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"The movie business is macabre. Grotesque.
It is a combination of a football game
and a brothel."
-- Federico Fellini
Oct 082018
 

From the Big Screen:

“Hotel Transylvania 3,” “Skyscraper” and “Eighth Grade.” For more information on other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.

This Week’s Best Bet:

“Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day” (1972-73): Commissioned to make a working-class family drama for public television, up-and-coming director Rainer Werner Fassbinder took the assignment and ran, dodging expectations by depicting social realities in West Germany from a critical — yet far from cynical — perspective. photo for Eight Hours Don't Make a DayOver the course of several hours, the sprawling story tracks the everyday triumphs and travails of the young toolmaker Jochen (Gottfried John) and many of the people populating his world, including the woman he loves (Hanna Schygulla), his eccentric nuclear family, and his fellow workers, with whom he bands together to improve conditions on the factory floor. Rarely screened since its popular but controversial initial broadcast, “Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day” rates as a true discovery, one of Fassbinder’s earliest and most tender experiments with the possibilities of melodrama. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc with new 2K digital restoration by the Rainer Werner Fassbinder Foundation, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. From The Criterion Collection.

From TV to Disc:

There’s two classic sets of Golden Age TV series due this week from VCI Entertainment (distributed by MVD):
“I Married Joan: Classic TV Collection Vol 4” (1952-55): The show centers on Joan (Joan Davis), a scatterbrained housewife, and her husband, Bradley Stevens (Jim Backus), who was a staid and settled domestic court judge. Beverly Wills, Joan Davis’ real-life daughter, also co-starred on the show playing the part of her sister. The show was cut from the same mold as the “I Love Lucy” series, with Davis’ comedy antics derived from the physical school of humor. This hilarious series ran for three seasons on the NBC Network from 1952 to 1955. This Collection photo for I Married Joan: Classic TV Collection contains 10 episodes from all three seasons. On DVD … and “Television’s Lost Classics Volume 2: Rare Pilots,” which contains four rare pilot episodes. Pilot 1 – “Case of the Sure Thing” with Reed Hadley, Louise Currie and Milburn Stone. This introduced the series “Racket Squad”, which lasted for three seasons and was nominated for two Primetime Emmys. Broadcast on CBS, Thursday, June 7, 1951. Pilot 2 – “Cool and Lam” with Billy Pearson, Benay Venuta, Alison Hayes, Sheila Bromley. A light-hearted, detective yarn featuring characters first created by Erle Stanley Gardner. Bertha Cool runs a detective agency and Donald Lam is her junior partner, hence “Cool and Lam.” Pilot 3 – “The Life of Riley” with Lon Chaney, Jr., Rosemary DeCamp, John Brown. A heretofore lost pilot which starred Lon Chaney, Jr. as Chester Riley. This stand-alone episode was produced in 1948 but by the time the first season went into full production in 1949, Chaney had been replaced by no less than Jackie Gleason. Pilot 4 – “Nero Wolfe” with Kurt Kasznar, William Shatner, Alexander Scourby. Includes a bonus CBS Blooper Reel hosted by James Arness.

Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:

“A Prayer Before Dawn” (2018), starring Joe Cole, Vithaya Pansringarm and Nicolas Shake, is the remarkable true story of Billy Moore, a young English boxer incarcerated in two of Thailand’s most violent prisons. When the prison authorities allow Billy to participate in Muay Thai boxing tournaments, he goes from one savage fight to the next in a relentless, action-packed journey to preserve his life and regain his freedom. Shot in an actual Thai prison with a cast comprised of real inmates. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Lionsgate … In photo for Making A Killing “Making a Killing” (2018), starring Mike Starr, Jude Moran, Christopher Lloyd, Michael Jai White, Gillian White and Aida Turturro, Arthur Herring is the mayor, priest and mortician in a quaint small town nestled in the mountains of New Mexico. He and his brother, Vincent, are well-respected pillars of the community. Arthur and Vincent once agreed to safeguard fellow mortician Lloyd’s (Lloyd) rare coin collection worth a small fortune while he served time in prison, but when Lloyd is released and requests that his coins be returned, the brothers hatch an elaborate scheme to keep his treasure for themselves. From Cleopatra Entertainment … “Her Stolen Past” (2018), starring Shanice Banton and Barbara Eve Harris, is a Lifetime Movie Network movie. Based on the novel of the same name by best-selling author Lynette Eason, this thriller follows a young woman trying to uncover the connection between her mother’s murder and a kidnapped baby’s birth certificate hidden in her mother’s house, but it soon becomes clear that someone will stop at nothing to prevent her from discovering the truth. From Lionsgate … Forty years after William Castle’s 1959 cult classic, Warner Bros. did this remake, “House on Haunted Hill Collector’s Edition BLU-RAY DEBUT” (1999), starring Geoffrey Rush and Famke Janssen, Taye Diggs, Ali Larter, Bridgette Wilson, Peter Gallagher, and Chris Kattan. Rush plays twisted theme park bigshot Stephen Price, who’s hosting a photo for House on Haunted Hill birthday bash for his wife (Janssen) at a house that was once an institute for the criminally insane. Five strangers are each offered a chance to earn one million dollars if they can survive a night in the house. But what starts out as a harmless birthday prank soon turns into a night of horrific terror. New 2K scan of the film. With collectible slipcover featuring newly rendered artwork and a reversible cover wrap featuring original key art. On Blu-ray from Scream Factory … “Trick ‘r Treat Collector’s Edition BLU-RAY DEBUT” (2007) features four interwoven tales set on Halloween night. A high school principal (Dylan Baker) moonlights as a vicious serial killer; the quest of a young virgin (Anna Paquin) for that special someone takes a gruesome turn; a group of teens carries out a cruel prank with disastrous consequences; and a cantankerous old man (Brian Cox) battles a mischievous trick-or-treating demon. From Scream Factory … “A Prayer Before Dawn” (2018), starring Joe Cole, Vithaya Pansringarm and Nicolas Shake, is the remarkable true story of Billy Moore, a young English boxer incarcerated in two of Thailand’s most violent prisons. When the prison authorities allow Billy to participate in Muay Thai boxing tournaments, he goes from one savage fight to the next in a relentless, action-packed journey to preserve his life and regain his freedom. Shot in an actual Thai prison with a cast comprised of real inmates. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Lionsgate … “The Man in the Iron Mask 20th Anniversary Edition” (1998) stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Jeremy Irons, John Malkovich, Gérard Depardieu, Gabriel Byrne, Anne Parillaud and Judith Godrèche, in a new 4K scan of the film. Louis XIII, King of France, had a son, Louis, who succeeded his father to the throne. But, known to very few, the heir had a twin brother, Philippe, hidden away after birth and forced to languish in prison, his identity unknown behind an iron mask. His brother, now grown and King Louis XIV, proved to be both corrupt and a photo for The Man In The Iron Mask 20th Anniversary Edition tyrant. Louis sends Athos’ (one of the Musketeers) son, Raoul off to certain death in war, so that he could have his woman for himself. Athos, together with two of the other Musketeers, Porthos and Aramis, swear revenge. Only D’Artagnan remains loyal to the crown, but will he join his former compatriots to free Philippe from prison, kill the king, and put Philippe on the throne in his place? On Blu-ray from Shout! Factory Select) … In the DC Entertainment animated film “Constantine: City of Demons” (2018), a decade after a tragic mistake, family man Chas and occult detective John Constantine set out to cure Chas’s daughter Trish from a mysterious supernatural coma. With the help of the mysterious Nightmare Nurse, the influential Queen of Angels, and brutal Aztec God Mictlantecuhtli, the pair just might have a chance at outsmarting the demon Beroul to save Trish’s soul. In a world of shadows and dark magic, not everything is what it seems, and there’s always a price to pay. The path to redemption is never easy, and if Constantine is to succeed, he must navigate through the dark urban underbelly of Los Angeles, outwit the most cunning spawns of hell, and come face to face with arch-nemesis Nergal – all while battling his own inner demons. Based on the acclaimed DC animated series from CW Seed. On 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo, Blu-ray/DVD Combo from Warner.

Foreign Films:

“Angels Wear White” (2018 — China), starring Vicky Chen, Meijun Zhou, Ke Shi and Le Geng, is a film by Vivian Qu, the first ever female director to be awarded the “Oscars of Asia,” the Golden Horse Award. In a small seaside town, two schoolgirls are assaulted by a middle-aged man in a motel. Mia, a teenager who was working on reception that night, is the only Extras:witness. For fear of losing her job, she says nothing. Meanwhile, 12-year-old Wen, one of the victims, finds that her troubles have only just begun. Trapped in a world that offers them no safety, Mia and Wen will have to find their photo for Angels Wear White own way out. From Icarus Films … “The Official Story” (1985 — Argentina) features a 2K restoration of director Luis Puenzo’s universally hailed debut feature, which won the Academy Award for Best Foreign-Language Film of 1985. A stirring character drama and a haunting rumination on the sins of the past. Set in Buenos Aires during the final years of the Argentinean military dictatorship’s “Dirty War” against its own people, it tells the story of Alicia (Oscar nominee Norma Aleandro), the wife of a wealthy businessman, who discovers that their adopted child may be the progeny of a desaparecido, a victim of the forced disappearances that occurred during the dictatorship’s reign of terror. This revelation forces her to reveal the truth about her country’s legacy of corruption and murder. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Cohen Film Collection.

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 October 8, 2018  Add comments

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