"The movie business is macabre. Grotesque.
It is a combination of a football game
and a brothel."
-- Federico Fellini
Sep 302019

From the Big Screen:

“Spider-Man: Far From Home.” For more information on other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.

This Week’s Best Bet:

“The Addams Family and Addams Family Values”: On DVD and Blu-ray either individually or in 2-Movie DVD or Blu-ray Collections, with “Addams Family Values” making its Blu-ray debut — just in time for the new animated feature film hitting theaters October 11. “The Addams photo for The Addams Family and Addams Family ValuesFamily” (1991): When long-lost Uncle Fester (Christopher Lloyd) reappears after 25 years in the Bermuda Triangle, Gomez (Raul Julia) and Morticia (Anjelica Huston) plan a celebration to wake the dead. But Wednesday (Christina Ricci) barely has time to warm up her electric chair before Thing points out Fester’s uncommonly “normal” behavior. Could this Fester be a fake, part of an evil scheme to raid the Addams fortune? “Addams Family Values” (1993): It’s love at first fright when Gomez (Raul Julia) and Morticia (Anjelica Huston) welcome a new addition to the Addams household — Pubert, their soft, cuddly, mustachioed baby boy. As Fester (Christopher Lloyd) falls hard for voluptuous nanny Debbie Jilinksy (Joan Cusack), Wednesday (Christina Ricci) and Pugsley (Jimmy Workman) discover she’s a black-widow murderess who plans to add Fester to her collection of dead husbands. From Paramount.

From TV to Disc:

“Chernobyl” (2019): On April 26, 1986, the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine, Soviet Union suffered a massive explosion resulting in one of the worst human-made catastrophes in history. This six-hour limited series tells the story of the brave men and women who made incredible sacrifices to save Europe from unimaginable disaster, all the while battling a culture of disinformation. Jared Harris portrays Valery Legasov, a leading Soviet nuclear physicist. As part of the response team, he was one of the first to grasp the scope of the unparalleled disaster that occurred. Stellan Skarsgard plays Soviet Deputy Prime Minister Boris Shcherbina, who is assigned by the Kremlin to lead the government commission on Chernobyl in the hours immediately following the accident. Emily Watson portrays Ulana Khomyuk, a Soviet nuclear physicist committed to solving the mystery of what led to the Chernobyl disaster. From HBO … “Doom Patrol: The Complete First Season” (2018) is a three-disc DVD, two-disc Blu-ray with all 15 episodes from the first season of the DC Universe original series revolving around misfit DC Super Heroes. Following the mysterious disappearance of their leader, Dr. Niles Caulder (“The Chief”), the reluctant heroes find themselves in a place they never expected to be, called to action by none other than Cyborg, who comes to them with a mission hard to refuse. Part support group, part Super Hero team, the Doom Patrol is a band of superpowered freaks who fight for a world that wants nothing to do with them. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray, Digital. From Warner … photo for Gunsmoke: The Fifteenth Season, Volume 1 and Volume 2 “Gunsmoke: The Fifteenth Season, Volume One and Volume 2” (1969-70): The iconic TV Western, starring nominee James Arness as the legendary Marshal Matt Dillon, returns in 26 digitally remastered episodes in full color and high-definition, available for the first time on DVD. The unprecedented fifteenth season of the fan-favorite classic series features appearances from guest stars such as Jodie Foster, Ron Howard, Eileen Heckart and Hal Needham. Marshal Dillon continues his adventures alongside the loyal Doc Adams (Milburn Stone), sexy saloon proprietress Miss Kitty (Amanda Blake) and lovable Deputy Festus Haggen (Ken Curtis). Confounding bank robbers, misleading mail-order brides, Kitty departing Dodge City, and a ruthless psychopath push Matt Dillon to the edge. From CBS/Paramount … “The Truth Will Out” (2019) is a two-disc set with all eight episodes. The top-rated Swedish drama is an addictive eight-part series about a police detective who is commissioned to form a new team to reopen unsolved murder cases. Inspired by true events. Returning to work following a mental breakdown, Detective Peter Wendel (Robert Gustafsson) is tasked with creating an elite team of investigators to crack cold cases. When the police find a note on a dead body that claims Sweden’s most notorious serial killer is a fraud, Wendel gets a chance to redeem himself — but only the dregs of the force are available to work the case. Under pressure to mobilize quickly, Wendel is forced to hire two cops who hate each other, plus a forthright woman who isn’t even a police officer. Can his lowly group solve this high-profile crime? From Acorn Media.

Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:

In the musical-horror film “Anna and the Apocalypse” (2017), starring Ella Hunt, Malcolm Cumming and Sarah Swire, a zombie apocalypse threatens the sleepy town of Little Haven — at Christmas — forcing Anna and her friends to fight, slash and sing their way to survival, facing the undead in a desperate race to reach their loved ones. But they soon discover that no one is safe in this new world, and with civilization falling apart around them, the only people they can truly rely on are each other. From Cinedigm … photo for Lost City of the Jungle In “Lost City of the Jungle” (1946), following the end of WWII, war-monger Sir Eric Hazarias (Lionel Atwill) sets the wheels in motion for WWIII. His search for Meteorium 245, the only practical defense against the atomic bomb, leads him to mythical Pendrang. Obstructing his sinister plan to rule the world are Rod Stanton (Russell Hayden), United Peace Foundation investigator; Tal Shan (Keye Luke), Pendrang native; and Marjorie Elmore (Jane Adams), daughter of scientist Dr. Elmore (John Eldredge), unwilling assistant to Sir Eric. On Blu-ray from VCI Entertainment … It’s not human, and it’s got an axe. One of the most underrated efforts to hail from the slice-and-dice boom, “The Prey (Limited Edition)” (1983), starring Debbie Thureson, Steve Bond and Lori Lethin, at last emerges from the VHS wilderness in a brand new 2K restoration from the recently unearthed original camera negative. Three young couples set off into the mountains for a weekend of climbing, drinking and lovemaking. But little do they know that they are stumbling into the terrain of a fearsome predator — a wild man, horrifically burned as a child many years ago in a fire which photo for The Prey (Limited Edition)engulfed his gypsy camp and left only him alive. Now he roams the woods in search of his next human prey. Filmed in 1979-1980 — making it a contemporary, rather than an imitator, of the likes of “Friday the 13th” — but not released until 1984 when it was picked up by New World Pictures, “The Prey” is a unique woodsy slasher gem ripe for reappraisal in this extras-packed, 40th anniversary edition. On Blu-ray from Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment … In photo for The Gangster, the Cop, the Devil “The Gangster, the Cop, the Devil” (2019 — South Korea), fierce gang boss Jang Dong-su (Don Lee) is violently attacked after a fender bender on a rainy night. After fighting back, he barely escapes; however his reputation as a feared leader is damaged beyond repair. The only way to restore his image is to find his attacker and exact revenge. Jang teams up with Detective Jung Tae-seok (Kim Moo Yul) to find the assailant, but soon discovers the attacker is actually a serial killer. With no support from the police department, Detective Jung is forced to use gang boss Jang’s resources in order to track down the killer. The two men must work together to find a man simply known as “K”. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Well Go USA … “The Death and Return of Superman Complete Film Collection Gift photo for Doom: AnnihilationSet” is a numbered, limited edition box set of the combined animated films “The Death of Superman” (2018) and “Reign of the Supermen” (2019). In a Blu-ray/DVD Combo and 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo, from Warner … Based on the popular original video game, “Doom: Annihilation” (2019), starring Amy Manson, Dominic Mafham, Luke Allen-Gale, Louis Mandylor and Clayton Adams, is an explosive, terrifying thrill ride. On the darkest moon of Mars, scientists have found an ancient portal which allows teleportation throughout the universe. Considered to be mankind’s greatest discovery, it’s actually a gateway from hell, unleashing a swarm of demons looking to steal the souls of everyone who gets in their way. It’s up to Lieutenant Joan Dark and an elite unit of Marines to destroy an ever-growing horde of bloodsucking and soul-stealing beasts and prevent them from taking over planet Earth. From Universal.

Foreign Films:

“The Silent Revolution” (2018 — Germany) is a film about the extraordinary courage of young individuals in a time of political oppression … a gripping true story of a group of students in 1956 East Germany, and how their lives are changed forever by a harmless human act of solidarity. During a visit to the cinema in West Berlin, high school students Theo (Leonard Scheicher) and Kurt (Tom Gramenz) see dramatic newsreel footage of the Hungarian uprising in Budapest. Back at school in Stalinstadt, they spontaneously decide to hold a moment of silence in solidarity with the victims of the uprising. The gesture causes bigger ripples than expected. The People’s Educational Minister (Burghart Klaußner) condemns the action as counterrevolutionary and demands that the ringleader be named within a week. But the students stick together, facing a decision that will change their lives forever. From Icarus Films.

For the Family:

“Peanuts 70th Anniversary Holiday Collection Limited Edition” is a four-disc collection that includes nine television specials packaged in a limited edition collectible Snoopy Doghouse giftset. ” It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” ” It’s Magic, Charlie Brown,” “Charlie Brown’s All-Stars,” “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving,” “The Mayflower Voyagers,” “Play It Again, Charlie Brown,” “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” ” It’s Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown” and “It’s Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown.” On Blu-ray from Warner … photo for Sesame Street: 50 Years and Counting “Sesame Street: 50 Years and Counting” is a two-disc set that features some of the greatest Sesame Street moments from yesterday and today: fan-favorite animations like “Ladybug Picnic” and “Pinball Number Count”; new and classic songs from Kermit the Frog’s soulful “It’s Not Easy Being Green” to will.i.am’s empowering anthem, “What I Am”; timeless interactions between children and the Sesame Street Muppets; and a collection of the most iconic “Street Story” segments. Part of Sesame Street’s yearlong 50th anniversary. Read more here. From Sesame Workshop/Shout! Kids … “Scooby-Doo! Return to Zombie Island” (2019), with the voices of Frank Welker, Grey Griffin, Matthew Lillard and Kate Micucci, is a new animated adventure feature. Scooby-Doo and his pals win an all-expense paid vacation and embark on a trip of a lifetime to a tropical paradise. Their destination however, turns out to be Zombie Island. As soon as they arrive, they realize the place looks strangely familiar and is reminiscent of a trip they took years ago, in which they became wrapped up in a mystery involving zombies. The gang soon learns that their trip to paradise comes with a price when the zombies re-emerge and attack their hotel. Will Scooby-Doo and the Mystery Inc. gang finally solve the mystery behind Zombie Island? From Warner.

Special Interest:

“Robin Williams: Comic Genius”: Robin Williams started performing stand-up comedy in the mid-70s, amazing audiences with his frenetic energy and razor-sharp wit. Graced with comedic brilliance, rapid-fire improvisation, and a deep well of warmth and compassion that translated to everything he did, America quickly fell for him in his first role as the naïve and hilarious alien from the planet Ork in ABC-TV’s “Mork & Mindy.” Rocketing to stardom, Williams would go photo for Robin Williams: Comic Genius on to do five HBO stand-up specials and dozens of feature films, performing steadily for nearly four decades and entertaining audiences across the globe. Time Life celebrates Williams’ memorable, inimitable 40-year career with “Robin Williams: Comic Genius.” Decades in the making, the TV DVD archivists at Time Life have collected all his most memorable stand-up and television performances across three singular collections: a five-disc Collector’s Set (available exclusively at Walmart), a handsomely-packaged 22-disc set featuring 50+ hours of comedic genius, and a single disc featuring Robin’s first HBO stand-up special. All DVD releases also feature newly produced featurettes and exclusive interviews. Read more here. From Time Life … “The Quiet One” (2019): Throughout his three-decade career as a founding member of and bassist for The Rolling Stones, Bill Wyman was known to the world as the “quiet one” in the band. Now, in this documentary, the famously private music legend speaks out about his extraordinary life and experiences as part of “the greatest rock and roll band in the world.” Opening up his vast personal archive — a lifetime’s worth of previously unseen home movies, photographs and memorabilia — Wyman reflects on his early years with The Stones, the band’s meteoric rise to fame, and his search for a sense of “normalcy” amid the whirlwind of sex, drugs, and rebellion. Endearingly humble and down to earth, Wyman pulls back the curtain to offer a one-of-a-kind perspective on life as a reluctant rock star who let his pulsating bass do all the talking on “Brown Sugar,” “Gimme Shelter,” “Paint It Black” and countless other Stones classics. The film also includes interviews with Eric Clapton, Bob Geldof, and Stones record producer Andrew Oldham and engineer Glyn Johns. From MPI/Dark Sky Films … photo for Brother Can You Spare A Dime? From Dust Bowl To Tinseltown “Brother Can You Spare A Dime? From Dust Bowl To Tinseltown” (1975) is writer-director Philippe Mora’s chronicle of an unforgettable piece of American history. The Great Depression, in both its bleak lows and its artistic highs, is presented in this classic documentary. Featuring the grim reality that many Americans faced during the era, largely in the form of newsreel clips, the film also depicts how Hollywood dealt with this period of widespread poverty and unemployment. Much of the movie footage showcases glamour and extravagance, providing lively moments of escapism that contrast starkly with day-to-day life during the 1930s. Mora would go on to cult status in the 1980’s with “The Beast Within,” “Howling II” and “Howling III.” On Blu-ray from VCI Entertainment … “Maiden” (2018):> In 1989, the Whitbread Around the World Race was considered to be the most dangerous sailing competition on earth. When 26-year-old Tracy Edwards wanted to participate, she was met with resistance and sexism – no team would take her. Left with no other choice, she started an all-female crew, one who would not only take on the vast and foreboding ocean, but also the doubts and attacks from her male competitors and press. In this incredible documentary, Edwards and her crew attempt to turn the impossible into reality as they take on 50-foot waves, icebergs and all of the dangers of the great and powerful sea. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Sony.

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.

 Posted by on September 30, 2019  Add comments

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