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"The movie business is macabre. Grotesque.
It is a combination of a football game
and a brothel."
-- Federico Fellini
Aug 152017
 

From the Big Screen:

"Alien: Covenant," "Everything, Everything," "How to Be a Latin Lover" and "The Wall." For more information on other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.

This Week's Highlights:

There's two worthy films from the 1980s due this week from The Criterion Collection:

The inimitable comic team of Walter Matthau and Glenda Jackson star in "Hopscotch" (1980), a nimble tale of international intrigue from master British filmmaker Ronald Neame. Based on Brian Garfield’s best-selling novel, the blithe thriller centers on Miles photo for HopscotchKendig (Matthau), a disillusioned retired CIA agent who, with the help of a chic and savvy Viennese widow (Jackson), threatens to publish his memoirs and expose the innermost secrets of every major intelligence agency in the world. Despite being in major hot water with his former colleagues, Kendig refuses to get in line — he’s having too much fun. Set to the sounds of Mozart, this lighthearted sendup of the paranoid dramas of its era is an expertly crafted, singular take on the spy movie. On DVD and Blu-ray, with new 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray … A slow-burning depiction of economic degradation in Thatcher’s England, Mike Leigh’s "Meantime" (1984) was the culmination of the writer-director’s pioneering work in television and became his breakthrough theatrical release. photo for MeantimeUnemployment is rampant in London’s working-class East End, where a middle-aged couple and their two sons languish in a claustrophobic public housing flat. As the brothers (Phil Daniels and Tim Roth) grow increasingly disaffected, Leigh punctuates the grinding boredom of their daily existence with tense encounters, including with a priggish aunt (Marion Bailey) who has managed to become middle-class and a blithering skinhead on the verge of psychosis (a scene-stealing Gary Oldman, in his first major role). Informed by Leigh’s now trademark improvisational process and propelled by the lurching rhythms of its Beckett-like dialogue, " Meantime" is an unrelenting, often blisteringly funny look at life on the dole. On DVD and Blu-ray, with new, restored 2K digital transfer, supervised by cinematographer Roger Pratt and director Mike Leigh, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray.

From TV to DVD:

"Billions: Season Two" (2017)is a four-disc set with all 12 episodes of the Showtime Original Series that chronicles a power struggle between a rich hedge fund manager (Damian Lewis) and a hard-charging U.S. Attorney (Paul Giamatti) who probes the billionaire's fiances. After being deftly outplayed, brilliant hedge fund king Bobby "Axe" Axelrod is upping his game and using his considerable resources to exact revenge on photo for Billionsruthless U.S. Attorney Chuck Rhoades. Axe's aggressive move sends Chuck reeling as he finds himself under investigation, forced to scramble to hang on to his Office and his family. But the embattled prosecutor still has some tricks up his sleeve and it's not long before Axe learns that money can't buy everything … or everyone. The series also stars Maggie Siff and Malin Akerman. From Showtime/Paramount … "The Blacklist: Season Four" (2016-17) includes all 22 episodes. A new FBI profiler, Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone), has her entire life uprooted when a mysterious criminal, Raymond Reddington (James Spader), who has eluded capture for decades, turns himself in and insists on speaking only to her. In this season, Liz works to resolve the mystery of her lost childhood, but every day without the truth holds more danger for her and her family. Meanwhile, the Task Force reels from Liz’s resurrection and friendships are fractured. Betrayed by those closest to him, Reddington’s specific moral code demands justice, all the while battling an army of new and unexpected blacklisters. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Sony … photo for Britney Ever After "Britney Ever After" (2016), starring Natasha Bassett, Nicole Othat follows the tumultuous story of pop icon Britney Spears: from humble beginnings on the Mickey Mouse Club, to her rise to fame, her fall from grace, and eventual triumphant resurrection via sold-out performances in Las Vegas. On DVD from Lionsgate … "Dominion Creek, Series 2" (2017) is a two-disc set with four episodes. Known as "An Klondike" in Ireland and winner of four Irish Film and TV Awards for Series 1, including Best Drama, Lead Actor and Script, the four-part Series 2 stars Owen McDonnell, Seán T.Ó Meallaigh, and Dara Devaney as the Connolly brothers; three Irish emigrants seeking riches in the American Gold Rush. In this season, as the Connolly Brothers continue to grow their influence in Dominion Creek, two new arrivals into town are set to change everything. The storylines and characters draw from historical accounts and are inspired by real life tales of people who experienced the Klondike Gold Rush in the 1890s.From Acorn Media … "800 Words, Season 2, Part 2" (2017) of the heartwarming Aussie-Kiwi dramedy continues the saga of George Turner (Erik Thomson), a recently widowed father who quits his job as a popular 800 word columnist for a top photo for selling Sydney newspaper, who looks to make a new home for himself and his family in a strangely beautiful and quirky New Zealand coastal town. Two-disc DVD with all eight episodes. From Acorn Media … In "Murdoch Mysteries: Season 10" (2016-17), Yannick Bisson stars as Detective William Murdoch, a methodical and dashing detective who solves crimes in the early 1900s in Toronto, using radical new forensic techniques like fingerprinting, ultraviolet light, and trace evidence to solve some of the city’s most gruesome murders. In Season 10, with all 18 episodes, Dr. Julia Ogden (Hélène Joy) deals with post-traumatic stress from her near-death experience; Constable Crabtree (Jonny Harris) faces relationship problems; Inspector Brackenreid (Thomas Craig) gets caught up with a passion for soccer; and morgue attendant Rebecca James (Mouna Traoré) determinedly pursues her medical education. As Murdoch and his team face murdered debutantes and cutthroat athletes amid historical events like the Great Toronto Fire of 1904, old enemies come back to haunt them. Along the way, they encounter some of the greatest minds of the time, including horror author H.P. Lovecraft and inventor Reginald Fessenden. Five-disc DVD, four-disc Blu-ray from Acorn Media … photo for NCIS: New Orleans - The Third Season In "NCIS: New Orleans – The Third Season" (2016), a spin-off of NCIS (2003) set in the Crescent City, Special Agent Dwayne Pride, aka "King" (Scott Bakula) leads the team as they investigate criminal cases that affect military personnel. Working alongside Pride is Special Agent Christopher Lasalle (Lucas Black). Series regulars Bakula, Black, CCH Pounder, Shalita Grant, Rob Kerkovich and Daryl Mitchell are joined by series newcomer Vanessa Ferlito. The third season also features a special NCIS crossover episode with appearances by cast members Mark Harmon, Sean Murray and Wilmer Valderrama. From CBS/Paramount … "Riverdale: The Complete First Season" (2017) is a three-disc set with all 13 episodes. Based on the characters from Archie Comics, "Riverdale" gives a subversive take on small-town life. photo for Riverdale: The Complete First Season Things aren’t always what you expect in Riverdale. As a new school year begins, the town is reeling from the tragic death of high school golden boy Jason Blossom. The summer’s events made all-American teen Archie Andrews realize that he wants to pursue a career in music, but his fractured friendship with Jughead Jones, and Josie McCoy’s focus on her own band leaves Archie without a mentor. Meanwhile, girl-next-door Betty Cooper is not ready to reveal her true feelings for Archie, and new student, Veronica Lodge, has an undeniable spark with Betty’s crush. And then there’s Cheryl Blossom, Riverdale’s queen bee, who stirs up trouble amongst Archie, Betty and Veronica. But is Cheryl hiding something about the mysterious death of her twin brother, Jason? Riverdale may look like a quiet, sleepy town, but there’s so much more to the story. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc, from Warner.

Buzzin' the 'B's:

In "Once Upon a Time in Venice" (2016), starring Bruce Willis, John Goodman, Jason Momoa, Famke Janssen and Thomas Middleditch, Willis plays Venice Beach P.I. Steve Ford, a detective who’s good with the ladies, bad with the punches, and wild about his dog, photo for Once Upon A Time In VeniceBuddy. But when his beloved pet is stolen by local thugs, Steve makes a questionable alliance with their devious leader, Spyder (Jason Momoa). Teaming up with his best friend (John Goodman), Steve pulls out the big guns in search of Spyder’s stolen cocaine and cash in order to set things straight and get Buddy back where he belongs. On DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo from RLJ Entertainment … "Hickok" (2017), starring Luke Hemsworth, Trace Adkins, Kris Kristofferson and Bruce Dern, is the story of the West's most notorious gunslinger and his road to redemption. This Western finds the infamous, hard-drinking outlaw (Hemsworth) in 1870's Abilene, Kansas, seeking to start a new life. Captivated by Wild Bill's unparalleled gun skills, the mayor, George Knox (Kristofferson), quickly ropes him in as the town marshal. Recognizing the need to clamp down on the wildest cow-town in the west, Hickok soon finds himself at the center of a controversial ordinance while dispensing his own brand of photo for Hickokfrontier justice. His attempts to protect Abilene, however, are quickly challenged by a band of outlaws led by powerful saloon owner, Phil Poe (Adkins). And when Poe places a bounty on Wild Bill's head, the marshal, with the help of outlaw-turned-lawman John Wesley Hardin, makes a stand for Abilene and his new life, while putting his reputation as the fastest draw in the west on the line. On DVD, 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo, from Cinedigm … "Chuck" (2017), starring Liev Schreiber, Naomi Watts, Ron Perlman, Jim Gaffigan and Elisabeth Moss, is the story of the pride of Bayonne, New Jersey, a man who went 15 rounds in the ring with Muhammad Ali, and the real life inspiration for Rocky Balboa. But before all that, Chuck Wepner (Schreiber) was a liquor salesman and father with a modest prizefighting career whose life changed overnight when, in 1975, he was chosen to take on The Greatest in a highly publicized title match. It’s the beginning of a wild ride through the exhilarating highs and humbling lows of sudden fame—but what happens when photo for Bluebeardyour 15 minutes in the spotlight are up? On DVD, Blu-ray Disc, from Paramount … In "Bluebeard" (2017 — South Korea), starring Cho Jin-woong, Kim Dae-myung and Shin Gu, a doctor learns a murderous secret from a sedated patient and finds himself in the middle of an unsolved serial murder case. As dismembered bodies start showing up close to home, the doctor realizes he must solve the riddle before the killer realizes what he may know. On Blu-ray/DVD Combo from Well Go USA … in "Union Furnace" (2015), starring Mike Dwyer, Keith David, Katie Keene and Seth Hammond, a petty car thief in a small Southern Ohio town gets involved in an underground game of life and death. Small-town crook Cody (Dwyer) was at the end of his rope when a mysterious stranger offered him the chance of his life. There was just one catch — in this game he would have to wager everything, including his life. Cody finds himself trapped amongst a band of outsiders and misfits — all fighting for their lives and a slice of the American dream. Fueled by a horde of masked sadists, Cody and the others will win a fortune or die a brutal death. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc, from Metropol Pictures.

On the Indie Front:

The Taiwanese-U.S. dramedy "Baby Steps" (2017), starring Grace Guei, Michael Adam Hamilton and Barney Cheng, is an homage to Ang Lee's cross-cultural classic "The Wedding Banquet," including an Asian-Caucasian gay couple, the meddlesome mother and the never-ending quest for a grandchild. But this time around, director Barney Cheng (who also co-photo for Baby Stepsstars and writes) tells the story largely from the perspective of the mother (Guei) and adds a modern spin: surrogacy. Danny, a Taiwanese-American man, and his partner Tate, long to have a baby, but the complex world of international surrogacy is further complicated by Danny's well-meaning but extremely meddlesome Ma who wants to control every aspect of the process all the way from Taipei. It's an adventure that takes mother and son all over the world, including Taipei, Bangkok, Mumbai and Los Angeles. It's a coming-out story – not only of a gay man, but also a mother struggling to be part of her son's life. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Gravitas Ventures … "The Lonely Italian" (2016), starring Domenico Nesci and Mark Chuakay, is a hybrid documentary/narrative comedy about one man’s quest to find love. It's the real-life journey of a young Italian man, Italian radio and TV star Domenico Nesci, who joins photo for Face 2 Face virtually every online dating site in America (no matter how ridiculous, from mainstream to fringe, including “Farmer’s Only,” “JDate,” “Black Singles,” and “Date Me Date My Pet”) trying to find love in the modern age. All he had was an accent, an iPhone, and a dream … From Lumiere Lab/Random Media … In "Face 2 Face" (2016), starring Daniela Bobadilla, Daniel Amerma and Kevin McCorkle, a teenage outcast reaches out to his childhood friend via a series of video chats, but finds that behind the veneer of popularity and a seemingly perfect life, she hides a disturbing secret. A coming-of-age dramedy told through the brutally honest lens of a video chat. Written by brothers Matt & Aaron Toronto, and directed by Matt, this compelling, often lighthearted, drama — winner of The Brian Hendricks Award for Innovation at the Edmonton Int'l Film Festival — is ultimately about true friendship and compassion in the face of life's many wrinkles. From Candy Factory Films.

Foreign Films:

Drawing deeper than ever on his personal memories and experiences, award-winning filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda ("Our Little Sister", "Still Walking," "Nobody Knows") returns with "After the Storm" (2016 — Japan), a powerful story of family ties and expectations. When a typhoon strikes, Ryota (Hiroshi Abe), a failed writer and third-photo for rate detective, unexpectedly spends the night together with his son, ex-wife (Yoko Maki) and aging mother (legendary actress Kirin Kiki), allowing the estranged family the opportunity to believe in each other once again. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Film Movement … "Free and Easy" (2017 — Chinas), starring Xu Gang and Zhiyong Zhang, is acclaimed Chinese director Geng Jun’s portrayal of an absurd story set in a fictitious town. A crook visits a gloomy, snowbound village in northeast China bringing “magic” soap used to incapacitate his victims so that, while unconscious, he can rob them. He encounters a religious Christian man who is intent on re-uniting with his missing mother, a fake monk who uses his disguise to con people into donating to his “temple,” a forest ranger pursuing the thief who is stealing his trees, and the two police officers who are trying to catch the corrupt “soap salesman” who have — literally — no clue. In the midst of all of this, a murder takes place. This group of grifters suspects and scams each other while hugging, caring and chilling. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from FilmRise.

For the Family:

"Revolting Rhymes" (2017) takes classic fairy tales and mixes them together with a
mischievous twist. Produced by award-wining company Magic Light Pictures the animations
are based on the extraordinary book written by Roald Dahl and illustrated by Quentin Blake. Part One – Snow White, Red Riding Hood and Three Little Pigs: Snow White and Red Riding Hood become lifelong friends as Snow White takes on the might of the wicked Queen, whilst Red is called home to deal with a pair of hungry wolves — one photo for Revolting Rhymes who’s eaten her grandma and then dressed in her clothes, while the other can’t help himself from eating some unsuspecting pigs. Part Two – Cinderella and Jack and the Beanstalk: Jack grows up with his heart set on next-door neighbor Cindy. She has her eye turned by the eligible Prince at the ball, and Jack gets distracted by a giant beanstalk at the bottom of his garden. Will they find true love? From Public Media Distribution … In "The Powerpuff Girls: The Last Donnycorn" (2016), join pint-sized superhero sisters Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup in 12 episodes from the Emmy-nominated Cartoon Network hit series’ first and second season. Once again, the day is saved by the cutest, evil-busting crime fighters, the Powerpuff Girls! Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup take on all types of troublemakers, from ferocious fortune-tellers to yucky yetis and of course mixed-up monkeys named Mojo Jojo. Luckily for the city of Townsville, the three sisters always manage to tap into the power of photo for DC’s Legends of Tomorrow: The Complete Second Seasonteamwork to topple evildoers. From Warner … In "Treasure Hounds" (2017), starring Norm MacDonald, Jessie Fraser and Valin Shinyei, young Jack, moving into his late grandfather’s house,inherits the old man’s dog, Skipper (MacDonald)– who can talk. With the sassy pooch’s help, Jack learns that Grandpa left a priceless Spanish treasure hidden somewhere in the town. Jack joins forces with a trio of clever neighbor kids — a goth girl, a socialite, and a jokester—to find the valuable booty, with Skipper leading the way. But can they outrun the brazen, bumbling thieves that will stop at nothing to seize the prize for themselves? Awarded the Dove Family Seal of Approval. From Lionsgate … "DC’s Legends of Tomorrow: The Complete Second Season" (2017) is a three-disc set with all 17 episodes of The CW series. Season Two of the Super Hero team-up series enlists both a league and a legion of new characters to join the legendary crew of the Waverider. Charged with protecting the timeline from temporal aberrations — changes to history that spawn potentially catastrophic consequences – the Legends reassemble with the addition of historian Nate Heywood (aka Citizen Steel) and Justice Society of America member Amaya Jiwe (aka Vixen). And yet, for every force of good, there is an opposing force of darkness. In Season Two, the Legends of Tomorrow face off against the first ever team of DC Super-Villains: the Legion of Doom, including Malcolm Merlyn, Damien Darhk, Captain Cold and the Reverse Flash. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc, from Warner.

Special Interest:

"First Daughter and the Black Snake" (2017): Winona LaDuke believes Big Oil is the black snake predicted in indigenous prophecy to bring the earth's destruction. When proposed new oil pipelines threaten sacred wild rice lakes, Winona dreams of organizing a spiritual ride, guiding her horse against the current of oil "because a horse can kill a snake." The "Prophecy of the 7th Fire" says a "black snake" will bring destruction to the earth. We will have a choice of two paths. One is scorched and one is green. For Winona (Ojibwe for "first daughter"), the "black snake" is oil trains and pipelines. When she learns that Canadian-owned Enbridge plans to route a new pipeline through land granted to her tribe in an 1855 Treaty, she and her community spring into action to save the sacred wild rice lakes and preserve their traditional way of life. From Virgil Films … "Roaring Abyss" (2017 — Ethiopia): In a country brimming with diversity — 80 different languages and cultures and an estimated 100 million people calling Ethiopia home, this documentary looks to the universal language of music to bring to light the distinctive sounds of a country in the throes of change. Known for its distinctive genre of Ethio-Jazz, a blend of western musical sounds, Armenian introduced brass instruments, and Ethiopia's traditional folk and religious music, Ethiopia's music scene is incredibly diverse. Yet, this musical diversity, which has evolved over generations, is increasingly being pushed aside by electronics and popular culture. To best capture the inimitable sounds of traditional Ethiopian music, for two years, director Quino Piñero and his team of audio ethnographers traveled across the mountains, deserts and forests to find and record the last interpreters of this unique musical culture and their stories. And the result is an incredible voyage of discovery that is both deeply moving and spiritual. Full of field recordings of all forms of traditional music — from wind orchestras from the time of Emperor Haile Selassie to the Azmari, the Ethiopian equivalent of European bands — the music's ancient past reverberates and bounces off the traditional instruments played, such as the Krar (a five or six stringed lyre), Washint (type of flute), Masenqo (single stringed bowed lute) and Kebero (double headed drum with animal skin stretched over making it a membranophone). From IndiePix 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 August 15, 2017 No Responses »
Aug 082017
 

From the Big Screen:

"King Arthur: Legend of the Sword," "Diary of a Wimpy Kid 4: The Long Haul" and "Snatched." For more information on other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.

This Week's Highlights:

There's plenty of collectible DVDs, Blu-rays and sets this week, listed here in alphabetical order:

Michael Curtiz brings a master skipper’s hand to the helm of the thriller "The Breaking Point" (1950), Hollywood’s second crack at Ernest Hemingway’s "To Have and Have Not." John Garfield stars as Harry Morgan, an honest charter-boat captain who, facing hard times, takes on dangerous cargo to save his boat, support his family, and preserve his dignity. Left in the lurch by a freeloading passenger, Harry starts to entertain the photo for The Breaking Point criminal propositions of a sleazy lawyer (Wallace Ford), as well as the playful come-ons of a cheeky blonde (Patricia Neal), making a series of compromises that stretch his morality — and his marriage — farther than he’ll admit. Hewing closer to Hemingway’s novel than Howard Hawks’s Bogart-Bacall vehicle, "The Breaking Point" charts a course through daylight noir and working-class tragedy, guided by Curtiz’s effortless visual fluency and a stoic, career-capping performance from Garfield. On DVD and Blu-ray, with new 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray, from The Criterion Collection … In the seven-time Oscar-nominated "Fargo" (here in a photo for Fargo (20th Anniversary Edition Steelbook) 20th Anniversary Edition Steelbook) (1996), things go terribly awry when small-time Minnesota car salesman Jerry Lundegaard (William H. Macy) hires two thugs (Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare) to kidnap his wife so he can collect the ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. Once people start dying, the very chipper and very pregnant Police Chief Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand) takes the case. Is she up for this challenge? You betcha. Limited to 10,000 copies. On Blu-ray Disc from Shout! Factory/Shout Select … The "John Wayne Double Feature" is a two-disc collection featuring "Rio Lobo" (1970) and "Big Jake" (1971), two of the iconic star's most beloved films. Directed by Howard Hawks, the Civil War adventure "Rio Lobo" stars Wayne as Cord McNally, a Union leader on the hunt for the Confederate men who betrayed his unit while they were protecting a gold shipment. After learning the raiders had help from the inside, McNally vows to uncover the two traitors within his troop. Jorge Rivero, Jack Elam and Victor French also star. In "Big Jake," Wayne teams up with his real-life son, Patrick Wayne, and the incomparable Maureen O'Hara, to lead the search for photo for John Wayne Double Feature: Rio Lobo & Big Jake his kidnapped grandson and the ruthless outlaw John Fain (Richard Boone). The aging gunfighter sets off to deliver the ransom to his grandson's kidnappers, but has little intention of handing it over without a good fight. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Paramount … One of the most wildly popular horror movies of all-time, Stuart Gordon's enduring splatter-comedy classic "Re-Animator" (1985) returns to Blu-ray in a stunning restoration packed with special features. When medical student Dean Cain advertises for a roommate, he soon finds one in the form of Dr. Herbert West. Initially a little eccentric, it soon becomes clear that West entertains some seriously outlandish theories — specifically, the possibility of re-animating the dead. It's not long before Dean finds himself under West's influence, and embroiled in a photo for Re-Animator (Limited Edition) series of ghoulish experiments that threaten to go wildly out of control. Based on H.P. Lovecraft's classic terror tale "Herbert West – Reanimator" and featuring a standout performance from Jeffrey Combs as the deliciously deranged West, "Re-Animator" remains the ground-zero of '80s splatter mayhem and one of the genre's finest hours. The Limited Edition Blu-ray features a 4K restoration of the Unrated (86 minutes) and Integral versions (105 minutes) of the film, in original Stereo 2.0 and 5.1 Audio, with Digipak packaging featuring newly commissioned artwork by Justin Erickson. From Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment … After over a decade in the wilderness following his firing from Nikkatsu for "Branded to Kill" (1967), maverick director Seijun Suzuki returned with a vengeance with "Seijun Suzuki's The Taisho Trilogy Limited Edition," his critically-praised tryptic of cryptic supernatural dramas set during the liberal enlightenment of Japan's Taisho Era (1912-26). In the multiple Japanese Academy Award-winning "Zigeunerweisen" (1980), two intellectuals and former colleagues from military academy involve their wives in a series photo for Seijun Suzuki's The Taisho Trilogy Limited Edition of dangerous sexual games. In "Kageroza" (1981), a playwright is drawn like a moth to a flame to a mysterious beauty who might be a ghost, while "Yumeji" (1991) imagines the real-life painter-poet Takehisa Yumeji's encounter with a beautiful widow with a dark past. Presented together on Blu-ray for the first time outside of Japan, the films in the Taisho Trilogy are considered Suzuki's masterpieces in his homeland. Presenting a dramatic turn from more his familiar tales of cops, gangsters and unruly youth, these surrealistic psychological puzzles drip with a lush exoticism, distinctively capturing the pandemonium of a bygone age of decadence and excess, when Western ideas, fashions, technologies and art fused into everyday aspect of Japanese life. From Arrow Academy/MVD Entertainment.

From TV to DVD:

"Blindspot: The Complete Second Season" (2016-17) is a five-disc set with all 22 episodes. Originally premiering on NBC in September 2015, "Blindspot" tells the story of a beautiful and mysterious photo for Blindspot: The Complete Second Season woman who is found naked in Times Square with her body completely covered in intricate, coded tattoos. She has no memories of her past and she is clueless about her own identity. She is dubbed Jane Doe and is investigated by the FBI when they learn one of her mysterious tattoos, bears the name of FBI agent Kurt Weller. As the FBI investigates and solves the complex treasure map of her body, an ever-widening web of conspiracy and corruption is revealed. Season Two continues to unravel the conspiracy behind her missing identity and her former life with the shadowy organization known as Sandstorm – before joining Weller and the FBI. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Warner.

Buzzin' the 'B's:

In "The Transfiguration" (2016), an official selection at the Cannes Film Festival, writer-director Michael O’Shea’s debut feature follows troubled teen Milo who hides behind his fascination with vampire lore. When he meets the equally alienated Sophie, the two form a bond that begins to challenge Milo’s photo for The Dinnerdark obsession, blurring his fantasy into reality. A chilling portrait of violence, "The Transfiguration" is an atmospheric thriller set against the grit of New York City. Stars Eric Ruffin, Chloe Levine. From Strand Releasing … "The Dinner" (2017), starring Richard Gere, Laura Linney, Steve Coogan, Chloë Sevigny and Rebecca Hall, is a dark psychological thriller about how far parents will go to protect their children. Two estranged brothers and their wives meet at a restaurant to discuss a dark crime committed by their sons. With their involvement still a secret, they must decide how far they’ll go photo for Kung Fu Yogato protect the ones they love. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Lionsgate … In "Kung Fu Yoga" (2017 — China), starring Jackie Chan, Disha Patani, Amyra Dastur, Aarif Rahma and Sonu Sood, Jack (Chan), a world-renowned archaeology professor, and his team are on a grand quest to locate a lost ancient Indian treasure when they are ambushed by a team of mercenaries and left for dead. Using his vast knowledge of history and kung fu, Jack leads his team on a race around the world to beat the mercenaries to the treasure and save an ancient culture in this breakneck action-comedy that reunites Chan with acclaimed director Stanley Tong ("Rumble in the Bronx," "Supercop"). On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Well Go USA … In "Hunter's Prayer" (2017), starring photo for The ExceptionSam Worthington, Odeya Rush, Allen Leech, Amy Landecker and Veronica Echegui, Lucas (Worthington) is a solitary assassin hired to kill a young woman, Ella (Rush). When he can't bring himself to pull the trigger the plan falls apart, setting in motion a twisted game of cat and mouse. Now both are marked for death and forced to form an uneasy alliance. Relentlessly pursued across Europe, their only hope for survival is to expose those responsible for brutally murdering Ella's family and bring them to justice. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Lionsgate … Set during WWII, the thriller "The Exception" photo for Charlotte(2016) follows German officer Captain Stefan Brandt (Jai Courtney) as he goes on a mission to investigate exiled German monarch Kaiser Wilhelm II (Christopher Plummer). The Kaiser lives in a secluded mansion in the Netherlands, and as Germany is taking over Holland, the country’s authorities are concerned that Dutch spies may be watching the Kaiser. As Brandt begins to infiltrate the Kaiser’s life in search of clues, he finds himself drawn into an unexpected and passionate romance with Mieke (Lily James), one of the Kaiser’s maids whom Brandt soon discovers is secretly Jewish. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Lionsgate … In "Charlotte" (2017), starring James Andrew Lee, Jack Schaefer and Dan Dowding, a teenage girl is babysitting at a new house, when she's accosted by a vicious doll. In bondage, she's forced to watch terrifying stories on the television, magically controlled by the unfriendly toy … and photo for Teen Wolfeach story gets graver than the previous one. From Synergetic Distribution … In "Diamond Cartel" (2017), starring Armand Assante, Karlygash Mukhamedzhanova, Olivier Gruner, Peter O'Toole, Michael Madsen and Bolo Yeung, the charismatic and ruthless Mussa makes a deal to purchase the Star of East Diamond from the Hong-Kong triad crime boss Mr. Lo — but not before being robbed via an inside job by his own people, former lover Aliya and her new man. Aliya's former love interest and Mussa henchman gets involved, and when Mussa's men track them down, the couple have to fight for their lives. From Cleopatra Entertainment … New to Blu-ray this week are "Teen Wolf (Collector’s Edition)" (1985), starring Michael J Fox, in a new high-definition film transfer taken from the interpositive, and "Teen Wolf Too (Collector’s Edition)" (1987), starring Jason Bateman. Both are loaded with extras. From Shout! Factory.

On the Indie Front:

In the animated "Louise by the Shore" (2016), on the last day of summer at a small seaside resort town, 75-year-old Louise misses the last train out. After a torrential rainstorm, she emerges from her room the next morning to find the streets flooded and the town utterly deserted. Days, weeks and months pass in this dreamlike interlude as Louise learns to fend for photo for Louise by the Shoreherself, her solitude interrupted only by a talking dog and memories of her past. Evoking Jacques Tati’s "Mr. Hulot’s Holiday," "The Twilight Zone," and Post-Impressionist watercolors, this lovely, imaginative film is an “animation for adults” only in the sense of its mature and reflective sensibility. A film by Jean-François Laguionie ("The Painting"). From First Run Features … In "Wolves" (2016), starring Taylor John Smith, Zazie Beetz, Michael Shannon and Carla Gugino, Anthony is a standout player on his Manhattan high school's basketball team with seemingly everything going for him: a killer three-point shot, a loving girlfriend and a chance at a scholarship to Cornell. But Anthony's dreams of playing college ball are jeopardized by his volatile father, a hard-drinking writer whose compulsive gambling threatens to derail the lives of both his wife and son. Though it goes against his nature, Anthony must summon the strength to step out from his father's shadow and reclaim his future.From IFC Films.

Foreign Films:

The randomness of daily life is explored to mesmerizing effect in Gilles Deroo and Marianne Pistone's highly original debut feature, "Mouton" (2013 — France), which captured the "Best First Film" and "Jury Award" at Switzerland's prestigious Locarno Film Festival. Mouton ("Sheep") is the nickname of Aurelien (David Mérabet), who at 17 is granted independence from his alcoholic mother and runs off to live on his own in the seaside town of Courseulles-sur-Mer. Hired as a chef's assistant, Sheep fits in well with the rest of the community as he and his co-workers diligently go about their chores; he even photo for Moutonbegins dating the new waitress (Audrey Clement). During a rowdy late-night celebration for the Feast of St. Anne, however, a man inexplicably cuts Mouton's arm off with a chainsaw; he survives, but moves away to another town. The film then shifts to follow some of Mouton's friends remaining in Courseulles-sur-Mer, such as twins (Emmanuel and Sebastien Legrand), kennel worker Mimi (Michael Mormentyn), and his wife, Louise (Cindy Dumont). From IndiePix Films … In "In the Shadow of Women" (2015 — France), starring Stanislas Merhar, Clotilde Courau and Lena Paugam, Pierre and Manon are a married couple working in fragile harmony on Pierre’s documentary film projects. When Pierre takes a lover and Manon finds out, how do each react to the situation and towards each other? The result is an in-depth exploration of intimacies and emotional ecologies. A black and white throwback to '60s-era French romantic dramas. From Distrib Films US/Icarus Films … In "The Summer of All My Parents (aka July-August)" (2016 — France), starring Luna Lou, Pascale Arbillot and Alma Jodorowsky, 14-year-old Laura and her older sister Joséphine spend the summer holidays shuttling between their divorced parents — secretly pregnant Mom and bachelor Dad. But when Joséphine falls for a hunk and winds up in the wrong crowd, Laura turns out to be more responsible than the grown-ups who spend their time "educating" her. From First Run Features.

For the Family:

In "My Little Pony Equestria Girls – Magical Movie Night" (2017), the Equestria Girls step through a magical mirror and are transported from the world of My Little Pony, transforming into teenage girls at Canterlot High. Full-time students and part-time magical pony-girls, the Equestria Girls are always ready to save the day with the Magic of Friendship. Three episodes: "Dance Magic," "Movie Magic" and "Mirror Magic." From Shout! photo for My Little Pony Equestria Girls – Magical Movie Night Kids … "Room on the Broom" (2012) is based on the children’s picture book written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler. Features the voices of Gillian Anderson, Rob Brydon, Martin Clunes, Simon Pegg, Sally Hawkins, Timothy Spall, and David Walliams. It's the story of a kind witch who invites a surprising collection of animals to join her on her broom, must to the frustration of her cat. When the witch encounters a fearsome and hungry dragon, her animal friends come to her rescue. To show her gratitude, the witch rewards them with a magnificent new broom with room for everyone. From Public Media Distribution … In "Sesame Street: Elmo’s Wonderful World" (2016), everyone’s favorite furry monster photo for Sesame Street: Elmo’s Wonderful Worldstars in an all-new, updated, fun and fresh version of "Elmo’s World." In each episode, lessons are taught through the lens of fun and familiar pre-school relevant topics, live action films, and interactive thinking games such as matching, sorting, and counting. Little learners will accompany Elmo and his friend Smartie, an animated cell phone, as he uses his imagination to transform his bedroom into the beautiful chalk-drawn environment of Elmo’s World and dives into the topic of the day. From Warner … "LEGO DC Super Hero Girls: Brain Drain" (2017) is an all-new animated film. When Supergirl, Wonder Woman, Batgirl, Bumblebee and Katana suddenly realize they cannot remember a single moment from their Monday at Super Hero High, the young DC Super Heroes spring into sleuthing action. Suspecting foul-play, they band together to retrace their steps and uncover the mystery of who exactly stole their memories — and what nefarious plan might be afoot. From Warner.

Special Interest:

  • "Burden" (2016): A probing portrait of Chris Burden, an artist who took creative expression to the limits and risked his life in the name of art. Explores his life and work, featuring exclusive interviews with the late artist and various members of the art world. illuminates his unconventional life and radical transition from dangerous performance art such as 5-Day Locker, Shoot and Trans-Fixed, to intricately engineered installations including Metropolis II and the iconic exterior Urban Light installation at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. From Magnolia Home Entertainment. photo for Chantal Akerman by Chantal Akerman
  • "Chantal Akerman by Chantal Akerman" (1997): Cinematic visionary Chantal Akerman (1950–2015) gave new meaning to the term "independent film" with her radical and original works, earning her high praise amongst cinephiles around the world. Her films have become integral to feminist film theory and broke boundaries between realist and avant-garde genres. "Chantal Akerman by Chantal Akerman" offers a candid, intimate glimpse of Akerman, the woman. Part One opens with Akerman in her apartment, describing the problems she encountered making this film directly to the camera. What emerges from this mise-en-scène is a funny, often personal, and always thoughtful confession from this extremely perceptive filmmaker. Part Two lets Akerman's films speak for her, taking clips from her extensive filmography and linking them anonymously until they form a new film. There are scenes from "Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles," her best-known work, interspersed with glimpses of several other works including experimental film, comedic shorts, musicals, narrative features, and an early short that stars a very young Chantal. From Icarus Films.photo for Frontline: Bannon’s War
  • "Frontline: Bannon’s War" (2017): The inside story of Trump adviser Stephen Bannon. Drawing on nearly 30 in-depth interviews with political insiders, Bannon’s former associates at Breitbart News, authors and journalists, the film tells the inside story of Bannon’s fight to deliver on Trump’s promises. Investigates who Bannon is, what shaped his worldview, his influence and footing within the Trump administration, and his personal crusade to dramatically transform America. From PBS Distribution.
  • "Hilleman: A Perilous Quest to Save the World's Children" (2016): The 20th century was a dangerous time to be young: a multitude of diseases too often kept children from reaching even their teenage years. Millions suffered and died. From that environment one man would emerge to lead a revolution in vaccine innovation that would save many millions of young lives every year; the greatest scientist of the 20th century, and no one knows his name. Maurice Hilleman had a singular, unwavering focus: to eliminate the diseases of children. From his poverty-stricken youth on the plains of Montana, Hilleman came to prevent pandemic flu, invent the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, and develop the first-ever vaccine against human cancer. Responsible for more than half of the vaccines children receive today, he is credited with saving more than eight million lives every year. Now through exclusive interviews with Dr. Hilleman and his peers, rare archival footage, and 3-D animation, this new documentary puts a human face to vaccine science, revealing the character that drove this bold, complex, and heroic man. When parents began choosing not to vaccinate their children in the 1990s, a cruel irony became clear; Hilleman's unprecedented successes has allowed us to forget just how devastating childhood diseases can be. From First Run Features. photo for I Am the Blues
  • "I Am the Blues" (2015): A vibrant, reverential, and nostalgic musical tour of the juke joints, back roads, and church halls of the Mississippi Delta. Diving deep into America's last generation of blues devils, the film takes viewers on an enthralling journey through the swamps of the Louisiana Bayou, the juke joints of the Mississippi Delta, and moonshine-soaked BBQs in North Mississippi Hill Country to visit with many unsung living legends of blues, including 83-year old Bobby Rush, whose latest recording, "Porcupine Meat," won him his first Grammy Award for Traditional Blues Album in February. Crisscrossing unseen byways and back roads, the documentary highlights a generation of veteran blues musicians rooted from the genre's heyday, many of whom are now in their 80s, still living in the American deep south and touring the Chitlin' Circuit, including Barbara Lynn, Little Freddie King, Lazy Lester, Henry Gray, Carol Fran, Bilbo Walker, Jimmy "Duck" Holmes, RL Boyce, LC Ulmer and Lil' Buck Sinegal. From Film Movement.
  • "Night School" (2016): A documentary about three students determined to graduate from their high school in Indianapolis, despite the fact that the institution has one of the lowest graduation rates in the country. Victims of circumstance and a broken system, Greg, Melissa, and Shynika are optimistic that they don’t need to be on the wrong side of statistics. Emmy award-winning director Andrew Cohn’s absorbing documentary observes their individual pursuits going back to school, fraught with the challenges of daily life and the broader systemic roadblocks faced by many Americans as they strive to improve their lives in the face of adversity. From Oscilloscope Laboratories.

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 August 8, 2017 No Responses »
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