From the Big Screen:
This Week's Highlights:
"Good Morning" (1959) is a lighthearted take on director Yasujiro Ozu's perennial theme of the challenges of intergenerational relationships, "Good Morning (Ohayo)" tells the story of two young boys who stop speaking as an act of resistance after their parents refuse to buy a television set. Ozu weaves a wealth of subtle gags through a family portrait as rich as those of his dramatic films, mocking the foibles of the adult world through the eyes of his childish protagonists. Shot in stunning Technicolor and set in a suburb of Tokyo where housewives gossip about the neighbors' new washing machine and unemployed men look for work as door-to-door salesmen, this charming comedy reworks Ozu's own silent classic "I Was Born, But …" to gently satirize consumerism in postwar Japan. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc with a new 4K digital restoration from Shochiku Co., with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. From The Criterion Collection.
Shout! Factory has a pair of ratty releases making Blu-ray debuts this week: In "Willard" (1971), starring Bruce Davison, Elsa Lanchester and Ernest Borgnine, Willard Stiles (Davison) is a young man with a big problem. He lives alone in a crumbling house with his ailing mother. His boss, Al Martin is a vulgar, cruel man who stole his business from Willard’s father and is now working Willard to death at his factory job. Lonely, depressed and isolated, Willard is on the verge of a breakdown when he makes a new friend: Ben, one of the many rats who inhabit his dilapidated home. Not only can Willard communicate with the rodent, but he can actually command him to do his bidding. Using Ben and his furry friends as instruments of retaliation, Willard commands his pets to carry out his vengeance. New 4K scan of the original camera negative. "Ben" (1972), starring Lee Montgomery, Joseph Campanella, Arthur O'Connell, Rosemary Murphy and Meredith Baxter, is a sequel to "Willard." When detective sergeant Cliff Kirtland (Campanella) investigates the horrifying murder of Willard Stiles by a band of rats, he discovers that the rats are now an organized army, and he must destroy the murderous rodents before it is too late. But the rats, led by Ben, the only survivor of the Willard attack, take to the challenge with full force and little fear. New HD transfer of the best surviving archive print.
After shooting cult favorites "Flesh for Frankenstein" and "Blood for Dracula" in Europe, Joe Dallesandro spent much of the 70s making movies on the continent. In France, he worked with auteurs like Louis Malle and Walerian Borowczyk, and in Italy he starred in all manner of genre fare from poliziotteschi ("Savage Three," "Season for Assassins") to nunsploitation ("Killer Nun"). "The Climber" (1975) follows in the tradition of gangster classics such as "The Public Enemy" and "Scarface" as it charts the rise and inevitable fall of small-time smuggler Aldo (Dallesandro). Beaten and abandoned by the local gang boss after he tries to skim off some profits for himself, Aldo forms his own group of misfits in order to exact revenge… . On Blu-ray/DVD Combo with new 4K restoration of the film from the original negative, the original Italian soundtrack in uncompressed PCM mono with optional and alternative English-language soundtrack. From Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment.
From TV to DVD:
"Ice: Season One" (2016-17) is a three-disc set with all 10 episodes of the DIRECTV high-impact crime series starring Jeremy Sisto, Cam Gigandet, Donald Sutherland, Ray Winstone. "Ice" follows the prestigious diamond-dealing Green Family, as they plunge into the high-stakes underbelly of the Los Angeles diamond trade. From Entertainment One.
Buzzin' the 'B's:
In "A Mermaid's Tale" (2017), starring Jerry O'Connell, Barry Bostwick, Caitlin Carmichael and Nancy Stafford, a young girl is forced to move with her father to a small seaside town, where she struggles to fit in and make new friends. One day she discovers a secluded cove where she befriends a mysterious mermaid, and together they uncover a secret that could help save the town and heal an age-old feud between humans and sea people. From Lionsgate … "Extortion" (2017), starring Eion Bailey, Barkhad Abdi, Bethany Joy Lenz and Danny Glover, a family vacationing at a Caribbean resort takes a carefree boat ride that turns tragic when they’re stranded on an island. Near death, they’re rescued by a local fisherman, who demands a million dollars, forcing the father to find his dying wife and son on an unknown island before their time runs out. From Lionsgate … In "The Outcasts" (2017), starring Victoria Justice, Eden Sher, Ashley Rickards, Peyton List and Avan Jogia, Mindy and Jodi are two world-class high school geeks who have been tormented for years by Whitney, the most popular girl in school, and Mackenzie, her second in command. When Jodi becomes the target of Whitney's worst prank yet — embarrassing her at a party in front of a potential love interest — the two outcasts conspire to unite the other nerds and put the bully clique in their place. From Monarch Home Entertainment.