugawara Bunta. On Blu-ray from Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment … The countdown has begun! Against the real-life backdrop of the US deployment of WMDs in Europe during the escalating Cold War, the dramatically involving and agonizingly graphic film “The Day After” (1983), about nuclear holocaust, detonated a direct hit into the heartland of America, becoming the most watched TV movie of all time and remains one of the most talked-about programs in history. When Cold War tensions reach the ultimate boiling point, the inhabitants of a small town in Kansas learn — along with the rest of America — that they have less than 30 minutes before 300 Soviet warheads begin to appear overhead. Can anyone survive this ultimate nightmare … or the nuclear winter that is sure to follow? Top-notch direction by Nicholas Meyer (“Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan,” “Company Business”), from a teleplay by Edward Hume (“Two-Minute Warning,” “21 Hours at Munich”) and starring Jason Robards, John Lithgow, JoBeth Williams, Steve Guttenberg and Amy Madigan. Includes both the 122-minute TV cut (1.33:1) and the 127-minute theatrical cut. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Kino Lorber Studio Classics.
From TV to Disc:
“The Good Doctor: Season One” (2017-18) is a five-disc set with all 18 episodes. Freddie Highmore stars as Dr. Shaun Murphy, a young surgeon with autism and savant syndrome, who relocates from a quiet country life to join a prestigious hospital’s surgical unit. Alone in the world and unable to personally connect with those around him, Shaun uses his extraordinary medical gifts to save lives and challenge the skepticism of his colleagues. From Sony … “No Offence, Series 1” (2015 — UK) is a three-disc set with eight episodes of the outrageous female-driven police procedural that follows an unorthodox team of cops in Manchester. Charismatic DI Vivienne Deering leads an ace but unorthodox squad that tackles Manchester’s most gruesome and off-the-wall crimes, including drug dealers, neo-Nazis, and black-market organ sellers. When strong-willed DC Dinah Kowalska connects a body at the morgue to a group of murdered girls with Down’s syndrome, Viv and her team begin the hunt for a serial killer. What they uncover could leave even the most seasoned officers reeling. Loaded with dark humor and shocking plot twists. From Acorn Media … “Riverdale: The Complete Second Season “ (2017-18) is a fur-disc set with all 22 episodes. Based on the characters from Archie Comics, “Riverdale” returns with its subversive take on small-town life. Determined to protect the sanctity of his town in the wake of his father’s shooting by the Black Hood, Season Two finds Archie (KJ Apa) seeking justice … and vengeance. As a civil war brews between the Northside and the Southside, loyalties are divided. Betty (Lili Reinhart) and Jughead’s (Cole Sprouse) relationship enters fragile territory when Jughead decides to join the Southside Serpents and Betty’s long-lost brother Chic returns. Veronica (Camila Mendes) finds her life upended by her father Hiram’s (Mark Consuelos) arrival and his dark schemes for the town’s future. Everyone will have to pick a side, including Queen Bee Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch), star-to-be Josie McCoy (Ashleigh Murray), Kevin Keller (Casey Cott), and Reggie Mantle (Charles Melton). Things are never what you’d expect in Riverdale, and that’s especially true as Archie and the gang race to avert a full-on riot and to solve the mystery of the Black Hood. Though there’s many twists and turns in “Riverdale,” this season isn’t as startling as the first … but still very, very entertaining and watchable. If you grew up with Archie and the gang — which means anyone from 20 to 80, then this is a must see. On DVD, Blu-ray from Warner … “SIX: Season 2” (2018) is a two-disc set with all 10 episodes. Follows Navy SEAL Team Six in a mission to destroy the terrorist network responsible for an attack on their former team leader. From Lionsgate.