From the Big Screen:
“Inside Llewyn Davis,” “The Book Thief,” “Homefront” and “Out of the Furnace.” For more information on these and other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.
Blasts From the Past:
“Hollow Triumph” (1948), starring Paul Henreid, Joan Bennett, Thomas Brown Henry, Eduard Franz and John Qualen, is a film noir about a med school dropout-turned-master criminal who puts together a major casino heist that goes wrong. On the lam, he comes across a psychologist who looks like him, and he kills the doctor, assuming his identity — with ironic consequences. HD restoration from the original 35mm film elements. From Film Chest Media Group … CAV Distributing has a trio of Ozploitation outings due this week, headed up by the
“Ozploitation Trailer Explosion” (2014): In the late 70s and early 80s, films like “My Brilliant Career” and “Breaker Morant” put Australia’s New Wave on the map. But at the same time, a depraved generation of young Aussie filmmakers was putting a very different kind of movie on screens. This is the ultimate collection of Ozploitation trailers, packed with ockers, knockers, pubes, tubes, comatose killers, outback chillers, high-octane disasters and kung fu masters. On the Intervision label. “Dead Kids” (1981) is an Ozploitation classic — and one of the most unique shockers of the 80s. It’s the grisly saga of bizarre experiments, butchered teens, New Zealand doubling for suburban Illinois, and a killer in a Tor Johnson mask. Features a hypnotic score by Tangerine Dream. Transferred in HD from the original negative. Stars Michael Murphy, Dan Shor, Fiona Lewis, Dey Young, Marc McClure, Scott Brady, Louise Fletcher. In a Blu-ray/DVD Combo on the Severin Films label. “Thirst” (1979) is another Ozploitation classic — and a unique vampire movie: David Hemmings and Henry Silva star as executives of an international blood-drinking cartel known as The Brotherhood. But when they abduct a descendant of Elizabeth Bathory to reboot her depraved legacy, she must escape before the corporation can expand their human blood cow dairies and create a vampire master race. Transferred in HD from the original negative. In a Blu-ray/DVD Combo on the Severin Films label.
From TV to DVD:
“Big History” (2013) is a fascinating miniseries that crosses billions of years of history to reveal how everything, and everyone, is linked in one universal story. The series turns history on its head, breaks down the walls between history and science, and tells the story of the universe from the Big Bang through today. Crisscrossing through time and space, each episode reveals the transformative relationships between science and history that you never knew existed. On DVD, 29.98; Blu-ray Disc, $39.99. From Lionsgate … “Rogue: The Complete First Season” (2013) is a three-disc set with 10 episodes of the DirecTV series in which Thandie Newton stars as Grace Travis, an undercover agent who’s out of control, tormented by the possibility that her own actions contributed to her son’s mysterious death. From Entertainment One … In “Siberia: Season One” (2013), 16 “contestants” are sent to the Tunguska region of Siberia unknowing of the land’s mysterious past, to battle for a cash prize in this thrilling supernatural drama shot in the style of a survival reality show. Eleven episodes, $24.98. from Lionsgate.
Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:
“Iron Sky: Director’s Cut” (2012), starring Christopher Kirby, Udo Kier, Stephanie Pau, Gotz Otto and Julia Dietze, features more action, more effects and more politically incorrect humor than ever before. In the last moments of World War II, a secret Nazi space program evaded destruction by fleeing to the dark side of the moon. During the following 70 years of utter secrecy, the Nazis constructed a gigantic space fortress with a massive armada of flying saucers. Their plan: travel back to Earth and re-colonize the planet. Sci-fi comedy in a Blu- ray/DVD Combo from Entertainment One … In “Beyond Outrage” (2012 — Japan), starring Takeshi Kitano, Toshiyuki Nishida, Tomokazu Miura and Ryo Kase, Takeshi Kitano returns to his yakuza saga, “Outrage” with this sequel. This time a manipulative police crackdown on organized crime has ignited a tricky power struggle in the yakuza underworld. As the police force prepares a full-scale crackdown, anti-gang detective Kataoka wants to start a war between the Sanno crime family and the neighboring Hanabishi crime family in the hopes that they destroy each other. His trump card is Otomo (Kitano) — the rumored-dead boss of a defunct family that was destroyed by the Sanno. Otomo wants to retire from a life of crime, but finds himself drawn back in through Kataoka’s manipulations as the Sanno and Hanabishi clans teeter on the brink of an all-out war. Not as exciting and creative as the original as the film kind of slumps down into a more-of-the-same mode. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Magnolia Home Entertainment … In “Commitment” (2013 — South Korea), starring Choi Seung-hyun (aka Korean pop star T.O.P), Han Ye-ri and Kim Yoo-jeong. North Korean Myung-hoon and his young sister Hye-in are sent to a labor prison camp after their father’s botched espionage mission. In order to save his sister’s life, Myung-hoon volunteers to become a spy and infiltrates the South as a teenage defector. South Korean Intelligence soon discovers the plot and begins closing in on Myung-hoon, while his own government sends a vicious assassin to eliminate him. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Well Go USA … “End of the World” (2013) is a Syfy Original Movie disaster comedy about a group of goofy science fiction geeks who hold the fate of the world in their hands. Massive earthquakes violently shake cities and mysterious plasma spheres pummel the Earth’s surface. Two small-town sci-fi fan boys, who work at a video store, dig deep into their vast knowledge of disaster films to find a plan that could rescue humanity from complete and total obliteration. Stars Neil Grayston, Greg Grunberg, Brad Dourif. From Anchor Bay.