This Week's DVD, Blu-ray Releases -- OnVideo

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OnVideo's Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases

Tuesday, April 22 -- Monday, April 29

All DVD Releases

    No theatrical releases this week.


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    Blu-ray Debuts

  • Master of the House (1925) (Criterion)
  • The Pawnbroker (1964)
  • Riot in Cell Block 11 (1954) (Criterion)
  • Stranger on the Prowl (1952)

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All DVD Releases

The Address (2014) A new film by Ken Burns tells the story of a Vermont school where boys with learning differences memorize and recite the Gettysburg Address. Each year the students at the Greenwood School in Putney, Vermont, are encouraged to memorize, practice and recite the Gettysburg Address. In its exploration of the Greenwood School, the documentary also unlocks the history, context and importance of President Lincoln’s most powerful address. The Greenwood School students, boys ages 11-17, all face a range of complex learning differences that make their personal, academic and social progress challenging. The documentary reveals how President Lincoln's historic words motivate and engage these students a century-and-a-half after he delivered a speech that would go on to embolden the Union cause with some of the most stirring words ever spoken. Formats: DVD. (PBS Distribution).

American Masters: Billie Jean King (2014) Tennis champion Billie Jean King presents her own story with perspective from fellow tennis stars who played alongside her or were influenced by her. During her professional tennis career, King won 39 Grand Slam titles, helped form the Virginia Slims Series (pre-cursor to WTA Tour), founded the Women's Sports Foundation and Women's Sports magazine, and co-founded World TeamTennis (WTT). Her competitiveness on the circuit was matched by her efforts on behalf of women and the LGBT community. Features new interviews with King, Serena & Venus Williams, Hillary Clinton, Elton John, Maria Sharapova, Rosie Casals, Chris Evert, Gloria Steinem, Margaret Court, and others. Formats: DVD, Digital. (PBS Distribution).

Barefoot (2014) Evan Rachel Wood, Scott Speedman, Treat Williams, Kate Burton, JK Simmons. In this romcom, the "black sheep" son of a wealthy family meets a young psychiatric patient who's been raised in isolation her entire life and he takes the naive young woman home for his brother's wedding. Formats: DVD, VOD, Digital, UltraViolet (cloud). (Lionsgate).

photo for Bettie Page Reveals All Bettie Page Reveals All (2013) A stunning portrait of the most photographed pinup model of the 20th century, celebrating what would have been the 91st birthday of Bettie Page. Filled with iconic and rare photographs and film loops, including unseen images from private collections. The real Bettie Page emerges from 40 years of enigmatic seclusion to tell her story in her own words via audio interviews taped a decade prior to her death in 2008. With earthy, razor sharp wit and a lively Tennessee twang , Bettie recounts her life -- from humble beginnings as one of six children in an impoverished Southern family, to high school salutatorian, to scandalous 50s pin-up model, to a short-lived first marriage and series of torrid affairs, up to her shocking retirement in 1957 at the peak of her modeling career. Also adding insight into the phenomenon of Bettie Page are such commentators as iconic sex goddesses of yesteryear Tempest Storm, Bunny Yeager and Mamie van Doren, modern-day supermodels Naomi Campbell and Rebecca Romijn, cultural pundit Perez Hilton, and the Playboy of the Western World himself, Hugh Hefner. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc, VOD. Extras: Restored Irving Klaw Wiggle movies starring Bettie Page, "The Early Years of Bettie Page," deleted scenes & bonus footage, phone call with Bettie Page and Paula Klaw, Bettie Page's funeral video, photo gallery of never-before-seen Bettie Page pics. (Music Box Films).

photo for Big Bad Wolves Big Bad Wolves (2013 -- Israel) Lior Ashkenazi, Rotem Keinan, Tzahi Grad. A series of brutal murders puts the lives of three men on a collision course: the father of the latest victim now out for revenge, a vigilante police detective operating outside the boundaries of law, and the main suspect in the killings, a religious studies teacher arrested and released due to a police blunder. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc, VOD. Extras: "Making of Big Bad Wolves," AXS TV: "A Look at Big Bad Wolves." theatrical trailer. (Magnolia Home Entertainment).

Chances Are: 25th Anniversary Edition BLU-RAY DEBUT (1989) Robert Downey, Jr., Cybill Shepard, Mary Stuart Masterson, Ryan O'Neal. (Image Entertainment).

Doctor Who: The Web of Fear (1968) Six-part adventure has been restored and digitally remastered thanks to the discovery of a batch of missing episodes last year. Previously available exclusively on iTunes, "The Web of Fear" introduces the Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton). The TARDIS narrowly avoids becoming engulfed in a cobwebby substance in space. It arrives in the London Underground railway system, the tunnels of which are being overrun by the web and by the Great Intelligence's robot Yeti. Formats: DVD. (BBC Home Entertainment).

photo for Empire of the Apes Empire of the Apes (2013) Steve Diasparra, DeLorenzo, Elizabeth V. Costanzo, Jeff Kirkendall, Danielle Donahue. In a distant galaxy three escaped female convicts crash land on a primitive world inhabited by a race of warlike apes. Not only do they have to fight blood lusting gorillas but hot on their heels is the prison warden bent on returning them to the prison ship they escaped from. Formats: DVD. (David Sterling/MVD Entertainment).



Gila! (2012 -- TV) Brian Gross, Terence Knox, Christina DeRosa. Directed by 'B' and cult-filmmaker Jim Wynorski. Based loosely on the 1959 sci-fi classic "The Giant Gila Monster," the revived "Gila!" (still set in the 1950s, but here the gila monster's giant size and voracious appetite come from accidental toxic chemical contact) features the ferocious, rampaging giant gila monster, classy hot rods, vintage 50's rock 'n roll music, cute co-eds, fist fights, drag racing and an all-star cast who rally to defend their small town. The movie follows a small-town sheriff and a young hot-rod mechanic as they suddenly face the giant gila monster's surprise attacks -- first on farm animals, hapless humans, a passing freight train and then a small Indiana town busily preparing for the big Christmas rock 'n' roll dance. Formats: DVD. (Polyscope/MVD Entertainment).

photo for The Good Witch's Garden The Good Witch's Garden (2008) Catherine Bell, Chris Potter. Hallmark Channel Original Movie is the second chapter in the ongoing "Good Witch" series. Settling into Grey House and continuing her romance with the town Sheriff Jake Russell, Cassie works to fit in and to turn Grey House into a bed and breakfast ... but is surprised when a stranger declares he is the legal owner of the house. Suddenly left without a home, Cassie struggles to find her place in her new city. Formats: DVD. (Cinedigm).

The Hooping Life (2013) The first film that captures the origins and rise of modern day hula-hooping --a.k.a hooping. With an introduction and narration by hooper (of basketball and hula alike) Shaquille O'Neal, the film illuminates eight extraordinary stories of hoop devotees who have embraced it as an art form, a teaching aid, and even an instrument of redemption. Formats: DVD, VOD, Digital. (Cinedigm).

photo for Inspector Lavardin Collection Two mystery-suspense films from the French master Claude Chabrol make their U.S. Blu-ray debut. In" Chicken With Vinegar" (1985, also known as "Coq au Vin"), based on the novel "Une mort en trop" by Dominique Roulet, a cruel invalid (Stephane Audran) who consistently terrorizes her teen son into abject obedience is threatened with the loss of her home by a conniving trio who want her property as part of a deal for a lucrative development project. After several of the principal figures suffer grisly deaths, Inspector Jean Lavardin (Jean Poiret) arrives to get to the bottom of it all. In the 1986 followup "Inspector Lavardin," the detective travels to a small coastal town to investigate the puzzling death of a wealthy writer found murdered on a beach, with the word "pig" scrawled on his backside. Lavardin is thrown off balance when he discovers that the writer's widow is none other than his own former lover. Extras: Two additional Lavardin mysteries that Chabrol directed for television: "The Black Snail" (1988) and "Danger Lies in the Words" (1989); commentary by film critics Wade Major and Andy Klein; a new essay by critic Peter Tonguette. Formats: Two-disc DVD, two-disc Blu-ray. (Cohen Film Collection).

The King Family Classic Television Specials Collection Volume 1 Four 1968 and 1969 holiday specials from the famous singing King Family: "Easter With The King Family," "Mother's Day With The King Family," "September/Back-to-School With The King Family" and "June With The King Family." In 1967, following the success of their hit television series "The King Family Show," the Family launched a series of popular monthly syndicated TV specials which would spawn a show business phenomenon. Over the next five years the Kings produced and starred in 17 specials (most of which re-aired annually for nearly a decade), released six top-selling albums, headlined a second TV series, and appeared in concert at the nation's top venues including The Hollywood Bowl. There was even a "King Family Day" at the 1964/65 New York World's Fair. Formats: DVD, $19.95. Extras: "Valentine's Day with the King Family: The 'Lost' Special," rare on-set home movies from Mother's Day and September specials including a brief tour of the backlot at MGM Studios, multiple performances from the "Graduation Day" episode of The King Family Show (1965), eight-page booklet filled with archival photos, behind-the-scenes notes and more. (MVD Entertainment).

Lady Whirlwind/Hapkido A martial arts double feature starring renowned martial-arts trained actress and Hong Kong cinema cultural icon Angela Mao Ying, who starred in more than 35 action films in the 70s and 80s. The two Golden Harvest action classics: In "Lady Whirlwind" (1972), Tien (Angela Mao Ying) arrives in town seeking revenge on the man, Ling, who abandoned her sister, causing her to take her own life. Ling is on a mission to take down the leader of the gambling and opium syndicate, and Tien agrees to postpone her plans until Ling finished his mission. Also stars Sammo Hung Kam-Bo and Yi Chang. In "Hapkido" (1972), three students (including Angela Mao Ying) move back to China to start up a martial-arts school in Hapkido, but a rival Japanese martial-arts club will do all they can to crush any competing club that opens in their area. Also stars Carter Wong, Sammo Hung Kam-Bo, with cameos by Biao Yuen, Corey Yuen and Jackie Chan. Formats: DVD. (Shout! Factory).

Legend of the Psychotic Forest Ranger (2011) Michael G MacDonald, Samuel MacDonald LeMoine, Colleen MacIsaac, Stefanie Peters, Gabe House. After taking a wrong turn down an abandoned road, a group of teenagers run out of gas and find themselves stranded in the middle of the woods. Campy horror film is full of plot holes and cheesy dialogue. Formats: DVD. (Level 33 Entertainment).

The Lost Empire (1985) Raven De La Croix, Angela Aames, Melanie Vincz. B and exploitation filmmaker Jim Wynorski's first outing, long lost in distribution limbo, finally makes its way to DVD. After officer Rob Wolfe is killed trying to stop a gang of ninjas from robbing a jewelry store, his sister, officer Angel Wolfe, vows to avenge his death. Her investigation leads her to the mysterious Dr. Sin Do, who is supposedly in league with an undead wizard named Lee Chuck. The doctor is holding a martial arts tournament on a secret island fortress, so Angel, after rounding up some of her martial-artist friends, enters the tournament in the hopes of finding Sin Do and Lee Chuck and bringing them to justice. Formats: DVD. (MVD Entertainment).

Master of the House (1925) Before he got up close and personal with "Joan of Arc," the Danish cinema genius Carl Theodor Dreyer ("Vampyr") fashioned this finely detailed, ahead-of-its-time examination of domestic life. In this heartfelt story of a housewife who, with the help of a wily nanny, turns the tables on her tyrannical husband, Dreyer finds lightness and humor; it's a deft comedy of revenge that was an enormous boxoffice success and is considered an early example of feminism on-screen. Constructed with the director's customary meticulousness and stirring sense of justice, "Master of the House" is a jewel of silent cinema. New 2K digital restoration, with a recent score by Gillian Anderson, presented in uncompressed stereo on the Blu-ray. Formats: Blu-ray/DVD Dual Format Edition. Extras: New interview with Dreyer historian Casper Tybjerg; new visual essay on Dreyer's camera work and editing by film historian David Bordwell; new English intertitle translation; booklet featuring an essay by film scholar Mark Le Fanu. (The Criterion Collection).

photo for The Mr. Magoo Theatrical Collection (1949–1959) The Mr. Magoo Theatrical Collection (1949–1959) Four-disc brings together for the first time on DVD all 53 theatrical cartoons, including 12 cartoons in anamorphic widescreen for the first time, and the feature film "1001 Arabian Nights," all in one deluxe collection. Mr. Magoo has bumbled his way to good fortune for more than six decades, and his endearing misadventures in everyday life and his stubborn self-confidence have entertained generations. Voiced by the multitalented comedic actor Jim Backus, Quincy Magoo or simply Mr. Magoo, is a wealthy, short-statured retiree who gets into a series of sticky situations as a result of his nearsightedness and his stubborn refusal to admit the problem. Mr. Magoo was an instant hit and went on to become a classic animated character starring in two Academy Award–winning theatrical shorts, three television series and two television specials. All the shorts have been newly remastered in their original theatrical aspect ratios. Formats: DVD, $34.93. Extras: Vintage documentary "A Princess for Magoo: The Making Of 1001 Arabian Nights," an interview with film critic and historian Leonard Maltin, a documentary on UPA & Mr. Magoo, 14 commentaries. (Shout! Factory).

Newhart: The Complete Third Season (1984-85) Three-disc set with 22 episodes, $29.93. Dick Loudon (Newhart) and his wife Joanna (Mary Frann) have their hands full running their quaint colonial inn. In addition to the seemingly never-ending parade of unusual guests, they must contend with the quirky antics of their employees and friends: the spoiled maid Stephanie (Julia Duffy), dim-bulb handyman George (Tom Poston), and the back(wards)woodsmen Larry, Darryl, and Darryl (William Sanderson, Tony Papenfuss, and John Voldstad). Formats: DVD. (Shout! Factory).

The Pawnbroker BLU-RAY DEBUT (1964) Dir.: Sidney Lumet; Rod Steiger, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Brock Peters, Thelma Oliver, Jaime Sanchez, Raymond St. Jacques. Rod Steiger gives a mesmerizing Oscar-nominated performance as the embittered survivor of a Nazi death camp -- where his wife, parents and children were murdered photo for The Pawnbroker BLU-RAY DEBUT -- who can't escape the ghosts of his past. His soul robbed of hope, he takes refuge in misery and a bitter condemnation of humanity -- the endless parade of prostitutes, pimps and thieves who pass through his shop -- and ridicules his idealistic assistant, Ortiz, who dreams of a better life. Only when Ortiz, powerfully portrayed by Jaime Sanchez, puts his life on the line for Sol, does he learn the ultimate truth about hope and humanity. Under the brilliant direction of Sidney Lumet, Steiger's first major starring role is among the finest of his career. Hugely controversial and denounced by everyone, including the Catholic Legion of Decency for a taboo-breaking nude scene, this landmark film remains not just powerful entertainment, but a stunning example of how movies can alter our emotions and perceptions forever. Two of the film's best features are the gorgeous black-and-white cinematography by the great Boris Kaufman ("On the Waterfront") and the memorable trumpet score by the legendary Quincy Jones. Remastered. Formats: Blu-ray, DVD. (Olive Films).

Riot in Cell Block 11 (1954) Early in his career, Don Siegel ("The Killers," "Dirty Harry") made his mark with this sensational and high-octane but economically constructed drama set in a maximum-security penitentiary. "Riot in Cell Block 11," the brainchild of producer extraordinaire Walter Wanger, is a ripped-from-the-headlines social-problem picture about prisoners' rights that was inspired by a recent spate of uprisings in American prisons. In Siegel's hands, the film is at once brash and humane, showcasing the hard-boiled visual flair and bold storytelling for which the director would become known and shot on location at Folsom State Prison, with real inmates and guards as extras. New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Formats: Blu-ray/DVD Dual Format Edition. Extras: New audio commentary by film scholar Matthew Bernstein; excerpts from the director's 1993 autobiography," A Siegel Film," read by his son Kristoffer Tabori; a booklet featuring an essay by critic Chris Fujiwara, a 1954 article by co-producer Wanger, and a 1974 tribute to Siegel by filmmaker Sam Peckinpah. (The Criterion Collection).

photo for Scream Park Scream Park (2012) Doug Bradley, Nicole Beattie. The Fright Land amusement park is on the verge of closing down for good. But the park's owner has one last plan to sell more tickets ... murder. Hiring two backwoods maniacs to break into the park and hack and slash all his employees, Hyde thinks these killings will create a media sensation, but he's just unleashed a horror that no one can survive. Formats: DVD. Extras: Commentary by director Cary Hill, bloopers, cast interviews, trailers. (Wild Eye Releasing/MVD Entertainment).

Seven Warriors (1989 -- Hong Kong) Sammo Hung, Adam Cheng, Max Mok, Jacky Cheung, Lam Kwok-Bun, Wu Ma, Shing Fui-On, Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, Lo Lieh. Modern retelling of Akira Kurosawa's "Seven Samurai." Terrified Chinese villagers recruit brave mercenary warriors to defend against marauding Japanese invaders. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc. (Well Go USA).

Shuffleton's Barbershop (2013) Austin Stowell, Kayla Ewell, Brett Rice, Bryant Prince, Carol Anne Watts, Danny Glover. A now famous singer returns to his hometown to look for Charlie Shuffelton, a small town barber who acted as a father to him when he was a young boy. Though Charlie has died, the singer is haunted by his memory, and decides to face his past and make peace with his estranged family. Hallmark Movie Channel original based on Norman Rockwell's painting. Formats: DVD. (Cinedigm).

Sorcerer BLU-RAY DEBUT (1977) Dir.: William Friedkin; Roy Scheider, Bruno Cremer, Francisco Rabal, Amidou. William Friedkin's cult suspense thriller, largely overlooked since its 1977 release, has now been fully restored by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (the film was originally released by Paramount and Universal) under Friedkin's supervision via a 4K film resolution scan of the original 35mm camera negative. The startling and haunting soundtrack by Tangerine Dream (the first film credit for the German electronic experimental band) has also been restored from the photo for Sorcerer BLU-RAY DEBUT original 35mm 4-track stereo masters and remastered in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. The plot originated with the same Georges Arnaud novel that inspired Henri-Georges Clouzot's French suspense classic "The Wages of Fear" (1953) and, largely because of being overshadowed by that connection and the misleading title (released just after "Star Wars" as Friedkin's follow-up to "The Exorcist," audiences were expecting not a suspense thriller but another supernatural outing), the film bombed -- despite great acting, fabulous cinematography, and truly gripping action and story. Scheider, Cremer, Rabal and Amidou play four men who, for various reasons, cannot return to their own countries. They end up in a dismal South American town where an American oil company is hiring courageous drivers willing to haul nitroglycerin over 200 miles of treacherous terrain. The four stateless men have nothing to lose -- and, besides, they'll be paid $10,000 dollars, and be granted legal citizenship ... if they survive. Previously available only in crummy VHS and pan-and-scan DVD editions. Packaged as a 40-page Blu-ray book with images from the film and excerpts from the book, "The Friedkin Connection: A Memoir," with a new forward written by Friedkin. Also available in a new DVD edition. (Warner).

Stranger on the Prowl (1952) Dir.: Joseph Losey, Paul Muni, Vittorio Manunta. Upon its initial American release, the film's credits read: written and directed by Andrea Forzano. In truth Forzano was two people: screenwriter Ben Barzman and director Joseph Losey, both of whom had been blacklisted by Hollywood and were forced to work under pseudonyms. First time on DVD and Blu-Ray. Newly Remastered in HD. Read more here. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc. (Olive Films).

The Suspect (2013) Mekhi Phifer, William Sadler, Sterling K. Brown. A small town bank robbery leads to a brutal showdown between a sheriff and a mysterious stranger and when the obvious suspect is apprehended not far from the crime scene, the police think that the case is solved. But they couldn't be more wrong: The real crime hasn't even happened yet. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc. Extras: Director's and producer's commentary, conversations with the director, trailer, extended scenes, making-of featurette. (Image Entertainment).

Tyler Perry's Madea's Neighbors From Hell (The Play) (2014) Tyler Perry , Cassi Davis, Wess Morgan. The newest musical stage play from blockbuster director, writer and producer Tyler Perry pits no-nonsense matriarch Madea up against some troubled new neighbors and arrives on DVD after only one premiere performance weekend to packed audiences in Atlanta, Georgia. Features new songs written by Tyler Perry and performed by the cast. Formats: DVD, VOD, Digital, UltraViolet (cloud). Extras: Behind-the-scenes featurette. (Lionsgate).


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