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"The movie business is macabre. Grotesque.
It is a combination of a football game
and a brothel."
-- Federico Fellini
Dec 042017
 

From the Big Screen:

"Despicable Me 3" and "American Assassin." For more information on other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.

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 … photo for Silent Night, Deadly Night Collector's Edition 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 photo for 100 Years Of Olympic Films 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 photo for One Day at a Time 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 photo for Better Watch Out 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 photo for The White Kinga 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 photo for The Osiris Child: Science Fiction Volume One 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.

On the Indie Front:

In "Hidden Kisses" (2017), starring Jules Houplain, Patrick Timsit, Barbara Schultz, Bruno Putzulu and Bérenger Anceaux, 16-year-old Nathan is the new kid in high school. One night, while attending a party, he falls in love with Louis, a boy in his class. Able to sneak away from the crowd, they find themselves out of sight, and eventually work up the courage to kiss each other — but someone takes notice. Soon, a picture is published on Facebook, and a storm of bullying and rejection overtakes their lives. From Breaking Glass Pictures.

Foreign Films:

In "Ice Mother" (2017 — Czech Republic), Zuzana Kronerová stars as Hana, a selfless 67-year old widow who lives alone in the cold and lonely family villa that represents her past life. Though Her husband has passed on, the traditional weekend lunch that Hana prepares for her two selfish and ungrateful sons lives on. They visit each weekend with their children and most of the time the meal ends in arguments. While photo for Ice Mothertaking care of her grandson Ivánek one afternoon, Hana meets Brona (Pavel Nový) by saving his life as he begins to drown while ice swimming. The light-hearted Brona introduces Hana to winter swimming and his group of friends who enjoy the sport. Brona, who lives in an old camper bus near the river, inspires Hana’s lust for life. They become lovers, but when she introduces him to her sons, the whole family is shocked. In a series of events and dark secrets, Hana has to stand up and start changing her life. Represent the Czech Republic in the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 90th edition of the Academy Awards. On DVD, Blu-ray, Digital from FilmRise … "Happy Hour" (2015 — Japan) is a slow-burning epic chronicling the emotional journey of four 30-something-year-old women in the misty seaside city of Kobe. As they navigate the unsteady currents of work, domestic, and romantic lives, an unexpected rift propels each to a new, richer understanding of life and love. Young director Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s wise, precisely observed, compulsively watchable drama of friendship and midlife photo for Of Horses and Men awakening runs over five hours on a two-disc set. Yet the leisurely duration is not an indulgence, but a strategy to create a novelistic space for everyday moments to become charged with possibility that yields a subtle emotional intensity rarely possible in a standard-length film. From Icarus Films … "Of Horses and Men" (2013 — Iceland) is a series of quirky vignettes that explore the deep bond between horses and humans facing the mysteries of life, love, and death, and everything in between. An inventive take on the symbiotic relationship between man and animal, "Of Horses and Men" is a dark comedy set in a provincial Icelandic village. Against a breathtaking seaside landscape, a cast of hot-blooded characters struggle to connect with nature and each other. Among them, a pair of wistful human lovers are thwarted by equine libidos, sparking their tentative courtship into action; a determined alcoholic gets his last ride at sea from a surprisingly seaworthy companion; and an adventurous tourist sets off for a leisurely ride on horseback that spirals into a quest for survival. The lines between species blur seamlessly throughout these memorable tales, reflecting love, death and the quirks of human and beast alike. From Music Box Films.

For the Family:

photo for Santa Stole Our Dog Ed Asner stars as Santa Claus in "Santa Stole Our Dog" (2017), a heartwarming holiday adventure for the whole family. On a snowy Christmas Eve, the Whitehaven's beloved family dog, Rusty, goes missing: Santa Claus accidentally stole him. So begins an epic journey through the twelve days of Christmas as the family ventures to the North Pole to get their beloved canine back. Features original songs by Dolly Parton, John Schneider and Leiber & Stoller. Stars Yves Bright, Carrie Schroeder, Lexi Golden and Chase Pollock. From Universal.

Special Interest:

"Trumping Democracy" (2017) is the explosive new documentary directed by Thomas Huchon from Europe’s popular SPICEE news network (a French investigative media outlet) that follows the money behind the ultra-conservative faction that quietly engineered itself to power, via the campaign of Donald J. Trump. 77,000 votes in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan won Trump the Electoral College vote, despite his 2.8 million photo for Trumping Democracy popular vote loss. This documentary proves this was not chance, luck, or a free and open democratic victory. This was a hijacking of the Electoral College, by a puppet master named Robert Mercer who manipulated the 2016 election by influencing voters using their personal data, fears, and vulnerabilities, while targeting them right down to the zip code level. Trump became the 45th president by winning three key states, a victory engineered by an ultra-conservative faction that quietly mapped its way to power using fake news, lies and psychometrics. This explosive documentary follows the money to the reclusive multi-billionaire Robert Mercer, who bought Breitbart News and funded the effort while inserting Steve Bannon into the presidential campaign as its manager. Using the data of millions of Americans acquired from Facebook, Google, banks, credit companies, social security and more, Cambridge Analytica, another Mercer-owned company, used tactics honed during the UK’s Brexit campaign to identify voters deemed “most neurotic or worried,” whom they believed could swing for Trump. In the darkness of the web, democracy was trumped by data. From Cinema Libre Studio … "All Male, All Nude" (2017) is a documentary about Atlanta’s notorious and legendary gay strip club, Swinging Richards, America’s only all male, all nude, gay strip club — located in the heart of the Bible Belt. Straight men, gay men, bi-sexual men, and those who are gay only when the money is right, support themselves, and sometimes their families, by dancing nude for a diverse clientele of all shapes, sizes, and sexualities. Each relishes, defends, enjoys, and abhors their career choice and looks back on life's lessons that led them to where they are now. "All Male, All Nude" is a cutting-edge journey into the taboo world of male stripping. The men living this life can't be boxed in, nor can those who pay to watch them strip. From Breaking Glass Pictures … photo for 2017 World Series Champions and 2017 World Series Collector's Edition: Houston Astros Celebrate the 2017 Houston Astros with "2017 World Series Champions and 2017 World Series Collector's Edition: Houston Astros" (2017). "2017 World Series Champions": Two-disc set chronicling Houston's mesmerizing run, expertly edited from hundreds of hours of original breathtaking, hi-def footage from game broadcasts and the MLB Film & Video Archive. An extraordinary memento certain to thrill Astros fans and baseball aficionados alike, the pulse-pounding documentary features comprehensive highlights, exclusive access and interviews, delivering viewers directly to the ballparks. Championship-caliber bonus features include "Regular Season Highlights," "Clinching Moments," "World Series Highlights" and the" World Series Parade." "2017 World Series Collector's Edition": Eight-disc set that preserves every inning, every play and every gripping moment from the 2017 Fall Classic. Home audiences will be able to relive all seven complete World Series games, as well as revel in the pennant-clinching ALCS Game 7 at Minute Maid Park. Each disc features a SleeveStats insert, which contains official stats, game trivia and more; also included are four audio options, allowing viewers to watch the games while listening to either the television broadcast, Astros or Dodgers Radio Network announcers, or a Spanish-language version of the broadcasts. From Shout! Factory … Twenty-five years after the collapse of the German Democratic Republic (GDR), filmmaker Petra Epperlein returns to the proletarian Oz of her childhood to find the truth about her late father's suicide and his rumored Stasi past in "Karl Marx City" (2016 — Germany). Had he been an informant for the secret police? Was her childhood an elaborate fiction? As she looks for answers in the Stasis extensive archives, she pulls back the curtain of her own nostalgia and enters the parallel world of the security state, seeing her former life through the lens of the oppressor. Reconstructing everyday GDR life through declassified Stasi surveillance footage, the past plays like dystopian science fiction, providing a chilling backdrop to interrogate the apparatus of control and the meaning of truth in a society where every action and thought was suspect. From Film Movement.

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 4, 2017  Add comments

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