From the Big Screen:
This Week’s Best Bets:
It’s hard to belive that it’s been 40 years since “Taxi Driver” (1976) — one of the greatest films of all time — hit the big screen and stunned audiences and critics alike. For his anniversary, Sony has given the film a 4K restoration and packaged it in a two-disc Blu-ray set. Robert De Niro stars in Martin Scorsese’s unforgettable tale of a psychotic New York cabbie driven to violence by loneliness and desperation. The acclaimed cast also includes Jodie Foster, Albert Brooks, Harvey Keitel, Peter Boyle and Cybill Shepherd. Extras include Disc One: a new 40-Minute “Taxi Driver” Q&A featuring Scorsese, De Niro, Foster and many more. Recorded live at the Beacon Theatre in New York City at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival; original 1986 commentary with Scorsese and writer Paul Schrader recorded by The Criterion Collection; commentaries by Schrader and by Professor Robert Kolker; “Martin Scorsese on Taxi Driver”; “Producing Taxi Driver”; “God’s Lonely Man” “Taxi Driver Stories”; “Travis’ New York”; “Travis’ New York Locations”; theatrical trailer. Disc Two: Making-of documentary, storyboard to film comparisons with Martin Scorsese introduction, animated photo galleries … Marking TV star Daphne Zuniga’s debut in a leading role, “The Initiation” (1984), co-starring Vera Miles and Clu Gulager, ranks amongst the finest of the college-based stalk-and-slash flicks — now finally restored in High-Definition. Kelly’s new sorority has a special initiation ritual in store for her — an after-hours break-in of her father’s department store. But what begins as a night of harmless college fun turns sour when, once inside the enormous mall, Kelly and her fellow pledges find themselves locked in for the night … with a deadly intruder stalking the corridors. Arriving in 1984, “The Initiation” might have been late to the slasher party, but, alongside the likes of “The House on Sorority Row” and “The Mutilator,” it remains one of the stronger entries to emerge in the latter days of the slice-and-dice boom. Brand new 2K restoration from the original camera negative with uncompressed PCM Mono Audio. On Blu-ray from Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment … Based on the best-selling manga series, the six intensely kinetic “Lone Wolf and Cub” films (1972-72) elevated chanbara to bloody, new heights. The shogun’s executioner, Itto Ogami (Tomisaburo Wakayama), takes to wandering the countryside as an assassin — along with his infant son Daigoro (Akihiro Tomikawa) and an infinitely weaponized perambulator — helping those he encounters while seeking vengeance for his murdered wife. Delivering stylish thrills and a body count that defies belief, Lone Wolf and Cub is beloved for its brilliantly choreographed and unbelievably violent action sequences as well as for its tender depiction of the bonds between parent and child. On DVD, Blu-ray, in a new 2K digital restorations (of all six films), with uncompressed monaural soundtracks on the Blu-rays. From The Criterion Collection.
From TV to DVD:
In “Capital” (2015) a street’s residents one day all receive an anonymous postcard through their front doors bearing a simple message: “We want what you have.” Who is behind the anonymous hate campaign? And what do they want? As the mystery of the postcards deepens, interweaving stories reveal lives filled with love and loss, fear and greed, fortune and envy, and at its heart, family and home. Based on John Lanchester’s best-selling novel, the series stars Toby Jones, Gemma Jones and Rachael Stirling. From Acorn Media … AMC’s “The Making of the Mob: Chicago”(2016) is an eight-episode miniseries with an immersive blend of dramatic scenes, archival footage, visual effects and exclusive interviews, that documents the emergence of organized crime in Middle America through the rise and fall of iconic gangster Al Capone. From Capone’s early days in New York running the streets with Lucky Luciano and Bugsy Siegel, to his prolonged war with the Irish gangs of Chicago and his final battles with Eliot Ness and law enforcement, the series tells the true and full story of the Chicago underworld. From Anchor Bay Entertainment … “TURN: Washington’s Spies – The Complete Third Season” (2016) is a three-disc set with all 10 episodes of AMC’s critically acclaimed Revolutionary War drama. Jamie Bell stars as Abraham Woodhull, a farmer living in British-occupied Long Island during the Revolutionary War, who bands together with a disparate group of childhood friends to form the Culper Ring – America’s first spy ring. This season builds toward one of the most notorious moments in American history — the treasonous defection of Benedict Arnold. From Anchor Bay.