From the Big Screen:
This Week’s Best Bets
One of the most shocking J-horror films ever made, “Audition” (1999 — Japan) exploded onto the festival circuit at the turn of the century to a chorus of awards and praise. The film would catapult director Takashi Miike to the international scene and pave the way for such other genre delights as “Ichii the Killer” and “The Happiness of the Katakuris.” Recent widower Shigeharu Aoyama is advised by his son to find a new wife, so he seeks the advice of a colleague having been out of the dating scene for many years. They take advantage of their position in a film company by staging an audition to find the perfect woman. Interviewing a series of women, Shigeharu becomes enchanted by Asami, a quiet, 24-year-old woman, who is immediately responsive to his charms. But soon things take a very dark and twisted turn as we find that Asami isn’t what she seems to be… Pulling the audience into a story that will lead to one of the most harrowing climaxes in cinema history, Miike twists and turns us through delirious editing and shocking visuals for one of the most depraved nightmares of all time. Brand new 2K restoration of original vault elements. On Blu-ray from Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment … Horror royalty and Hammer alumni Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee reunite for this tale of mad monks, primitive humanoids and bloodthirsty zombies set aboard a train bound for Moscow — all aboard the “Horror Express” (1972). Renowned anthropologist Saxton (Lee) boards the Trans-Siberian Express with a crate containing the frozen remains of a primitive humanoid which, he believes, may prove to be the missing link in human evolution. But all hell breaks loose when the creature thaws out, turning out to be not quite as dead as once thought. Directed by Spanish filmmaker Eugenio Martin, “Horror Express” remains one of the most thrilling (and, quite literally!) chilling horror efforts of the early 1970s. Brand new 2K restoration from original film elements. On Blu-ray from Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment … Beautiful, troubled Dominique Marceau (Brigitte Bardot) came to bohemian Paris to escape the suffocation of provincial life, only to wind up in a courtroom, accused of a terrible crime: the murder of her lover (Sami Frey). As the trial commences and the lawyers begin tangling over Dominique’s fate, Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Oscar-nominated “La vérité” (1960) delves into her past, reconstructing her struggle to find a foothold in the city. What emerges is a nuanced portrait of an impulsive young woman misunderstood and mistreated by those around her, and of her ultimately tragic affair with an up-and-coming conductor. With an astonishing performance by Bardot, Clouzot’s affecting and intricately constructed film — a huge late-career success for the French master — renders a harsh verdict against a hypocritical and moralistic society. On DVD and Blu-ray, with new 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray, from The Criterion Collection … Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s controversial, 15-hour “Berlin Alexanderplatz” (1980), based on Alfred Döblin’s great modernist novel, was the crowning achievement of a prolific director who, at age 34, had already made over 30 films. Fassbinder’s immersive epic follows the hulking, childlike ex-convict Franz Biberkopf (Günter Lamprecht) as he attempts to “become an honest soul” amid the corrosive urban landscape of Weimar-era Germany. With equal parts cynicism and humanity, Fassbinder details a mammoth portrait of a common man struggling to survive in a viciously uncommon time. On DVD and Blu-ray, with high-definition digital restoration by the Rainer Werner Fassbinder Foundation and Bavaria Media, supervised and approved by director of photography Xaver Schwarzenberger, with DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. From The Criterion Collection.
From TV to Disc:
“American Vandal: Season One” (2017): The freshman season of the Netflix Original Series that’s a true-crime satire investigating the high school prank of-a clever criminal. Follows aspiring student documentarian Peter Maldonado (Tyler Alvarez) as he investigates the crimes of a high school prankster with the help of his friend, Sam Ecklund (Griffin Gluck). On behalf of the suspected culprit, Dylan Maxwell (Jimmy Tatro), the two examine the aftermath of the prank that left 27 faculty cars vandalized with phallic images. Through highly-intense and hilarious interviews with students, staff and witnesses, Peter and Sam attempt to collect evidence, connect the dots and finally solve the crime that has the whole school talking. Was it really Dylan? Or is this a major high school conspiracy? Two-disc set with all eight episodes. From CBS/Paramount … “Ken Follett’s The Key to Rebecca” (1985): Based on the best-selling novel by Ken Follett, this two-part television movie adaptation stars Cliff Robertson as British Major William at. In Cairo, during World War II, German spy Alex Wolff (David Soul) attempts to infiltrate the British command during General Erwin Rommel’s (Robert Culp) conquest of Egypt. In hopes of drawing out the elusive spy, Vandam enlists the help of exotic dancer Sonja El Aram (Lina Raymond) and Elene Fontana (Season Hubley).From CBS/Paramount … “Rick and Morty: The Complete Seasons 1-3” (2013-17) is a three-disc set with all 31 episodes of the animated series that follows the bizarre exploits of a super scientist and his not-so-bright grandson. From creators Dan Harmon (“Community”) and Justin Roiland (“Adventure Time”), the award-winning comedy has amassed a major following to become a pop culture phenomenon, garnering almost 1.6 billion views since its launch in December 2013. Featuring fan favorites such as “The Ricklantis Mixup,” the #1 watched telecast in Adult Swim’s history, “Total Rickall” and “Pickle Rick,” the Rick and Morty box set is bursting with laugh-out-loud hilarity including all bonus content from the three previous seasons on DVD. The box set also includes an exclusive poster that features a custom, never-before-seen robot illustration of Rick and Morty. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Warner.