From the Big Screen:
Let Him Go
(2020) After their life is set off course following the tragic loss of their son, retired sheriff George Blackledge (Kevin Costner) and his wife Margaret (Diane Lane) leave their Montana ranch on a mission through the North Dakota desert to rescue their young grandson from a dangerous family living off the grid. Navigating tragedy and tumult, the couple soon discover that the Weboy family, a deep-rooted local clan led by ruthless matriarch Blanche (Lesley Manville) has no intention of letting the child go, forcing George and Margaret to ask how far they will go to fight for their family. Explores the strengths of family ties, the bittersweet and brutal cost of vengeance and the true stakes of heroism set against an iconic American backdrop. Vitals: Director: Thomas Bezucha. Stars: Diane Lane, Kevin Costner, Lesley Manville, Jeffrey Donovan, Connor Mackay. CC, MPAA rating: R, 113 min., Action Thriller, Box office gross: $9.358 million, Universal. Formats: DVD, DVD/Blu-ray combo with digital code, VOD, Digital. Read more here.
Wild Mountain Thyme
(2020) The headstrong farmer Rosemary Muldoon (Emily Blunt) has her heart set on winning her neighbor Anthony Reilly’s love. The problem is Anthony (Jamie Dornan) seems to have inherited a family curse, and remains oblivious to his beautiful admirer. Stung by his father Tony Reilly’s (Christopher Walken) plans to sell the family farm to his American nephew (Jon Hamm), Anthony is jolted into pursuing his dreams in this comedic, romantic tale. From John Patrick Shanley, who created the classic “Moonstruck.” Vitals: Director:. Stars: Emily Blunt, Jamie Dornan, Jon Hamm, Dearbhla Malloy, Christopher Walken. 2020, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 102 min., Roamnace, Box office gross: $.213 million, Universal. Formats: DVD, VOD, Digital. Read more here.
Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:
The “Host” (2020), starring Haley Bishop, Radina Drandova, Jemma Moore, Caroline Ward, Emma Louise Webb and Edward Linard, was shot remotely during quarantine and features groundbreaking scares, stunts, and surprises, all filmed by the actors in their own homes. Six friends hire a medium to conduct a séance during lockdown for their weekly Zoom call. Jemma decides to pull a prank and makes up a story about a boy she knew in high school who hanged himself. By doing this, Jemma inadvertently invites a demonic presence to cross over. Soon the friends begin noticing strange occurrences in their homes as the evil spirit begins to make itself known, and they all realize this night may be their last. On DVD, Blu-ray, from RLJE Films … With a couple’s impending wedding as the backdrop, “Love, Weddings & Other Disasters” (2020), starring Diane Keaton, Jeremy Irons, Maggie Grace, Andrew Bachelor and Diego Boneta, weaves multiple storylines as it follows the search for love by a colorful group of characters including: an inexperienced wedding planner (Grace) nicknamed “The Wedding”; a fussy celebrity caterer (Irons); his blind date (Keaton); and a tour-bus guide (Bachelor) looking for his Cinderella. Their lives and loves intersect in this universally panned(with a 4 rating at Rotten Tomatoes) celluloid misadventure. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Lionsgate … “100 Days to Live” (2020), starring Colin Eggesfield, Gideon Emery, Heidi Johanningmeier, Yancey Arias and Chris Johnson, is a thriller that follows a woman who grapples with her inner demons by running a suicide support group in Chicago. But when her fiancé is kidnapped by a known murderer, she must race against the clock to discover the identity of the killer, and more importantly – his motive. Read more here. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Cinedigm … “Tesla” (2020), starring Ethan Hawke, Eve Hewson, Eli A. Smith, Josh Hamilton, Lucy Walters, Luna Jokic and Kyle MacLachlan, is a freewheeling take on visionary inventor Nikola Tesla, his interactions with Thomas Edison and J.P. Morgan’s daughter Anne, and his breakthroughs in transmitting electrical power and light. On DVD, Blu-ray, from IFC Films.
On the Indie Front:
“I’ll See You Around” (2019), starring Lucas Monroe, Roger Guenveur Smith, Maria Wilson, Darlene Monroe, Lazifa Gurbanova, Zanura Monroe and Kenji Monroe, explores a day in Lucas’s life, a 30-year-old African-American man living in Ithaca, New York, who is trying to finish his degree at community college. After discovering that his older brother, Kenji, who has just been released from jail, may be responsible for stealing his laptop to buy drugs, Lucas embarks on an emotional journey to learn how to cope with betrayal and dangerous blood ties. Lucas navigates his relationships with his mother, child’s mother, and Ivy League girlfriend while most importantly striving to be a good father to his daughter. Will he be able to reconcile with those he loves, or will his troubled past destroy his chances? Read more here. From Breaking Glass Pictures.
“Peggy Lee: Things Are Swingin’” (2020): Peggy Lee was a performer without peer —- a singer, songwriter, actress and artist who spanned genres and generations with music that remains vital and captivating. Sultry and swinging, Peggy’s biggest hits are featured here: “Fever,” “I’m A Woman,” “Alright, Okay You Win,” “Lover,” “Big Spender,” “It’s A Good Day” and the Grammy Award-winning “Is That All There Is.” This special collection of Peggy’s television appearances also offers an enticing variety of more favorites as well as duets with Johnny Cash, Petula Clark, Steve Lawrence & Eydie Gorme, a featurette with Michael Feinstein and a salute from Paul McCarty. Read more here. From API Media … Delving into a century of genre films that by turns utilized, caricatured, exploited, sidelined, and finally embraced them, “Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror” (2019) traces the untold history of Black Americans in Hollywood through their connection to the horror genre. Adapting Robin Means Coleman’s seminal book “Horror Ire: Blacks in American Horror Films from the 1890s to Present,” the documentary presents the living and the dead, using new and archival interviews from scholars and creators, from the voices who survived the genre’s past trends to those shaping its future. Features Tony Todd (“Candyman”), Rachel True (“The Craft”), Ernest Dickerson (“Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight,” “The Walking Dead”), Rusty Cundieff (“Tales from the Hood,” “Chappelle’s Show”), Tina Mabry (“Mississippi Damned,” “Queen of the South”), Paula Jai Parker (“Hustle & Flow”) and Tananarive Due (“The Twilight Zone”) On DVD, Blu-ray. from RLJE 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.