Happy Halloween from the crew at OnVideo
From the Big Screen:
This Week’s Best Bets:
A high-spirited adventure that pits true love against inconceivable odds, the brilliantly written, directed and acted “The Princess Bride” (1987) has charmed legions of fans with its irreverent gags, eccentric ensemble, and dazzling swordplay. A kid (Fred Savage), home sick from school, grudgingly allows his grandfather (Peter Falk) to read him a dusty storybook — which is how we meet the innocent Buttercup (Robin Wright, in her breakout role), about to marry the nefarious Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon) though her heart belongs to Westley (Cary Elwes). The wedding plans are interrupted, however, by a mysterious pirate, a vengeful Spaniard, and a good-natured giant, in a tale full of swashbuckling, romance, and outrageously hilarious spoofery. Directed by Rob Reiner from an endlessly quotable script by Oscar winner William Goldman, “The Princess Bride” reigns as a fairy-tale classic. On DVD, and Blu-ray Disc, with a new 4K digital transfer, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray. The Blu-ray also includes a lavishly illustrated, clothbound book. From The Criterion Collection … “Twelve Monkeys” (1985): Following the commercial and critical success of “The Fisher King,” Terry Gilliam’s next feature would turn to science fiction and a screenplay by Janet and David Peoples (“Blade Runner,” “Unforgiven”) inspired by Chris Marker’s classic short film La “Jetée.” In 1996, a deadly virus is unleashed by a group calling themselves the Army of the Twelve Monkeys, destroying much of the world’s population and forcing survivors underground. In 2035, prisoner James Cole (Bruce Willis) is chosen to go back in time and help scientists in their search for a cure. Featuring an Oscar-nominated turn by Brad Pitt as mental patient Jeffrey Goines, “Twelve Monkeys” would become Gilliam’s most successful film and is now widely regarded as a sci-fi classic. Brand new restoration from a 4k scan of the original negative by Arrow Films, approved by director Terry Gilliam. Formats: Blu-ray. From Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment … A talented and versatile journeyman, director Sergio Martino has lent his talents to multiple genres across his long and varied career, but it is undoubtedly his giallo thrillers from the early 70s for which he is best known. Among the most highly acclaimed of these, 1973’s “Torso” revels in the genre’s time-honored traditions while simultaneously laying the groundwork for the modern slasher movie. A sex maniac is prowling the streets of Perugia, targeting the picturesque university town’s female students. Alarmed at the plummeting life expectancy of the student body, Jane (Suzy Kendall) and her three friends elope to a secluded country villa — only to discover that, far from having left the terror behind, they’ve brought it with them. Also known as “Carnal Violence,” “Torso” was released in Italy towards the end of the giallo boom before enjoying a second life on the American grindhouse circuit. On Blu-ray from Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment “The Retro Afrika Collection” is a new series featuring digitally-restored, apartheid-era classics rarely seen outside the borders of South Africa. From light-hearted comedies, high-octane action films and provocative race dramas that were met with opposition from the apartheid government, the forgotten and discarded classics of African cinema are about to have a new life with The Retro Afrika Collection from IndiePix Films. Through a partnership with Retro Afrika Bioscope, an independent label of Gravel Road Entertainment dedicated to locating, acquiring, restoring and re-releasing retro South African films from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, IndiePix will begin to release these digitally-remastered classics. These Apartheid-era films, produced by and starring native South Africans, pay homage to Hollywood action in groundbreaking B-movie style, a precursor to today’s burgeoning Nollywood industry. Featuring numerous local dialects with English subtitles, the small budget vintage features have all undergone a highly-specialized digital restoration process for optimal viewing. The first three remastered classics include “Umbango” (1986), one of the first Zulu Westerns and an Official Selection at the 2015 Berlin Film Festival, and “Fishy Stones” (1990) and “Gone crazy” (1980), two outsized, humorous crime capers representative of the genre. Read more here. From IndiePix.
Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:
“The Darkest Minds” (2018), starring Amandla Stenberg, Mandy Moore, Bradley Whitford and Harris Dickinson, is a tale of teens who mysteriously develop new abilities and are declared a threat by the government. Ruby, one of the most powerful young people anyone has encountered, escapes and joins a group of runaway teens seeking safe haven. Soon, this newfound family realizes that collective power is needed to take back control of their fate and save future generations. On DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo, from Fox … In “Believer” (2018 — South Korea), starring Cho Jin-woong, Ryu Jun-yeol, Kim Joo-hyuck and Kim Sung-ryoung, a low-level drug dealer facing prosecution conspires with a dangerously ambitious cop to bring down a major cartel’s psychotic kingpin in this crime thriller based on Johnnie To’s critically-acclaimed “Drug War.”On DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo, from Well Go USA … “Never Goin’ Back “ (2018), starring Maia Mitchell and Camila Morrone, follows lifelong best friends Angela and Jessie, who dream of escaping their waitressing jobs at a low-rent Texas diner. Taking place over the course of just a few days, the film follows their unpredictable misadventures on the streets of suburban Dallas as they attempt increasingly madcap and wild schemes to try and raise some cash. From Lionsgate … Also due this week: “Dragnet: Collector’s Edition” (1987), starring Dan Aykroyd, Tom Hanks, Harry Morgan, Dabney Coleman, Christopher Plummer and Alexandra Paul. Aykroyd is at his comedic best as the namesake nephew of Detective Sgt. Joe Friday (originally played by Joe Webb). Like his no-nonsense uncle, he’s a blue-suited, by-the-rules Los Angeles cop who’s forced to reluctantly team up with the footloose, wisecracking Pep Streebek (Hanks). Ordered to investigate a seemingly unrelated series of bizarre ritual killings and robberies, they eventually uncover a dastardly plot by an underground pagan group to undermine all authority in Los Angeles. Can this mistmatched duo rescue the City of Angels from the machinations of a power-mad Reverend and corrupt Police Commissioners before it’s too late? Harry Morgan (“M.A.S.H.”) reprises his original TV series role as Bill Gannon. New 4K scan. On Blu-ray from Shout! Factory Select.
On the Indie Front:
In “Wobble Palace” (2018), starring Dasha Nekrasova, Jack Kilmer, Paige Elkington, Vishwam Velandy and Caroline Hebert, a millennial romance gone awry takes place on the eve of America’s most traumatic election, where a couple on the verge of a nervous break-up decide to split their house up over the weekend. Desperate to make new connections, Jane and Eugene find themselves in a series of unpredictable misadventures, sexual escapades and emotional traumas. From this simple premise we delve into a manic and hilarious world of lust and mistrust, revealing the identity crises and narcissistic self-loathing at the core of the millennial experience. From Breaking Glass Pictures.
“Les parents terribles” (1948 — France) is a recently restored Jean Cocteau masterpiece. In this heartbreaking drama based on Cocteau’s highly successful stage play, a mother smothers her grown son with boyish love. When the son (Jean Marais) meets a girl and leaves the family circle, the mother flies into a rage. But when the young man tells his father, it sets off another drama — she is none other than the girl (Josette Day, star of Cocteau’s classic “Beauty and the Beast”)the father has been secretly seeing. Tragedy strikes in this time-honored tale of fledglings leaving the family nest. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Cohen Film Collection).
For the Family:
“Batman: The Complete Animated Series Deluxe Limited Edition” (1992-95) is a 10-disc set with all 109 episodes, plus two bonus disks containing the recently-remastered, fan favorite animated films “Batman: Mask of the Phantasm” and “Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero.” Includes an exclusive ensemble of collectibles highlighted by three Funko mini-figurines (Batman, Joker, Harley Quinn) and seven beautifully-designed lenticular art cards. The entire box set is housed in a stunning layflat-book with a dazzling slipcase. This ultimate collectors Blu-ray box set will be individually numbered for a Limited Edition release of 30,000. More than 2,000 copies were pre-ordered within the first 24 hours of availability on Amazon. On Blu-ray from Warner.
“Love, Cecil” (2017): Cecil Beaton was a dazzling chronicler of his time. A photographer, writer, painter, and Oscar-winning set and costume designer who captured both the front lines of war and the Queen’s official portrait, Beaton embodied the cultural and political changes of the 20th century. In this documentary, director Lisa Immordino Vreeland (“Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel,” “Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict”) blends archival footage and photographs with voice-over of Beaton’s famed diaries to capture his legacy as a complex and unique creative force. Narrated by Rupert Everett. From Zeitgeist Films/Kino Lorber … “The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling” (2018): Executive producer Judd Apatow’s remarkable portrait of the exceptionally complex, deeply spiritual and endlessly funny comedy icon Garry Shandling. The documentary spans the decades from Shandling’s early childhood in the 1950s in Arizona up to his untimely death in 2016, taking viewers on an intimate journey through a collage of personal testimonials, archival footage and most importantly Shandling’s own handwritten words on life, loss, love, meditation and more, captured in an extensive library of personal notebooks. From a 10-year-old Garry losing his big brother Barry to cystic fibrosis at age 13 in 1960, to a chance encounter with comic legend George Carlin and an impulsive, post-college move to Los Angeles in 1976, Shandling’s unlikely path toward commercial success consistently remained at odds with his own personal search for inner peace. It also offers an extensive examination of Shandling’s stand-up career and landmark HBO comedy series “The Larry Sanders Show,” revealing a fascinating dichotomy between comedic brilliance and personal demons, which Shandling harnessed to create some of the greatest television comedy ever made. From HBO.
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.