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"The movie business is macabre. Grotesque.
It is a combination of a football game
and a brothel."
-- Federico Fellini
Oct 242021
 

 

Happy Halloween

 

From the Big Screen:

The Suicide Club

photo for The Suicide Club (2021) Welcome to hell -— a.k.a. Belle Reve, the prison with the highest mortality rate in the US of A. Where the worst Super-Villains are kept and where they will do anything to get out —- even join the super-secret, super-shady Task Force X. Today’s do-or-die assignment? Assemble a collection of cons, including Bloodsport, Peacemaker, Captain Boomerang, Ratcatcher 2, Savant, King Shark, Blackguard, Javelin, and everyone’s favorite psycho, Harley Quinn. Then arm them heavily and drop them (literally) on the remote, enemy-infused island of Corto Maltese. Trekking through a jungle teeming with militant adversaries and guerrilla forces at every turn, the Squad is on a search-and-destroy mission with only Colonel Rick Flag on the ground to make them behave … and Amanda Waller’s government techies in their ears, tracking their every movement. And as always, one wrong move and they’re dead (whether at the hands of their opponents, a teammate, or Waller herself). Vitals: Director: James Gunn. Stars: Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, John Cena, Joel Kinnaman, Jai Courtney, Peter Capaldi, David Dastmalchian, Michael Rooker, Alice Braga, Nathan Fillion, Sylvester Stallone, Viola Davis. 2021, CC, MPAA rating: R, 132 min., Action, US box office gross: $55.800 million, worldwide $167.400 million, Warner. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo, 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo, VOD, Digital. Extras: Gag reel, featurettes, trailers, commentary, deleted and extended scenes. Read more here
3 stars

Don’t Breathe 2

photo for Don't Breathe 2 (2021) In this sequel to the 2016 breakout hit, Norman Nordstrom (Stephen Lang) has been hiding out for several years in an isolated cabin. He lives with a young girl orphaned from a home fire and has recreated the family stolen from him by a drunk driver. Their quiet life together is shattered when a group of unseemly criminals kidnaps her and forces Norman to tap into even darker and more creative instincts in an effort to save her. Vitals: Director: Rodo Sayagues. Stars: Stephen Lang, Brendan Sexton III, Madelyn Grace. 2021, CC, MPAA rating: R, 98 min., Horror Thriller, US box office gross: $30.243 million, worldwide $44.843 million, Sony. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray + Digital Code, 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo+ Digital Code, VOD, Digital. Extras: Alternate ending, “Friends & Filmmakers” featurette, “Bad Man (Slang is Back)” featurette, “Designing Deception” featurette, audio commentaries with the filmmakers. Read more here. 2 stars

Stillwater

photo for Stillwater (2021) A dramatic thriller follows an American oil-rig roughneck from Oklahoma (Matt Damon) who travels to Marseilles to visit his estranged daughter, in prison for a murder she claims she did not commit. Confronted with language barriers, cultural differences, and a complicated legal system, Bill Baker builds a new life for himself in France as he makes it his personal mission to exonerate his daughter. Vitals: Director: Tom McCarthy. Stars: Matt Damon, Camille Cottin, Abigail Breslin, Lilou Siauvaud, Deanna Dunagan, Idir Azougli. 2021, CC, MPAA rating: R, 139 min., Thriller, US box office gross: $14.465 million, worldwide $19.349 million, Universal. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Code, VOD, Digital. Extras: “An Alchemy of Viewpoints,” “An American in Marseilles: The Locations of Stillwater,” “With Curiousity & Compassion: Director Tom McCarthy.” Read more here 2 stars

On the Rocks

photo for On the Rocks (2021) Laura (Rashid Jones) thinks she’s happily hitched, but when her husband Dean (Marlon Mayans) starts logging late hours at the office with a new coworker, Laura begins to fear the worst. She turns to the one man she suspects may have insight: her charming, impulsive father Felix (Bill Murray), who insists they investigate the situation. As the two begin prowling New York at night, careening from uptown parties to downtown hotspots, they discover at the heart of their journey lies their own relationship. Vitals: Director: Sofia Coppola. Stars: Rashida Jones, Marlon Mayans, Bill Murray, Jenny Slate. 2020, CC, MPAA rating: R, 96 min., Comedy Drama, Lionsgate. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray, VOD, Digital. Read more here. 3 stars

This Week’s Best Bets:

Master filmmaker Satyajit Ray explores the conflict between fanaticism and free will in “Devi (The Goddess)” (1960 — India), issuing a subversively modern challenge to religious orthodoxy and patriarchal power structures. In the waning days of mid-19th-century India’s feudal system, after his son (Soumitra Chatterjee) leaves for Kolkata to complete his studies, a wealthy rural landowner (Chhabi Biswas) is seized by the notion that his beloved daughter-in-law (a photo for Devihauntingly sad-eyed Sharmila Tagore) is the reincarnation of the goddess Kali — a delusion that proves devastating to the young woman and those around her. The opulently stylized compositions and the chiaroscuro lighting by cinematographer Subrata Mitra heighten the entrancing expressionistic intensity of this domestic tragedy, making for an experience that is both sublime and shattering. On DVD, Blu-ray, with new 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. From The Criterion Collection … “Dinner at Eight” (1933), starring Jean Harlow, Wallace Beery, Billie Burke and Marie Dressler, is a vastly entertaining behind-closed-doors glimpse into the lives of the troubled and troublemaking who’s who of people invited to a posh Manhattan party, served with ample helpings of humor and melodrama. Buoyed by the success of the studio’s multistarred, multistoried “Grand Hotel” the year before, producer David O. Selznick aspired to something grander – and found it in this George Cukor-directed adaptation of the George S. Kaufman/Edna Ferber stage hit. Highlights include Jean Harlow and Wallace Beery’s bitter battle of the sexes, hostess Billie Burke’s hissy fit and Marie Dressler’s grande dame worldliness. In a Blu-ray debut from Warner Archive.

From TV to Disc:

“The Heart Guy, Series 5” (2021) is a two-disc set with eight episodes. Heart surgeon Hugh Knight (Rodger Corser) and his dysfunctional family face big challenges in the final season of the Aussie drama. After a year of fire, floods, and asbestos, Whyhope Hospital has been forced to shut down and temporarily relocate to a veterinary clinic. Ambitious administrator Sharna arrives to fix things but throws the town into turmoil — and Hugh can’t help his attraction to her. From Acorn Media.

Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:

From Dario Argento, maestro of the macabre and the man behind some of the greatest excursions in Italian horror (“Suspiria,” “The Bird with the Crystal Plumage”), comes this ultimate giallo movie, “Deep Red 4K Blu-ray” (1975) . One night, musician Marcus Daly (David Hemmings), looking up from the street below, witnesses the brutal axe murder of a woman in her apartment. Racing to the scene, Marcus just manages to miss the perpetrator … or does he? As he takes on the role of amateur sleuth, Marcus finds himself ensnared in a bizarre web of murder and mystery where nothing is what it seems. Aided by a throbbing score from regular Argento collaborators Goblin, “Deep Red” (aka “Profondo Rosso and The Hatchet Murders”) is a hallucinatory fever dream of a giallo punctuated by some of the most astonishing set-pieces photo for Deep Redthe sub-genre has to offer. New 4K restoration of both the original 127-minute Italian version and the 105-minute export version from the original negative by Arrow Films. Two-disc set with 4K (2160p) presentations of both versions in Dolby Vision (HDR10 compatible). From Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment … Warner Archive has three Blu-ray debuts this week: “Eye of the Devil” (1966), starring Deborah Kerr, David Niven, Sharon Tate, Donald Pleasence, Flora Robson, David Hemmings and Edward Mulhare: A forbidding French chateau and its surrounding vineyards are the setting for Gothic thrills in this haunting excursion into the occult; “Mary Stevens, M.D.” (1933), starring Kay Francis, Lyle Talbot and Thelma Todd, in which new doctors Mary Stevens (Francis) and Don Andrews (Talbot) launch their practices in the same medical building, where Mary dedicates herself to her patients while facing constant prejudice for being a woman. Despite Mary’s love for him, Don falls for Lois Rising (Todd), the daughter of a powerful politician, and the two eventually marry, leaving a brokenhearted Mary to move on and focus on her work. As Mary becomes a successful pediatrician, Don’s marriage deteriorates, driving him to drink and eventually threatening his career. Escaping to a resort, he unexpectedly runs into Mary, and the two rekindle their old love. But when Mary finds herself pregnant while scandalously unwed, she’s faced with a dilemma that could destroy everything she’s achieved … “Children of the Damned” (1963): Six gifted children are found to pose a threat to the world in this chilling horror story from the makers of “Village of the Damned.” The children, who all live in England but are from different parts of the world, are normal in all respects except that they are geniuses with acute psychic powers. They have more in common than their IQs, however: None of them have fathers, and no one seems to know where they came from. When a psychologist attempts to find out more, he unlocks a mystery that could lead to the destruction of the universe.

Foreign Films:

“The Rifleman (aka Blizzard of Soul)” (2019 — Latvia), starring Oto Brantevics, Greta Trusina and Martins Vilsons, pays stark witness to the photo for The Rifleman (aka Blizzard of Soul)horrors and brutality of the First World War, as seen through the eyes of an innocent 17-year-old farm-boy turned soldier. Though he is underage, and his dad, a former marksman, is over age for the army, they are both conscripted into one of Latvia’s first national battalions. The thrill of training is soon followed by reality, as shells burst around them in the endless mud. He grows up on the battlefield, fighting at the side of his father and brother, their lives constantly in jeopardy. From Omnibus Entertainment … After disappearing over 50 years ago, an ancient artifact known as the Mask of Anhangá resurfaces at an archaeological dig in the Amazon in “Skull: The Mask” (2021 — Brazil), starring Natallia Rodrigues, Wilton Andrade, Tristan Aronovich and David Wendefilm. It is brought to Sao Paulo to be exhibited at a museum, but before reaching its destination, the Mask starts to claim its victims as it possesses and forces them to carry out visceral sacrifices in gruesome fashion. With the body count increasing, it’s up to Officer Beatriz Obdias to find the Mask and put an end to the murder spree. From RLJE Films … photo for El pastor (The Shepherd) In “El pastor (The Shepherd)” (2017 — Spain), starring Maribel Iglesias, Miguel Martín and Alfonso Mendiguchía, Anselmo, a middle age shepherd, lives a poor but happy life in a small run down house in a middle of the Spain plains, near a small, but growing village. His dog Pillo and his sheep are his only company. It’s a life bucolic enough for him to ignore the offers he receives from a construction company who wants to buy his house and land to build a new residential complex. Conflicting against Anselmo’s unwillingness to sell is the greed of the owners of the neighboring lands, who only answer to their own interests. When Anselmo’s refusal to sell prevents the sale of their land, the neighbors resort to violence. From Corinth Films.

For the Family:

“The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius: The Complete Series” (2002-06) is a 10-DVD box set featuring all three seasons from the beloved Nickelodeon animated series. Tune in and take off on adventures with Jimmy as he invents gadgets, with his robot dog Goddard by his side, to improve his daily life situations. The inventions almost always go awry leading to various mishaps for Jimmy and his best friends Carl and Sheen. All systems are go for gadgetry-fueled mischief. From Shout! Factory.

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 October 24, 2021  Add comments

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