"The movie business is macabre. Grotesque.
It is a combination of a football game
and a brothel."
-- Federico Fellini
Apr 242018

From the Big Screen:

“The Maze Runner: The Death Cure,” “Den of Thieves,” “Paddington 2” and “Hostiles” For more information on other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.

This Week’s Best Bets:

Two of our favorite films get the royal treatment this month: “Dead Man” and “Killer Klowns From Outer Space.” With “Dead Man” (1995), his first period piece, Jim Jarmusch imagined the 19th-century American West as an existential wasteland, delivering a surreal reckoning with the ravages of industrialization, the country’s legacy of violence and prejudice, and the natural cycle of life and death. photo for Dead Man Accountant William Blake (Johnny Depp) has hardly arrived in the godforsaken outpost of Machine before he’s caught in the middle of a fatal lovers’ quarrel. Wounded and on the lam, Blake falls under the watch of the outcast Nobody (Gary Farmer), a Native American without a tribe, who guides his companion on a spiritual journey, teaching him to dispense poetic justice along the way. Featuring austerely beautiful black-and-white photography by Robby Müller and a live-wire score by Neil Young, “Dead Man” is a profound and unique revision of the Western genre. On DVD and Blu-ray, with new 4K digital restoration, supervised and approved by director Jim Jarmusch, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the photo for Blu-ray. From The Criterion Collection … Step aside Pennywise … These “Killer Klowns From Outer Space” (1988) are outta this world — literally — and they’re packing deadly popcorn guns and cotton candy cocoons. When Mike and his girlfriend Debbie warn the local police that a gang of homicidal alien-clowns have landed in the nearby area (in a spaceship shaped like a circus big-top, no less), the cops are naturally skeptical. Before long however, reports are coming in from other anxious residents detailing similar run-ins with the large-shoed assailants. There can no longer be any doubt — the Killer Klowns from Outer Space are here, and they’re out to turn the Earth’s population into candy floss. Written and produced by the Chiodo brothers — known for their work on a host of special-effects laden hits such as “Team America: World Police” and the Critters movies — “Killer Klowns From Outer Space” is a cinematic experience unparalleled in this galaxy, now newly restored by Arrow Video for this stellar edition. Brand new restoration from a 4K scan of the original camera negative, with newly remastered stereo 2.0 and 5.1 DTS-HD MA audio options. On Blu-ray from Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment.

Also due this week: With her debut feature “The Virgin Suicides” (1999), Sofia Coppola announced her singular vision, which explores the aesthetics of femininity while illuminating the interior lives of young women. A faithful adaptation of Jeffrey Eugenides’s popular first novel, “The Virgin Suicides” conjures the ineffable melancholy of teenage longing and ennui in its story of the photo for The Virgin Suicides suicides of the five Lisbon sisters, stifled by the rules of their overprotective religious parents — as told through the collective memory of a group of boys who yearn to understand what happened. Evoking its 1970s suburban setting through ethereal cinematography by Ed Lachman and an atmospheric score by Air, the film secured a place for its director in the landscape of American independent cinema and has become a coming-of-age touchstone. On DVD and Blu-ray, with a new, restored 4K digital transfer, supervised by cinematographer Ed Lachman and approved by director Sofia Coppola, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray. From The Criterion Collection … “A Pistol for Ringo & The Return of Ringo: Two Films by Duccio Tessari” (1965): The original Ringo films introduced another iconic hero to the spaghetti western; a clean-cut sharp shooter who was markedly different to Clint Eastwood’s Man With No Name. In “A Pistol for Ringo,” the eponymous hero, played by Giuliano Gemma, infiltrates a ranch of Mexican bandits to save a beautiful hostage (Nieves Navarro). In “The Return of Ringo,” the gunslinger, now a veteran of war, disguises himself as a Mexican in order to take revenge on outlaws who have stolen his property and taken his wife. Hugely successful upon their original release, thanks photo for in part to the skilled direction of Duccio Tessari (“The Bloodstained Butterfly,” “Death Occurred Last Night”), the Ringo films proved influential on the Italian Western, spawning numerous unofficial sequels, due to their gripping set-pieces and unforgettable musical scoring by Ennio Morricone. Arrow Video is proud to present both films in sumptuous new restorations that truly brings their stylish cinematography to life. On Blu-ray with uncompressed Mono 1.0 PCM audio, from Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment … Making its long-awaited Blu-ray debut is “Schlock” (1973), director John Landis’ long out-of-print first feature film in an exclusive dual-format mediabook Blu-ray/DVD worldwide-playable combo set limited to 2000 copies. This low-budget prelude to Landis’ brilliant career that includes “Animal House,” “The Blues Brothers,” and” An American Werewolf In London,” “Schlock” is an ingenious monster comedy filled with wild movie references and absurd gags, with the then 22-year-old filmmaker paying respect to some of his favorite films like “King Kong,” “2001,” “The Blob,” and “Frankenstein.” The long-slumbering banana monster Schlock wakes up after 20 million years and escapes from his cave, befriending a blind girl who thinks he’s a dog, and causes mass panic in the small town with a shocking bloody massacre setting the scene. Schlock tries to escape but the military is fast approaching. From Turbine Media Group.

From TV to Disc:

“Shameless: The Complete Eighth Season” (2017) is a three-disc set with all 12 episodes of the Showtime series. The Gallaghers are finally on an upswing in season eight! Frank (William H. Macy), tries to become a contributing member of society. Fiona (Emmy Rossum) finds success as a landlord. Lip (Jeremy Allen White) struggles to stay sober while Ian (Cameron Monaghan) takes up a cause. Debbie (Emma Kenney) tries life as a single working mom, while Carl (Ethan Cutkosky) gets creative finding tuition money after losing his military school scholarship. Meanwhile, Kev (Steve Howey) and V (Shanola Hampton) wrestle with Svetlana (Isidora Goreshter) at The Alibi. From Warner … “Unforgotten Season 1” (2015) is a two-disc set with six episodes of the UK crime drama. Season 1 opens with a human skeleton found beneath a basement. The remains could be centuries old — or four decades, as comes to light upon further investigation of the crime scene. Detective Chief Inspector Cassie Stuart and Detective Sergeant Sunny Khan eventually discover the victim was a young man, Jimmy Sullivan and his nearly-disintegrated pocket diary leads the detectives to a list of names that may hold the key to solving the murder. From PBS Distribution … “Z-O-M-B-I-E-S” (2018) is a Disney Channel original movie filled with music, dances, and high school woes — plus zombies. Set 50 years after a zombie apocalypse, zombies are finally allowed to enroll in Seabrook High School. The charming zombie Zed, who is determined to play football, meets freshman Addison who dreams of being a cheerleader — the ultimate form of status in the community. Zed and Addison work together to show Seabrook what they can achieve when they embrace their differences and celebrate what makes them a community. From Disney.

Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:

In “Cyborg Collector’s Edition” (1989), starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dayle Haddon, Deborah Richter, Vincent Klyn, Alex Danielsand Vincent Klyn, 21st-Century America, deteriorating from a deadly plague, is descending into a barbaric nightmare. Only Pearl Prophet (Haddon), a beautiful half human/half cyborg, has the knowledge necessary to develop a vaccine. But during her quest to gather data and bring the cure to the world, Pearl is captured by cannibalistic Flesh Pirates who plot to keep the antidote for themselves and rule the world. Now, only saber-photo for Cyborg Collector's Editionwielding hero Gibson Rickenbacker (Van Damme) can rescue her and save civilization. On Blu-ray, in a new 4K scan from the original film elements, from Scream Factory … “Forever My Girl” (2018), starring Alex Roe, Jessica Rothe, Abby Ryder Fortson, John Benjamin Hickey, Tyler Riggs, Peter Cambor and Gillian Vigman, is the story of country music superstar Liam Page (Roe) who left his bride, Josie (Rothe), at the altar, choosing fame and fortune instead. But Liam never got over his one true love, nor did he ever forget his Southern roots. When he unexpectedly returns to his hometown, he’s torn between his two worlds. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Lionsgate … Based on Peter Turner’s memoir, “Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool” (2017), starring Annette Bening, Jamie Bell, Julie Walters and Vanessa Redgrave, follows the playful but passionate relationship between Turner (Bell) and the eccentric Academy Award-winning actress Gloria Grahame (Bening) in 1978 Liverpool. What starts as a vibrant affair between a legendary femme fatale and her young lover quickly grows into a deeper relationship, with Turner being the person Gloria turns to for comfort. Their passion and lust for life is tested to the limits by events beyond their control. From Sony … Making its Blu-ray debut this week is the off-kilter photo for Doctor Detroit BLU-RAY DEBUT “Doctor Detroit” (1983), starring Dan Aykroyd, Howard Hesseman and Kate Murtagh. When fast-talking pimp Smooth Walker (Hesseman) finds himself in hot water with Chicago crime boss Mom (Murtagh), he claims that there’s a new player in the game: Doctor Detroit, a cat who’s badder than bad — and completely fictitious. In need of a patsy until the heat dies down, Smooth hits paydirt with mild-mannered professor Clifford Skridlow (Aykroyd) — and promptly skips town, leaving his bevy of sexy “employees” in Clifford’s hapless hands. Charmed by the ladies and spurred by his dedication to chivalry, Clifford agrees to become their protector and ally, transforming himself from a power-walking professor to a heroic hustler … and throwing down the gauntlet to save his college from financial ruin and the four damsels from the wrath of Mom. From Shout! Factory … In “Last Seen in Idaho” (2018), starring Hallie Shepherd, Casper Van Dien, Wes Ramsey and Shawn Christian, a young woman witnesses a crime and flees the scene, wrecking her car as she tries to escape. Days later at the hospital, she awakens from a coma but has no recollection of the events that put her there. However, she is having some very strange aftereffects … when the doctors brought her back from the brink of death, she brought back a little something extra: she’s having visions of her future kidnapping and murder. Now it’s a race against the clock as she tries to solve and prevent her own murder. From Breaking Glass Pictures.

On the Indie Front:

In “Who’s Jenna?” (2018), Jonathan Burke (Bill Sorvino), a successful financial advisor, starts dating Jenna Casey (Tracey Birdsall), an accomplished lawyer. But Jonathan’s best friend, Andy Roma (Joseph D’Onofrio) is convinced she looks exactly like a famous adult film star. Not only does Jonathan have to deal with his friend’s nonsense, but he also has to juggle his relationship with his boss (Garry Pastore), who is possibly blackmailing him, and is Jenna’s brother in-law. A case of mistaken identity creates a whirling storm of chaos in Jonathan’s world. From Indican Picture … photo for Strings In “Strings” (2018), starring Jason Michael Carroll, Katie Garfield, Robert Wagner, Karen Boles and David Sweeney, after paying his dues in every bar from New York to Pennsylvania, rocker Jimmy Ford trades in his rock ‘n’ roll fantasy for the bright lights of Nashville. Success proves elusive until Malinda Price, an up-and-coming country singer, takes an interest in him. But just as his career and personal life begin to take off, his past comes calling — reminding him that there are always strings attached. From Monarch Home Entertainment.

Special Interest:

The documentary “The Final Year” (2017) gives a look at the inner workings of the Obama administration as they prepare to establish a legacy when leaving power photo for The Final Yearafter eight years. The film revolves around Obama’s foreign policy team: Secretary of State John Kerry, UN Ambassador Samantha Power, Deputy National Security Adviser and presidential confidant Ben Rhodes, as well as National Security Adviser Susan Rice and President Obama himself. Over the course of 2016, they travel the world attempting to solidify and “lock-in” policies that they believe will define their legacy, promote diplomacy over large-scale military action, and fundamentally alter how the US government confronts questions of war and peace, as they prepare to hand over the machinery of American power to a new administration. From Magnolia Home Entertainment … In “Henry Miller Asleep & Awake” (1973), the quiet ticking of a clock gives way to the stirrings and rumblings of a lump hidden under the blankets. Pajama-clad, the lump throws back the covers, stretches, groans and grumbles. He rises and goes to his mirror in a tiled room he knows well. The man is literary legend Henry Miller, the author of the infamous, groundbreaking “Tropic of Cancer,” and the room is his bathroom. It’s a miraculous shrine covered with photos and drawings collected by Miller over the photo for Henry Miller Asleep & Awakecourse of his long and fruitful life. Graciously, in his raspy, sonorous voice, he points out the highlights of his improvised gallery, speaking on various Buddhas, Blaise Cendrars, Hieronymous Bosch and Gaugin, several Japanese writers, Hesse, a stone carving by Jung, women he found attractive, his tendency to hear “celestial music” in airplanes, the relationship between Zen and sex, the fact that “most writers don’t look so hot” (because they spend so much time alone), and the question of identity, which “harasses” him. This verité portrait from Emmy Award-winning director Tom Schiller (“Saturday Night Live”), filmed in 1973 when the author was 81, is a voyage of ideas about life, writing, sex, spirituality, nightmares, and New York that captures the warmth, vigor and high animal spirits of a singular American artist. From IndiePix Films … “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Concert” (2017): Each year, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame honors rock music’s pioneering figures during a prestigious, black-tie ceremony. As the Hall of Fame enters its third decade, it’s these singular induction ceremonies — featuring the biggest names in classic rock from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s – that have become nearly as photo for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Concerticonic as the artists they celebrate. The four most recent live induction concert events are filled with the kind of collaborations and jam sessions that have made Rock Hall concerts legendary. With egos set aside — in many cases original band lineups perform together for the first time in years — inductees and friends take the stage to deliver once-in-a-lifetime performances, often with a truly mind-blowing combination of talent. Included here: Bruce Springsteen joining inductees E Street Band for the deep cut classic “E Street Shuffle” from the Boss’s second album, from 1973; legendary grunge-rock group Pearl Jam delivering thundering performances of “Alive,” “Given to Fly” and “Better Man”; the two surviving members of Nirvana joined on stage by Lorde, Annie Clark, Kim Gordon and Joan Jett for emotional renderings of the group’s biggest hits; Cat Stevens performing a spine-tingling version of “Father & Son” that turned the massive Barclay Center quiet as a church; Journey performs three classics: “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart),” “Lights” and “Don’t Stop Believin'”; Ringo Starr being welcomed into the Rock Hall with a little help from Paul McCartney; original Cheap Trick drummer Bun E. Carlos joining the band for the first time in six years tearing through their early hits including “Surrender” and “Dream Police”; five of the original members of Chicago performing on stage for the first time in 25 years; complete Hall of Fame Induction speeches including Coldplay’s Chris Martin inducting Peter Gabriel and Metallica’s Lars Ulrich inducting Deep Purple. In four-disc DVD and two-disc Blu-ray sets from Time Life.

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 April 24, 2018  Add comments

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