From the Big Screen:
This Week’s Best Bets:
“The Return Of Martin Guerre” (1982), starring Gérard Depardieu, Nathalie Baye and Tchéky Karyo. In the 16th century, Martin Guerre (Depardieu), who went off to war seven years earlier, unexpectedly returns home to his village and family. But something strange has happened to him in the intervening years: He seems to demonstrate more wisdom, strength of character and tenderness than both the locals and his wife, Bertrande (Baye), remember him as having. Accusations of identity theft arise, landing the man Bertrande loves in court — and leaving the audience guessing, along with the characters, if this is the actual Martin. The real-life case resonated throughout French history and had already been turned into a book, play and opera before producer-director Daniel Vigne enlisted the services of the great screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière (“The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie,” “The Unbearable Lightness of Being”) for this adaptation. With visuals drawn from Bruegel’s paintings, this richly textured drama won three César Awards. In a 4K restoration director’s cut, on DVD, Blu-ray, from Cohen Film Collection … “Crimson Peak” (2015): From the imagination of Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro comes this lavish, stunningly realized journey into the dark heart of Gothic romance. Beginning in Buffalo, New York, during the 1880s, “Crimson Peak” stars Mia Wasikowska as Edith Cushing, an aspiring writer who is haunted by the death of her mother. Edith falls in love with seductive stranger Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston), who whisks her off to Allerdale Hall, his baronial, yet dilapidated English mansion built upon a mountain of blood-red clay. Here Edith meets Lucille (Jessica Chastain), Thomas’s sister who at times seems hostile and jealous. As Edith struggles to feel at home in the imposing residence, she gradually uncovers a horrendous family secret and encounters supernatural forces that will help her discover the terrible truth behind Crimson Peak. On Blu-ray from Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment.
From TV to Disc:
“NOS4A2: Season 1” (2019) is a single disc with all 10 episodes of the AMC series. Vic McQueen (Ashleigh Cummings) is a gifted young woman who discovers she has a supernatural ability to find lost things. Charlie Manx (Zachary Quinto) is a supernatural villain who feeds off the souls of children and then deposits what remains of them into Christmasland — a twisted place of Manx’s imagination where every day is Christmas Day and unhappiness is against the law. Vic strives to defeat Manx and rescue his victims — without losing her mind or falling victim to him herself. On DVD, Blu-ray, from RLJ Entertainment … “Veronica Mars (2019): The Complete First Season” (2019) is a two-disc set with all eight episodes. Television’s favorite super-sleuth is back, and on a mission to save Neptune — with more secrets, snooping, and seduction. Spring breakers are getting murdered in Neptune, thereby decimating the seaside town’s lifeblood tourist industry. After Mars Investigations is hired by the parents of one of the victims to find their son’s killer, Veronica (Kristen Bell) is drawn into a mystery that pits the enclave’s wealthy elites, who would rather put an end to the month-long bacchanalia, against a working class that relies on the cash influx that comes with being the West Coast’s answer to Daytona Beach. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Warner.
Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:
In “The Dead Center” (2018), when a very dead suicide victim (Jeremy Childs) disappears from the morgue, it sets in motion a chain of events that has the power to immolate everything, and everyone, it touches. Troubled psychiatrist Daniel Forrester (Shane Carruth) is drawn to help a mysterious patient who is brought to the emergency psych ward in a catatonic state with no memory of how he reached the hospital. As if to exorcise his own demons, the doctor feverishly tries to break through to his mysterious patient. But as a spate of mysterious deaths shake the ward to its core, Forrester comes to suspect that there is more to his new ward than meets the eye. As he comes to realize what he’s unleashed, a desperate race against the forces of evil threatens to swallow him whole. The Dead Center is a smart supernatural thriller that explores the demons that live inside all of us from writer-director Billy Senese, recently hailed as a “masterful new voice in terror.” On DVD, Blu-ray from Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment … In “Killer of Dolls” (1974 — Spain), a bizarre and totally unique piece of Spanish horror, David Rocha plays Paul, a young man thrown out of medical school due to his inability to deal with the sight of blood. He goes home to Montpellier in France where his father is a gardener on a huge estate. But the fear of blood is not Paul’s only quirk: He was raised as a girl after his sister died and likes to play with dolls, performing strange operations on them, attempting to extract their hearts. Meanwhile, in the park surrounding the estate, a number of young girls have been found murdered. The killer seems to be a mysterious individual wearing a black wig, a white doll mask and speaking with a woman’s voice. As the killings multiply around him, Paul sinks ever deeper into a world of hallucination and nightmare. Brand new 4k transfer from the film negative. On Blu-ray from Mondo Macabro … In “She’s Just a Shadow” (2019), starring Tao Okamoto, Haruka Abe and Loka pop star Kihiro, the stories of a beautiful Japanese madam, a deranged, drug-addled Tokyo gangster and his crew, and a sadistic serial killer on the loose intersect against a dreamlike backdrop of ultra-violence and orgiastic sex as everyone tries futilely to rewrite their futures and cheat death. A dreamlike yet modern take on the gangster genre, “She’s Just a Shadow” is the action-packed story of a matriarchal crime family engaged in a vicious gang war, while a deranged killer is leaving his victims on railroad tracks all over Tokyo. The only thing more dangerous than the killer is the vicious love triangle within the family itself. From Breaking Glass Pictures … In the visually lush Xianxia fantasy “Legend of the Demon Cat” (2017 — China), starring Xuan Huang, Shôta Sometani, Yuqi Zhang and Hao Qin, a cat possesses a General’s wife, leaving a series of clues that a Poet and Monk follow in order the solve the mysterious death of a famous Concubine. Havoc descends upon the Imperial Court of the Tang Dynasty when the General’s wife is possessed by an ancient demon. Through a series of unexpected twists and turns, the unlikely duo of an eccentric poet and dutiful monk, unravel the dark and ancient mystery behind a centuries-old death of a beautiful courtesan in hopes it holds the key to saving the general’s wife. On Blu-ray from Well Go USA … After being dumped by both her boss and her boyfriend, Olive (Amanda Crew) flees the city for the weekend and rents an ornate country house from an old-fashioned widower named Harvey (Robert Patrick) in “Tone-Deaf” (2019). She’s hoping for a few days of peace. What she gets is a weekend of sheer terror: Olive awakens Harvey’s darkest urges and is plunged into a blood-soaked fight for her life. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Lionsgate … In “Satanic Panic” (2019), starring Hayley Griffith, Ruby Modine, Rebecca Romijn, Arden Myrin and Jerry O’Connell, a pizza delivery girl at the end of her financial rope has to fight for her life – and her tips – when her last order of the night turns out to be high society Satanists in need of a virgin sacrifice. On DVD, Blu-ray from RLJE Films.