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"The movie business is macabre. Grotesque.
It is a combination of a football game
and a brothel."
-- Federico Fellini
Sep 112018
 

From the Big Screen:

“Ocean’s Eight” and “SuperFly.” For more information on other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.

This Week’s Best Bets:

Long unavailable, Olivier Assayas’s deeply felt coming-of-age drama “Cold Water” (1994) has until now been a missing link in one of contemporary cinema’s richest bodies of work. Drawing from his own youthful experiences, Assayas revisits the outskirts of Paris in the early 1970s, telling the story of photo for Cold Water teenage lovers Gilles (Cyprien Fouquet) and Christine (Virginie Ledoyen), whose rebellions against family and society threaten to tear them apart. The visceral realism of the movie’s narrative and the near experimentalism of its camera work come together effortlessly thanks to a rock soundtrack that vividly evokes the period. With one of the most memorable party sequences ever committed to film as a centerpiece, “Cold Water” is a heartbreaking immersion in the emotional tumult of being young. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc with new 4K digital restoration, supervised by director Olivier Assayas, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray. From The Criterion Collection … Four decades into an already legendary career, Terrence Malick realized his most photo for The Tree of Life rapturous vision to date, “The Tree of Life” (2011), tracing a story of childhood, wonder, and grief to the outer limits of time and space. Reaching back to the dawn of creation, Malick sets a story of boyhood memories on a universal scale, charting the coming of age of an awestruck child (newcomer Hunter McCracken) in Texas in the 1950s, as he learns to navigate the extremes of nature and grace represented by his bitter, often tyrannical father (Brad Pitt) and his ethereal, nurturing mother (Jessica Chastain, in her breakout role). Shot with nimble attention to life’s most fleeting moments by Emmanuel Lubezki, the Palme d’Or-winning “The Tree of Life” marks the intimately personal, cosmically ambitious culmination of Malick’s singular approach to filmmaking. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc with New 4K digital restoration, supervised and approved by director Terrence Malick and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray. New extended version of the film featuring an additional 50 minutes of footage. From The Criterion Collection.

From TV to Disc:

“The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Eleventh Season” (2017-18) is a two-disc set with all 24 episodes. Leonard and Sheldon are brilliant physicists – geniuses in the laboratory but socially challenged everywhere else. Insert beautiful, street-smart neighbor Penny, who endeavors to teach them a thing or two about the “real” world. Despite their on-again, off-again relationship history, Leonard and Penny have tied the knot. Even Sheldon has entered into a “Relationship Agreement” with neurobiologist Amy, and he recently took their relationship to the next level by proposing marriage. Will the possibility of domestic bliss alter the chemistry between these two extreme achievers? On DVD, Blu-ray, from Warner … “The Watcher in the Woods” (2017), starring Anjelica Huston, Tallulah Evans, Nicholas Galitzine, Dixie Egerickx and Rufus Wright, is Lifetime’s reimagining of the ’80s cult classic film. When Jan Carstairs and her family rent a manor in the idyllic British countryside, the owner, Mrs. Aylwood, notices that Jan bears a striking resemblance to her daughter, Karen, who disappeared over 20 years ago. Mrs. Aylwood warns Jan to stay out of the surrounding woods, and when strange occurrences unnerve the family, Jan suspects they are linked to what happened to Karen. As Jan begins to unravel the truth, she and her little sister, Ellie, may not be able to escape The Watcher in the Woods. From Lionsgate.

Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:

“Goldstone” (2016 — Australia), starring Aaron Pedersen, Alex Russell, photo for GoldstoneJacki Weaver, David Wenham, David Gulpilil and Cheng Pei-Pei, is a noir thriller set in the Outback. Indigenous Detective Jay Swan (Pedersen) arrives in the frontier town of Goldstone on a missing persons inquiry. What seems like a simple investigation opens a web of crime, corruption, trampling of indigenous people’s land rights, and human trafficking. Jay must pull his life together and bury his differences with young local cop Josh (Russell), so together they can bring justice to Goldstone. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Lightyear Entertainment.

Foreign Films:

“The Guardians” (2017 — France), starring Nathalie Baye, Laura Smet, Iris Bry, Cyril Descours, Gilbert Bonneau, Olivier Rabourdin and Nicolas Giraud, is the story of the Paridier family and their farm in the French countryside, where life revolves around everyday chores that service the farm’s seasonal cycle of planting and harvesting. With the breakout of World War I in 1915, the women of the Paridier farm, under the deft hand of family matriarch Hortense (Nathalie Baye), must grapple with the workload while the men, including Hortense’s two sons, are at the front. Hortense reluctantly brings on an outsider, the hard-scrabble teenage orphan Francine (Iris Bry), to help her daughter, Solange (Laura Smet, Baye’s real-life daughter). New tools and technology allow the women to triumph over the land and newfound independence is acquired, yet emotions are stirred, especially when the men return on short leaves. Regardless, it is the Paridier women who are the “guardians” of their land and its traditions. Adapted from Ernest Pérochon’s 1924 novel. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Music Box Films.

For the Family:

“Scooby-Doo! and the Gourmet Ghost” (2018) is an all-new original animated film featuring celebrity chefs Bobby Flay, Giada De Laurnetiis and Marcus Samuelsson. Scooby-Doo and the gang of teen sleuths go on an adventure to New England, where they investigate the haunting of a historic colonial inn that’s been turned into a state-of-the-art, culinary resort. From Warner.

Special Interest:

Experience a year in the life of a surf town at the mercy of the Atlantic Ocean in “Between Land and Sea” (2016 — Ireland). Set against the backdrop of Ireland’s stunning west coast, this documentary — at times intimate, at times epic — embeds itself within Irish surf town Lahinch’s passionate surfing photo for Between Land and Sea community. Following this dedicated group of diehards who want their local waves to be known around the world, this observational documentary combines exhilarating footage with insightful, moving and often humorous portraits of the ocean-going natives of County Clare. Features some of the best surfers on the Emerald Isle, with a cameo by Hawaiian legend Shane Dorian. From Film Movement … Welcome to Grey Gardens … as you’ve never seen it before. Three years before Albert and David Maysles’ landmark documentary introduced the world to Edith and Edie Beale — the unforgettable mother and daughter (and Jackie O. relatives) living in a decaying dream world on Long Island — renowned photographer Peter Beard chronicled life at their crumbling estate during the summer of 1972 in “That Summer” (2017). For the first time, director Göran Olsson assembles this long-lost footage — featuring glimpses of luminaries like Andy Warhol, Mick Jagger and Truman Capote — into a one-of-a-kind family portrait bursting with the loving squabbles, quotable bon mots and impromptu musical numbers that would make Big and Little Edie beloved cultural icons. From IFC Films… Leon Vitali was a rising British television actor when Stanley Kubrick picked him for the role of Lord Bullingdon in “Barry Lyndon.” That first encounter with the famed auteur proved decisive — he swiftly resolved to devote the rest of his life working for the director, this time behind the scenes, and took on just about every job available: casting director, acting coach, location scout, sound engineer, color corrector, A.D., promoter, and photo for Filmworker eventually restorer of Kubrick’s films. Tony Zierra’s affecting documentary “Filmworker” (2017) enthusiastically recounts Vitali’s days with the notoriously meticulous, volatile and obsessive director. The experiences brought both tremendous sacrifice and glowing pride. “Filmworker” celebrates the invisible hands that shape masterpieces, reminding us that behind every great director, there is a Leon Vitali. From Kino Lorber … What do you get when you cross a dispossessed drug dealer, his derelict companions, a “warrior” who talks to spirits, a virgin prostitute and the gritty underbelly of Medellín? You get “Mambo Cool” (2013 — Columbia), the debut feature documentary from anthropologist-cum-filmmaker Chris Gude. Confronting displacement, sickness, and cultural decay in the back alleys of a claustrophobic city — Medellin — filled with hustle and bustle, these down-and-out denizens struggle to survive on their own terms in this experimental documentary blending fine-art cinematography by Jose Ignacio Pardo and Felipe Loaiza with melancholic street music by David Oquendo. With hypnotically naturalistic performances, meandering storylines infused with impromptu salsa music and addictive cinematography, Gude — who fixed his gaze on the indigents in Medellín where he lived and worked for several years — illuminates this gritty world by matchlight. From IndiePix … “Revolution: New Art for a New World” (2016 — UK/Russia) is a feature-length documentary that encapsulates a momentous period in the history of Russia and the Russian Avant-Garde movement. Drawing on the collections of major Russian institutions, contributions from contemporary artists, curators and performers, as well as personal testimony from the descendants of those involved, this compelling documentary tells the stories of iconic artists such as Chagall, Kandinsky and Malevich — pioneers who flourished in response to the Utopian challenge of photo for Revolution: New Art for a New Worldbuilding a “New Art for a New World,” only to be broken after 15 short years by Stalin’s rise to power. Yet their inventive paintings, sculptures and posters miraculously survived and continue to exert a lasting influence to this day. Features paintings previously banned and unseen for decades. From Film Movement … Directed by Oscar-winner Alex Gibney and Emmy-winner Blair Foster and narrated by Jeff Daniels, “Rolling Stone: Stories From the Edge” (2016 chronicles the last 50 years of American music, politics and popular culture. This six-part HBO Documentary special offers the unique perspective of a celebrated magazine that always understood that rock ‘n’ roll was more than just music — it was a cultural force that helped shape America and defined generations. An exhilarating visual and musical experience of the magazine’s history, the series features performances by a dazzling array of artists, including The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Tina Turner, Janis Joplin, The Sex Pistols, The Clash and Ice-T, and music from some of the cultural icons it heralded, including Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Fleetwood Mac and Chance the Rapper. In the process, it also showcases the superb, groundbreaking work of its writers, spotlighting Rolling Stone’s impact on society and providing an engrossing inside look at how the magazine helped shape the zeitgeist and has endured for a half-century. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Shout! Factory.

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 September 11, 2018  Add comments

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