New DVD and Blu-ray Releases for the Week of July 18

From the Big Screen:


photo for Kandahar (2023) Tom Harris (Gerard Butler), an undercover CIA operative, is stuck deep in hostile territory in Afghanistan. After his mission is exposed, he must fight his way out to an extraction point in Kandahar, all while protecting his Afghan translator, avoiding elite enemy forces and relentless foreign spies tasked with hunting them down. Vitals: Director: Ric Roman Waugh. Stars: Gerard Butler, Navid Negahban, Ali Fazal, Bahador Foladi, Nina Toussaint-White, Vassilis Koukalani, Mark Arnold, Corey Johnson, Ravi Aujla. CC, MPAA rating: R, 120 min., Action, North American box office gross: $4.813 million, worldwide $7.269 million, Paramount. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Code, VOD, Digital. Read more here 2 stars

The Farrows Of Hollywood: Their Dark Side Of Paradise

This Week’s Highlights:

“The Ranown Westerns: Five Films Directed By Budd Boetticher” is a six-disc 4k UHD + Blu-Ray Special Edition. The five briskly entertaining, vividly performed westerns made by director Budd Boetticher and strapping star Randolph Scott in the second half of the 1950s transcend photo for The Ranown Westerns: Five Films Directed By Budd Boetticher</a >their B-movie origins to become rich, unexpectedly profound explorations of loyalty, greed, honor, and revenge. Often grouped under the name Ranown (after producer Harry Joe Brown and Scott’s production company) and colorfully scripted by Burt Kennedy and Charles Lang, these films seem to unfold in a world unto themselves, staking a claim between traditional westerns and the subversive genre revisionism of the 1960s — and representing the crowning achievement of the underappreciated auteur Boetticher. “The Tall T” (1957), “Decision at Sundown” (1957), “Buchanan Rides Alone” (1958), “Ride Lonesome” (1959),” Comanche Station” (1960). 4K UHD + Blu-ray combo with new 4K digital restorations by Sony Pictures Entertainment, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks. Three 4K UHD discs of the films presented in Dolby Vision HDR and three Blu-rays with the films and special features. From The Criterion Collection. Read more herephoto for Hugo Academy Award-winning filmmaker Martin Scorsese directed “Hugo” (2011), an audacious adaptation of Brian Selznick’s award winning novel, a magical, mysterious adventure and an exhilarating ode to cinema itself. Hugo Cabret is an orphan, living secretly in the walls of a Paris train station, tending to the many clocks, stealing what he needs to survive and hiding from the ruthless station inspector. But his clandestine life and precious secrets are threatened when he is caught thieving by the bitter old man who runs a toy booth at the station, and Hugo’s world becomes enmeshed with that of the shop owner and his bookish granddaughter. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a mechanical man, and a hidden message from Hugo’s dead father are all connected to a place where dreams are made. A heartfelt love letter to the magic of moving pictures, Hugo is a triumph of imaginative movie making and a gift for film-lovers everywhere. This epic Arrow Video edition marks the film’s debut on stunning 4K UHD and comes packed with a bounty of new extras. Stars Asa Butterfield, Chloë Grace Moretz, Ben Kingsley, Christopher Lee, Ray Winstone, Sacha Baron Cohen, Emily Mortimer, Jude Law. On Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD. From Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment. Read more here.

Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:

What if a random text message led to the love of your life? In the romantic comedy “Love Again” (2023), starring Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Sam Heughan and Celine Dion, dealing with the loss of her fiancé, Mira Ray sends a series of romantic texts to his old cell phone number … not realizing the number was reassigned to Rob Burns’ new work phone. A journalist, Rob is captivated by the honesty in the beautifully confessional texts. When he’s assigned to write a profile of megastar Celine Dion (playing herself in her first film role), he enlists her help in figuring out how to meet Mira in person … and win her heart. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Sony … photo for Fool’s Paradise “Fool’s Paradise” (2023), starring Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, Jason Bateman, Kate Beckinsale, John Malkovich, Edie Falco, Adrien Brody, Ray Liotta and Ken Jeong, is a comedy that follows an ordinary guy (Day) who happens to be a dead ringer for a hot-headed movie star. When he replaces the movie star in a major film, he becomes an accidental celebrity thrown into a fever dream of Hollywood fame brought to life by a stellar cast. One of Ray Liotta’s last films. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Lionsgate … “What The Waters Left Behind: Scars” (2022), starring David Michigan, Mario Alarcon, Magui Bravi and German Baudino, is a sequel to the 2017 horror thriller. This chapter tells the story of an Anglo-American indie rock band that ends up stranded in the desolate city of Epecuén. Their internal conflicts and the bad luck of their tour quickly fade, when they begin to discover the bloody hell that awaits them. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Cleopatra Entertainment. Read more here.

Foreign Films:

“Amor Bandido” (2021 — Argentina), starring Romina Ricci, Renato Quattordio and Rafael Ferro, is an erotic thriller that follows an illicit love affair gone violently wrong. Joan (Quattordio) is a naïve 16-year-old who has photo for Amor Bandidofallen madly in love with his older but sultry art teacher Luciana (Ricci). She is also smitten, and together they decide to run away for a love nest weekend in a country house. But what begins as a schoolboy’s dream turns sinister when he finds himself kidnapped by a mysterious older man who seeks ransom money from his rich parents. And is his teacher/lover involved in the crime? Violence soon erupts as the boy fights for his life. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Cinephobia Releasing … In photo for Are You Lonesome Tonight? In “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” (2021 — China), starring Eddie Peng, Sylvia Chang, Yanhui Wang and Peiyao Jiang, on a dark night, Xueming hits a pedestrian with his car and flees the scene. Desperate to escape his feelings of guilt, he decides to approach the dead man’s wife, Mrs Liang. Meanwhile, the body is discovered – riddled with bullets. Chen, the detective in charge of the investigation, becomes obsessed with the case. Years later, all three remain caught in a tangled web of memories and lies, desperately searching for a truth that refuses to be revealed. From Film Movement … photo for Cracked In “Cracked” (2022 — Thailand), Ruja (actress/model Chayanit Chansangavej) returns to Thailand from New York with her young daughter Rachel to settle her late father’s estate. Included in her inheritance are two mysterious portraits of a bewitching woman that she is told are worth a fortune, if only they weren’t damaged. Desperate to sell the paintings, Ruja hires Tim (K-pop star Nichkhun), an art restorer, to prepare the canvases for sale. But the cracks in the paint have begun to reveal long-hidden secrets, and as strange phenomena begin to emerge around them, Ruja and Rachel quickly realize their lives are in grave danger. From Film Movement … photo for The Iron Prefect “The Iron Prefect” (1977 — Italy) is based on the true story of Cesare Mori, the Iron Prefect who was sent to Sicily for an Eliot Ness-in-The Untouchables style clean up of the Mafia. Mori approaches organized crime on the island with uncompromising force even in the face of mass murders designed to scare him off. Pasquale Squitieri directs this stunning period piece which won the David di Donatello award for best film and features spaghetti western icon Giuliano Gemma brilliantly playing against type as the titular hero, winning him an award for his performance at the prestigious Karlovy Vary Film Festival. Alongside Gemma are the cream of international film from the period with co-stars Claudia Cardinale and Francisco Rabal, the key surveyor of Italy’s civic cinema screenwriter Ugo Pirro and legendary composer Ennio Morricone. 2K restoration of the film from the original negative presented with Italian and English audio options. On Blu-ray from Radiance … photo for Mad Heidi “Mad Heidi” (2022 — Switzerland), starring Casper Van Dien, Alice Lucy, David Schofield and Kel Matsena, is a wicked odyssey of blood and cheese that puts a new spin on the classic tale of “Heidi,” finding our heroine (Lucy) all grown-up and living an idyllic life in the Swiss Alps with her beloved grandfather (Schofield) far above an increasingly-dystopian landscape presided over by Our Very Swiss Leader (Van Dien) – a ruthless dictator bent on world domination through dairy. But when her goat-herding lover (Matsena) is brutally murdered by government thugs for distributing illegal cheese, Heidi embarks on a wild quest for vengeance that will bring her toe-to-toe against fierce female prison inmates, cheese-fueled Swiss super-soldiers, ninja nuns, and more, as she fights to take down the tyrannical regime and restore freedom to Switzerland. On Blu-ray from Raven Banner Releasing and Swissploitation Films. Due July 21. Read more here.

From TV to Disc:

“South Park: Seasons 21 to 25 Collection” (2017-22) is an eight-disc set. Over 35 episodes from Seasons 21 through 25 of “South Park” have been packed into this one kick-ass Collector’s Edition. The residents of everyone’s favorite little mountain town contend with the vaping epidemic, the Underbelly of Social Media, and the return of ManBearPig! So join Cartman, Kyle, Stan and Kenny as they take on COVID-19, tackle the consequences of immigration, and correct a long-held misconception about one of their classmates. For them, it’s all part of growing up in South Park. On DVD, Blu-ray from Paramount … “Your Honor Season 2” (2020) is a three-disc set with all 10 episodes. Disbarred, disgraced, and all but destroyed, ex-judge Michael Desiato (Bryan Cranston) is offered a ray of hope when a federal agent recruits him to take down the empire of corruption and vengeance that runs New Orleans. Features guest appearances from Rosie Perez and Margo Martindale. From Paramount.

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.

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