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"The movie business is macabre. Grotesque.
It is a combination of a football game
and a brothel."
-- Federico Fellini
May 142019
 

From the Big Screen:

“Cold Pursuit,” “Never Look Away,” “Fighting With My Family” and “Happy Death Day 2U.” For more information on other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.

This Week’s Best Bets

“The Landlord” (1970)” Legendary filmmaker Hal Ashby made his directing debut with this acclaimed social satire starring Beau Bridges as a wealthy young man who leaves his family’s estate in Long Island to pursue love and happiness in a Brooklyn ghetto. When Elgar Enders (Bridges) buys a Park Slope tenement, he fully intends to evict the occupants and transform the building into photo for The Landlorda chic bachelor pad. But after meeting the tenants, Elgar adopts a “love thy neighbor” policy instead: first he falls head-over-heels for a sexy young go-go dancer … then he begins an affair with the sultry, married “Miss Sepia 1957.” Featuring brilliant performances by Lee Grant in an Oscar-nominated role, Pearl Bailey, Louis Gossett Jr., Robert Klein, Trish Van Devere, Hector Elizondo, Gloria Hendry and Susan Anspach, and with a potent script by Bill Gunn based on the novel by Kristin Hunter, “The Landlord” is one of the most original and provocative screen comedies to deal with race relations in urban America. Produced by Norman Jewison and shot by Gordon Willis. On Blu-ray from Kino Lorber … “The Buster Keaton Collection: The General and Steamboat Willie, Jr.”: “The General” (1926) and “Steamboat Willie, Jr.” (1928), high points not only of Buster Keaton’s incomparable career but of all silent cinema, and both included on the National Film Registry — are presented in new 4K restorations and feature orchestral scores by Carl Davis (“Pride and Prejudice,” “The World at War”). Many critics and historians consider “The General” to be the last great comedy of the silent era, and it consistently ranks as one of the finest films of all time on international critics’ polls. It is No. 18 on the American Film Institute’s list of 100 Greatest American Films, and is No. 34 on the latest Sight & Sound critics poll of the Greatest Films of All Time. “Steamboat Willie, Jr.” contains what many consider Keaton’s most memorable — and potentially deadly — film stunt: One side of a house falls on him while he stands in the perfect spot to pass through a window frame unharmed. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Cohen Film Collection … photo for The Big Clock Adapted by acclaimed screenwriter Jonathan Latimer from a novel by the equally renowned crime author Kenneth Fearing, “The Big Clock” (1948) is a superior suspense film that classily combines screwball comedy with heady thrills. Overworked true crime magazine editor George Stroud (Ray Milland) has been planning a vacation for months. However, when his boss, the tyrannical media tycoon Earl Janoth (Charles Laughton), insists he skips his holiday, Stroud resigns in disgust before embarking on an impromptu drunken night out with his boss’s mistress, Pauline York (Rita Johnson). When Janoth kills Pauline in a fit of rage, Stroud finds himself to have been the wrong man, in the wrong place, at the wrong time: his staff have been tasked with finding a suspect with an all too familiar description … Stroud’s very own. Directed with panache by John Farrow, who stylishly renders the film’s towering central set, the Janoth Building, “The Big Clock” benefits from exuberant performances by Milland and Laughton, who make hay with the script’s snappy dialogue. A huge success on its release, it is no wonder this fast-moving noir was remade years later as the Kevin Costner vehicle “No Way Out.” In a high definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation transferred from original film elements with uncompressed mono 1.0 PCM audio soundtrack.On Blu-ray from Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment … photo for Funny Games Michael Haneke’s most notorious provocation, “Funny Games” (1997) spares no detail in its depiction of the agony of a bourgeois family held captive at their vacation home by a pair of white-gloved young men. In a series of escalating “games,” the sadistic duo subject their victims to unspeakable physical and psychological torture over the course of a night. A home-invasion thriller in which the genre’s threat of bloodshed is made stomach-churningly real, the film ratchets up shocks even as its executioners interrupt the action to address the audience, drawing queasy attention to the way that cinema milks pleasure from pain and stokes our appetite for atrocity. With this controversial treatise on violence and entertainment, Haneke issued a summation of his cinematic philosophy, implicating his audience in a spectacle of unbearable cruelty. New 2K digital restoration, supervised by director Michael Haneke, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray. From The Criterion Collection … “Princess Mononoke Collector’s Edition Set” (1997 – Japan): This limited-edition set comes housed in an elegant hard slipcase and includes a new 40-page book with stunning art and essays. Featured in a deluxe disc portfolio is a Blu-ray of the film paired with hours of special features, and the film’s soundtrack made available on CD for the first time in North America. From the legendary Studio Ghibli, this epic fantasy film is one of the best-photo for selling and internationally renowned films of all time. The set’s 40-page book features new essays by film critic Glenn Kenny (The New York Times, RogerEbert.com) alongside amazing imagery and statements from director Hayao Miyazaki and producer Toshio Suzuki, and Miyazaki’s poems about the characters.
The first animated film to win the Japan Academy Prize for Picture of the Year, “Princess Mononoke” is Miyazaki’s epic masterpiece that has dazzled audiences worldwide with its breathtaking imagination, exhilarating battles, and deep humanity. Inflicted with a deadly curse, the young warrior Ashitaka heads west in search of a cure. There, he stumbles into a bitter conflict between Lady Eboshi and the proud people of Iron Town, and the enigmatic Princess Mononoke, a young girl raised by wolves, who will stop at nothing to prevent the humans from destroying her home, and the forest spirits and animal gods who live there. Featuring the voices of Gillian Anderson, Billy Crudup, Claire Danes, Minnie Driver, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Billy Bob Thornton. On Blu-ray from Studio Ghibli, GKIDS, and Shout! Factory) … photo for House of Games “House of Games” (1987): The Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and screenwriter David Mamet sat in the director’s chair for the first time for this sly, merciless thriller. Lindsay Crouse stars as a best-selling author and therapist who wants to help a client by making restitution for the money he owes to a gambler. After she meets the attractive cardsharp (Joe Mantegna), her own compulsions take hold as he lures her into his world of high-stakes deception. Packed with razor-sharp dialogue delivered with even-keeled precision by a cast of Mamet regulars, “House of Games” is as psychologically acute as it is full of twists and turns, a rich character study told with the cold calculation of a career con artist targeting his next mark. High-definition digital transfer, supervised by director of photography Juan Ruiz Anchía, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack. Director-approved special edition. From The Criterion Collection.

From TV to Disc:

“The Donna Reed Show: Seasons 1 – 5” (1958-66): Originally airing on ABC-TV, “The Donna Reed Show” is one of the most popular and enduring family sitcoms in television history. Starring Academy Award winner Donna Reed as homemaker Donna Stone, Carl Betz as her pediatrician husband Alex, Shelley Fabares as daughter Mary, Paul Petersen as son Jeff and, later, Patty Petersen as adoptee Trisha, the series is a humorous and heartwarming slice of Americana that has earned a legion of new fans through showings on Nick at Nite, TV Land and MeTV. This special collection presents all 186 episodes from Seasons 1 through 5 in complete versions and digitally remastered. From MPI Media Group.

Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:

“Yakuza Law” (1969 — Japan): Director Teruo Ishii, the Godfather of J-sploitation, presents this gruelling anthology of torture, spawning three district periods of Japanese history and bringing to the screen some of the most brutal methods of torment ever devised. In this deep dive into the world of the Yakuza, meet the violent men who rule the Japanese underworld and the cruel punishments inflicted on those who photo for Yakuza Law transgress them. The carnage begins in the Edo Period with a violent tale of samurai vengeance starring Bunta Sugawara (“Battles Without Honor and Humanity”), before shifting to the Meiji Period as the exiled Ogata (Minoru Oki, “Shogun Assassin”) returns to face punishment for his past transgressions … and, ultimately, to take his revenge. Finally, the action is brought right up to date with a tale of gang warfare set in then-present-day 60s Japan and headlined by Teruo Yoshida (Ishii’s “Orgies of Edo”), as a powerful crime syndicate seeks bloody vengeance for the theft of one hundred thousand yen. Brutal, bewildering and definitely not for the faint-hearted, “Yakuza Law” represents Japanese popular cinema at its most extreme … and most thrilling. On Blu-ray from Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment … In “Impossible Mission (aka The Vibe)” (2018), starring Jimena Gala, Ben Vinnicombe and James Giblin, Rosa, a master assassin with a knack for poisons, sets out on a search and destroy mission against a spiritual leader, but conflicts within her own organization spell disaster for her long before she ever closes in on her target. From High Octane Pictures … “Silencio”
(2018 — Mexico), starring John Noble, Rupert Graves and Melina Matthews, is a sci-fi time displacement drama in which a woman must find a powerful stone — originally discovered in the Zone of Silence, the Bermuda Triangle of Mexico, by her grandfather — in order to save her son’s life. Along the way, she stumbles upon family secrets and enemies who believe the stone’s power is worth killing for. From Uncork’d Entertainment … photo for Backdraft 2 “Backdraft 2” (2019), starring Donald Sutherland, William Baldwin, Joe Anderson and Alisha Bailey, is the sequel to the 1991 hit and follows an investigator with the Chicago F.D. who has to track down an arms dealers who use deadly fires as a distraction. Sean McCaffrey (Anderson), son of late Steven “Bull” McCaffrey, now works at the same firehouse with his uncle Brian (Baldwin). When investigating a fire, Sean and partner Maggie realize they are dealing with something bigger. With the help of arsonist Ronald Bartel (Sutherland), Sean must stop who is behind the fire and their devious plans. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Universal … “American Exit”
(2019), starring Dane Cook, Udo Kier and Levi Miller, is based on an incredible true story. The crime-thriller stars Cook as Charlie, a desperate father who steals a million-dollar painting from Anton, a shady art dealer. With time running out, he flees to the California desert with his rebellious teen son, Leo. But when Anton and his henchman come seeking revenge, the situation explodes into violence. From Lionsgate … In the futuristic thriller “Life Like” (2019), starring Drew Van Acker, Addison Timlin, James D’Arcy and Steven Strait, Sophie and James purchase a lifelike robot to cook and clean at their sprawling new home. At first, android Henry is quiet and hard-working. But as his artificial-intelligence programming kicks in, Henry starts to anticipate the couple’s needs and desires, ones they themselves cannot fully understand. Will Henry’s terrifying behavior destroy Sophie and Julian’s relationship—and their lives? From Lionsgate … photo for Never Grow Old In “Never Grow Old” (2019), starring Emile Hirsch, John Cusack and Déborah François, a once-peaceful frontier town is now a den of vice after vicious outlaw Dutch Albert (Cusack) and his gang arrived — and began gunning down their opposition. Undertaker Patrick Tate (Hirsch) must choose between the blood money he makes burying the murderers’ victims and the threats he and his family face in this intense action-drama. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Lionsgate … In “Valentine: The Dark Avenger” (2019 – Indonesia), starring Estelle Linden, Matthew Settle, Arie Dagienkz, the City of Batavia has been infested with robbery and violence. Srimaya, a waitress at a café, dreams of a glamorous life as an actress, but a chance meeting with a film director and his assistant leads to a life-changing series of events for her, as they take her on a thrilling adventure that finds the waitress-turned-actress transforming into the person Batavia City needs and deserves most: the consummate kick-ass superhero. Taking to the streets as “Valentine,” she becomes a role model to the people of Batavia, and a foil to the city’s lowlifes and ne’er-do-wells. But when a sinister masked villain emerges from the shadows of the night, Srimaya realizes that all of her vigilante exploits were a mere dress rehearsal for the ultimate showdown. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Shout! Factory/Scream Factory … In “Triple Threat” (2018 — Thailand/China), starring Tony Jaa, Iko Uwais, Tiger Chen, Scott Adkins, Michael Jai White, Michael Bisping, Celina Jade and Jeeja Yanin, wen a hit contract is taken out on a billionaire’s daughter (Jade) intent on bringing down a major crime syndicate, a team of wanted mercenaries (Jaa,Chen) must take on a group of professional assassins (Adkins, White, Bisping) to stop them from hitting their target. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Well Go USA … photo for Saint Bernard “Saint Bernard” (2013), starring Jason Dugre, Katy Sullivan and Peter Iasillo Jr., is a hallucinatory epic that follows an unhinged orchestra conductor named Bernard (Dugre) as he graphically descends into a surreal odyssey of chaos and psychosis. Features a performance by punk legends The Damned. Transferred from the original negative and unleashed beyond the underground festival circuit for the first time ever. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray. From Severin Films … “Don’t Look” (2018), starring Luciana Faulhaber, Jeff Berg, Jarrod Robbins, Curtis K. Case and Lindsay Eshelman, is a female-directed twist on horror films that centers on five New York City Millennials who escape the big city for a rustic Thanksgiving weekend in the country. But as will happen in horror, something threatens to shatter their peaceful getaway and they are targeted for murder. From Wild Eye Releasing … “Masked Multilator” (2019): In 1994, a production team in Eastern Pennsylvania brought together a group of local pro wrestlers and young actors to make a horror-action film. A quarter of a century later, the movie was finally finished: After accidentally killing an opponent in the ring, a professional wrestler takes a job at a group home for youth offenders. But when a psychopath wearing a wrestling mask begins butchering the teenage residents, their rehabilitation will become a no-holds-barred battle for survival. Stars James DeBello, Glenn Hetrick and Brick Bronsky. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Intervision Picture Corp. … In “Beer League” (2006), starring Artie Lange, Ralph Macchio and Anthony DeSando, an unemployed slacker inspires his softball teammates to improve their game so they won’t get kicked out of the local league. From Filmrise … photo for The Big White After finding a frozen corpse in a dumpster, on-the-verge-of-being-bankrupt Alaskan travel agent Paul (Robin Williams) decides to use it to claim his long-lost brother’s life insurance policy in “The Big White” (2005). However, the body is also sought by two dangerous hitmen. Co-stars Holly Hunter, Giovanni Ribisi, Tim Blake Nelson, W. Earl Brown and Woody Harrelson. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Filmrise … In “Mortuary” (2005), starring Dan Byrd, Denise Crosby and Stephanie Patton, a family moves to a small town in California where they plan on starting a new life while running a long-abandoned funeral home. The locals fear the place, which is suspected to be on haunted ground. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Filmrise … In Virgina Minnesota” (2019), starring Aurora Perrineau, Rachel Hendrix, Susan Walters, Jessica Miesel, Harold Perrineau, Julia Keefe, Eyas Younis and Aaron Hill, two young women embark on an illuminating 24-hour journey, unlocking memories of their childhood, exploring a world of fantastical creatures and buried memories with comical and touching results. From Indican Pictures.

Foreign Films:

“Nina” (2018 — Poland): Struggling in her marriage and yearning for change, Nina longs to have a child but is unable to conceive. Multiple failed attempts have left her disillusioned and at a breaking point, but an accidental encounter with Magda renews her hope. Young and independent, Magda may be a possible solution to their pregnancy problem. But while her husband fails in his attempts to engage Magda as a surrogate, Nina also photo for Nina becomes ensnared by thoughts of Magda. And as her thoughts shift from surrogacy to a more intimate curiosity, Magda awakens a repressed desire in Nina, causing her life to suddenly and unexpectedly spiral out of control. The feature film debut of Polish director Olga Chajdas. Stars Julia Kijowska, Eliza Rycembel and Andrzej Konopka. From Film Movement … “The Return of the Hero” (2018 — France): France, 1809: The charming Captain Neuville (Dujardin) is set to marry the naïve Pauline (Merlant) when the war breaks out, forcing Neuville to depart for the battlefield. After not hearing from the captain for months, Pauline grows sick with worry, and her sister Elizabeth (Laurent) decides to write letters on Neuville’s behalf to cheer her up. Neuville returns home in glory and is welcomed as a hero, but unbeknownst to everyone, he is a coward and a war deserter. A suspicious Elizabeth is determined to expose the real Neuville, and the two imposters find themselves in a ruthless fight. Stars Jean Dujardin, Mélanie Laurent and Noémie Merlant. From Icarus Films.

Special Interest:

“Apollo 11” (2019) is a cinematic event 50 years in the making. Crafted from a newly discovered trove of 65mm footage, and more than 11,000 hours of uncatalogued audio recordings, Apollo 11 takes us straight to the heart of NASA’s most celebrated mission — the one that first put men on the moon, and forever photo for Apollo 11made Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin into household names. Immersed in the perspectives of the astronauts, the team in Mission Control, and the millions of spectators on the ground, we vividly experience those momentous days and hours in 1969 when humankind took a giant leap into the future. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Universal … “The Shape of Now” (2018): According to estimates, approximately 200,000 people lost their lives in the 50-year Colombian civil war. Another 25,000 were kidnapped, and many are still considered missing. When the peace deal between the government and the FARC rebels was made in photo for The Shape of Now November 2016, guns were banned from the conflict. But since then, Colombians have faced the nearly impossible task of having to agree on a common past. The film follows scientists, academics and activists who are attempting to normalize war-torn Colombia after the disarmament of the country’s oldest guerrilla organization. At the same time, a group of elderly mothers searches for a direct way to approach the possible killers of their missing children, forging a necessary and genuine encounter in an attempt to find clues about their whereabouts — or get closure. Director Manuel Correa attempts to shed light on the difficult process of reconciliation and healing with this powerful documentary about memory and shared experiences during wartime. From IndiPix Films … “Surviving Birkenau: The Dr. Susan Spatz Story” (2019): A compelling and powerful Holocaust documentary follows one photo for Surviving Birkenau: The Dr. Susan Spatz Story woman’s courageous struggles and ultimate escape from the Nazis Final Solution. The documentary — vividly and emotionally narrated by Dr. Susan Spatz at the age of 96 — recounts her astonishing life, from an idyllic childhood in Austria to the unimaginable horrors she and her family suffered at the hands of the Third Reich. Born in Vienna in 1922, Spatz was an only child who lived a life of privilege until the Nazis invaded, and she and her mother found themselves “in the trap,” experiencing many of the terrors of her fellow European Jews: early Nazi oppression in Berlin; post-“Anschluss” Vienna and Nazi-occupied Prague. But, after being deported to Theresienstadt, the true nightmares awaited in Birkenau, the notorious woman’s death camp in Auschwitz. After three years of brutal internment and a transfer to Ravensbrück, a death march led not to the grave, but to freedom. With the assistance of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, filmmaker Ron Small brings Susan’s story to rich life for future generations in this second film to be released from the newly launched Holocaust Education Film Foundation (HEFF). From Dreamscape Media.

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 May 14, 2019 No Responses »
May 072019
 

From the Big Screen:

“The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part,” “What Men Want” and “Prodigy.” For more information on other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.

This Week’s Best Bets

Directed with a keen sense of ambiguity by William Wyler, “The Heiress”
(1949), based on a hit stage adaptation of Henry James’s “Washington Square,” pivots on a question of motive. When shy, fragile Catherine Sloper (Olivia de Havilland, in a heartbreaking, Oscar-winning turn), the daughter of a wealthy New York doctor, begins to receive calls from the handsome spendthrift Morris Townsend photo for The Heiress (Montgomery Clift), she becomes possessed by the promise of romance. Are his smoldering professions of love sincere, as she believes they are? Or is Catherine’s calculating father (Ralph Richardson) correct in judging Morris a venal fortune seeker? A graceful drawing-room drama boasting Academy Award-winning costume design by Edith Head, “The Heiress” is also a piercing character study riven by emotional uncertainty and lacerating cruelty, in a triumph of classic Hollywood filmmaking at its most psychologically nuanced. New, restored 4K digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. From The Criterion Collection … “The Grand Duel” (1972) is an archetypal Spaghetti Western that boasts many of the genre’s classic hallmarks, including action-packed gunfights, wild stunts and an impressive climactic showdown. Genre stalwart Lee Van Cleef stars as a gnarled ex-sheriff called photo for The Grand DuelClayton who comes to the aid of a young Philipp Wermeer (Alberto Dentice), a fugitive framed for the murder of a powerful figure called The Patriarch. Clayton helps Philipp fend off attacks from bounty hunters in a series of thrilling gunfights before the two make their way to Jefferson to confront three villains known as the Saxon brothers, and reveal who really killed The Patriarch. A complex tale of revenge penned by prolific giallo writer Ernesto Gastaldi (“Torso,” “The Case of the Scorpion’s Tail”), “The Grand Duel” benefits from a beguiling central performance from Lee Van Cleef and assured helmsmanship from Giancarlo Santi (assistant director to Sergio Leone on “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” and “Once Upon a Time in the West”). Add to this brew a memorable and tuneful score by composer Luis Bacalov (“Django”) and the stage is set for one of the grandest of all the Italian westerns. On Blu-ray from Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment.

From TV to Disc:

“Agatha Raisin, Series 2” (2018) is a three-disc set with three feature-length episodes. Based on M.C. Beaton’s bestselling books, Agatha Raisin stars Ashley Jensen as a London PR whizz turned amateur sleuth, who becomes entangled in mischief, mayhem, and murder when she opts for early retirement in a small village in the Cotswolds. Drawn into the town’s murders, Agatha attempts to solve the crimes … often in rather unorthodox ways. From Acorn Media … “Better Call Saul: Season Four” (2018) is a three-disc set with all 10 episodes. In the critically acclaimed drama’s fourth season, his brother’s death catalyzes Jimmy McGill’s transformation into “Saul Goodman.” Now Jimmy steps into the criminal world, putting his future as a lawyer — and his relationship with Kim Wexler — in deep jeopardy. Meanwhile, Mike Ehrmantraut’s work for Gustavo Fring throws the cartel into chaos, with tragic results.On DVD, Blu-ray, from Sony … “No Offence, Series 3” (2018) is a two-disc set with all six episodes of the female-driven police procedural with fierce characters and a shrewd, irreverent take on crime that follows an unorthodox team of cops in Manchester, England. Series 3 finds dynamic DI Vivienne Deering (Joanna Scanlan) and her team providing security at a contentious election debate, but tragedy strikes when a gunman attempts to assassinate one of the candidates. Deering and her right-hand woman, DC Dinah Kowalska (Elaine Cassidy), vow to apprehend the culprit, despite warnings from their superiors that the investigation could jeopardize an undercover officer who has infiltrated an extreme right-wing group. From Acorn Media … “Unforgotten, Season 3” (2018) is a two-disc set with all six episodes of the British procedural. When human remains are found by a motorway near London, the crime-solving duo Cassie and Sunny are called to the scene. Dogged work leads the team to Hayley Reid, a 16-year-old girl who went missing on the eve of the millennium. The police’s failure to find out what happened to Hayley wrecked her family’s life. Cassie’s compassion makes her determined to correct the mistakes made by the original investigating team — whatever the cost is to herself. From PBS Distribution.

Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:

Playfully exploring the outer reaches of cult film fandom, “Sex Madness Revealed” (2018), starring Patton Oswalt, Rob Zabrecky and Patrick Cooper, is both an ingenious twist on the audio commentary and a satire of the wisecrack track (featuring the voice of “MST3K” regular Patton Oswalt). Using as it foundation a low-budget sex hygiene picture from 1938 (“Sex Madness,” aka “Human Wreckage”), Jimmy Morris (Oswalt) of the popular “Film Dick” podcast hosts an irreverent conversation with the filmmaker’s grandson, the eerily emotionless Chester Holloway (Rob Zabrecky) while the film streams behind them. But as the on-screen plot unfolds, a much darker story unravels within the recording booth, about the sinister mastermind behind the film, and the unorthodox methods he employed. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Kino Lorber … photo for Blaze “Blaze” (2018), directed, co-written, and produced by four-time Academy Award-nominee Ethan Hawke, is a musical biopic inspired by the life of Blaze Foley (Ben Dickey), the unsung songwriting legend of the outlaw music movement that gave the world the likes of Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson. “Blaze” weaves together three different periods of time, braiding re-imagined versions of Blaze’s past, present, and future. The different strands explore his love affair with Sybil Rosen (Alia Shawkat); his last, dark night on Earth; and the impact his music had on his fans, friends, and foes. Featuring unforgettable performances and stylish direction, “Blaze” is a glorious exploration of the profound highs and lows of Foley’s life. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Shout! Factory … In “Lady Killers” (2019), starring Arye Gross, Alexandra Barreto, Peter Shinkoda, Christina Grance and Shaun Parker, homicide detective Pete Martel gathers his old college frat brothers for a reunion game of high-stakes sexual conquest. Joined in their escapades by two new players, the men commit several crimes in their quest for bragging rights. Once the new winner is crowned, the real game begins as one-by-one the men turn up dead. From Indican Pictures.

On the Indie Front:

In “Strawberry Flavored Plastic” (2018), starring Aidan Bristow, Nicholas Urda and Andres Montejo, Errol and Ellis, two aspiring documentarians embarking on their first feature, put out a feeler to their local community for individuals with interesting stories. They hear back from and settle on the tale of Noel, a man who has just been released from prison after a nine-year incarceration for a crime of passion. After several weeks of shooting, they inadvertently discover that Noel’s story is fabricated: he has never been to prison. They soon find out that he is an at-large and very active serial killer who has never been apprehended by authorities. Now too entangled and implicit in Noel’s horrific crimes, the duo are stuck between deciding on the right thing to do and possibly making the most sensationalized and infamous documentary ever made. From Breaking Glass Pictures … In “Just Say Goodbye” (2018), starring Katerina Eichenberger, Max MacKenzie, William Galatis, Jesse Walters, Pamela Jayne Morgan and Charlotte Cusmano Zanolli, ater enduring years of abuse from his alcoholic father and the school bully Chase, Jesse Peterson tells his best friend Sarah that he plans on committing suicide. After promising to tell no one, Sarah takes it upon herself to try to stop him, taking any means necessary. Formats: DVD, Digital. (Leomark Studios). Due May 10.

Foreign Films:

“All About Lily Chou Chou” (2001 — Japan) is Shunji Iwai’s acclaimed and profound Japanese coming-of-age story. For young people around the world, music is often the only salvation when pain and suffering becomes too much to bear. Yuichi (Hayato Ichihara) is in 8th grade and worships Lily Chou-Chou, a Björk-like singer whose lush and transcendent music provides the perfect escape from his brutal surroundings. Yuichi also finds solace as the moderator of an online chat room dedicated to his pop idol, but as his real life nightmare of teenage prostitution, crime and bullying grows more untenable, will Lily be enough to save him from isolation and despair? On DVD, Blu-ray from Film Movement … In “Everybody Knows” (2018 — Spain), starring Penélope Cruz, Javier Bardem and Ricardo photo for Never EverDarín, Laura (Cruz) and her children travel to her hometown, a small Spanish village, to attend her sister’s wedding. An unexpected crisis soon exposes the family’s hidden past, and dark secrets long hidden come to light. A thriller from Oscar-winning filmmaker Asghar Farhadi. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Universal … Based on Don DeLillo’s acclaimed novella “The Body Artist,” “Never Ever” (2016 – France), starring Mathieu Amalric, Julia Roy and Jeanne Baliba, swirls around a self-centered filmmaker, Rey, (Amalric) who, while attending a museum retrospective of his work, wanders into an adjoining gallery and becomes mesmerized by a beautiful young performance artist, Laura (Roy). The two fall madly in love and embark on a wild and delirious affair. Living together in Rey’s secluded seaside estate, the lovers believe they have found eternal bliss. Months later, Rey dies in a tragic accident, leaving Laura alone in the house by herself … or so she thinks. From Film Movement.

For the Family:

In “Sesame Street: Awesome Alphabet Collection” (2019), Elmo and his Sesame Street friends explore every letter of the alphabet in this new collection, brought to you in Sesame Street’s 50th anniversary year. photo for Sesame Street: Awesome Alphabet Collection Highlights include classics “The Beetles Perform Letter B” and “C is for Cookie,” animations, pop culture parodies, and favorite segments from recent seasons. Exploring the alphabet alongside their furry friends is an all-star lineup of celebrity guests. Norah Jones duets with the letter Y, Tori Kelly tries a little kindness, and Pharrell Williams belts it out for the letter B. Maya Angelou stops by to talk hugs, Sheryl Crow helps “I” soak up some sun, and Ricky Gervais tries singing a lullaby to a sleepy Elmo. From Shout! Kids/Sesame Workshop.

Special Interest:

Completed shortly before Claude Lanzmann’s death at 92 in July 2018, “Shoah: Four Sisters” (2018) is the long-awaited follow-up to his monumental “Shoah”, which shook the world upon its release in 1985 as a profound cinematic memorial to the Holocaust. Four Jewish women, survivors of unimaginable Nazi horrors during the Holocaust, tell their individual stories. Each of their testimonies was filmed more than 40 years ago as Lanzmann collected first-hand accounts in preparation for what would become the nine-and-a-half-hour “Shoah.” Starting in 1999, Lanzmann made several films that could be considered satellites of “Shoah,” comprising interviews conducted in the 1970s that didn’t make it into the final, monumental work. In the last years of the director’s life, he decided to devote a film to each of four women from four different areas of Eastern Europe with four different destinies, each finding herself improbably alive after war’s end: Ruth Elias from Ostravia, Czechoslovakia; Paula Biren from Lodz, Poland; Ada Lichtman from further south in Krakow; and Hannah Marton from Cluj, or Kolozsva´r, in Transylvania, Romania. The four films that make up “Shoah: Four Sisters” are titled “The photo for Bauhaus Spirit: 100 Years of Bauhaus Hippocratic Oath,” “The Merry Flea,” “Noah’s Ark” and “Baluty,” and together they remind audiences of the immense courage it took for these witnesses to return to their painful past as they retell personal tragedies that represent the larger tragedy of the Holocaust. In a two-disc DVD, two-disc Blu-ray, from Cohen Film Collection … “Bauhaus Spirit: 100 Years of Bauhaus” (2018 — Germany): 2019 marks the centennial of the Bauhaus Movement. Nearly a hundred years ago, a radical artistic utopia was born in Germany. Founded in 1919 by Walter Gropius, Bauhaus was supposed to unite sculpture, painting, design and architecture into a single combined constructive discipline. Bauhaus constituted one of the most significant contributions to everyday 20th-century culture, but it was never just an artistic experiment. Confronted with the social conditions of the time, as well as the experience of World War I, the movement concerned itself with the political and social connotations of design from the very outset. Bauhaus’s history is not just the history of art, but also the history of an era that stretches from the early 20th century to the modern day. This documentary describes the fascinating story of Bauhaus as a statement, but also the failure and renewal of a social utopia. It tells of artists, scientists and architects today, and how their challenges might relate to Bauhaus. From Icarus Films … In “My Scientology Movie” (2015), photo for My Scientology Movie documentarian Louis Theroux is denied admittance to the Church of Scientology’s headquarters, setting into motion a clever, confrontational and funny plan to try and reveal the inner workings of the mysterious organization. Inspired by the Church’s use of filmmaking techniques, and with the aid of real ex-scientologists, Theroux uses unconventional methods to expose and antagonize the Church. In a bizarre twist, it becomes clear that the Church is also making a film about Louis Theroux. From Magnolia Home Entertainment … “George Carlin: 40 Years of Comedy” (1997), broadcast live from the Wheeler Theater in Aspen, Colorado, as the great comedian’s 10th special for HBO. Different from all of Carlin’s previous specials, this award-winning program is a career retrospective hosted by a young Jon Stewart, who conducts a lengthy interview with his comedic hero. During the interview, Carlin talks about his early life and how his upbringing prepared him for a career in comedy. Highlights from this special include Carlin performing three new, thought-provoking pieces of material: “Advertising,” “Pets” and “American Bullshit.” Some of the material performed here is unique to this special and was not repeated again. Also features classic Carlin clips from the first four decades of his career, a treasure trove of the work of one of stand-up comedy’s most original, hilarious and enduring artists. From MPI Media Group.

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 May 7, 2019 No Responses »
Apr 232019
 

From the Big Screen:

“Escape Room” and “Destroyer.” For more information on other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.

This Week’s Best Bets

“A Face in the Crowd” (1957) chronicles the rise and fall of Larry “Lonesome” Rhodes (Andy Griffith), a boisterous entertainer discovered in an photo for A Face in the CrowdArkansas drunk tank by Marcia Jeffries (Patricia Neal), a local radio producer with ambitions of her own. His charisma and cunning soon shoot him to the heights of television stardom and political demagoguery, forcing Marcia to grapple with the manipulative, reactionary monster she has created. Directed by Elia Kazan from a screenplay by Budd Schulberg, this incisive satire features an extraordinary debut screen performance by Griffith, who brandishes his charm in an uncharacteristically sinister role. Though the film was a flop on its initial release, subsequent generations have marveled at its eerily prescient diagnosis of the toxic intimacy between media and politics in American life. On DVD and Blu-ray, with new, restored 4K digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. From The Criterion Collection … “Noir photo for Noir Archive Volume 1: 1944-1954 Archive Volume 1: 1944-1954″ Stalwart “noir” directors and casts highlight these nine hard to find features. “Address Unknown” (1944) director William Cameron Menzies, stars Paul Lukas, Carl Esmond, Peter Van Eyck; “Escape in the Fog” (1945) director Oscar (Budd) Boetticher, stars Otto Kruger, Nina Foch, William Wright; “The Guilt of Janet James” (1947) director Henry Levin, stars Rosalind Russell, Melvyn Douglas, Sid Caesar; “The Black Book” (aka “The Reign of Terror”) (1949) director Anthony Mann, stars Robert Cummings, Richard Basehart, Arlene Dahl; “Johnny Allegro” (1949) director Ted Tetzlaff, stars George Raft, Nina Foch, George Macready; “711 Ocean Drive” (1950) director Joseph M. Newman cast Edmond O’Brien, Joanne Dru, Otto Kruger; “The Killer That Stalked New York” (1950) director Earl McEvoy stars Evelyn Keyes, Charles Korvin, William Bishop; “Assignment Paris” (1952) director Earl McEvoy, stars Dana Andrews, Marta Toren, George Sanders; “The Miami Story” (1954) director Fred F. Sears, cast Barry Sullivan, Luther Adler, John Baer. Presented in high definition in their original aspect ratios. Curated from the Columbia Pictures Library. On Blu-ray from Kit Parker Films/MVD Entertainment … photo for Alien 40th Anniversary Edition “Alien 40th Anniversary Edition”: “In space no one can hear you scream.” The terrifying sci-fi adventure, “Alien”, celebrates 40 years with an all-new 4K Ultra HD master, available April 23. A limited edition 4K UHD steelbook of “Alien 40th Anniversary Edition” will also be available exclusively at Best Buy. In the film that birthed the wildly successful “Alien” franchise, the crew of the deep space tug Nostromo awaken from stasis during a voyage home to Earth when their ship’s computer detects what is believed to be an alien distress signal coming from the desolate nearby moon, LV-426. While investigating, one of the crew, Kane (John Hurt), is attacked by an alien creature that latches to his face and he is rushed back to the Nostromo to receive medical treatment. Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), the ship’s warrant officer, advises against Kane’s return due to quarantine regulations — but her orders are ignored by Ash (Ian Holm), bringing the Nostromo under threat from a mysterious, extraterrestrial apex predator with violent and lethal survival instincts. The film was restored in 4K in 2018 by 20th Century Fox at Company 3/Deluxe Entertainment Services Group, supervised by Ridley Scott and Pam Dery, with the 4K scans done at EFilm.
On 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Comb from Fox.

From TV to Disc:

“A Place to Call Home, Season 6 – The Final Chapter” (2018) is a three-disc set with all 10 episodes. A sweeping romantic drama set in 1950s rural Australia and dealing with important social issues of the time: homosexuality, single motherhood, racism and the lingering effects of war. The final chapter of the Bligh saga brings love and healing to Australia’s first family as each member photo for A Place To Call Home, Season 6 – The Final Chapter finds their true meaning in life and a place to call home. Also available: “A Place To Call Home: The Complete Collection (Limited Edition)” in a 20-disc set with all 67 episodes in special collectible packaging with two hours of bonus features. Also includes a set of six drink coasters and stirrers, six note cards and envelopes, and an eight-page booklet featuring an interview with series creator and writer Bevan Lee. From Acorn Media … “Shameless: The Complete Ninth Season” (2018) is a four-disc set with 14 episodes. In the ninth season, political fervor hits the South Side of Chicago as the Gallaghers take justice into their own hands. While Frank (William H. Macy), sees financial opportunity in giving voice to the underrepresented working man, Fiona (Emmy Rossum) tries to build on her real estate success and takes an expensive gamble. Debbie (Emma Kenney) fights for equal pay, and Carl (Ethan Cutkosky) considers attending West Point. Ian (Cameron Monaghan) faces the consequences of his crimes and Lip (Jeremy Allen White) becomes a sober coach for a famous actress. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Warner.

Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:

“Hagazussa” (2017 — Germany)is a haunting pagan death trip — a startling vision of psychedelic horror set in a dark past when Europe suffered from the paranoia and superstition that swept the land. In the 15th Century in the remote Austrian Alps, the orphan Albrun grows up to be a simple goatherd living in solitude … and a marked woman. As a scapegoat of ancient myths and monstrous misogyny, Albrun finds herself tormented by the local townsfolk, driving her to unleash the inner darkness that swells within her. A self-styled witch, Albrun soon exercises her other-worldly birthright and conjures a plague that makes the surrounding human cruelty look pathetic and small by comparison. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Doppelgänger Releasing … photo for Death Is a Number In “Death Is a Number” (1951), starring Terrence Alexander, Denis Webb and Lesley Osmond, a numerologist relates the family history of a friend, racing driver John Bridgeman (Denis Webb), whose mysterious death may have been the final act of an ancient family curse related to the number nine. This classic British makes its HD North American debut. From Juno Films Selects/MVD Entertainment … In “Naples in Veils” (2017 — Italy), a young woman crosses paths with a mysterious gentleman, only to find herself in the center of a murder investigation where nothing is as it seems. One night during a party, Adriana crosses the seductive and powerful gaze of Andrea, a charming and self-confident young man. They are immediately attracted to each other and spend a passionate night together. Adriana begins to think this could be the beginning of a great love that could change her life and they agree to meet the next day, but Andrea doesn’t show up. Disappointed, Adriana goes back to her normal life, but an unexpected breakthrough comes: Andrea is suddenly found dead. From Breaking Glass Pictures … photo for Scared Stiff In “Scared Stiff” (1987), TV star Mary Page Keller (“Pretty Little Liars”) appears alongside Andrew Stevens (“10 to Midnight,” “The Fury”) as a couple terrorized by an age-old curse in this much-underrated late-80s offering from director Richard Friedman. Keller plays Kate Christopher, a singer who moves into an old colonial mansion with her son and psychologist boyfriend David (Stevens). But when they make a strange and gruesome discovery in the boarded-up attic, it soon becomes clear that the mansion carries with it a dark and blood-stained past — and one that is about to terrorize them in the present. The second feature helmed by Richard Friedman, who went on to direct such genre favorites as Doom Asylum and “Phantom of the Mall: Eric’s Revenge,” “Scared Stiff (AKA The Masterson Curse)” builds to an astonishing practical FX-laden climax sure to please fans of 80s horror. Brand new 2K restoration from original film elements. On Blu-ray from Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment … “Tito and the Birds” (2018 — Brazil) is an nimated film about a little boy and his journey to save the world. Tito, a shy 10-year-old boy, lives in a world on the brink of pandemic. Fear is crippling people, making them sick and transforming them. Tito realizes, based on his father’s past research, that there may be a way to utilize the local pigeon population and their songs to create a cure for the disease. His father was forced to leave when Tito was only six and the struggle to find a cure becomes linked with the search to find his father again, along with his own identity. On Blu-ray/DVD Combo, from Shout! Studios … photo for Torment In “Torment (Paper Gallows)” (1950), starring Dermot Walsh, Rona Anderson, John Bentley snf Dilys Laye, brothers Cliff and Jim Brandon are a successful writing team specializing in murder mysteries, but Cliff and Jim are almost as disturbed as some of the characters they’ve created. While researching their latest novel, one of the brothers commits murder, simply to experience the thrill. He then attempts to frame his secretary Joan for the crime, since she’s in love with the other brother. The saner of the two races against time to save Joan from the gallows and to bring his sibling to justice. First time ever on disc in North America. From Juno Films Selects/MVD Entertainment … “Dick Dickster” (2018), starring Bob Shafer, Andy Dick and Richard Grieco, is the saga of Dick Dickster, a washed-up director who has a big ego and a bad attitude. His manager wants to ditch him, his wife can’t wait to divorce him and he owes the mob $50,000. And District Attorney Ed Lawler is re investigating statutory rape charges against Dick from his cult movie “Cult of Doom.” But things change when a film school student begins filming a documentary about him and hen a mysterious XXX producer offers Dick 100-K to turn “Cult of Doom” into:” Cult of Poon.” Dick can’t say no. From Indican Pictures … “The Green Inferno” (2013) is a two-disc Collector’s Edition set, with the film on Blu-ray and the original motion picture soundtrack by Manuel Riveiro on CD. From Eli Roth, the mastermind behind the “Hostel” franchise and “Cabin Fever.” A group of student activists fly to Peru determined to protect the Amazon rainforest, only to crash-land deep in the jungle. Captured by a pack of bloodthirsty cannibals, the survivors suffer unspeakable acts of butchery at the hands of the very tribe they were trying to save. A non-stop barrage of carnage and chills, the film is an unhinged blast. On Blu-ray from Shout! Factory/Scream Factory.

Foreign Films:

“Farinelli”: (1994 — France/Italy) In the 18th century during Handel’s time, no man could eclipse the fame or passion of the opera singer Farinelli. Filled with romance and eroticism, this is the incredible, true story of the legendary castrato. Castrated as a child to preserve his angelic voice, Farinelli (Stefano Dionisi) tours the royal courts of Europe with his brother and composer Riccardo (Enrico Lo Verso). The two are inseparable, seducing audiences both on and off the stage, while sharing everything — even lovers — until rivalry and obsession threaten to tear them apart. Winner of the 1995 Best Foreign Language Golden Globe. In a new 2K digital restoration. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Film Movement Classics.

Special Interest:

“The Gospel According to Andre”: (2017) André Leon Talley has been a fixture in the world of fashion for so long that it’s difficult to imagine a time when he wasn’t defining the boundaries of great style. Kate Novack’s intimate portrait takes viewers on an emotional journey from André’s roots growing up in the segregated Jim Crow South to become one of the most influential tastemakers photo for The Gospel According to Andre and fashion curators of our times. From Magnolia Home Entertainment … “Target: St. Louis”: (2016) This stunning documentary about environmental racism during the Cold War exposes the secret history and conspiracy surrounding the U.S. Army aerosol radiation testing in segregated neighborhoods of North St. Louis. After Hiroshima, the United States Army, eager for new ways to weaponize atomic power, engaged in a series of classified open-air studies designed to test the effects of aerosol radiation in a metropolitan setting. At first, the tests were described as defensive, the latest strategy against the threat of Russian bombers. But as later declassified documents suggest, the goal of the testing (performed primarily in low-income and African-American neighborhoods of North St. Louis), was to develop offensive capabilities which could match the climate and terrain of downtown Moscow. Consequently, generations of St. Louis inhabitants were unwitting participants in a government testing program which, like the infamous Tuskegee Syphilis Project, photo for was facilitated by the U.S. Department of Public Health. Investigating the historical catalyst for these events, the survivors’ quest for answers and the subsequent Federal legislation requiring informed consent by human subjects, Target: St. Louis is a compelling and shocking documentary audiences won’t soon forget. From IndiePix Films … “Tickled”: (2016) After stumbling upon a bizarre “competitive endurance tickling” video online, wherein young men are paid to be tied up and tickled, reporter David Farrier reaches out to request a story from the company. But the reply he receives is shocking — the sender mocks Farrier’s sexual orientation and threatens extreme legal action should he dig any deeper. So, like any good journalist confronted by a bully, he does just the opposite: he travels to the hidden tickling facilities in Los Angeles and uncovers a vast empire, known for harassing and harming the lives of those who protest their involvement in these films. The more he investigates, the stranger it gets, discovering secret identities and criminal activity. 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 April 23, 2019 No Responses »
Apr 162019
 

From the Big Screen:

“Glass,” “Replicas,” and “The Kid Who Would Be King.” For more information on other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.

This Week’s Best Bets

With the simultaneously harrowing and lyrical debut feature “Diamonds of the Night” (1964 — Czechoslovakia) , Jan Nemec established himself as the most uncompromising visionary among the radical filmmakers who made up the Czechoslovak New Wave. Adapted from a novel by Arnošt Lustig, “Diamonds of the Night” closely tracks two boys who escape from a concentration-camp transport and flee into the surrounding woods, a hostile terrain where the brute realities of survival coexist with dreams, memories, and fragments of visual poetry. Along with visceral camera work by Jaroslav Kucera and Miroslav Ondrícek — two of Czechoslovak cinema’s most influential cinematographers — Nemec makes inventive use of fractured editing, elliptical storytelling, and flights of surrealism as he strips context away from this bare-photo for Diamonds of the Night bones tale, evoking the dizzying plight of consciousness lost in night and fog. On DVD and Blu-ray, with new 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. From The Criterion Collection … Man-with-a-past James Stewart guides a band of pioneers from Missouri over the Oregon Trail to a new life in the Columbia River Basin in the western adventure “Bend of the River” (1952), directed by the great Anthony Mann. When the settlers are cheated out of their supplies and cattle, Stewart crosses rivers, climbs mountains and out-guns greedy hijackers to ensure their survival through the first winter. Along the way, he is double-crossed by ally Arthur Kennedy and assisted by handsome San Francisco gambler Rock Hudson and beautiful farmer’s daughter Julia Adams. Screenplay by Borden Chase (“Red River”). Co-stars Harry Morgan, Jay C. Flippen, Chubby Johnson, Stepin’ Fetchit, Royal Dano. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Kino Lorber Studio Classics … Also from Kino Lorber Studio Classics is “Becky Sharp “ (1936). In the years just preceding Waterloo, best friends Becky Sharp (Miriam Hopkins) and Amelia Sedley (Frances Dee) graduate from Miss Pinkerton’s Academy for Girls. The wealthy Amelia invites the penniless Becky into the bosom of her family home while the manipulative Becky plots her climb up the social ladder. Entirely lacking in scruples and unhampered by conscience or morality, Becky ascends to the very pinnacle of society, crushing anyone who stands in her path. Set against the backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars, Rouben Mamoulian’s adaptation of Thackeray’s epic novel “Vanity Fair” was the first film to be produced in three-strip Technicolor. Screenplay by Francis Edward Faragoh (“Little Caesar,” “Frankenstein”). Brand new 4K restoration from the 35mm nitrate negative & positive separations. Co-stars Cedric Hardwicke, Billie Burke, Nigel Bruce, Alan Mowbray. On DVD, Blu-ray.

From TV to Disc:

photo for Escape at Dannemora“Escape at Dannemora” (2018) is a three-disc set with all seven episodes of the limited series directed by Ben Stiller and starring Benicio Del Toro, Patricia Arquette, Paul Dano, Bonnie Hunt, Eric Lange and David Morse. Follows the true story of two convicted murderers, Richard Matt (Del Toro) and David Sweat (Dano), who escaped Clinton Correctional Facility with the help of Joyce “Tilly” Mitchell (Arquette), a female prison employee. Tilly, a working class wife and mother who supervises the prison tailor shop and becomes sexually involved with the two prisoners, ultimately assisting them in their escape. From Paramount.

Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:

In “The Stand-In” (1937), Humphrey Bogart stars as a film producer in this riotous, lacerating satire on the motion picture industry. Directed by Tay Garnett (“The Postman Always Rings Twice”) and produced by Walter Wanger (“You Only Live Once”), http://onvideo.org/?p=12364&preview=true”Stand-In” leaves no Tinseltown target untouched while serving up a sprightly mix of slapstick, send-up and sentiment with screwball-inspired romance for seasoning. Newly transferred and restored. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Twilight Time Movies … A strikingly original Spaghetti Western with a unique elegiac tone, “Keoma” (1976 — Italy) truly is a one-of-a-kind classic of its genre. The legendary Franco Nero stars in the titular role as a half-breed gunfighter who returns from the killing fields of the Civil War to find his hometown riddled with photo for Keoma the plague, its inhabitants terrorized (with the help of Keoma’s own estranged half-brothers) by tyrannical gang leader Caldwell (Donald O’Brien). Keoma’s father (Willian Berger) welcomes his prodigal son’s return, but when Keoma saves a vulnerable pregnant woman (Olga Karlatos) from Caldwell’s thugs, the stage is set for a violent confrontation. With the help of his father and his friend, the freed slave George (Woody Strode), Keoma prepares to take a savage revenge on Caldwell and his gang. Directed with immense flair and virtuosity by veteran Enzo G. Castellari (who channels Sam Peckinpah and Sergio Leone in equal measure), “Keoma” is an epic film of Shakespearean and biblical allusions, which boasts compelling performances and thrilling violent action. The film is presented here in a stunning new 2K restoration from the original 35mm camera negative. On Blu-ray from Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment … The Earth’s future hangs in the balance when the Justice League faces a powerful new threat – the Fatal Five in “Justice League vs. The Fatal Five” (2019), the latest DC Universe original animated feature. Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman seek answers as the time-traveling trio of Mano, Persuader and Tharok terrorize Metropolis in search of budding Green Lantern, Jessica Cruz — whom they need to free remaining Fatal Five members Emerald Empress and Validus in order to carry out their sinister plan. But the Justice League discover an ally from another time in the peculiar Star Boy –brimming with volatile power, could he be the key to thwarting the Fatal Five? On DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo, from Warner in “Cynthia” (2018), starring Scout Taylor-Compton, Sid Haig, Bill Moseley, Robert LaSardo, Rebecca Marshall and James Karen, Robin and Michael are college sweethearts who have everything — a perfect marriage, adorable cat, a beautiful home, but one thing is missing from this idyllic setting — a baby. After years of fertility treatments their dreams come true when Robin finds out she is pregnant. But their conception grows into a slimy six-fingered one-legged nightmare that terrorizes the entire neighborhood. Detectives embark on a monster-baby hunt of epic proportions as Cynthia munches her way home to mommy, leaving nothing but girls and corpses behind. From Indican Pictures.

For the Family:

In the live-action family adventure “The Adventures of Jurassic Pet”
(2018), starring David Fletcher-Hall, Kyler Beck, Ben Hall, a teen boy adopts and hatches a baby T. rex, but then must rescue the creature from a mad scientist who wants to clone a whole new breed of dinosaurs. From Lionsgate … photo for Steven Universe: Season 2 Giftset “Steven Universe: Season 2 Giftset” (2018) is a two-disc set with 22 episodes. “Steven Universe” is set in Beach City on the American East Coast, where the four Crystal Gems live in an ancient beachside temple, protecting the world from evil. As immortal alien warriors, they project female humanoid forms from magical gems that are the core of their being. The Crystal Gems are Garnet, Amethyst, Pearl and Steven, a young half-human, half-Gem boy who inherited the gem of his mother Rose Quartz, the former leader of the Crystal Gems. As Steven tries to figure out his powers, he spends his days with his human father Greg, his friend Connie or the other Gems, whether to help them save the world or just to hang out. He explores the abilities passed down to him by his mother, which include fusion — the ability of two Gems to temporarily merge their identities and bodies to form a distinct new personality. Created by Rebecca Sugar, “Steven Universe” continues to resonate with fans and galvanize massive followings across demographics. Receiving high acclaim from critics for its art, music, voice performances, storytelling and characterization, the series has received one Primetime Emmy while being nominated for four others. It has also received nominations for five Annie Awards, two GLAAD Media Awards, a Kids’ Choice Award and three Teen Choice Awards. From Cartoon Network.

Special Interest:

“Master of Dark Shadows” (2019) is a comprehensive celebration of the legendary Gothic daytime series “Dark Shadows” and its visionary creator, Dan Curtis. Includes interviews with key actors and filmmakers involved in the undyingly popular story of vampire Barnabas Collins and all the eerie goings-on at the gloomy Maine mansion Collinwood. In 1966, a phenomenon was launched when “Dark Shadows” debuted on ABC-TV as a daily Gothic suspense series. Airing in the late afternoon, the show attracted a massive youth audience as it shifted to the supernatural with the introduction of vulnerable vampire Barnabas Collins. Witches, ghosts and scary story lines turned Dark Shadows into a TV classic that led to motion pictures, remakes, reunions and legions of devoted fans who have kept the legend alive for five decades. From MPI Media.

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 April 16, 2019 No Responses »

 
 Posted by on February 22, 2018 Comments Off on
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