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"The movie business is macabre. Grotesque.
It is a combination of a football game
and a brothel."
-- Federico Fellini
May 222018
 

From the Big Screen:

"The 15:17 to Paris," "Red Sparrow," "Game Night" and "Wonderstruck." For more information on other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.

This Week's Best Bets:

There's so many good, collectible titles this week that we can almost forgive the studios for the duds they sent us this week (see above). In alphabetical order:

"Beyond the Hills" (2016 — Romania): With this arresting drama based on notorious real-life events, Cristian Mungiu mounts a complex inquiry into faith, fanaticism, and indifference. At photo for Beyond the Hillsa desolate Romanian monastery, a young novice nun, Voichita (Cosmina Stratan), reunites with her former companion Alina (Cristina Flutur), who plans to take her to Germany. But Voichita proves unwilling to abandon her calling, and Alina becomes increasingly desperate to reclaim her devotion, putting the outsider at odds with the monastery’s ascetic priest — and precipitating a painfully misguided, brutal attempt to save her soul. A naturalistic tragedy with the dark force of a folktale, anchored by the fraught dynamic between cinema newcomers Flutur and Stratan (who shared the best actress prize at Cannes), "Beyond the Hills" bears powerful witness to individuals at cross-purposes and institutions ill-equipped to help those most in need. On DVD and Blu-ray, with 2K digital transfer, approved by director Cristian Mungiu, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray. From The Criterion Collection.

"Black Venus" (2010): Between "The Secret of the Grain," winner of three César Awards, and the Cannes triumph of "Blue Is the Warmest Colour," Abdellatif Kechiche made "Black Venus," a photo for Black Venusstark portrait of the life of Saartjie Baartman, also known as the "Hottentot Venus." Baartman was taken from South African home as a 21-year-old and shipped to Georgian London, where she would be caged and exhibited as a freak show. Presented semi-nude, her physique — especially her large buttocks — was the source of much curiosity. But as her "fame" spread, so too did her exploitation. Centered on a remarkable performance by Cuban actor Yahima Torres as Baartman, Black Venus provides a bleak but barbed exploration of sex, science, race, colonialism and social attitudes. With optional 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks. On Blu-ray from Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment.

"The Bloodthirsty Trilogy" (1971-74 — Japan): Inspired by the runaway success of the British and American gothic horror films of the sixties, Toho studios brought the vampiric tropes of the Dracula legend to Japanese screens with "The Vampire Doll" (1970), "Lake of Dracula" (1971) and "Evil of Dracula" (1974) — three spookily effective cult classics collectively known as "The Bloodthirsty photo for The Bloodthirsty TrilogyTrilogy." In "The Vampire Doll," a young man goes missing after visiting his girlfriend’s isolated country home. His sister and her boyfriend trace him to the creepy mansion, but their search becomes perilous when they uncover a gruesome family history. "Lake of Dracula" begins with a young girl suffering a terrifying nightmare of a vampire with blazing golden eyes. Eighteen years later, the dream is revealed to be a hellish prophecy when a strange package containing an empty coffin mysteriously turns up at a nearby lake. In "Evil of Dracula," a professor takes up a new post at an all-girls school only to discover the school’s principle conceals a dark secret and the pupils are in grave danger. Abounding with images of dark thunderous nights, ghostly mansions and bloody fangs, Michio Yamamoto’s trilogy emphasises atmosphere and style and is sure to please both fans of classic gothic horror and Japanese genre cinema. On Blu-ray, with high definition presentation transferred from original film elements, with uncompressed Mono 1.0 PCM audio. From Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment.

"Death Smiles on a Murderer" (1973): A haunting and dreamlike gothic horror/giallo hybrid, "Death Smiles on a Murderer" is a compelling early work from the legendary sleaze and horror film photo for Death Smiles on a Murdererdirector Joe D’Amato, here billed under his real name Aristide Massaccesi. Set in Austria in the early 1900s, the film stars Ewa Aulin as Greta, a beautiful young woman abused by her brother Franz (Luciano Rossi) and left to die in childbirth by her illicit lover, the aristocrat Dr. von Ravensbrück (Giacomo Rossi Stuart). Bereft with grief, Franz reanimates his dead sister using a formula engraved on an ancient Incan medallion. Greta then returns as an undead avenging angel, reaping revenge on the Ravensbrück family and her manically possessive brother. Presented here in a stunning 2K restoration, D’Amato’s film is a stately and surreal supernatural mystery which benefits from an achingly mournful score by Berto Pisano, several shocking scenes of gore, and a typically sinister performance from Klaus Kinski as a morbid doctor. On Blu-ray, with new 2K restoration from the original camera negative and original Italian and English soundtracks with uncompressed Mono 1.0 PCM audio. From Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment.

"Graduation" (2016 — Romania): Blending rigorous naturalism with the precise construction photo for Graduationof a thriller, this Cannes award–winning drama from Cristian Mungiu sheds light on the high stakes and ethical complexities of life in contemporary Romania. As his daughter nears high-school graduation, Romeo (Adrian Titieni), an upstanding doctor, counts on her winning a competitive scholarship that will send her to university in England. But when an injury sustained during a sexual assault compromises her performance on an important exam, Romeo’s best-laid plans for her threaten to crumble, leading him to seek favors in a world that runs on backscratching and bribery. Suffused with quiet dread, "Graduation" takes a humane and deeply ambiguous look at how corrosive rampant corruption is to moral convictions. On DVD and Blu-ray, with 2K digital master, approved by director Cristian Mungiu, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray. From The Criterion Collection.

"Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters"
(1985) Paul Schrader’s visually stunning, collagelike portrait of the acclaimed Japanese author and playwright Yukio Mishima (played by Ken Ogata) investigates the inner turmoil and photo for Mishima: A Life in Four Chapterscontradictions of a man who attempted the impossible task of finding harmony among self, art, and society. Taking place on Mishima’s last day, when he famously committed public seppuku, the film is punctuated by extended flashbacks to the writer’s life as well as by gloriously stylized evocations of his fictional works. With its rich cinematography by John Bailey, exquisite sets and costumes by Eiko Ishioka, and unforgettable, highly influential score by Philip Glass, "Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters" is a tribute to its subject and a bold, investigative work of art in its own right. On DVD and Blu-ray, with new, restored 4K digital transfer (Blu-ray) and restored high-definition digital transfer (DVD) of the director’s cut, both supervised and approved by director Paul Schrader and cinematographer John Bailey, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray. From The Criterion Collection.

"Savannah Smiles (Collector's Edition)"
(1982) Savannah (Bridgette Andersen) is the precocious six-year-old daughter of a busy politician photo for Savannah Smiles (Collector's Edition)who is consumed by his re-election campaign. She decides to run away from home and sneaks into a car driven by two escaped convicts, Alvie (Mark Miller) and Boots (Donovan Scott), in a crazy comedy of errors. Hiding in an abandoned house, the two bumbling crooks initially try to hold the adorable Savannah for ransom to obtain a hefty reward for her return, but an unexpected bond grows among Savannah, Alvie and Boots, creating a surrogate family they have never known before. Their relationship is tested when the convicts, now seen as kidnappers, must choose between their freedom and their new friend in this classic comedy. Written and produced by the film's star Mark Miller ("A Walk in the Clouds"), "Savannah Smiles" features an all-star supporting cast that includes Academy Award-nominee Pat Morita, Michael Park, John Fiedler, Fran Ryan and Golden Globe-winner Peter Graves and boasts a brand new 2K transfer from a 35mm print from the Library of Congress. In a Blu-ray/DVD Combo with original Mono Audio (Uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray). From MVD Rewind.

From TV to Disc:

"Gunsmoke: The Thirteenth Season, Volume One" and "Gunsmoke: The Thirteenth Season, Volume Two" (1967-68) continue the adventures of U.S. Marshall Matt Dillon (James Arness) alongside the loyal Doc Adams (Milburn Stone), sexy saloon proprietress Miss Kitty (Amanda Blake) and lovable Deputy Festus Haggen (Ken Curtis). The 13th season of television's beloved Western follows Dillon as he corrals dangerous outlaws and deals with problems of the Wild West: epic gunfights, photo for gunsmoke-boxbrawls, cold-blooded murderers and bank robbers. Volume 1 is a four-disc set with 15 episodes, Volume 2 is a three-disc set with 10 episodes. From CBS/Paramount … "Hostages: Season 1" (2013 — Israel) is a two-disc set with 10 episodes. When four masked men violently break into the Danon family home, taking them hostages, the family of four will be shaken to the core and their lives will change forever. In season one, the kidnappers demand that Yael, the matriarch of the family and a brilliant surgeon, kill the Israeli Prime Minister during a routine surgery. If the Prime Minister does not die, Yael's family soon will. Desperate to save her family but keep her patient alive, Yael uses her wits to delay the decision until the last possible moment. During this terrifying time in which the kidnappers and hostages are bound together, a tangled web of secrets and lies are revealed. From Kino Lorber … "The Loud House: It Gets Louder – Season 1, Volume 2" (2016) is a two-disc set with all 13 episodes of the chaotic animated family comedy in which Lincoln Loud is an 11-year-old boy who lives with 10 sisters. With the help of his right-hand man Clyde, Lincoln finds new ways to survive in such a large family every day. From Nickelodeon/Paramount.

Buzzin' the 'B's:

When not mired in the corporate rat race, Wall Street executive Bart Hughes is king of his sleek Manhattan brownstone –until he finds his castle under siege by the most determined of home intruders in "Of Unknown Origin" (1983), starring Peter Weller, Jennifer Dale, Lawrence Dane, Kenneth Welsh, Louis Del Grande, Shannon Tweed, Keith Knight and Maury Chaykin. Forced to enter a rat race of an entirely different sort, Bart takes a stand, with his survival and sanity at stake. New 2K scan from the interpositive. On Blu-ray from Scream Factory … photo for Night Zero In "Night Zero" (2018), starring Katie Maloney, Eric Swader, Dawnelle Jewell, Vincent Bombara and Umar Faraz, a dinner party turns deadly when a group of friends are trapped inside of their house after a massive alien invasion threatens to take over the world. Things take a turn for the worse when they discover that the chemical the military is using to destroy the aliens is also turning humans into zombie-like savages. From Conquest Pictures/MVD Entertainment … In "The Party" (2017), starring Patricia Clarkson, Emily Mortimer, Cillian Murphy, Kristin Scott Thomas and Timothy Spall, an intimate gathering of friends goes haywire when an unexpected announcement sets off a chain reaction exposing secrets, sex, and betrayal within the room — ending with a bang. A black comedy from Sally Potter, the acclaimed director of "Orlando" and "Ginger & Rosa." From Lionsgate … In "I Kill Giants" (2017), starring Zoe Saldana, Imogen Poots, Madison Wolfe and Sydney Wade, teen Barbara Thorson (Wolfe) is the only thing that stands between terrible giants and the destruction of her small town. But as she boldly confronts her fears in increasingly dangerous ways, her new school counselor (Saldana) leads her to question everything she’s always believed to be true. Based on the critically acclaimed “Man of Action” graphic novel written by Kelly and Ken Niimura (“Henshin”). On DVD, Blu-ray from RLJE Films … Set against the backdrop of a country divided, "Masterpiece: Little Women" (2018), starring Emily Watson, Michael Gambon, Angela Lansbury, Maya Hawke, Willa Fitzgerald, Annes Elwy, Kathryn Newton and Dylan Baker, follows the four March sisters on their journey from childhood to adulthood while their father is away at war. Under the guidance of their mother Marmee, the girls navigate what it means to be a young woman: from gender roles to sibling rivalry, first love, loss and marriage. Accompanied by the charming boy next door Laurie Laurence, their cantankerous wealthy Aunt March and benevolent neighbor Mr. Laurence, "Little Women" is a coming-of-age story that is as relevant and engaging today as it was on its original publication in 1868. On DVD, Blu-ray, from PBS Distribution.

On the Indie Front:

"Swung" (2017), starring Owen McDonnell, Elena Anaya and Elizabeth McGovern, is based on Ewan Morrison's internationally acclaimed novel of the same name The film is a no-holds-barred look at sex in the modern world.David (McDonnell) is a recently out of work designer going through a divorce. Lately, he's been having difficulties in the bedroom with his girlfriend Alice (Anaya), a journalist, so the two begin to investigate ways to shake things up. After a stimulating encounter with two swingers adds the missing spice to their relationship, they decide to expand their sexual boundaries and explore even more intimacy with strangers. From Film Movement.

Foreign Films:

"A Fantastic Woman" (2017 — Chile), starring Daniela Vega, Francisco Reyes and Luis photo for A Fantastic Woman Gnecco, is the story of a young transgender aspiring singer who must confront society and her older lover’s family when he dies unexpectedly. Marina, a young transgender waitress and aspiring singer, and Orlando, an older man, are in love and planning for the future. After Orlando suddenly falls ill and dies, Marina is forced to confront his family and society, and to fight again to show them who she is: complex, strong, forthright, fantastic. Academy Award-winner for Best Foreign Language film of the year. On Blu-ray from Sony … In "Souvenir" (2016 — France), Liliane (Isabelle Huppert) lives a modest and monotonous life. By day, she works in a pâté factory, and by night, she sits on the couch and watches TV. One day, a new worker named Jean (Kévin Azaïs) arrives. The two form a platonic relationship, but Jean grows increasingly convinced that he recognizes Liliane from a European singing contest he saw as a child. Eventually, Jean convinces Liliane to confront her past. A beautiful portrayal of a friendship between two people from different generations, who come together to make a life changing comeback. From Strand Releasing.

For the Family:

From Aardman, the award-winning tribe that created "Wallace & Gromit," "Chicken Run," and "Shaun the Sheep Movie," this claymation animated prehistoric romp "Early Man" (2018), with the voices of Eddie Redmayne, Tom Hiddleston, Maisie Williams, Timothy Spall, tells the story of courageous caveman hero Dug (Eddie Redmayne) and his best friend, Hognob, as they unite their tribe against a mighty enemy — Lord Nooth (Tom Hiddleston) and his Bronze Age City — to save their photo for Early Man home. On DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo, from Lionsgate … "A Sunny Day" (2018) features four episodes from the preschool series' first season that follows 10-year-old master hairstylist and entrepreneur Sunny. Along with the help of her best friends Blair and Rox, and her loyal and lovable puppy Doodle, Sunny confidently takes on any challenge thrown her way. The characters in the series celebrate individuality and self-expression, while the show's social-emotional curriculum highlights leadership, innovative thinking and teamwork. From Nickelodeon/Paramount … In "Daphne & Velma" (2018), starring Sarah Jeffery and Sarah Gilman, Scooby-Doo's leading ladies star in their very own live-action feature film. State of the art robots and high-tech gadgets are common sights at Ridge Valley High, an innovative center of learning for some of the brightest minds in the country, including new transfer student, the bright & optimistic Daphne Blake (Jeffery) who is excited to finally go to school with her online bestie, the whip-smart & analytical Velma Dinkley (Gilman). But not everything is as innocent as it seems as mysterious disappearances begin to plague the top-performing students on campus. Once cheery and full of life, kids now appear in a “zombiefied” state — lifeless shells of themselves. Can Daphne and Velma learn to work together and save the students or will they become the next victims? On DVD, Blu-ray, from Warner.

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

 Posted by on May 22, 2018 No Responses »
May 142018
 

From the Big Screen:

"Black Panther." For more information on other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.

This Week's Best Bets:

Director Andrei Tarkovsky's final masterpiece "The Sacrifice" (1986 — Russia) is a haunting vision of a world threatened with nuclear annihilation. As a wealthy Swedish family celebrates the birthday of their patriarch Alexander (Erland Josephson), news of the outbreak of World War III reaches their remote Baltic island — and the happy mood turns to horror. The family descends into a state of psychological devastation, brilliantly evoked by Tarkovsky's arresting palette of luminous grays washing over the bleak landscape around their home. The film's masterful cinematography is by Sven Nykvist, Ingmar Bergman's longtime collaborator. Made as he was dying of cancer, "The Sacrifice" is Tarkovsky's closing artistic testament, a profoundly moving, redemptive tragedy steeped in unforgettable imagery and heart-wrenching emotion. In a 4K Restoration.In a Blu-ray/DVD Combo from Kino Classics … photo for Two Thousand Maniacs! After shocking and outraging the world with his genre-defining 1963 gore-fest "Blood Feast," exploitation pioneer Herschell Gordon Lewis would seek (and positively succeed) to outdo himself with the deliciously depraved "Two Thousand Maniacs!" (1964). When a group of Yankee tourists take a detour and wind up in the small Southern town of Pleasant Valley — which has magically rematerialized 100 years after its destruction during the Civil War — they find themselves welcomed by the eager townsfolk as guests of honor at their centennial celebrations. Little do the Northerners know that the festivities are set to include torture, death and dismemberment. Stars Connie Mason, William Kerwin and Jeffrey Allen. Also includes H.G. Lewis’ fist fightin’, hooch-swillin’ epic "Moonshine Mountain." In a Special Edition, on Blu-ray, with original Uncompressed PCM Mono Audio. Extras include an introductions to the films by Lewis; archive audio commentary on "Two Thousand Maniacs!" by Lewis; "David Friedman: photo for The It’s Alive Trilogy The Gentlemen's Smut Peddler" tribute to legendary producer David F. Friedman featuring interviews with Lewis, filmmakers Fred Olen Ray and Tim Sullivan and editor Bob Murawski; "Herschell's Art of Advertising" in which Lewis shares his expert opinion on the art of selling movies; outtakes; trailers; reversible sleeve featuring original and newly-commissioned artwork by The Twins of Evil; more. From Arrow Video … For the first time on Blu-ray, and in a new, deluxe box set, the "The It's Alive Trilogy" is reborn. It's newborn and … It's Alive … and murder is what it knows best. A proud couple's bundle of joy is really a newborn terror in filmmaker Larry Cohen's cautionary cult hit "It's Alive" (1974) that tapped into environmental fears. The horror grows when multiple child monsters rampage in the first sequel "It Lives Again" (1978) as two brave parents try to stop them by becoming the bait for their spree. The now global mutants are rounded up and relocated to a far-flung island in It's Alive III: Island of the Alive (1987). Will a parent's greatest nightmare become the world's gravest fear? On Blu-ray, with new 2K scans of the original film elements of all three films, commentary by Cohen on all three films, new "Cohen’s Alive: Looking Back at the It’s Alive Films" featuring interviews with writer-producer-director Larry Cohen, actors James Dixon, Michael Moriarty and Laurene Landon and more. From Scream Factory … photo for The Other Side of Hope The wry, melancholic comedy "The Other Side of Hope" (2015 — Finland) from director Aki Kaurismäki, a response to the ongoing global refugee crisis, follows two people searching for a place to call home. Khaled (Sherwan Haji), a displaced Syrian, lands in Helsinki as a stowaway; meanwhile, middle-aged Finnish salesman Wikström (Sakari Kuosmanen) leaves his wife and his job and buys a conspicuously unprofitable seafood restaurant. Khaled is denied asylum but decides not to return to Aleppo — and the paths of the two men cross fortuitously. As deadpan as the best of the director’s work, and with a deep well of empathy for its down-but-not-out characters (many of them played by members of Kaurismäki’s loyal stock company), "The Other Side of Hope" is a bittersweet tale of human kindness in the face of official indifference. On DVD and Blu-ray, with new 2K digital transfer, approved by director Aki Kaurismäki, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray. From The Criterion Collection.

From TV to Disc:

"The Jackie Gleason Show in Color: Deluxe Edition" (2017): From 1966-1970, Jackie Gleason, everyone's favorite working-class hero, entertained enthralled audiences across the country with his eponymous TV variety show featuring hilarious sketches, celebrity guest stars and much more. Taped in Miami Beach, "The Jackie Gleason Show "delivered an unforgettable gallery of characters Gleason himself created and fine-tuned, including his most indelible and legendary creation — Ralph Kramden — as he and Art Carney revived their Honeymooners roles (with Sheila MacRae and Jane Kean added as the new Alice and Trixie), all presented in glorious color for the first time. Across three beautifully-remastered collector's discs, "The Jackie Gleason Show in Color: Deluxe Edition" contains 12 never-before-released episodes — including seven unreleased Honeymooners sketches that haven't been seen since they first aired, including "Six Months to Live," "Alice's Birthday," "Lawsuit," "Hot Tip," "The New Bowling Ball," "Norton Moves In" and "he New Manager." Includes photo for The Jackie Gleason Show in Color: Deluxe Edition guest appearances by Jack Benny, George Burns, Milton Berle, Tony Bennett, Red Buttons, Phil Silvers, Florence Henderson, Frankie Avalon, Nipsey Russell, Edie Adams, Sid Caesar, Alan King, Robert Goulet, Mickey Rooney, Frank Sinatra Jr., Victor Borge and more. From Time Life … "The Shannara Chronicles Season Two" (2017) is a three-disc set with all 10 episodes. Season Two finds the Four Lands in chaos. The re-emergence of magic has the populace terrified, and an organization called The Crimson is hunting down magic users, using fear and intimidation to sow discord among the races. Wil Ohmsford, scarred by the loss of Amberle and his separation from Eritrea, has turned his back on his magical destiny to become a healer. But when a mysterious woman named Mareth saves Wil from a Crimson attack, he is forced to rejoin the fight. After reuniting with Eretria, Wil and Mareth seek out Allanon, only to learn that the Druid’s former protégé, Bandon, is on a mission to resurrect a creature of darkest evil: The Warlock Lord. Together, our heroes must band together to take down The Crimson and prevent Bandon from unleashing an even greater threat upon the Four Lands…before it’s too late. On DVD, Blu-ray from Paramount … "Unforgotten Season 2" (2017) is a two-disc set with six episodes of the UK crime drama. Season 2 starts innocently enough with a routine river dredging operation. When the scoop brings up a soggy, old suitcase, the workers open it and find a corpse sealed up so long that the tissues have turned to a soapy substance. Gruesome forensic work identifies the victim as David Walker, a businessman missing for 25 years. The case tests the wits of crime-solving duo Detective Chief Inspector Cassie Stuart and Detective Sergeant Sunny Khan. On DVD, Blu-ray, from PBS Distribution.

Buzzin' the 'B's:

In "Bent" (2018), starring Karl Urban, Sofía Vergara, Grace Byers and Andy Garcia, when a drug bust goes wrong, ex-cop Danny Gallagher’s (Urban) quest for justice leads him to the car-bomb murder of a government official’s wife. As Gallagher learns that the woman’s secret lover was a seductive federal agent (Vergara) he finds himself under fire. But from whom — his own cops, a vengeful drug lord, the CIA, or someone even more ruthless? On DVD, Blu-ray, from Lionsgate … In "The Forgiven" (2018), starring Forest Whitaker, Eric Bana, Jeff Gum, Morne Visser, Terry Norton, Rob Gough and Debbie Sherman, Archbishop Desmond Tutu (Whitaker) is appointed to head a nationwide investigation, and he's summoned to a photo for The Monkey King 3 maximum-security prison by a notorious murderer seeking clemency (Bana). Inside the brutal prison's walls, Tutu is drawn into a dangerous, life-changing battle with the cunning criminal in this captivating film based on real events, from Oscar-nominated director Roland Joffe. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Lionsgate … In "The Monkey King 3" (2018 — China), starring Aaron Kwok, Feng Shaofeng, Gigi Leung, Xiao Shenyang and Chung Him Law, this third installment of the blockbuster fantasy series sees the return of the Monkey King (Kwok). While continuing their epic journey to the West, the Monkey King and his companions are taken captive by the Queen of an all-female land, who believes them to be part of an ancient prophecy heralding the fall of her kingdom. With a lot of sorcery and a little bit of charm, the travelers devise a plan to escape. But, when their trickery angers the mighty River God, they realize they might just bring about the foretold destruction — unless they can find a way to quell her wrath. On Blu-ray, from Well Go USA … In "The Manor" (2017), starring Christina Robinson, Kevin Nash and Rachel True, Amy (Robinson), still haunted by the demons of a childhood tragedy, checks out of an asylum on her eighteenth birthday. But things get weird when Amy’s mother takes her to a rustic resort to visit her strange, sadistic relatives. When hunters and religious fanatics join the party, Amy can no longer tell fantasy from reality, watching helplessly as the blood spills anew. From Lionsgate.

On the Indie Front:

photo for Landing Up In "Landing Up" (2018), starring Stacey Maltin, E’dena Hines and Ben Rappaport, Chrissie (Maltin) is young, wild, and living on the streets of NYC. She and her best friend Cece (Hines) use their youth and good looks to their advantage,playing a con game with strangers to put a roof over their heads, while all the time fantasizing about having enough money to score their dream apartment. When Chrissie meets David (Rappaport), a funny, genuine guy who works his way into her heart, she falls for him and must decide whether to confess the real circumstances of her life or continue her carefully crafted lie at all costs. From Random Media … "Play the Devil" (2016), starring Petrice Jones, Melanie Archer, Blair Cameron and Gareth Jenkins, is set against the backdrop of Trinidad and Tobago's mystical Carnival. A gifted and struggling young man becomes the object of intrigue for an older, well-meaning businessman until their worlds collide. From Breaking Glass Pictures.

Foreign Films:

In "The Sweet Escape" (2015– France), starring Bruno Podalydès, Sandrine Kiberlain and Agnès Jaoui, middle-aged graphic artist Michel (Podalydès) is seized by a sudden crazy impulse and orders a canoe and paddles — everything he needs for an adventure. His wife Rachelle (Kiberlain) encourages him to set out alone on his escapades. So what if he’s never rowed a boat in his life? Adventure is adventure! His big trip on the water turns out to be full of surprises and unexpected encounters. From Distrib Films US Collection/Icarus Films.

For the Family:

"LEGO DC Super Hero Girls: Super-Villain High" (2018) is a new animated film. After a mysterious school opens across the street, the students of Super Hero High find themselves up against a new threat. Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Batgirl and the rest of the DC Super Hero Girls not only have to worry about the well-being of their grades, but the safety and security of friends, family and the rest of civilization. The girls must figure out how to put a stop to this evil, new cross-town rival and save the world once again. From Warner.

Special Interest:

"ACORN and the Firestorm" (2017): If you were impoverished and politically voiceless, ACORN hoped to change your mind. For 40 years, the community-organizing group sought to empower marginalized communities. Its critics, though, believed ACORN exemplified everything wrong with liberal ideals. Fueled by a YouTube video made by two young conservatives who posed as pimp and prostitute in a sting, ACORN’s very existence would be challenged. "ACORN and the Firestorm" goes beyond the 24-hour news cycle and cuts to the heart of the great political divide. From First Run Features … "Forbidden Films" (2014 — Germany): 1,200 feature films were made in Germany's Third Reich. According to experts, some 100 of these were blatant Nazi propaganda. Nearly 70 years after the end of the Nazi regime, more than 40 of these films remain under lock and key. Director Felix Moeller interviews German film historians, archivists and filmgoers in an investigation of the power, and potential danger, of cinema when used for ideological purposes. Utilizing clips from the films photo for Forbidden Filmsand recorded discussions from public screenings (permitted in Germany in educational contexts) in Munich, Berlin, Paris and Jerusalem, Moeller shows how contentious these 70-year-old films remain, and how propaganda can retain its punch when presented to audiences susceptible to manipulation. From Zeitgeist Films/Kino Lorber … "Beuys" (2017 — Germany): Thirty years after his death, Joseph Beuys still feels like a visionary and is widely considered one of the most influential artists of his generation. Known for his contributions to the Fluxus movement and his work across diverse media — from happening and performance to sculpture, installation, and graphic art — Beuys' expanded concept of the role of the artist places him in the middle of socially relevant discourses on media, community, and capitalism. Using previously untapped visual and audio sources, director Andres Veiel has created a one-of-a- kind chronicle: Beuys is not a portrait in the traditional sense, but an intimate and in-depth look at a human being, his art and ideas, and the way they have impacted the world. From Kino Lorber.

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, 2018 No Responses »
May 072018
 

From the Big Screen:

"Fifty Shades Freed." For more information on other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.

This Week's Best Bets:

The Grand Prix winner at the 1991 Cannes Film Festival, "La Belle Noiseuse (aka The Beautiful Troublemaker)" (1991 — France) is Jacques Rivette's intimately epic exploration of the convergence between artistry and eroticism. Edouard Frenhofer (Michel Piccoli) is a reclusive painter living in the French countryside photo for La Belle Noiseuse with his wife (Jane Birkin). Their lives are radically upended with the arrival of a younger artist (David Bursztein) and his girlfriend (Emmanuel Béart), who becomes the muse that awakens Edouard's fading passions. Rivette creates a layered character study, while also offering an immersive meditation on the creative process. Rivette (1928-2016) was a key member of the New Wave of the late 1950s and '60s — the group of film critics for the influential magazine Cahiers du Cinéma who put their revolutionary theories to the test as they became filmmakers themselves and changed the face of modern movies. Standing somewhat apart from Francois Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Alain Resnais, Claude Chabrol, Eric Rohmer and other pioneers of the movement, Rivette created films marked by improvisation, unusual length and loose narrative that give the impression of events simply unfolding before the camera. New 4K restoration of the original four-hour version (in 1992, Rivette released a much shorter cut, titled "Divertimento," which presented the story chiefly from the Béart character's point of view). On DVD, Blu-ray, from Cohen Film Collection … photo for Moonrise A small-town fable about violence and redemption, "Moonrise" (1948) is the final triumph of Frank Borzage, one of Hollywood’s most neglected masters. Stigmatized from infancy by the fate of his criminal father, young Danny (Dane Clark) is bruised and bullied until one night, in a fit of rage, he kills his most persistent tormentor. As the police close in around him, Danny makes a desperate bid for the love of the dead man’s fiancée (Gail Russell), a schoolteacher who sees the wounded soul behind his aggression. With this postwar comeback, Borzage recaptured the inspiration that had animated his long and audacious early career, marrying the lyrical force of his romantic sensibility with the psychological anguish of film noir, in a stunning vindication of faith in the power of love. On DVD and Blu-ray, with restored 4K digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray, from The Criterion Collection.

From TV to Disc:

"Ackley Bridge, Series 1" (2017) is a two-disc set with six episodes of the new school-based British drama that offers a gritty, funny and truthful insight into the daily drama of teachers, teenagers and families whose lives and cultures collide in a fictional 21st century Northern English town. After years of racial segregation in a small Yorkshire town, two high schools integrate white and Pakistani students by combining into Ackley Bridge College. But the transition is far from easy for teachers and students alike. Headmistress Mandy clashes with her husband, PE teacher photo for Ackley Bridge, Series 1 Steve, and free-spirited English teacher Emma deals with her daughter showing up drunk to class. Troublemaker Jorda creates enemies by disparaging the school, while best friends Missy and Nasreen quarrel when vivacious Missy doesn’t fit in with Nasreen’s conservative Muslim friends. Will Ackley Bridge unite the community — or tear it apart? From Acorn Media … "Dear White People Season One" (2017) is a three-disc set with all 10 episodes. Set against the backdrop of a predominantly white Ivy League university, where racial tensions bubble just below the surface, "Dear White People Season One" is a send-up of the now post-postracial America that tells the universal story of finding one’s own identity and forging a wholly unique path. The satirical series — which picks up where the acclaimed 2014 film by the same name left off — follows a group of Winchester University students of color as they navigate a diverse landscape of social injustice, cultural bias, political correctness (or lack thereof), and photo for Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In: The Complete Fourth Season activism in the millennial age. Through its absurdist lens, "Dear White People Season One" leads with laughter as it utilizes biting irony, self-deprecation, and sometimes brutal honesty to hold a mirror up to the issues plaguing society today. From Lionsgate …"Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In: The Complete Fourth Season": The '60s gave us "in-crowds," "be-ins" and "love-ins," and starting in 1968, the happening place for free-form comedy was "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In," broadcast from beautiful downtown Burbank. Straight man Dan Rowan and wisecracking co-host Dick Martin led a gaggle of goofballs through a rapid-fire assault of one-liners, skits, bits and non sequiturs that left viewers in hysterics and disbelief. Anything and anyone in the public eye was a target. Political correctness? Forget it! The groundbreaking show anchored the Monday 8 p.m. time slot on NBC until March 12, 1973. Available for the very first time at retail, this seven-disc set features 26 complete, remastered episodes from the Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning series. Season Four guest stars include Truman Capote, Art Carney, Johnny Carson, Wilt Chamberlain, Carol Channing, Tim Conway, Bing Crosby, Sammy Davis Jr., Rich Little, Bob Newhart, Vincent Price, Carl Reiner, Debbie Reynolds, Don Rickles, Rod Serling, Orson Welles, and many more. From Time Life.

Buzzin' the 'B's:

Since the 1940's alien beings known as "Grays" have been sighted around the globe with the thought that they're visiting our planet to study our species and civilization before they eventually invade … but what if we're wrong? What if they are only here to protect us? In "Gray Matter" (2018), starring Alys Crocker, Brenna Llewellyn and Shaun Mazzocca, after a meteorite crashes to Earth awakening the extraterrestrial creature within, a young woman is abducted by an alien "Gray" to aide in hunting down and destroying the creature before it can reach a second meteorite that fell to Earth decades earlier, waiting to unleash a deadly infestation of the planet. From IndiCan Pictures … photo for Human Experiments The terrifying cult classic "Human Experiments" (1979) finally hits you in the face with a stunning new HD restoration. Rachel Foster (Linda Haynes) is a country singer traveling alone through the United States. She resists the advances of lecherous bar owner Mat Tibbs (Aldo Ray), and in her hurry to leave town, she accidentally wrecks her car. Looking for assistance, she finds what appears to be an abandoned house, but after stumbling inside, she discovers that in fact it's the scene of a grisly multiple homicide. Simply being at the wrong place at the wrong time, she's railroaded into a women's correctional facility and finds herself at the mercy of prison psychiatrist Doctor Kline (Geoffrey Lewis) who has insidious intentions up his sleeve. Evidently, it doesn't take Rachel long to realize that something is greatly amiss, as female inmates inexplicably go missing without a trace. Co-stars Jackie Coogan, Ellen Travolta, Laurene Tuttle. From Scorpion Releasing/Kino Lorber … A Scotland Yard inspector’s search for a missing film star leads him to a haunted house in "The House That Dripped Blood" (1971). That house sets the framework for four separate tales of terror written by the author of "Psycho," Robert Bloch, and starring horror icons Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee and Ingrid Pitt. All four stories center on the mysterious fates of tenants who have leased the mansion over the years. In a Blu-ray debut from Scream Factory … photo for Paradox "Paradox" (2017 — China), starring Louis Koo, Gordon Lam, Tony Jaa, Wu Yue, Chris Collins, Ken Low and Vithaya Pansringarm, is the third instalment of the SPL martial arts franchise. Hong Kong cop Lee (Koo) goes on a search in Thailand for his missing 16-year-old daughter Chi. Thai Chinese police officer Chui Kit (Yue) lets Lee join the investigation, having no idea that Lee is going to use the mass media to hunt for clues. A short clip which accidentally filmed Chi’s capture is uploaded to the police website, but subsequently deleted. Chui Kit and colleague Tak (Jaa) track down the clip owner, but the evidence is destroyed. The duo begins tracking down the culprit. As they get closer to the truth, they realize that the case is more complicated than they expected, and the mastermind behind the scene is not someone they can deal with. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Well Go USA … photo for Blood and Glory "Blood and Glory" (2016 — South Africa), starring Charlotte Salt, Greg Kriek and Josh Myers, is set in 1901 and follows Willem Morkel — a Boer and family man whose wife and son are murdered during the Anglo-Boer War. Captured as a prisoner of war, Willem must survive incarceration in the notorious St. Helena concentration camp and defeat the ruthless Colonel Swannell, at his own game … Rugby. From Cleopatra Entertainment … "House of Evil" (2017– Italy), starring Andrew Harwood Mills, Lucy Drive, Désirée Giorgetti, David White and Eleonora Marianelli, is a horror thriller that follows a young couple who, in the 1970s, move into a large, remote house in the countryside with hopes of starting a family. However, it's not long before they're menaced by ghosts and a darker demonic presence. From Breaking Glass Pictures.

Foreign Films:

"Divine Divas" (2018 — Brazil) are icons of the first generation of Brazilian transvestite artists of the 1960s. One of the first stages to host men dressed as women was the Rival Theatre, then run by Americo Leal, the director's grandfather. The film explores the intimacy, the talent and the stories of a photo for Vazante generation that revolutionized sexual behavior and defied the moral of the time. From FilmRise … "Vazante" (2017 — Brazil) is set in Southeastern Brazil in 1821, where white drover turned farmer Antonio (Adriano Carvalho) returns from a trading expedition to discover that his wife and baby have died in labor. Living on his expansive but desolate property that he fails to cultivate, in the company of his aging mother-in-law (Juliana Da Cunha) and numerous slaves, Antonio’s marries his deceased wife’s young niece, Beatriz (Luana Nastas). Separated from her family and left alone on the rugged farmhouse in the Brazilian mountains when her husband departs on business, child bride Beatriz finds solace in the displaced and oppressed inhabitants around her, all of whom are growing openly restless. The film explores the fraught intersection of feminism, colonialism, and race that has persisted across centuries and continents, and Brazil’s shameful, violent sins: miscegenation and slavery — the conditions that undermines the humanity of all. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Music Box Films.

For the Family:

photo for The Caped Crusader in feature-length, full-blown anime style. "Batman Ninja" (2018) takes a journey across the ages as Gorilla Grodd’s time displacement machine transports many of Batman’s worst enemies to feudal Japan — along with the Dark Knight and a few of his allies. The villains take over the forms of the feudal lords that rule the divided land, with the Joker taking the lead among the warring factions. As his traditional high-tech weaponry is exhausted almost immediately, Batman must rely on his intellect and his allies — including Catwoman and the extended Bat-family — to restore order to the land, and return to present-day Gotham City. On DVD, Blu-ray Steelbook, Blu-ray/DVD Combo from Warner Bros. Japan/DC Entertainment/Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

Special Interest:

Following the Peabody Award-winning documentary "Mea Maxima Culpa," his investigation into the Catholic Church, Alex Gibney dives fully into one of the most controversial and secretive religions in the world, exploring what members of Scientology are willing to do in the name of religion in "Going Clear: photo for ManifestoScientology and the Prison of Belief" (2015). The film touches on a wide range of aspects of the church, from its origin, to an intimate portrait of the Church's founder L. Ron Hubbard, to its recruiting practices, to present day practices by church officials. From FilmRise … From acclaimed visual artist Julian Rosefeldt, "Manifesto" (2015) features two-time Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett in 13 distinct vignettes that incorporate timeless manifestos from 20th-century art movements. From anchorwoman to homeless man, from Pop Art to Dogma 95, a chameleonic Blanchett gives tour-de-force performances as she transforms herself like never before. Rosefeldt weaves together history's most impassioned artistic statements in this stunning and contemporary call to action. From FilmRise.

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, 2018 No Responses »
Apr 102018
 

From the Big Screen:

"The Greatest Showman," "Phantom Thread," "Molly's Game," "All the Money in the World" and "Proud Mary." For more information on other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.

This Week's Best Bet:

Ingrid Bergman appeared in 10 films in her native Sweden before the age of 25, and while that work tends to be overshadowed by her time in Hollywood, it showcases the photo for Eclipse Series 46: Ingrid Bergman's Swedish Years actor summoning an impressive depth of emotion to deliver astute, passionate performances. Under the guidance of filmmakers including the prolific studio director Gustaf Molander, Bergman embraced a range of roles and worked with some of the most celebrated actors in the Swedish film industry, including Gösta Ekman, Karin Swanström, Victor Sjöström, and Lars Hanson. Comedies, romances, and thrillers, the six fascinating films collected in "Eclipse Series 46: Ingrid Bergman's Swedish Years" — including "Intermezzo," the movie that brought Bergman to America — exhibit the precociously assured talent of a young artist with an illustrious international career ahead of her. The films included here: "The Count of the Old Town" (1935), "Walpurgis Night" (1935), "Intermezzo" (1936), "Dollar" (1938), "A Woman's Face" (1938) and "June Night" (1940). On DVD from The Criterion Collection.

From TV to Disc:

"Outlander: Season Three" (2017) is a five-disc set with all 13 episodes. Separated by continents and centuries, Claire and Jamie’s epic time-traveling love story continues. Based upon "Voyager," the third of eight books in Diana Gabaldon’s international best-selling "Outlander" series about a British WWII nurse who is mysteriously swept back in time to Scotland in 1743. The third season picks up right after Claire travels through the stones to return to her life in 1948. Now pregnant, photo for Outlander: Season Threeshe struggles with the fallout of her sudden reappearance and its effect on her marriage to her first husband, Frank. Meanwhile, in the 18th century, Jamie suffers from the aftermath of his doomed last stand at the historic battle of Culloden, as well as the loss of Claire. As the years pass, Jamie and Claire attempt to make lives apart from one another, each haunted by the memory of their lost love. Separated by continents and centuries, Claire and Jamie must find their way back to each other. As always, adversity, mystery, and adventure await them, and the question remains: When they find each other, will they be the same people who parted at the standing stones, all those years ago? on DVD, Blu-ray, and with a Limited Edition that features special packaging, including 28 pages of behind-the-scenes photographs. From Sony … "Vice Principals: The Complete Series" (2016-17) is a three-disc set of the comedy series that tells the story of a southern suburban high school and the two people who conspire to run it, the vice principals. Danny McBride and Walton Goggins star as Neal Gamby and Lee Russell, a pair of ambitious administrators wagged in an epic power struggle to become school principal. After the long-time principal steps down to tend to his ailing wife, these bitter antagonists are forced to put their mutual disdain aside to form an unholy alliance in order to sabotage the new appointed principal, Dr. Belinda Brown. From HBO.

Buzzin' the 'B's:

"Gone Are the Days" (2018), starring Tom Berenger, Lance Henriksen, Meg Steedle and Danny Trejo, is a Western saga about a fading gunman’s quest for justice. Seeing his days are growing short, Taylon (Henriksen) rises from his deathbed, puts on his spurs, and hits the trail in search of redemption. He crosses the desert to a gold-rush town, where he finds his estranged daughter working in a brothel. But to earn her freedom, he must confront the town’s vengeful sheriff (Berenger) — who has an old score to settle with Taylon. On DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo, from Lionsgate … photo for Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay "Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay" (2018) is a feature-length animated film that finds Amanda Waller’s top secret “Task Force X” — Deadshot, Bronze Tiger, Killer Frost, Captain Boomerang, Harley Quinn and Copperhead — on a mission to retrieve a mystical object so powerful that they’re willing to risk their own lives to steal it. But the Suicide Squad isn’t the only group of villains seeking to possess the object. The race is on for the golden prize … and, to stay alive, second place isn’t an option. On DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo, 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo, from Warner … In "Braven" (2018), starring Jason Momoa, Garret Dillahunt and Stephen Lang, Joe (Momoa) and his father (Lang) arrive at their remote hunting cabin, hoping for a quiet weekend. What they find is a stash of heroin, hidden in the cabin by drug traffickers. When the criminals suddenly descend upon the cabin, Joe and his father must make a kill-or-be-killed stand for survival. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Lionsgate … The restored version of the giallo film "Enigma Rosso (Red Rings of Fear)" (1978 — Italy), starring Fabio Testi, Christine Kaufmann, Ivan Desny, Jack Taylor and Helga Liné, begins when the brutally violated body of a young woman is dragged from the river. The investigating law officer, Inspector Gianni Di Salvo photo for Enigma Rosso (Red Rings of Fear)(Testi), is drawn to dark deeds at an exclusive girls’ school where the beautiful members of a group known as “The Inseparables” are being targeted with sinister letters and murder attempts. Following a clue in the dead girl’s diary, Di Salvo meets an unlikely ally in the form of the victim’s young sister, and as the pair begins to put the pieces together, he realizes that the school’s web of sex and homicide is more tangled then he ever could have imagined. A prime slice of sordid shocks from the golden age of the Italian giallo, "Enigma Rosso" is the final film in a trilogy of schoolgirl thrillers following Massimo Dallamano’s "What Have You Done to Solange?" (1972) and "What Have They Done to Your Daughters?" (1974). And, like all giallo entries, it comes complete with the genre’s requisite plot twists, psychological terror, startling violence and stylized eroticism. From Doppelgänger Releasing/Scorpion Releasing.

On the Indie Front:

"Jasper Jones" (2017 — Australia), starring Levi Miller, Aaron McGrath, Toni Collette and Hugo Weaving, is the story of Charlie Bucktin (Miller), a bookish 14-year-old boy living in a small Australian town. One night during the scorching summer of 1969, he's startled by Jasper Jones (McGrath), the town's mixed race outcast, who appears outside his window desperate for help. Entrusted with a photo for Jasper Jonesdangerous and terrifying secret, Charlie's life is forever changed as he embarks on a journey to solve a chilling mystery, all while defeating the local racists, dealing with the breakup of his parents and falling head over heels in love. From Film Movement … After one of her tribe sets an American camp ablaze, a young Mohawk warrior finds herself pursued by a contingent of military renegades set on revenge in "Mohawk" (2017), starring Kaniehtiio Horn, Ezra Buzzington, Eamon Farren, Justin Rai, Ian Colletti, Noah Segan, Jonathan Huber, Robert Longstreet and Sheri Foster. Fleeing deep into the woods they call home, Oak and Calvin, along with their British companion Joshua, must now fight back against the bloodthirsty Colonel Holt and his soldiers — using every photo for The Tribes of Palos Verdes resource both real and supernatural that the winding forest can offer.Unfolds over the course of one bloody day during The War of 1812. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Dark Sky Films … In "The Tribes of Palos Verdes" (2017), starring Jennifer Garner, Maika Monroe, Cody Fern, Justin Kirk and Alicia Silverstone, teenage Medina (Monroe) and her family moves to the picture-perfect paradise of Palos Verdes, California, seemingly headed for a happy new chapter in their lives. But old troubles soon catch up to them, as her parents’ marriage disintegrates, her mother (Garner) spirals into an emotional freefall, and her twin brother (Fern) turns to drugs. Caught in the middle of it all, Medina must rely on her inner strength to become the stabilizing force in her family, while finding refuge in a new passion: surfing. On DVD, Blu-ray, from IFC Films/Shout! Factory.

For the Family:

"Caillou: Caillou Goes Camping" (2018) features 12 adventure-packed episodes from the PBS KIDS series about the lovable four-year-old who has a boundless imagination. From PBS Distribution … "Condorito: The Movie" (2017 — Peru) is a feature-length movie adventure for the whole family. Condorito, a fun-loving, feather-brained condor, is finally ready to propose to his girlfriend, Yayita. But before Condorito pops the question, Yayita’s mother, Tremebunda, is abducted by evil aliens. Now, Condorito and his nephew, Chicky, must rocket into space on a quest to rescue Tremebunda and save planet Earth. From Lionsgate … "Wild Kratts: Madagascar Madness" (2018) includes four episodes from the series that transforms the Kratt Brothers, creators of the award-winning “Kratts’ Creatures” and Emmy-winning “Zoboomafoo,” into animated versions of themselves, allowing the real-life zoologists to visit wild animals in their little-seen habitats and showcase key science concepts along the way. From elephants using physics to suck gallons of water with their trunks to a fleet of peregrine falcons that harness the force of gravity to speed through the air, each episode presents age-appropriate science inspired by the natural abilities of the animals that the Kratt Brothers — and young viewers — meet. From PBS Distribution … "Wordworld: Let’s Eat!" (2018) features eight episodes with the WordFriends as they have fun with food and photo for Tad the Lost Explorer and the Secret of King Midaslearn how to follow directions, make words plural, and work together. “WordWorld” was developed with funding from the U.S. Department of Education as part of the Ready To Learn initiative. Incorporating the latest research into the most effective ways for kids to build reading skills, “WordWorld” produces delightful educational experiences for preschool children, on screen, in print, and online. From PBS Distribution … "Tad the Lost Explorer and the Secret of King Midas" (2017) is an all-new animated adventure follow-up to 2013's "Tad, The Lost Explorer." Tad dreams of becoming an archeologist traveling the world, uncovering hidden secrets and lost treasure, but his job working construction keeps him daydreaming instead of exploring. The chance of a lifetime comes when he is invited to attend archaeologist Sara Lavrof’s presentation of her latest discovery–the papyrus that proves the existence of the Necklace of Midas, the legendary King who turned everything he touched into solid gold. When an evil billionaire forces Sara to help him find the enchanted talisman, Tad must rescue the girl of his dreams on a trip around the world. From Paramount.

Special Interest:

There are more than 57,000 homeless people in Los Angeles. "Mighty Ground" (2018) is the story of one of them. In the documentary, Ronald Troy Collins makes his way through the days by singing to people on the streets of downtown Los Angeles. As with most of the homeless, Collins is nearly invisible to the majority of passers-by, with all but a few refusing to even acknowledge his presence. But those who stop to listen find themselves captivated by the depth of his prophetic photo for Mighty Ground voice, and by the mystical songs he composes on the spot and directs at the listener’s soul. Enchanted, these listeners find themselves making a deep and unfathomable connection with Ronald that crosses racial and economic lines. Recognizing that they need to hear his song as much as he needs to sing it to them, they stay. This is exactly what happened to producer Aimee Schoof and music supervisor William Dane in January of 2016. What began as a random encounter on a downtown LA street quickly turned into a tale of vitality, heartbreak and ultimately, redemption for all involved. Picking up where the homeless as mere statistics drop off, "Mighty Ground" captures those auspicious moments when the people Collins has sung into his life collectively support and pray for his transformation, but the weight of his addiction threatens to derail his chances for redemption and recovery. From Random 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 10, 2018 No Responses »

 
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