(2021) The coming-of-age story of Alfred "Boogie" Chin (Taylor Takahashi), a basketball phenom living in Queens, New York, who dreams of one day playing in the NBA. While his parents pressure him to focus on earning a scholarship to an elite college, Boogie must find a way to navigate a new girlfriend, high school, on-court rivals and the burden of expectation.
Vitals: Director: Eddie Huang. Stars: Taylor Takahashi, Pamelyn Chee, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., Taylour Paige, Pop Smoke, Perry Yung. 2021, CC, MPAA rating: R, 89 min., Drama, US box office gross: $4.063 million, worldwide $4.063 million, Universal.Formats: DVD, Blu-ray with digital code.
(2020) This true-life spy thriller is the story of an unassuming British businessman Greville Wynne (Benedict Cumberbatch) who is recruited into one of the greatest international conflicts in history. At the behest of the UK's MI-6 and a CIA operative (Rachel Brosnahan), he forms a covert, dangerous partnership with Soviet officer Oleg Penkovsky (Merab Ninidze) in an effort to provide crucial intelligence needed to prevent a nuclear confrontation and defuse the Cuban Missile Crisis. Vitals: Director: Dominic Cooke. Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, Merab Ninidze, Rachel Brosnahan, Angus Wright.
2020, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 112 min., Thriller, US box office gross: $6.370 million, worldwide $10.210 million, Lionsgate.Formats: DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo with digital code, VOD, Digital.
(2020) Stephen Dorff, Darren Mann, Karrueche Tran, Colin McKenna, Elizabeth Reaser. A son aspires to follow in his famous MMA father's footsteps, but along his journey must figure out how to break the abusive cycle, if possible, that his father has continued. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray, VOD, Digital. (Universal).
(2021) Rebecca Romijn, Philip Winchester, Isabel Bassett. Action packed survival-adventure about a wealthy American family who travel to the vast African wilderness of Kenya hoping for a dream vacation filled with excitement, bonding and a chance to fix the growing rifts within their family. But when their safari vehicle is attacked by a rhino protecting her calf, the family is left stranded miles from help and their dream vacation turns into a nightmarish struggle for survival in a world where they are the bottom of the food chain.
Formats: DVD, Blu-ray. (Lionsgate). Read more here.
Genndy Tartakovsky's Primal: The Complete First Season
(2019-20) Two-disc DVD and single-disc Blu-ray with all 10 episodes. Eat, or be eaten! Kill, or be killed! Get into survival mode with Adult Swim’s #1 prehistoric animated series. The wordless show features a caveman at the dawn of evolution and a dinosaur on the brink of extinction. Bonded by tragedy, this unlikely friendship becomes the only hope of survival in a violent, primordial world. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray with digital code. Digital. Extras: Behind-the-scenes interviews. (Warner).
A Glitch in the Matrix
(2021) Focused on Simulation Theory -- the belief that all of reality, including the Earth and universe, could in fact be an artificial simulation or computer simulation -- director Rodney Ascher ("Room 237," "The Nightmare") uses a noted speech from Philip K. Dick to dive down the rabbit hole of science, philosophy and conspiracy theory. The film also uses contemporary cultural touchstones like "The Matrix," interviews with real people shrouded in digital avatars and a wide array of voices, expert and amateur alike. If simulation theory is not science fiction but fact, and life is a video game being played by some unknowable entity, then who are we, really? Formats: DVD, Blu-ray. (Magnolia Home Entertainment).
Mommie Dearest BLU-RAY DEBUT
(1981) Based on Christina Crawford’s controversial best-selling tell-all novel, "Mommmie Dearest" features a powerhouse performance by Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford, struggling for her career while battling the inner demons of her private life. While the public Crawford was a strong-willed, glamorous object of admiration, behind the scenes is a private Crawford -- the woman desperate to be a single mother and trying to survive in a devastating industry that swallows careers thoughtlessly. Newly restored from a 4K film transfer, "Mommie Dearest" is presented in a limited-edition Blu-ray Disc with collectible packaging featuring a foldout image of the film’s theatrical poster and an interior spread with key movie moments and access to a Digital copy of the film. Extras: New commentary by American drag queen Hedda Lettuce; new "Filmmaker Focus" with biographer Justin Bozung on director Frank Perry; commentary by filmmaker John Waters; "The Revival of Joan"; "Life With Joan"; "Joan Lives On"; photo gallery; original theatrical trailer. (Paramount Presents).
Shoplifters of the World
(2021) Elena Kampouris, Nick Krause, James Bloor. In the Summer of 1987, four friends, reeling from the sudden break-up of the iconic British band The Smiths, embark on a night out of partying to mourn their musical loss. At the same time, an impassioned Smiths fan takes a local radio DJ hostage at gunpoint and forces him to play nothing but Smiths tracks. With the radio station playing as the soundtrack to their night, the friends go on a wild journey of self-discovery that will transform them forever. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray. (RLJE Films).
(2020) Julian Richings, Michelle Argyris, Emily Alatalo, Kiriana Stanton, Chelsea Muirhead. Set in a godforsaken bar in the middle of nowhere where an all-girl band -- Ms. 45 -- rips the stage apart with their punk spirit. But their performance impresses an enthusiastic fan who lures the girls into a trap, sedates them, and starts ... customizing them. Slowly they begin to gain consciousness and, in total shock, realize their arms have all been replaced with axes and chainsaws to fight gladiator-style in a junkyard arena owned by a sadistic “emperor," forcing them into the battle of their lives with one prize in mind -- their freedom. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray, VOD, Digital. Extras: Commentary with director and cast, interviews with the cast, fight training videos, behind-the-scenes photo gallery. (RLJE Films).
(2021 -- Turkey) Documentary explores what it means to live as a being without status or security by following three stray dogs as they embark on inconspicuous journeys through Turkish society. Zeytin, fiercely independent, embarks on adventures through the city at night; Nazar, nurturing and protective, easily befriends the humans around her; while Kartal, a shy puppy living on the outskirts of a construction site, finds companions in the security guards who care for her. The strays’ disparate lives intersect when they each form intimate bonds with a group of young Syrians with whom they share the streets. Director Elizabeth Lo’s award-winning film is a sensory voyage into new ways of seeing and a critical observation of human civilization through the unfamiliar gaze of dogs. Formats: DVD, VOD, Digital. Extras: Deleted scene. (Magnolia Home Entertainment). Read more here.
(2021) Barry Pepper, Colm Feore, Laura Vandervoort, Eve Harlow. Nicolas Shaw, a disgraced former U.S. secret agent who suffered memory loss at the hand of captors, is dragged back into the darkest shadows of the spy world when he is enlisted by his former partner to help find a missing colleague. Nicolas' skills are put to the ultimate test as the two men try to unravel the mystery behind her disappearance before it's too late. But to uncover the truth, Nicolas will need to remember the past. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray, VOD, Digital. (Screen Media Films).
(2021) Freddie Highmore, Astrid Bergees-Frisbey, Sam Riley, Liam Cunningham, Jose Coronado, Luis Tosar, Famke Janssen. When an engineer (Highmore) learns of a mysterious, impenetrable fortress hidden under The Bank of Spain, he joins a crew of master thieves who plan to steal the legendary lost treasure locked inside while the whole country is distracted by Spain’s World Cup Final. With thousands of soccer fans cheering in the streets, and security forces closing in, the crew have just minutes to pull off the score of a lifetime. Formats: DVD, VOD, Digital. (Paramount).
(2021) Sean Patrick Flanery, Michael Jai White, Mark Dacascos, Rob Van Dam, Weston Cage Coppola, Gina Holden. Flanery stars as decorated army veteran Jason Hill. While on a routine visit to the local VA hospital, organized terrorists infiltrate the building and take hostages, including a decorated general, and Hill’s wife. The highly trained veteran is outnumbered and the last line of defense, taking on a building full of armed insurgents before it’s too late. Formats: DVD, , VOD, Digital. (Paramount).
(2018 -- Italy) Donatella Finocchiaro, Betti Pedrazzi, Lucia Sardo. Partially inspired by true stories, this comedy is a modern social fairytale set in Northeast Italy. When the employees of the Veronica lingerie factory discover they’re to be fired, they take matters into their own hands and borrow equipment to produce their own garment line. Lead by plucky forewoman Armida, they’re determined to overcome the odds and succeed. Nearby, in "Convent of the Holy Mantle," a handful of nuns skilled in the art of embroidery and devoted to a mummified body of a “blessed one,” are in danger of being transferred, while the unscrupulous mayor -- also the owner of the Veronica factory -- wants to develop a luxury resort where the convent resides. Together, to oppose their unfortunate turns, they join forces for a surprising collaboration: a line of sexy lingerie. However, they ‘re soon attacked by the owner of Veronica and the convent’s Mother Superior, from whom the operation had to be kept secret. Formats: DVD, Digital. (Corinth Films).
Blurred Vision (Tågesyn)
(2019 -- Denmark) Niklas Herskind, Ida Rasmussen, Dorte Højsted. This Danish psychological thriller follows Andre and Elisa, a couple who has recently discovered they’re expecting their first child. Full of hope and excitement for their family’s future, they move to the countryside to be closer to Elisa’s mother, Martha. When life seems perfect, things start to unravel as Elisa develops psychosis and Andre begins to question his own sanity, the pregnancy, and his girlfriend. As disturbing secrets surface about Elisa and a web of lies are spun by her and her overprotective mother, Andre must fight for himself and the life of his unborn child.Formats: DVD, VOD, Digital. (Indican Pictures).
Center Stage BLU-RAY DEBUT
(1991 -- Hong Kong) Maggie Cheung embodies tragic silent screen siren Ruan Lingyu, known as the "Greta Garbo of China," in this unconventional biopic by Hong Kong New Wave master Stanley Kwan. Praised for her moving and emotive onscreen presence, Ruan’s private life, which was frequent fodder for the vicious Shanghai tabloids, began to mirror the melodramas which brought her fame, culminating in her suicide at age 24. Kwan and Cheung paint a kaleidoscopic yet intimate portrait of the ill-fated actress, deftly blending lush period drama, archival footage, and metatextual documentary sequences of Cheung reflecting on Ruan’s lasting legacy. Digitally restored in 4K from the original negative.
Formats: DVD, Blu-ray. Extras: New introduction by Stanley Kwan, interview with Stanley Kwan, interview with Hong Kong cinema expert Paul Fonoroff (Blu-ray only), 16-page booklet with a new essay by Aliza Ma, head of programming at Metrograph. (Film Movement Classics).
City of Lies
What is worse, the crime or the cover-up? Based on the book, "LAbyrinth," by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Randall Sullivan, this crime-thriller follows the investigation into the infamous murder of iconic rap artist Christopher Wallace aka The Notorious B.I.G. and the death of Tupac Shakur. Johnny Depp stars as determined LAPD detective Russell Poole, who spent nearly 20 years trying to solve the murder, and Forest Whitaker stars as Jack Jackson, a journalist who teams up with Poole in search of the elusive truth. Together they explore why the case remains cold -- and why a secretive division of the LAPD is seemingly set on keeping it that way. Vitals: Director: Brad Furman. Stars: Johnny Depp, Forest Whitaker, Rockmond Dunbar, Xander Berkeley, Michael Paré.
2021, CC, MPAA rating: R, 112 min., Crime Thriller, US box office gross: $.572 million, worldwide $2/844 million, Saban Films.Formats: DVD, Blu-ray, VOD, Digital.
Extras: Deleted scenes, "Crafting the Characters in City of Lies," commentary with director Brad Furman and author Randall Sullivan.
Read more here.
(2021) Dylan O’Brien, Maika Monroe, Hannah Gross, Emory Cohen, Keir Gilchrist. Fredrick Fitzell (O'Brien) is living his best life until he starts having horrific visions of Cindy (Monroe), a girl who vanished in high school. After reaching out to old friends with whom he used to take a mystery drug called Mercury, Fredrick realizes the only way to stop the visions lies deep within his own memories, so he embarks on a terrifying mental odyssey to learn the truth. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray, VOD, Digital. (Lionsgate). Read more here.
Fuller House: The Fifth and Final Season
(2019-20) Two-disc set with all 18 episodes. In the fifth and final season, the Tanner childhood house is fuller than ever with DJ’s three boys, Stephanie’s new baby, and Kimmy’s feisty family, as the she-wolf pack prepares for a triple wedding and celebrates all the memories that have led them there. "Fuller House" is the continuation of the 90s ABC series "Full House" in which eldest daughter D.J. Tanner (Candace Cameron Bure) is now a veterinarian and recently widowed mother trying to raise three boys on her own. She is joined by her sister Stephanie (Jodie Sweetin) and best friend Kimmy Gibbler (Andrea Barber) and Kimmy’s teenage daughter Ramona (Soni Bringas), who move in to lend their support and help raise D.J.’s kids.
The original Full House, which centered around three grown men raising three girls in San Francisco, premiered in 1987 on ABC and became an instant hit with viewers. Formats: DVD, Digital. Extras: (Warner).
The Howl of the Devil
(1988 -- Spain) Spanish horror star Paul Naschy plays a multitude of roles in a tour-de-force performance in one of his last great films. He plays Hector Doriani a stage and screen actor who feels himself living in the shadow of his dead twin brother, Alex Doriani, the latter once a famous star of horror movies. Alex's young son, Adrian, now lives with Hector in his brother's isolated mansion in the countryside. To keep alive the memory of his father, the boy imagines himself visited by the spirit of the dead man, incarnated in a series of classic horror characters from the past. Eric, Alex Doriani's former butler, now also works for Hector. His main role is to locate and bring to the mansion a series of women who are paid large sums of money by Hector to take part in various sadistic sex games. To complicate matters even further, the games always seem to end with the women getting slaughtered in various gruesome ways by a black gloved, masked killer. Also on hand is horror diva Caroline Munro, as Hector's housekeeper and cook, who is being pursued by a local priest with whom she once had a much-regretted affair. One of the last films to be directed by Paul Naschy, "The Howl Of The Devil" was, for many years, impossible to see in anything like its intended form. This first HD presentation of the film shows it at last in its true glory. New 4k transfer from the film negative, digitally restored. Formats: Blu-ray. Extras: Interview with actor Sergio Molina, audio commentary from The Naschycast (Troy Guinn & Rod Barnett), making-of featurette. (Mondo Macabro).
The Human Condition Blu-ray Debut
(1959-61) This mammoth humanist drama by Masaki Kobayashi is one of the most staggering achievements of Japanese cinema. Originally filmed and released in three installments of two parts each, the nine-and-a-half-hour "The Human Condition," adapted from Junpei Gomikawa’s six-volume novel, tells of the journey of the well-intentioned yet naive Kaji -- played by the Japanese superstar Tatsuya Nakadai -- from labor camp supervisor to Imperial Army soldier to Soviet prisoner of war. Constantly trying to rise above a corrupt system, Kaji time and again finds his morals to be an impediment rather than an advantage. A raw indictment of Japan’s wartime mentality as well as a personal existential tragedy, Kobayashi’s riveting, gorgeously filmed epic is novelistic cinema at its best. Formats: Three-disc Blu-ray set, with high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural (Parts 1–4) and 4.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio (Parts 5 and 6) soundtracks. Extras: Excerpt from a 1993 Directors Guild of Japan interview with director Masaki Kobayashi, conducted by filmmaker Masahiro Shinoda; interview from 2009 with actor Tatsuya Nakadai; "Appreciation of Kobayashi and The Human Condition" from 2009 featuring Shinoda; trailers; an essay by critic Philip Kemp. (The Criterion Collection).
(1983 -- Spain) Assumpta Serna. Lawyer Adele passionately defends criminals, believing that everyone deserves a second chance and that criminality is more often than not bred by deprivation. In the courtroom, a pair of local hoods sees her in action and decides to follow her. They steal her car, find the keys to her country villa and decide to rob the place. Unfortunately, Adele's family turns up at the villa mid-burglary and her husband is killed. But, that's only the beginning of the nightmare. Directed by Jordi Grau, who made the horror classics "Blood Ceremony" and "Let Sleeping Corpses Lie," the film is an intense, gripping crime story that takes a savagely realistic look at the social divide between rich and poor in the big city. The climax of the film is unrelenting in its depiction of sexual violence and revenge. Brand new 4k transfer from the film negative, digitally restored; uncut. Formats: Blu-ray. Extras: Interview with director Jordi Grau. (Mondo Macabro).
Le Magnifique – aka The Man from Acapulco BLU-RAY DEBUT
(1981 -- France) Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jacqueline Bisset, Vittorio Caprioli, Hans Meyer, Monique Tarbes, Jean Lefebvre. Screen greats Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jacqueline Bisset star in the uproarious spy comedy. Belmondo plays Francois, a reclusive novelist whose wild imagination gets the best of him in this delightful blend of fantasy and adventure. Becoming the lead character from his own book, the dashing spy-hero Bob Saint-Clair, Francois is hysterically thrown into the middle of his latest espionage case, “How to Destroy the Reputation of the Greatest Secret Agent.” Only with the help of Francois’ beautiful and enticing neighbor (Bisset aptly filling the role of his seductive assistant, Tatiana) can the author save the world from his editor, who has been transformed into dastardly secret agent Karloff. Together, the duo gets caught in a whirlwind of chases, betrayals, confrontations and mutual attraction. Long before Austin Powers, this cleverly written French comedy outrageously portrays the spy game like it’s never been seen before. Co-written and directed by Philippe de Broca ("That Man from Rio") and beautifully shot by René Mathelin.
Formats: Blu-ray. Extras: New audio commentary by film historians Howard S. Berger, Steve Mitchell and Nathaniel Thompson; theatrical trailer. (KL Studio Classics).
(2020) Anna Camp, Issa Rae, Kumail Nanjiani, Kyle Bornheimer, Paul Sparks. A couple (Rae and Nanjiani) experiences a defining moment in their relationship when they become mixed up in a murder mystery. As their journey to clear their names takes them from one extreme circumstance to the next, they must figure out how they, and their relationship, can survive the night.
Formats: DVD. (Paramount).
MacGyver: Season 4
(2020) Three-disc set with all 13 episodes. In this reboot of the 1980s series, ex-MI6 agent Russ Taylor recruits former Phoenix Foundation members Mac, Riley, Bozer, Matty, and Desi to hunt down a bioweapon that’s planned to be used by a mysterious organization for a devastating attack on a major U.S. city. Formats: DVD. (Lionsgate).
Omerta: The Act of Silence
(2011) Paul Malignaggi, Will Wallace, Joe Estevez. Set in the iconic Italian neighborhood of Bensonhurst, the film is a peek inside the operation of the Mafia, at a time when the organization had a firm grip on day-to-day living in the area. The word Omerta describes a code of silence about criminal activity and a refusal to give evidence to authorities. Formats: DVD, VOD, Digital. (MVD Entertainment Group).
Power Book II: Ghost Season 1
(2020-21) All 10 episodes. Picks up after the events of “Power” as Tariq St. Patrick grapples with his father’s death while his mother, Tasha, faces charges for the murder her son committed. Tariq is forced to split his time between school and hustling to pay for Davis MacLean, the defense lawyer who is Tasha’s only hope of escaping prosecution by U.S. Attorney Cooper Saxe. Tariq turns to the drug game, entangling himself with a family headed by Monet Stewart Tejada. He figures out the only way to avoid the same fate his father met is to become him — only better. Formats: DVD. (Lionsgate).
(2019 -- Russia/Italy) Alberto Testone. Step inside the brilliant, tormented mind
of renaissance legend Michelangelo in Andrei Konchalovsky’s lavish and gripping drama. Florence, early 16th century. Although widely considered a genius by his contemporaries, Michelangelo Buonarroti is reduced to poverty and depleted by his struggle to finish the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. When his commissioner and head of the Della Rovere nobility Pope Julius II dies, Michelangelo becomes obsessed with sourcing the finest marble to complete his tomb. The artist’s loyalty is tested when Leo X, of the rival Medici family, ascends to the papacy and charges him with a lucrative new commission -- the façade of the San Lorenzo basilica. Forced to lie to maintain favor with both families, Michelangelo is progressively tormented by suspicion and hallucinations, leading him to ruthlessly examine his own moral and artistic failings. Formats: DVD, Digital. Extras: "Making of Sin," Q&A with Konchalovsky moderated by Alex Kaluzhsky. (Corinth Films).
(2020) Obsession gets a makeover in "The Stylist," a deliciously twisted slice of female-led psychological horror, nominated for the New Visions Award for Best Motion Picture at the 2020 Sitges International Film Festival and based on co-writer/director Jill Gevargizian's award-winning short film of the same name. We all dream of being someone else ... but for Claire (Najarra Townsend), that dream goes from an obsession to a living nightmare. Hairstylist by day, serial killer and collector of scalps by night, Claire's lonely existence is thrown into turmoil when her regular client, Olivia (Brea Grant), asks her to style her hair for her wedding day. Increasingly fixated on Olivia's seemingly flawless life, Claire vows to lock up her scalp collection and change her ways for good - only to discover that repressing your deadly desires is easier said than done. Formats: Limited Edition Blu-ray and soundtrack CD. Extras: Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Sara Deck; double-sided fold-out poster; illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Emma Westwood and a gallery of exclusive location scouting photographs; audio commentary by co-writer/producer/director Jill Gevargizian and actress/producer Najarra Townsend; exclusive Blu-ray introduction by Jill Gevargizian; "The Invisible Woman," an exclusive visual essay by author and critic Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, exploring the themes of women’s labor and female killers in "The Stylist" and horror cinema; "The Stylist – Behind the Scenes," a series of eight behind-the-scenes featurettes on different aspects of the film’s production, featuring interviews with the cast and crew; location scouting featurette; outtakes; original Kickstarter video; the original 2016 "The Stylist" short film directed by Jill Gevargizian and starring Najarra Townsend, that inspired the main feature; "Pity," a 2016 short film directed by "The Stylist’s" editor, John Pata, and executive produced by Jill Gevargizian, with an optional introduction by Pata; teaser trailer; theatrical trailer; image galleries. (Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment).
(2020 -- Japan) Hiromi Nagasaku, Arata Iura, Aju Makita. After a long and unsuccessful struggle to get pregnant, Satoko and her husband decide to adopt a child. Over the next six years, the middle-class couple and their young son, Asato, settle into a comfortable, albeit routine life. The family’s orderly existence is shattered by the arrival of Hikari, a young woman who claims to be Asato’s biological mother and demands his return. The film weaves together multiple timelines and genres and was Japan's entry for Best International Film Oscar this year. Formats: DVD, Digital. Extras: Juliette Binoche and director Naomi Kawase discuss "True Mothers"; Bonus Short Film " Return to Toyama" (Written and directed by Atsushi Hirai - France, Japan - Japanese with English subtitles - 24 minutes): After a long absence, Takumi returns to his small Japanese coastal hometown, having never made amends with his father who disapproved of him leaving. (Film Movement).
Undercover Punch & Gun
(2019 -- Hong Kong) Philip Ng, Van Ness Wu, Andy On. While an elite cop is working undercover to infiltrate a notorious drug ring, his plan is compromised when a rival agency with a grudge attacks during a trade, killing the gang’s leader. Their cover blown, both teams are forced to unite and take to the high seas in an attempt to overthrow the ruthless smuggler behind it all. With an all-new English dub. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray, Digital. (Well Go USA).
Under the Sand
(2000) The incomparable Charlotte Rampling gives one of her most acclaimed performances in Francois Ozon's mesmerizing tale of loss and grief. For many years, Marie (Rampling) and Jean (Bruno Cremer) have happily spent their vacations together at their country house. One day at the beach, Marie naps in the sand while Jean goes for a swim. When she awakens, he is gone. Did he drown? Did he run off? Distraught, Marie notifies the authorities. But after an extensive search, no body is found, and Marie is left in a painful limbo, unable to properly grieve for her lost love. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray. Extras: Audio commentary by director Francois Ozon, audio commentary by film historian Kat Ellinger, interview with Rampling, trailer. (Kino Classics).
(2020) Elijah Nelson, Kayla Carlson, Chris Browning, Adam Beach, Branscombe Richmond, Natasha Henstridge, Lance Henriksen. A bullied teenager gains the means to fight back when a botched faith healing bestows supernatural, shamanistic powers upon him. When his lifelong tormentors pull a prank that causes the death of someone he loves, the teen uses his newfound abilities for revenge and goes on a bloody rampage to settle the score.
Formats: DVD, Blu-ray, VOD, Digital. Extras: Gag reel, deleted scenes, alternative and extended scenes, behind-the-scenes interviews. Read more here. (Scream Factory).
The Woman One Longs For
(1929) Marlene Dietrich for years insisted that "The Blue Angel" (1930) was her screen debut, when in fact she was catapulted to fame by this silent drama of 1929, which fits neatly among the visually dynamic and emotionally dark melodramas of Joseph von Sternberg and G.W. Pabst. Uno Henning stars as a young businessman whose plans of marriage are interrupted when he becomes entranced by a haunting young woman (Dietrich) who seems to be the victim of a monocled sadist (Fritz Kortner). Like Dietrich, director Kurt Bernhardt would emigrate to the United States and enjoy a long career making films based around strong female characters. Restored in 2012 by the Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Stiftung, this edition is accompanied by a spectacular original orchestral score by Pascal Schumacher. Formats: Blu-ray. Extras: Audio commentary by film historian Gaylyn Studlar, orchestral score by Pascal Schumacher in 5.1 Surround and 2.0 stereo. (Kino Classics).
(2020 -- Canada) Sheila McCarthy, Julian Richings, Konstantina Mantelos, Yannick Bisson. After a tragic car accident that took their grandson’s life, Audrey and Henry are unable to go on without him. Following the guidance of their ancient spell book, the elderly couple decide to abduct a young pregnant woman with the intention of performing a "reverse exorcism” to channel their grandson’s spirit inside her unborn child. But when it becomes clear the ritual has called upon more than one spirit, the couple realize they have summoned more than they bargained for and must put an end to the evil entity they’ve invoked.
Formats: DVD, Blu-ray, VOD, Digital. (RLJE Films).
(2021 -- Denmark) Jacob Lohmann,Simon Sears. When unrest spreads following the death of a Muslim suspect while in police custody, two Danish police officers on routine patrol find themselves trapped in a maze of buildings within a city torn by the loss and fueled by anger. Unwelcome and at risk during violent riots, the officers must manage without police reinforcement and make their way out alive. Formats: DVD, VOD. (Magnolia Home Entertainment).
(2021) “My plan was to die before the money ran out,” says 60-year-old, penniless Manhattan socialite Frances Price (Michelle Pfeiffer), but things didn’t go as planned. Her husband, Franklin, has been dead for 12 years. With his vast inheritance gone, she cashes in the last of her possessions and resolves to live out her twilight days anonymously in a borrowed apartment in Paris, accompanied by her directionless son, Malcolm (Lucas Hedges), and a cat named Small Frank -- who may or may not embody the spirit of Frances’ dead husband.
Vitals: Director: Azazel Jacobs. Stars: Michelle Pfeiffer, Lucas Hedges, Valerie Mahaffey, Imogen Poots, Susan Coyne, Danielle MacDonald, Isaach de Bankolé, Tracy Letts..
2021, CC, MPAA rating: R, 113 min., Drama Comedy, US box office gross: $.629 million, worldwide $1.374 million, Sony. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray, VOD, Digital.
Extras: Deleted and extended scenes.
Read more here.
The Great War of Archimedes
(2019 -- Japan) Jun Kunimura, Minami Hamabe, Min Tanaka. Based on the acclaimed 2015 manga series “Archimedes no Taisen." The film is a fictionalized depiction of the behind-the-scenes struggles of building the Yamato, the largest battleship in the world, during WWII. Pre-WWII, the Japanese Navy commissioned the creation of the impressive “supership” Yamato, strongly opposed by a top official insisting on more strategic and battle-ready warships. After being ignored without cause, Admiral Yamamoto recruits a math genius to help uncover what he soon suspects is a massive conspiracy. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray, Digital. (Well Go USA).
H.P. Lovecraft’s The Deep Ones
(2020) Gina La Piana, Johann Urb, Robert Miano, Jackie Debatin. A married couple rents a beachside cottage only to be surrounded by peculiar neighbors and strange occurrences. They soon discover themselves in the grips of a mysterious cult and their ancient sea god. Formats: DVD, VOD, Digital. Read more here. (123 Go Films/Distribution Solutions).
(2020) Tamara Lawrance, Jack Lawson, Fiona Shaw. After the death of her boyfriend, vulnerable mother-to-be Charlotte is taken in by her deceased partner’s mother, Margaret, and stepbrother, Thomas. But Charlotte’s source of comfort soon turns to terror as her benefactors begin to appear increasingly obsessed with her every move. Plagued by mysterious hallucinations, Charlotte finds her suspicions raging with palpable fear about Margaret and Thomas’s intentions for her unborn child. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray. Extras: Commentary by director Joe Marcantonio. (IFC/Shout! Factory).
Last Train From Gun Hill BLU-RAY DEBUT
(1959) A gripping Western from director John Sturges -- one of the greatest filmmakers of the genre -- "Last Train From Gun Hill" follows U.S. Marshal Matt Morgan (Kirk Douglas) on the trail of his wife’s killer. Adding a dark twist to the tale, the suspect's father is Morgan's longtime friend, cattle baron Craig Beldon (Anthony Quinn). Morgan is determined to capture the killer and take him away by the 9:00 train, against all odds. Remastered from a 6K film transfer of the original VistaVision negative for exceptional picture quality. The limited-edition Blu-ray Disc includes a new "Filmmaker Focus" with film historian Leonard Maltin, access to a digital copy of the film, as well as original theatrical trailers for "Last Train from Gun Hill," "Gunfight at the O.K. Corral," "The Furies," and "The Black Orchid." The Blu-ray comes in collectible packaging featuring a foldout image of the film’s theatrical poster and an interior spread with key movie moments. (Paramount Presents).
(2019) Sean Stone, Mickey Rourke, Eric Roberts, Tom Lister Jr. Action-thriller about one man’s quest for justice. It starts as Frank, an American, visits the Middle East with his girlfriend, Sarah. But when Sarah is killed in a police incident, Frank is framed for her murder and sent to a prison in the U.S. Then, after uncovering the conspiracy that led to Frank’s sentence, his friend dies mysteriously. Now, seeking bloody justice, Frank plans to escape from prison -- but must partner with a dangerous gang to do so. Formats: DVD, VOD. (Lionsgate). Read more here.
Rock Dog 2: Rock Around the Park
(2021) Voices of Ashleigh Ball, Andrew Francis, Brian Drummond. One year after the events of the original "Rock Dog," Bodi and his band, True Blue, have become locally famous in the village of Snow Mountain -- they even have devoted fans. But when a music mogul named Lang gives them the opportunity to tour with pop sensation Lil’ Foxy, Bodi and his friends learn that fame comes at a price, and ultimately discover that only by staying true to yourself can you unleash the power of rock ‘n’ roll. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray with digital code, VOD, Digital. (Lionsgate).
Streetwise/Tiny: The Life of Erin Blackwell
(1984/2016) In 1983, director Martin Bell, photographer Mary Ellen Mark, and journalist Cheryl McCall set out to tell the stories of homeless and runaway teenagers living on the margins in Seattle. "Streetwise" follows an unforgettable group of kids who survive by hustling, panhandling, and dumpster diving. Its most haunting and enduring figure is iron-willed 14-year-old Erin Blackwell, a.k.a. Tiny; the project’s follow-up, "Tiny: The Life of Erin Blackwell," completed 30 years later, draws on the filmmakers’ long relationship with their subject, now a mother of 10. Blackwell reflects with Mark on the journey they’ve experienced together, from Blackwell’s battles with addiction to her regrets to her dreams for her children, even as she sees them repeat her own struggles. Taken together, the two films create a devastatingly frank, empathetic portrait of lost youth growing up far too soon in a world that has failed them, and of a family trying to break free of the cycle of trauma -— as well as a summation of the life’s work of Mark, an irreplaceable artistic voice.
Formats: DVD, Blu-ray, with new, restored high-definition digital transfers of both films, supervised by director Martin Bell, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack for the "Streetwise" Blu-ray and 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack for the "Tiny: The Life of Erin Blackwell" Blu-ray. Extras: New audio commentary on "Streetwise" featuring Bell; new interview with Bell about photographer Mary Ellen Mark; new interview with Streetwise editor Nancy Baker; four short films by Bell; trailer; an essay by historian Andrew Hedden; journalist Cheryl McCall’s 1983 Life magazine article about teenagers living on the street in Seattle; and reflections on Blackwell written by Mark in 2015. (The Criterion Collection).
(2020-21) Three-disc set with all 10-episodes of the legal thriller that stars Bryan Cranston as Michael Desiato, a respected New Orleans judge whose teenage son, Adam (Hunter Doohan), is involved in a hit-and-run that leads to a high-stakes game of lies, deceit and impossible choices. Unbeknownst to Adam, the victim is the son of much-feared crime boss Jimmy Baxter (Michael Stuhlbarg) and his wife, Gina (Hope Davis), who are both out for vengeance and will not stop until justice is served on their own terms. Formats: DVD. (Showtime/CBS/Paramount).
(2021) With the future of the human race at stake, a group of young men and women, bred for intelligence and obedience, embark on an expedition to colonize a distant planet. But when they uncover disturbing secrets about the mission, they defy their training and begin to explore their most primitive natures. As life on the ship descends into chaos, they’re consumed by fear, lust, and the insatiable hunger for power.
Vitals: Director: Neil Burger. Stars: Tye Sheridan, Lily-Rose Depp, Fionn Whitehead, Colin Farrell.
2021, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 108 min.,Sci Fi, US box office gross: $3.131 million, worldwide $3.907 million, Lionsgate.Formats: DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo, 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo, VOD, Digital.
Extras: “Born for This: The Cast of Voyagers” featurette, “Against Type: Unlearning Human Nature” featurette, “Survival of the Fittest: The Physicality of Voyagers” featurette, “On the Surface: The Visual Style of Voyagers” featurette, “Hidden Chambers: Tour the Humanitas” featurette.
Read more here.
The Walking Dead: World Beyond Season 1
(2020) Three-disc set with all 11 episodes. Now a decade into the apocalypse, sisters Hope and Iris Bennett have grown up inside the walls of one of the few remaining first-world communities. Their home, the Campus Colony, is a satellite settlement with a population of just under 10,000, located a hundred miles outside surviving city of Omaha, Nebraska. The sisters' scientist father conducts research over 1,000 miles away in a research facility run by the Civic Republic, an ally of Omaha, but one that does not reveal its location to outsiders. When the sisters receive a message that their father might be in a danger, they defy their own community's rules and enlist their friends to embark on a cross-country quest to save him. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray. Extras: "A Look at the Series," "Meet the Characters," "The Making of Season 1." (RLJE Films,).
(2021) Inspired by the iconic mid-1990s DC story from Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale: A brutal murder on Halloween prompts Gotham’s young vigilante, the Batman, to form a pact with the city’s only two uncorrupt lawmen (Police Captain James Gordan and District Attorney Harvey Dent) in order to take down The Roman, head of the notorious and powerful Falcone Crime Family. But when more deaths occur on Thanksgiving and Christmas, it becomes clear that, instead of ordinary gang violence, they’re also dealing with a serial killer -- the identity of whom, with each conflicting clue, grows harder to discern. Few cases have ever tested the wits of the World’s Greatest Detective like the mystery behind the Holiday Killer. Formats: Blu-ray, Digital. Extras: "DC Showcase – The Losers" new animated short, "From the DC Vault" Batman episodes. Read more here. (Warner).
Bill Traylor: Chasing Ghosts
(2018) An eye opening documentary that explores the life of a unique American artist, a man with a remarkable and unlikely biography. Bill Traylor was born into slavery in 1853 on a cotton plantation in rural Alabama. After the Civil War, Traylor continued to farm the land until the late 1920s. Aging and alone, he moved to Montgomery and worked odd jobs in the thriving segregated black neighborhood. A decade later, in his late 80s, Traylor became homeless and started to draw and paint, devising his own visual language to depict his memories of slavery and scenes of a radically changing urban culture. He made well over a thousand drawings and paintings between 1939-1942, which reflect the profound social and political change he experienced during his life spanning slavery, Reconstruction, Jim Crow laws, and the Great Migration. A revelatory examination of one of America’s most essential artists. Formats: DVD. (Kino Lorber).
(2021) Christoph Waltz, Annette Bening, Vanessa Redgrave, Corey Hawkins, Laura de Carteret, Dan Lett. Thrilling true story filled with twists, turns, and political turmoil. Waltz stars as Ulrich Mott, an eccentric and smooth-talking social climber who seems to have everyone in Washington, D.C. wrapped around his finger. But when his wealthy, well-connected and much older wife (Redgrave) turns up dead in their home, her daughter Amanda (Bening) suspects Ulrich may not be all that he seems as the police investigation begins to uncover a larger deception that goes far deeper than anyone ever imagined. Formats: DVD + digital code, VOD, Digital. (Paramount).
(2020) Camille Sullivan, Summer H. Howell, Devon Sawa. In the remote wilderness, fur trapper Joseph Mersault and his family struggle to make ends meet. Believing their traps are being hunted by a returning rogue wolf, Joseph leaves his wife Anne and daughter Renée on their own as he launches a determined search to catch the apex predator in the act. Growing increasingly anxious as Joseph’s absence continues on, Anne reaches new depths of paranoia when a mysterious and severely injured man appears on her doorstep — and soon the threat of a predator in the woods becomes a threat much closer to home. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray.(IFC/Shout! Factory).
(1966 -- Japan) Drawn from the pen of one of Japan's foremost writers of the 20th century, Junichiro Tanizaki ("A Fool's Love," "The Makioka Sisters"), Irezumi is a stylish tale of lust, betrayal and revenge directed by Yasuzo Masumura. Masumura's muse Ayako Wakao stars as Otsuya, the daughter of a rich merchant, who is tempted by her lover, Shinsuke, a lowly employee of her father's, to elope. During their flight, Otsuya's beauty attracts the gaze of Seikichi, a mysterious master tattooist who sees her pristine white skin as the perfect canvas for his art. The image of the large demonic spider that he emblazons across Otsuya's back marks her as the property of another man, radically altering her relationships with all around her as her personality transforms under its influence. Available for the first time outside of Japan in a new 4K restoration, Irezumi sports some of Japanese cinema's most respected talent of its day, both in front of and behind the camera. The bewitching cinematography by Kazuo Miyagawa ("Rashomon," "Ugets"u) captures the sensual atmosphere of the period setting, while the script by Kaneto Shindo ("Onibaba," "Kuroneko") lends a modern twist to this feverish meditation on obsession and the act of creation. Formats: Blu-ray. Extras: New audio commentary by Japanese cinema scholar David Desser; newly filmed introduction by Japanese cinema expert Tony Rayns; "Out of the Darkness," a brand new visual essay by Asian cinema scholar Daisuke Miyao; original trailer; image gallery; reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Tony Stella; FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collectors' booklet featuring new writing by Thomas Lamarre and Daisuke Miyao. (Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment).
Night of the Sicario
(2021) Natasha Henstridge, Manny Perez, Costas Mandylor. While transporting the family of a key witness in a federal trial against the cartel, DEA agents are ambushed in a fatal shootout. Now the survivors, including the witness’ young daughter, must take refuge in a nearby home as the ruthless sicarios hunt them down. With danger at every corner and a violent hurricane wiping out any chance of outside help, they must play a deadly game of cat and mouse with the cartel to live through the night. Formats: DVD. (Paramount). Read more here.
(2021) Hutch (Bob Odenkirk) is a nobody. As an overlooked and underestimated father and husband, he takes life’s indignities on the chin and never rocks the boat. But when his daughter loses her beloved kitty-cat bracelet in a robbery, Hutch hits a boiling point no one knew he had. What happens when a pushover finally pushes back? Hutch flips from regular dad to fearless fighter by taking his enemies on a wild ride of explosive revenge.
Vitals: Director: Ilya Naishuller. Stars: Bob Odenkirk, Connie Nielsen, RZA, Christopher Lloyd.
2021, CC, MPAA rating: R, 91 min., Action, US box office gross: $6.820 million, worldwide $26.083 million, Universal.Formats: DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Code, 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo, VOD, Digital.
Extras: Deleted scenes; "Hutch Hits Hard" featurette; "Breaking Down The Action (Bus Fight, Home Invasion, Car Chase and Tool & Die Sequences)" behind-the-scenes action featurette; "Just a Nobody" production featurette; feature commentary with actor-producer Bob Odenkirk and director Ilya Naishuller; feature commentary with director Ilya Naishuller.
Read more here.
The Paper Tigers
(2020) Alain Uy, Ron Yuan, Mykel Shannon Jenkins. As teenagers, kung fu disciples Danny, Hing and Jim were inseparable. Fast forward 25 years, and each has grown into a washed-up middle-aged man seemingly one kick away from pulling a hamstring -- and not at all preoccupied with thoughts of martial arts or childhood best friends. But when their old master is murdered, the trio reunites, soon learning that avenging their sifu will require conquering old grudges (and a dangerous hitman still armed with ample knee cartilage) if they are to honorably defend his legacy. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray. (Well Go USA).
(2021) Willem Dafoe, Dounia Sichov, Simon McBurney, Cristina Chiriac, Daniel Giménez Cacho Clint (Defoe) tends bar at a snowbound roadhouse whose patrons speak a language he doesn’t understand, and things may not be what they seem. Desperate for answers, he drives a sled team to a nearby cave, but finds no peace. Are the spirits that confront him mere figments of his imagination -- or will they slowly tear his body and soul to pieces? This mind-blowing psychological thriller is directed by Abel Ferrara ("Bad Lieutenant"). Formats: DVD, Blu-ray, VOD, Digital. Extras: (Lionsgate). Read more here.
The Signifyin’ Works of Marlon Riggs
There has never been a filmmaker like Marlon Riggs (1957–1994): An unapologetic gay Black man who defied a culture of silence and shame to speak his truth with resounding joy and conviction. An early adopter of video technology who had a profound understanding of the power of words and images to effect change, Riggs employed a bold mix of documentary, performance, poetry, music, and experimental techniques in order to confront issues that most of Reagan-era America refused to acknowledge, from the devastating legacy of racist stereotypes to the impact of the AIDS crisis on his own queer African American community to the very definition of what it is to be Black. Bringing together Riggs’s complete works—including his controversy-inciting queer landmark "Tongues Untied" and "Black Is ... Black Ain’t," his deeply personal career summation -- "The Signifyin’ Works of Marlon Riggs" traces the artistic and political evolution of a transformative filmmaker whose work is both an electrifying call for liberation and an invaluable historical document. The films: "Ethnic Notions" (1986), "Tongues Untied" (1989), "Affirmations" (1990), "Anthem" (1991), "Color Adjustment" (1992), "Non, je ne regrette rien (No Regret)" (1993), "Black Is ... Black Ain’t" (1995).
Formats: DVD, Blu-ray, with new high-definition digital masters of all seven films, with uncompressed stereo soundtracks on the Blu-rays. Extras: Four new programs featuring editor Christiane Badgley, performers Brian Freeman, Reginald T. Jackson, and Bill T. Jones, filmmakers Cheryl Dunye and Rodney Evans, poet Jericho Brown, film and media scholar Racquel Gates, and sociologist Herman Gray; "Long Train Running: The Story of the Oakland Blues" (1981), Riggs’s graduate thesis film; "Introduction to Riggs," recorded in 2020 and featuring filmmakers Vivian Kleiman and Shikeith, and Ashley Clark, curatorial director of the Criterion Collection; "I Shall Not Be Removed: The Life of Marlon Riggs" (1996), a documentary by Karen Everett that features interviews with Riggs, Kleiman, filmmaker Isaac Julien, African American studies scholar Barbara Christian, several of Riggs’s longtime friends and collaborators, and members of his family; an essay by film critic K. Austin Collins. (The Criterion Collection).
(2021) Based on James Herbert’s best-selling book Shrine,the film follows a young hearing-impaired girl who is visited by the Virgin Mary and can suddenly hear, speak and heal the sick. As people from near and far flock to witness her miracles, a disgraced journalist (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) hoping to revive his career visits a small New England town to investigate. As terrifying events begin to happen all around him, he starts questioning if these miracles are the works of the Virgin Mary or something much more sinister.
Vitals: Director: Evan Spiliotopoulos. Stars: Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Katie Aselton, William Sadler, Cricket Brown, Diogo Morgado, Cary Elwes.
2021, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 99 min., Horror, US box office gross: $14.777 million, worldwide $26.777 million, Sony.Formats: DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo, VOD, Digital.
Read more here.
Visions of Eight
(1973) In Munich in 1972, eight renowned filmmakers each brought their singular artistry to the spectacle of the Olympic Games -- the joy and pain of competition, the kinetic thrill of bodies in motion -- for an aesthetically adventurous sports film unlike any other. Made to document the Olympic Summer Games -- an event that was ultimately overshadowed by the tragedy of a terrorist attack -- "Visions of Eight" features contributions from Miloš Forman, Kon Ichikawa, Claude Lelouch, Juri Ozerov, Arthur Penn, Michael Pfleghar, John Schlesinger, and Mai Zetterling, each given carte blanche to create a short focusing on any aspect of the Games that captured his or her imagination. The resulting films -- ranging from the arresting abstraction of Penn’s pure cinema study of pole-vaulters to the playful irreverence of Forman’s musical take on the decathlon to Schlesinger’s haunting portrait of the single-minded solitude of a marathon runner -- are triumphs of personal, poetic vision applied to one of the pinnacles of human achievement. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray, with new 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Extras: New audio commentary by podcasters Amanda Dobbins, Sean Fennessey, and Chris Ryan of the website the Ringer; new documentary featuring director Claude Lelouch, supervising editor Robert K. Lambert, Ousmane Sembène biographer Samba Gadjigo, Munich Olympic Games historian David Clay Large, producer David L. Wolper’s son, Mark Wolper, and director Arthur Penn’s son Matthew Penn, which also includes behind-the-scenes footage from the film and material from Sembène’s uncompleted short film;
"On Location with Visions of Eight,” a short promotional film; trailer; a 1973 article by author George Plimpton, excerpts from David L. Wolper’s 2003 memoir, and a new reflection on the film by novelist Sam Lipsyte. (The Criterion Collection).
Years of Lead: Five Classic Italian Crime Thrillers 1973-1977 [Limited Edition]
The 1970s were a time of intense uncertainty and instability in Italy. Political corruption and widespread acts of left and right-wing terrorism, alongside a breakdown in social cohesion and a loss of trust in public institutions such as the government and police, created a febrile atmosphere of cynicism, paranoia and unexploded rage. Throughout this period, these sentiments found expression in a series of brutal, often morally ambiguous crime thrillers that tapped into the atmosphere of violence and instability that defined the so-called Years of Lead. This box set gathers five films from the heyday of the "poliziotteschi" - the umbrella term used to describe this diverse body of films. In Vittorio Salerno's "Savage Three" (1975) and Mario Imperoli's "Like Rabid Dogs" (1976), random acts of violence committed by vicious young sociopaths threaten the fragile fabric of respectable society. In Massimo Dallamano's "Colt 38 Special Squad" (1976) and Stelvio Massi's "Highway Racer" (1977), renegade cops battling against red tape and political corruption turn to new and morally dubious methods to dispense justice. Finally, class dynamics are explored in Salerno's "No, the Case is Happily Resolved" (1973) as an innocent man finds himself under suspicion for a savage crime committed by a highly respected member of society. Featuring an impressive line-up of Euro-cult stars, including Joe Dallesandro This collection of stylish, hard-hitting Euro-crime thrillers showcases the range and breadth of the genre and is a must-have for newcomers and grizzled veterans alike. Restored from the original camera negatives, including a brand new 2K restoration of "Colt 38 Special Squad" exclusive to this release. Formats: Three-disc Blu-ray set. Extras: Interviews; commentaries; trailers; poster galleries; booklet featuring new writing by Troy Howarth, Michael Mackenzie, Rachael Nisbet, Kat Ellinger and James Oliver; more. (Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment).
(2020) Two-disc set with all seven episodes of the HBO seriues that follows young orphan Lyra (Dafne Keen) on a journey through a parallel world where a human’s soul exists outside one’s body -- in the form of a talking animal called a daemon. Season Two begins as Lyra, distraught over the death of her best friend, embarks upon a journey in a strange and mysterious abandoned city. There she meets Will (Amir Wilson), a boy from our world who is also running from a troubled past. Lyra and Will learn their destinies are tied to reuniting Will with his father but find their path is constantly thwarted as a war begins to brew around them. Meanwhile, Mrs. Coulter (Ruth Wilson) searches for Lyra, determined to bring her home by any means necessary.Formats: DVD, Blu-ray. Extras: "Noble Rogue: The Legend of Lee Scoresby," "Exploring His Dark Materials: Panserbjørne," "Exploring His Dark Materials: Daemons," "Exploring His Dark Materials: Portals & The Multiverse," "Exploring His Dark Materials: Witches," "His Dark Materials: Bringing Daemons and Bears to Life," "His Dark Materials: Exploring Cittagazze," "His Dark Materials: Worlds Collide," "The Powerful Mrs. Coulter," "Lyra," "The Subtle Knife." (Warner).
Major Dundee [2-Disc Limited Edition]
(1965) After making his first bonafide classic in "Ride the High Country," director Sam Peckinpah took a step towards the epic with "Major Dundee." The film would, in many ways, define the rest of his career both on screen and off, as the drama behind the camera matched the action in front of it. Charlton Heston stars as Major Amos Dundee, a vainglorious Union Cavalry officer, who mounts an expedition to hunt down Apache war chief Sierra Charriba. Building his own army of criminals, ex-slaves and Confederate POWs -- among them one Captain Ben Tyreen (Richard Harris), whose intense former friendship with Dundee is tainted with a sense of betrayal on both sides -- Dundee heads into Mexico, his eye fixed firmly on a last shot at greatness. Legendarily acerbic, "Major Dundee" would be the first time that Peckinpah had a movie taken away from him. While a director's cut may be lost to us, this Limited Edition shows us the thrilling, morally complex epic that Peckinpah was aiming for. Beautifully shot and with a stellar supporting cast including James Coburn, Warren Oates, and L.Q. Jones, it remains a stunning achievement and an essential experience for anyone interested in the life and cinema of "Bloody Sam." Includes the 136-minute Extended Version of the film from a 4K scan, as well as the original 122-minute Theatrical Version. Formats: Blu-ray. Extras: 60-page booklet featuring new writing by Farran Nehme, Roderick Heath and Jeremy Carr plus select archive material; limited edition packaging featuring newly commissioned artwork by Tony Stella; fold-out poster featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Tony Stella; commentaries, "Moby Dick on Horseback,": a new visual essay by David Cairns; "Passion & Poetry: The Dundee Odyssey" feature length documentary; extensive stills galleries; trailers; outtakes; extended and deleted scenes; more. (Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment).
(2011) The path to living as one’s authentic self is paved with trials and tribulations in this revelatory, assured feature debut by Dee Rees -- the all-too-rare coming-of-age tale to honestly represent the experiences of queer Black women. Grounded in the fine-grained specificity and deft characterizations of Rees’s script and built around a beautifully layered performance from Adepero Oduye, "Pariah" follows Brooklyn teenager Alike, who is dealing with the emotional minefields of both first love and heartache and the disapproval of her family as she navigates the expression of her gender and sexual identities within a system that does not make space for them. Achieving an aching intimacy with its subject through the expressive cinematography of Bradford Young, this deeply felt portrait finds strength in vulnerability and liberation in letting go. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray, with 2K digital transfer, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Extras: New conversation between director Dee Rees and filmmaker and scholar Michelle Parkerson; new cast reunion featuring Rees, Adepero Oduye, Pernell Walker, Kim Wayans, Charles Parnell, and Aasha Davis, moderated by scholar Jacqueline Stewart; new program on the making of the film, featuring Rees, cinematographer Bradford Young, production designer Inbal Weinberg, producer Nekisa Cooper, and editor Mako Kamitsuna, moderated by Stewart; new interview with film scholar Kara Keeling, author of "Queer Times, Black Futures"; an essay by critic Cassie da Costa. (The Criterion Collection).
The Perfect Candidate
(2019 -- Saudi Arabia) Mila Alzahrani, Dhay, Khalid Abdulrhim, Shafi Al Harthy. When Maryam, a hardworking young doctor in a small-town clinic, is prevented from flying to Dubai for a conference without a male guardian’s approval, she seeks help from a politically connected cousin but inadvertently registers as a candidate for the municipal council. Maryam sees the election as a way to fix the muddy road in front of her clinic, but her campaign slowly garners broader appeal. Maryam’s creative and ambitious campaign builds momentum, becoming a symbol for a larger movement. Formats: DVD, VOD. Extras: Commentary with director Haifaa Al Mansour, "Making of The Perfect Candidate" featurette, Cinema Cafe discussion with Haifaa Al Mansour and Bassem Youssef from Sundance. (Music Box Films). Read more here.
Pickup On South Street Blu-ray Debut
(1953) Petty crook Skip McCoy (Richard Widmark) has his eyes fixed on the big score. When the cocky three-time convict picks the pocketbook of unsuspecting Candy (Jean Peters), he finds a more spectacular haul than he could have imagined: a strip of microfilm bearing confidential U.S. information. Tailed by manipulative Feds and the unwitting courier’s Communist puppeteers, Skip and Candy find themselves in a precarious gambit that pits greed against redemption, right against Red, and passion against self-preservation. With its dazzling cast and writer-director Samuel Fuller’s signature hard-boiled repartee and raw energy, "Pickup on South Street" is a true film noir classic by one of America’s most passionate cinematic craftspeople. Formats: Blu-ray, with new 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack. Extras: New interview with critic Imogen Sara Smith, author of "In Lonely Places: Film Noir Beyond the City"; interview from 1989 with director Samuel Fuller, conducted by film critic Richard Schickel; "Cinéma cinémas: Fuller," a 1982 French television program in which the director discusses the making of the film; trailers; an essay by critic Angelica Jade Bastién and a chapter from Fuller’s posthumously published 2002 autobiography, "A Third Face: My Tale of Writing, Fighting, and Filmmaking." (The Criterion Collection).
(1991) The second feature directed by Todd Haynes, the Oscar-nominated filmmaker of "Far from Heaven" and "Carol." It is a groundbreaking American Indie and a trailblazing landmark of queer cinema. A work of immense visual invention, Haynes’ spectacular follow-up to his legendary "Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story" is audacious, disturbing and thrillingly cinematic. Inspired by the writings of Jean Genet, Poison deftly interweaves a trio of transgressive tales—“Hero,” “Horror” and “Homo” -- that build toward a devastating climax. “Hero,” shot in mock TV-documentary style, tells a bizarre story of suburban patricide and a miraculous flight from justice; “Horror,” filmed like a delirious ’50s B-movie melodrama, is a gothic tale of a mad sex experiment which unleashes a disfiguring plague; while “Homo” explores the obsessive sexual relationship between two prison inmates. Formats: Blu-ray. Extras: New introduction by director Todd Haynes; Sundance Q&A with Todd Haynes, producer Christine Vachon and executive producer James Schamus, for the 20th Anniversary of the film’s Grand Jury Prize; archival 1999 audio commentary by Haynes, Vachon, and star/editor James Lyons; booklet essay by Dennis Lim, director of programming at Film at Lincoln Center; "Last Address," a short film by Ira Sachs (2010); original 1991 U.S. theatrical trailer. (Zeitgeist).
(2020) Johnny Flynn, Marc Maron, Jena Malone. Bio-drama offers an intimate glimpse into the moments that inspired the creation of David Bowie’s first and most memorable alter-ego, illuminating the turning point that cemented his legacy as one of the world’s greatest cultural icons. Stateside, Bowie is quickly met with an audience that’s not yet ready for him. During the tumultuous journey, Bowie slowly begins to realize a need to reinvent himself in order to truly become himself; it’s with that realization that his iconic, celestial alter-ego Ziggy Stardust is born. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray. (IFC/Shout! Factory).
(2021)Georgina Campbell, Luke Benward, Ibrahim Renno, Mido Hamada, Ali Olomi, Maz Siam. An ambitious reporter (Georgina Campbell) stationed in the Middle East is taken captive after a militant group ambushes her convoy. Convinced that the young woman is hiding her true identity, they’ll stop at nothing to extract information crucial to the success of their upcoming terrorist attack. With time running out, she must find a way to survive and turn the tables on her assailants. Formats: DVD, VOD, Digital. (Paramount). Read more here.
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