Quantcast
"The movie business is macabre. Grotesque.
It is a combination of a football game
and a brothel."
-- Federico Fellini
Sep 172021
 

“Candyman,” the sequel to the 1992 horror thriller about a murderous soul with a hook for a hand who is accidentally summoned to reality by a skeptic grad student researching the monster’s myth, will head home on VOD on September 17 via all the usual suspects (Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Vudu, Youtube, Redbox, and a host of cable carriers). Continue reading »

 Posted by on September 17, 2021 No Responses »
Sep 122021
 

From the Big Screen:

Black Widow

photo for Black Widow (2021) Natasha Romanoff – aka Black Widow – confronts the darker parts of her ledger when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past arises. Pursued by a force that will stop at nothing to bring her down, Natasha must deal with her history as a spy and the broken relationships left in her wake long before she became an Avenger. Scarlett Johansson reprises her role as Natasha/Black Widow, Florence Pugh stars as Yelena, David Harbour portrays Alexei/The Red Guardian and Rachel Weisz is Melina. The first film in Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Vitals: Director: Cate Shortland. Stars: Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh, Rachel Weisz, David Harbour, Ray Winstone, O-T Fagbenle, William Hurt. 2019, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 133 min., Action Adventure, US box office gross: $154.825 million, worldwide $314.925 million, Disney. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Code, 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo + Digital Code, VOD, Digital. Extras: Bloopers, nine deleted scenes, filmmaker introduction featurette, “Sisters Gonna Work It Out” featurette, “Go Big If You’re Going Home” featurette. Read more here. 3 stars

The Boss Baby: Family Business

photo for The Boss Baby: Family Business (2021) In the sequel to DreamWorks Animation’s Oscar-nominated “The Boss Baby” (2017), the Templeton brothers — Tim and his Boss Baby little bro Ted — have become adults and drifted away from each other. Enter new boss baby Tina with a cutting-edge approach and can-do attitude that is determined to bring them together again … and inspire a new family business. Vitals: Director: Tom McGrath. Stars: Voices of Alec Baldwin, James Marsden, Amy Sedaris, Ariana Greenblatt, Jeff Goldblum, Eva Longoria, James McGrath, Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow. 2021, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 107 min., Animated Family, US box office gross: $56.519 million, worldwide $92.445 million, DreamWorks/Universal. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Code, 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo + Digital Code, VOD, Digital. Extras: New original animated short “Precious Templeton: A Pony Tale”; gag reel; deleted scene; “Never Grow Up: The Big Babies Behind The Boss Baby: Family Business” behind-the-lens featurette; “Together We Stand Lyric Video”; “Roll Call” featurette on the voices behind the babies; “Creative Experiment Lab – Schools in Session!” on how to become a scientist in your own home (Potato Power, Volcano to Go, Plastic Fantastic); “Boss Baby Art Class: How to Draw”; commentary with director/exec. producer Tom McGrath, producer Jeff Hermann and production designer Raymond Zibach. Read more here. 2 stars

This Week’s Best Bets:

“Mona Lisa” (1986), the brilliant breakthrough film by writer-director Neil Jordan, journeys into the dark heart of the London underworld to weave a gripping, noir-infused love story. Bob Hoskins received a multitude of honors — including an Oscar nomination — for his touchingly vulnerable, not-so-tough-guy portrayal of George, recently released from prison and hired by a sinister mob boss (Michael Caine) to chauffeur call girl Simone (Cathy Tyson, photo for Mona Lisain a celebrated performance) between high-paying clients. George’s fascination with the elegant, enigmatic Simone leads him on a dangerous quest through the city’s underbelly, where love is a weakness to be exploited and betrayed. Jordan’s colorful dialogue and eye for evocatively surreal details lend a dreamlike sheen to” Mona Lisa,” an unconventionally romantic tale of damaged people searching for tenderness in an unforgiving world. On Blu-ray, with 2K digital restoration, supervised by director Neil Jordan and director of photography Roger Pratt, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack. From The Criterion Collection … Based on Stephen King’s novella “Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption,” the inspiring drama “The Shawshank Redemption” (1994), directed by Frank Darabont and starring Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton and William Sadler, tells the story of Andy Dufresne (Robbins), a prominent banker unjustly convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment at Maine’s Shawshank Prison. He is befriended by longtime convict Red (Freeman) who’s been in long enough to know the ropes and helps him cope with the frightening realities of prison life. As the two men grow closer, so does the sense of hope that can truly set them free. On 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo + Digital Code, from Warner. Read more here.

From TV to Disc:

“Magnum P.I.: Season Three” (2020-21) is a five-disc set with all 16 episodes of the remake of the 1980 series. Here, Magnum is an ex-Navy SEAL who returns from Afghanistan and uses his military skills to become a private investigator in Hawaii. He lives in a guest cottage on Robin’s Nest, the luxurious estate where he works as a security consultant to supplement his P.I. business. The “majordomo” of the property is Juliet Higgins, a beautiful and commanding disavowed MI:6 agent whose second job is to keep Magnum in line. From CBS/Paramount … “Mare of Easttown: An HBO Original Limited Series” (2021) is a two-disc set with all seven episodes. Both a critical and ratings hit, “Mare of Easttown” is one of only two series in HBO’s history to enjoy week over week growth culminating in a finale episode that was watched by nearly 3 million viewers, setting a record. Kate Winslet stars as Mare Sheehan, a respected small-town Pennsylvania detective investigating a local murder while also balancing her own personal life, which is rapidly falling apart around her. Also stars Julianne Nicholson, Jean Smart, Angourie Rice, Evan Peters, Guy Pearce. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Warner.

Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:

In “Catch the Bullet” (2021), starring Jay Pickett, Gattlin Griffith, Mason McNulty, Cody Jones, Callder Griffith, Peter Facinelli and Tom Skerritt, Britt MacMasters (Pickett), a U.S. Marshal, returns from a mission to find his father (Skerritt) wounded and his son, Chad, kidnapped by the outlaw Jed Blake. Hot on their trail, Britt forms a posse with a gunslinging deputy and a stoic Pawnee tracker. But both Jed and Britt tread dangerously close to the Red Desert’s Sioux territory, which poses a menace far greater than either can imagine. On DVD, Blu-ray, , from Lionsgate. Read more herephoto for Crazy Fist In “Crazy Fist” (2021 — China), starring Steve Yoo, Wang Wei, Collin Chou, Xiaoming Huang and Wei Zha, after an opponent dies mid-match, a prominent MMA champion swears never to fight again, instead retiring to run his family’s international business. But when his best friend dies under suspicious circumstances during another tournament, he has no choice but to step back in the ring to help uncover the truth. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Well Go USA … In “Censor” (2021) starring Niamh Algar, Michael Smiley and Nicholas Burns, Enid (Algar), a film censor, takes pride in her meticulous work, guarding unsuspecting audiences against the deleterious effects of watching the gore-filled decapitations and eye-gouging she pores over. Her sense of duty to protect is amplified by guilt over her inability to recall details of the long-ago disappearance of her sister, recently declared dead in absentia. When Enid is assigned to review a disturbing film from the archive that echoes her hazy childhood memories, she begins to unravel how this eerie work might be tied to her past. From Magnolia Home Entertainment/Magnet Label. Read more here“Zola” (2021), starring Taylour Paige, Riley Keough, Nicholas Braun and Ari’el Stachel, is based on the viral 148-tweet Twitter thread from Detroit waitress A’Ziah “Zola” King about her wild road trip to Florida. Zola is seduced into a weekend of partying in Florida, and her trip turns into a wild saga involving a pimp, an idiot boyfriend, and Tampa’s finest strip clubs. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Lionsgate … photo for The Influencer “The Influencer” (2021), starring Kasia Szarek and Shantell Yasmine Abeydeera, is a social media satire thriller. Abbie Rose is a popular social-media influencer known for her lifestyle, fashion and makeup videos. One night she signs a coveted contract with Nutrocon, a notorious cosmetic company known to pollute, test on animals and treat female workers unfairly. Immediately, she’s taken down and tied up in her home by a group of masked activists. Overnight, they force Abbie through the filming of a video, advertising a mysterious new makeup kit. As the hacker’s plan unfolds, we learn the real reason for their visit and as Abbie’s facade fades we learn more about the lies she’s been living. From Breaking Glass Pictures. Read more here“Alone in the Dark” (1982), starring Jack Palance, Martin Landau, Donald Pleasence and Dwight Schultz, makes its Blu-ray debut this week. At a secluded mental institution, electricity fuels the asylum’s hi-tech security system that keeps the nearby neighborhoods safe from menaces like Frank Hawkes (Palance) and “Preacher” (Landau). Dr. Bain (Pleasence) maintains strict order while a new doctor, Dan Potter (Schultz), arrives in town with his family. But the inmates don’t take kindly to Potter’s presence and believe he has killed off their former therapist. Suddenly, a power outage leaves the town in chaos … and now the maniacs are free to roam the streets and hunt down the man they believe has invaded their lives. New 2K scan of the interpositive. From Scream Factory.

Foreign Films:

photo for Dead Pigs “Dead Pigs” (2018 — China), starring Vivian Wu, Yang Haoyu, Li Meng, Mason Lee and David Rysdahl, is based on remarkable true events and is a bitingly humorous social satire about the trials and tribulations connecting a disparate group of characters in the midst of a baffling nationwide mystery. Shifting between Shanghai and the neighboring provincial town of Jiaxing, the film centers on the intersecting stories of five characters, whose loose connections begin to fatefully intertwine: a down-on-his-luck pig farmer; a feisty home-owner defending her property; a lovestruck busboy; a rudderless rich girl; and an American expat pursuing the Chinese Dream. Their fates converge and collide as thousands of dead pigs are found floating down the Huangpu River. Directed by Cathy Yan (“Birds of Prey”). From Film Movement … In “The Fan” (1982 — Germany), starring Désirée Nosbusch, Bodo Steiger, Simone Brahmann and Jonas Vischer, teenager Simone appears to be like any other young pop fan. But soon her fixation on a band’s lead singer, R, takes over her life. Simone walks out of school, breaks off with her friends and parents and somehow finds herself waiting for her idol as he appears on a TV show. When she sees him in the flesh she is speechless; he reaches out to touch her. Overcome with emotion, Simone faints; with that first touch, R’s fate is sealed. Simone discovers the carefully styled world of which R is just another product, and she plans the ultimate sacrifice of her god on the altar of her madness, a ceremony as exalted and romantic as it is horribly wonderful. Uncut. On Blu-ray from Mondo Macabro.

For the Family:

In “Straight Outta Nowhere: Scooby-Doo Meets Courage The Cowardly Dog” (2021), two of animation’s most lovable canines team up in a brand-new, full-length animated family film. Comedy is unleashed when Scooby-Doo, your favorite mystery-solving mutt, teams up for the first time with Courage the Cowardly Dog. The canine colleagues sniff out a strange object in the middle of Nowhere, Kansas, the backwoods hometown of Courage and his owners, Eustace and Muriel Bagge. Soon, the mysterious discovery puts them on the trail of a giant cicada monster and her wacky winged warriors. Fred, Velma, Daphne and Shaggy know that this job is too big for a flyswatter. They’ll need the help of the doggy duo to piece together the puzzle. Can Scooby and Courage overcome their jitters and defeat the insect army before the whole world bugs out? From Warner.

Special Interest:

“Skinwalker: The Howl of the Rougarou” (2021): Do real werewolves exist? In the American south legends tell of encounters with a creature that stalks the swamps and bayous. A creature who was here long before the immigrants who settled the region. An ancient evil called the Rougarou. Legends tell of a cannibal tribe of shapeshifters who retreated deep into the forests where they slowly lost touch with their humanity. A tribe who went on to become something far darker: skinwalkers. Now, nearly 400 years since the legend of the Rougarou first began to circulate, people are encountering the creature once again. Small Town Monsters and director Seth Breedlove peel back the curtain on this unheralded beast in their latest documentary. From 1091 Pictures. Read more herephoto for Eli Roth's History of Horror Season 2 “Eli Roth’s History of Horror Season 2” (2021): Award-winning horror film director, writer, producer and actor Eli Roth further explores the dark power and wicked fun of scary movies, the craft that went into making them and the ways that horror films reflect the anxieties of their times. Covering horror themes including Houses of Hell, Monsters, Witches and Chilling Children, Season 2 features interviews with Stephen King, Quentin Tarantino, Bill Hader, Greg Nicotero, Piper Laurie, Nancy Allen, Slash, Rob Zombie and more. On DVD, Blu-ray, from RLJE Films … “The Human Factor” (2021): With unprecedented access to the foremost American negotiators, this documentary is the behind-the-scenes story from the last 25 years of how the United States came within reach of pulling of­ the impossible — securing peace between Israel and its neighbors. Today, the need to learn from past mistakes couldn’t be more urgent. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Sony.

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 12, 2021 No Responses »
Sep 052021
 

This Week’s Best Bets:

“The Soul of the Midnight Special” (2021) is a 10-disc set with 130 live uncut performances from Burt Sugarman’s 90-minute program “The Midnight Special,” which began on NBC February 2, 1973 and ran until May 1, 1981 and photo for The Soul of the Midnight Special followed the Friday night edition of “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.” Artists include Earth, Wind & Fire, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight and The Pips, Al Green, Chaka Khan, Patti LaBelle, The O’Jays, Teddy Pendergrass, Spinners, The Stylistics, Bill Withers, and many more. Includes a bonus DVD: “The Midnight Special Presents Marvin Gaye In Concert From The Atlantic Stadium,” a rare, historic live concert performance filmed exclusively for “The Midnight Special” in 1974. From Time Life. Read more here … Italian exploitation icon Joe D’Amato’s outrageous and rarely seen “mondo” movie meltdown “Crazy Nights (aka Follie di notte)” (1978 — Italy) is one of the strangest snapshots of the disco era you’ll ever see. The legendary and controversial performer Amanda Lear appears here as herself, singing her signature dance floor hit “Follow Me” while D’Amato’s camera uses her as an entry point into the glamorous, eccentric, often depraved annals of Rome’s after hours nightclub scene. But that’s only scratching the surface. The film photo for Crazy Nights then meanders – in true “mondo” fashion – all over the world, filling the screen with strippers, sex and ritualistic absurdity, all set to the beat of Lear’s sultry cabaret pop sound. Lear – who famously dated David Bowie, was the cover girl for many Roxy Music records and long served as Salvador Dali’s lover and muse – was at the peak of her popularity when she signed on to the film. Originally pitched as a musical centered around her fame called “Follow Me”, Lear believed the movie to be incomplete until – to her shock – it turned up in Italian theaters under the name “Follie di notte.” Horrified to discover that she had been tricked into starring in a full-blown exploitation film, Lear sued the producers, one of many reasons the film has lapsed into virtual obscurity. This delirious and decidedly adult pseudo-documentary is presented in its fully uncut edit, remastered from the original negative. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Full Moon Features.

From TV to Disc:

“Dangerous Assignment: The Complete Series” (1952) is a three-disc set with all 39 episodes. U.S. Government Agent Steve Mitchell travels the globe investigating cases of espionage, sabotage and threats to National Security. Starring Brian Donlevy as the character he originated on NBC Radio and Herb Butterfield as “The Commissioner,” this set includes all 39 episodes of the action-packed TV series from the 1950s. From MPI Media Group … “Frankie Drake Mysteries: The Complete Fourth Season” (2021) is a three-disc set with all 10 episodes. Season Four opens with intrepid detectives Frankie Drake (Lauren Lee Smith) and Trudy Clarke (Chantel Riley) and their best gal pals, Mary Shaw (Rebecca Liddiard) and Flo Chakowitz (Sharron Matthews), traipsing through the woods on a scavenger hunt that quickly turns deadly. On DVD, Blu-ray, from PBS Distribution … “Seal Team: Season Four” (2020-21) is a five-disc set with all 16 episodes of the military drama that follows the professional and personal lives of the most elite unit of Navy SEALs as they train, plan and execute the most dangerous, high-stakes missions our country can ask of them. From CBS/Paramount … “Young Sheldon: The Complete Fourth Season” (2020-21) is a two-disc set with all 18 episodes. The adventure continues with Sheldon Cooper (from “The Big Bang Theory”) as the young genius grows up. For young Sheldon Cooper, being a once-in-a-generation mind capable of advanced mathematics and science isn’t always helpful in East Texas. And while the vulnerable, gifted and somewhat naïve Sheldon deals with the world, his very normal family must find a way to deal with him. Now as Sheldon graduates high school and embarks on his college career, a whole new chapter begins. From Warner.

Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:

Three years after director Zack Snyder had to step away from 2017’s “Justice League” in post-production, the studio heeded the online clamor from cast, crew, and fans for a version truer to his vision … and Snyder returned to helm a $70 million restoration project, “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” (2021), offering extensive, newly-shot additional material along with photo for Zack Snyders Justice League previously excised footage for an epic-length director’s cut. In this sequel to 2016’s “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice,” Batman (Ben Affleck) and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) recruit fellow heroes Aquaman (Jason Momoa), the Flash (Ezra Miller), Cyborg (Ray Fisher), and a resurrected Superman (Henry Cavill) to prevent alien soldier Steppenwolf (a motion-captured Ciarán Hinds) from using three powerful and ancient devices called Mother Boxes to reshape the Earth. On DVD, Blu-ray, 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo, from Warner. Read more here … In “SLAXX” (2021), starring Romane Denis, Brett Donahue, Sehar Bhojani and Stephen Bogaert, a possessed pair of jeans is brought to life to punish the unscrupulous practices of a trendy clothing company. Shipped to the company’s flagship store, the killer jeans proceed to wreak carnage on staff who are locked in overnight to set up the new collection. From RLJE Films. Read more herephoto for A Life at Stake Special Edition “A Life at Stake Special Edition” (1955) stars Angela Lansbury, Keith Andes, Douglass Dumbrille, Claudia Barrett and Jane Darwell in a lost independent production from the waning golden years of film noir. Spoiled, young Doris Hillman (Lansbury) invites struggling architect Edward Shaw (Andes) to be her husband’s partner in a lucrative real estate deal. However, when Edward becomes romantically involved with Doris, he learns that something deadly is going on. There’s a life at stake … and it could be his own. 4K transfer from archival film elements. On DVD, Blu-ray, from The Film Detective/Cinedigm. Read more here … In “Escape From Area 51” (2020), starring Donna D’Errico, Chris Browning and Anouk Samuel, when a group of teenage conspiracy theorists try to raid the infamous military base, Area 51, in the Nevada desert, no one gets in – but someone gets out. Sheera (D’Errico), a sexy alien warrior, uses a power glitch to escape from captivity at Area 51. Her escape using a portal gun sets off an energy signature which attracts the attention of her arch-rival in space, Sklarr (Browning). Sheera must now elude an Area 51 scientist, as well as Sklarr, to rescue her fellow warrior and find her way back to her planet. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Cleopatra Entertainment … photo for Higher Ed In “Higher Ed” (2001), Ed Green (Pras), at the ripe age of 19, is a dismal failure. He has resigned himself to smoking and selling Marijuana for the psychotic local drug dealer Sadico, until Sadico’s sister pins her pregnancy on Ed and Sadico vows to kill him. Hearing of this, Ed decides to skip town, unsure of where to go and hide. As a last act of desperation, Ed decides to enroll at a local University and hide out by taking classes and living on campus. Unfortunately, Ed is assigned dorm room 420, with roommate “Bud” Carter (Aries Spears). Bud quickly becomes a negative influence on Ed, who falls back into his old ways. But the Mexican Gang has picked up on Ed’s trail, sending goons to register as students on the same campus to find him. From Lightyear Entertainment … In “The Gateway” (2021), starring Shea Whigham, Olivia Munn, Frank Grillo, Bruce Dern, Taryn Manning, Mark Boone Junior and Keith David, Parker, a down-on-his-luck social worker, finds himself in over his head when he tries to protect his client from her recently paroled husband. Can Parker save the family from the violent threat of the maniacal drug dealer and his crew, desperate to reclaim their priceless stash at any cost? On DVD, Blu-ray, from Lionsgate … photo for The Return of Swamp Thing In “The Return of Swamp Thing” (1989), everyone’s favorite muck-encrusted plant-man falls in love with Dr. Arcane’s sexy daughter and must rescue her from her father’s nefarious and murderous plans. Heather Locklear stars as the vegetarian plant-lover in this superhero comic book adaptation. Also starring Louis Jourdan, Dick Durock, and Sarah Douglas. With elaborate mutant creatures designed by the legendary Carl Fullerton. With new 2K high-definition transfer and original 2.0 and 5.1 stereo audio. From Lightyear Entertainment … In “Great White” (2021), starring Katrina Bowden, Aaron Jakubenko, Kimie Tsukakoshi, Tim Kano and Te Kohe Tuhaka, a blissful tourist trip turns into a nightmare for five passengers when their seaplane goes down near a shipwreck. Stranded miles from shore in an inflatable life raft, they find themselves in a desperate fight for survival as they try to make it to land before they either run out of supplies or are taken by a menacing pack of sharks lurking just beneath the surface. On DVD, Blu-ray, from RLJE Films.

For the Family:

In “PBS Kids: 15 Girl Power Adventures” (2021), viewers join the girls of PBS Kids for 15 stories all about confidence, courage and why it’s cool to be unique. In “Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum,” the kids travel back in time and learn all about voting from Susan B. Anthony. From PBS Distribution

Special Interest:

“Elstree 1976” (2015) is a fascinating documentary that goes behind the scenes of one of the most iconic film series of all time: “Star Wars.” The actors and extras who played aliens, stormtroopers, rebels and even Darth Vader in George Lucas’s photo for Elstree 1976 “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope” reminisce about their time on set and how making the Sci-Fi classic affected their lives and careers, for better or for worse. On Blu-ray from Filmrise … In the documentary “Harry & Snowman” (2015), Dutch immigrant Harry DeLeyer journeys to the United States after World War II and develops a transformative relationship with a broken down Amish plow horse he rescued off a slaughter truck that was bound for the glue factory. Harry paid eighty dollars for the horse and named him Snowman. In less than two years, Harry & Snowman went on to win the triple crown of show jumping, beating the nation’s top pedigree horses and wealthiest socialites. They became famous and traveled around the world together. Their chance meeting at a Pennsylvania horse auction saved them both and crafted a friendship that lasted a lifetime. Eighty-six year old Harry tells their Cinderella love story firsthand, as he continues to train on today’s show jumping circuit. On Blu-ray from Filmrise.

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, 2021 No Responses »
Aug 302021
 

From the Big Screen:

Spirit Untamed

photo for Spirit Untamed (2021) An animated story of adventure, family and friendship. Free-spirited Lucky Prescott moves to Miradero to join her estranged father, but she’s decidedly unimpressed with the sleepy town until she discovers a unique tie to her late mother who was a fearless horse-riding stunt performer. She quickly forms a bond with a wild mustang named Spirit and makes two new pals who love horses as much as she does. When a heartless wrangler plans to capture Spirit and his herd, Lucky and her friends set off on a journey to rescue the horse who has given her an unbreakable connection to her mother’s legacy. Vitals: Director: Elaine Bogan. Stars: Voices of Isabela Merced, Marsai Martin, Eiza González, Mckenna Grace, Walter Goggins, Andre Braugher, Julianne Moore, Jake Gyllenhaal. 2021, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 88 min., Animated Family, US box office gross: $17.635 million, worldwide $38.571 million, DreamWorks/Universal. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Code, VOD, Digital. Extras: Deleted and extended scenes; “Finding Your Spirit” cast and filmmaker featurette; “Behind the Voices – The Cast”; “Cowgirls Rule”; “Drawing Spirit – Spirit Untamed”; “Create Your Own Indoor ‘Campfire'” using crepe paper and LED lights; “How to Ukelele”; “Snack Time – S’mores”; “Abigail’s Hand Shadow Secrets”; “How To Zoetrope”; sing-alongs; commentary with director Elaine Bogan, co-director Ennio Torresan, and producer Karen Foster. Read more here. 2 stars

In the Heights

photo for In the Heights (2021) Usnavi, a Dominican bodega owner in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City, longs for a nearby salon worker and fantasizes about a lavish return to the beaches of his homeland. Usnavi’s childhood friend, Nina, a local success story, is back from her first year in college harboring a secret. Over the course of three days and through song, the residents of The Heights come together to move forward with a renewed sense of what it means to call a place “home.” Based on the musical stage play by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Vitals: Director: Jon M. Chu. Stars: Anthony Ramos, Corey Hawkins, Leslie Grace, Melissa Barrera, Olga Merediz, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Gregory Diaz IV, Stephanie Beatriz, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Dascha Polanco, Jimmy Smits, Ariana Greenblatt, Marc Anthony. 2021, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 143 min., Musical, US box office gross: $28.828 million, worldwide $39.528 million, Warners. Formats: DVD + Digital Code, Blu-ray + Digital Code, 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo + Digital Code, VOD, Digital.
Read more here. 2 stars

12 Mighty Orphans

photo for 12 Mighty Orphans (2021) The true story of the Mighty Mites, the football team of a Fort Worth orphanage who, during the Great Depression, went from playing without shoes or even a football to playing for the Texas state championships. Over the course of their winning season these underdogs and their resilient spirit became an inspiration to their city, state, and an entire nation in need of a rebound, even catching the attention of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The architect of their success was Rusty Russell, a legendary high school coach who shocked his colleagues by giving up a privileged position so he could teach and coach at an orphanage. Few knew Rusty’s secret: that he himself was an orphan. Recognizing that his scrawny players couldn’t beat the other teams with brawn, Rusty developed innovative strategies that would come to define modern football. Vitals: Director: Ty Roberts. Stars: Luke Wilson, Vinessa Shaw, Wayne Knight, Jake Austin Walker, Jacob Lofland, Levi Dylan, Robert Duvall, Martin Sheen. 2021, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 118 min., Drama, US box office gross: $3.238 million, worldwide $3.238 million, Sony. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray, VOD, Digital. Extras: Deleted scenes. Read more here. 2 stars

This Week’s Best Bets:

The nightmare of war is seen through the eyes of one of its most tragic casualties — a child soldier — in this harrowing vision of innocence lost from Cary Joji Fukunaga. Based on the acclaimed novel by Uzodinma Iweala, “Beasts of No Nation” (2015) unfolds in an unnamed, civil-photo for Beasts of No Nation war-torn West African country, where the young Agu (Abraham Attah, in a haunting debut performance) witnesses carnage in his village before falling captive to a band of rebel soldiers led by a ruthless commander (an explosive Idris Elba), who molds the boy into a hardened killer. Fukunaga’s relentlessly roving camera work and stunning visuals — realism so intensely visceral it borders on the surreal — immerse the viewer in a world of unimaginable horror without ever losing sight of the powerful human story at its center. On DVD, Blu-ray, with 2K digital master, approved by director Cary Joji Fukunaga, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray. From The Criterion Collection … “Three Men to Kill: Two Newly Restored Films By Jacques Deray” includes The Gang (1977 — France): In 1945, as World War II comes to a close, five small time crooks unite to form a gang lead by the charismatic Alain Delon. After several bold robberies they become notorious as “the front-wheel drive gang.” The police attempt to stop their crime spree with little success, but how long will their luck last? Three Men to Kill (1980 — France): In this Gritty, violent and suspenseful thriller, Delon plays Gerfaut who comes to the aid of a man laying wounded in the road, not knowing the man has taken two bullets to the belly. Soon he becomes the target for the killers, who see him as a dangerous witness. But Gerfaut has been around the block a couple of times and he won’t be so easily eliminated. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Cohen Film Collection … “Dune [Limited Edition}” (1984): Following a notorious aborted attempt by Alejandro Jodorowsky in the 1970s, Frank Herbert’s bestselling sci-fi epic “Dune” finally made it to the big screen as the third film by emerging surrealist wunderkind David Lynch, featuring an all-star cast that includes several of Lynch’s regular collaborators. The year is 10,191, and four planets photo for Dune [Limited Edition} are embroiled in a secret plot to wrest control of the Spice Melange, the most precious substance in the universe and found only on the planet Arrakis. A feud between two powerful dynasties, House Atreides and House Harkonnen, is manipulated from afar by ruling powers that conspire to keep their grip on the spice. As the two families clash on Arrakis, Duke Atreides’ son Paul (Kyle MacLachlan, in his screen debut) finds himself at the center of an intergalactic war and an ancient prophecy that could change the galaxy forever. Though its initial reception ensured that Lynch largely eschewed mainstream filmmaking for the rest of his career, “Dune” has since been rightly re-evaluated as one of the most startlingly original and visionary science fiction films of the 1980s. Its astonishing production design and visual effects can now be appreciated anew in this spellbinding 4K restoration, accompanied by hours of comprehensive bonus features. Brand new 4K restoration from the original camera negative. 60-page perfect-bound book featuring new writing on the film by Andrew Nette, Christian McCrea and Charlie Brigden; large fold-out double-sided poster featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Dániel Taylor; six double-sided, postcard-sized lobby card reproductions; limited edition packaging with reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Dániel Taylor; commentaries; featurettes; interviews. On 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray from Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment. Read more here … Screen legend Vincent Price gives a masterful performance in this post-apocalyptic sci-fi chiller, “The Last Man on Earth” (1964), the first and most faithful adaptation of Richard Matheson’s classic novel “I Am Legend.” A plague envelops the earth, decimating the population and leaving one man still alive: scientist Robert Morgan (Price), who exhibits a strange immunity to the deadly disease. The rest of the earth’s people slowly turn into bloodsucking vampires and Morgan must use all of his knowledge to survive their onslaught. Directed by Sidney Salkow, this seminal classic influenced the creation of “Night of the Living Dead” plus countless imitations. On Blu-ray from Kino Lorber Studio Classics … A small rural town and a family of outsiders, both trapped in the demonic grip of … “The Brotherhood of Satan” (1971). Recently widowed Ben, his glamorous girlfriend Nicky and his small daughter K.T. are on a road trip across the Southwest, which comes to a screeching halt when they witness an accident. Heading to the nearby isolated desert town of Hillsboro to report it to the Sheriff (L.Q. Jones), they are met with a hostile reaction from the locals, who are gripped by paranoia and fear due to a series of gruesome photo for The Brotherhood of Satan deaths, as well as the mysterious disappearance of 11 of the community’s children. As the bodies continue to pile up around them, Ben and his family find themselves joining the sheriff, a local priest and the town’s enigmatic physician Doc Duncan (Strother Martin) in the midst of a mystery that points towards a deadly satanic cult. Produced by Alvy Moore and L.Q. Jones, a veteran character actor best known for his work with Sam Peckinpah, “The Brotherhood of Satan” is an atmospheric and chilling tale of terror that provides a crucial missing link between “Rosemary’s Baby” (1968) and “The Devil’s Rain” (1975) in the cycle of turn-of-the-seventies shockers involving sinister devil-worshipping cults lurking within the dark shadows of modern-day America. On Blu-ray from Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment. Read more here.

From TV to Disc:

“Blue Bloods: The Eleventh Season” (2020-21) is a four-disc set with all 11 episodes of the series that follows the Reagans, an Irish-American Catholic family in New York City with a history of work in law enforcement. Starring Tom Selleck as NYC Police Commissioner Frank Reagan, the cast also includes Donnie Wahlberg, Bridget Moynahan, Will Estes, and Len Cariou. Shot on location in New photo for NCIS: New Orleans: The Final Season York City. From CBS/Paramount … “Fear the Walking Dead Season 6” (2020-21) is a four-disc set with all 16 episodes. After being torn apart by the Pioneers, Morgan’s (Lennie James) group is now dispersed across their far-reaching settlements, with life behind the Pioneers’ walls testing each of the group’s members in different ways — and forcing them to define who they really are in this new world. As Morgan’s bid to free the remaining members of the group grows bolder, Virginia’s (Colby Minifie) desperation to find her sister accelerates, as does her need to protect the settlements from the enemy forces outside…and within. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Lionsgare … “NCIS: New Orleans: The Final Season” (2020-21) is a four-disc set with all 16 episodes of the seventh and final season. This season finds Pride (Scott Bakula) and the team fighting for justice in their beloved city as New Orleans grapples with the effects of COVID-19. Pride, seeing how the pandemic has overwhelmed the system, finds creative ways to help his neighbors with the assistance of Rita Devereaux (Chelsea Field), and is asked by the Mayor to be a part of a special task force assigned to help make actual change in their city. Meanwhile Wade (CCH Pounder) is overwhelmed by the high volume in the morgue due to the disease, and Tammy (Vanessa Ferlito) and Carter (Charles Michael Davis) investigate a suspicious death aboard a humanitarian ship offshore, where they learn that some crew members are infected with the deadly virus. From CBS/Paramount.

Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:

In “Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms” (2021), the fate of the universe once again hangs in the balance as warriors come together for one final clash in this all-new, feature-length animated film. This episode picks up shortly after the explosive finale of “Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge”; here the team of heroes are besieged by the enemy forces of Shao Kahn — forcing Raiden and his group of warriors into a deal to compete in a final Mortal Kombat that will determine the fate of the realms. Now the heroes must travel to Outworld in order to defend Earthrealm and, simultaneously, Scorpion must find the ancient Kamidogu before it’s used to resurrect the One Being – which would mean certain destruction of all things in photo for Bugsy Malone the universe. From Warner … Acclaimed director Alan Parker redefined the movie musical with his first feature-length film, “Bugsy Malone” (1976), which celebrates its 45th anniversary this year. Available for the first time in the U.S. on Blu-ray, the film has been remastered from the original elements for this limited-edition release. The Blu-ray includes a new Filmmaker Focus delving into this early work from the director of “Fame,” “The Commitments,” “Pink Floyd: The Wall,” “Mississippi Burning” and “Evita.” Set in 1929 New York City, the film captures a flashy world of would-be hoodlums, showgirls, and dreamers — all portrayed by child actors. As Tallulah, the sassy girlfriend of the owner of Fat Sam’s Grand Slam Speakeasy, future superstar Jodie Foster leads a talented cast. Parker’s sharp script, combined with the music and lyrics of Paul Williams, makes for an irresistible satire that’s truly one-of-a-kind. The limited-edition Paramount Presents Blu-rays come in collectible packaging featuring a foldout image of each film’s theatrical poster and an interior spread with key movie moments. Each disc also includes access to a digital copy of the film. From Paramount.

On the Indie Front:

The LGBTQ family drama “A Wake” (2021), starring Noah Urrea, Kolton Stewart, Sofia Rosinsky and Megan Trout, follows a religious family as they gather to mourn the loss of one of their own, resulting in a clash between the children and parents, and revelations that will shake them all to their cores. From Breaking Glass Pictures. Read more here

Foreign Films:

From one of France’s most prolific and versatile filmmakers, François Ozon (“Potiche,” “Frantz,” “Swimming Pool”), comes “Summer of 85” (2020 — France), an acclaimed reverie on first love and the impassioned influence it holds over those who experience it. It’s based on the landmark 1982 LGBT young adult novel “Dance on My Grave” by British author Aidan Chambers. When Alexis (Félix Lefebvre) capsizes off the coast of Normandy, David (Benjamin Voisin) comes to the rescue and soon opens the younger boy’s eyes to a new horizon of friendship, art and sexual bliss. David’s worldly demeanor and Jewish heritage deliver a jolt to Alexis’s traditional, working class upbringing. Their relationship is soon rocked by a host of challenges, including an unexpected sexual rival (Philippine Velge) and a romantic oath that transcends life itself. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Music Box Films.

Special Interest:

Millions fill stadiums across the world for the sound of Serj Tankian, the Grammy-winning lead singer of System of a Down. With exclusive interviews, adventures, and original footage personally filmed by Serj, the documentary “Truth to Power” (2021) allows audiences backstage access to an international rock star whose faith in music not only revolutionized heavy metal, but also world events. Throughout his life, the musician has pursued social justice, harnessing the power of his songs and celebrity for real political change. Serj’s voice is equally likely to take on American corporate greed as lambast the corrupt regime of his homeland. His decades-long campaign for formal U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide was finally approved by Congress in 2019. Governments hate him. People love him. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Oscilloscope Laboratories.

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 August 30, 2021 No Responses »
Aug 222021
 

From the Big Screen:

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

photo for The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It A chilling story of terror, murder and unknown evil that shocked even experienced real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. One of the most sensational cases from their files, it starts with a fight for the soul of a young boy. After a cop stumbles upon a dazed and bloodied young man walking down the road, the suspect is accused of murder and claims demonic possession as his defense, forcing the Warrens into a supernatural inquiry unlike anything they’ve ever seen before. Vitals: Director: Michael Chaves. Stars: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Ruairi O’Connor, Sarah Catherine Hook, Julian Hilliard. 2021, CC, MPAA rating: R, 112 min., Horror, US box office gross: $63.177 million, worldwide $175.177 million, Warner. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray + Digital Code, 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo, VOD, Digital. Extras: “By Reason of Demonic Possession” in-depth look at the true story that inspired the movie. Blu-ray adds “The Occultist” featurette; “Exorcism of Fear” behind-the-scenes; “DC Horror Presents The Conjuring: The Lover #1” video comic that takes you deeper into the Conjuring Universe. Read more here. 2 stars

Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway

photo for Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway (2021) In this live action/CGI sequel, the lovable rogue is back. Bea, Thomas, and the rabbits have created a makeshift family, but despite his best efforts, Peter can’t seem to shake his mischievous reputation. Adventuring out of the garden, Peter finds himself in a world where his mischief is appreciated, but when his family risks everything to come looking for him, Peter must figure out what kind of bunny he wants to be. Vitals: Director: Will Gluck. Stars: Rose Byrne, Domhnall Gleeson, David Oyelowo, Elizabeth Debicki, Margot Robbie, James Corden. 2019, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 93 min., Family, US box office gross: $39.297 million, worldwide $145.297 million, Sony. Formats: DVD + Digital Code, Blu-ray + Digital Code, 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo, VOD, Digital. Extras: “Bunnies, Baddies, and the Big City: The Making of Peter Rabbit 2,” “Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle’s Wee Little Kitchen,” “Bea’s Crafting Corner: DIY Bunny Bookmarks,” “Bea’s Crafting Corner: Create Your Own Woodland Terrarium.” Read more here. 3 stars

This Week’s Best Bets:

“The Clockmaker of St. Paul” (1974 — France) is the debut feature of legendary director Bertrand Tavernier. Adapted from Georges Simenon’s novel “The Watchmaker of Everton” (1954), it stars Philippe Noiret as the unassuming title character, a man who begins to reexamine his life when his son is wanted for murder. Asked for help by the police inspector (Jean Rochefort), he realizes how little he knew about his son, and begins to seek out the truth hidden behind his family’s walls. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Kino Classics … photo for The Cat O' Nine Tails Following the success of his debut feature, “The Bird with the Crystal Plumage,” distributor Titanus tasked writer-director Dario Argento with delivering a follow-up in short order. The resulting film, “The Cat O’ Nine Tails” (1971), was granted a greatly enhanced budget and heralded in its US marketing campaign as “nine times more suspenseful” than its predecessor. When a break-in occurs at a secretive genetics institute, blind puzzle-maker Franco Arnò (Karl Malden), who overheard an attempt to blackmail one of the institute’s scientists shortly before the robbery, teams up with intrepid reporter Carlo Giordani (James Franciscus) to crack the case. But before long the bodies begin to pile up and the two amateur sleuths find their own lives imperiled in their search for the truth. And worse still, Lori (Cinzia De Carolis), Franco’s young niece, may also be in killer’s sights. This second entry in the so-called “Animal Trilogy” found Argento further refining his distinctive style and cementing his reputation as the master of the giallo thriller. Featuring a nerve-jangling score by the great Ennio Morricone, “The Cat O’ Nine Tails” remains one of Argento’s most suspenseful and underrated films. New 4K restoration. On 4K Ultra HD from Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment. Read more herephoto for Ashes and Diamonds BLU-RAY DEBUT A milestone of Polish cinema, the electrifying international sensation by Andre Wadja, “Ashes and Diamonds” (1958 — Poland) — the final film in his celebrated war trilogy — entwines the story of one man’s moral crisis with the fate of a nation. In a small Polish town on the final day of World War II, Mace (the coolly charismatic Zbigniew Cybulski), a fighter in the underground anti-Communist resistance movement, has orders to assassinate an incoming commissar. But when he meets and falls for a young barmaid (Ewa Krzyzewska), he begins to question his commitment to a cause that requires him to risk his life. “Ashes and Diamonds’” lustrous monochrome cinematography — wreathed in shadows, smoke, and fog — and spectacularly choreographed set pieces lend a breathtaking visual dynamism to this urgent, incendiary vision of a country at a crossroads in its struggle for self-determination. In a Blu-ray debut, with new 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack, from The Criterion Collection … photo for Blind Beast “Blind Beast” (1969 — Japan) is a grotesque portrait of the bizarre relationship between a blind sculptor and his captive muse, adapted from a short story from Japan’s foremost master of the macabre, Edogawa Rampo. An artist’s model, Aki (Mako Midori), is abducted, and awakens in a dark warehouse studio whose walls are decorated with outsized women’s body parts — eyes, lips, legs and breasts — and dominated by two recumbent giant statues of male and female nudes. Her kidnapper introduces himself as Michio (Eiji Funakoshi), a blind sculptor whom she had witnessed previously at an exhibition in which she featured intently caressing a statue of her naked torso. Michio announces his intention of using her to sculpt the perfect female form. At first defiant, she eventually succumbs to his intense fixation on her body and finds herself drawn into his sightless world, in which touch is everything. “Blind Beast” is a masterpiece of erotic horror that explores the all-encompassing and overwhelming relationship between the artist and his art and the obsessive closed world that the artist inhabits, with maestro director Yasuzo Masumura (“Giants and Toys,” “Irezumi”) conjuring up a hallucinogenic dreamworld in which sensual and creative urges combine with a feverish intensity. On Blu-ray from Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment. Read more here.

From TV to Disc:

“NCIS: Los Angeles: The Twelfth Season” (2020-21) is a five-disc DVD set with all 18 episodes. The 12th season finds Callen (Chris O’Donnell) and Sam (LL Cool J) continuing to take on dangerous, vital cases with international ties, while working to find balance as they each try to maintain new and blossoming relationships. From CBS/Paramount.

Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:

In “The Fatal Raid” (2019 — Hong Kong), starring Jade Leung, Patrick Tam, Min-Chen Lin, Jeana Ho and Michael Ton, two elite police teams head up a secret operation following a dangerous smuggling ring across the Macau border, but when their presence is discovered, the mission ends in a deadly firefight. Twenty photo for The Fatal Raidyears later, an escort mission brings the survivors back to the scene of the tragedy — and fosters a highly unwelcome reunion. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Well Go USA … In “Evil Dead Trap” (1988 — Japan), starring Miyuki Ono, Aya Katsuragi and Hitomi Kobayashi, a TV station employee takes a camera crew out to an abandoned factory to investigate a purported snuff film that was made there, only to end up running for her life. On Blu-ray, with a new 4K scan restoration, from Unearthed Films. Read more here. … From subversive Spanish writer/director Eloy de la Iglesia comes the international hit and DPP 39 Video Nasty “The Cannibal Man” (1972 — Spain), starring Vicente Parra, Emma Cohen and Eusebio Poncela, that remains among the most notorious and misunderstood shockers of the 70s. When a slaughterhouse worker accidentally kills a man during a fight, it photo for The Cannibal Man triggers a desperate descent into madness and mass murder. Also known as “The Apartment on the 13th Floor” and “Week of the Killer.” Features both the International and extended Spanish Version newly scanned from the original negatives for the first time ever. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Severin Films … In “Habit” (2021), starring Bella Thorne, Gavin Rossdale, Paris Jackson, Josie Ho and Andreja Pejic, LA party girl Mads (Thorne) gets a gig running drugs for Eric, a washed-up Hollywood star. When their cash gets stolen and Eric is slain by a rival drug lord, Mads and her two sexy BFFs hide out by dressing up as nuns. But in spite of their costumes, these bad girls are no angels. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Lionsgate. Read more here … In the chilling tale of alien terror “The Dark” (1979), starring William Devane, Cathy Lee Crosby, Richard Jaeckel, Keenan Wynn, Casey Kasem and photo for The Dark: Collector's Edition Jacquelyn Hyde, a writer (Devane) takes a personal interest in a series of baffling, shocking murders in Los Angeles … and evidence suggests the suspect may not be human. Every night “The Mangler” stalks the streets, attacking and mutilating random victims. On the creature’s trail is TV reporter Zoe Owens (Crosby) and police detective Dave Mooney (Jaeckel), but the truth behind the murders is far more strange and horrifying than they could ever imagine. In a Collector’s Edition DVD and Blu-ray from MVD Visual … In the sci-fi thriller“Jurassic Hunt” (2021), starring Courtney Loggins, Ruben Pla, Tarkan Dospil and Joston Theney, female adventurer Parker joins a crew of male trophy hunters in a remote wilderness park. Their goal: slaughter genetically recreated dinosaurs for sport using rifles, arrows, and grenades. After their guide is killed by raptors, the team tries to escape the park – but the hunters quickly become the hunted. Even worse, the park’s manager suspects Parker of being a spy and sends a hit squad after her. From Lionsgate. Read more here … In photo for One Dark Night: Collector's Edition “One Dark Night” (1982), starring Meg Tilly, Melissa Newman, E.G. Daily and Adam West, world renowned psychic Raymar is found dead after announcing that he had uncovered the secret of how to become even more powerful in death by the use of telekinetic powers. At the same time, two high school girls plan an initiation night for their friend Julie (Tilly), who is determined to shed her “goody goody” image. Her test is to spend the night locked in the crypt – the same one that Raymar has been buried in that very day. The crypt soon becomes a battlefield of horror. In a Collector’s Edition DVD and Blu-ray, from MVD Visual … Based on true events, “Lansky” (2021), starring Sam Worthington, Harvey Keitel, AnnaSophia Robb, Minka Kelly and Jackie Cruz, centers on notorious gangster Meyer Lansky. It follows an aging Lansky living in anonymity in Miami after being pursued for decades by the FBI. When he enlists a journalist named David Stone to tell his story, the Feds use him as a pawn to track down the millions of dollars that photo for Overboard Lansky has been suspected of stashing. Stone finds himself caught in the middle of a game of cat and mouse, as he eventually uncovers the hidden truth about the life of the notorious boss of Murder Inc. and the National Crime Syndicate. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Lionsgate … In “Overboard” (1987), directed by Garry Marshall and starring Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell, Edward Herrmann, Katherine Helmond and Roddy McDowall, a cruel but beautiful heiress mocks and cheats a hired carpenter to do some work on her yacht. When she gets amnesia after accidentally falling overboard, he decides to introduce her to regular life by convincing her they’re husband and wife — in the process getting a mother for his four kids and a free housekeeper. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Severin Films.

Foreign Films:

In “Funhouse” (2019 — Sweden), starring Valter Skarsgård, Gigi Saul Guerrero, Khamisa Wilsher, Christopher Gerard and Karolina Benefield, down-and-out backup singer and celebrity ex-husband Kasper is invited to compete in the Funhouse, an online “Big Brother” style reality show. In an attempt to rebrand his image due to a tarnished reputation, Kasper reluctantly accepts the offer. Alongside seven other C-list celebrities from around the globe, he competes for a 5 million dollar prize. At first, the Funhouse is just as the name suggests, full of wild times, budding friendships, love connections, and brewing rivalries. But, to everyone’s surprise, the fun quickly turns into misery when the first challenge leaves one of the contestants brutally murdered. From Magnet/Magnolia Home Entertainment. Read more here.

For the Family:

In “Dreambuilders” (2020 — Denmark), Minna’s life is turned upside-down when her dad’s new fiancée and her daughter move in. Her new stepsister, Jenny, turns out to be horrible and photo for DreambuildersMinna is very frustrated. One night, Minna discovers a world behind her dreams, where the whimsical dreambuilders create every fantasy and nightmare we endure nightly on their theater stages. Minna also finds out how to manipulate Jenny’s dreams. But interfering with dreams has dire consequences … and when Minna goes too far one night, Jenny can’t wake up anymore. Minna must enter the dream world one more time to face the nightmare she has created in order to save Jenny and her new family. Animated feature. On DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo, from Shout! Kids. Read more here.

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 August 22, 2021 No Responses »
Aug 152021
 

From the Big Screen:

Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard

photo for Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard The world’s most lethal odd couple – bodyguard Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) and hitman Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) – are back on another life-threatening mission. Still unlicensed and under scrutiny, Bryce is forced into action by Darius’s even more volatile wife, the infamous international con artist Sonia Kincaid (Salma Hayek). As Bryce is driven over the edge by his two most dangerous protectees, the trio get in over their heads in a global plot and soon find that they are all that stand between Europe and a vengeful and powerful madman (Antonio Banderas). Joining in the fun and deadly mayhem is Morgan Freeman as … well, you’ll have to see. Vitals: Director: Patrick Hughes. Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Salma Hayek, Antonio Banderas, and Morgan Freeman, Frank Grillo, Caroline Goodall, Rebecca Front, Gabriella Wright, Alice McMillan, Kristofer Kamiyasu, Tom Hopper, Blake Ritson, Richard E. Grant. 2021, CC, MPAA rating: R, 100 min., Action Comedy, US box office gross: $33.409 million, worldwide $55.265 million, Lionsgate. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Code, 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo, VOD, Digital. “Ryan, Sam, Salma: One F’d Up Family” featurette, “Gone Soft: The New Michael Bryce” featurette, “Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard: #stuntlife” featurette, “On the Set of Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard” featurette, Gag reel, theatrical trailers. Read more here. 3 stars

This Week’s Best Bets:

The holy grail “Original Cast Album: ‘Company'” (1970) for both documentary and theater aficionados offers a tantalizingly rare glimpse behind the Broadway curtain. In 1970, right after the triumphant premiere of Stephen Sondheim’s groundbreaking concept musical “Company”, the renowned composer and lyricist, his director Harold Prince, the show’s stars, and a large photo for Original Cast Album: 'Company' pit orchestra all went into a Manhattan recording studio as part of a time-honored Broadway tradition: the recording of the original cast album. What ensued was a marathon session in which, with the pressures of posterity and the coolly exacting Sondheim’s perfectionism hanging over them, all involved pushed themselves to the limit — including theater legend Elaine Stritch, who fought anxiety and exhaustion to record her iconic rendition of “The Ladies Who Lunch.” With thrilling immediacy, legendary filmmaker D. A. Pennebaker offers an up-close view of the larger-than-life personalities, frayed-nerve energy, and explosive creative intensity that go into capturing the magic of live performance. On DVD, Blu-ray, with new, restored 4K digital transfer, supervised by Chris Hegedus and Nate Pennebaker, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. From The Criterion Collection.

From TV to Disc:

“A Discovery of Witches Season 2” (2021) is a two-disc set with all 10 episodes of the series based on the “All Souls” trilogy by Deborah Harkness. After narrowly escaping the Congregation of vampires, witches, and daemons, Diana and Matthew are hiding in time in the fascinating and treacherous world of Elizabethan London. Here, they must find a powerful witch teacher to help Diana control her magic and search for the elusive Book of Life. On DVD, Blu-ray, from RLJE Films … “NCIS: The Eighteenth Season” (2020-21) is a four-disc set with all 18 episodes of the series originally conceived as a spinoff of the American legal drama “JAG.” “NCIS” has evolved into a major television franchise spread across three different series. Following a fictional team of special agents known as the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, the show combines elements of police procedural dramas with military drama to create incredibly engaging episodes. From CBS/Paramount.

Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:

In “Notorious Nick” (2021), starring Cody Christian, Barry Livingston, Kevin Pollak and Elisabeth Röhm, even though he was born with a partial left arm, Nick Newell (Christian) dreams of being a fighter. After wrestling in high school, Nick becomes a fierce competitor when his best friend, Abi, introduces him to mixed martial arts. Suddenly, a tragedy provides Nick with an unexpected opportunity, but to succeed he must commit to becoming the fighter he always hoped to be. From Lionsgate. Read more here … In “Fast Vengeance” (2021), starring D.Y. Sao, Natalie Burn, Bai Ling, DMX and Jeff Fahey, upon hearing of his brother’s death, Shen returns to his old stomping grounds to find the men responsible and take justice into his own hands. He learns that a biker named Cobra and his ferocious gang, The Midnight Squad, were the ones responsible … but to get anywhere close to them, he must enter the dark, turbulent realm of underground motorcycle racing. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Shout! Studios. Read more herephoto for The Water Man In the fantasy adventure “The Water Man” (2021), starring David Oyelowo, Rosario Dawson, Lonnie Chavis, Amiah Miller, Alfred Molina and Maria Bello, Gunner (Chavis) sets out on a quest to save his ill mother (Dawson) by searching for a mythic figure who possesses the secret to immortality, the Water Man. After enlisting the help of a mysterious local girl, Jo (Miller), they journey together into the remote Wild Horse forest — but the deeper they venture, the stranger and more dangerous the forest becomes. Their only hope for rescue is Gunner’s father (Oyelowo), who will stop at nothing to find them. On DVD, Blu-ray, from RLJE Films … “After the End” (2021), starring Alex Frnka, Justin Hall and Dot-Marie Jones, is a suspenseful story of life after a viral pandemic. After years on his own in a post-pandemic Oklahoma, a 17 year-old doomsday prepper meets a pregnant girl who brings companionship, but also the danger of a gun-wielding group of survivors hellbent on building a new world. From Shout! Studios. Read more here … When Mia, a social media star, becomes the target of an online terror campaign in “Shook” (2021), starring Daisye Tutor, Emily Goss, Nicola Posener, Mythica Series and Octavius J. Johnson, she’s forced to solve a series of games to prevent people she cares about from getting murdered. But is it real? Or is it just a game at her expense? From RLJE Films … photo for Riders of Justice The actioner “Riders of Justice” (2021), starring Mads Mikkelsen, Nikolaj Lie Kaas and Andrea Heick Gadeberg, follows recently-deployed Markus (Mikkelsen), who is forced to return home to care for his teenage daughter after his wife is killed in a tragic train accident. But, when a survivor of the wrecked train surfaces claiming foul play, Markus begins to suspect his wife was murdered and embarks on a mission to find those responsible. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Magnolia Home Entertainment … In “Stay Out of the Attic” (2020), starring Ryan Francis, Morgan Alexandria, Bryce Fernelius and Michael Flynn, a diverse group of ex-cons-turned-professional-movers are convinced by their creepy client to pull an all-nighter for a generous pay bump. It turns out their client is a Nazi surgeon, and his living experiments are rotting in the attic. As the night progresses and rooms are cleared, they slowly uncover the horrors that exist inside his old Victorian mansion. Together, they must find a way to escape the house of horrors. On DVD, Blu-ray, from RLJE Films … “Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat” (2019), starring David Carradine, Bruce Campbell, Maxwell Caulfield, Morgan Brittany, M. Emmet Walsh and John Ireland makes its Blu-ray debut this week. The road to Purgatory is paved with good intentions, and Count Mardulak (Carradine) wouldn’t have it any other way. He’s seeking atonement for centuries of human carnage, which is why he’s instructed Purgatory’s vampire residents to slather on SPF 100 sunblock, pursue daytime activities … and drink only synthetic blood. But some vampires don’t agree with Mardulak — they want the real thing — and if that means wooden bullets flying in a vampire civil war, so be it, in this wild horror-comedy. From Vestron Video Collector’s Series/Lionsgate … In “Rogue Hostage” (2021), starring Tyrese Gibson, John Malkovich, Michael Jai White, Chris Backus and Holly Taylor, single father and former Marine Kyle Snowden (Gibson) must save his daughter and other hostages from a dangerous criminal who has trapped them inside a neighborhood store owned by Kyle’s polarizing stepfather, Congressman Sam Nelson (Malkovich). On DVD, Blu-ray, from Lionsgate.

Foreign Films:

Set in present day Ghana, “Nakom” (2017 — Ghana), starring Jacob Ayanaba, follows Iddrisu, a talented medical student who is summoned home by his sister after their father’s sudden death. Iddrisu reluctantly returns home to the village of Nakom, buries his father and temporarily assumes the head of the impoverished household and farm, inheriting not only the photo for Nakomdelicate task of planting a successful crop but also a debt left by the deceased patriarch that could destroy the family. Attempting to maintain part of his studies from the confines of a small hut, Iddrisu becomes increasingly frustrated with the incessant physical and emotional needs of those around him, the demanding toil of the land and lack of rain. From Corinth Films … In “Little Q” (2019 — China), starring Simon Yam, Little Q, a yellow lab with a curious birthmark, is training to become a guide dog for the blind. When his training is complete, Little Q is sent to help Lee Bo Ting, a famous, recently blinded chef. Irritable and bitter, Bo Ting is at first reluctant to rely on Little Q and even tries to drive him away several times. But through his loyalty, Little Q eventually teaches Bo Ting how to trust again, opening him up to a new life of wonderful possibilities. On Blu-ray from Well Go USA … photo for Midnight Diner In “Midnight Diner” (2019 — China), starring Tony Leung Ka-Fai, Deng Chao, Eddie Peng and Vision Wei, a small, counter-only restaurant, open daily from midnight to 7, is lovingly helmed by its mysterious owner and chef, a quiet enigma who provides no menu yet can make any dish the customer desires. Year after year, people flock from far and wide to the mysterious Midnight Diner to share their stories, savor delicious home cooking, and finally, to leave refreshed, feeling equally full and ready for their next adventure. On Blu-ray from Well Go USA.

Special Interest:

Do you remember sharing your feelings with someone through a “mix tape?” “Analog Love: The (Long Lost) Art of the Mixtape “ (2021) is a joyful look at why this ritual of communication through music still continues to be so meaningful. The insights of Henry Rollins, Money Mark (Beastie Boys), Kim Shattuck (The Muffs), Jennifer Finch (L7), Jimmy Urine (Mindless Self Indulgence), Chantal Claret, Jude “Rude Jude” Angelini, Zernell Gillie (Grimy!), Monalisa Murray, Christian James Hand (The Session) and many more, get to the bottom of the long-lost art of the mix tape. On Blu-ray from Passion River. Read more here.

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 August 15, 2021 No Responses »

 
 Posted by on February 22, 2018 Comments Off on
OnVideo News via Email

Get our free new-release newsletter every week in your inbox:

Subscribe to our weekly new-release newsletter. Join here.

Want more? Keep up-to-date with OnVideo's Breaking News, sent straight into your email box. Subscribe here.

Subscribe to OnVideo's Email News