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"The movie business is macabre. Grotesque.
It is a combination of a football game
and a brothel."
-- Federico Fellini
Sep 052017
 

From the Big Screen:

"All Eyez on Me," "Megan Leavey," "Lowriders," and "Paris Can Wait." For more information on other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.

This Week's Highlights:

Two thrillers, a heart-wrenching love story, and a comedy anthology come to the fore this week. Mere months after delivering one of the definitive examples of film noir with "Kiss Me Deadly," Robert Aldrich brought a noir flavor to Hollywood with his classic adaptation of Clifford Odets' stage play, "The Big Knife" (1955). Charles Castle, one of Hollywood's biggest stars, looks like he has it all. But his marriage is falling apart and his wife is threatening to leave him if he renews his contract. Studio boss Stanley Shriner Hoff isn't taking the news too well, and he'll do anything he can to get his man to sign on the dotted line — even if means exposing dark secrets. Winner of the Silver photo for The Big KnifeLion at the 1955 Venice Film Festival, "The Big Knife" boasts a remarkable cast list including Jack Palance as Castle and Rod Steiger as Hoff, plus Shelley Winters, Ida Lupino, Jean Hagen and Everett Sloane. In a Blu-ray/DVD Combo with new 2K restoration from original film elements, with original English mono audio (uncompressed LPCM on the Blu-ray). From Arrow Academy/MVD Entertainment … Romance becomes psychodrama in Alfred Hitchcock’s elegantly crafted "Rebecca" (1940), his first foray into Hollywood filmmaking. A dreamlike adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s 1938 novel, the film stars the enchanting Joan Fontaine as a young woman who believes she has found her heart’s desire when she marries the dashing aristocratic widower Maxim de Winter (played with cunning vulnerability by Laurence Olivier). But upon moving to Manderley — her groom’s baroque ancestral mansion — she soon learns that his deceased wife haunts not only the home but the temperamental, brooding Maxim as well. The start of Hitchcock’s legendary collaboration with producer David O. Selznick, this elegiac gothic vision, captured in stunning black and white by George Barnes, took home the Academy Awards for best picture and best cinematography. On DVD and Blu-ray, with new 4K photo for Rebecca digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. From The Criterion Collection … Set against the stifling conformity of pre-World War I English society, director James Ivory's "Maurice" (1987) is a moving story of coming to terms with one's sexuality and identity in the face of disapproval and misunderstanding. It is based on E.M. Forster's novel, which was written at the height of his career but which he withheld from publication until after his death due to its controversial nature. The story centers on students Maurice Hall (James Wilby) and Clive Durham (Hugh Grant), who find themselves falling in love at Cambridge. In a time when homosexuality is punishable by imprisonment, the two must keep their feelings for one another a complete secret. After a friend is arrested and disgraced for "the unspeakable vice of the Greeks," Clive abandons his forbidden love and marries a young woman. Maurice, however, struggles with his identity and self-confidence, seeking the help of a hypnotist to rid himself of his undeniable urges. But while staying with Clive and his shallow wife, Anne, Maurice is seduced by the affectionate and yearning servant Alec Scudder (Rupert Graves), an event that brings about profound changes in Maurice's life and outlook. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc, in a new 4K restoration from the original negative, overseen and approved by director James Ivory and cinematographer Pierre Lhomme. From the Cohen Film Collection … The four-disc "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In: The Complete First Season" (1968)features 14 remastered episodes from the landmark Emmy and Golden Globe-winning series. The '60s gave us "in-crowds," "be-ins" and "love-ins," and photo for Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In: The Complete First Season starting in 1968, the happening place for free-form comedy was "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In," broadcast from "beautiful downtown Burbank." Straight man Dan Rowan and wisecracking co-host Dick Martin led a gaggle of goofballs through a rapid-fire assault of one-liners, skits, bits and non sequiturs that left viewers in hysterics and disbelief. Anything and anyone in the public eye was a target. Political correctness? Forget it! The off-the-wall groundbreaking, Emmy Award-winning show would go on to anchor the Monday 8 p.m. time slot on NBC until March 12, 1973, transforming both pop culture and the medium of television. Tim Conway and Cher as John Smith and Pocahontas; a silent salute to presidential candidate George Wallace; a Mod, Mod World look at the Olympics — are just a few of the zaniest things crammed into Season 1. Also making their appearances for the first time: Goldie Hawn's giggly blonde, Judy Carne's "Sock-It-to-Me" girl, Jo Anne Worley's anti-chicken-joke militant, Ruth Buzzi's perpetually-frustrated spinster and Arte Johnson's "verrry interesting" German soldier. The show's first season was also highlighted by long-running fan favorite features including "Sock It to Me," "Cocktail Party," the "Joke Wall," and Sammy Davis Jr. introducing the all-time classic sketch "Here Comes the Judge". From Time Life.

From TV to DVD:

"Criminal Minds: Season 12" (2016-17) is a six-disc set with all 22 episodes. The series revolves around an elite team of FBI profilers who analyze the country's most twisted criminal minds, anticipating their next moves before they strike again. The Behavioral Analysis Unit's most—experienced agent is David Rossi (Joe Mantegna), a founding member of the BAU, who is essential in helping the team solve new cases. Other photo for Criminal Minds: Season 12 members include Special Agent Emily Prentiss (Paget Brewster), the daughter of high-powered diplomats who returns to the team after being the head profiler at Interpol; Special Agent Dr. Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler), a classically misunderstood genius whose social IQ is as low as his intellectual IQ is high; Jennifer "JJ" Jareau (A.J. Cook), the team's former unit liaison-turned-profiler who juggles motherhood and marriage with the same skill as solving cases; Penelope Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness), the team's indispensable computer wizard who helps research the cases with her unique charm; and Dr. Tara Lewis (Aisha Tyler), a forensic psychologist whose expertise is studying and interviewing serial killers after they're captured to determine if they are able to stand trial. From CBS/Paramount … "The Flash: The Complete Third Season" (2016-17) is a six-disc DVD, four-disc Blu-ray with all 23 episodes. Struck by the supercharged fallout of a particle accelerator explosion, forensic scientist Barry Allen becomes the fastest man alive: The Flash. With his newfound time-warping speed and help from the S.T.A.R. Labs team — Caitlin Snow, Cisco Ramon and Harrison Wells –- and his adoptive family, Detective Joe West and Joe’s daughter Iris, the Scarlet Speedster runs circles around other metahumans set on wreaking havoc in Central City, while traveling between alternate universes and protecting our world from otherworldly threats. In Season Three, Barry faces the unknown — as he irrevocably alters the timeline by saving his mother from the clutches of the Reverse-Flash. From Warner … photo for Hawaii Five-O: The Seventh Season "Hawaii Five-O: The Seventh Season" (2016-17) is a six-disc set with all 22 episodes. A contemporary take on the classic series about an elite federalized task force whose mission is to wipe out the crime that washes up on the islands' sun-drenched beaches. Detective Steve MeGattetr (Alex O'Loughlin), a decorated Naval officer turned cop, returned to Oahu to investigate his father's murder and stayed after Hawaii's former governor persuaded him to head up the new team: his rules, no red tape and full blanket authority to hunt down the biggest "game" in town. Joining McGarrett are Detective Danny "Danno" Williams (Scott Caan), a relocated ex-New Jersey cop — a working man in paradise who prefers skyscrapers to the coastline but who's committed to keeping the islands safe for his young daughter; Chin Ho Kelly (Daniel Dae Kim), an ex-Honolulu police detective and former protëgë of McGarrett's father, who was wrongly accused of corruption. Includes a special appearance from original "Hawaii Five-0 "cast member Jack Lord and other guest stars including Claire Forlani, Darius Rucker, Julie Benz, Jimmy Buffett and Christine Lahti. From CBS/Paramount … photo for The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks In "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" (2017), starring Oprah Winfrey, Rose Byrne, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Reg E. Cathey, Courtney B. Vance, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Leslie Uggams, Reed Birney, Rocky Carroll and John Douglas Thompson, an African-American woman becomes the unwitting pioneer for multiple medical developments, such as the Polio vaccine, when her cells are harvested to create the first immortal human cell line in this story of medical arrogance and triumph, race, poverty, and deep friendship between the unlikeliest of people. In this adaptation of Rebecca Skloot’s critically acclaimed, bestselling nonfiction book of the same name, "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" is told through the eyes of Henrietta Lacks’ daughter, Deborah Lacks (Winfrey). The film chronicles her search, along with journalist Rebecca Skloot (Byrne), to learn about the mother she never knew and understand how the unauthorized harvesting of Lacks’ cancerous cells in 1951 led to unprecedented medical breakthroughs, changing countless lives and the face of medicine forever. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from HBO … "Just Shoot Me!: The Complete Series" (1997-2003) is a 19-disc set with all 148 episodes. Laura San Giacomo, David Spade, Wendie Malick, Enrico Colantoni and George Segal star as sharp-tongued coworkers in the fast-paced world of high-fashion publishing, from catwalk to casting couch. Set in the bustling editorial photo for Just Shoot Me!: The Complete Series offices of fashion magazine Blush, "Just Shoot Me!" chronicles the daily grind of the magazine's quirky staff, serving up all the laughter that's fit to print. From Shout! Factory … "Kevin Can Wait: Season One" (2016-17) is a three-disc set with 24 episodes. Kevin Gable (Kevin James) is a Long Island cop who retires at 45, looking forward to day-drinking with his buddies, going to Mets games, and finally having some “me-time.” He quickly learns, however, that his family’s needs don’t leave a lot of “me-time” after all. His 14-year old daughter Sara (Mary-Charles Jones) and 10-year old son Jack (James DiGiacomo) are having issues at school and 20-year old Kendra (Taylor Spreitler) is expected home soon on a visit from college — with a few surprises of her own. To supplement his pension, Kevin’s wife Donna (Erinn Hayes), a school nurse, wants to rent out their converted garage apartment which turns into quite a complicated competition for occupancy. From Sony … "Masterpiece Mystery:! Endeavour Season 4" (2017) is a two-disc set with all four feature-length episodes. Set in the 1960s, the show follows Endeavour Morse in his early years as a police constable. Working alongside his senior partner DI Fred Thursday, Morse engages in a number of investigations around Oxford. It’s the summer of 1967, and the effects of the Cold War and sixties counterculture are being felt in Oxford. It has barely been two weeks since the events depicted in the season three finale, and Oxford’s finest are picking up the pieces of their personal and professional lives. Endeavour waits to hear the result of his Sergeant’s Exam, and self-medicates to numb his heartache over Joan, but whisky and Tännhauser will only get a man so far. Meanwhile, Thursday and Win deal with their own sense of grief. Their home is empty, Sam gone to the Army and Joan … who knows where? photo for Narcos: Season 2 On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from PBS Distribution … "Narcos: Season 2" (2016) is a four-disc DVD, three-disc Blu-ray with all 10 episodes. The manhunt for one of the most infamous criminals in history still rages on. Unforseen alliances form between Columbian authorities, rival cartels, and DEA agents to put an end to Pablo Escobar's ruthless activities. After drug lord Escobar escapes from prison, the Colombian police, rival cartels, and DEA agents try to take him down in the second season of the hit series. From Lionsgate … "Supernatural: The Complete Twelfth Season" (2016-17) is a six-DVD, four Blu-ray set with all 23 episodes. In the show’s 12th season, Sam and Dean Winchester (Jared Padalecki & Jensen Ackles) are reunited with their mother, Mary Winchester (Samantha Smith), newly resurrected by the apocalyptic force known as the Darkness. But Mary Winchester is not the only family appearing this season. In addition to Lucifer being sprung from Hell, he’s also expecting a son. Now, the Winchesters — with Castiel’s help — must not only contend with Crowley, Lucifer and his spawn, and the arrival of the conniving British Men of Letters (who’ve come to “complicate” their hunting days), but they’ll also have to relearn what it is to be a family again after all these years. From Warner.

Buzzin' the 'B's:

In "The Last Face" (2016), starring Charlize Theron and Javier Bardem, a director of an international aid agency in Africa meets a relief-aid doctor in the middle of a political/social revolution, and together they face tough choices surrounding humanitarianism and life during civil unrest. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Lionsgate … In "Iron Protector" (2016 — China), after the death of his clan master, Wu-Lin — not just a regular man, but the successor of an ancient, once powerful Chinese clan, the “Iron Feet” — leaves the village for the City of Stone-cold to protect the daughter of the richest family in the city, Fei-Fei. When the city’s most dangerous gang attempts to kidnap Fei-Fei, Wu-Lin is photo for Iron Protector forced to fight them alone and discovers an even more sinister power is taking over the city. A mixture of action-packed Kung Fu film and super heroes. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Well Go USA … In "First Kill" (2016), starring Hayden Christensen, Bruce Willis, Gethin Anthony and Ty Shelton, in an attempt to reconnect with his son Danny (Shelton), successful Wall Street broker Will (Christensen) takes his family on a vacation to the cabin where Will grew up. While Will and Danny are hunting, their trip takes a deadly turn when they witness the murder of a crooked police officer as a bank robbery goes awry. When Danny is taken hostage by the criminals, Will is forced to help them evade the police chief (Willis) investigating the murder and recover the stolen photo for Revelator money in exchange for his son’s life. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc, from Lionsgate … The horror film "Revelator" (2017), starring J. Van Auken, Nicholas Thurkettle, Mindy Rae and Alex Klein, centers around John Dunning, a disgraced psychic detective who is thrust into the midst of the mysterious Bellvue family empire — whose future fortunes rely on a vast secret island cache of water — and must investigate the suspicious death of the troubled Jacob, the last heir to the family fortune, while being dogged by a suspicious journalist and a feckless, ruthless young family member Elias. When John is accused of the murder that he himself is investigating, he must venture into the depths of madness to uncover the truth about the family and their power, before he loses his mind, his life … or worse. From Maxim Media Marketing.

On the Indie Front:

"Band Aid" (2017), starring Zoe Lister-Jones, Adam Pally and Fred Armisen, is the story of a couple, Anna and Ben, who can’t stop fighting. Advised by their therapist to try and work through their grievances unconventionally, they are reminded of their shared love of music. In a last-ditch effort to save their marriage, they decide to turn all their fights into song, and with the help of their neighbor Dave, they start a band. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Shout! Factory.

Foreign Films:

"Don’t Swallow My Heart, Alligator Girl!" (2017 — Brazil) is a tale about love and war as a young Brazilian boy and an indigenous Paraguayan girl confront the region’s violent past and their families’ secrets. In this war-torn region, Joca (Macedo) is a 13 year-old boy on the Brazilian side of the river. Basano (Gonzales), an indigenous Paraguayan girl, lives on the other side. The two regions are in constant conflict, between the big Brazilian farmers and groups of native indigenous who are still there resisting a silent genocide of their culture and memories. Joca’s brother Fernando (Reymond) is a member of a gang of Brazilian bikers, and Basano’s family are Paraguayan photo for The Wedding Plan bikers. Amongst all the bloodshed and violence, a romantic Joca falls deeply for Basano, creating great internal and external conflict for both. They are forced to choose between their family loyalties and their innocent, pure love. A South American "Romeo & Juliet." On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from FilmRise … "The Wedding Plan" (2017 — Israel) is a poignant and funny romantic comedy about love, marriage, and faith in life’s infinite possibilities. Michal, blindsided by her fiancé’s decision to call off their wedding with only a month’s notice, is unwilling to return to single life. Michal decides to put her trust in fate and continue with her wedding plans, believing Mr. Right will appear by her chosen date. As the day of the ceremony grows closer and no suitor appears, Michal puts everything on the line to find happiness. From Lionsgate … In "Like Crazy" (2016 — Italy), Beatrice is a motor-mouthed fantasist, a self-styled billionaire countess who likes to believe she’s on intimate terms with world leaders. Donatella is a tattooed introvert, a fragile young woman locked in her own mystery. They are both patients at the Villa Biondi, a progressive but secure psychiatric clinic. Paolo Virzì’s new film tells the story of the unpredictable and moving friendship that develops between the two women as they flee the mental institution in search of love and happiness in the open-air nuthouse — the world of sane people. From Strand Releasing.

For the Family:

"LEGO NINJAGO: Masters of Spinjitzu: Season 7" (2017) is a single disc with all 10 episodes as the Ninja encounter new enemies, Krux and Acronix. From Warner … In the six-episode, swash-buckling adventure "PAW Patrol: The Great Pirate Rescue!" (2017), the PAW Patrol take to the high seas for some epic rescues. Kids can join Ryder, Chase and the rest of the gang as they discover a secret pirate cave, embark on a treasure hunt, rescue whales and more. From Fox.

Special Interest:

Filmed over three years in the aftermath of the 2010 Haitian earthquake,"Monsieur Le President" (2014) follows the ascension and confusing downfall of Gaston Jean Edy. Volunteering in Haiti in the immediate aftermath of the devastating 2010 earthquake, Victoria Campbell encounters Gaston, a charming voodoo priest who shows leadership during the emergency, and later manages to open a small, much-needed medical clinic with the support of a foreign funder. He becomes a local hero, a symbol of ingenuity in defiance of the failure of conventional relief efforts. Over three years, he also becomes the filmmaker's close friend-until an unexpected development causes Victoria to re-examine her entire experience in Haiti. From Virgil Films.

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 5, 2017  Add comments

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