New Releases for the Week of July 5

From the Big Screen:

“The Mermaid” and “I Saw the Light.” For more information on other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.

This Week’s Best Bets:

Inspired by the paranoid visions of John Frankenheimer’s “The Manchurian Candidate” and “Seconds”, the desert noir of “Detour” and the black and white widescreen beauty of Hiroshi Teshigahara’s “The Face of Another” and “Woman of the Dunes,” “Suture” (1993) is one of great feature debuts — by writer-directors David Siegel and Scott McGehee photo for Suture — and a truly unique piece of cinema. The wealthy and self-assured Vincent (Michael Harris) meets his blue collar half-brother Clay (Dennis Haysbert) at their father’s funeral and is struck by their similarity. He decides to murder Clay and take his identity, only Clay survives the assassination attempt with no memory and is mistaken for Vincent. The fact that Harris is white and Haysbert is black only complicates a film that probes into the nature of identity. After viewing an early rough cut, Steven Soderbergh came on board as executive producer and enthusiastic patron. “Suture” went on to become a hit on the festival circuit, including Sundance, where it deservedly won the award for Best Cinematography. Brand new 4K restoration from the original camera negative. In a Blu-ray/DVD Combo from Arrow Video/MVD photo for Only Yesterday Entertainment … Having lived her whole life in the city, 27-year-old Taeko (Daisy Ridley) decides to visit her relatives in the countryside. As she travels, memories of her youth resurface and after meeting young farmer Toshio (Dev Patel), she wonders if she’s been true to the dreams of her childhood self. Deftly switching between past and present, “Only Yesterday” (1991 — Japan) is a masterpiece of time and tone, rich with humor and stirring emotion, and beautifully animated by Studio Ghibli. From Academy Award-nominated director Isao Takahata (“The Tale of the Princess Kaguya”) and general producer Hayao Miyazaki (“Spirited Away”), this critically acclaimed film has never before been released in North America until now — in celebration of its 25th anniversary. On DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo from Universal.

From TV to DVD:

“House of Cards: The Complete Fourth Season” (2016) is a four-disc set with all 13 episodes. Kevin Spacey returns as President Frank Underwood alongside Robin Wright as his wife, first lady Claire Underwood. Season Four reveals even more of the dark twisted underbelly of politics as the Underwood’s continue their pursuit of power, battling everyone in their way, including each other. Featuring guest stars Cicely Tyson, Neve Campbell, Ellen Burstyn, Joel Kinnaman and Colm Feore. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Sony.

Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:

“By the Sea” (2015) was written, directed and produced by Angelina Jolie Pitt. The melodrama follows a writer, Roland (Brad Pitt), and his wife, Vanessa (Angelina Jolie Pitt), who arrive in a seaside resort in 1970s France. As they spend time with fellow travelers and locals, the couple come to terms with unresolved issues in their own lives. Co-stars Mélanie Laurent. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Universal … The Cristiana Haute Couture fashion house is a home to models … and backstabbing. .. and blackmail … and drug deals … and now MURDER. Having established a template for the giallo with “The Girl Who Knew Too Much,” Mario Bava set about cementing its rules with “Blood and Black Lace” (1964). In doing so he created one of the most influential films ever made — an Italian classic that would spearhead the giallo genre, provide a prototype for the slasher movie, and have a huge effect on filmmakers as diverse as Dario Argento and Martin photo for Blood and Black Lace Scorsese. Newly restored from the original camera negative and presented here in its original, uncut Italian form, this dual-format release allows fans to see “Blood and Black Lace” afresh and offers newcomers the ideal introduction to a major piece of cult filmmaking. New 2K restoration of the film from the original camera negative. Optional Italian and English soundtracks presented in original uncompressed mono PCM audio. In a Dual Format Blu-Ray/DVD from Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment … In the visually exciting “Chronicles of the Ghostly Tribe” (2015 — China), massive fossils of unknown creatures are discovered in the mountains on the Mongolian border in 1979, and the research team assigned to excavate the remains includes acclaimed Professor Yang, Hu Bayi, and Ping, the professor’s beautiful daughter. When a freak explosion, lethal bat attack, and fall to the mountain’s floor leaves only a handful of survivors, the small remaining band uncovers a mythic Cyclopean Temple – and an Interdimensional Portal that lets loose a pack of ravenous Hell-Beasts, leaving only photo for Chronicles of the Ghostly TribeHu alive. Flash forward to New York City, present day: Now living a quiet but tormented life as a librarian, Hu studies demonology manuscripts to find answers for that fateful day. Little does he know that Professor Yang has just been found wandering the mountains thousands of miles from where he supposedly died; a young woman with amnesia was just discovered in a recently-uncovered tomb; and a Northern Chinese mining town has just been ravaged by giant, unknown creatures. A complex but fascinating storyline mixes fantasy, mythology and science fiction in a rollercoaster ride of thrills. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Well Go USA … In “Dear Eleanor” (2016), starring Isabelle Fuhrman, Liana Liberato, Jessica Alba, Josh Lucas, Luke Wilson, Patrick Schwarzenegger and Ione Skye, best friends Max (Fuhrman) and Ellie (Liberato) decide to leave their rural hometown on an adventurous, cross-country road trip to meet former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Sneaking away in a bright blue convertible belonging to Ellie’s dad (Luke Wilson), they set out with the wind in their hair and the radio turned up. While trying to photo for Dear Eleanor stay a step ahead of Ellie’s father and the police, the girls cross paths with an eclectic mix of people, all set in a nostalgic 1962. A delightful if predictable female road trip. From Sony … Just out of college, a group of five friends retreat to a remote cabin in the woods for one last week of partying – only to become snacks for a gruesome, flesh-eating virus in “Cabin Fever” (2016), a remake of the 2002 Eli Roth horror flick. Stars Gage Golightly, Nadine Crocker, Samuel Davis and Dustin Ingram. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from IFC Midnight/Scream Factory … Man’s best friend becomes his worst nightmare when a horde of bloodthirsty wild dogs descends upon a family’s farmhouse in a remote stretch of the Australian Outback in “The Pack” (2015), starring Jack Campbell, Anna Lise Phillips. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from IFC Midnight/Scream Factory.

Jack Hill spent the seventies specializing in tough female characters. He made movies about girl gangs (“Switchblade Sisters”) and women in prison (“The Big Doll House,” “The Big Bird Cage”), turned Pam Grier a star with “Coffy” and “Foxy Brown,” and contributed to the Cheerleaders line of drive-in favorites with “The Swinging Cheerleaders” (1974). Kate, an undergraduate at Mesa University, goes undercover as a cheerleader for her college newspaper in order to expose “female exploitation in contemporary society.” But instead of oppression she finds love, friendship and a bigger fish to fry: corruption in the football team, headed up by the coach and his pals. A favorite of Quentin Tarantino, who screened it at the very first Tarantino Film Fest, “The Swinging Cheerleaders” features a cast of cult favorites including Colleen Camp, Rainbeaux Smith and future Playmate of the Month Rosanne Katon. Brand new 2K restoration from original film materials. On Blu-ray/DVD Combo from Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment … Based off the popular web series on, photo for The Swinging Cheerleaders “Vigilante Diaries” (2016), starring Paul Sloan, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Michael Jai White, Jason Mewes and Michael Madsen revolves around a team of black-ops agents turned crime-fighters, led by an elusive, brooding anti-hero of near-mythical physical and weapons skills, known only as The Vigilante (Sloan). Abandoned by governments, corporations and his handlers and with a bounty on his head, The Vigilante’s jam-packed missions of rescue and revenge move from the mega-mansions and underbelly of Los Angeles to far-flung locales including Iraq, Armenia, Russia, and the UK. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Anchor Bay … In “Search Party” (2016), starring Thomas Middleditch, T.J. Miller, Adam Pally and Shannon Woodward, a young man, jilted at the altar thanks to his goofy friends, travels to Mexico to find his reluctant bride, only to become involved in an escalating series of outrageous misadventures courtesy of the guys who created the mess in the first place. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Universal … In “Code of Honor” (2015), starring Steven Seagal, Craig Sheffer, Louis Mandylor, Helena Mattsson, Griff Furs, Rafael Petardi, Michael Flynn and James Russo, when his family is killed in a drive-by shooting, Robert Sikes (Seagal), a former Special Ops operative, vows to rid his city of every last photo for Search Party criminal. Sikes’s former protégé, FBI agent Porter (Sheffer), with help from a witness (Mattsson), tries to find his vigilante friend before the police — or the maniacal mobster Romano — are able to. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Lionsgate … In “The Family Fang” (2016), starring Nicole Kidman, Jason Bateman, Christopher Walken, Marin Ireland, Josh Pais and Maryann Plunkett, a pair of grown siblings (Nicole Kidman and director-star Jason Bateman) are compelled to search for their missing eccentric parents (Christopher Walken and Maryann Plunkett), conceptual performance artists famous for elaborate public hoaxes whose lifetime of public interventions have alienated their children. Unsure whether it’s foul play or just another elaborate ruse, nothing can prepare them for what they discover. From Anchor Bay … “The Levenger Tapes” (2016) is a found footage horror tale that follows three college students on an ill-fated weekend getaway. After finding what seems to be evidence of murder, the kids disappear, leaving behind a video camera. Thinking the missing students’ footage may help solve the kidnapping of a teenage girl, the police uncover even greater terror. Stars Johanna Braddy, Lili Mirojnick, Morgan Krantz and Chris Mulkey. From Lionsgate … In “Emma’s Chance” (2016), starring Greer Grammer, Joey Lawrence, Missi Pyle and Jennifer Taylor, while fulfilling her community service hours at a photo for 600 Miles horse rescue ranch, Emma (Grammer) forms an unlikely bond with an abused show horse who won’t let anyone ride him. Gaining new skills and confidence, Emma hatches a plan to redeem herself and ultimately save the ranch when it’s threatened by a predatory horse-buyer. From Sony … In “The Adderall Diaries” (2016), starring James Franco, Amber Heard, Christian Slater, Ed Harris, Wilmer Valderrama and Cynthia Nixon, Franco stars as a famous but troubled author whose fascination with a high-profile murder case brings his own dark past into focus. Based on the best-selling book by Stephen Elliott, “The Adderall Diaries” follows one man’s desperate journey through sex, drugs, and lies as he tries to separate fact from fiction and ignite a life-changing romance. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Lionsgate … In “600 Miles” (2015), starring Tim Roth, Kristyan Ferrer and Harrison Thomas, Hank Harris (Roth) is a U.S. agent out to bust an international arms-smuggling racket. While attempting an arrest, Hank is overpowered by a young Mexican gunrunner (Ferrer), who makes a fateful decision to smuggle Hank into Mexico and deliver him to his crime bosses. As the two enemies begin a tense journey into the heart of deadly cartel country, they are suddenly bound together in a desperate fight for survival. From Lionsgate photo for Term Life … In “Term Life” (2016), starring Vince Vaughn, Hailee Steinfeld, Bill Paxton, Jonathan Banks, Mike Epps and Jon Favreau, Nick Barrow (Vaughn) plans and sells heists to the highest bidder. But when his latest job goes horribly wrong and the son of a major drug cartel leader is assassinated, he finds himself being hunted by the head of the cartel. To clear his name, Nick must expose the dirty cops who committed the crime, but with both the Cartel and the cops tracking him, he does the only thing he can think of to help his estranged daughter, Cate (Steinfeld): He takes out a million dollar life insurance policy on himself with her as the beneficiary. But the policy will not take effect for 21 days and now his enemies also have their sights on Cate as well, forcing the pair to go on the run and forcing him to be a father for the very first time. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Focus Features/Universal.

On the Indie Front:

“Joseph & Mary” (2016), starring Katie Boland, Stephen McCarthy, Kevin Sorbo and Lara Jean Chorostecki, follows Elijah (McCarthy), a devout Rabbi, during a time of unrest when King Herod the Great’s slaughter of innocents claims the lives of two boys Elijah had sworn to protect. Elijah makes it his life’s mission to avenge their deaths, but when he meets Joseph (Sorbo), Mary (Chorostecki) and their young son Jesus, the beliefs fueling his revenge are put into question. When the time comes to face his life-long enemy, Elijah finds himself warring within whether or not to kill or choose forgiveness. Recipient of the “Faith-Based Seal” by The Dove Foundation. From Cinedigm.

Foreign Films:

Brazilian artist Alê Abreu’s Academy Award-nominated animated masterpiece “Boy & the World” (2013 — Brazil) is a riotous explosion of music and color. Cuca’s cozy rural life is shattered when his father leaves for the city. Determined to reunite his family, Cuca embarks on a journey that unfolds like a tapestry — the film’s stunning visuals becoming more complex as his small world expands. The story of a changing world through the eyes of a curious child, “Boy and the World” depicts a clash between village and city, nature and industry, the rich and the poor — and despite the tumult, the heart and soul of the people beats on as a song. On DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo from Universal.

For the Family:

“Sesame Street: Elmo’s Favorite Stories” (2016) is a compilation of engaging and educational stories for preschool children. In one story, a disagreement arises between Big photo for Electra Woman & Dyna GirlBird and Elmo as they are about to act out one of Elmo’s favorite stories, “Maria the Cowgirl.” In another story Abby recalls that green creatures are often princes in disguise! Abby soon concludes that Oscar could be a frog—he is green isn’t he?—and therefore is also an enchanted prince! She thinks that a kiss is the only way to break the spell and turn Oscar back into Prince Oscar. Children will learn early reading skills such as letter recognition, letter sounds, and story structure (beginning/middle/end) as the Sesame friends use their imaginations to make up and act out all kinds of stories. $14.97 from Warner … In “Electra Woman & Dyna Girl” (2015), starring Grace Helbig, Hannah Hart and Andy Buckley, two superheroes, Electra Woman (Helbig) and Dyna Girl (Hart) move from Akron to Los Angeles in hopes of making it big in the crime fighting world, only to find competition with other vigilantes and infighting amongst themselves. From Sony.

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