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"The movie business is macabre. Grotesque.
It is a combination of a football game
and a brothel."
-- Federico Fellini
Jan 152019
 

From the Big Screen:

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

This Week’s Best Bets

“Crimson Peak (Limited Edition)” (2015): From the imagination of Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro comes this lavish, stunningly realized journey into the dark heart of Gothic romance. Beginning in Buffalo, New York, during the 1880s, “Crimson Peak” stars Mia Wasikowska as Edith Cushing, an aspiring writer who is haunted by the death of her mother. Edith’s falls in love with seductive stranger Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston), who whisks her off to Allerdale Hall, his baronial, yet dilapidated English mansion built upon a mountain of blood-red clay. Here Edith meets Lucille (Jessica Chastain), Thomas’s sister who at times seems photo for Crimson Peak )Limited Edition) hostile and jealous. As Edith struggles to feel at home in the imposing residence, she gradually uncovers a horrendous family secret and encounters supernatural forces that will help her discover the terrible truth behind Crimson Peak. Boasting incredibly intricate and ornate production design and a rich visual style, del Toro’s film is a grandiose, boldly baroque triumph of Gothic decadence, which expertly combines and contrasts the sublimely beautiful with the shockingly grotesque. On Blu-ray, loaded with tons of extras and a limited edition 80-page, hard-bound book featuring new writing by David Jenkins and Simon Abrams, an archival interview with Guillermo del Toro, and original conceptual design illustrations by artists Guy Davis and Oscar Chichoni. From Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment … “Notorious” (1946): With this twisting love story, Alfred Hitchcock summoned darker shades of suspense and passion by casting two of Hollywood’s most beloved stars starkly against type. Ingrid Bergman stars as Alicia, an alluring photo for Notorious woman of ill repute recruited by Devlin (Cary Grant), a suave but mysterious intelligence agent, to spy for the U.S. Only after she has fallen for Devlin does she learn that her mission is to seduce a Nazi industrialist (Claude Rains) hiding out in South America. Coupling inventive cinematography with brilliantly subtle turns from his mesmerizing leads, Hitchcock orchestrates an anguished romance shot through with deception and moral ambiguity. A thriller of rare perfection, “Notorious” represents a pinnacle in both its director’s legendary career and the pantheon of classic Hollywood cinema. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc with new 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray, from The Criterion Collection … “The Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion” (1970 — Italy): Before the influence of Dario Argento’s “The Bird with the Crystal Plumage” permeated every corner of the giallo genre, another strain of these distinctive Italian thrillers enjoyed considerable success. These “melodrama photo for The Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion gialli”, heavily inspired by Clouzot’s “Les diaboliques,” relied less on graphic violence and high body counts and more on psychological tension. Minou (Dagmar Lassander) leads a pampered but dull life with her frequently absent husband, Peter (Pier Paolo Capponi). One night, while out walking on the beachfront, Minou is accosted by a mysterious blackmailer (Simón Andreu) who informs her that Peter is a murderer. Driven by misplaced loyalty to her husband, Minou gives in to the blackmailer’s every perverted whim in exchange for his silence. But as the blackmailer ups the ante, demanding that she submit to his increasingly obscene demands, can Minou hold on to what little remains of her sanity? Written by the prolific Ernesto Gastaldi (“Torso”), infused with a seductive score by the great Ennio Morricone and featuring a memorable turn by Nieves Navarro a.k.a. Susan Scott in the role of Minou’s best friend, “The Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion” is a trippy giallo delight that brings together the talents of many of the genre’s leading lights on both sides of the camera. On Blu-ray from Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment.

Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:

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

Foreign Films:

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

For the Family:

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

Special Interest:

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

All DVDs and Blu-rays are screened on a reference system consisting of an Oppo BDP-83 Blu-ray Disc Player w/SACD & DVD-Audio, a Rotel RSX-972 Surround Sound Receiver, and Phase Technology 1.1 (front), 33.1 (center), and 50 (rear) speakers, and Power 10 subwoofer.

 Posted by on January 15, 2019 No Responses »
Jan 082019
 

From the Big Screen:

“Mid90s.” For more information on other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.

This Week’s Best Bets

In “When Harry Met Sally… (30th Anniversary Edition)” (1989), director Rob Reiner, screenwriter Nora Ephron, and stars Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan take you on a journey of love and friendship like no other in this magnificently witty love story that has been deservedly hailed as one of the photo for When Harry Met Sally... (30th Anniversary Edition)greatest romantic comedies of all time. Will sex ruin a perfect relationship between a man and a woman? That’s what Harry Burns (Crystal) and Sally Albright (Ryan) debate while sharing a drive from Chicago to New York. Eleven years of friendship later, they’re still no closer to finding the answer. Will these two best friends ever accept that they’re a perfect match … or will they continue to deny the attraction that exists between them? Also stars Carrie Fisher and Bruno Kirby. Features a new transfer restored from a 4K scan of the original camera negative. On Blu-ray from Shout Select … “Let the Corpses Tan” (2017 — Belgium) is a deliriously thrilling homage to Spaghetti Westerns and 1970s Italian crime films. Belgian filmmakers Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani trade in the crushed velvet and creeping shadows of their giallo-worshipping first two films (“Amer,” “The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears”) for blistering sun, creaking leather and raining bullets. After stealing a truckload of gold bars, a gang of thieves absconds to the ruins of a remote village perched on the cliffs of the Mediterranean. Home to a reclusive yet hypersexual artist and her motley crew of family and admirers, it seems like a perfect hideout. But when two cops roll up on motorcycles to investigate, the hamlet erupts into a hallucinatory battlefield as both sides engage in an all-day, all-night firefight rife with double-crosses and dripping with blood. Based on a classic pulp novel by Jean-Patrick Manchette and Jean-Pierre Bastid and featuring vintage music cues by Ennio Morricone, “Let the Corpses Tan” is a deliriously stylish cinematic fever dream that will fire up your senses like buckshot to the brain. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Kino Lorber … photo for 24 Frames For what would prove to be his final film, “24 Frames” (2017), Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami gave himself a challenge: to create a dialogue between his work as a filmmaker and his work as a photographer, bridging the two art forms to which he had dedicated his life. Setting out to reconstruct the moments immediately before and after a photograph is taken, Kiarostami selected 24 still images — most of them stark landscapes inhabited only by foraging birds and other wildlife — and digitally animated each one into its own subtly evolving four-and-a-half-minute vignette, creating a series of poignant studies in movement, perception, and time. A sustained meditation on the process of image making, “24 Frames” is a graceful and elegiac farewell from one of the giants of world cinema. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc with 2K digital master, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray, from The Criterion Collection … “Willie Dynamite” (1974) is “The hands-down winner of the all-out best blaxploitation movie of the seventies,” according to author and artist Darius James in “That’s Blaxploitation!” Willie Dynamite may not be as photo for Willie Dynamite well-known as John Shaft, Sweet Sweetback or “Super Fly’s” Youngblood Priest, but he certainly deserves to be. Who is Willie Dynamite? He’s the flashiest pimp in New York — he drives a personalised purple-and-gold Cadillac and wears some of the most eye-catching outfits ever seen on a cinema screen. He wants to be No. 1, but with the police, the D.A., fellow pimps and a tough-talking social worker on his tail, can a man as arrogant and amoral as Willie D avoid a downfall? “Willie Dynamite” competes with the best of blaxploitation on all levels. Roscoe Orman dominates with his central performance — a star turn that’s the equal of Richard Roundtree in “Shaft” or Pam Grier in “Coffy.” Multi-award-winning director Gilbert Moses balances action and social commentary as deftly as Gordon Parks, Jr. did with “Super Fly.” And the score by J.J. Johnson, featuring Motown legend Martha Reeves, is as catchy as anything composed by Isaac Hayes, Curtis Mayfield or James Brown. On Blu-ray from Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment.

From TV to Disc:

“Castle Rock: The Complete First Season” (2018): Welcome to Castle Rock, the small rural town carved out of the deepest woodland in Maine, in which many of acclaimed, best-selling author Stephen King’s most-loved works of fiction come to life. The first season of Castle Rock follows Henry Deaver (André Holland), a Death Row attorney who returns to Castle Rock, Maine, his hometown, after he receives an anonymous phone call from the infamous Shawshank State Penitentiary. The call is about a nameless young man (Bill Skarsgård) who is found locked in an underground cage that’s located in a long-abandoned cell block beneath the prison. Upon his discovery, the mysterious young man, with a sinister and unnerving presence, whispers Henry’s name. Curious about how and why someone left this boy imprisoned, Henry is drawn into the case and attempts to help him. But there are reasons why “The Kid” was imprisoned. And reasons why he should never be set free. Permeated with a sense of foreboding and dread, the haunting small town of Castle Rock is not willing to let Henry leave. Aside from now having to deal with the strange young man found in the prison, Henry is faced with the fact that his adoptive mother (Sissy Spacek), who lives in Castle Rock with retired Sheriff Alan Pangborn (Scott Glenn), is struggling with the onset of dementia. Reluctantly, Henry stays to figure out just who “The Kid” is and how he wound up imprisoned under such appalling circumstances. On three-disc DVD, two-disc Blu-ray, 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray four-disc combo, from Warner … “The Purge: Season One” (2018) is a two-disc set with all 10 episodes, Set in an altered United States, several unrelated people discover how far they will go to survive a night where all crime is legal for 12 hours. During a 12-hour period when all crime, including murder, is legal, a group of seemingly unrelated characters cross paths in a city in an altered America. While the clock winds down, some will fight, some will hide, others will embrace what it means to Purge to its fullest extent. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Universal.

Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:

In “Hell Fest” (2018), starring Amy Forsyth, Reign Edwards, Bex Taylor-Klaus and Tony Todd, a group of friends are bound for a horror-themed Halloween event at a local amusement park — a sprawling labyrinth of rides, games, and mazes that travels the country and happens to be in town. But a masked serial killer turns the amusement park into his own playground, terrorizing attendees while the rest of the patrons believe that it is all part of the show. On DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo, 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo, from Lionsgate … photo for The Car: Road to Revenge “The Car: Road to Revenge” (2019), starring Grant Bowler, Kathleen Munroe, Martin Hancock, Micah Balfour, Burt Grinstead, Nina Bergman, Jamie Bamber and Ronny Cox, is a stylized, unrated sequel to the unconventional horror cult classic “The Car” (1977). An unscrupulous District Attorney in a dilapidated cyberpunk city plagued by crime is savagely murdered and tossed out of a building onto his brand new car. Mysteriously, he and his car come back to life as a single being with a thirst for vengeance. The eerie driverless car embarks on a vicious rampage exacting revenge on the criminals. In an homage to the original, Ronny Cox returns as The Mechanic. From Universal … “The Oath” (2018), starring Ike Barinholtz, Tiffany Haddish, Nora Dunn, Jon Barinholtz, Meredith Hagner, Carrie Brownstein, Billy Magnussen and John Cho, is a gleefully wicked comedy about surviving life in politically divided America. When high-strung Chris (Barinholtz) and his more levelheaded wife Kai (Haddish) learn that citizens are being asked to sign a loyalty oath, their refusal to sign—along with the arrival of two government agents (Cho and Magnussen) —- sends an already tense holiday dinner completely off the rails. From Lionsgate … photo for Time Freak “Time Freak” (2018), starring Asa Butterfield, Sophie Turner and Skyler Gisondo, asks the question, “If you could turn back time … could you win back the love of your life?” That’s the problem puzzling Stillman (Butterfield), a physics genius recently dumped by his stunning girlfriend Debbie (Turner). So, after creating a timeline of their romance and a machine to rewind the past, he grabs his wing man Evan (Gisondo) and sets off to right every wrong he made with Debbie. But as this insane comedy proves, there are some mistakes too perfect for science to fix. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Lionsgate … In “An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn” (2018), starring Aubrey Plaza, Jemaine Clement, Emile Hirsch and Craig Robinson, Lulu Danger’s unsatisfying marriage takes a turn for the worse when a mysterious man from her past comes to town to perform an event called “An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn; For One Magical Night Only” in this offbeat indie comedy. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Universal … “The Great Battle” (2018 — South Korea), is set during the Tang dynasty, the action-packed film is based on the historic 80-day battle between the Goguryeo and Tang forces known as The Siege of Ansi, that took place while the two groups were at war between 645-668 AD. The Goguryeo forces held their fortress against 200,000 invading Tang soldiers. On DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo, from Well Go USA … photo for Bent /></a> <b>“Bent”</b>(1997 — UK), starring Ian Mckellen, Clive Owen, Lothaire Bluteau, Mick Jagger, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Paul Bettany and Brian Webber, is set amidst the decadence and terror of pre-war Germany, and is a harrowing yet inspirational tale of struggle against oppression, based on the landmark play by Martin Sherman. A chance encounter at a Berlin nightclub exposes Max (Owen) and his partner Rudy (Webber) as homosexuals during the “Night of the Long Knives” purge. After two years on the run, they are captured and put on a train to Dachau, where Rudy is savagely beaten to death. Inside the camp, Max finds the will to survive through the help of a fellow prisoner, Horst (Bluteau), and the two men develop an unbreakable bond. Winner of the Prix de la jeunesse (Award of the Youth) at Cannes Critics’ Week in 1997, the film has been digitally restored. Nominated “Outstanding Film” at the GLAAD Media Awards, and captured the Best Feature Award at the Torino International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Film Movement Classics … In <b>“What They Had”</b><br />
(2018), starring Hilary Swank, Michael Shannon, Robert Forster and Blythe Danner,  Bridget (Swank) returns home to Chicago at her brother’s Shannon) urging to deal with her ailing mother (Danner) and her father’s (Forster) reluctance to let go of their life together. From Universal … In <b>“Intensive Care”</b> (2018), starring Tara Macken, Jai Rodriguez, Leslie Easterbrook and Kevin Sizemore, three low life criminals plan to rob an elderly woman’s home, but her caregiver turns out to be a former special ops agent with an agenda of her own. From Screen Media Films … <img width= “8MM” (1999), starring Nicolas Cage, Joaquin Phoenix, James Gandolfini, Peter Stormare, Anthony Heald and Chris Bauer, is an electrifying thriller about one man’s obsessive search for the truth about a six-year-old crime and his ultimate discovery of the truth about himself. Cage plays a private investigator hired to discover if Scream Factory … In “Blind Date” (1984), starring Joseph Bottoms, Kirstie Alley, Keir Dullea, Marina Sirtis, Lana Clarkson and James Daughton, ad executive Jonathon Ratcliff (Bottoms), struck by sudden blindness, is frustrated when doctors can find nothing wrong with him. With the aid of his girlfriend (Alley), he consults a top eye doctor (Dullea) who fits him with an experimental device allowing him to see with the aid of a computer interface and brain electrodes. Meanwhile, a taxi driver is taking young women up to their apartments, sedating them, and performing a little fatal amateur surgery. Their paths inevitably converge as the serial killer starts cutting too close to home. On Blu-ray from Kino Lorber … In “Street Law” (1974 — Italy), the legendary Franco Nero stars as Carlo Antonelli, an average citizen until the day he is brutally beaten during a violent robbery. When the police drop the case and the suspects remain free, Carlo is pushed beyond his breaking point. Now he launches an all-out war against the criminal scum who plague our cities, where justice has its own rules, vengeance needs no badge and the only thing that matters is “Street Law.” Co-stars Barbara Bach, Giancarlo Prete, Renzo Palmer, Massimo Vanni, Romano Puppo. On Blu-ray, from Code Red/Kino Lorber.

Foreign Films:

“Memoir of War” (2018 — France), starring Mélanie Thierry, Emmanuel Bourdieu and Benoît Magimel, is based on Marguerite Duras’s semi-autobiographical novel that follows the famed author as she navigates her way through Nazi-occupied France during World War II. The great novelist, screenwriter, and filmmaker is widely considered one of the leaders of the “Nouveau Roman” literary movement. Her photo for Memoir of War script for Alain Resnais’s 1959 masterpiece “Hiroshima Mon Amour” earned her a nomination for Best Original Screenplay at the 1961 Academy Awards. In the film, it’s 1944 and Marguerite Duras (Thierry) is an active Resistance member along with her husband Robert Antelme (Bourdieu) and a band of fellow subversives. When Antelme is deported to Dachau by the Gestapo, Marguerite becomes friendly with French Nazi collaborator Rabier Magimel) to obtain information of her husband’s whereabouts. But as the months wear on with no news of Robert, Duras must begin the process of confronting the unimaginable. France’s official submission for the Best Foreign Language Film category for the upcoming 91st Academy Awards. From Music Box Films … “A Paris Education” (2018 — France), starring Andranic Manet, Diane Rouxel and Jenna Thiam, is a sweeping love letter to cinema from filmmaker Jean Paul Civeyrac (“My Friend Victoria”). Etienne (Manet), a serious and impressionable shaggy-haired young cinephile, leaves behind his steady girlfriend (Rouxel) in Lyon to study film in Paris. Settling into a dingy flat with a rotating cast of roommates, he immerses himself in a bohemian world of artists, intellectuals, and fellow film geeks who excitedly share their passion for Bresson, Ford, and obscure Russian directors. It’s a seemingly idyllic life of the mind — until more complicated matters of the flesh, as well as jealous creativity, intrude. Shooting in timeless black and white and interweaving references to philosophy, music, and cinema-from Pascal to Mahler to Parajanov-Jean Paul Civeyrac conjures a bittersweet ode to student life that evokes the films of the French New Wave. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Kino Lorber … “The Captain” (2017 — Germany), starring Max Hubacher, is based on the arresting true story of the Executioner of Emsland, a World War II tale like no other — a searing historical drama with undertones of absurd black comedy that presents the evils of Nazism and fascism as a devastating kind of game to be played by those most gullible and unscrupulous. It follows a young German army deserter, Pvt. Willi Herold (Hubacher), after he finds an abandoned Nazi captain’s uniform in the final weeks of World War II. Emboldened by the authority the uniform grants him, he amasses a band of stragglers who cede to his command despite the suspicions of some. Citing direct orders from the Fuhrer himself, he soon takes command of a camp holding German soldiers accused of desertion and embarks on a brutal mission of torture and slaughter, all in the name of “justice.” Increasingly intoxicated by the unquestioned authority, the enigmatic imposter soon discovers that many people will blindly follow the leader … whomever that may be. On Blu-ray from Music Box Films. The DVD of “The Captain” was released December 18.

Special Interest:

“Kusama: Infinity” (2018): Now the top-selling female artist in the world, Yayoi Kusama overcame impossible odds to bring her radical artistic vision to the world stage. For decades, her work pushed boundaries that often alienated her from photo for Kusama: Infinity both her peers and those in power in the art world. Kusama was an underdog with everything stacked against her: the trauma of growing up in Japan during World War II, life in a dysfunctional family that discouraged her creative ambitions, sexism and racism in the art establishment, mental illness in a culture where that was particularly shameful and even continuing to pursue and be devoted to her art full time on the cusp of her 90s. In spite of it all, Kusama has endured and has created a legacy of artwork that spans the disciplines of painting, sculpture, installation art, performance art, poetry and literary fiction. After working as an artist for over six decades, people around the globe are now experiencing her installation Infinity Mirrored Rooms in record numbers. 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 January 8, 2019 No Responses »
Dec 312018
 

Happy New Year

From the Big Screen:

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

Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:

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

Foreign Films:

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

Special Interest:

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

All DVDs and Blu-rays are screened on a reference system consisting of an Oppo BDP-83 Blu-ray Disc Player w/SACD & DVD-Audio, a Rotel RSX-972 Surround Sound Receiver, and Phase Technology 1.1 (front), 33.1 (center), and 50 (rear) speakers, and Power 10 subwoofer.

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