From the Big Screen:
“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” “A Ghost Story” and “The Book of Henry.” For more information on other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.
This Week’s Highlights:
Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment has restored one of the best comedies of all time, “A Fish Called Wanda” (1988). In 1988, John Cleese, former Python and the mastermind behind “Fawlty Towers,” teamed up with the veteran Ealing Comedy director Charles Crichton (“The Lavender Hill Mob”) to produce another classic of British comedy. Cleese plays Archie Leach, a weak-willed barrister who finds himself embroiled with a quartet of ill-matched jewel thieves — two American con artists played by Jamie Lee Curtis and Kevin Kline, Michael Palin’s animal-loving hitman and London gangster Tom Georgeson — when Georgeson is arrested. Only he and Palin know the whereabouts of the diamonds, prompting plenty of farce and in-fighting as well as some embarrassing nudity and the unfortunate demise of some innocent pooches. Nominated for three Academy Awards and winning one for Kline’s outstanding supporting turn as the psychopathic Otto, “A Fish Called Wanda” has stood the test of time, earning its rightful place among its creators’ remarkable comedy pedigree. New 4K restoration from the original negative, produced by Arrow Films exclusively for this Blu-ray release. (Originally scheduled for a Sept. 19 release and delayed until now) … Sony Pictures Home Entertainment continues its Frank Capra Collection series with one of the acclaimed filmmaker’s masterworks: “Lost Horizon” (1937), celebrating its 80th anniversary by debuting on Blu-ray. Fully restored in 4K and presented in high definition, the Blu-ray is housed within a lavish, limited edition 24-page Digibook, complete with an all-new essay from film historian Jeremy Arnold and rare archival photos from the film. In addition, as part of the restoration, more than a minute of rarely-seen original footage from the film was found and included, making this the most complete cut of the film in existence. The film — nominated for seven Oscars and winning two — follows a disparate group of people who are rescued after a plane crash, and find shelter in the secluded land of Shangri-La — but is it the miraculous utopia it appears to be? Stars Ronald Colman, Jane Wyatt, Edward Everett Horton, John Howard, Thomas Mitchell, Margo, Isabel Jewell, H.B. Warner and Sam Jaffe. In 2016, the film was selected for inclusion in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” … With “Vampyr” (1932 — Germany), Danish filmmaker Carl Theodor Dreyer channeled his genius for creating mesmerizing atmosphere and austere, unsettling imagery into the horror genre. The result — a chilling film about a student of the occult who encounters supernatural haunts and local evildoers in a village outside Paris — is nearly unclassifiable. A host of stunning camera and editing tricks and densely layered sounds creates a mood of dreamlike terror. With its roiling fogs, ominous scythes, and foreboding echoes, “Vampyr” is one of cinema’s greatest nightmares. On Blu-ray Disc, with high-definition digital transfer of the original German version of the film, from the 1998 restoration by Martin Koerber and the Cineteca di Bologna, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack. The Criterion Collection. Extras include an alternate version with English text; audio commentary featuring film scholar Tony Rayns; “Carl Th. Dreyer,” a 1966 documentary by Jørgen Roos chronicling Dreyer’s career; video essay by scholar Casper Tybjerg on Dreyer’s influences in creating “Vampyr”; radio broadcast from 1958 of Dreyer reading an essay about filmmaking; a booklet featuring essays by critics Mark Le Fanu and Kim Newman, a piece by Koerber on the restoration, and a 1964 interview with producer and actor Nicolas de Gunzburg; and a book featuring Dreyer and Christen Jul’s original screenplay and Sheridan Le Fanu’s 1872 story “Carmilla,” a source for the film. From The Criterion Collection.
From TV to DVD:
“The Best of The Carol Burnett Show” is a six-disc set celebrating the 50th anniversary of “The Carol Burnett Show” with the best of the best, from all 11 seasons; includes 16 episodes fresh from the vaults (12 new-to-retail and four all-time classics). Classic shows include the very first episode with Jim Nabors and the emotional, double length series finale, as well as some of the best-loved, fan-favorite sketches including “Mrs. Wiggins,” “Carol and Sis,” “The Oldest Man,” “The Family,” As the Stomach Turns,” as well as a marathon of movie spoofs, along with commercial spoofs and some amazing bloopers. Guest stars such as Ella Fitzgerald, Bernadette Peters, Liza Minnelli, Steve Lawrence, Rock Hudson, Burt Reynolds, Jimmy Stewart, Rita Hayworth and Carl Reiner, along with lavish stage productions grace each disc; and, Carol’s question-and-answer openers with the studio audiences are no less entertaining. She might offer a hug or a shout out, or flee from a rampaging gorilla after letting loose with one of her Tarzan yells. From Time Life … “House of Cards: Season Five” (2017) is a four-disc set with all 13 episodes. In the midst of the presidential election, tensions mount in the White House as Frank (Kevin Spacey) and Claire (Robin Wright) continue to navigate their political careers and redefine their relationships — particularly with each other. Season five of the Emmy Award-winning political drama is marked by violent power plays, new alliances, stunning betrayals and, as always, a desire to win at any cost — and not just from Frank Underwood. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Sony … “iZOMBIE: The Complete Third Season” (2017) is a three-disc set with all 13 episodes. Will Seattle become the capital of a zombie homeland? In Season Three, Liv has discovered there are more zombies living in Seattle than she previously believed, including a private military contractor employing a zombie army that is preparing for the day humans learn of their existence. Major finds acceptance in this army, and Liv and Clive investigate the murder of a zombie family that may set off an all-out zombie-human war. The season follows Liv as she takes on the traits of people whose brains she eats: a dominatrix, a JACKASS-style stunt man, an office gossip, a pre-school teacher, a conspiracy theorist, a dungeon master, and more. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc (online sales only), from Warner … “Legend of Bruce Lee: Volume Three” (2008) is a three-disc set. Danny Chan (“Ip Man 3,” “Kung Fu Hustle”) returns in the final 10 episodes of the series chronicling the life of the incomparable Bruce Lee, whose legacy continues to inspire new generations. After winning a high-profile martial arts championship, Lee catches the eye of a Hollywood producer who sees great potential in the skilled young master and wants to make him a movie star. Eager to break onto the American film scene, exhibit his new kung fu style, Jeet Kune Do, and change the negative portrayal of the Chinese in mainstream media, Bruce throws himself wholeheartedly into a potentially lucrative art. But discrimination in the industry runs deep, and Bruce must fight for his dreams of becoming the first Chinese martial arts film star to achieve worldwide fame. From Well Go USA … “2 Broke Girls: The Sixth and Final Season” (2016-17) is a two-disc set with all 22 episodes. In the sixth and final season, Max and Caroline realize their dream of turning their cupcake window into a dessert bar — emphasis on bar. But in order to keep their bar up and running they still have to work around the clock at the diner, even though it’s far from their first priority — which frustrates Han and amuses Earl. But busy as they are, Max and Caroline still make time to revisit old loves and welcome new ones. From Warner … “Vikings Season 4 Volume Two” (2016-17) is a three-disc set with 10 episodes. Battles, treachery and power grabs rage on this season. Ragnar’s return to Kattegat following his shameful defeat in Paris escalates tension among his sons. Determined to save what remains of his legacy, Ragnar recruits Ivar for a perilous voyage to England, where he plans to attack the Saxons. Meanwhile, a prophecy that a woman will one day rule Kattegat deepens Aslaug and Lagertha’s feud. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from MGM/Fox … In 2008, stockbroker, investment adviser and financier Bernie Madoff made headlines around the world when he was arrested for perpetrating the largest Ponzi scheme in U.S. history. The HBO Films drama “The Wizard of Lies” (2017), directed by Barry Levinson and starring Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Alessandro Nivola, Nathan Darrow, Kristen Connolly, Lily Rabe and Hank Azaria, dissects the events that led to the Wall Street financier’s stunning downfall in December 2008 for defrauding investors of over $65 billion — and recounts Madoff’s audacious deceptions that culminated in his vilification while catapulting his wife and two sons into a harsh and unrelenting spotlight, with tragic consequences.
On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from HBO.