From the Big Screen:
(2021) M. Night Shyamalan’s latest thriller follows a family on a tropical holiday who discover that the secluded beach where they are relaxing for a few hours is somehow causing them to age rapidly … reducing their entire lives into a single day. Vitals: Director: M. Night Shyamalan. Stars: Gael García Bernal, Vicky Krieps, Rufus Sewell, Ken Leung, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Abbey Lee, Aaron Pierre, Alex Wolff, Embeth Davidtz, Eliza Scanlen, Emun Elliott, Kathleen Chalfant, Thomasin McKenzie. 2021, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 108 min., Thriller, US box office gross: $40.849 million, worldwide $88.583 million, Universal. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Code, 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo + Digital Code, VOD, Digital. Extras: Deleted scenes; “Shyamalan Family Business” look at what Night’s two daughters, Ishana and Saleka, contributed to the film; “All The Beach Is a Stage” about shooting a film in a wide-open space; “Nightmares In Paradise” location featurette; “A Family In the Moment” cast featurette. Read more here.
Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins
(2021) The origins of the iconic G.I. Joe hero, Snake Eyes (Henry Golding). Welcomed into an ancient Japanese clan called the Arashikage after saving the life of their heir-apparent, Storm Shadow (Andrew Koji), Snake Eyes joins the battle against the terrorist group COBRA. Pushing him to the limits, Snake Eyes will become the ultimate ninja warrior. But, when past secrets are revealed, his honor and allegiance will be tested – even if that means losing everything he has been fighting for. Vitals: Director: Robert Schwentke. Stars: Henry Golding, Andrew Koji, Úrsula Corberó, Samara Weaving, Iko Uwais. 2019, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 121 min., Action, US box office gross: $27.504 million, worldwide $35.204 million, Paramount. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray + Digital Code, 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo, VOD, Digital. Extras: “Morning Light: A Weapon with Stories to Tell” featurette about the secrets of Snake Eyes’ legendary sword; deleted scenes; “Enter Snake Eyes” behind-the-scenes featurette; “A Deadly Ensemble” cast featurette; “Arashikage” featurette dives into the elite ninja warrior world of the Arashikage clan. Read more here.
The Night House
(2021) Reeling from the unexpected death of her husband, Beth (Rebecca Hall) is left alone in the lakeside home he built for her. She tries as best she can to keep it together – but then nightmares come. Disturbing visions of a presence in the house calling to her, beckoning her with a ghostly allure. Against the advice of her friends, she begins digging into her husband’s belongings, yearning for answers. What she finds are secrets both strange and disturbing – a mystery she’s determined to unravel. Vitals: Director: David Bruckner. Stars: Rebecca Hall, Sarah Goldberg, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Evan Jonigkeit. 2021, CC, MPAA rating: R, 107 min., Horror Thriller, US box office gross: $7.082 million, worldwide $14.586 million, Fox. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray, VOD, Digital.
(2021) Rescued as a child by the legendary assassin Moody (Samuel L. Jackson) and trained in the family business, Anna (Maggie Q) is the world’s most skilled contract killer. But when Moody – the man who was like a father to her and taught her everything she needs to know about trust and survival – is brutally killed, Anna vows revenge. As she becomes entangled with an enigmatic killer (Michael Keaton) whose attraction to her goes way beyond cat and mouse, their confrontation turns deadly and the loose ends of a life spent killing will weave themselves even tighter. Vitals: Director: Martin Campbell. Stars: Michael Keaton, Maggie Q, Samuel L. Jackson, Patrick Malahide, David Rintoul, Ori Pfeffer, Ray Fearon, Caroline Loncq, Robert Patrick. 2021, CC, MPAA rating: R, 109 min., Action Suspense, US box office gross: $7.307 million, worldwide $7.900 million, Lionsgate. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Code, 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo + Digital Code, VOD, Digital. Read more here.
(2021) The intimate and emotional true story of an Oregonian father who pays tribute to his gay teenage son Jadin, embarking on a self-reflective walk across America to speak his heart to heartland citizens about the real and terrifying costs of bullying. Vitals: Director: Reinaldo Marcus Green. Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Reid Miller, Connie Briton, Gary Sinise. 2021, CC, MPAA rating: R, 93 min., Drama, US box office gross: $1.369 million, worldwide $1.369 million, Vertical Entertainment. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray, VOD, Digital. Read more here.
This Week’s Best Bets:
In “Corridor of Mirrors” (1948), starring Edana Romney, Eric Portman, Barbara Mullen and Christopher Lee, Portman plays an artist obsessed with the past. He surrounds himself with Renaissance artwork, infatuated with the notion that he and his lover (Romney) are reincarnations of the lovers in a centuries-old painting. Portman’s delusions have deadly consequences. One of the most unusual British films of the 1940s, “Corridor of Mirrors” incorporates aspects of gothic horror, film noir, melodrama, fantasy, romance and thrillers. The first feature by director Terence Young (“Dr. No,” “Wait Until Dark”), it was heavily influenced by Jean Cocteau’s “Beauty and the Beast” and David Lean’s “Brief Encounter”, and includes the feature film debut of Christopher Lee. In a new digital restoration on DVD and Blu-ray from Cohen Film Collection … From the makers of “Daimajin” comes “Yokai Monsters Collection,” a trilogy of terror ripped from the pages of Japanese folklore, with ghosts and monsters from ancient myths and legends brought to life through stunning special effects, alongside an epic, big-budget reboot of the series from a modern-day master of the macabre, now available together on Blu-ray for the first time. In the first film in the trilogy, “100 Monsters” (1968), a greedy slumlord’s attempts to forcefully evict his tenants invite the wrath of the titular spirits when a cleansing ritual is botched, with terrifying results. The second film, “Spook Warfare” (1968) tells the tale of an evil Babylonian vampire inadvertently awakened by treasure hunters, and a brave samurai that teams with the yokai to defeat the bloodthirsty demon. In the final film, “Along With Ghosts” (1969) (released only 12 months after “100 Monsters”), the yokai are roused to defend a young girl on the run from deadly yakuza. Decades later, none other than Takashi Miike (“Audition”) helmed “The Great Yokai War” (2005), a loose remake of “Spook Warfare” that used cutting-edge digital effects to renew the franchise for a new generation. In it, a young boy is given a grave responsibility: to band together with a group of yokai to defend humanity against a vengeful and powerful demon that has sworn retribution against modern-day Japan. Three-disc set with high definition (1080p) Blu-ray presentations of all four films. From Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment … In her breathtaking and assured debut feature “Ratcatcher” (1999), Lynne Ramsay creates a haunting evocation of a troubled Glasgow childhood. Set during Scotland’s national garbage strike of the mid-1970s, “Ratcatcher” explores the experiences of a poor adolescent boy as he struggles to reconcile his dreams and his guilt with the abjection that surrounds him. Utilizing beautiful, elusive imagery, candid performances, and unexpected humor, Ramsay deftly contrasts urban decay with a rich interior landscape of hope and perseverance, resulting in a work at once raw and deeply poetic. On Blu-ray, with a new 4K digital restoration, supervised by director Lynne Ramsay and cinematographer Alwin Küchler, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. From The Criterion Collection … Originally released in 1921 at the height of the nation’s appetite for motion pictures, the epic romantic drama “The Sheik” (1921) became a massive sensation, breaking box office records and earning over $1 million during its first year of release. 100 years later, Paramount Pictures celebrates this towering classic of the silent film era with a brand-new Blu-ray release, arriving as part of the Paramount Presents line. Based on the best-selling novel of the same name, “The Sheik” was directed by George Melford and stars the legendary Rudolph Valentino as the title character. The role helped propel Valentino into stardom and sealed his status as a Hollywood heartthrob — and the original “Latin Lover” — at the age of 26. Valentino is Ahmed Ben Hassan, a charming Arabian sheik who becomes infatuated with the adventurous, modern-thinking Englishwoman Lady Diana Mayo, played by Agnes Ayres. When the sheik abducts Lady Diana, the two clash, but ultimately profess their love for one another in this quintessential “desert romance” that effectively capitalized on the popularity of the genre. On Blu-ray + Digital … Existentialism goes pop in “The Incredible Shrinking Man” (1957), a benchmark of atomic-age science fiction, a superlative adaptation of a novel by the legendary Richard Matheson that has awed and unnerved generations of viewers with the question, What is humanity’s place amid the infinity of the universe? Six months after being exposed to a mysterious radiation cloud, suburban everyman Scott Carey (Grant Williams) finds himself becoming smaller … and smaller … and smaller — until he’s left to fend for himself in a world in which ordinary cats, mousetraps, and spiders pose a mortal threat, all while grappling with a diminishing sense of himself. Directed by the prolific creature-feature impresario Jack Arnold with ingenious optical effects and a transcendent metaphysical ending, “The Incredible Shrinking Man” gazes with wonder and trepidation into the unknowable vastness of the cosmic void. On DVD, Blu-ray, with new 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. From The Criterion Collection.
From TV to Disc:
“Smallville: The Complete Series” (2001-11) is a 42-disc set with all 218 episodes along with over 28 hours of bonus features from all 10 incredible seasons. On Blu-ray from Warner … “Superman & Lois: The Complete First Season” (2021) is a three-disc set with extended versions of all 15 episodes. After years of facing super-villains, monsters, and alien invaders intent on wiping out the human race, one of the world’s greatest super heroes (Tyler Hoechlin) and comic books’ most famous journalist (Elizabeth Tulloch) come face to face with one of their greatest challenges ever – dealing with all the stress, pressures and complexities that come with being working parents. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Warner.
Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:
In “Badland Doves” (2021), starring Jessica Y. Martin, Sandy Penny, Michelle Nuquay and Elizabeth Selby, when masked men burst into the Silva family’s cabin in the Old West, gunning them all down as they sit at their dinner table, their daughter Regina is the only survivor of the grisly attack. Learning how to handle a gun, Regina hits the trail to seek justice, but when she takes a job at a brothel where a prostitute has recently been brutally murdered, she realizes they are seeking the same man, Pete Chalmers. However, the town is run by Pete’s father … and the local sheriff and town leaders are not only refusing to help but protecting him. Along with the madam, Victoria, and the other ladies of the house, Cora and Ekta, these women are out for revenge and they’re up to the fight. From Green Apple Entertainment … “Injustice” (2021) is a new DC animated movie inspired by the popular game and graphic novel “Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year One.” “Injustice” finds an alternate world gone mad – where The Joker has duped Superman into killing Lois Lane, sending the Man of Steel on a deadly rampage. Unhinged, Superman decides to take control of the Earth for humanity’s own good. Determined to stop him, Batman creates a team of like-minded, freedom-fighting heroes. But when Super Heroes go to war, can the world survive? On Blu-ray, 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo, from Warner … “Fear PHarm 2” (2021), starring Tiana Tuttle, John Littlefield and Aimee Stolte, picks up where “Fear PHarm” left off. After fighting for her life within a corn field maze and trying to outrun a number of murderous psychos, Melanie (Tuttle) has regained consciousness to discover that she is now being held hostage by the Walker family, so they can continue to harvest her skin for their breakthrough skin care cream. Business is booming for the Walkers and Melanie soon finds that she’s not alone. Dozens of others are being held captive for their skin, as the family has plans to grow the business internationally. With one failed escape attempt under her belt, Melanie must once again fight for the opportunity to survive. From Indican Pictures. Read more here … In “The Survivalist” (2021), starring John Malkovich, Rhys Meyers, Ruby Modine and Jenna Leigh Green, after a viral pandemic decimates the world, a survivalist is forced to take on a group of heavily armed religious fanatics who believe that he is harboring a woman who could be the key to ending the virus and repopulating the world. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Quiver Distribution … If love is in the form of a circle, what lines would you cross to be with your soulmate? In the near-future love story “Needle in a Timestack” (2021), starring Leslie Odom Jr, Cynthia Erivo, Orlando Bloom, Freida Pinto and Jadyn Wong, Nick and Janine (Odom, Jr. and Erivo) live in marital bliss, until Janine’s ex-husband (Bloom) warps time to try to tear them apart using Nick’s college girlfriend (Pinto). As Nick’s memories and reality disappear, he must decide what he’s willing to sacrifice in order to hold onto — or let go of — everything he loves. Can love endure in a future where time is fluid, and all of life may be just an illusion? On DVD, Blu-ray, from Lionsgate. Read more here … In his American feature-film debut “Mad Love” (1935) Peter Lorre turns in one of his creepiest performances as a renowned plastic surgeon whose sadistic obsession with an actress drives him over the edge of sanity. Dr. Gogol (Lorre) is in love with Yvonne Orlac (Francis Drake), an actress whose appearance in a Grand Guignol-like horror theater has mesmerized him. She quits the theater to travel with her concert pianist husband, Stephen (Colin Clive), enraging Gogol. But when Stephen’s hands are crushed in a train accident, Yvonne turns to Gogol as a last resort. Motivated by sadistic intentions, Gogol secretly replaces Stephen’s hands with those of a guillotined murderer, hoping that the operation will send Yvonne rushing into his arms as the murderer’s hands take on a life of their own. In a Blu-ray debut from Warner Archive … “Demons & Demons 2” (1986) is regarded by horror fans as two of the greatest Italian horror films ever made, Lamberto Bava’s “Demons” films are not only major cinematic nightmare fuel, but also hugely entertaining splatterfests of the highest order. Synapse’s 2013 Blu-rays remain two of their most popular releases, and now they’re bringing these favorites to 4K UHD and remastered Blu-ray in brand-new spectacular 4K restorations. In Demons, a masked man offers tickets to a horror movie sneak preview at the mysterious Metropol cinema. When a patron is scratched by a prop displayed in the theatre lobby, she transforms into a flesh-ripping demon. One by one, the audience members mutate into horrible creatures hell-bent on destroying the world. Can anyone escape this gory orgy of terror? In 1986’s ambitious sequel “Demons 2,” the apocalyptic terror continues. A televised horror film spells doom for the residents of a luxury high-rise apartment, as demons are unleashed through the TV screen at a young girl’s birthday party. As more and more residents are infected and transformed into blood-thirsty demons, a young couple fights to survive as they try to escape Hell on Earth. Two versions of the film: the full-length original cut in English and Italian, and the shorter U.S. version featuring alternate dubbing and sound effects. On Blu-ray, 4K Ultra HD, from Synapse Films … The low-budger horror film “Frankenstein’s Daughter” (1958), starring John Ashley, Sandra Knight, Donald Murphy and Sally Todd, finds Dr. Oliver Frank (Murphy) carrying on the legacy of his late grandfather, the notorious Dr. Frankenstein, by building his own hulking beast with the transplanted brain of a beautiful, young woman. Bringing a fresh twist to Frankenstein films, “Frankenstein’s Daughter” takes place in “modern” Los Angeles, where — despite news reports of a female monster menacing the neighborhood — nothing stops the local sun-soaked teenagers from partying poolside. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Cinedigm/The Film Detective … “No Man of God” (2021), starring Elijah Wood, Luke Kirby, Aleksa Palladino and Robert Patrick, takes yet another look at serial killer Ted Bundy. In 1980 he was sentenced to death by electrocution and in the years that followed, he agreed to disclose the details of his crimes, but only to one man. During the early days of the agency’s criminal profiling unit, FBI analyst Bill Hagmaier met with the incarcerated Ted Bundy in the hopes of understanding the psychology of the serial killer and providing closure for the victim’s families. As Hagmaier delves into Bundy’s dark and twisted mind, a strange and complicated relationship develops that neither man expected. Based on actual transcripts of interviews between FBI analyst Bill Hagmaier and Bundy. On DVD, Blu-ray, from RLJE Films.