"The movie business is macabre. Grotesque.
It is a combination of a football game
and a brothel."
-- Federico Fellini
Dec 092019
 

From the Big Screen:

“Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood,” “Hustlers” and “It Chapter Two.” For more information on other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.

This Week’s Best Bets:

“The Anne Bancroft Collection”: Celebrate the extraordinary film career of actress-writer-director Anne Bancroft in the first-ever collection of her most iconic performances, on Blu-ray. The collection, curated by Bancroft’s husband, the inimitable writer-director-producer Mel Brooks, includes “Don’t Bother to Knock” (1952), “The Miracle Worker” (1962), “The Pumpkin photo for The Anne Bancroft Collection Eater” (1964), “The Graduate” (1967), “Fatso” (1980),” To Be or Not to Be” (1983), and for the first time on Blu-ray, “Agnes of God “(1985) and “84 Charing Cross Road” (1987). Packaged with a wealth of bonus features, “The Anne Bancroft Collection” also includes a new 20-page booklet with an essay by film writer Alicia Malone that delves into Bancroft’s childhood, early career, and her most profound work. On Blu-ray from Shout! Factory … “The Fly Collection”: Five-disc set consists of the chilling original trilogy, the eye-popping 80s remake and its sequel. “The Curse of the Fly” and “The Return of the Fly” are presented here for the first time on Blu-ray in North America. “The Fly” (1958) starring Vincent Price and David Hedison; “The Return of the Fly” (1959), in which the son of the original scientist continues his father’s work; “The Curse of the Fly” (1965), in which a woman finds she’s married into the wrong family, starring Brian Donlevy; David Cronenberg’s photo for The Fly Collection 1986 remake of “The Fly,” electrified audiences with its ground-breaking, gooey effects and the riveting performance by Jeff Goldblum as Seth Brundle, a scientist whose teleporting experiment takes a tragic toll; and the sequel to the remake, “The Fly II” (1989), which stars Eric Stoltz as Seth Brundle’s son, who is beginning to show the effects of his father’s experiment. On Blu-ray from Scream Factory). Read More Here.“The Limits of Control” (2009): When it comes to American independent cinema, there’s no one quite like Jim Jarmusch, the celebrated auteur behind such classics as “Stranger Than Paradise” and “Only Lovers Left Alive.” Eschewing his usual American landscapes in favor of a variety of locations throughout urban and rural Spain, his anti-thriller “The Limits of Control” remains one of his most alluring and multi-layered creations. An enigmatic loner (Isaach de Bankolé) arrives in Spain, instructed to make contact with a series of strangers in different locations throughout the country, each of whom provides a cryptic clue that propels him further towards his photo for The Limits of Control mysterious goal. But who is the Lone Man? Why is he here? And how does the recurring figure of an alluring femme fatale (Paz de la Huerta) fit into the puzzle? Boasting stunning cinematography by the award-winning Christopher Doyle (“In the Mood for Love”) and featuring cameos from an array of celebrated character actors, including Tilda Swinton, Gael García Bernal and the late John Hurt, “The Limits of Control” is a languid, hauntingly beautiful film that combines the best of American and European arthouse sensibilities. On Blu-ray from Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment … “Old Joy” (2006): Two old friends reunite for a quietly revelatory overnight camping trip in Kelly Reichardt’s breakout feature, a microbudget study of character and masculinity that introduced many viewers to one of contemporary American cinema’s most independent artists. As they drive from Portland into the woods in search of a secluded hot spring, expectant father Mark (Daniel London) and nomadic Kurt (Will Oldham) make fumbling attempts to reconnect, butting up against the limits of their friendship and coming to grips with just how much their photo for OLD JOY paths have diverged since their shared youth. Adapted from a short story by Jonathan Raymond and accompanied by an atmospheric Yo La Tengo score, “Old Joy” is a contemplative, wryly observed triumph whose modest scale belies the richness of its insight. New 2K digital restoration, approved by director Kelly Reichardt and cinematographer Peter Sillen. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc with uncompressed stereo soundtrack on the Blu-ray. From The Criterion Collection … “Until The End of the World” (1991): Conceived as the ultimate road movie, this decades-in-the-making science-fiction epic from Wim Wenders follows the restless Claire Tourneur (Solveig Dommartin) across continents as she pursues a mysterious stranger (William Hurt) in possession of a device that can make the blind photo for UNTIL THE END OF THE WORLD see and bring dream images to waking life. With an eclectic soundtrack that gathers a host of the director’s favorite musicians, along with gorgeous cinematography by Robby Müller, this breathless adventure in the shadow of Armageddon takes its heroes to the ends of the earth and into the oneiric depths of their own souls. Presented here in its 287-minute director’s cut, “Until the End of the World” assumes its rightful place as Wenders’ magnum opus, a cosmic ode to the pleasures and perils of the image and a prescient meditation on cinema’s digital future. New 4K digital restoration, commissioned by the Wim Wenders Foundation and supervised by director Wim Wenders. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray. From The Criterion Collection … “Fritz Lang’s Indian Epic: The Tiger of Eschnapur and The Indian Tomb” (1959 — Germany): After more than two decades of exile in Hollywood, master filmmaker Fritz Lang triumphantly returned to his native Germany to direct a lavish two-part serialized cliffhanger from a story he co-authored almost 40 years earlier: 1959’s “The Tiger Of Eschnapur” and “The Indian Tomb,” which together would become known as “Fritz Lang’s Indian Epic”. A cinematic link between the classic silent serials and the modern action/adventures of Indiana Jones, “Fritz Lang’s Indian Epic” was the director’s penultimate work. Operating outside the Hollywood system and given more freedom and resources than he had seen in years, Lang returned to remake the exotic adventure “The Indian photo for Fritz Lang's Indian Epic: The Tiger of Eschnapur and The Indian Tomb Tomb,” which he originally helped to pen in 1921 but didn’t have the opportunity to direct himself. With breathtaking location shoots, a large international cast, elaborate sets and a jungle’s worth of danger and treachery, Lang crafted a blend of evocative images and montage that, in the twilight of his career, once again proved him a virtuoso of film form. In “The Tiger Of Eschnapur,” Western architect Harold Berger (Paul Hubschmid), called to India by Chandra, the Maharaja of Eschnapur, falls in love with the beautiful temple dancer Seetha (Debra Paget), although she is promised to the Maharaja. Their betrayal ignites the wrath of a vengeful Chandra, who is fighting his own battle for power with his scheming half-brother, Ramigani, leading to the lovers’ daring escape into the desert. In Part Two, “The Indian Tomb,” the doomed lovers are rescued by sympathetic desert villagers, only to be later given up for ransom. Seetha is captured and sent back to Eschnapur, where she must perform a death-defying (and famouosly erotic) temple dance to prove her innocence. Meanwhile, Ramigani incites a revolt against the Maharaja and uses both Berger and Seetha as pawns in his plot to seize the throne. 4K restoration. On Two-disc DVD, two-disc Blu-ray, from Film Movement … “Twin Peaks: From Z to A”:L The whole universe of the hauntingly mysterious cultural phenomenon “Twin Peaks” is now packaged together in this definitive edition limited to only 25,000 copies. The set includes both seasons of the original series, with the U.S. and international versions of the pilot; “A photo for Twin Peaks: From Z To ALimited Event Series, Fire Walk with Me” and its deleted scenes: The Missing Pieces; never-before-released behind-the-scenes footage from the making of all 18 parts; a brand new interview with Kyle MacLachlan (Special Agent Dale Cooper) and Sheryl Lee (Laura Palmer); a newly produced featurette with Harry Goaz (Deputy Andy) and Kimmy Robertson (Lucy Moran); full-length, unedited versions of a number of the musical performances at The Roadhouse Bar from A Limited Event Series; many special features from previous “Twin Peaks” releases; and a 4K UHD disc of both the original pilot newly transferred from film elements and “Part 8” of “A Limited Event Series.” The 21-disc collection will be housed in packaging with an exterior adorned by a wraparound vista of haunting and majestic Douglas Fir trees. Once opened, a depiction of the infamous Red Room is revealed with its brown and crème chevron floor and brilliant red curtains. Sitting in front of the red curtain will be an exclusive die-cut acrylic figure of Laura Palmer kissing Special Agent Dale Cooper. This acrylic figure comes inside a plastic display holder held in place by magnets. Fans will have the option of leaving the figure in place inside The Red Room environment or removing and displaying it elsewhere. The plastic holder can also serve as an easel to display individual images from The Red Room Gallery, a curated set of 5” x 5” printed cards depicting memorable moments in The Red Room. Each package will also contain an individually numbered collectible certificate. On Blu-ray from Paramount.

From TV to Disc:

“Doc Martin, Series 9” (2019) is a three-disc set with all eight episodes of one of the most successful British series in the U.S. and beyond. In Series 9 all is not well for brilliant but blunt Dr. Martin Ellingham (Martin Clunes). To Martin’s utter disgust, his medical practice remains under official scrutiny because of his pre-existing blood phobia, and he is forced to attend refresher courses starting with phlebotomy. His wife, Louisa (Caroline Catz) and aunt Ruth (Eileen Atkins) urge him to take this risk to his career seriously, but events conspire against him. On DVD, Blu-ray from Acorn Media … photo for The Loudest Voice The Showtime Original Limited Series seven-part drama “The Loudest Voice” (2019) is based on extensive reporting by Gabriel Sherman in his bestselling book, “The Loudest Voice in the Room,” which includes interviews with more than 600 people and Sherman’s reporting for New York Magazine. The jaw-dropping series stars Russell Crowe, Naomi Watts, Sienna Miller and Seth MacFarlane. Even after his passing, no figure looms larger in today’s politically charged media landscape than Roger Ailes (Crowe), who molded Fox News into a force that irrevocably changed the conversation about the highest levels of government. The series delves into the events that led to the rise of the modern Republican Party, and touches on the defining events in Ailes’ life, including experiences with world leaders that gave birth to his political career and the sexual harassment accusations and settlements that brought his Fox News reign to an end. From Showtine/CBS/Paramount.

Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:

In “Hard Night Falling” (2019), starring Dolph Lundgren, Natalie Burn and Hal Yamanouchi, after years fighting crime at Interpol, agent Michael Anderson (Lundgren) takes the night off to reconnect with his estranged wife and teen daughter at an Italian villa. But their peaceful night is shattered as mastermind Goro and his mercenaries invade the property, hoping photo for Hard Night Falling to find a lost cache of gold. With his family in danger, Anderson summons his team of crack operatives to help turn the tide and wipe Goro off the map. From Lionsgate … “5 Galaxies (aka A. I. Tales)” (2018), starring Pom Klementieff, Eric Roberts and Neil Jackson, consists of five interlocking, futuristic, science fiction tales about space, technology, and family that take place in different dimensions and time zones, whether its love found in time of over-population or exploration of the unknown and space travel. From Uncork’d Entertainment … In “Freaks” (2018), starring Emile Hirsch, Bruce Dern, Grace Park, Amanda Crew and Lexy Kolker, kept locked inside the house by her father, 7-year-old Chloe lives in fear and fascination of the outside world, where Abnormals create a constant threat – or so she believes. When a mysterious stranger offers her a glimpse of what’s really happening outside, Chloe soon finds that while the truth isn’t so simple, the danger is very real. On DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo, from Well Go USA … In “Lucky Day” (2019), starring Crispin Glover, Nina Dobrev and Luke Bracey. Safe-cracker Red (Bracey), finally out of prison, rejoins his wife (Dobrev) and daughter and vows to go straight. But psychotic French hit-man Luc (Glover) has also come to town, seeking revenge against Red for the death of Luc’s brother — leading to a very unlucky showdown. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Lionsgate … If you were a child in the 80s, you may have been traumatized for life by repeated viewings of “The Peanut Butter Solution” (1985 — Canada) on cable or VHS. If you’ve never seen it, nothing can prepare you for the damage that awaits your psyche. For their premiere release, Severin Kids presents the “notoriously strange and creepy” Canadian kiddie feature about photo for burning winos, sudden baldness, psychotic teachers, suburban abductions, juvenile sweatshops and the icky concoction that grows long lustrous pubes. It plays like an Afterschool Special telling kids their hair will fall out, peers will make fun of them, and they will be whisked away to a demented underworld where Celine Dion sings and children beg for their lives. Stars Mathew Mackay, Siluck Saysanasy, Alison Darcy and Michael Hogan. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Severin Films … “American Rampage / Danger USA” consists of two hidden gems of 80s action. “American Rampage” (1989): Kary Jane, Thomas Elliott, Troy Donahue. Rookie vice cop Samantha York uncovers the biggest, deadliest drug cartel in Los Angeles, costing the lives of several partners in the pursuit of justice. Finally pushing too far, Sam goes rogue to confront the cartel head-on, sending the bullets flying and squibs gushing. “Danger USA” (1989): Dan Haggerty, Lyle Waggoner, Martha Kincare. Fending off a quipping cat burglar in a house on the back of a moving 18 wheeler, we meet action film star Shana at a screening for her latest movie. But life imitates art when mercenaries murder her family in pursuit of her scientist father’s “Dream Room” invention, which may hold the secrets to life after death. Now Shana must become a real-life action hero to avenge the deaths of the ones she loved. The film is a high concept mash-up of genre plotlines and gonzo set-pieces, with a killer synth score to boot. Brand New 2k Restorations from the original elements for both films. On Blu-ray from Massacre Video … In “Millennium Actress” (2001 — Japan), when the legendary Ginei Studios shuts down, filmmaker Genya Tachibana and his assistant are tasked with interviewing its reclusive star, Chiyoko Fujiwara, who had retired photo for Millennium Actress BLU-RAY DEBUT from the spotlight 30 years prior. As Chiyoko recounts her career, Genya and his crew are literally pulled into her memories where they witness her chance encounter with a mysterious man on the run from the police. Despite never knowing his name or his face, Chiyoko relentlessly pursues that man in a seamless blend of reality and memory that only Satoshi Kon (“Perfect Blue,” “Paprika,” “Tokyo Godfathers”) could deliver. Includes the original Japanese audio and a new English dub. In a Blu-ray/DVD Combo from Shout! Factory … Based on the classic novella by Nikolai Gogol – and previously adapted by Mario Bava as “Black Sunday” – “VIY” (1967 — USSR), starring Leonid Kuravlyov, Natalya Varley and Aleksey Glazyrin, is the first horror film ever produced in the Soviet Union. In 19th century Russia, a seminary student is forced to spend three nights with the corpse of a beautiful young witch. But when she rises from the dead to seduce him, it summons a nightmare of fear, desire, and the ultimate demonic mayhem. Bursting with startling imagery and stunning practical effects by directors Konstantin Yershov and Georgi Kropachyov, this overlooked classic has influenced generations of directors for more than half a century and is still unlike any horror movie you’ve ever seen. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Severin Films.

Foreign:

“Piranhas” (2019 — Italy), starring Francesco Di Napoli, Viviana Aprea and Mattia Piano Del Balzo, is based on the 2018 novel “La Paranza dei Bambini” (The Children’s Parade) by co-screenwriter Roberto Saviano, whose 2006 book “Gomorrah” was made into the 2008 film of the same name. Fifteen-year-old Nicola (Di Napoli) lives with his mother and younger brother in the Sanità neighborhood of Naples, an area that has been controlled by the Camorra Mafia for centuries. Dreaming of a life lush with designer clothing and elite nightclub bottle service, Nicola and his group of friends create a new paranza, a gang. Learning how to cheat and steal, along with how to shoot semiautomatic pistols and AK-47s, they break into the local drug trade, a portal to the violent, power-hungry world of Mafia crime. In short order, Nicola and his cohorts’ rapid rise and envelopment in their new world soon begins to threaten their innocence and relationships, as well as the safety of their families. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Music Box Films … Set in Argentina during the Dirty War of the mid-seventies, on the eve of the nation’s descent into a military dictatorship, Benjamín Naishtat’s hypnotic neo-noir drama “Rojo” (2018 — Argentina), starring Dario Grandinetti, Andrea Frigerio and Alfredo Castro, follows Claudio (Grandinetti), a renowned lawyer living a seemingly picture-perfect life in a deceptively quiet provincial city. One night, a stranger starts insulting Claudio in a restaurant for no apparent reason. The community supports him and the stranger is humiliated and removed. Later that night, the stranger — determined to wreak a terrible vengeance — intercepts Claudio and his wife Susana (Frigerio). Claudio then starts down a path of no return involving death, secrets, and silence — further complicated by the arrival of a Chilean private detective (Castro). From Icarus Films.

For the Family:

In “The League of Legend Keepers” (2019), starring Isabella Blake-Thomas, Richard Tyson, Jake Brennan, Britt Flatmo, Marcelo Tubert and Abigail Titmuss, a family of archaeologists find a fifth magic pendant that has been missing for centuries but, unfortunately, a spirit has also been searching for the pendant. Once all the pendants are brought together, the shadows from the past are released. Will Sophie be able to save her town from the shadows? From Uncork’d Entertainment.

Special Interest:

“Holly Near: Singing for Our Lives” (2018): Singer, songwriter, and social activist Holly Near has been performing for well over 50 years and in the process created what Gloria Steinem called “the first soundtrack of the women’s movement.” From small-town Northern California to sold-out shows on some of the most iconic stages to million-person peace marches, photo for Holly Near: Singing for Our Lives this film documents the story of the activist and her art. Soaring anthems that call for women’s rights, gay rights, anti-war protests and all human rights, Near’s music speaks directly to the world’s young political activists of today. Featuring new interviews with Steinem, Jane Fonda, the late Ronnie Gilbert, and the late Tom Hayden with appearances by Pete Seeger, and others, this new music documentary, which previously aired on American Masters, elevates Near to her deserved status of iconic artist and Omnibus Entertainment … “Tattoo Rising” (2019): From antiquity to the present, the documentary reveals the artistic and historical roots of today’s tattoo explosion. This sweeping overview explores how tattoos were used in early Christian practices, how they were discovered halfway around the world during the voyages of Captain James Cook, and how they exploded in popularity in America beginning with artists like Ed Hardy. “Tattoo Uprising” features some of the most extraordinary people of the tattoo world including Hardy, Stoney St. Clair, Cynthia Witkin, Anne de Hey! and others, as well as unforgettable appearances by filmmakers Les Blank and Werner Herzog, who allows a rare glimpse at his Ed Hardy tattoo. From First Run Features … photo for Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice “Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice” (2019): Linda Ronstadt has been an icon for more than 50 years. Her extraordinary vocal range and ambition created unforgettable songs across rock, pop, country, folk ballads, American standards, classic Mexican music and soul. As the most popular female recording artist of the 1970s, Ronstadt filled huge arenas like no one had ever done and produced an astounding 11 platinum albums. Ronstadt was the first artist to top the Pop, Country, and R&B charts simultaneously, she won 10 Grammy Awards on 26 nominations and attained a level of stardom the Tucson native never could have fathomed. In this documentary, Ronstadt is our guide through her early years of singing Mexican canciones with her family; her folk days with the Stone Poneys; and her reign as the “rock queen” of the 70s and early 80s. She was a pioneer for women in the male-dominated music industry; an early advocate for human rights, and had a high-profile romance with California governor Jerry Brown. Ultimately, her incredible voice was lost to Parkinson’s disease, but her music and influence remain as timeless as ever. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Greenwich Entertainment … Obesity has become a major issue of the 21st century. The documentary “It’s Huge” (2016) is an epic journey for real people facing serious danger — if they don’t lose weight they will die. Diets fail, sometimes surgery isn’t possible, so what happens to these people? This is the real story of five people who wanted to lose 100 to 200 pounds in a year. They were teamed with professionals willing to help them for free: doctors, fitness coaches, therapists, life coaches and nutritionists, all there to assist. From Indiecan Pictures.

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 December 9, 2019  Add comments

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