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"The movie business is macabre. Grotesque.
It is a combination of a football game
and a brothel."
-- Federico Fellini
May 012018
 

From the Big Screen:

“Peter Rabbit,” “12 Strong,” and “Winchester.” For more information on other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.

This Week’s Best Bets:

“In the Fade” (2017 — Germany) is a stunning outing from German filmmaker Fatih Akin that explores the aftermath of a terrorist attack on the life of a victim of the crime — a woman whose husband and son were killed in an bomb attack in a Turkish neighborhood. But in Akin’s world, the terrorists aren’t Islamic radicals but murderers closer to home: German neo-Nazi. Out of nowhere, Katja’s (Diane Kruger, who won the prize for Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival) life falls apart photo for In the Fade when her Kurdish husband Nuri (Numan Acar) and little son Rocco are killed in the explosion. Her friends and family try to give her the support she needs, but the mind-numbing search for the perpetrators and reasons behind the senseless killing complicate Katja’s painful mourning: The police initially attribute the attack to be the result of Nuri’s previous underworld connections. But it eventually turns out that the bomb was set by a neo-Nazi husband and wife team, and the pair are brought to trial. The trial pushes Katja to the edge, especially when the pair are freed on technical issues — leaving Katja’s only recourse to seek justice on her own. Kruger, known for her Hollywood work on such films as “Inglourious Basterds” and “Unknown” and TV’s “The Bridge,” gives a moving performance as the wife and mother who’s anger bubbles up beneath her grief. In an NPR interview, director Akin (born in Hamburg of Turkish immigrants) said he made the film to spotlight something terrorism stories often overlook: “You don’t know [anything] about those people who died. It’s just numbers — 30 people died, 135 people died — and you don’t know [anything] about the left ones — the mothers, the parents, the children. But what you do get to know immediately is the murderer was Abu Jihad I-Don’t-Know-What. … Everything about the murderers. I was more interested about the victims.” Don’t miss this ne. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc, from Magnolia Home Entertainment.

In an attempt to brand himself as a serious actor, the smiling swashbuckler Douglas Fairbanks starred in “The Half-Breed” (1916), a Western melodrama written by Anita Loos and directed with flair by photo for The Half-BreedAllan Dwan. Fairbanks stars as Lo Dorman, who has been ostracized from society because of his mixed ethnicity — his Native American mother was abandoned by his white father. When Lo catches the eye of the rich white debutante Nellie (Jewel Carmen), he becomes a target for the racist Sheriff Dunn (Sam De Grasse), who wants to break them up and take Nellie for his own. This love triangle becomes a quadrangle with the arrival of Teresa (Alma Rubens), who is on the run from the law. Through fire and fury Lo must decide who and what he truly loves. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Kino Classics … In the blistering Italian crime classic “The Violent Professionals” (1973), tough cop Giorgio (Luc Merenda) doesn’t like to play by the rules, going as far as gunning down a ruthless criminal in broad daylight. After he’s suspended from the force and his boss is murdered, he goes on a brutal undercover dive into the criminal underworld to expose a criminal organization with no respect for authority. Starring Richard Conte with a powerhouse score by the great composers Guido and Maurizio De Angelis. From Kino/Code Red.

From TV to Disc:

“Dear Murderer, Series 1” (2017) is a two-disc set with five episodes. New Zealand legal mini-series based on the true story of the life of one of that country’s most infamous characters, the criminal barrister Mike Bungay, a flawed, but unique rogue. This raucous drama tells the true story of New Zealand’s most controversial lawyer, Mike Bungay. After overcoming a miserable upbringing, Bungay decides to go to law school based on the results of a coin toss. In a high-profile career that begins in the 1960s and spans decades, he makes enemies of fellow lawyers and clients alike with his unconventional methods and his penchant for fast cars, married women, and whisky. Successfully defending alleged murderers, spies, and gang members with his own brand of justice earns him notoriety — and the occasional slap in the face. But no matter how many legal victories he wins, Bungay can’t quit his self-destructive habits and escape his own inner demons. From Acorn Media.

Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:

In “All I Wish” (2017), starring Sharon Stone, Tony Goldwyn, Famke Janssen, Ellen Burstyn, Gilles Marini and Liza Lapira, Senna Burges, a struggling clothing designer who hasn’t quite found herself, has given up on finding her soulmate. Despite attempts, by her best friend and overbearing mother, to get her to settle down and pursue her passion of fashion design, Senna continues down a path of irresponsible behavior, lost jobs, and casual hookups with younger men. All seems to be spiraling out of control for Senna until her 46th birthday party, where she meets photo for Followers her match Adam, a handsome lawyer. Expecting never to meet again, the two serendipitously reunite at her 47th birthday party where Senna’s life begins to flourish into something beautiful. From Universal … In “Followers” (2017), starring Amanda Delaney and Justin Maina, Brook and Caleb, a social media celebrity couple, are celebrating their special anniversary on a camping trip deep in the woods of sunny Florida. They plan on recording the entire trip for their fans, and Caleb even has a special surprise for her to make this weekend extra special. But they are not alone. Helpless and cut off from all communication, Brook and Caleb are being followed by Nick and Jake, two aspiring filmmakers hell-bent on filming a documentary on how easy it is to track someone down through social media … and kill them.From Synkronized … Michael Gross and Jamie photo for Tremors: A Cold Day in HellKennedy return for more outrageous action in the latest installment of the Tremors franchise in “Tremors: A Cold Day in Hell” (2018). Burt Gummer (Gross) and his son Travis Welker (Kennedy) find themselves up to their ears in Graboids and Ass-Blasters when they head to Canada to investigate a series of deadly giant worm attacks. Arriving at a remote research facility in the arctic tundra, Burt begins to suspect that Graboids are secretly being weaponized, but before he can prove his theory, he is sidelined by Graboid venom. With just 48 hours to live, the only hope is to create an antidote from fresh venom — but to do that, someone will have to figure out how to milk a Graboid. On DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo, from Universal … “Kaleidoscope” (2016), starring Toby Jones, Anne Reid, Sinead Matthews and Deborah Findlay, is a twisty thriller unfolds in the darkest corners of a man’s mind. Recently released from prison, mild-mannered Carl quietly attempts to move on with his life. Just as he embarks on his first date in 15 years, Carl’s fresh start is shattered by the sudden reappearance of his domineering mother, whose presence awakens within him a deep-seated trauma. What unfolds is a brain-warping puzzle as reality and illusion, past and present collide and explode in violence. On DVD, Blu-ray, from IFC Midnight/Scream Factory.

On the Indie Front:

In “Please Stand By” (2018), starring Dakota Fanning, Toni Collette, Alice Eve and Patton Oswalt, the world is a confusing place for Wendy (Fanning). As a fiercely independent and brilliant young woman with autism, Wendy longs to leave the photo for Please Stand By regimen of her group home and return to life with her sister’s family and their new baby, but she must first prove herself. As a lover of all-things-“Star Trek,” Wendy writes fantasy stories in her free time. To her, people are an indecipherable code, so she uses her “Star Trek” filter to understand them. When a screenplay competition presents itself, Wendy decides to finish her 500-page “Star Trek” script and enter. Now, the problem is getting it there. In order to meet the deadline, Wendy must travel hundreds of miles outside her protected boundaries to submit her script in person. With her little dog Pete in her purse and a few dollars in her pocket, Wendy boldly goes where she has never gone before. And with her no-nonsense therapist (Collette) and big sister Audrey (Eve) following close behind, Wendy, with the help of some colorful friends she meets along the way, must learn how to follow her dream and find her place in a world she hopes will accept her. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Magnolia Home Entertainment.

Foreign Films:

“In Between (Bar Bahar)” (2016 — Israel), Maysaloun remarkable debut feature, follows Laila (Mouna Hawa), Salma (Sana Jammelieh), and Nur (Shaden Kanboura), three strong, independent-minded Palestinian women who share an apartment in the vibrant heart of Tel Aviv. Away from the constraints of their families and tradition, they find themselves “in between” the free and unfettered lives they aspire to lead and the restrictions still imposed on them by society. Laila, a criminal lawyer with a wicked wit, loves to burn off her workday stress in the underground club scene. Salma, slightly more subdued, is a DJ and bartender. Nur is a younger, religious Muslim who moves into the apartment in photo for In Between (Bar Bahar)order to study at the university; she’s also intrigued and intimidated by her two sophisticated roommates. When her conservative fiancé visits, he is horrified by her secular friends, entreating her to hasten their marriage, leave Tel Aviv, and assume her rightful role as a wife. She refuses, and his violent rebuttal leaves all of the women shaken. Salma and Laila also face turmoil: Laila has found love with a modern Muslim man whose acceptance proves less than unconditional, and Salma discovers that her Christian family in a northern Galilean village is not as liberal as they claim. From Film Movement … “The Insult” (2017 — Lebanon), starring Adel Karam, Kamel El Basha, Rita Hayek and Camille Salameh, is set in today’s Beirut, where an insult blown out of proportion finds Toni, a Lebanese Christian, and Yasser, a Palestinian refugee, facing off in court. Uncovering hidden wounds and traumatic revelations, the media circus surrounding the case threatens to ignite a social explosion in divided Lebanon, forcing Toni and Yasser to reconsider their lives and their prejudices. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Cohen Media Group … In King Hu’s masterpiece “Legend of the Mountain” (1979 — China), a traveling scholar is tasked with translating a Buddhist sutra said to have immense power over the spirits of the afterlife. During his research he loses his way in the mountains, photo for The Insult encountering ghostly presences amid a haunting fantasia of color, light and landscape. King Hu rose to prominence in the 1960s and ’70s as a superb director of wuxia films (“A Touch of Zen”), a popular Chinese action genre of swords, sorcery and chivalrous heroes. “Legend of the Mountain” comes from the director’s late period, when his visual artistry was at the height of its powers. The film’s astonishing nature scenes, shot on location in the Korean countryside, are reminiscent of Terrence Malick, while the reflective blend of myth and history is all Hu’s own. Newly restored in 4K. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Kino Classics … “Once Upon a Time” (2017 — China), starring Liu Yifei, Yang, Yikuan Yan, Jin Luo and Chun Li, is a visually spectacular fantasy adventure that follows an immortal woman who reconnects with a love from her past life. Bai Qian, a goddess and monarch from the Heavenly Realms, is sent to the mortal world to undergo a trial to become a High Goddess. There, she meets Ye Hua, with whom she falls in love and marries. When an old enemy reappears in her life, everything she holds dear is threatened. On Blu-ray from Well Go USA.

For the Family:

“PAW Patrol: Summer Rescues” (2018) includes eight episodes of the “rescuing” pups as they “Save the Fireworks,” “Save the Carnival,” “Save a Ferris Wheel,” “Save a Camping Trip,” “Save Dude Ranch Danny,” “Save the Chili Cook-Off,” “Save a Sleepover” and “Save a Windsurfing Pig.” From Nickelodeon/Paramount.

Special Interest:

“Capitalism” (2014) is a three-disc boxed set with six episodes plus a new 24-page booklet with information about the film, its making and its participants. “Capitalism” is an ambitious and accessible documentary series that looks at the history of the ideas and social forces that have shaped our capitalist world. Blending interviews with some of the world’s great historians, economists, anthropologists and social critics with on-the-ground footage shot in 22 countries, “Capitalism” questions the myth of the unfettered free market, explores the nature of debt and commodities and retraces some of the great economic debates of the last 200 years. Ranked among the top 10 television programs of the year in France, where it premiered. Featured participants include the Noam Chomsky, economist Kari Polanyi photo for Capitalism Levitt, activist and professor David Graeber, economist Thomas Piketty (author of the international best-seller “Capital in the Twenty-First Century”), and the former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis. From Icarus Films … Can Karl Marx’s ideals still help us understand capitalism, inequality and the global economic and financial crisis of recent years? Today, a new generation of philosophers, artists and political activists are returning to Marx’s ideas in order to consider: Is a world without or beyond capitalism possible? “Marx Reloaded” (2011) explores these questions with leading thinkers on Marxism, including those at the forefront of its popular revival. The film also includes interviews with leading skeptics, as well as light-hearted animated sequences which follow Marx’s adventures through the matrix of his own ideas. Amongst the experts: Slavoj Zizek, Antonio Negri, Jacques Ranciere, Norbert Bolz, Micha Brumlik, John Gray, Michael Hardt, Nina Power, Peter Sloterdijk and Alberto Toscano. From Icarus Films … On the weekend of December 5, 1936, a frazzled King Edward VIII sat alone at Buckingham Palace. In secret, he telephoned his brother Bertie to tell him of his major decision — that he could no longer be King if it meant abandoning the woman he loved, Wallis Simpson. But little did the royal brothers know that others were listening to their call. In “Spying on the Royals” (2017), declassified documents bring to light the secret story behind the events that stunned the world 80 years ago, detailing the most controversial espionage operation in British history. The targets were none other than King Edward VIII and his feisty American lover Wallis Simpson. Both were considered major security threats and were suspected of having Nazi sympathies by both Britain and America. This top-secret surveillance operation involved hundreds of spies over 11 years, spanning two continents, eight countries, and the Atlantic Ocean. Edward and Wallis were bugged, wire-tapped, and followed — on the orders of both the British prime minister and the American president. From Public Media Distribution.

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 May 1, 2018  Add comments

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