From the Big Screen:
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 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 Allan 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 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 Kennedy 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.