New Releases for the Week of June 4

From the Big Screen:

“Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral” and “Gloria Bell.” For more information on other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.

This Week’s Best Bets

“The Andromeda Strain” (1971), starring Arthur Hill, David Wayne, James Olsen and Kate Reid, is one of th most stunning — and innovative — SF films of all time … and one of our favorites. Before he created Westworld and Jurassic Park, Michael Crichton first blurred the line between science fiction and science fact with his breakout success “The Andromeda Strain.” Two years after the novel’s publication, Robert Wise directed the film adaptation, a nail-biting blend of clinically-realized docudrama and astonishing sci-fi visuals that ushered in a photo for The Andromeda Strain new subgenre: the “killer virus” biological thriller. A government satellite crashes outside a small town in New Mexico — and within minutes, every inhabitant of the town is dead, except for a crying baby and an elderly derelict. The satellite and the two survivors are sent to Wildfire, a top-secret underground laboratory equipped with a nuclear self-destruct mechanism to prevent the spread of infection in case of an outbreak. Realizing that the satellite brought back a lethal organism from another world, a team of government scientists race against the clock to understand the extraterrestrial virus — codenamed “Andromeda” — before it can wipe out all life on the planet. Aided by innovative visual effects by Douglas Trumbull (“2001: A Space Odyssey,” “Silent Running”) and an unforgettable avant-garde electronic music score by Gil Melle, Wise’s suspense classic still haunts to this day, and is presented here in a stunning, exclusive new 4K scan and restoration from the original negative. On Blu-ray from Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment … “A Film Trilogy by Ingmar Bergman”: In 1960, Swedish director Ingmar Bergman began work on three of his most powerful and representative films, eventually presented as a trilogy. Already a figure of international acclaim for such masterpieces as “The Seventh Seal” and “The Magician,” Bergman turned his photo for A Film Trilogy by Ingmar Bergman back on the expressionism of his fifties work to focus on a series of chamber dramas exploring belief and alienation in the modern age. Collaborating with the distinguished cinematographer Sven Nykvist, and eliciting searing performances from his refined cast of regulars—Harriet Andersson, Gunnar Björnstrand, Gunnel Lindblom, Ingrid Thulin, and Max Von Sydow among them — Bergman unleashed “Through a Glass Darkly” (1961), “Winter Light” (1963), and “The Silence” (1963) in rapid succession, exposing moviegoers worldwide to a new level of intellectual and emotional intensity. Drawing on Bergman’s own upbringing and ongoing spiritual crises, the films of the trilogy examine the necessity of religion and question the promise of faith. On DVD and Blu-ray, with new 2K digital restorations of all three films, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks on the Blu-rays. From The Criterion Collection … photo for Trapped Alive Genre regular Cameron Mitchell stars in “Trapped Alive” (1988), thrilling tale of escaped hoodlums and underground-dwelling cannibals from director Leszek Burzynski and “Hellraiser” producer Christopher Webster. One wintry night, pals Robin and Monica are making their way to a Christmas party when they’re carjacked by a gang of crooks recently escaped from the local penitentiary. With the two young women taken as hostages, things take an even darker turn when their vehicle plummets down an abandoned mine shaft, trapping them underground with the dangerous crooks — and a mutant cannibal. Filmed in 1988 under the title of “Forever Mine” but not released until 1993, “Trapped Alive” was the first film to come out of Wisconsin’s now-defunct Windsor Lake Studios, which would go on to produce a number of films under the Fangoria Films label in the early-90s, including 1992’s Bruce Campbell-starring “Mindwarp.” Brand new 2K restoration from the original camera negative. On Blu-ray from Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment.

From TV to Disc:

“The Brady Bunch: 50th Anniversary TV & Movie Collection” is a 30-disc collection that features all five years of the series (1969-74) and the first-ever DVD release of “The Bradys” and “The photo for The Brady Bunch: 50th Anniversary TV & Movie Collection Brady Brides” spinoff series as well as all “The Brady Bunch” movies. “The Brady Bunch” made television history when it debuted 50 years ago on September 26, 1969. When widower Mike Brady (Robert Reed) marries a lovely lady named Carol Ann (Florence Henderson), their two families become one. The six children include Carol’s daughters Marcia (Maureen McCormick), Jan (Eve Plumb) and Cindy (Susan Olsen), as well as Mike’s sons Greg (Barry Williams), Peter (Christopher Knight), and Bobby (Mike Lookinland). Together with their dog Tiger and quirky housekeeper Alice (Ann B. Davis), this wild clan became the Brady Bunch. Along with all five seasons of the series, the set includes “The Brady Kids: The Complete Animated Series,” “The Bradys” and “The Brady Brides” spinoffs, alongside five television films “The Brady Bunch Movie,” “A Very Brady Christmas,” “The Brady Bunch in the White House,” “Growing Up Brady” and “A Very Brady Sequel.” From CBS/Paramount … “Lost in Space, The Complete First Season” (2018), a reimagining of the original family space adventure, is set 30 years in the future and ­finds the Robinsons torn off course en route to what they hoped would be a fresh start on a distant space colony. Against all odds, but with endless hope and extensive training, the family bands together to survive on a dangerous alien planet. All 10 episodes on four-DVDs of three Blu-rays. From Fox … “Sara Stein — From Berlin to Tel Aviv: The Complete Series” (2018) is a two-disc set with four photo for Sara Stein -- From Berlin to Tel Aviv: The Complete Series feature-length episodes of the internationally flavored crime series. As a criminal investigator of Jewish descent working in Berlin, Sara Stein was used to operating independently of everyone else. Her keen instincts and sound judgement enabled her to navigate sure-footedly through many sensitive cases. But it was not until she found herself investigating the murder of an Israeli DJ that politics and religion played such an important role in her life. Now, facing new challenges as a detective in Tel Aviv, Sara continues to strive for truth and justice while dreaming of peace for her beloved new home, Israel. From Omnibus Entertainment … “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan Season One” (2018) includes all eight episodes on three-disc DVD, two-disc Blu-ray. John Krasinski stars as Tom Clancy’s iconic CIA analyst in the new hit series already renewed for a second and third season on Amazon Prime Video. When CIA analyst Jack Ryan stumbles upon a suspicious series of bank transfers his search for answers pulls him from the safety of his desk job and catapults him into a deadly game of cat and mouse throughout Europe and the Middle East, with a rising terrorist figurehead preparing for a massive attack against the U.S. and her allies. From Paramount.

Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:

In “The Cleaning Lady” (2018), starring Alexis Kendra, Rachel Alig, Stelio Savante and JoAnne McGrath, Alice (Kendra) seems like a woman who has it all: a gorgeous apartment, a booming career, a stunning physique, and a handsome boyfriend. The only problem is he’s married to someone else. Looking for a way to simplify her life, Alice hires Shelly to clean her house. As Alice begins to confide in Shelly about her illicit affair, their friendship grows… and so does Shelly’s twisted obsession with her new employer. It soon becomes clear that Shelly has motives that reach further than a normal cleaning lady. Shelly wants to cleanse Alice’s entire life and will stop at nothing until she’s done. From RLJE Films … photo for JTLeroy In “JTLeroy” (2018), starring Kristen Stewart, Laura Dern, Jim Sturgess, Courtney Love and Diane Kruger, a young woman named Savannah Knoop (Stewart) spends six years pretending to be the celebrated author and cult status character JT LeRoy, the made-up literary persona of her sister-in-law (Dern). The three books were purportedly semi-autobiographical accounts by a teenage boy of his experiences of poverty, drug use, and emotional and sexual abuse in his childhood and adolescence from rural West Virginia to California. Based on a true story. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Universal … “The Haunting of Sharon Tate” (2019), starring Hilary Duff, Jonathan Bennett and Lydia Hearst, based on one of Hollywood’s most chilling murder cases, follows pregnant 26-year-old actress Sharon Tate (Duff), a rising star about to have her first baby with her husband, director Roman Polanski. Plagued by terrifying premonitions, Sharon sees her worst nightmares come to life with the appearance of Charles Manson and his deadly cult. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Lionsgate … In “I’ll Take Your Dead” (2019), starring Aidan Devine, Ava Preston, Jess Salgueiro and Ari Millen, William has a simple job: he makes dead bodies disappear. This isn’t something he likes or even wants to do, but through circumstances out of his photo for I’ll Take Your Dead control, his little farm house in the country has become a dumping ground for the casualties of the gang related murders in the nearby city. After a woman’s body is dumped at the house, William begins his meticulous process when he realizes she’s not actually dead. As the gang activity increases, William patches the woman up and holds her against her will until he can figure out what to do with her. As they begin to develop a very unusual respect for each other, the woman’s murderers get word that she’s still alive and make plan to finish what they started. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Shout! Factory … Paying homage to the grindhouse features of the 1960s and 70s, “Rondo” (2018), starring Luke Sorge, Brenna Otts, Ketrick “Jazz” Copeland and Gena Shaw, is a darkly sexual, craftily stylized and wildly entertaining crime and revenge melodrama. Paul, a troubled young veteran, is told by a psychiatrist that sex is the solution to his dependency and drinking problems. But things turns out otherwise as Paul and his sister are sucked into a criminal underworld where sex and murder are daily specials and revenge is served piping hot. From Artsploitation Films … In “The Kid” (2018), starring Jake Schur, Leila Georg, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawk and Dane DeHaan, a young boy, Rio (Schur), is forced to go on the run across the American Southwest in a desperate attempt to save his sister (George) from his villainous uncle (Pratt). Along the way, he encounters Sheriff Pat Garrett (Hawke), on the hunt for the infamous outlaw Billy the Kid (DeHaan). Rio finds himself increasingly entwined in the lives of these two legendary figures as the cat-and-mouse game of Billy the Kid’s final year of life plays out. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Lionsgate.

On the Indie Front:

In “All You Ever Wished For” (2018), starring Darren Criss, Madalina Ghenea and James Remar, Tyler Hutton (Criss) is a young New York fashion executive whose business trip to Milan takes an unexpected turn when he is kidnapped for ransom and whisked off to a remote Alpine village. Little does he or his three bumbling abductors know that the rustic cottage where they spend the night is under a gypsy love spell. Upon waking up the next morning, each of the men fall in love with the first living soul that meets their eyes: which are, for the kidnappers: a homely spinster; a handsome woodsman; and one cute cow. Tyler, as luck would have it, gets smitten by Rosalia (Ghenea), a raven-haired beauty with a sharp tongue and reluctant heart. From Omnibus Entertainment.

Foreign Films:

In “Guy” (2018 — France), starring Tom Dingler and Alex Lutz, Gauthier (Dingler), a young journalist, finds a letter suggesting he might be the son of Guy Jamet (Lutz in a Cesar award-winning performance), a 72-year-old French pop singer who was famous from the 60s to the 80s. As the old-time singer embarks on a tour to promote his newly released covers album, Guathier follows his maybe-biological father under the pretext of filming a documentary about Guy’s career. From Icarus Films … photo for Woman At War “Woman At War” (2018 — Iceland), starring Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir, Jóhann Sigurðarson and Juan Camillo Roman Estrada, is the humorous story of one woman’s unique fight against climate change. The seemingly mild-mannered Halla blends in with her community during the day; at night, however, she is the vigilante known only as “The Woman of the Mountain”, whose goal is to take down the aluminum industry. When she is presented with a world-changing opportunity — the chance to adopt a child in Ukraine — she must choose whether or not to continue her life in the shadows or move towards the new light in her life. From Magnolia Home Entertainment.

For the Family:

“Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” (2018) is an all-New, feature-length animated thriller that finds Gotham City reaching New levels of danger when Shredder joins forces with Ra’s al Ghul to enact a nefarious plan — leading to the team-up of the Dark Knight and the Turtles to combat the combined might of the Foot Clan and League of Assassins. On DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo, from Warner … “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie” (1995) makes its Blu-ray debut photo for Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie this week. Power up with six incredible teens who out-maneuver and defeat evil everywhere as the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. But this time, the Power Rangers may have met their match when they face off with the most sinister monster the galaxy has ever seen — Ivan Ooze. From Shout! Factory … “The Best of the New Scooby-Doo Movies: The Lost Episodes” (2019) features eight never-before released episodes that are now available together on DVD for the first time. The Mystery Inc. Gang teams up with stellar celebrity guest stars who help them solve the most intriguing cases. The gang joins forces with heartthrob Davy Jones as well as Josie and the Pussycats. Released just in time for Scooby-Doo’s 50th anniversary. All eight episodes are included in “The New Scooby-Doo Movies: The (Almost) Complete Collection” (see below). From Warner … “The New Scooby-Doo Movies: The (Almost) Complete Collection” (2019) includes — for the first time ever — nearly all episodes from “The New Scooby-Doo Movies,” the Scooby-Doo series featuring celebrity guests, now available to own in one collection. Includes 23 episodes. That loveable Great Dane and the Mystery Inc. gang encounter some of pop culture’s most legendary names, including Jonathan Winters, Dick Van Dyke, The Three Stooges, Cass Elliot of The Mamas & the Papas, Laurel & Hardy, Harlem Globetrotters, Batman and Robin and many more, as they embark on their mystery-solving adventures. Released just in time for Scooby-Doo’s 50th anniversary. On DVD, Blu-ray, Digital from Warner.

Special Interest:

“Terror in the Skies” (2018) is a documentary that explores hundreds of years of terrifying reports of encounters with massive, winged creatures around the Land of Lincoln. From Alton’s man-eating Piasa Bird legends to recent Chicago sightings of a creature said to resemble West Virginia’s infamous Mothman, “Terror in the Skies” takes an in-depth look at a centuries-old mystery. Small Town Monsters made waves in 2017 with their documentary “The Mothman of Point Pleasant,” which “Terror in the Skies” acts as a “spiritual sequel” to and one that will be concluded in 2020 by the final chapter in their Mothman trilogy, “The Mothman Legacy.” From Small Town Monsters … “Woody Guthrie All-Star Tribute Concert 1970” celebrates the life and work of the legendary folk singer and songwriter Woody Guthrie, whose songs have become part of the bedrock of American life. Three years after Guthrie died of Huntington’s disease in 1967, the California chapter of the Committee to Combat Huntington’s Disease, now known as the Hereditary Disease Foundation, helped stage this concert at the Hollywood photo for Woody Guthrie All-Star Tribute Concert 1970 Bowl in Los Angeles to raise funds for Huntington’s research. Although the concert took place one night only, four-time Emmy award winner Jim Brown filmed this historic event, with performances by Arlo Guthrie, Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, Country Joe McDonald, Odetta, Richie Havens, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, Earl Robinson, and The Band along with narration by actors Will Geer and Peter Fonda. From MVD Visual, due June 7 … “Screwball” (2018) is an irreverent, award-winning story of illegal drugs and famous baseball stars. Recounting the high-profile doping scandal that rocked Major League Baseball, director Billy Corben (“Cocaine Cowboys,” “Magic City Hustle”) takes us into the surreal Miami underworld that provided performance-enhancing drugs to Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez and other star players. The documentary plays like a madcap Floridian crime comedy in the vein of Elmore Leonard, Carl Hiaasen and the Coen Brothers while it raises serious questions about the ethics of professional sports. From Greenwich Entertainment … “Cherry Grove Stories” (2018) is an LGBTQ documentary that entertainingly recounts time in Cherry Grove, including queer origins, Tennessee Williams visits, decadent parties, sexual liberation, HIV alienation and the continual swinging of indecent law enforcement … all told through first person accounts and a treasure trove of fabulous, unseen archival footage of the beloved haven. In an era when it was illegal for two men to hold hands in public, the pristine beachfront hamlet of Cherry Grove on Fire Island, N.Y., was a safe haven for gays who were often targeted for arrest and prosecution. From Breaking Glass Pictures.

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.

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