From the Big Screen:
This Week’s Best Bets
Two groundbreaking films come to home video this week in gorgeous new editions. “Easy Rider” (1969) is the definitive counterculture blockbuster. The down-and-dirty directorial debut of former clean-cut teen star Dennis Hopper, “Easy Rider” heralded the arrival of a new voice in film, one pitched angrily against the mainstream. After the film’s cross-country journey — with its radical, New Wave–style editing, outsider-rock soundtrack, revelatory performance by a young Jack Nicholson and explosive ending — the American road trip would never be the same. On DVD and Blu-ray, with a restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised by director of photography Laszlo Kovacs, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Also features alternate 2.0 and 5.1 surround soundtracks, presented in DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray. From The Criterion Collection … “Independence Day” (1976) is the sci-fi epic that launched a new era in blockbuster filmmaking. Director Roland Emmerich, producer Dean Devlin and an all-star cast including Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman join forces to deliver the ultimate encounter between powerful aliens and the human race. When massive spaceships appear in Earth’s skies and blast destructive beams of fire down on cities all over the planet, a determined band of survivors must unite for one last strike against the invaders before it’s the end of mankind. The DVD features a newly restored theatrical cut while the two-disc Blu-ray set includes restored extended and original theatrical cuts. There’s also an Attacker Edition with the Blu-ray discs packed inside a limited edition 3D Alien Ship with a collectible booklet. “Independence Day — 20th Anniversary Edition” has been released just in time for the June 24 theatrical debut of “Independence Day: Resurgence.” From Fox.
From TV to DVD:
“The Brokenwood Mysteries, Series 2” (2015): In a seemingly quiet country town in New Zealand, Detective Inspector Mike Shepherd (Neill Rea) finds that murder can happen anywhere. After transferring from a big city to the small town of Brokenwood, Shepherd has settled into the relaxed rhythms of country life. His methodical young assistant, Detective Kristin Sims (Fern Sutherland), has adapted to Shepherd’s unconventional ways — and even tolerates listening to country music in his 1971 “classic” car. Despite the growing accord between the mismatched pair, all is not well in Brokenwood, where passions simmering beneath the sleepy surface regularly erupt into gruesome crimes. In these four feature-length mysteries, Shepherd and Sims contend with a potential serial killer, a group of egocentric thespians, a family of territorial fishermen, and the mysterious death of Shepherd’s favorite singer. In four-disc DVD, two-disc Blu-ray sets. From Acorn Media … “Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors” (2015)starring Jennifer Nettles, Ricky Schroder, Gerald McRaney, Alyvia Alyn Lind, is based on the inspiring true story of Dolly Parton’s remarkable upbringing in rural Tennessee. The TV drama takes place inside the tight-knit Parton family as they struggle to overcome a devastating tragedy and discover the healing power of love, faith and a raggedy patchwork coat — vividly described in the well-known song of the film’s title — that helped make Parton who she is today. Set in the Tennessee Great Smoky Mountains in 1955; Parton introduces the film and serves as narrator. From Warner … “The Last Ship” (2015) is a three-disc set with all 13 episodes of the TNT cable TV series based on William Brinkley’s popular novel that chronicles a global catastrophe that nearly decimates the world’s population. Because of its positioning, the Navy destroyer U.S.S. Nathan James avoided falling victim to the devastating tragedy. But now, Captain Tom Chandler (series star Eric Dane) and his crew must confront the reality of their new existence in a world where they may be among the few remaining survivors. On DVD, Blu-ray from TNT/Turner Home Entertainment.