Waitress: The Musical
(2023) The Tony-nominated Broadway hit comes to the big screen. Composer-lyricist Sara Bareilles is Jenna Hunterson, a waitress and expert pie maker stuck in a small town and a loveless marriage. When a baking contest offers her a chance at escape, Jenna fights to reclaim part of herself. “Waitress” celebrates the power of friendship, dreams, the family we choose and the beauty of a well-baked pie. Based on the 2007 film starring Keri Russell. Vitals: Directors: Diane PaulusBrett Sullivan. Stars: Sara Bareilles, Dakin Matthews, Christopher Fitzgerald, Eric Anderson, Molly Jobe, Joe Tippett. CC, MPAA rating: NR, 144 min., Musical Drama, North American box office gross: $5.402 million, worldwide $5.402 million, Decal Releasing. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray, VOD, Digital.
This Week’s Best Bet
“McCabe & Mrs. Miller” (1971), the unorthodox dream western by Robert Altman, may be the most radically beautiful film to come out of the New American Cinema. It stars Warren Beatty and Julie Christie as two newcomers to the raw Pacific Northwest mining town of Presbyterian Church, who join forces to provide the miners with a superior kind of whorehouse experience. The appearance of representatives for a powerful mining company with interests of its own, however, threatens to be the undoing of their plans. With its fascinating, flawed characters, evocative cinematography by the great Vilmos Zsigmond, innovative overlapping dialogue, and haunting use of Leonard Cohen songs, “McCabe & Mrs. Miller” brilliantly deglamorized and revitalized the most American of genres. On 4K UHD + Blu-ray combo, with 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack. One 4K UHD disc of the film and one Blu-ray with the film and special features. Read more here. From The Criterion Collection.
Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:
In “BloodRayne” (2004), starring Kristanna Loken, Ben Kingsley, Michelle Rodriguez and Michael Madsen, Rayne is a dhampir – a human-vampire hybrid – enslaved by a malevolent traveling circus. When she eventually breaks free of her servitude, Rayne vows to confront her immensely powerful vampire father, Kagan, for abandoning her. But when Rayne learns of her father’s long history of betrayal and vindictiveness, Rayne’s daring quest turns into a fight for her life. A cutting-edge 4K scan sourced from the original negatives, enhanced by a fresh director-Uwe Boll-approved HDR color-grade, and presented in its authentic 2.35:1 aspect ratio—the same immersive format in which the film was originally showcased theatrically. Now restored for the first time on home video. Unrated home video cut of the film. On Blu-ray/4K UHD from Massacre Video … In “Funeral Home” (1980), young and easily frightened 16-year-old Heather (Lesleh Donaldson) is called to stay with her grandmother in the hopes of helping her turn an old funeral home into a bed-and-breakfast. But strange happenings and unexplained murders around the home quickly makes this vacation spot a “dead-and-breakfast” – with no answers in sight as to who or what is causing all the death. It is up to Heather to investigate all the eerie and creepy corners of the former funeral home to unlock a decades old secret – but will she survive to solve the mysteries. In a Blu-ray debut from Scream Factory.
In “Peacock (pou)” (2022 — South Africa), after violating the strict moral standards of The Foundation, the puritanical institution for young women in which she was raised, Anna Pohl (Tarryn Wyngaard) is sent to care for one of its founding members. An Apartheid-era theologian living out his days in paranoia on his isolated farm, Sarel Cilliers (Johan Botha) suffers from frightening visions and demonic hallucinations. Haunted by her own feelings of guilt, Anna slowly gets pulled into, Sarel’s terrifying world as she tries to unravel the mysteries behind this sinister place and its connection to the devastating secrets being hidden by The Foundation. An evocative and erotic South African gothic horror that explores the dark recesses of the Afrikaner psyche and its compromised past. On DVD, Blu-ray, from IndiePix.
“The Book of Harth” (2022) is a multiple award-winning documentary 20 years in the making. Documentary centers on NYC-based conceptual artist David Greg Harth, who embarked on a 20-year project to gather signatures from the most culturally relevant figures of our times in his copy of the Holy Bible. As this decades-long odyssey ended, NYC filmmaker Pierre Guillet followed Harth over the last year of the project as he raced to get the final signatures to bring this massive undertaking to a close. “The Book of Harth” is a dissection of not just the art itself but the sacrifices made in the name of art that you won’t soon forget. The film won the Best Documentary Feature award at Kevin Smith’s inaugural edition of the Smodcastle Film Festival in 2022, among many other awards. Featuring interviews with philosopher Noam Chomsky, artist Wim Delvoye, filmmakers Paul Schrader, Kevin Smith, and John Waters, and others.
From MVD Entertainment Group.
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.