From the Big Screen:
This Week’s Best Bets:
For fans of the three “Before” films, the cornerstone of the career-long exploration of cinematic time by director Richard Linklater, actors Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke, The Criterion Collection has put together “The Before Trilogy.” This celebrated three-part romance captures a relationship as it begins, begins again, deepens, strains, and settles over the course of almost two decades. Chronicling the love of Celine (Delpy) and Jesse (Hawke), from their first meeting as idealistic twentysomethings to the disillusionment they face together in middle age, “The Before Trilogy” also serves as a document of a boundary-pushing and extraordinarily intimate collaboration between director and actors, as Delpy and Hawke, who co-wrote two of the films, imbue their characters with a sense of raw, lived-in experience, and as they age on-screen along with them. Attuned to the sweeping grandeur of time’s passage as well as the evanescence of individual moments, the Before films chart the progress of romantic destiny as it navigates the vicissitudes of ordinary life. New, restored 2K digital transfers of “Before Sunrise” (1995) and “Before Sunset” (2004), and a 2K digital master of “Before Midnight” (2013), approved by director Richard Linklater. Extras include a new discussion featuring Linklater and Delpy and Hawke, moderated by critic Kent Jones; behind-the-scenes footage and interviews from the productions of “Before Sunrise” and “Before Sunset”; audio commentary on “Before Midnight” by Delpy, Linklater, and Hawke; “Dream Is Destiny,” a 2016 feature-length documentary about Linklater by Louis Black and Karen Bernstein; new documentary about the making of “Before Midnight” in Greece by filmmaker Athina Rachel Tsangari; more.
From TV to DVD:
“Fuller House: The Complete First Season” (2016) is a two-disc set with all 13 episodes of the continuation of the 1980s series. Twenty years have passed and the Tanner sisters are all grown-up. They’ve returned to their San Francisco home, where they’re joined by family and friends as they raise the next generation of Tanner kids. “The Full House” original cast, including Bob Saget, Lori Loughlin, John Stamos and
Dave Coulier, make guest appearances throughout the series. The original “Full House,” which centered on three grown men raising three girls in San Francisco, premiered in 1987 on ABC. From Warner.
Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:
“Officer Downe” (2016), starring Tyler Ross and Kim Coates, is adapted from the 2010 graphic novel. The film concocts a hyper-real Los Angeles for the story of a savage L.A. policeman who is repeatedly resurrected and returned to active duty via dark science technology. When a rookie officer named Gable is recruited as back up, he discovers there’s much more to the titular super-cop than a mindless law enforcement drone warring against a twisted rouges gallery of over-the-top super-villains. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Magnolia Home Entertainment … Your favorite nightmares come to life in “Deadtime Stories” (1986), a salute to the age-old bedtime story ritual and making its Blu-ray debut this week. Travel on a mysterious journey to a medieval world populated by blood-crazed witches, evil experiments and captive maidens. Then from the catacombs and dark caverns of medieval Europe, you’ll plunge into modern suburbia and the adventures of a female jogger stalked by a savage werewolf. Finally, sensuality will become macabre, black comedy as you follow the trail of three bank robbers who share their country house hideaway with a sweet murderess. New high-def transfer from the original negative. From Scream Factory … It’s Hollywood, 1958, in “Rules Don’t Apply” (2016), starring Lily Collins, Alden Ehrenreich, Warren Beatty, Annette Bening, Matthew Broderick, Alec Baldwin, Candice Bergen, Ed Harris, Oliver Platt and Martin Sheen. An aspiring young actress, songwriter, beauty queen and devout Baptist virgin, Marla Mabrey (Collins), and her young, ambitious, deeply religious Methodist chauffeur, Frank Forbes (Ehrenreich), both struggle with the absurd eccentricities of the wildly unpredictable billionaire they work for, Howard Hughes (Beatty, who also directed), and their attraction to each other. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Fox … In “Chronic” (2015), starring Tim Roth, Sarah Sutherland and Robin Bartlett, a compassionate home-care nurse emotionally bonds with his terminally ill patients and finds that he needs his patients as much as they need him, from Lionsgate … A Naval Investigator and a former ELITE team leader team up to bring down a vicious drug lord, but their investigation uncovers a threat inside the CIA, FBI and the United States Senate in “Elite” (2017), starring Allison Gregory, Jason Scarborough, James C. Leary, from Lost Empire/MVD Entertainment … In “Contract to Kill” (2016), starring Steven Seagal, Russel Wong and Jemma Dallender, Seagal stars as a government enforcer investigating a terrorist plot that leads him and his team to Istanbul. There, they uncover an extremist plan to use drug-smuggling routes to bring deadly weapons — and leaders — into the U.S. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Lionsgate … In “Creepy” (2016 — Japan), Japanese horror master Kiyoshi Kurosawa (“Cure,” “Pulse”, “Bright Future”) offers up an insidiously-constructed narrative that braids plot twists on top of plot twists and shock on top of shock. A year after a botched hostage negotiation with a serial killer turned deadly ex-detective, Koichi (Hidetoshi Nishijima) and his wife move into a new house with a very strange new neighbor (Teruyuki Kagawa). His old cop colleagues come calling for his help on a mysterious case, which may be related to the unusual goings-on next door. From Icarus Films … A visionary and bizarre slice of Mexican art house cinema, “We Are the Flesh” (2016) is an extraordinary and unsettling film experience, a sexually charged and nightmarish journey into an otherworldy dimension of carnal desire and excess, as well as a powerful allegory on the corrupting power of human desire. A young brother and sister, roaming an apocalyptic city, take refuge in the dilapidated lair of a strange hermit. He puts them to work building a bizarre cavernous structure, where he acts out his insane and depraved fantasies. Trapped in this maddening womb-like world under his malign influence, they find themselves sinking into the realms of dark and forbidden behavior. Visionary, unrelenting, and certainly not for the prudish or faint-hearted, the film — mixing the graphic, powerful imagery of Gaspar Noé’s “Love” and “Enter the Void” with the surreal, hallucinatory impact of Alejandro Jodorowsky — is an erotic inferno of the senses that manages to pack all manner of delirium into its short running time, including incest, necrophilia, and cannibalism. This is extreme art cinema at its boldest and most taboo-bustingly bizarre. On Blu-ray, DVD from Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment.
“SCUM Manifesto” (2016) is a film created by Jill Godmilow in collaboration with Joanna Krakowska and Magda Mosiewicz that pays homage to the original SCUM Manifesto, a French film made in 1976 by Carole Roussopoulos and Delphine Seyrig that was inspired by Valerie Solanas’s infamous text of the same name. Solanas self-published SCUM Manifesto in 1967. This articulate, angry, often humorous and sometimes absurd text declares that women must “overthrow the government, eliminate the money system, institute complete automation, and destroy the male sex.” The original text, which Solanas first mimeographed and sold on the street, was later lost and forgotten, until she shot and almost killed Andy Warhol in 1968 — an event that undoubtedly brought her notoriety. In 1976, renowned French actress and filmmaker Delphine Seyrig (“Last Year in Marienbad,” “Jeanne Dielman”) made a film version of the manifesto. The film depicted Seyrig slowly translating the text of SCUM into French, phrase by phrase, while activist and Swiss director Carole Roussopoulos sits across the table and types up the text. Almost 40 years after Roussopoulos and Seyrig’s version was released, Jill Godmilow, Joanna Krakowska, and Magda Mosiewicz continue the SCUM legacy by creating a Polish version of the film. A copy of a copy. With each version, the context of the manifesto changes, allowing it to continue to be relevant — from the counterculture revolution of Solanas’s original, to the global resistance movements of the 1970 in Seyrig’s, up to the most recent nationalist hysteria in Poland surrounding Andrzej Duda’s rise to power in Godmilow’s version. From Facets … “Utopia” (2013) is a documentary that breaks what amounts to a national silence about Australia’s indigenous people — the oldest and most enduring human presence on Earth. Aboriginal people are still living in abject poverty and developing-world conditions, with a low life expectancy and disproportionately high rate of deaths in police custody. The film explores Australia’s suppressed colonial past and rapacious present. From Icarus Films.