From the Big Screen:
Don’t Worry Darling
(2022) Alice (Florence Pugh) and Jack (Harry Styles) are lucky to be living in the idealized community of Victory, the experimental company town housing the men who work for the top-secret Victory Project and their families. The 1950’s societal optimism espoused by their CEO, Frank (Chris Pine) — equal parts corporate visionary and motivational life coach — anchors every aspect of daily life in the tight-knit desert utopia. While the husbands spend every day inside the Victory Project Headquarters, working on the “development of progressive materials,” their wives — including Frank’s elegant partner, Shelley (Gemma Chan) — get to spend their time enjoying the beauty, luxury and debauchery of their community. Life is perfect, with every resident’s needs met by the company. All they ask in return is discretion and unquestioning commitment to the Victory cause. But when cracks in their idyllic life begin to appear, exposing flashes of something much more sinister lurking beneath the attractive facade, Alice can’t help questioning exactly what they’re doing in Victory, and why. Vitals: Director: Olivia Wilde. Stars: Florence Pugh, Olivia Wilde, Chris Pine, Kate Berlant, Harry Styles, Gemma Chan, Nick Kroll. 2022, CC, MPAA rating: R, 122 min., Thriller, North American box office gross: $45.304 million, worldwide $86.704 million, New Line. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Code, 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo, VOD, Digital.
Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:
In “Summertime Dropouts” (2022), starring Nicholas Podany, Crystal Lake Evans, and Quinton Aaron, Dave and his pop-punk band Summertime Dropouts are clean-cut, straight-edge kids looking for their big break. At a battle of the bands, Dave runs into his old high school crush Amy, and her own rockin’ trio. Will Dave and Amy get to play in the must-see music tour hitting town? Will they finally get together? From Lionsgate. Read more here.
In the bittersweet, often funny, semi-autobiographical period drama “Entre Nous” (1983 — French), director Diane Kurys reimagines the post-War years of her parents and the passionate friendship between two women. We first meet Léna (Isabelle Huppert, playing a role modeled after Kurys’ mother) in 1942, a young Jewish woman in an internment camp run by the Vichy authorities. She accepts a proposal of marriage by one of the camp workers in the hopes of escaping deportation to Nazi Germany. They escape on foot, crossing the Alps to Italy, and settle in Lyon after the war to raise two daughters. At a school event she meets another mother, Madeleine (Miou-Miou), a charismatic artist, and the two form a special bond that offers the promise of escaping the mundane domestic life they’ve grown dissatisfied with. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Cohen Film Collection … In “Emergency Declaration” (2021 — South Korea), while investigating a terroristic threat that goes viral online, Korean authorities discover that a suspect has recently boarded an international flight bound for the United States. When a healthy passenger on the same flight suddenly dies a gruesome death of unknown cause, panic erupts both in-flight and on the ground. With steadily decreasing fuel and international refusals to offer aid, the captain and crew will be forced to take unprecedented emergency measures in an attempt to save the lives of their passengers. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Well Go USA … “Hansan: Rising Dragon” is a prequel to “The Admiral: Roaring Currents” — the most-watched film in Korean cinema history. This film depicts the historical Battle of Hansando. In 1592, Admiral Yi and his fleet face off against the might of the invading Japanese navy and its formidable warships. As the Korean forces fall into crisis, the admiral resorts to using his secret weapon, the dragon head ships known as geobukseon, in order to change the tide of this epic battle at sea.
On DVD, Blu-ray, from Well Go USA … Bruno Ganz gives a tour-de-force performance as Hoffman, an innocent bystander who survives a gunshot to the head by the police during a raid on a group of revolutionaries in “A Knife in the Head” (1978 — Germany). In order to justify the shooting, the police claim he is a dangerous radical who attacked a policeman. The leftist revolutionaries in turn claim him as a hero and victim of police brutality. As Hoffman struggles to recover from the trauma to his brain and memory loss, he must try to piece together what really happened that fateful night. Featuring a stunning first solo score by Irmin Schmidt, co-founder of the legendary krautrock band CAN. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Cohen Film Collection.
For the Family:
It’s time to chase that holiday spirit with a new animated Tom and Jerry cartoon, “Tom and Jerry: Snowman’s Land” (2022). With magic in the air, Jerry and his nephew, Tuffy, make a snow mouse that miraculously comes to life. To keep their new friend, Larry the snow mouse from melting, Tuffy and Jerry must race him to the fabled Snowman’s Village. In hot pursuit, Tom and devious Dr. Doublevay have their own plans for Larry’s magic. From Warner.
“Origins of Hip-Hop” (2022) is a two-disc set of the eight-part docuseries that delves into the compelling, inspiring stories of some of hip-hop’s most celebrated and groundbreaking artists in their own words. Narrated by renowned rapper Nas and featuring never-before-seen archival footage and interviews with family, friends, and collaborators, the hour-long episodes chronicle the rise of eight culture-defining hip-hop legends across multiple generations and styles — including Busta Rhymes, Eve, Fat Joe, Grandmaster Flash, Ice-T, Ja Rule, Lil Jon, and Uncle Luke — as they share the experiences that shaped their music and made them icons. From Lionsgate.
From TV to Disc:
“The Flight Attendant: The Complete Season 1 & 2” (2021-22) is a four-disc set with all 16 episodes. Starring Kaley Cuoco, the HBO series is a story of how an entire life can change in one night. A flight attendant (Cuoco) wakes up in the wrong hotel, in the wrong bed, with a dead man – and no idea what happened. The dark comedic thriller is based on the novel of the same name by New York Times bestselling author Chris Bohjalian. From Warner … “Ghosts: Season One” (2021-22) is a two-disc set with 18 episodes. Freelance writer Samantha (Rose McIver) and aspiring chef Jay (Utkarsh Ambudkar) throw both caution and money to the wind to leave NYC and convert a rundown country estate they inherited into a bed & breakfast — only to find that it’s inhabited by a close-knit, eclectic group of spirits of deceased former residents. Adding to the supernatural surprises, Samantha discovers that she can see and hear ghosts everywhere, including those with whom she now shares a home. Old-school haunting and oddball humor fuel this sharp-witted, quirky comedy series that gives new meaning to the real estate phrase, “It’s got great bones.” On DVD, Blu-ray, from Lionsgate … “Westworld: Season 4 – The Choice” (2022) is a three-disc set with all eight episodes. The fourth — and final — season picks up over seven years after the protracted war between A.I. hosts and sentient humans – humanity is finally free. Or so it seems. Maeve and Caleb soon begin to suspect that Hale and a host version of The Man in Black are seeding a conspiracy to regain control of the human race. Meanwhile, Bernard returns from The Sublime with a new power. And a young writer, by the name of Christina, begins to question the nature of her reality. Westworld continues to thrill as it deftly weaves together stories about the complicated relationship between man and machine. On DVD, Blu-ray, 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo, from Warner.
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.