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"The movie business is macabre. Grotesque.
It is a combination of a football game
and a brothel."
-- Federico Fellini
Feb 182019
 

From the Big Screen:

“A Star Is Born,” “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” “Overlord” and “Robin Hood.” For more information on other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.

This Week’s Best Bets

Based on the classic novella by Thomas Mann, “Death in Venice” (1971), a late-career masterpiece from Luchino Visconti, is a meditation on the nature of art, the allure of beauty, and the inescapability of death. A fastidious composer photo for Death in Venice reeling from a disastrous concert, Gustav von Aschenbach (Dirk Bogarde, in an exquisitely nuanced performance) travels to Venice to recover. There, he is struck by a vision of pure beauty in the form of a young boy named Tadzio (Björn Andrésen), his infatuation developing into an obsession even as rumors of a plague spread through the city. Setting Mann’s story of queer desire and bodily decay against the sublime music of Gustav Mahler, “Death in Venice” is one of cinema’s most exalted literary adaptations, as sensually rich as it is allegorically resonant. On DVD and Blu-ray, with new 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. From The Criterion Collection … In “The Midnight Man” (1974), starring Burt Lancaster, Susan Clark, Cameron Mitchell, Robert Quarry, Ed Lauter, Catherine Bach, Harris Yulin, Lawrence Dobkin, Mills Watson and Charles Tyner, screen legend Burt Lancaster stars as Jim Slade, a former Chicago policeman who has just been released from prison for shooting his wife’s lover. He’s offered and takes a job as a campus night watchman at Jordon College. When a coed, the daughter of a prominent senator, is murdered and the local sheriff (Harris Yulin) tries to pin the crime on a creepy night janitor (Charles Tyner), Slade decides to start his own unauthorized investigation that takes the lid off the hornets’ nest. Lancaster and Roland Kibbee co-wrote, co-produced and co-directed this top-notch murder mystery. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Kino Lorber … photo for Color Me Blood Red For the third and final instalment in his infamous “Blood Trilogy,” splatter movie pioneer Herschell Gordon Lewis turned to the world of fine art for “Color Me Blood Red” (1965), a tortured tale of a troubled artist turned homicidal maniac. Painter Adam Sorge has found himself in a bit of a creative lull. But when his girlfriend accidentally cuts her finger, he realizes what his work has been missing all this time — human blood. With pressure mounting from local gallery owner Farnsworth to deliver his next masterpiece, Adam sets about procuring as much glorious haemoglobin as he can muster — first from himself, and then from anyone unfortunate enough to pass by his sickening studio of slaughter. The final filmic collaboration between H.G. Lewis and producer/master exploiteer David F. Friedman, who collectively delivered the equally demented “”Blood Feast”” and “Two Thousand Maniacs!” On Blu-ray from Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment).

Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:

In “Backtrace” (2018), starring Ryan Guzman, Sylvester Stallone, Matthew Modine and Christopher McDonald, after suffering a brain injury from a bank heist gone wrong, Macdonald (Modine) develops amnesia and is put into a prison psychiatric ward. Following his seventh year of evaluation, he is coerced by an inmate (Guzman) and a ward doctor to break out of prison and is injected with a serum that forces him to relive the life he’s forgotten. Macdonald must now elude a local detective (Stallone), a tough FBI agent (McDonald), and the drug’s dangerous side effects in order to recover the stolen money, all while confronting his past. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Lionsgate … In “Iceman: The Time Traveler” (2018 — Hong Kong), starring Donnie Yen, Baoqiang Wang, Shengyi Huang, Kang Yu, Simon Yam and Yasuaki Kurata, a palace guard, Ying (Yen), is buried and frozen in time by an avalanche during a fierce battle during the Ming Dynasty. Brought back to life in the present day, Ying embarks on a quest for the only thing that can correct the wrongs of history — The Golden Wheel of Time. Ying sets out on his dangerous journey, never knowing every step he takes is leading him closer to a deadly trap. On DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo, from Well Go USA … In “Sgt. Will Gardner” (2019), starring Max Martini, Omari Hardwick, Lily Rabe, Dermot Mulroney and Robert Patrick, a forgotten Iraq war veteran with severe PTSD is trying to pick up the pieces of his life. After a series of set backs he decides to steal a motorcycle and embarks on a cross-country road trip to reunite with his wife and son. Along the way he tries to pick up the pieces of the life he lost since returning from combat, experiencing frequent flashbacks to the Iraq War and having conversations with his best friend and war buddy. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Cinedigm … photo for My Name Is Julia Ross After a promising start on Poverty Row quickies, Joseph H. Lewis (“Gun Crazy”) made his first film at Columbia and established himself as a director to watch with “My Name Is Julia Ross” (1945), starring Nina Foch, May Whitty, George Macready, a Gothic-tinged Hitchcockian breakout hit, which later proved so popular that Columbia promoted it to A-feature status. The morning after Julia Ross (Foch) takes a job in London as secretary to wealthy widow Mrs. Williamson Hughes (Whitty), she wakes up in a windswept Cornish mansion, having been drugged. Mrs. Hughes and her volatile son, Ralph (Macready), attempt to gaslight Julia into believing she is Ralph’s wife, Marion. Her belongings have been destroyed, the windows barred and the locals believe that she is mad. Will Julia be able to escape before she falls prey to the Hughes’ sinister charade? And what happened to the real Marion Hughes? A briskly paced and brilliantly stylized mystery. On Blu-ray from Arrow Academy/MVD Entertainment … “So Dark the Night” (1946), also from Lewis, and starring Steven Geray, Micheline Cheirel, Eugene Borden, is a Hitchcockian tale of mystery and intrigue. Inspector Cassin, a renowned Paris detective, departs to the country for a much-needed break. There he falls in love with the innkeeper’s daughter, Nanette, who is already betrothed to a local farmer. On the evening of their engagement party, Nanette and the farmer both disappear. Cassin takes up the case immediately to discover what happened to them and who is responsible. Lewis elevates the twisty, pulpy material with some of the finest noir touches the genre has to offer, beautifully shot by Oscar-winning cinematographer Burnett Guffey (“Bonnie and Clyde”). On Blu-ray from Arrow Academy/MVD Entertainment … photo for So Dark the Night “Backbeat” (1993), an energetic musical drama chronicling the pre-fame Beatles as they head to Hamburg in search of success, makes its Blu-ray debut this week. As they gain popularity, the “fifth Beatle,” bass guitarist Stuart Sutcliffe (Stephen Dorff), falls in love and ultimately must choose between his best friend John Lennon (Ian Hart), his new love Astrid Kirchherr (Sheryl Lee), and what will become the greatest band in the world. From Shout! Factory Select … also making its Blu-ray debut this week is “The Return of the Vampire” (1943), starring Bela Lugosi, Frieda Inescort, Nina Foch and Miles Manders. In 1918, Armand Tesla (Lugosi), a 200-year-old Hungarian Vampire, prowls the English countryside, feeding from the jugulars of the villagers. But Tesla’s reign of terror is interrupted when a pair of scientists, Lady Jane and Sir John Ainsley, drive a railroad spike through his heart. The “un-dead” Tesla remains safely entombed for two decades until the impact from a stray Nazi bomb accidentally releases him. Along with his werewolf servant Andreas Obry, the resurrected vampire now plots vengeance on the family that put a halt to his nocturnal feasting. From Scream Factory … In “Desert Fury” (1947), starring Lizabeth Scott, Burt Lancaster, John Hodiak, Wendell Corey and Mary Astor, Eddie Bendix (Hodiak) and his henchman, Johnny Ryan (Corey), two gangsters in the gambling trade, return to a small desert town outside of Reno. Years ago, Eddie had left town under suspicion of murdering his wife and after running into some trouble in Las Vegas, Eddie now hopes to get involved with the local gambling house whose proprietor is his ex-flame Fritzi Haller (Astor). To complicate matters, Eddie falls for Fritzi’s daughter (Scott), who used to be involved with the local lawman Tom Hanson (Lancaster), who’s still in love with her. Lewis Allen directed this classic film noir in Technicolor; it was adapted for the screen by filmmaker Robert Rossen from the far racier and more explicit novel by Ramona Stewart. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Kino Lorber.

Special Interest:

“The Last Race” (2018) is an intimate portrait of a small-town stock car racetrack — the Riverhead Raceway on Long island, NY — and the tribe of passionate blue-collar drivers that call it home, struggling to hold onto an American racing tradition as real estate development threatens its survival. Michael Dweck’s stirring imagery takes you inside the world of grassroots racing photo for The Last Race and eye to eye with the cars’ snarling grills and white roll bars that protrude like bones out of scarred metal. The racetrack is tied to a deep sense of identity in its community, but it’s on the only piece of undeveloped land in the area — worth millions — and the only thing keeping the bulldozers at bay is track owners Barbara and Jim Cromarty’s love of the track and its community. From Magnolia Home Entertainment … “American Masters: Sammy Davis, Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me” (2019) is the first major film documentary to examine the performer’s vast career and his journey for identity through the shifting tides of civil rights and racial progress during 20th-century America. Sammy Davis, Jr. had the kind of career that was indisputably legendary, vast in scope and scale. And yet, his life was complex, complicated and contradictory. Davis strove to achieve the American Dream in a time of racial prejudice and shifting political territory. He was a veteran of increasingly outdated show business traditions and worked tirelessly to stay relevant, even as he frequently found himself bracketed by the bigotry of white America and the distaste of black America. Davis was the most public black figure to embrace Judaism, thereby yoking his identity to that of another persecuted minority. In Duke Ellington’s words, he was “beyond category.” Features interviews with Billy Crystal, Norman Lear, Jerry Lewis, Whoopi Goldberg and Kim Novak. From PBS Distribution) … photo for frantz-fannon.jpg “Frantz Fanon: Black Skin, White Mask” (1995) is an innovative film biography that explores the preeminent theorist of the 20th century anti-colonial movement, a man whom Jean-Paul Sartre recognized as the figure “through whose voice the Third World finds and speaks for itself.” Starring British actor Colin Salmon, the film undertakes an intellectual and poetic exploration of Fanon’s life, influence and legacy, weaving together interviews with family members and friends, documentary footage, readings from Fanon’s work and dramatizations of crucial moments in the theorist’s life. And, cultural critics Stuart Hall and Françoise Verges position Fanon’s work in his own time and draw out its implications for our own, restoring the theorist to his rightful place at the center of contemporary discussions around post-colonial identity. From his early years in Martinique (then a colony of France) to his professional life as a psychiatric doctor and revolutionary in Algeria during the bloody war of independence with France, the brief, though remarkable life of Fanon, the influential author of “Black Skin, White Masks” and “The Wretched of the Earth,” comes to rich life in this film being released to Blu-ray for the very first time in North American featuring a new 2K digital restoration. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Film Movement.

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 February 18, 2019 No Responses »
Feb 132019
 

From the Big Screen:

“Bohemian Rhapsody” and “The Front Runner.” For more information on other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.

This Week’s Best Bets

One of the most shocking J-horror films ever made, “Audition” (1999 — Japan) exploded onto the festival circuit at the turn of the century to a chorus of awards and praise. The film would catapult director Takashi Miike to the international scene and pave the way for such other genre delights as “Ichii the Killer” and “The Happiness of the Katakuris.” Recent widower Shigeharu Aoyama photo for Audition is advised by his son to find a new wife, so he seeks the advice of a colleague having been out of the dating scene for many years. They take advantage of their position in a film company by staging an audition to find the perfect woman. Interviewing a series of women, Shigeharu becomes enchanted by Asami, a quiet, 24-year-old woman, who is immediately responsive to his charms. But soon things take a very dark and twisted turn as we find that Asami isn’t what she seems to be… Pulling the audience into a story that will lead to one of the most harrowing climaxes in cinema history, Miike twists and turns us through delirious editing and shocking visuals for one of the most depraved nightmares of all time. Brand new 2K restoration of original vault elements. On Blu-ray from Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment … photo for Horror Express Horror royalty and Hammer alumni Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee reunite for this tale of mad monks, primitive humanoids and bloodthirsty zombies set aboard a train bound for Moscow — all aboard the “Horror Express” (1972). Renowned anthropologist Saxton (Lee) boards the Trans-Siberian Express with a crate containing the frozen remains of a primitive humanoid which, he believes, may prove to be the missing link in human evolution. But all hell breaks loose when the creature thaws out, turning out to be not quite as dead as once thought. Directed by Spanish filmmaker Eugenio Martin, “Horror Express” remains one of the most thrilling (and, quite literally!) chilling horror efforts of the early 1970s. Brand new 2K restoration from original film elements. On Blu-ray from Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment … photo for La vérité Beautiful, troubled Dominique Marceau (Brigitte Bardot) came to bohemian Paris to escape the suffocation of provincial life, only to wind up in a courtroom, accused of a terrible crime: the murder of her lover (Sami Frey). As the trial commences and the lawyers begin tangling over Dominique’s fate, Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Oscar-nominated “La vérité” (1960) delves into her past, reconstructing her struggle to find a foothold in the city. What emerges is a nuanced portrait of an impulsive young woman misunderstood and mistreated by those around her, and of her ultimately tragic affair with an up-and-coming conductor. With an astonishing performance by Bardot, Clouzot’s affecting and intricately constructed film — a huge late-career success for the French master — renders a harsh verdict against a hypocritical and moralistic society. On DVD and Blu-ray, with new 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray, from The Criterion Collection … photo for Berlin Alexanderplatz Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s controversial, 15-hour “Berlin Alexanderplatz” (1980), based on Alfred Döblin’s great modernist novel, was the crowning achievement of a prolific director who, at age 34, had already made over 30 films. Fassbinder’s immersive epic follows the hulking, childlike ex-convict Franz Biberkopf (Günter Lamprecht) as he attempts to “become an honest soul” amid the corrosive urban landscape of Weimar-era Germany. With equal parts cynicism and humanity, Fassbinder details a mammoth portrait of a common man struggling to survive in a viciously uncommon time. On DVD and Blu-ray, with high-definition digital restoration by the Rainer Werner Fassbinder Foundation and Bavaria Media, supervised and approved by director of photography Xaver Schwarzenberger, with DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. From The Criterion Collection.

From TV to Disc:

“American Vandal: Season One” (2017): The freshman season of the Netflix Original Series that’s a true-crime satire investigating the high school prank of-a clever criminal. Follows aspiring student documentarian Peter Maldonado (Tyler photo for American Vandal: Season One Alvarez) as he investigates the crimes of a high school prankster with the help of his friend, Sam Ecklund (Griffin Gluck). On behalf of the suspected culprit, Dylan Maxwell (Jimmy Tatro), the two examine the aftermath of the prank that left 27 faculty cars vandalized with phallic images. Through highly-intense and hilarious interviews with students, staff and witnesses, Peter and Sam attempt to collect evidence, connect the dots and finally solve the crime that has the whole school talking. Was it really Dylan? Or is this a major high school conspiracy? Two-disc set with all eight episodes. From CBS/Paramount … photo for Ken Follett's The Key to Rebecca “Ken Follett’s The Key to Rebecca” (1985): Based on the best-selling novel by Ken Follett, this two-part television movie adaptation stars Cliff Robertson as British Major William at. In Cairo, during World War II, German spy Alex Wolff (David Soul) attempts to infiltrate the British command during General Erwin Rommel’s (Robert Culp) conquest of Egypt. In hopes of drawing out the elusive spy, Vandam enlists the help of exotic dancer Sonja El Aram (Lina Raymond) and Elene Fontana (Season Hubley).From CBS/Paramount … “Rick and Morty: The Complete Seasons 1-3” (2013-17) is a three-disc set with all 31 episodes of the animated photo for Rick and Morty: The Complete Seasons 1-3 series that follows the bizarre exploits of a super scientist and his not-so-bright grandson. From creators Dan Harmon (“Community”) and Justin Roiland (“Adventure Time”), the award-winning comedy has amassed a major following to become a pop culture phenomenon, garnering almost 1.6 billion views since its launch in December 2013. Featuring fan favorites such as “The Ricklantis Mixup,” the #1 watched telecast in Adult Swim’s history, “Total Rickall” and “Pickle Rick,” the Rick and Morty box set is bursting with laugh-out-loud hilarity including all bonus content from the three previous seasons on DVD. The box set also includes an exclusive poster that features a custom, never-before-seen robot illustration of Rick and Morty. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Warner.

Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:

In “The Happy Prince” (2018), starring Rupert Everett, Colin Firth, Colin Morgan, Edwin Thomas, Emily Watson and Tom Wilkinson, Oscar Wilde lies on his deathbed in a cheap Parisian hotel, and recalls his past with wit and irony. Was he once the most famous man in London? He reviews the failed attempt to reconcile with his long-suffering wife, the ensuing reprisal of his love affair with Lord Alfred Douglas and the devotion of Robbie Ross, who tried and failed to save him from himself. From Dieppe to Naples to Paris, Oscar is a penniless vagabond, shunned by his old acquaintances, but still revered by a strange group of outlaws to whom he tells the old stories — his incomparable talent still sharp. Written and directed by Rupert Everett. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Sony … “At Eternity’s Gate” (2018), starring Willem Dafoe, Rupert Friend, Mads Mikkelsen and Oscar Isaac, is an unbridled portrait of the painful but productive final years in the life of Vincent van Gogh (Dafoe). During a self-imposed exile in Arles and Auvers-Sur-Oise, France, Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh develops his unique, colorful style of painting. While grappling with religion, mental illness and a tumultuous friendship with French artist Paul Gauguin, van Gogh begins to focus on his relationship with eternity rather than the pain his art causes him in the present. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Lionsgate … In “Possum” (2018), starring Sean Harris and Alun Armstrong, Philip (Harris), a disgraced children’s puppeteer, returns to his dilapidated childhood home and lecherous stepfather, Maurice (Armstrong). Philip is intent on destroying “Possum,” a hideously malformed spider-puppet he carries with him in a brown leather case. Unfortunately, and horrifically, Possum refuses to be abandoned. Philip’s mind is flooded with painful half-memories and nightmarish visions, and when he finds himself embroiled in a local investigation surrounding a missing boy, he grows progressively unsure of what’s real and what’s not. All the while Possum seems to mock his suffering at every turn. From Dark Sky Films … photo for Four Weddings and a Funeral (25th Anniversary Edition) “Four Weddings and a Funeral (25th Anniversary Edition)” (1994), starring Hugh Grant, James Fleet, Simon Callow, John Hannah, Kristin Scott Thomas, David Bower, Charlotte Coleman and Andie MacDowell, comes to Blu-ray this week in a new 4K scan from the original camera negative, from Shout! Factory … and sister label Scream Factory has three Blu-ray debuts this week: “Man’s Best Friend” (1993), starring Ally Sheedy and Lance Henriksen. When an ambitious news journalist (Sheedy) breaks into a genetic research facility, she uncovers the biggest story of her career and unleashes the lab’s most dangerous experiment: Max, a genetically enhanced guard dog with a vicious killer instinct. Superior sight, hearing, strength, and intelligence make him faster, stronger, and smarter than almost any other animal alive — and deadlier. Without the neuropathic drugs needed to curb his aggressive nature, his predatory urge runs out of control … and once he tastes blood, nothing can stop him. New 2K scan of the original film elements … “The Poison Ivy Collection”: The delightfully sleazy neo-noir sinister psychodrama “Poison Ivy” films make their Blu-ray debut in a four disc box set with both the rated and unrated versions of each film: “Poison Ivy” (1992) with Drew Barrymore, “Poison Ivy 2: Lily” (1996) with Alyssa Milano, “Poison Ivy: The New Seduction” (1997) with Jaime Pressly, and “Poison Ivy: The Secret Society” (2008) with Miriam McDonald … and “Valentine” (2001), starring David Boreanaz, Denise Richards, Marley Shelton, Katherine Heigl. Be my Valentine … or else. Broken hearts and other mortal wounds await a cast of contemporary young stars when they play dating-scene veterans dying for love in this humor-laced, twist-filled teen slasher about a Cupid-masked killer. New 2K scan of the original film elements supervised and approved by director Jamie Blanks and director of photography Rick Bota.

Foreign Films::

“Shoplifters” (2018 — Japan), starring Lily Franky, Sakura Andô and Mayu Matsuoka. On the margins of Tokyo, a dysfunctional band of outsiders are united by fierce loyalty, a penchant for petty theft and playful grifting. When the young photo for Shoplifters son is arrested, secrets are exposed that upend their tenuous, below-the-radar existence and test their quietly radical belief that it is love — not blood — that defines a family. Nominated for Best Foreign Language Film from Japan. From Magnolia Home Entertainment … In “Down By Love” (2016 — France), starring Adéle Exarchopoulos and Guillame Gallienne, life is turned upside down for newly incarcerated Anna when she meets Jean, the warden of her detention center. As the pair quickly becomes immersed in a whirlwind romance, their high stakes relationship leads to grave consequences. Based on a stunning true story, this steamy prison romance explores the power of right, wrong and impossible love. From Icarus Films … “Moko Jumbie” (2017 — Trinidad and Tobago), starring Vanna Girod and Jeremy Thomas, is a gothic punk Caribbean love story arises in the ruins of a coconut plantation in rural Trinidad. Set in 1990 against the backdrop of the country’s failed coup attempt, Young Asha has just returned from her home in England to her native island seeking her roots. What should be a brief visit turns into much more as she’s drawn to Roger, an photo for Moko Jumbie idealistic, pan-playing, crab-catching Afro-Caribbean fisherman across the road. The taboo attraction between the two teenagers grows despite family disapproval, political turmoil, a clash between cultures, and mysterious hauntings by ancestral spirits. From IndiPix Films … “Peppermint Soda” (1978 — France) captures a particular moment in the tumultuous life and development of two young people. Anne (Eléonore Klarwein) and Frederique (Odile Michel) are teenage sisters in 1963 France, torn between divorced parents and struggling with the confines of their strict school. Along the way, they undergo an awakening both political and romantic. Diane Kurys’ celebrated film — with cinematography by Oscar winner Philippe Rousselot — revels in the comedy and tragedy of the seemingly mundane, weaving a complex tapestry of everyday existence that also touches on the universal. The film received a 2K restoration for its 40th-anniversary theatrical re-release in 2018. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Cohen Film Collection.

For the Family:

“Norm of the North: Keys to the Kingdom” (2018) is the Dove Family-Approved sequel to the 2016 animated “Norm of the North.” Norm, the newly crowned polar bear king of the Arctic, travels to New York to accept the keys to the city. But Norm goes from hero to villain when he’s framed for a crime he didn’t commit. While he’s trying to clear his good name, back in the Arctic a vicious bottled-water company has moved in and is starting to steal the ice. Norm must rely on his friends, both old and new, to clear his good name and help save his kingdom in a winner-take-all hockey match. From Lionsgate.

Special Interest:

“Maria by Callas (2018) brings to life the remarkable story of the legendary Greek/American opera singer Maria Callas. Told completely in her own words, the film includes performances, TV interviews, home movies, family photographs, private letters and unpublished memoirs, most of which have never been seen by the public. The documentary reveals the essence of an extraordinary woman who rose from humble beginnings in New York City to become a glamorous international superstar and one of the greatest artists of all time. The film is narrated by contemporary opera star Joyce DiDonato. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Sony … “Antonio Lopez 1970: Sex Fashion & Disco” (2018) is a vibrant time capsule of the decadent world of ’70s haute couture as viewed through the eyes of Antonio Lopez, the dominant fashion illustrator of the era whose distinctive drawings graced the pages of Vogue and Elle. A Puerto Rican native raised in the Bronx, photo for Antonio Lopez 1970: Sex Fashion & Disco Antonio was a seductive arbiter of style and glamour who brought urban street elements to a postwar fashion world desperate for change and diversity. Counted among Antonio’s discoveries were iconic beauties such as Grace Jones, Jessica Lange and Jerry Hall. Antonio’s inner circle was also comprised of celebrated photographer Bill Cunningham and rival designers Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent. All these characters and more come together to create a vivid portrait of Antonio Lopez and the revolutionary fashion world he helped create. Through archival footage and stills of studio life in Carnegie Hall, infamous venues such as Max’s Kansas City and Hotel Chelsea and original interviews with principal characters from the time, the documentary takes audiences back to the swinging seventies when fashion designers and their entourages gained the prominence of rock stars. Features interviews with Lange, Pat Cleveland, Warhol superstars Donna Jordan, Jane Forth and Patti D’Arbanville, as well as revered fashion photographer Bill Cunningham in his very last interview, and fashion world luminaries including Grace Coddington, Joan Juliet Buck, Michael Chow, Bob Colacello, Corey Tippin, and Paul Caranicas, among others. The film perfectly captures Lopez and his entourage, blithely on a quest for beauty and pleasure before the decade, saturated by drug use, addiction and sexual promiscuity came to a crashing halt. From Film Movement.

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 February 13, 2019 No Responses »
Feb 052019
 

From the Big Screen:

“The Girl in the Spider’s Web,” “Widows,” “A Private War,” “The Sisters Brothers” and “Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch.” For more information on other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.

This Week’s Best Bets

Directed by Ingmar Bergman, “Shame (Skammen)” (1968) is at once an examination of the violent legacy of World War II and a scathing response to the escalation of the conflict in Vietnam. Max von Sydow and Liv Ullmann star as musicians living in quiet retreat on a remote island farm, until the civil war photo for Shame that drove them from the city catches up with them there. Amid the chaos of the military struggle, vividly evoked by pyrotechnics and by cinematographer Sven Nykvist’s handheld camera work, the two are faced with impossible moral choices that tear at the fabric of their relationship. This film, which contains some of the most devastating scenes in Bergman’s oeuvre, shows the impact of war on individual lives. On DVD and Blu-ray, with new 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. From The Criterion Collection … The cult classic “Double Dragon” (1994), starring photo for Double Dragon (Collector's Edition Robert Patrick, Scott Wolf, Mark Dacascos, Alyssa Milano and Julia Nickson, based on the video game smash hit, roars to life with amazing special effects, spectacular action sequences, and a knock-about sense of humor. It’s the year 2007, and what remains of LA is now “New Angeles,” a city ravaged by earthquakes, tidal waves and vicious gangs. The evil tycoon Koga Shuko (Patrick) is obsessed with finding the two halves of a talisman known as the “Double Dragon,” which will give him awesome mystical powers. Two teenaged brothers, Jimmy (Dacascos) and Billy Lee (Wolf) find themselves in possession of the amulet’s missing half, thrusting them into the adventure of their lives. In a Collector’s Edition Blu-ray/DVD Combo from MVD Rewind Collection.

From TV to Disc:

“The Deuce: The Complete Second Season” (2018) is a three-disc set with all nine episodes. The Second Season continues to trace the evolution and power dynamics of the porn industry in New York’s Times Square neighborhood in the 1970s. Picking up in late 1977, five years after season one, The Deuce’s backroom massage parlors and hotels have exploded into sprawling emporiums, while the New York Mafia’s grip on the porn business is beginning to slip as talent migrates to the West Coast – but for now, the city is flush with movies, music and art. Season photo for Gunsmoke: The Fourteenth Season, Volumes One & Two 2 also captures the disco era in all its excesses before developers, crack cocaine, AIDS, and videotapes conspire to end the debauched glory of Times Square. On DVD, Blu-ray, from HBO … “40 & Single: Season 1” (2018) features six episodes of the series about a bisexual, mixed race, single bridal fashion designer who maneuvers life and business in post colonial Africa. From Urban Movie Channel/RLJ Entertainment … “Gunsmoke: The Fourteenth Season, Volumes One & Two” (1968-69) is a seven-disc set with 26 digitally remastered episodes. James Arness returns to the Wild West as the legendary Marshal Matt Dillon. Hellbent on serving justice in the Old West, Dillon finds himself going head-to-head with Dodge City’s most dangerous outlaws. Often surrounded by epic gunfights, brawls, cold-blooded murders and bank robbers, 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). This season, Dodge City is counting on Dillon to bring justice to the badlands and set order in the west. At the untamed edge of civilization, Dillon faces off with remorseless bounty hunters, a vengeful ex-lawman and a 103-year-old horse thief. From CBS/Paramount.

Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:

In “The Cloverfield Paradox” (2018), starring David Oyelowo, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Elizabeth Debicki, Daniel Bruhl, Chris O’Dowd, Zhang Ziyi, Aksel Hennie and John Ortiz, orbiting above a planet on the brink of war, scientists test a device to solve an energy crisis and end up face-to-face with a dark alternate reality. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Paramount … In “Fighting the Sky” (2018), starring Angela Cole, Matthew Ward, Nicole Ann Hicks, Alison Headrick, Jinette Faraj and Judith Faraj, strange other-worldly sounds are echoing around the world. A group of researchers, led by expert ufologist Lorraine Gardner, begin an expedition to track down the point of origin from which the sounds emerge. Yet as their journey deepens, they begin to discover more than they bargained for. From High Octane Pictures … In “All the Devil’s Men” (2018), starring Milo Gibson, Sylvia Hoeks and William Fichtner, a team of hardened military operatives go on a relentless manhunt through the backstreets of London. A battle-scarred mercenary in the War on Terror is forced to go on an overseas mission to find a disavowed CIA operative, which turns into a deadly running battle with a former military comrade and his private army. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Lionsgate … photo for Grand-Daddy Day Care In “Grand-Daddy Day Care” (2019), starring Reno Wilson, Danny Trejo, Barry Bostwick, Linda Gray, Julia Duffy, Garrett Morris, Hal Linden and George Wendt, when Frank Collins (Wilson) suffers from writer’s block, he decides to start a day care for his father-in-law (Trejo) and other seniors as a way to make quick cash, while giving him time to still work on his next book. Eventually getting a small group to care for, Frank soon learns that these are not your typical seniors and they can’t be easily corralled. With a code enforcement officer challenging the legality of his business, and his senior charges getting into all kinds of trouble, Frank’s work days become anything but effortless. From Universal … In “Mermaid Lake of the Dead” (2018 — Russia), starring Viktoriya Agalakova, Efim Petrunin and Sofia Shidlovskaya, some people believe that if you go walking by the lake a night, a mermaid will get you and seduce you with her singing. Once a young woman sent to a tragic and watery grave, she has since become something unholy. Cursed to swim the waters in which she met her untimely death, the mermaid has risen once again. This unspeakable wraithlike creature hungers for love — and has set her hook for the fiancé of a young woman from the town, setting up a desperate battle with pure, undying evil. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Scream Factory … photo for The Fifth Cord The success of Dario Argento’s “The Bird with the Crystal Plumage” ushered in a host of imitators, seeking to capitalize on this new, modern take on the giallo thriller. Many were highly derivative, but a number nonetheless rose above the crowd thanks to skillful execution and a willingness to experiment stylistically. One such example is “The Fifth Cord” (1971) which, in the hands of director Luigi Bazzoni, turns a conventional premise into a visually stunning exploration of alienation and isolation. When a man barely survives a brutal assault en route home from a New Year’s party, washed-up, whisky-swilling journalist Andrea Bild (Franco Nero) is assigned to report on the case. Before long, the maniac strikes again, this time with fatal results. As the body count rises, Andrea falls under suspicion himself, making it even more imperative that he crack the case. His only clue lies in a series of black gloves found at the location of every attack, each with a finger cut off … Adapted from a novel by David McDonald Devine, “The Fifth Cord” boasts a complex, Agatha Christie-esque plot and outstanding cinematography courtesy of future Oscar-winner Vittorio Storaro.On Blu-ray from Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment … “Poetic Justice” (1993), starring Janet Jackson, Tupac Shakur, Regina King and Joe Torry, makes its Blu-ray debut this week. Jackson and Shakur made their film debuts in director John Singleton’s (“Boyz N the Hood”) street-smart love story. A mismatched pair pushed together for a road trip from South Central L.A. to Oakland, Justice (Jackson) and Lucky (Shakur) have only one thing in common: they can’t stand each other. But as their friends Iesha and Chicago (King and Torry) fight — and make up — in the back of the van, Justice and Lucky find themselves reluctantly drawn together before being confronted once again by the shocking violence they thought they’d left behind. Featuring the music of Naughty by Nature and Tony! Toni! Tone!, and the poetry of Maya Angelou. From Sony … photo for The Possessed “The Possessed” (1965 — Italy) is a wonderfully atmospheric proto-giallo based on one of Italy’s most notorious crimes, The Alleghe killings, and adapted from the book on that case by acclaimed literary figure Giovanni Comisso. Peter Baldwin stars as Bernard, a depressed novelist who sets off in search of his old flame Tilde (Virna Lisi), a beautiful maid who works at a remote lakeside hotel. Bernard is warmly greeted by the hotel owner Enrico (Salvo Randone) and his daughter Irma (Valentina Cortese), but Tilde has disappeared under suspicious circumstances. Bernard undertakes an investigation and is soon plunged into a disturbing drama of familial secrets, perversion, madness and murder … Co-written by Giulio Questi and co-directed by Luigi Bazzoni, “The Possessed” masterfully combines film noir, mystery and giallo tropes, whilst also drawing on the formal innovations of 1960s art cinema (particularly the films of Michelangelo Antonioni.) A uniquely dreamlike take on true crime, “The Possessed” is presented here in a stunning new restoration. On Blu-ray from Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment … In “Higher Learning” (1995), starring Omar Epps, Kristy Swanson, Michael Rapaport, Laurence Fishburne, Ice Cube, Busta Rhymes, Jennifer Connelly and Tyra Banks. First-term freshmen get a crash course in diversity, identity and sexuality when people from all different walks of life encounter racial tension, rape, responsibility, and the meaning of an education on a university campus. In a Blu-ray debut from Sony.

On the Indie Front:

In “When It Comes Around” (2018), starring Jackée Harry, Brad James, Shanica Knowles, Denyce Lawton and Chico Benymon, Dexter (James) is a man with all the moves: with the ladies, on the basketball court and in the cutthroat business of sports management. But this player is about to be played. When his company photo for Electric Love hires a new agent named Jerry and Jerry turns out to be a stunning, competitive woman with moves of her own … Dex will learn a thing or two about relationships and what it feels like to lose. From Urban Movie Channel/RLJ Entertainment … “Electric Love” (2019), starring Mia Serafino, Zachary Mooren, Matt Bush and Victoria Fratz, follows four couples as they traverse modern dating in Los Angeles utilizing popular dating apps like Tinder and Grindr. Emma and Adam swipe right and fall head first into a passionate relationship, ignoring red flags along the way. Greg deals with obstacles in finding a genuine connection on the Grindr scene when a sudden match may have turned his luck around. Director Aaron Fradkin drew from real-life experiences for some of the hilarious bad date stories depicted in the movie. Real-life Grindr stories shared by Grindr users were used to authenticate the feel of the same-sex dating storyline. From Gravitas Ventures.

Foreign Films::

“Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms” (2018 — Japan) was the winner of Best Animated Film at the Shanghai International Film Festival and awarded Best Film for Fantastic Discovery at Spain’s Sitges Film Festival. Though only 15, photo for Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms Maquia knows she will live for centuries without aging past adolescence. She belongs to the Iorph, a clan of ageless beings just like her. Maquia’s elders warn her not to fall in love with anyone outside their realm, lest she wish to encounter true loneliness in the end. But fate pushes Maquia out into the mortal world one night, when an invading territory separates her from the clan. There she discovers an orphaned baby, Arial, and takes him in as her own child. From this point, Maquia will suffer extreme heartbreak in the name of motherhood, as she watches Arial grow and seeks to reconnect with her lost Iorph friends, all torn apart by the cruel world of Mesate. In a Blu-ray/DVD Combo, from Shout! Factory.

For the Family:

In “PJ Masks: Butterfly Brigade” (2019), preschoolers can join the trio of heroes, Catboy, Owlette and Gekko, on their nighttime adventures as they work together to stop the baddies and save the day in six episodes. When Luna Girl pushes her moths aside and steals butterflies to be her new sidekicks, can Catboy learn to make friends with the butterflies and stop her? And Owlette is so amazed photo for Bernie the Dolphin by Night Ninja’s new school bus fortress, she forgets all of the reasons why she loves the PJ Masks HQ. From Fox … Set in St. Augustine, Florida, the Dove Foundation approved “Bernie the Dolphin” (2018), starring Lola Sultan, Kevin Sorbo, Patrick Muldoon and Logan Allen, is a family adventure about a brother and sister who befriend a badly sunburned dolphin separated from his family and uncover a secret plan that could destroy the beach and their new friend’s home. The kids must devise a clever plan to stop the bad guys, protect the sea life, and, most importantly, save their new friend, Bernie. From Lionsgate … In “Scooby-Doo! and the Curse of the 13th Ghost” (2019), the Mystery Inc. gang heads to the snowy peaks of the Himalayan mountains to track down a lost chest that contains the spirits of 12 captured ghosts in this all new animated feature. From Warner.

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 February 5, 2019 No Responses »
Jan 282019
 

From the Big Screen:

“Boy Erased,” “Hunter Killer,” “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms,” “Suspiria” and “The Wife.” For more information on other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.

This Week’s Best Bet

“In the Heat of the Night” (1967): Passing through the backwoods town of Sparta, Mississippi, Philadelphia detective Virgil Tibbs (Sidney Poitier) becomes embroiled in a murder case. He forms an uneasy alliance with the bigoted police photo for In the Heat of the Nightchief (Rod Steiger), who faces mounting pressure from Sparta’s hostile citizens to catch the killer and run the African American interloper out of town. Director Norman Jewison splices incisive social commentary into this thrilling police procedural with the help of Haskell Wexler’s vivid cinematography, Quincy Jones’s eclectic score, and two indelible lead performances — a career-defining display of seething indignation and moral authority from Poitier and an Oscar-winning master class in Method acting from Steiger. Winner of five Academy Awards, including for best picture, “In the Heat of the Night” is one of the most courageous Hollywood films of the civil rights era. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc with new 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. From The Criterion Collection.

From TV to Disc:

“Ballers: The Complete Fourth Season” (2018) is a single disc with nine episodes. Success hits hard. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson stars in this series as a retired football superstar trying to reinvent himself as a financial manager for current players in sun-soaked Miami. After refusing to compromise his principles by joining an alliance with the filthy-rich Anderson brothers to move a football franchise to Las Vegas, Spencer and his partner Joe set out to expand their foothold in the client-management business, weighing an opportunity to purchase an extreme-sports LA outfit. From HBO … “Crashing: The Complete Second Season” (2018) is a single-disc with all nine episodes. Executive produced by Judd Apatow and Pete Holmes, and loosely inspired by Holmes’ personal experiences in stand-up comedy, “Crashing” follows an aspiring comic named Pete, who finds out his wife is cheating on him, forcing a move to New York to pursue his dream of being a comedian. From HBO … photo for The Game: The Complete Series “The Game: The Complete Series” (2006-2015) is a 20-disc set with all 147 episodes of the spin-off of “Girlfriends,” featuring a group of women who all have relationships with professional football players. It may seem glamourous being the wife or girlfriend of a pro-football player, but Melanie Barnett quickly learns the hard truth. After her boyfriend, Derwin Davis, gets drafted as the new third-string wide receiver for the San Diego Sabers, Melanie discovers her role is much more than supporting her beau from the sidelines. She must pick up a playbook of her own and learn the power plays that NFL wives use to get their men the best agents, managers, charity opportunities, endorsements and merchandising deals. From CBS/Paramount … “Humans 3.0” (2018) includes all eight episodes. In the near future, humanoid servants called Synthetics have been created to help busy families simplify their lives. The AMC UK series explores the intersection of man and machine. One year after synths around the globe gained consciousness, human distrust of synths is at an all-time high, and both populations struggle to cope with the fallout. Human photo for Kidding: Season Onelawyer Laura (Katherine Parkinson) fights for synth rights at a high-profile government commission, while Mia (Gemma Chan) and Max (Ivanno Jeremiah) run a settlement for sentient synths. But Max is torn between his new role as leader and helping his friend, human-synth hybrid Leo (Colin Morgan). When a bomb blast at a synth-friendly bar inflames already high tensions, Niska (Emily Berrington) searches for the perpetrator, and what she finds will have monumental consequences for humans and synths alike. From Acorn Media … “Kidding: Season One” (2018) is a two-disc set with all 10 episodes. Jeff Piccirillo (Jim Carrey) is the face of a longtime children’s TV show called “Mr. Pickles’ Puppet Time.” However, behind his jovial Mr. Pickles mask, Jeff struggles with the death of his son Phil (Cole Allen), his separation from his wife Jill (Judy Greer), and his conflict with his father Seb (Frank Langella), with whom he works as the producer of his TV show. Rounding up the first-season cast of “Kidding” are Catherine Keener as Jeff’s sister Didi, Juliet Morris as Didi’s daughter Maddy, Bernard White as Didi’s husband Scott, and Justin Kirk as Jill’s new boyfriend. Cole Allen also stars as Will, Jeff’s other son and Phil’s twin. Guest stars include Tara Lipinski and Conan O’Brien as themselves. From Showtime/Paramount.

Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:

“Blood Brother” (2018), starring Trey Songz, Jack Kesy, China Anne McClain, Hassan Johnson, Tanee McCall and Fetty Wap, is a gritty crime drama that takes place on the mean streets of a city in decay, where a recently released convict begins to take murderous revenge against his childhood friends, whom he believes let him take the fall for a crime they collectively committed. As the bodies start piling up, one of the friends, now a cop, will stop at nothing to put an end to the murderous rampage and to right the many wrongs of their tragically violent past. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Lionsgate … photo for Benchwarmers 2: Breaking Balls In “Benchwarmers 2: Breaking Balls” (2018), starring Chris Klein, Jon Lovitz, Chelsey Reist, Lochlyn Munro and Garfield Wilson, Ben McGrath (Klein) had major league potential playing professional baseball, but his hopes to play ball literally get crushed. Down on his luck, Ben gets another swing at redemption as a new attorney for Schmood & Associates. His unorthodox boss, Mel (Lovitz), convinces him to manage their eclectic softball team full of misfits and strikeouts. From Universal … When a slew of pizza delivery boys are slain on the job in a spooky small town, two daring survivors (Zazie Beetz and Chance the Rapper) set out to catch the culprits behind the cryptic crime spree in “Slice” (2018), starring Zazie Beetz, Chance the Rapper, Rae Gray and Chris Parnell. From Lionsgate … photo for Henri “Henri” (2018), stars Eli Jeffree Zen, Eric Roberts, Robert LaSardo, Burt Rewynolds and Lori Katz. Henri, a peaceful man with special skills, becomes entangled in the affairs of the Chesney family, who have been a menace to the community for years … but the sheriff is reluctant to push the issue due to his own indiscretions. When his girlfriend is targeted, Henri takes the law into his own hands and delivers his own justice to the Chesney family. From Monarch Home Entertainment … “Screamers” (1995) makes its Blu-ray debut this week. In 2078 rebel Alliance Commander Col. Joseph Hendrickson (Peter Weller) is assigned to protect the Sirius 6B outpost from ravage and plunder at the hands of the New Economic Bloc. His state-of-the-art weaponry are known as Screamers; manmade killing devices programmed to eliminate all enemy life forms. Screamers travel underground; their intent to kill announced by piercing shrieks. They dissect their victims with precision, then eradicate all traces of the carnage. They are lethal. Effective. Tidy. And somehow, they are mutating … self-replicating into human form … and slaughtering every beating heart on the planet. Based on a short story by Phillip K. Dick and featuring a screenplay by Dan O’Bannon. From Scream Factory … photo for Suburbia Collector’s Edition BLU-RAY DEBUT “Suburbia Collector’s Edition” (1984) makes its Blu-ray debut this week. Written and directed by Penelope Spheeris (“Decline of Western Civilization,” “Wayne’s World”), and featuring Flea from The Red Hot Chili Peppers in his acting debut, “Suburbia” is Spheeris’s study of the Los Angeles punk rock scene in the early 1980s. Featuring live performances by T.S.O.L., The Vandals and D.I., and starring Bill Coyne, Chris Pederson, Jennifer Clay and Christina Beck, the film deftly explores the punk rock generation and follows the unforgettable journey of runaway teens who have escaped unhappy homes, punks who have banded together to form their own family. Dubbing themselves photo for Sarah T. -- Portrait of a Teenage Alcoholic“The Rejected” (aka T.R.), the teens have taken squatters’ rights in a filthy, abandoned house, and are bound together by tragedy and punk rock until they’re confronted by the “Citizens Against Crime,” a group of irascible adults from the suburbs who blame the punks for the ruin of their town. From Shout! Factory Select … In “Sarah T. — Portrait of a Teenage Alcoholic” (1975), starring Linda Blair, Larry Hagman, Verna Bloom, William Daniels, Michael Lerner and Mark Hamill, Sarah Travis (Blair) is an average teenager who is introduced to drinking alcohol at local parties. As a means of coping with problems in her life, most notably her parents’ divorce, Sarah starts to drink regularly and tries to keep her addiction a secret, even from her boyfriend (Hamill). Eventually, Sarah’s increasingly severe drinking almost leads to tragedy, and she enters Alcoholics Anonymous, beginning an ongoing struggle to get sober and stay that way. First time on any home entertainment format. New 2K scan of the original film elements. A Blu-ray debut from Shout! Factory.

For the Family:

“The Night is Short, Walk on Girl” (2018 — Japan) is the winner of the 2018 Japan Academy Prize for Best Animated Feature. As a group of teens go out for a night on the town, a sophomore known only as “The Girl with Black Hair” experiences a series of surreal encounters with the local nightlife, all the while unaware of the romantic longings of Senpai, a fellow student who has been creating photo for The Night is Short, Walk on Girl increasingly fantastic and contrived reasons to run into her, in an effort to win her heart. Featuring boundless imagination and visual wit, “The Night is Short, Walk on Girl” is a celebration of the unconventional, confusing routes that life and love can take, from one of the most exciting voices in anime today. In a Blu-ray/DVD Combo from GKIDS/Shout! Factory … In “Reign of the Supermen” (2018), featuring the voices of Jerry O’Connell, Rebecca Romijn, Rainn Wilson, Jason O’Mara, Rosario Dawson, the world must cope with the loss of Superman — and the sudden emergence of four would-be heirs to the title — in the all-new, action-packed animated film, part of the popular series of DC Universe Movies and the second half of a two-part saga that began in August 2018 with “The Death of Superman.” Earth’s citizens – and the Man of Steel’s heroic contemporaries – are dealing with a world without Superman. But the aftermath of Superman’s death, and the subsequent disappearance of his body, leads to a new mystery – is Superman still alive? The question is further complicated when four new super-powered individuals – Steel, Cyborg Superman, Superboy and the Eradicator – emerge to proclaim themselves as the ultimate hero. In the end, only one will be able to proclaim himself the world’s true Superman. In a Blu-ray/DVD Combo and a 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo from Warner.

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 January 28, 2019 No Responses »
Jan 222019
 

From the Big Screen:

“First Man,” “The Hate U Give” and “Johnny English Strikes Again” For more information on other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.

This Week’s Best Bets

Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu shot to international prominence with “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days” (2007), his rigorously realistic Palme d’Or-winning second feature. In 1987, during the dictatorship of Nicolae Ceausescu, college roommates Otilia (Anamaria Marinca) and Gabita (Laura Vasiliu) seek an illegal abortion for Gabita. In unflinching but empathetic detail, “4 Months, 3 photo for 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 DaysWeeks and 2 Days” recounts the events of 24 perilous hours in their lives, culminating in their encounter with a manipulative and menacing abortionist (Vlad Ivanov). With powerful performances that accentuate the characters’ flawed humanity, “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days” is a gutting account of the impossible choices women face when taking control of their bodies means breaking the law. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc with new 4K digital restoration, supervised and approved by director Cristian Mungiu, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray. From The Criterion Collection … photo for Mikey and Nicky Elaine May crafted a gangster film like no other in the nocturnal odyssey “Mikey and Nicky” (1976), capitalizing on the chemistry between frequent collaborators John Cassavetes and Peter Falk by putting them on-screen together as small-time mobsters whose lifelong relationship has turned sour. Set over the course of one night, this restless drama finds Nicky holed up in a motel after the boss he stole money from puts a hit on him. Terrified, he calls on Mikey: the one person he thinks can save him. Scripted to match the live-wire energy of its stars — alongside supporting players Ned Beatty, Joyce Van Patten, and Carol Grace — and inspired by real-life characters from May’s childhood, this unbridled portrait of male friendship turned tragic is an unsung masterpiece of American cinema. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc with new 4K digital restoration, supervised by director Elaine May, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. From The Criterion Collection … photo for Waterworld The most expensive film ever made at the time of its release, the infamous “Waterworld” (1995) “Waterworld” has thrilled audiences through the years with its awe-inspiring action scenes, gargantuan maritime sets and ground-breaking special effects. The post-apocalypse film stars Kevin Costner The Mariner — a mutant trader, adrift in a dystopian future where Earth is submerged under water and humankind struggles to survive on boats and in ramshackle floating cities. The Mariner becomes embroiled with the Smokers, a gang of pirates who, led by villainous leader Deacon (Dennis Hopper), are seeking Enola (Tina Majorino), a girl with a map to the mythical realm of “Dryland” tattooed on her back. Famous for both its epic scale and the controversy that swirled around its production, “Waterworld” is a key cult film of the 1990s, and an essential entry into the subgenre of ecologically-minded blockbusters. Presented here in an exclusive new restoration, in three different cuts: the original cut from a 4K scan, the extended US TV cut, which runs over 40 minutes longer than the theatrical cut, and the extended European “Ulysses” cut, which includes censored shots and dialogue. From Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment.

From TV to Disc:

“The Dick Cavett Show: Inside The Minds Of: Vol. 2”:
Beginning in, 1968 Dick Cavett was the host of his own talk show, in a variety of formats and on a number of television and radio formats. These episodes were taken from shows that aired between 1990 through 1995 and feature some of the insightful, thought provoking and satirical brilliance of George Carlin, Martin Mull and Steve Martin. From MVD Entertainment … “Fuller House: The Complete Third Season” (2007) is a two-disc set with all 18 episodes of the sequel to the 1987–1995 television series. Highlights: Joey, Jesse and Danny come home to celebrate 30 years since they initially moved in together to raise the Tanner girls. Guest appearances by original “Full House” cast including John Stamos, Bob Saget, Dave Coulier and Lori Loughlin. From Warner.

Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:

While on assignment in war-torn Bosnia, a team of Navy SEALs discovers the existence of a treasure hidden at the bottom of a lake by the Nazis in “American Renegades” (2017), starring J.K. Simmons, Sullivan Stapleton, Ewen Bremner, Charlie Bewley and Sylvia Hoeks. In an effort to help the locals, photo for the SEALs engineer a covert operation to retrieve the gold and return it to its rightful owners. After a deadly turn of events, the team is detected by the enemy — and left with only 10 hours to carry out the mission. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Lionsgate … Late one night, a knock on the door interrupts a husband and wife’s evening, changing their lives forever in “West of Redemption” (2010), starring Billy Zane, Kevin Alejandro, Mariana Klaveno and Charles Leggett. When Hank Keller (Zane) opens the door to a traveler (Alejandro) whose truck broke down, it opens a nightmare for everyone, unwinding a complicated web of mysteries that ends with a kidnapping, a dead body and several suspects. From IndiCan Pictures … Starring the creators of “The Room,” the cult film that inspired “The Disaster Artist,” “Best Friends Volume 1” (2017) is a comedy-thriller featuring Tommy Wiseau as a mortician named Harvey and Greg Sestero as Jon, a drifter — two unlikely friends/business associates whose partnership is > tested by creeping paranoia and issues of loyalty and trust. photo for In “Best Friends Volume 2” (2018) the laughs and thrills continue with Harvey out of the way and Jon and his girlfriend escaping to the Arizona desert … but their quest to open a safe full of loot leads them into a gang of desperate, deadly characters, leaving Jon, fighting to survive, haunted by freakish memories of the long-lost Harvey. On Blu-ray, from Lionsgate … In “Here and Now” (2018), starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Simon Baker, Common, Taylor Kinney, Waleed “Cobra Collector’s Edition” (1986), starring Sylvester Stallone, Brigitte Nielsen and Reni SantoniLt, police Lt. Marion Cobretti (Stallone) is a one-man assault team whose laser-mount submachine gun and pearl-handled Colt .45 spit pure crime-stopping venom. This thriller pits Cobretti against a merciless serial killer. The trail leads to not one murderer but also an army of psychos bent on slashing their way to a “New Order” — and killing a witness along the way. Fortunately, her protector is Cobra, a man who delivers vigilante justice like no other. New 2K Scan of the original film elements. On Blu-ray from Scream Factory … The cult classic movie based on the video game smash hit “Double Dragon (Collector’s Edition)” (1994), starring Robert Patrick, Scott Wolf, Mark Dacascos, Alyssa Milano and Julia Nickson, roars to life with amazing special effects, spectacular action sequences, and a knock-about sense of humor. It’s photo for Double Dragon (Collector's Edition the year 2007, and what remains of LA is now “New Angeles,” a city ravaged by earthquakes, tidal waves and vicious gangs. The evil tycoon Koga Shuko (Patrick) is obsessed with finding the two halves of a talisman known as the “Double Dragon,” which will give him awesome mystical powers. Two teenaged brothers, Jimmy (Dacascos) and Billy Lee (Wolf) find themselves in possession of the amulet’s missing half, thrusting them into the adventure of their lives. In a Blu-ray/DVD Combo from MVD Rewind Collection … In “10 to Midnight” (1983), starring Charles Bronson, Gene Davis, Lisa Eilbacher and Andrew Stevens, Bronson plays Leo Kessler, a cynical Los Angeles cop on the trail of Warren Stacy (Davis), a homicidal maniac who turns rejection from beautiful women into the ultimate revenge. When the legal system sets Stacy free, Kessler plants evidence to put him behind bars for good. But Kessler’s plan backfires, leaving him with only one option: to hunt down Stacy on his own … before the crazed killer can strike again. New 4k scan of the original camera negative. In a Blu-ray debut from Scream Factory.

Foreign Films:

“The Apparition “ (2018 — France), starring Vincent Lindon and Galatéa Bellugi, is a modern-day ecclesiastical thriller that follows a respected journalist whose belief system is profoundly shaken when he’s recruited by the Vatican to investigate an apparition of the Virgin Mary, witnessed by a similarly beguiling young woman. Jacques Mayano, a writer with a large regional newspaper in France, is tapped by the Vatican to lead a committee to explore the legitimacy of saintly apparitions in a small French village. Traveling to the village for this canonical investigation, he meets the young and sensitive Anna, who claims to have witnessed a vision of the Virgin Mary. Though she has gained a captive audience following her declaration, Anna is torn between her faith and the many solicitations she receives. Confronted with opposing views from clergy members and skeptics, Jacques finds his own ideologies and values challenged as he works to uncover the hidden mysteries, motivations, and pressures surrounding Anna’s vision. From Music Box Films … photo for I Am Not a Witch Filmmaker Rungano Nyoni captured a BAFTA for her provocative debut feature, “I Am Not a Witch” (2017 — Zambia), a striking satire about witchcraft in contemporary Zambia, and the U.K.’s official submission for Best Foreign Language Film. When 9-year-old Shula is accused of witchcraft, she is exiled to a witch camp run by Mr. Banda, a corrupt and inept government official. Tied to the ground by a white ribbon, Shula is told that she will turn into a goat if she tries to escape. As the only child witch, Shula quickly becomes a local star and the adults around her exploit her supposed powers for financial gain. Soon she is forced to make a difficult decision — whether to resign herself to life in the camp, or take a risk for freedom. From Film Movement … Deemed cursed by the local villagers, three-time widow Er Hao (Tian Tian) has her hands full with a rogue fireworks explosion, a tagalong teenager, and a veritable army of crazed local men who can’t keep their hands off her in “The Widowed Witch” (2017 — China). Turned away when she seeks shelter from her neighbors and forced to take up residence in a cold camper van, Er Hao’s future looks as bleak as the stark, snowy countryside. A series of fluke changes in fortune causes Er Hao to embrace the mystical identity her villagers have assigned to her. As a sort of modern shaman, she steers superstitions into small subversions, helping others who once shunned her and proving that to survive as a woman is a kind of magic. From Icarus Films.

For the Family:

“Peppa Pig: When I Grow Up” (2019) contains 12 Peppa-sodes with Peppa, her little brother George, Mummy Pig, Daddy Pig, and friends. Peppa and her friends use their imaginations to decide what they want to be when they grow up, as they work to help others in “The Police,” “Doctors,” and “The Fire Engine. Later, the playgroup gets excited for showtime; in “Move to Music,” the friends dance along with Madame Gazelle and learn how to play instruments for an oinktastic performance in “Shake, Rattle and Bang.” From Fox.

Special Interest:

“The Wandering Muse” (2018): From ram’s horn to beatbox, this documentary, filmed across the globe over seven years by award-winning director Tamás Wormser, explores the kaleidoscope of Jewish identities through the ever-changing music of photo for The Wandering Muse the diaspora. In constant motion, the film is a series of encounters with Jewish musicians from around the world. Taking their music beyond the concert hall, audiences are granted front row seats to the spontaneous magic of a creative process that transcends the struggles of the musicians’ lives. In an alternative Argentinean bar, two friends play tango-infused klezmer. In rural Uganda, villagers chant Hebrew prayers in East African harmonies. At a Montreal party, an artist mixes hip-hop and jazz with cantorial singing in a multilingual tour de force. In a Berlin apartment, an American harmonizes with a Russian friend in a rendition of an anti-Zionist song from the 1920’s. From IndiePix.

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 January 22, 2019 No Responses »
Jan 152019
 

From the Big Screen:

“Halloween,” “The Old man and the Gun” and “Goosebumps 2” For more information on other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.

This Week’s Best Bets

“Crimson Peak (Limited Edition)” (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’s 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 photo for Crimson Peak )Limited Edition) 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. Boasting incredibly intricate and ornate production design and a rich visual style, del Toro’s film is a grandiose, boldly baroque triumph of Gothic decadence, which expertly combines and contrasts the sublimely beautiful with the shockingly grotesque. On Blu-ray, loaded with tons of extras and a limited edition 80-page, hard-bound book featuring new writing by David Jenkins and Simon Abrams, an archival interview with Guillermo del Toro, and original conceptual design illustrations by artists Guy Davis and Oscar Chichoni. From Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment … “Notorious” (1946): With this twisting love story, Alfred Hitchcock summoned darker shades of suspense and passion by casting two of Hollywood’s most beloved stars starkly against type. Ingrid Bergman stars as Alicia, an alluring photo for Notorious woman of ill repute recruited by Devlin (Cary Grant), a suave but mysterious intelligence agent, to spy for the U.S. Only after she has fallen for Devlin does she learn that her mission is to seduce a Nazi industrialist (Claude Rains) hiding out in South America. Coupling inventive cinematography with brilliantly subtle turns from his mesmerizing leads, Hitchcock orchestrates an anguished romance shot through with deception and moral ambiguity. A thriller of rare perfection, “Notorious” represents a pinnacle in both its director’s legendary career and the pantheon of classic Hollywood cinema. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc with new 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray, from The Criterion Collection … “The Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion” (1970 — Italy): Before the influence of Dario Argento’s “The Bird with the Crystal Plumage” permeated every corner of the giallo genre, another strain of these distinctive Italian thrillers enjoyed considerable success. These “melodrama photo for The Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion gialli”, heavily inspired by Clouzot’s “Les diaboliques,” relied less on graphic violence and high body counts and more on psychological tension. Minou (Dagmar Lassander) leads a pampered but dull life with her frequently absent husband, Peter (Pier Paolo Capponi). One night, while out walking on the beachfront, Minou is accosted by a mysterious blackmailer (Simón Andreu) who informs her that Peter is a murderer. Driven by misplaced loyalty to her husband, Minou gives in to the blackmailer’s every perverted whim in exchange for his silence. But as the blackmailer ups the ante, demanding that she submit to his increasingly obscene demands, can Minou hold on to what little remains of her sanity? Written by the prolific Ernesto Gastaldi (“Torso”), infused with a seductive score by the great Ennio Morricone and featuring a memorable turn by Nieves Navarro a.k.a. Susan Scott in the role of Minou’s best friend, “The Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion” is a trippy giallo delight that brings together the talents of many of the genre’s leading lights on both sides of the camera. On Blu-ray from Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment.

Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:

“The Bookshop” (2017), starring Emily Mortimer, Bill Nighy, Hunter Tremayne and Patricia Clarkson, takes place in England, 1959. Free-spirited widow Florence Green (Mortimer) risks everything to open a bookshop in a conservative East Anglian coastal town. While bringing about a surprising cultural awakening through works by Ray Bradbury and Vladimir Nabokov, she earns the polite but ruthless opposition of a local grand dame (Clarkson) and the support and affection of a reclusive book loving widower (Nighy). As Florence’s obstacles amass and bear suspicious signs of a local power struggle, she is forced to ask: is there a place for a bookshop in a town that may not want one? Based on Penelope Fitzgerald’s acclaimed novel. From Universal … In “The Dark” (2018 — Austria), starring Nadia Alexander, Toby Nichols and Karl Markovics, an undead teenage girl befriends a blind boy that she meets in a forest she haunts and hunts in. Both have been victims of unimaginable abuse, and each finds solace in the other. On the outskirts of a small town lies Devil’s Den, a mysterious tract of woods where many have entered but no one has ever left. The local legend is that the spirit of a girl who was horrifically murdered there haunts this dense forest, brutally slaying anyone who dares to step into her terrain. When a young man with a dark past crosses her path, a series of events are set in motion that may lead to redemption for two tragically tortured souls. From Dark Sky Films … photo for After Darkness “After Darkness” (2018), starring John Patrick Amedori, Valorie Curry, Natalia Dyer, Kyra Sedgwick and Tim Daly, is a Sci-fi thriller about a family’s fight to survive a solar disaster. As skies darken and hopes grow dim, the Beatys try to stay sane in a lavish home with every possible comfort … except sunshine. Raymond plans to have his family transported to a secure underground bunker. But as he makes a gruesome discovery, the greatest threat to the Beatys’ survival may be near — or inside — their home. From Lionsgate … In “8 Minutes Ahead” (2019), starring Theresa Wong and Tseng Chang, a successful Vancouver businessman returns home when he finds out his father is dying. Instead of making peace with him, he finds out that he has a half-brother and that his father has made a sudden change to his will. Now he must decide what he values most — money or family and what he is willing to do, to protect his money. From IndiCan Pictures … In “Speed Kills” (2018), starring John Travolta, Katheryn Winnick, Jennifer Esposito, Michael Weston and Jordi Molla, Ben Aronoff (Travolta) is a speedboat racing champion and multimillionaire living the American Dream. But Ben hides a dangerous secret life: His boats are being used to move cocaine through Miami. Suddenly caught in a crossfire between DEA agents and the mob, Ben makes a desperate stand to save his family and his empire in this action-thriller based on an incredible true story. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Lionsgate … photo for Speed Kills In the sci-fi-tinged drama “Jonathan” (2018), starring Ansel Elgort, Suki Waterhouse, Patricia Clarkson and Matthew Bomer, Elgort plays two brothers living very separate lives — inside the same body. Previously content to live life in shifts with one another — and communicate only via daily video sessions to recount the day’s activities — their delicate balance is ruined when they become emotionally involved with the same woman (Waterhouse). On DVD, Blu-ray from Well Go USA … There’s three fine Blu-ray debuts this week from Shout Factory/Scream Factory: “Howling III” (1987), starring Barry Otto, William Yang and Imogen Annesley. The third entry in the popular werewolf horror franchise. The race is on as a colony of marsupial werewolves attempts to outwit and outlast their human counterparts. Long ago, the now-extinct marsupial wolf (a.k.a. Tasmanian Tiger) roamed the Australian Outback. Today, a werewolf colony that has descended from these marsupials has taken over the land. This race of human-like creatures roams the outback, feeding its need. The race for survival is on as the humans struggle to contain these out of control creatures. New digital transfer sponsored by the National Film and Sound Archive of photo for Obsession Australia … “Obsession” (1976): A 10th wedding anniversary celebration ends tragically when Michael Courtland (Cliff Robertson) discovers that his wife (Geneviève Bujold) and 9-year-old daughter have been kidnapped. When an attempt to thwart the captors goes awry, Courtland’s wife and daughter are never recovered. Several years later while vacationing in Florence, Courtland falls in love with a young woman who is an exact double of his dead wife. On the eve of their wedding, the woman disappears and Courtland finds a ransom note … a duplicate of the one found several years earlier. A riveting Hitchcockian mystery thriller from Brian De Palma … “The Plague of the Zombies” (1966), starring André Morell, Diane Clark and John Carson. In a remote 19th-century Cornish village, an evil presence lurks within the darkness of the witching hour. A mysterious plague relentlessly consumes lives at an unstoppable rate. Unable to find the cause, Dr. Peter Tompson enlists the help of his mentor, Sir James Forbes. Desperate to find an antidote, they instead find inexplicable horror: empty coffins with the diseased corpses missing! Following a series of strange and frightening clues, they discover a deserted mine where they discover a world of black magic and a doomed legion of flesh-eating slaves … the walking dead.

Foreign Films:

Startling tales of sex, betrayal and corruption unravel in a Copenhagen hotel, where nine disparate lives intersect by chance or fate, in “Room 304”
(2011 — Denmark), starring Mikael Birkkjær, Stine Stengade, David Dencik, Luan Jaha, Ariadna Gil and Lourdes Faberes. A hotel manager peers into the abyss of his empty life, leading to devastating consequences for himself, his wife and his photo for Room 304 mistress. A Spanish stewardess reaches out for intimacy and finds it in a most unexpected way. A reserved concierge is forced out of his shell by a shocking event, and an Albanian refugee gets a chance to avenge his wife, but ends up discovering something surprising instead. An Official Selection in Competition at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. From Film Movement … “Hippocrates: Diary of a French Doctor” (2014 — France), starring Vincent Lacoste and Reda Kateb, is a darkly comic portrait of a Paris hospital as seen through the eyes of a young intern, Benjamin, who begins his internship at the hospital ward run by his father. Confident and determined to be a success, Vincent soon realizes that the reality of practicing medicine is a lot grimmer than what he had imagined. Vincent finds himself overshadowed by a more talented intern Abdel, who is disadvantaged by his status as an immigrant. When Vincent makes a critical error, his father quickly covers it up, but Abdel is not fooled. Directed by Thomas Lilti, a former medical doctor. From Icarus Films.

For the Family:

“Oddsockeaters” (2016 — Czech Republic) is a Dove-approved animated tale. Ever wonder where your missing socks go? The Oddsockeaters eat them! (though, to be fair, their mantra is “never take the full pair”). Based on the international bestselling books by Pavel Srut, “Oddsockeaters” brings home audiences into the little known world of these mischievous creatures unknown to humans. In a photo for whimsical, heartwarming and unique adventure perfect for family viewing, Hugo is a small Oddsockeater venturing out into the big world for the first time. After moving in with his uncle “Big Boss” and his two nutty cousins, he encounters the Professor, a human determined to proving the existence of Oddsockeaters, as well as The Blades, a crosstown gang of rival sock thieves. Wild adventures ensue as Hugo learns the ropes of being an Oddsockeater as well as valuable lessons about family, love and the true meaning of loyalty. From Omnibus Entertainment … “Garfield: 20 Stories” (2019) features new adventures from the classic Saturday morning animated program, “Garfield.” Fans of the furry feline will follow along on a journey of fairy tales, history lessons, crime solving and more, including a tour of a movie museum to learn about famous cats in films in “Films and Felines,” and the real story of the Pied Piper, who happened to have a cat, in “The Pie-Eyed Piper.” From Public Media Distribution.

Special Interest:

“The Lost Village” (2018)is a devastating expose of how Greenwich Village, the epicenter of the counterculture in the 1960s and ’70s, is being turned into a wasteland of chain stores, banks and multi-million dollar condos. This award-winning documentary follows filmmaker Roger Paradiso on a journey through today’s Village as he tries to figure out how this “gentrification on steroids” got started. Talking to journalists, activists, shop-owners, professors and more, he uncovers how the landlords, politicians and NYU turned the Village into a place that is losing its heart and soul. From First Run Features … What happens when four legends of British stage and screen get together? Dame Maggie Smith, Dame Judi Dench, Dame Eileen Atkins and Dame Joan Plowright are among the most celebrated actresses of our time, with scores of iconic performances, decades of wisdom, and innumerable Oscars, Tonys, Emmys and BAFTAs between them. They are also longtime friends who here, in “Tea With the Dames” (2018), invite you to join them for a weekend in the country as they catch up with one another, reminisce, and share their candid, delightfully irreverent thoughts on everything from art to aging to love to a life lived in the spotlight. From IFC Films.

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 January 15, 2019 No Responses »
Dec 312018
 

Happy New Year

From the Big Screen:

“Night School” and “Bad Times at the El Royale.” For more information on other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.

Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:

In “Red vs. Blue: The Shisno Paradox:” (2018), starring Matt Hullum and Gus Sorola, two groups of soldiers in the distant future are battling for control of the least desirable piece of real estate in the known universe: a box canyon in the middle of nowhere. A simple trip out for pizza ends with the Reds and Blues scattered and lost in time. Their ridiculous adventures in history inadvertently make them pawns in a war between Gods and Titans, which has been raging since before the dawn of time. Based on the longest running web-series on the internet. From Cinedigm … In “The City of Gold” (2018), staring Vernon Wells, Christopher Atkins and Branscombe Richmond, an anguished media magnate, Jonathan Davenport, accompanies his estranged lover to the Peruvian Amazon in pursuit of a reclusive artist living in rebel occupation. Despite its philanthropic intentions, the mission proves to be the harbinger of something dark and ominous rooted deep within Jonathan. From High Octane Pictures.

Foreign Films:

“Scaffolding” (2018 — Israel), starring Asher Lax, Ami Smolartchik, Yaacov Cohen, Keren Berger and Naama Manor, is based on the real life experiences of director Matan Yair, and follows 17-year-old Asher, compelled by rage, but still endowed with charm and street wisdom, as he is torn between his ailing father wanting him to join the family scaffolding business, and a favorite professor who pushes him toward a more studious life. When tragedy strikes, Asher must take the ultimate test of maturity. From Breaking Glass Pictures.

Special Interest:

“Bad Reputation” (2018) is an admiring documentary portrait of punk rock icon Joan Jett, who became mega-famous from the number-one hit “I Love Rock n Roll.” That fame intensified with the music video’s endless play on MTV, world tours and many hits to follow, like “I Hate Myself for Loving You,” but that photo for Bad Reputationstaple of popularity can’t properly define a musician. Jett put her hard work in long before the fame by ripping it up onstage as the backbone of the hard-rock legends The Runaways, starting her record label out of the trunk of a car after being rejected by 23 labels, and influencing many musicians – both her cohort of punk rockers and generations of younger bands – with her no-bullshit style. Bad Reputation is a wild ride as Jett and her close friends tell fans how it really was in the burgeoning ‘70s punk scene and the rocky road that led to rock stardom decades on. Their interviews are laced with amazing archival footage and the theme is clear: Even though people tried to define Jett, she never compromised. She will kick your ass, and you’ll love her photo for Love, Gilda all the more for it. From Magnolia Home Entertainment … In her own words and voice, comedienne Gilda Radner reflects on her life and career in “Love, Gilda” (2018). Weaving together her recently discovered audiotapes and rare home movies, the documentary opens a unique window into the honest and whimsical world of the beloved performer whose greatest role was sharing her story. The unforgettable documentary also includes interviews with original “Saturday Night Live” cast and crew, such as Chevy Chase, Laraine Newman, Paul Shaffer and longtime friend, Martin Short, and diaries read by modern-day comedians who were inspired by Gilda, including Bill Hader, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph and Cecily Strong. Radner puts a smile on the faces of people who remember watching her as one of the original cast members of “Saturday Night Live,” where she created and portrayed now-classic comic characters such as Roseanne Roseannadanna, Emily Litella and Lisa Loopner. She quickly rose to meteoric fame in television, movies and on Broadway, and was declared one of America’s sweethearts. Director Lisa D’Apolito unearthed a collection of diaries and personal audio and videotapes documenting her childhood, her comedy career, her life with Gene Wilder and ultimately, her struggle with cancer. From Magnolia Home Entertainment.

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 December 31, 2018 No Responses »

 
 Posted by on February 22, 2018 Comments Off on
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