From the Big Screen:
This Week’s Best Bets:
There’s a pair of fun films due this week: “Jumanji” (1995), starring Robin Williams, Kirsten Dunst, Bonnie Hunt and Bradley Pierce, is the phenomenal adaptation of the award-winning children’s book. When young Alan Parrish discovers a mysterious board game, he doesn’t realize its unimaginable powers, until he is magically transported before the startled eyes of his friend, Sarah, into the untamed jungles of Jumanji. There he remains for 26 years until he is freed from the game’s spell by two unsuspecting children. Now a grown man, Alan (Williams) reunites with Sarah (Hunt) and together with Judy (Dunst) and Peter (Pierce) tries to outwit the game’s powerful forces. Released just in time for the modernized, new version, “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.” Available on Blu-ray Disc and 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo. New extras include never-before-seen deleted scenes and a gag reel featuring Robin Williams and the cast. From Sony … Community leaders tried to stop the release. The P.T.A. fought to ban it. Now one of the most controversial slasher films of all time is back in a new high-definition release, restored from the original vaulted film negative. “Silent Night, Deadly Night Collector’s Edition” (1984) is the heartwarming story of little Billy Chapman, who was traumatized by his parents’ Christmas Eve murder, then brutalized by sadistic orphanage nuns. But when grown-up Billy is to dress as jolly St. Nick, he goes on a yuletide rampage to “punish the naughty!” Santa Claus is coming to town … and this time he’s got an axe. On Blu-ray Disc. Includes a theatrical version of the film with a new 4K scan of the original camera negative; R-Rated theatrical trailer & VHS trailer; TV Spots; radio spot; extended unrated version of the film with a 4K Scan of the original camera negative with standard definition inserts; new “Slay Bells Ring: The Story of Silent Night, Deadly Night”; new “Oh Deer!” interview With actor Linnea Quigley; new “Christmas In July” film locations then and now; new audio commentary with actor Robert Brian Wilson and co-executive producer Scott J. Schneid. From Shout! Factory.
Although the next Sumnmer Olympics (in Tokyo) is still two years away (the 2018 Winter Olympics will begin in February in South Korea) the folks at The Criterion Collection have put together a massive Olympics box set: “100 Years Of Olympic Films,” deluxe Blu-ray and DVD collector’s sets that include 53 films and a 216-page illustrated book, featuring landmark work by Kon Ichikawa, Bud Greenspan, Milos Forman, Leni Reifenstahl, Claude Lelouch, Masahiro Shinoda and many more. Spanning 53 movies and 41 editions of the Olympic Summer and Winter Games, this one-of-a-kind collection assembles, for the first time, a century’s worth of Olympic films — the culmination of a monumental, award-winning archival project encompassing dozens of new restorations by the International Olympic Committee. These documentaries cast a cinematic eye on some of the most iconic moments in the history of modern sports, spotlighting athletes who embody the Olympic motto of “Faster, Higher, Stronger”: Jesse Owens shattering sprinting world records on the track in 1936 Berlin, Jean Claude-Killy dominating the slopes of Grenoble in 1968, Joan Benoit breaking away to win the first-ever women’s marathon on the streets of Los Angeles in 1984. In addition to the work of Bud Greenspan, the man behind an impressive 10 Olympic features, this chronicle of triumph and defeat includes such landmarks of the documentary form as Leni Riefenstahl’s “Olympia” and Kon Ichikawa’s “Tokyo Olympiad,” along with lesser-known but captivating contributions by major directors like Claude Lelouch, Carlos Saura, and Milos Forman. It also serves as a fascinating window onto the formal development of cinema itself, as well as the technological progress that has enabled the viewer, over the years, to get ever closer to the action. Traversing continents and decades, and reflecting as well the social, cultural, and political changes that have shaped our recent history, this remarkable marathon of films offers nothing less than a panorama of a hundred years of human endeavor. Formats: 43 DVDs, 32 Blu-rays; $399.95 each. Read more here.
From TV to DVD:
Set in 2010, “Fargo Year Three” (2017) centers on Emmit, the “Parking Lot King of Minnesota,” and his younger brother Ray Stussy, a pot-bellied parole officer with a huge chip on his shoulder about the hand he’s been dealt – and he blames his brother. Their sibling rivalry follows a twisted path that begins with petty theft but soon leads to murder, mobsters and cut-throat, competitive bridge. On DVD from Fox … “One Day at a Time” (1975-84) is a 27-disc set. Bonnie Franklin, Mackenzie Phillips, Pat Harrington, and Valerie Bertinelli star in the lively and liberated sitcom classic created by Whitney Blake and Allan Manings, and developed by Norman Lear, the television legend behind “All in the Family,” “Maude,” “The Jeffersons,” and “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.” “One Day at a Time” follows Ann Romano (Franklin), an independent woman who transplants herself and her two daughters — rebellious Julie (Phillips) and smart aleck Barbara (Bertinelli) –to Indianapolis in search of a new life. Moving into an apartment under the watchful eye and ever-present tool belt of the building’s quirky superintendent Schneider (Harrington), the Romano women muddle through life, love, and laughs as they discover their own potential. One of the most successful sitcoms of the 1970s and 1980s, fans have clamored for “One Day at a Time” to be released in a complete series collection for years.On DVD from Shout! Factory.
Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:
“Better Watch Out” (2016), starring Olivia Dejonge, Levi Miller, Ed Oxenbould, Aleks Mikic, Dacre Montgomery, Patrick Warburton and Virginia Madsen, is a horror-comedy that puts a fresh and gleefully twisted spin on the home-invasion genre when babysitter Ashley (DeJonge) must defend her young charges (Miller, Oxenbould) when intruders break into the house one snowy night — or so she thinks. On DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo, Digital from Well Go USA … In “Crash Pad” (2017), starring Domhnall Gleeson, Thomas Haden Church, Christina Applegate and Nina Dobrev, a hopeless romantic (Gleeson) thinks he’s found true love with an older woman (Applegate) only to learn that she’s married and their encounter was merely an instrument of revenge against her neglectful husband (Church). Initially out for blood, the husband finds himself strangely sympathetic to the romantic’s plight and decides the best way for the two of them to get revenge is by moving in together, cutting her out and living a bachelor’s life. From Sony …In “Valley of Bones” (2016), Anna (Autumn Reeser), a passionate but disgraced paleontologist, embarks on a journey through the badlands of western North Dakota in search of a potentially historic fossil. Word reaches Anna that Wes McCoy (Steven Molony), a recovering meth addict with unpaid cartel debts, has stumbled upon a large Tyrannosaurus Rex tooth. Determined to find the bones at any cost and undo her past mistakes, she teams up with McCoy, along with her late husband’s brother and her estranged son, and finds herself entangled in a dangerous game that tests whether she will move on from her past, or be consumed by it. From Sony … In “The White King” (2016 –UK), starring Jonathan Pryce, Fiona Shaw, Agyness Deyn, Greta Scacchi, Ross Partridge and Lorenzo Allchurch, Djata (Allchurch) is a care-free 12-year-old growing up in “The Homeland,” a totalitarian state shut off from the outside world. Filled with Big Brother-like surveillance cameras and propaganda posters, the agrarian community at first seems peaceful and orderly, kept safe by an enormous statue dominating the landscape. But when Djata’s father, Peter (Partridge) is whisked away to a deadly work camp, the young boy and his mother, Hannah (Deyn) are labeled traitors and forced to navigate a world of propaganda, abuse and secret police. Before his father was taken away, however, he passed a secret to Djata that could change everything. Combines elements of George Orwell’s “1984” with J. G. Ballard’s “Empire of the Sun,” and featuring themes similarly explored in the current hit series “A Handmaid’s Tale” and “The Man in the High Castle.” From Omnibus Entertainment … “On Wings of Eagles” (2017), starring Joseph Fiennes and Shawn Dou, is based on a true story. The biodrama chronicles the war-stricken final years of China’s first gold medalist and one of Scotland’s greatest athletes, Eric Liddell. After garnering worldwide recognition, Liddell chooses a life of service and returns to China, where he was born, to go on a humanitarian journey. As World War II begins, he recognizes the eminent danger and sends his family to safety while he devotes the rest of his life to helping civilian victims from Japanese occupiers. Eventually taken prisoner in a Japanese internment camp, the Olympian’s selfless work and sporting achievements earned him legendary status worldwide. From Sony … In “The Crucifixion” (2016), starring Sophie Cookson, Corneliu Ulici and Brittany Ashworth, American reporter Nicole (Cookson) travels to investigate the possible murder of Sister Marinescu, sadistically crucified by a priest to vanquish a demon. As Nicole uncovers the weird tales behind this horrific incident, disturbing events reveal that the demon is still lurking nearby, seeking a new human host. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc, Digital from Lionsgate … In “The Osiris Child: Science Fiction Volume One” (2016), starring Kellan Lutz, Daniel MacPherson, Isabel Lucas, Rachel Griffiths and Teagan Croft, after a dangerous outbreak threatens to destroy everyone living on a newly colonized planet, Lt. Kane Sommerville (MacPherson) goes against orders and leaves his station to rescue his young daughter (Croft). Desperate to get to her before it’s too late, Kane enlists the help of an escaped prisoner (Lutz) as they battle their way through the chaos of a planet on the verge of annihilation. With the odds stacked against them, saving his little girl may be humanity’s last chance at survival. On DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo from RLJ Entertainment.