From the Big Screen:
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 — 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 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 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 Hu 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 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.