"The movie business is macabre. Grotesque.
It is a combination of a football game
and a brothel."
-- Federico Fellini
Aug 022016

From the Big Screen:

“The Lobster,” “Mother’s Day” and “Meet the Blacks.” For more information on other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.

From TV to DVD:

“The Blacklist: The Complete Third Season” (2015-16) is a five-disc set with all 23 episodes. Former government agent turned master criminal Raymond “Red” Reddington (James Spader) has eluded capture for decades, but he suddenly surrenders to the FBI with an offer to help catch a terrorist under the condition that he speaks only to Elizabeth “Liz” Keen (Megan Boone), a young FBI profiler who’s just barely out of Quantico. The mystery deepens as Reddington and Keen start to hunt down criminals that are on the arch-villain’s “blacklist.” On DVD, Blu-ray Disc. From Sony … “Blindspot: The Complete First Season” (2015) includes all 23 episodes of the series that tells the story of a beautiful photo for woman (Jaimie Alexander who is found naked in Times Square, with her body completely covered in cryptic, intricate tattoos. With no memories of her past, and clueless about her own identity, this Jane Doe ignites the attention of the FBI when it’s discovered that one of her mysterious tattoos bears the name of FBI agent Kurt Weller (Sullivan Stapleton). As Weller and his teammates at the FBI begin to investigate the mysterious map of Jane Doe’s strange tattoos, they are drawn into a high-stakes underworld that twists and turns through a labyrinth of secrets and revelations. In a five-disc DVD, three-disc Blu-ray set from Warner … “Confirmation” (2016), starring Kerry Washington, Wendell Pierce, Greg Kinnear, Jeffrey Wright, Eric Stonestreet and Jennifer Hudson, is the HBO film that details the explosive Clarence Thomas Supreme Court nomination hearings, which brought the country to a standstill and forever changed the way we think about sexual harassment, victims’ rights and modern-day race relations. It looks behind the curtain of Washington politics, depicting a pivotal moment in American culture that became a turning point in workplace equality and gender politics. In July 1991, President George H.W. Bush nominated Judge Clarence Thomas to fill Justice Thurgood Marshall’s seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. In October, during the final days of Thomas’ confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, both Newsday and NPR broke the story that one of Thomas’ former employees, law professor Anita Hill, had accused him of sexually harassing her 10 years earlier. These revelations triggered a maelstrom of events, with both Hill and Thomas testifying about the allegations before a stunned and riveted television audience. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from HBO … “Key & Peele: The Complete Series” (2012-15) is a 10-disc set with all 53 episodes from five seasons of Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele’s subversive sketch comedy show — including two seasons that are all-new to DVD — from Mr. Garvey’s irrepressible rage to every incarnation of the East/West Bowl rivalry to Luther, Obama’s anger translator. Guest appearances throughout the series include Ty Burrell, Rashida photo for The Knick: The Complete Second Season Jones, Rebecca Romijn, Mekhi Phifer, Rob Riggle, and many more. From Paramount … “The Knick: The Complete Second Season” (2015) is a four-disc set with all 10 episodes of Season Two of the Peabody Award-Winning Cinemax Series. From executive producer Steven Soderbergh (who directed all 10 episodes), and starring Clive Owen as brilliant surgeon John Thackery, the series pushes the boundaries of medicine, morality and race relations in 1900 at a downtown NYC hospital known as The Knick. In the second season, The Knick faces an upheaval, as Dr. John Thackery’s absence (due to his hospitalization for cocaine addiction), a dearth of affluent patients, and financial missteps have led to the board’s decision to shutter the hospital in favor of a new building uptown. In this world of corruption, invention and progress, everyone is searching for the new path that will help him or her survive. As relocation plans proceed, the gifted but under-appreciated Dr. Algernon Edwards jockeys to become Thackery’s successor as chief of surgery, while fellow doctors, nurses, nuns and administrators grapple with challenges at work and in their private lives. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from HBO … “Murdoch Mysteries, Season 9 “ photo for Murdoch Mysteries, Season 9 (2015) includes all 18 episodes. Winningly clever and playful, this acclaimed Canadian series returns with new mysteries set in Edwardian-era Toronto. In Season 9, Detective William Murdoch (Yannick Bisson) and his wife, Dr. Julia Ogden (Hélène Joy), plan their dream home; Constable Crabtree (Jonny Harris) faces dire consequences for his decisions; and Dr. Emily Grace (Georgina Reilly) experiences a personal crisis. Meanwhile, Inspector Brackenreid (Thomas Craig) endures an eccentric houseguest, and a new morgue cleaner turned lab attendant (Mouna Traoré) brings fresh blood to the team. While battling criminals from serial killers to bank robbers, from the darkest opium dens to the atmosphere of outer space, Murdoch and his friends encounter historical figures like Anne of Green Gables author Lucy Maud Montgomery, temperance advocate Carrie Nation, and American humorist Mark Twain (in a special guest appearance by William Shatner). In a five-disc DVD, four-disc Blu-ray set from Acorn Media.

Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:

  • “The American Side” (2016) Greg Stuhr, Matthew Broderick, Camilla Belle, Janeane Garofalo, Alicja Bachleda. When Charlie Paczynski’s raven-haired partner is caught in the crossfire of a blackmail scheme gone bad, he trails the prime suspect to the brink of Niagara, only to receive a cryptic warning. Thrust into a world populated by a whiskey-swilling raconteur, strangely bonded siblings, and a dubious government agent, Paczynski joins the quest for a long-lost design by enigmatic genius Nikola Tesla. From Sony.
  • “Batman: The Killing Joke” (2016) DC Universe Original Movie. Based on the acclaimed 1988 graphic novel of the same name (and a two-time Eisner Award winner), the R-rated animated thriller takes a journey into the dark psyche of the Clown Prince of Crime — from his humble beginnings as a struggling comedian to his fateful encounter with Batman that changes both of their lives forever. Years later, and now escaped from Arkham Asylum, The Joker devises a plan to prove that one bad day can make anyone as insane as he is – setting his sights on Commissioner Gordon. It’s up to the Dark Knight to put a stop to The Joker’s latest scheme and save one of Gotham City’s finest. Following a gripping prologue introducing Barbara Gordon’s heroic adventures alongside Batman as Batgirl, “Batman: The Killing Joke” stays true to the authentic tale that has held fans’ imaginations for nearly three decades — spotlighting the birth of a Super-Villain, the fortitude of a Super Hero and the punchline that will leave you speechless. On DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo from Warner. photo for Bite
  • “Bite” (2015) Elma Begovic, Annette Wozniak, Denise Yuen, Jordan Gray, Lawrene Denkers. While on her bachelorette party getaway, the bride to be gets a seemingly harmless bite from an unknown insect and, after returning home she starts exhibiting insect like traits. Between her physical transformation and her wedding anxiety, the woman succumbs to her new instincts and begins creating a hive that not only houses her translucent eggs, but feeds on the flesh of others. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Scream Factory.
  • “Breaking the Bank” (2014) Kelsey Grammer, Tamsin Greig, John Michael Higgins, Sonya Cassidy. When ruthless U.S. and Japanese investment banks circling Tuftons, a struggling two-hundred-year-old, family-run British bank, its bumbling, incompetent chairman Sir Charles Bunbury (Grammer) loses the bank and ends up on the street, homeless. From Universal.
  • “Bronze” (2016) Melissa Rauch, Sebastian Stan, Gary Cole, Thomas Middleditch, Sebastian Stan, Cecily Strong, Haley Lu Richardson. A foul-mouthed former gymnastics bronze medalist with local celebrity status reluctantly trains a rising Olympics aspirant. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Sony.
  • “Chosen” (2016) Luke Mably, Ana Ularu, Julian Shatkin, Harvey Keitel. An unassuming young Hungarian lawyer leads a fight against the Nazis near the end of World War II. Inspired by true events. From Lionsgate.photo for Gibby
  • “Gibby” (2016) Crystal the Monkey, Shannon Elizabeth, Peyton Meyer, Shelby Lyon, Ysa Penarejo, Sean Patrick Flanery, Vivica A. Fox. A young girl, who has lost interest in school and gymnastics after the loss of her mother, finds an unlikely and uplifting friendship with an adorable monkey in this light-hearted family film. From Shout! Factory.
  • “High Rise” (2015) Tom Hiddleston, Sienna Miller, Luke Evans, Elisabeth Moss, Jeremy Irons,. Dr. Robert Laing, the newest resident of a luxurious apartment in a high-tech concrete skyscraper whose lofty location places him amongst the upper class. Life seems like paradise to the solitude-seeking Laing. But as power outages become more frequent and building flaws emerge, particularly on the lower floors, the regimented social strata begins to crumble and the building becomes a battlefield in a literal class war. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Magnolia Home Entertainment.
  • “High Strung” (2016) Keenan Kampa, Nicholas Galitzine. The worlds of classical dance and modern hip-hop music collide in the inspirational drama in which real-life ballet star Keenan Kampa (Russia’s world-famous Mariinsky Ballet) gives a breakout lead performance as a young dancer who partners up with a subway hip-hop violinist to enter a life-changing performing arts competition. From Sony.photo for In the Deep
  • “In the Deep” (2016) Mandy Moore, Claire Holt, Yani Gellman, Matthew Modine. Two sisters (Mandy Moore and Claire Holt) become trapped at the bottom of the ocean when a diving expedition to observe sharks goes horribly wrong. When the cable attaching the observation cage to the boat breaks and the cage sinks to the bottom of the ocean, the sisters must figure out a way to get back to safety battling injuries, lack of oxygen, and, worst of all, blood thirsty, great white sharks.From Anchor Bay.
  • “Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Collector’s Edition) BLU-RAY DEBUT”
    (1978) Dir.: Philip Kaufman; stars Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Leonard Nimoy, Veronica Cartwright, Jeff Goldblum. Features a new HD transfer, and packed with new bonus features, including interviews and audio commentary with cast and crew, and a limited-edition collectible slipcover with newly rendered artwork. From Scream Factory.photo for Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Collector's Edition) BLU-RAY DEBUT
  • “Louder Than Bombs” (2015 — Norway) Jesse Eisenberg, Gabriel Byrne, Isabelle Huppert, Devin Druid, Amy Ryan, Ruby Jerins, Megan Ketch, David Strathairn. The truth behind a war photographer’s mysterious death is revealed in this powerful drama. The fractious family of a father and his two sons confront their different feelings and memories of their deceased wife and mother, a famed war photographer. An upcoming exhibition celebrating photographer Isabelle Reed three years after her untimely death, brings her eldest son Jonah back to the family house – forcing him to spend more time with his father Gene and withdrawn younger brother Conrad than he has in years. With the three of them under the same roof, Gene tries desperately to connect with his two sons, but they struggle to reconcile their feelings about the woman they remember so differently. From Sony. photo for Manhattan Night
  • “Manhattan Night” (2016) Adrien Brody, Yvonne Strahovski, Jennifer Beals, Linda Lavin, Campbell Scott, Steven Berkoff. The story of Porter Wren, a New York City tabloid writer with an appetite for scandal. On the beat he sells murder, tragedy and anything that passes for the truth. At home he is a model family man, devoted to his loving wife. But when a seductive stranger asks him to dig into the unsolved murder of her filmmaker husband Simon, he can’t resist. In this modern version of a classic film noir, we follow Porter as he is drawn into a very nasty case of sexual obsession and blackmail – one that threatens his job, his marriage and his life. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Lionsgate.
  • “Peter – The Redemption,” (2016) John Rhys-Davies, Stephen Baldwin, Steve Byers. Faith-based film retells the biblical narrative of Apostle Peter during the first Christian persecution. Follows Peter (Rhys-Davies) as he is tormented by his denial of Christ. Having spent his life attempting to atone for his failures, Peter’s true devotion as a witness for the Lord is tested yet again as he faces certain death at the hand of the cruel Roman Emperor Nero (Baldwin). From Cinedigm.photo for Puerto Ricans in Paris
  • “Puerto Ricans in Paris” (2016) Luis Guzmán, Edgar Garcia, Rosario Dawson, Miriam Shor, Rosie Perez. Two hardheaded New York detectives invade the City of Lights when they’re recruited by a fashion agency to track down the thief who has stolen its latest handbag designs. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Universal.
  • “Sniper: Ghost Shooter” (2016) Chad Michael Collins, Billy Zane, Dennis Haysbert. Latest addition to the “Sniper” franchise. Elite snipers Brandon Beckett (Collins) and Richard Miller (Zane) are fighting extremists in the Middle East when Colonel (Haysbert) gives them a new mission: to protect a gas pipeline stretching from the Republic of Georgia to Western Europe from terrorists eager to make a political statement. But when skirmishes with the enemy lead to U.S. snipers being killed by a ghost shooter who locks into their exact location, a security breach is suspected. From Sony.
  • “Summer Camp” (2015) Diego Boneta, Jocelin Donahue, Maiara Walsh, Andrés Velencoso. Four American counselors at a European summer camp must deal with the outbreak of a rage-inducing plague among the children they’re supervising. From Lionsgate.photo for Traded
  • “Traded” (2016) Michael Paré, Kris Kristofferson, Trace Adkins, Tom Sizemore, Martin Kove, Quinton Aaron. In 1880s Kansas, sharpshooter turned rancher Clay Travis (Paré goes from happily married father of two to a man on a mission after the disappearance of his 17 year-old daughter, Lily. Clay leaves his quiet ranch and heads to Wichita where, after confronting the ruthless Ty Stover (Adkins), he discovers that Lily’s been traded away into an underground sex ring in Dodge City. There, with the help of an unlikely companion — hardened old barkeep Billy (Kristofferson) — Clay makes a stand to bring his daughter home, leaving a trail of gunsmoke and bodies in his wake. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Cinedigm.photo for The Trust
  • “The Trust” (2016) Nicolas Cage, Elijah Wood, Jerry Lewis, Kevin Weisman. When two nobody police officers who work in the evidence room of the Las Vegas Police Department discover an unusually high bail receipt in connection to a drug bust, the two friends set in motion a plan to find the source of the money and concoct a plan to rob a bank-style vault that belongs to a high-end heroin dealer. But what they find inside puts their lives in grave danger. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Lionsgate.
  • “Viral” (2016) Sofia Black-D’Elia, Analeigh Tipton, Travis Tope, Michael Kelly. photo for ViralTeenaged sisters Emma (Sofia Black-D’Elia) and Stacey (Analeigh Tipton) live a normal life until their small suburban neighborhood is stricken with a mysterious parasitic virus. As the disease rapidly spreads throughout the town, the two band together to barricade themselves from infection. But it may already be too late — when the virus enters their home, the sisters are faced with an impossible choice: protect each other, or survive the virus. From Dimension Films/Anchor Bay.

On the Indie Front:

“Last Days in the Desert” (2016), starring Ewan McGregor, Tye Sheridan, Ciaran Hinds and Ayelet Zurer, follows Jesus (McGregor) in an imagined chapter in his 40 days of fasting and praying in the desert. During his time in the wilderness, he is faced with temptations from the Devil, also played by McGregor, over the fate of an ordinary family in crisis, setting for himself a dramatic test with distinctly human conflicts. From Broad Green Pictures.

Foreign Films:

“Guernica” (2016 — Spain), starring James D’Arcy, Jack Davenport, María Valverde and Hugo Silva, brings to life the tragic events immortalized in Pablo Picasso’s painting Guernica. As the citizens of the village of Guernica live with the day-to-day realities of the Spanish Civil War in 1937, a cynical American journalist (D’Arcy) secretly joins forces with a local press-office censor (Valverde) to work against the stringent restrictions that are becoming more common. But everything changes when Hitler’s Condor Legion German forces attack the town. Shot on location in Spain. From Sony.

For the Family:

In the animated “April and the Extraordinary World” (2016 — France), with the voices of Paul Giamatti, Tony Hale, Susan Sarandon, J.K. Simmons,l a family of scientists is on the brink of a powerful discovery in Paris in 1941 photo for April and the Extraordinary Worldwhen a mysterious force suddenly abducts them, leaving their young daughter April behind. Years later, April carries on her family’s research in secret with her cat, Darwin, but soon finds herself at the center of a shadowy conspiracy and on the run from government agents, bicycle-powered airships and cyborg rat spies. Alternate original French soundtrack with the voices of Marion Cotillard, Philippe Katerine, Jean Rochefort, Olivier Gourmet, Marc-Andre Grondin. On DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo from GKIDS/Universl … “The Adventures of Panda Warrior” (2016) is an animated family tale with the voices of Rob Schneider, Haylie Duff, Norm MacDonald, Lauren Elizabeth and Tom Kenny. When Patrick (Schneider), a peaceful soldier from ancient China, is magically transported to Merryland and turned into a Panda, he must join forces with Peggy the flying pig (Elizabeth), GoGo the daring goat (Duff) and King Leo the courageous lion (MacDonald) in order to free the once-peaceful world from the tyranny of the evil nine-headed snake that has enslaved them. From Lionsgate.

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