(2021) Jessica Brown Findlay, John Hefferman, Adam Hugill, John Lynch, Sean Harris. The true story of the most haunted house in England. A young reverend, his wife and daughter move into a manor with a horrifying secret. When a vengeful spirit haunts the little girl and threatens to tear the family apart, the reverend and his wife are forced to confront their beliefs. They must turn to black magic by seeking the help of a famous occultist ... or risk losing their daughter. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray. (RLJE Films).
(2021 -- Russia) Danila Kozlovskiy, Oksana Akinshina, Filipp Avdeev. After the explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant number 4, the USSR and all of Europe is faced with an even greater threat - a possible steam explosion that would eject even more radioactive material into the atmosphere over the entire continent. Firefighter Alexey volunteers for what seems like a suicide mission: manually drain the plant’s reservoir before the melting reactor collapses into it. Risking their lives in service to their country, Alexey and his colleagues must navigate the labyrinthine passages of the plant’s underground, facing danger at every turn from the facility’s quickly failing infrastructure. With time running out, and the fate of all of Europe hanging in the balance, this team of ordinary citizens turned heroes must use all their strength and bravery to save their nation from complete devastation. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray, VOD, Digital. (MPI Media Group). Read more here
The Crown: The Complete Fourth Season
(2020) 10 episodes. As the 1970s are drawing to a close, Queen Elizabeth and her family find themselves preoccupied with safeguarding the line of succession by securing an appropriate bride for Prince Charles, who is still unmarried at 30. As the nation begins to feel the impact of divisive policies introduced by Britain’s first female Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, tensions arise between her and the Queen which only grow worse as Thatcher leads the country into the Falklands War. While Charles’ romance with a young Lady Diana Spencer provides a much-needed fairy tale to unite the British people, behind closed doors, the Royal Family is becoming increasingly divided. Stars Olivia Colman, Tobias Menzies, Helena Bonham Carter, Gillian Anderson and Josh O'Connor. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray. Extras: "Triumph & Tragedy: Diana and Charles," "Three Groundbreaking Women," "Research, Costumes & More: The Making of Season 4," photo gallery. (Sony).
(2020 -- The Netherlands) Martijn Lakemeier, Marwan Kenzari, Jonas Smulders. During the post-WW2 Indonesian War of Independence, a young Dutch soldier joins an elite unit led by a mysterious captain known only as “The Turk.” When the fighting intensifies, the young soldier finds himself questioning - and ultimately challenging - his commander’s brutal strategy to stop the resistance. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray, VOD, Digital. (Magnolia Home Entertainment/Magnet).
The Hidden Life of Trees
(2020 -- Germany) Branching off of his bestselling book, renowned forester and writer Peter Wohlleben guides viewers through his most precious ideas and understanding of how trees work in this enlightening documentary. Presenting ecological, biological and academic expertise with matter of fact candor, Wohlleben inspires us to really see the forest for the trees. Traveling through Germany, Poland, Sweden and Vancouver, her discusses, debates and explains the amazing process of life, death and regeneration he has observed in the woodland, and the amazing scientific mechanisms behind these wonders of which we are too often blissfully unaware.
Formats: DVD, Blu-ray. (MPI Media Group).
(2021) Tony Torres, Woody Deant, Jamil Malik, Ruben E. A. Brown, Aaron M. Abelt. International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness Pro Tony Torres built a lucrative lifestyle which came crashing down after covering for a friend who committed a murder. After being chased by the FBI he was sent to prison for five years. Once he did his time, Tony had to build back his life. Formats: DVD, VOD, Digital. (Freestyle Digital Media). Read more here
Jack Irish, Season 3
(2021) Two-disc set with four episodes. Emmy Award-winner Guy Pearce reprises his iconic role as Jack Irish, former criminal lawyer, and part-time debt collector, with a penchant for getting wrapped up in things he shouldn’t. The long-suppressed trauma of Isabel Irish’s brutal and random murder by Jack’s former client Wayne Milovich – which launched the first Jack Irish instalment – rears its ugly head when Jack discovers there was more to those fateful events all those years ago. Namely, a criminal conspiracy involving his trusted friend, homicide detective Barry Tregear. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray. (Acorn Media).
Kung Fu: The Complete First Season
(2021) Three-disc set with all 13 episodes. Olivia Liang stars as Nicky Shen in the reimagined version of the legendary 1970s series. A quarter-life crisis causes young Chinese-American woman Nicky Shen to drop out of college and journey to an isolated monastery in China. But when she returns to San Francisco, she finds her hometown is overrun with crime and corruption and her parents are at the mercy of a powerful Triad. Nicky rights wrongs while searching for the assassin who killed her Shaolin mentor.
Formats: DVD, Blu-ray + Digital Code, Digital. Extras: Deleted scenes, "Bond of Honor" featurette. (Warner).
La strada BLU-RAY DEBUT
(1954 -- Italy) With this breakthrough film, Federico Fellini launched both himself and his wife and collaborator Giulietta Masina to international stardom, breaking with the neorealism of his early career in favor of a personal, poetic vision of life as a bittersweet carnival. The infinitely expressive Masina registers both childlike wonder and heartbreaking despair as Gelsomina, loyal companion to the traveling strongman Zampanò (Anthony Quinn, in a toweringly physical performance), whose callousness and brutality gradually wear down her gentle spirit. Winner of the very first Academy Award for Best Foreign-Language Film, "La strada" possesses the purity and timeless resonance of a fable and remains one of cinema’s most exquisitely moving visions of humanity struggling to survive in the face of life’s cruelties.
Formats: Blu-ray with 4K digital restoration, undertaken in collaboration with The Film Foundation and the Cineteca di Bologna, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack. Extras: Alternate English-dubbed soundtrack, featuring the voices of Anthony Quinn and Richard Basehart; audio commentary from 2003 by Peter Bondanella, author of "The Cinema of Federico Fellini"; introduction from 2003 by filmmaker Martin Scorsese; "Giulietta Masina: The Power of a Smile," a documentary from 2004; "Federico Fellini’s Autobiography," a documentary originally broadcast on Italian television in 2000; trailer; an essay by film critic Christina Newland. (The Criterion Collection).
Mom: The Eighth and Final Season
(2020-21) All 18 episodes. Allison Janney stars in this heart-wrenching comedy. Bonnie Plunkett (Janney) must learn to adjust without her daughter and former-roommate, Christy, around. With a chaotic past behind her and a newly empty nest, she focuses on her marriage to her husband, Adam (William Fichtner) and on what she wants to be now that she’s finally grown up. Formats: DVD. (Warner).
Neon Genesis Evangelion
(1995) Five-disc set includes the original 26 episode television series, "Neon Genesis Evangelion," as well as the films "Evangelion:Death (True)2" and "The End Of Evangelion." Contains over five hours of bonus features, including animatics, TV commercials, music videos, and more. In 2015, Tokyo-3 is under attack from “Angels,” extraordinary beings that possess various special abilities. Multipurpose Humanoid Decisive Weapon, Evangelion is the only method to counter these Angels, and Shinji Ikari is chosen as its pilot. The battle for the fate of humankind has begun. Exactly what are the Angels? What is destined for the young pilots? And what will become of humanity? A "Neon Genesis Evangelion Collector’s Edition" is a deluxe 11-disc set presented in a rigid case, containing a 40-page book, eight art cards, the official dub and subtitled versions, and the bonus classic dub and subtitled versions. The Collector’s Edition set contains over seven hours of bonus features including animatics, TV commercials, music videos, Japanese cast auditions, trailers, and more. Available December 8.
Formats: Blu-ray. (GKIDS/Shout! Factory).
(2020) Winston Duke, Zazie Beetz, Benedict Wong, Zazie Beetz, Tony Hale, Bill Skarsgård, David Rysdahl, Arianna Ortiz. A man interviews five unborn souls to determine which one can be given life on Earth. Will (Duke) and Kyo (Wong) spend their days in a remote outpost watching the live Point of View (POV) on TV's of people going about their lives, until one subject perishes, leaving a vacancy for a new life on earth. Soon, several candidates — unborn souls — including Emma (Beetz) and Kane (Skarsgård) arrive at Will's to undergo tests determining their fitness, facing oblivion when they are deemed unsuitable. But Will soon faces his own existential challenge in the form of free-spirited Emma, a candidate who is not like the others, forcing him to turn within and reckon with his own tumultuous past. Fueled by unexpected power, he discovers a bold new path forward in his own life. Making his feature-film debut after a series of highly acclaimed and award-winning short films and music videos, Japanese Brazilian director Edson Oda delivers a heartfelt and meditative vision of human souls in limbo, aching to be born against unimaginable odds, yet hindered by forces beyond their will. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray, VOD, Digital. Extras: "The Making of Nine Days." (Sony). Read more here
PAW Patrol: The Movie
(2021) The PAW Patrol is on a roll. When their biggest rival, Humdinger, becomes mayor of nearby Adventure City and starts wreaking havoc, Ryder and everyone's favorite heroic pups kick into high gear to face the challenge head-on. While one pup must face his past in Adventure City, the team finds help from a new ally, the savvy dachshund Liberty. Together, armed with exciting new gadgets and gear, the PAW Patrol fights to save the citizens of Adventure City.
Vitals: Director: Cal Brunker. Stars: Voices of Tyler Perry, Jimmy Kimmel, Randall Park, Dax Shepard, Iain Armitage, Marsai Martin, Ron Pardo, Yara Shahidi, Kim Kardashian West.
2021, CC, MPAA rating: G, 86 min., Family Animation, US box office gross: $38.760 million, worldwide $104.860 million, Paramount.Formats: DVD, Blu-ray + Digital Code, VOD, Digital.
(2021) A truffle hunter who lives alone in the Oregonian wilderness must return to his past in Portland in search of his beloved foraging pig after she is kidnapped.
Vitals: Director: Michael Sarnoski. Stars: Nicolas Cage, Alex Wolff, Adam Arkin, Cassandra Violet, Julia Bray, Elijah Ungvary.
2021, CC, MPAA rating: R, 92 min., Drama, US box office gross: $3.186 million, worldwide $3.405 million, Decal-Neon.Formats: DVD, Blu-ray, VOD, Digital.
Sex and the City: The Complete Series + 2 Movie Collection
All six seasons of the multiple Emmy award-winning series plus two feature films will be released together on Blu-ray in one beautifully packaged set. Features all 96 episodes of the iconic series plus "Sex and the City: The Movie" and "Sex and the City 2." Stars Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie Bradshaw, a New York-based writer who explores and experiences the unique world of Manhattan’s dating scene, chronicling the mating habits of single New Yorkers. The series also stars cast regulars Kim Cattrall as PR executive Samantha Jones, who’s seen -- and done -- it all; Kristin Davis as Charlotte York, still trying to hold on to the idea of happily ever after; and Cynthia Nixon as corporate lawyer and mother Miranda Hobbes, a pragmatist trying to balance the idea of love with the realities of life. Formats: Blu-ray. Extras: Over 3 hours of previously released special features. (Warner).
(2021) Jeanie Jefferies, Haley Heslip, Peter Tell, Brian Hillard. The lives of ten strangers intersect through a terrifying chain of events as a mutating fungus begins to spread through a small town wiping out everyone that comes into contact with it. Formats: DVD, VOD, Digital. (Lionsgate). Read more here
Star Trek: Discovery: Seasons 1-3
(2017-21) All 42 episodes. Ten years before Kirk, Spock, and the Enterprise, the USS Discovery discovers new worlds and lifeforms as one Starfleet officer learns to understand all things alien. The series features a new ship and new characters, while embracing the same ideology and hope for the future that inspired a generation of dreamers and doers. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray. Extras: Featurette, commentaries, deleted scenes, extended scenes, gag reels. (CBS/Paramount).
Who You Think I Am
(2021 -- France) Juliette Binoche, Francois Civil, Nicole Garda, Guillaume Gouix, Charles Berling. Academy Award-winner Binoche balances cunning and vulnerability in this romantic cyber-drama turned psychological thriller from writer-director Safy Nebbou. Ghosted by her hunky twentysomething lover, Claire (Binoche), a middle-aged professor and single mom, creates a fake Facebook profile to do a little undetected online snooping. But when her 24-year-old avatar “Clara” is friended by her ex’s equally attractive roommate (Civil), superficial correspondence quickly escalates towards intense intimacy and uncontrollable obsession. Adapted from Camille Laurens’ best-selling novel. Formats: Blu-ray. (Cohen Media Group).
(2021) Guy Pearce, Matilda Lutz, Jonathan Aris, Travis Fimmel. Sci-fi thriller set in Zone 414, a dangerous, dark colony of humanoids known as “the city of robots.” The colony’s creator (Fimmel) hires private investigator David Carmichael (Pearce) to track down his missing daughter. David teams up with Jane (Lutz), a highly advanced A.I. equipped with the same technology of her fellow humanoids, but with all the emotions, feelings and dreams of a human being. They travel through the city uncovering clues and a crime that calls into question the origins and true purpose behind the city of artificial humans. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray + Digital Code, VOD, Digital. (Paramount).
(1970 -- Hong Kong) From the golden age of Kung Fu movies, the legendary Shaw Brothers released this action-packed tale of revenge, mayhem and flying fists. When his martial arts school is viciously attacked by a rival gang of Japanese thugs, Lei Ming swears to bring them down with violent justice. Written, starring and directed by Jimmy Wang Yu, "The Chinese Boxer" is a fabulously fast-paced feature full of exquisite set-pieces and mind-blowing fight choreography. Formats: Blu-ray. Extras: Audio commentary by critic and author Samm Deighan, interview with Wong Ching, "Open Hand Combat - David West on The Chinese Boxer," "US 'Hammer of God' TV Spot." (88 Films).
(2012 -- South Korea) Set during the early Joseon Dynasty in Korea, Hwa-yeon, a minister's daughter and Kwon-yoo, a commoner, are deeply in love. Yet, when Hwa-yeon is ordered to the royal palace to become the King's concubine, she and Kwon-yoo attempt to flee. They are intercepted by Hwa-yeon's father and his men who threaten to kill Kwon-yoo. To save her one true love, Hwayeon agrees to go to the palace as instructed. Five years later, Hwa-yeon is the mother of the heir to the throne, but the King is slowly dying. After his death, the King's stepmother uses her power to appoint her biological son Sung-won as the successor. Sung-won has been madly in love with the unobtainable Hwa-yeon for years. Now that he must procreate in order to produce an heir to the throne, he can have any woman he wants except Hwa-yeon … which pushes both of them into a dangerous chess game of lust, sex and power.
Formats: Blu-ray. Extras: Original trailer,
24-page booklet featuring director/actor profiles and photo. (Capelight Pictures).
(2019 -- France) Noémie Merlant, Niels Schneider, Camellia Jordana, Benjamin Lavernhe. Pierre is a dandy and poet on the verge of fame in 1895 Paris. He and his poet friend Henri are both madly in love with Marie, the cheeky daughter of their mentor, Franco-Cuban poet José-Maria de Heredia. Although she loves Pierre, obeying her father she marries Henri to pay off her father's debt and to get a better social position. Pierre flees to Algeria and there meets Zohar, with whom he shares a passion for erotic photography. Returning to Paris with her two years later, he finds Marie again, who confesses that he is the one she loves. They start an affair in a cat-and-mouse game that involves their lives and breaking the codes set by society, which will make them one of the best-known writers and poets of 19th-century France. Formats: DVD, Digital. (Film Movement).
DC's Legends of Tomorrow: The Complete Sixth Season
(2021) Three-disc set with all 15 episodes. Having spent last season trying to track down the Loom of Fate, the Legends must now save history from a foe like none they’ve encountered in the past or future. The timeship Waverider’s crew have dealt with monsters, time anomalies, and most recently, villains from Hell, but this season they face something even more challenging and bizarre ... space aliens. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray + Digital Code, Digital. Extras: Gag Reel, Deleted Scenes, "Never Alone: Heroes and Allies," VFX creature feature, animation split screen, actors split screen. (Warner).
The Designated Victim
(1971 -- Italy) Tomas Milian, Pierre Clementi, Katia Christine, Luigi Casellato, Marisa Bartoli, Ottavio Alessi, Sandra Cardini. A disillusioned advertising executive is lured by a decadent Count into a bizarre plot to kill each other's unsavory relatives. Stefano, a partner in a company that makes high-end commercials, wants to sell his share of the business and move to South America with his girlfriend, Fabienne. However his wife, in whose name the shares are registered, won’t agree to the sale. Stefano goes to Venice with Fabienne for the weekend to escape his worries. There he meets the mysterious Count Tiepelo. Hearing of Stefano’s business problems the Count tells him about his own brother who is making his life miserable. The Count then makes a startling suggestion – that he will kill Stefano’s wife if Stefano kills the Count’s brother. More amused than shocked, Stefano laughs off the idea. New 4k transfer from the film negative. Formats: Blu-ray. Extras: Interview with writer and assistant director Aldo Lado; commentary by Fragments of Fear (Peter Jilmstad and Rachael Nisbet); extended version; Alternate scenes; Trailers. (Mondo Macabro).
The Early Films of Lee Isaac Chung
In 2018, a decade after "Munyurangabo", his first feature film debuted as an Official Selection at Cannes, Lee Isaac Chung was close to trading in the unpredictable life of an independent filmmaker for a more stable career as a film professor. Yet, before he put the camera and clapboard into storage, he felt he had one last script to write. This famously became "Minari," a coming-of-age story inspired by Chung’s experiences growing up the son of Korean-American immigrants in rural Arkansas during the 1980s. The film and its performances drew great acclaim at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, where it won both the grand jury and audience awards, as well as six Oscar nominations including best picture, director, original screenplay, score and acting nods for Steven Yeun, and for Yuh-Jung Youn, who’d go on to capture the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. It also marked the first time in the Oscars 92-year history that South Korean performers were nominated for acting awards. This slipcased DVD collection showcases a trio of compelling dramas, including "Munyurangabo" (2007), "Lucky Life" (2010) and "Abigail Harm" (2012). Formats: DVD. (Film Movement).
The Emperor’s Sword
(2020 -- China) Fengbin Mu, Yilin Hao, Qihang Zhao, Qiyu Yang. During a time of peace, a deadly sword that bestows great power upon its wielder was divided and hidden. After the emperor dies, a deranged rebel seizes power and stages a massacre during his search for the blade, leaving only one survivor. Now, the young daughter of a great general is all that stands between a tyrant and his quest for domination.
Formats: DVD, Blu-ray, Digital. (Well Go USA). Read more here
For the Love of Jason, Series 1
(2020) Single-disc with six episodes. When Jason broke off his longtime relationship, he got caught up in the bachelor lifestyle. Now his friends are settling down, leaving Jason feeling pressure to catch up.
Formats: DVD. (AllBlk).
Four Good Days
(2021) Glenn Close, Mila Kunis, Stephen Root, Carla Gallo. A long-estranged mother and daughter navigate the most difficult time of their lives together in a heartbreaking and hopeful story based on real-life events as the mother helps her daughter work through four crucial days of recovery from substance abuse. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray. (Vertical Entertainment).
Fury BLU-RAY DEBUT
(1936) Director: Fritz Lang; stars Spencer Tracy, Sylvia Sidney. Joe Wilson, a wrongly jailed man thought to have died in a blaze started by a bloodthirsty lynch mob, is somehow alive. And dead to all he ever stood for and perhaps ever will. Because Joe aims to ensure his would-be executioners meet the fate Joe miraculously escaped. Spencer Tracy is Joe, Sylvia Sidney is his bride-to-be, and "Fury" lives up to its volatile name with its searing indictment of mob justice and lynching. In his first American film, director Fritz Lang ("Metropolis," "The Big Heat") combines a passion for justice and a sharp visual style into a landmark of social-conscience filmmaking. Formats: Blu-ray. Extras: Commentary by Peter Bogdanovich with archival interview comments from Fritz Lang; theatrical trailer. (Warner Archive).
A Gift From Bob
(2021) Luke Treadaway, Kristina Tonteri-Young and featuring Bob (as himself). Christmas gifts come in all shapes and sizes. For James (Treadaway), a struggling street musician, a very special one arrives in the form of Bob, a strong-willed stray cat who wanders into James’s tiny flat. Bob enriches James’s life, giving him companionship, purpose, and a large, new audience. When Animal Welfare officers threaten to take Bob, the local community rallies to help James and Bob. Formats: DVD, VOD, Digital. (Lionsgate). Read more here.
(1958 -- TV) Due to his insistence that he has an invisible six-foot rabbit for a best friend, a man is thought to be insane. The classic stage hit and 1950 movie starring James Stewart got "The DuPont Show of the Month" TV treatment in the story of Elwood P. Dowd, an endlessly pleasant and delightfully eccentric bachelor living in a small town that isn't aware that its newest citizen is a invisible, 6'3" white rabbit named "Harvey" that only he sees. After his sister tries to commit him to a mental institution, Elwood and Harvey become the catalysts for the family to heal. Featuring an all-star cast (Art Carney, Larry Blyden, Fred Gwynne, Marion Lorne, Elizabeth Montgomery, Charlotte Rae, Jack Weston), the film master elements were provided by the Paley Center for Media.
Formats: DVD, Digital. (David Susskind Archive/MVD Entertainment Group) Read more here.
The Hills Have Eyes UHD [Limited Edition]
(1977) Horror master Wes Craven achieved critical and commercial success with the likes of "Scream" and "A Nightmare on Elm Street" - but for many genre fans, the director's seminal 1977 effort "The Hills Have Eyes" remains his masterpiece. Taking an ill-advised detour en route to California, the Carter family soon run into trouble when their campervan breaks down in the middle of the desert. Stranded, the family find themselves at the mercy of a group of monstrous cannibals lurking in the surrounding hills. With their lives under threat, the Carters have no choice but to fight back by any means necessary. Following on from his notorious 1972 directorial debut "The Last House on the Left," Craven's "The Hills Have Eyes" stands alongside the likes of "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre" and "Night of the Living Dead" as one of the defining classics of American horror. Brand new 4K restoration of the film, viewable with both original and alternate endings. Formats: Blu-ray. Extras: Six postcards; reversible fold-out poster; limited edition 40-page booklet featuring writing on the film by critic Brad Stevens and a consideration of the Hills franchise by Arrow producer Ewan Cant, illustrated with original archive stills and posters; commentary with actors Michael Berryman, Janus Blythe, Susan Lanier and Martin Speer; commentary by academic Mikel J. Koven; commentary with Wes Craven and Peter Locke; "Looking Back on The Hills Have Eyes" making-of documentary featuring interviews with Craven, Locke, actors Michael Berryman, Janus Blythe, Robert Houston, Susan Lanier, Dee Wallace and director of photography Eric Saarinen; "Family Business" interview with actor Martin Speer; "The Desert Sessions" interview with composer Don Peake; outtakes; alternate ending; trailers and TV spots; image gallery; original screenplay; reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Paul Shipper. (Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment). Read more here.
(2019 -- Norway) Stellan Skarsgård, Andrea Bræin Hovig. The relationship between artist-partners Tomas (Skarsgård) and Anja (Hovig) is put to the test after Anja gets a life-threatening diagnosis. Norway's official submission for the 93rd Academy Awards.
Formats: DVD, VOD, Digital. (KimStim). Read more here
(1983 -- Spain) Carole Kirkham, Geir Indvard, José Yepes. Set in the aftermath of a cataclysmic nuclear war that has destroyed most of the world's population, "Human Animals" tells of three survivors - one woman and two men - who wake up on a strange, deserted landscape with no memory of their past lives and without the ability to even speak. The woman and one of the men appear to be brother and sister and are both dressed in formal party clothes. The other man is very different - a moustachioed, leather-jacketed macho type. The trio set off to explore their new home and find a rocky beach where they come under attack from a huge army of crabs. The macho man fights off the crabs, crushing them with rocks before eating their soft flesh. He then turns his attention to the woman and makes violent love to her while her brother looks on, powerless to stop them. A huge dog appears and leads them over the mountains to a lush jungle paradise. They build a hut and learn to make fire and hunt for food. But soon violence, jealousy and above all sex, rear their ugly heads. The men fight one another for possession of the woman. But then, to their horror they discover that the large and now vicious dog has also set his sights on her. Soon there really is trouble in paradise. Brand new 4k transfer from film negative. Formats: Blu-ray. Extras: Interview with film's director-writer-producer Eligio Herrero. (Mondo Macabre).
It's Nothing Mama, Just a Game
(1974 -- Spain) David Hemmings, Alida Valli. In this controversial Spanish film from 1974, originally released in the US as "Beyond Erotica," Hemmings plays Juan, a young hacienda-owner who abuses women due to his traumatic upbringing. His late father was a sadistic tyrant who treated the women who worked on his estates as his personal property. After his father's death, Juan begins to act out his own fantasies. His favorite "game" is to have the women dress in rabbit fur bikinis while he chases them through the jungle on horseback with a pack of dogs. One day his latest plaything gets caught in a trap and is savaged to death by the dogs. The local people know what's going on but are powerless to stop it as their livelihood depends on work from the estate. Juan's mother, Louise (Valli) tries to find a suitable replacement for the dead girl. But Juan has his eyes set on Lola, the beautiful daughter of one of the estate workers. When Lola turns him down, Juan imprisons the girl in an abandoned horse training yard and sets to work breaking down her resistance. But things do not work out the way he planned. Brand new 4k transfer from film negative. Formats: Blu-ray. Extras: Commentary by Kat Ellinger; video essay on David Hemmings by Chris O'Neil, trailers, alternate title sequence. (Mondo Macabre).
L.A. Story BLU-RAY DEBUT
(1991) L.A. Story is legendary comedian-actor-author Steve Martin’s love letter to the City of Angels. Being in a magical city with predictably pleasant weather can make the life of a meteorologist seem monotonous. When TV weatherman Harris Telemacher (Martin) begins receiving secret messages from an electronic freeway sign, he leaves his longtime girlfriend (Marilu Henner) and embarks on a frivolous romance with a vapid, young model (Sarah Jessica Parker), which ultimately leads him to true love with the woman of his dreams (Victoria Tennant). Beloved by generations of movie fans, "L.A. Story" reminds us that anything is possible, and real love can be found — even in the city of make-believe. Extras: Deleted scenes and outtakes, "O2BINLA: Mick Jackson’s L.A. Stories," “The Story of L.A. Story,” “The L.A. of L.A. Story,” original theatrical marketing materials.
Ladies They Talk About BLU-RAY DEBUT
(1933) Barbara Stanwyck, Lyle Talbot, Preston Foster, Lillian Roth, Allen Jenkins. In most prison films, the convicted man is rehabilitated by the love of a woman. "In Ladies They Talk About," Barbara Stanwyck plays a woman who becomes rehabilitated by the love of the man who sent her to prison. A prime example of the raw and racy films made before the enforcement of Hollywood’s repressive “production code”, this Warner Bros. title previously released in the “Forbidden Hollywood” series stars Stanwyck as Nan Taylor, a bank robber who gets sent to prison for her role in a bank heist. David Slade (Foster) is the reformer who has fallen in love with her. When her two “partners” are killed in a jailbreak attempt in which she, too, is involved, Nan thinks David is the one responsible for tipping off the authorities. But she soon learns to trust in his love for her, eventually reciprocating and leaving her unsavory past behind. Formats: Blu-ray. Extras: Vintage WB 1933 cartoon "I Like Mountain Music," vintage WB 1933 short "Pure Feud," theatrical trailer. (Warner Archive).
The Last of Sheila BLU-RAY DEBUT
(1973) Director: Herbert Ross; stars James Coburn, Raquel Welch, Richard Benjamin, Joan Hackett, James Mason, Dyan Cannon, Ian McShane. A movie kingpin (Coburn), whose wife, Sheila, was killed by a hit-and-run driver a year before, hosts a cruise aboard his sleek yacht. His guests (Mason, Welch, Cannon, Benjamin, Hackett, and McShane) are all friends (and some lovers) who may know more about Sheila’s death than they’re letting on. An elaborate murder game with Mediterranean ports of call is the itinerary. Formats: Blu-ray. (Warner Archive).
My Salinger Year
(2021) Margaret Qualley, Sigourney Weaver, Douglas Booth, Seana Kerslake, Brian F. O'Byrne, Colm Feore. New York in the 90s: After leaving graduate school to pursue her dream of becoming a writer, Joanna (Qualley) gets hired as an assistant to Margaret (Weaver), the stoic and old-fashioned literary agent of J. D. Salinger. Fluctuating between poverty and glamour, she spends her days in a plush, wood-paneled office — where dictaphones and typewriters still reign and agents doze off after three-martini lunches — and her nights in a sink-less Brooklyn apartment with her socialist boyfriend. Joanna's main task is processing Salinger's voluminous fan mail, but as she reads the heart-wrenching letters from around the world, she becomes reluctant to send the agency's impersonal standard letter and impulsively begins personalizing the responses.
Formats: DVD, Blu-ray. (Shout! Factory).
(2021) Tim Blake Nelson, Scott Haze, Gavin Lewis, Trace Adkins, Stephen Dorff. An elevated action-Western about a widowed farmer and his son who warily take in a mysterious, injured man with a satchel of cash. When a posse of men claiming to be the law come for the money, the farmer must decide whom to trust. Defending against a siege of his homestead, he reveals a talent for gunslinging that surprises everyone, calling his true identity into question. Formats: Blu-ray, VOD, Digital. (Shout! Factory). Read more here
(2021) Nick Bannister (Hugh Jackman), a private investigator of the mind, navigates the darkly alluring world of the past by helping his clients access lost memories. Living on the fringes of the sunken Miami coast, his life is forever changed when he takes on a new client, Mae (Rebecca Ferguson). A simple matter of lost and found becomes a dangerous obsession. As Bannister fights to find the truth about Mae's disappearance, he uncovers a violent conspiracy, and must ultimately answer the question: how far would you go to hold on to the ones you love?
Vitals: Director: Lisa Joy. Stars: Hugh Jackman, Rebecca Ferguson, Thandiwe Newton, Cliff Curtis, Daniel Wu, Mojean Aria, Marina de Tavira, Brett Cullen, Natalie Martinez.
2021, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 118 min., Science Fiction, US box office gross: $3.890 million, worldwide $19.836 million, Warner.Formats: DVD + Digital Code, Blu-ray + Digital Code, VOD, Digital.
(2021) Based on the life and times of Area Franklin, the singer who would come to be known the world over as the undisputed Queen of Soul; the story follows her from her start as a singer in the choir at her father's church as a young girl growing up in Detroit. Despite many difficulties in her adult life -- bad marriages and other unwise choices -- she still managed to keep contributing her natural talent to the music world, becoming one of the art's most recognizable voices, and producing songs that would be known and enjoyed by many generations. This is the remarkable true story of Franklin's journey to find her voice in the midst of the turbulent social and political landscape of 1960s America.
Vitals: Director: Liesl Tommy. Stars: Jennifer Hudson, Forest Whitaker, Audra McDonald, Saycon Sengbloh, Marlon Mayans, Marc Aaron, Kimberly Scott, Tate Donovan. 2021, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 145 min., Music Bio, US box office gross: $24.274 million, worldwide $31.375 million, MGM.Formats: DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo, VOD, Digital. Read more here.
Snowpiercer: The Complete Second Season
(2020) All 10 episodes of the series based on the critically acclaimed graphic novel series and the film from Academy Award-winner Bong Joon Ho (“Parasite”). Seven years after the world has become a frozen wasteland, the remnants of humanity inhabit a perpetually-moving train that circles the globe, where class warfare, social injustice and the politics of survival play out. Formats: Three-disc DVD, two-disc Blu-ray + Digital Code, Digital. Extras: "The Great Engineer: Bringing the Mysterious Mr. Wilford Aboard" behind-the-scenes with the cast; Season 2 overview; "Behind the Character: Mr. Wilford"; Season 2 roundtable; Daveed Diggs Season 1 recap. (Warner).
(2021) Udo Kier, Jennifer Coolidge, Linda Evans, Michael Urie. Legendary actor Udo Kier stars as retired hairdresser Pat Pitsenbarger, who escapes the confines of his small-town Sandusky, Ohio nursing home after learning of his former client’s dying wish for him to style her final hairdo. Soon, Pat embarks on a comical and bittersweet odyssey across town to confront the ghosts of his past -- and collect the beauty supplies necessary for the job. The film is a comical and bittersweet journey about rediscovering one’s sparkle, and looking gorgeous while doing so. Formats: DVD, VOD, Digital. (Magnolia Home Entertainment/Magnet).
(2021) An intimate look at the legendary queen of rock and roll, this HBO original documentary charts Tina Turner’s rise to early fame, her lifelong personal and professional struggles, and her rebirth as a global phenomenon in the 1980s. Presenting an unvarnished account of her life and career, the documentary combines personal photos, audio tapes, never-before-seen archival footage spanning 60 years and insightful interviews with those who know her -- including Angela Bassett, Oprah Winfrey, and Tina’s husband, Erwin Bach -- as well as Tina herself.
Formats: DVD, Blu-ray. (Warner).
White As Snow
(2021 -- France) Lou de Laage, Isabelle Huppert, Charles Berling, Damien Bonnard, Jonathan Cohen. When Claire, a beautiful but reserved young woman unwittingly provokes the furious jealousy of her evil stepmother Maud (Huppert), life as she knows it is over. Sent far away from home, Claire awakens, both figuratively and literally, in a small village in the French mountains. As if by magic, her formerly shy demeanor is gone and she is suddenly aware of her feminine power. It’s the beginning of a radical emancipation. As Claire meets the locals and starts to take joy in her sexuality, soon one, two, three ... seven men fall under her charm. For the first time in her life she allows herself to indulge in no-strings sex, taking pride in belonging to no one. But then Maud arrives wanting to reconnect, and Claire must decide who to trust -- her sophisticated but cold stepmother, or the circle of adoring men that now surround her. Formats: Blu-ray. (Cohen Media Group).
(2021 -- Denmark) Sandra Guldberg Kampp, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Joachim Fjelstrup, Elliott Crosset Hove, Besir Zeciri. Following a car accident, which kills her mother, 17-year old Ida moves in with her estranged aunt and her aunt’s grown sons. The home is filled with physical tenderness and love, but outside of the home, the family leads a violent and criminal life. When an unforeseen murder pressures the family and their loyalty to each other, tension builds as love and violence become impossible to separate. Ida is faced with the same question her mother faced before her: What are you willing to sacrifice for your family? Formats: DVD, Digital. (Film Movement).
(2020) HBO documentary chronicles the triumphs and hurdles of brothers Barry, Maurice and Robin Gibb, otherwise known as the Bee Gees. The Bee Gees, who found early fame in the 1960s, went on to write over 1,000 songs, including twenty #1 hits throughout their storied career. The film follows the iconic trio’s meteoric rise as they rode the highs of fame and fortune, negotiated the vagaries of the ever-shifting music business and navigated the complexities of working so intimately alongside family. The critically acclaimed documentary is an intimate exploration of the Gibb story, featuring revealing interviews with oldest brother Barry and archival interviews with the late twin brothers Robin and Maurice. The film features a wealth of never-before-seen archival footage of recording sessions, concert performances, television appearances and home videos, as well as interviews with musicians Eric Clapton, Noel Gallagher, Nick Jonas, Chris Martin, Justin Timberlake, music producer Mark Ronson, singer Lulu, record company executive Bill Oakes, among others. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray, VOD, Digital. Extras: Deleted scenes. (Warner).
(2021) For as long as residents can remember, the housing projects of Chicago’s Cabrini-Green neighborhood were terrorized by a word-of-mouth ghost story about a supernatural killer with a hook for a hand, easily summoned by those daring to repeat his name five times into a mirror. In present day, a decade after the last of the Cabrini towers were torn down, visual artist Anthony McCoy (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) and his partner, gallery director Brianna Cartwright (Teyonah Parris), move into a luxury loft condo in Cabrini, now gentrified beyond recognition and inhabited by upwardly mobile millennials. With Anthony’s painting career on the brink of stalling, a chance encounter with a Cabrini-Green old-timer (Colman Domingo) exposes Anthony to the tragically horrific nature of the true story behind Candyman. Anxious to maintain his status in the Chicago art world, Anthony begins to explore these macabre details in his studio as fresh grist for paintings, unknowingly opening a door to a complex past that unravels his own sanity and unleashes a terrifying wave of violence that puts him on a collision course with destiny. Sequel to the 1992 "Candyman."
Vitals: Director: Nia DaCosta. Stars: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Teyonah Parris, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Colman Domingo, Tony Todd, Vanessa Estelle Williams.
2021, CC, MPAA rating: R, 91 min., Drama, US box office gross: $61.045 million, worldwide $77.270 million, Universal.Formats: DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Code, 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo + Digital Code, VOD, Digital.
Extras: Alternate ending; deleted and extended scenes; "Say My Name" featurette; "Body Horror" featurette with director Nia DaCosta on the subgenre of body horror; "The Filmmaker's Eye: Nia Dacosta" featurette; "Painting Chaos" behind-the-scenes featurette; "The Art Of Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe" featurette on the film's composer; "Terror in the Shadows" behind-the-scenes look at how the analogue shadow puppetry scenes were created; "Candyman: The Impact of Black Horror" roundtable discussion moderated by Colman Domingo about the nuanced relationship Black Americans have with "Candyman," the horror genre and the overall idea of monsters and victims.
Read more here
(2021) Ben Caplan, Jonathan French, Leila Sykes, Inma Pavon, Conor Dwane. A lone drifter, Isaac, suffering from partial memory loss accepts a job from his old landlord to look after his niece Olga, a psychologically troubled woman living in an abandoned house on an isolated island. When Barrett convinces Isaac to confine his movements to the house and leaves the two of them alone, a game of cat and mouse ensues with Isaac fighting to survive amid the terrifying resurgence of his own memory. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray, VOD, Digital. Extras: Director's commentary, producer's commentary, storyboards. (RLJE Films).
(2021) Voices of Lake Bell, Michael Cera, Zoe Kazan, Louisa Krause, Angeliki Papoulia, Thomas Jay Ryan, Peter Stormare, Grace Zabriskie. Fantastical animated feature following cryptozookeepers through a richly-drawn hallucinatory world as they struggle to capture a baku, a legendary dream-eating hybrid creature. In the visually stunning animation, the cryptozookeepers soon begin to wonder if they should display these rare beasts in the confines of a zoo, or if these mythical creatures should remain hidden and unknown.
Formats: Blu-ray, VOD. Extras: Cryptozoo photo gallery, Cryptids GIF gallery. (Magnolia Home Entertainment). Read more here
The Deceivers BLU-RAY DEBUT
(1988) Director: Nicholas Meyer; stars Pierce Brosnan, Shashi Kapoor, Saeed Jaffrey, Helena Mitchell. A new digital restoration of this Merchant Ivory classic. "The Deceivers" is adapted from the John Masters novel, set in India in 1825, which depicts the exploits of William Savage (based on William Sleeman of the Indian Political Service), who disguises himself as an Indian in order to expose and destroy a secret cult whose members, the infamous Thugees, ritually murdered and robbed travelers in the name of the goddess Kali. Merchant had read the novel years before, been struck by it, and later decided to film it. The movie was slow in getting into production, however, and once into that stage presented such an array of problems as to stagger even Merchant. An entire book, "Hullabaloo in Old Jeypore: The Making of The Deceivers,", was needed for Merchant to set down all that occurred. Formats: Blu-ray. (Cohen Film Collection).
The Eyes of Tammy Faye
(2021) An intimate look at the extraordinary rise, fall and redemption of televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker. In the 1970s and 80s, Tammy Faye and her husband, Jim Bakker, rose from humble beginnings to create the world's largest religious broadcasting network and theme park, and were revered for their message of love, acceptance and prosperity. Tammy Faye was legendary for her indelible eyelashes, her idiosyncratic singing, and her eagerness to embrace people from all walks of life. However, it wasn't long before financial improprieties, scheming rivals, and scandal toppled their carefully constructed empire. Vitals: Director: Michael Showalter. Stars: Jessica Chastain, Andrew Garfield, Vincent D'Onofrio, Cherry Jones, Sam Jaeger.
2021, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 126 min., Drama, US box office gross: $2.400 million, worldwide $2.400 million, Fox.Formats: DVD, Blu-ray, VOD, Digital. Extras: "A Look Inside The Eyes of Tammy Faye."
Read more here
(2021) Jennifer Vogel's father John taught her so much about love and joy, but he also happened to be the most notorious counterfeiter in US history. An intimate family portrait of a young woman who struggles to rise above the wreckage of her past while reconciling the inescapable bond between a daughter and her father.
Vitals: Director: Sean Penn. Stars: Dylan Penn, Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Norbert Leo Butz, Dale Dickey, Eddie Marsan, Bailey Noble, Hopper Jack Penn, Katheryn Winnick.
2021, CC, MPAA rating: R, 109 min., Drama, US box office gross: $.424 million, worldwide $.657 million, MGM.Formats: DVD, Blu-ray, VOD, Digital.
Future Boy Conan: The Complete Series
(1978 -- Japan) Four-disc Blu-ray set, contains all 26 episodes of the show, and an exclusive 16-page booklet featuring character artwork. The directorial debut of acclaimed director Hayao Miyazaki, released for the first time in North America, featuring a new 4K restoration and English language Dub. Twenty years ago, a terrible war fought with magnetic weapons caused the earth's axis to tilt, and earthquakes and tidal waves destroyed civilization. Conan is born into this new world, raised by his adopted grandfather on an isolated island. But his life is forever changed when a mysterious girl named Lana washes ashore, pursued by shadowy operatives who seek to use her in a new scheme to control what’s left of the world.
Formats: Blu-ray, Digital. (GKIDS/Shout! Factory).
Hinterland: Complete Collection
(2013-16) Seven-disc set with 12 episodes. Weighed down by grief and guilt, DCI Tom Mathias comes to coastal Aberystwyth after a decade on the London police force. Escaping recent hurts and long-simmering trauma, he’s on a journey of recovery, healing himself by bringing justice to others. But the beautiful seaside vistas and close-knit mountain villages hide a multitude of sins. Partnered with hardworking local DI Mared Rhys, Mathias confronts mystifying murders that push him to the edge in a place with secrets as dark and destructive as his own.
Formats: DVD. (Acorn Media).
It’s a Wonderful Life
(1946) James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell, Henry Travers. 75th anniversary of one of the most beloved films in cinema history. A collectible, limited-edition two-disc Blu-ray set with a beautifully colorized version of the film in high definition as well as the original, digitally remastered black-and-white movie in high definition, and access to a digital copy of the film. Perfect for gift-giving, the set also includes 10 collectible recipe cards from Insight Editions’ "It’s a Wonderful Life: The Official Bailey Family Cookbook" with cuisine inspired by the film. Additionally, the set includes over 45 minutes of previously released bonus content exploring the meticulous process of preserving and revitalizing this iconic masterpiece, a look at the movie’s extraordinary sound, music, cinematography and visual effects, and vintage footage from the film’s wrap party.
Formats: Blu-ray. (Paramount).
(2021) Seeking an ancient tree with healing abilities, Dr. Lily Houghton (Emily Blunt) and wisecracking skipper Frank Wolff (Dwayne Johnson) team up for the adventure of a lifetime on Disney’s Jungle Cruise, a rollicking ride down the Amazon. Amidst danger and supernatural forces lurking in the jungle, secrets of the lost tree unfold as their fate – and mankind’s – hangs in the balance.Vitals: Director: Jaume Collet-Serra. Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt, Edgar Ramírez, Jack Whitehall, Jesse Plemons, Paul Giamatti, Veronica Falcón. 2021, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 127 min., Action Adventure, US box office gross: $82.266 million, worldwide $154.466 million, Studio.Formats: DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo with Digital Code, 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo, VOD, Digital. Extras: "Jungle Cruise Expedition Mode" allows viewers to climb aboard a ramshackle tramp steamer (or your own couch) to learn fun facts, discover Easter eggs and catch some pop-up trivia throughout the movie; "It’s A Jungle Out There: Making Jungle Cruise"; "Dwayne and Emily: Undoubtedly Funny"; "Creating the Amazon" effects featurette; "Once a Skip, Always a Skip" panel of “Skippers” at the Disneyland Resort as they reminisce about the rewards, challenges and surprises they’ve experienced while helming the world-famous “Jungle Cruise” attraction; outtakes; deleted scenes. Read more here.
Kevin Can F*** Himself
(2021) Two-disc set with eight episodes. Allison McRoberts (Annie Murphy) is the prototypical Sitcom Wife married to Kevin, her self-centered husband. When she learns that the perfect future she envisioned is impossible, she teams up with her neighbor Patty as she attempts to escape her confines and take control of her life.
Formats: DVD, Blu-ray. Extras: "A Look at the Series," "Meet the Characters," "Making of the Show." (RLJE Films).
The Lost Leonardo
(2021) The inside story behind the Salvator Mundi, the most expensive painting ever sold -- $450 million. From the moment the painting is bought for $1175 at a shady New Orleans auction house, and the restorer discovers masterful Renaissance brushstrokes under the heavy varnish of its cheap restoration, the Salvator Mundi’s fate is determined by an insatiable quest for fame, money and power. As its price soars, so do questions about its authenticity: is this painting really by Leonardo da Vinci?
Formats: DVD, Blu-ray, VOD, Digital. (Sony). Read more here
(2001) A love story in the city of dreams. Blonde Betty Elms (Naomi Watts) has only just arrived in Hollywood to become a movie star when she meets an enigmatic brunette with amnesia (Laura Harring). Meanwhile, as the two set off to solve the second woman’s identity, filmmaker Adam Kesher (Justin Theroux) runs into ominous trouble while casting his latest project. This seductive and scary vision of Los Angeles’s dream factory by David Lynch is one of the true masterpieces of the new millennium, a tale of love, jealousy, and revenge like no other. Formats: 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo. New 4K digital restoration, supervised by director David Lynch and director of photography Peter Deming, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack (4K UHD disc only). One 4K UHD disc of the film presented in Dolby Vision HDR and one Blu-ray with the film and special features. Extras: Interviews from 2015 with Lynch, Deming, actors Naomi Watts, Justin Theroux, and Laura Harring, composer Angelo Badalamenti, production designer Jack Fisk and casting director Johanna Ray; on-set footage; deleted scene; trailer; a booklet featuring an interview with Lynch from the 2005 edition of filmmaker and writer Chris Rodley’s book Lynch on Lynch. (The Criterion Collection).
National Velvet BLU-RAY DEBUT
(1945) Elizabeth Taylor, Mickey Rooney, Donald Crisp, Angela Lansbury, Anne Revere. As long as young hearts endure, so will "National Velvet" and movies like it. In her star-making role, Elizabeth Taylor plays Velvet Brown, a wide-eyed adolescent who, assisted by her jockey pal (Rooney), trains Pie, a horse she won in a raffle, for the Grand National Steeplechase. Of course, no girl can ride in the National, can she? Yet Velvet, posing as a boy, assuredly does. M-G-M was so impressed with their young new star’s work on the film, that the studio gave Pie to Miss Taylor after filming completed. Formats: Blu-ray. (Warner Archive).
Never Back Down: Revolt
(2021) James Faulkner, Olivia Popica, Gianni Calchetti, Michael Bisping, Neetu Chandra, Raffaello Degruttola, Hannah Al Rashid. When an amateur fighter is unwilling to throw a fight, his sister Anya (Popica) must travel to Rome and fight for an elite audience to help pay back her brother's debt to crime boss, Julian (Faulkner). When she arrives, she's taken by the merciless Janek (Bisping) and quickly realizes she is among many women who have been abducted and forced to fight for a deadly trafficking syndicate. Anya's only options are to surrender to Janek's demands or band together with the other women and take down their captors.
Formats: DVD, Blu-ray, VOD, Digital. (Sony).
Once Upon A Time In China: The Complete Films
One of the pinnacles of Hong Kong cinema’s 1990s golden age, the "Once Upon a Time in China" series set a new standard for martial-arts spectacle and launched action star Jet Li to international fame. It brings to vivid life the colorful world of China in the late 19th century, an era of immense cultural and technological change, as Western imperialism clashed with tradition and public order was upended by the threats of foreign espionage and rising nationalism. Against this turbulent backdrop, one man -- the real-life martial-arts master, physician, and folk hero Wong Fei-hung -- emerges as a noble protector of Chinese values as the country hurtles toward modernity. Conceived by Hong Kong New Wave leader Tsui Hark, this epic cycle is not only a dazzling showcase for some of the most astonishing action set pieces ever committed to film but also a rousing celebration of Chinese identity, history, and culture. The six-Blu-ray special edition collector’s set features 4K digital restorations of "Once Upon a Time in China" (1991), "Once Upon a Time in China II" (1992) and "Once Upon a Time in China III" (1993), and new 2K digital restorations of "Once Upon a Time in China IV" (1993) and "Once Upon a Time in China V" (1993), all presented with their original Cantonese theatrical-release sound mixes in uncompressed monaural or stereo. Alternate stereo Cantonese soundtracks for "Once Upon a Time in China" and "Once Upon a Time in China II," featuring the original theatrical sound effects, and monaural Cantonese soundtrack for "Once Upon a Time in China III";" Once Upon a Time in China and America" (1997) in a 2K digital transfer, featuring 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio and monaural Cantonese soundtracks, along with a stereo Mandarin track with the voice of actor Jet Li. Formats: Blu-ray. Extras: New interviews with director Tsui Hark, Film Workshop co-founder Nansun Shi, editor Marco Mak, and critic Tony Rayns; excerpts from audio interviews with Li conducted in 2004 and 05; deleted scenes from "Once Upon a Time in China III"; documentary from 2004 about the real-life martial-arts hero Wong Fei-hung; "From Spikes to Spindles," a 1976 documentary about New York City’s Chinatown featuring uncredited work by Tsui; excerpts from a 2019 master class given by martial-arts choreographer Yuen Wo-ping; archival interviews featuring Tsui and actors John Wakefield, Donnie Yen, and Yen Shi-kwan; behind-the-scenes footage for "Once Upon a Time in China" and "Once Upon a Time in China and America"; making-of program from 1997 on "Once Upon a Time in China and America"; trailers; an essay on the films by critic Maggie Lee and an essay on the cinematic depictions of Wong by novelist Grady Hendrix. (The Criterion Collection). Read more here.
(2021) Eve Austin, Tallulah Greive, Abigail Lawrie, Sally Messham, Rona Morison, Marli Siu, Stuart Martin, Jack Greenlees, Kate Dickie. In 1990s Scotland, a group of Catholic school girls get an opportunity to go into Edinburgh for a choir competition, but they're more interested in drinking, partying and hooking up than winning the competition.
Formats: DVD, Blu-ray, VOD, Digital. (Sony). Read more here
Prisoners of the Ghostland
(2021) Nicolas Cage, Sofia Boutella, Nick Cassavetes, Bill Moseley, Tak Sakaguchi, Yuzuka Nakaya. Set in the treacherous frontier city of Samurai Town, where a ruthless bank robber (Cage) is sprung from jail by wealthy warlord The Governor (Moseley), whose adopted granddaughter Bernice (Boutella) has gone missing. The Governor offers the prisoner his freedom in exchange for retrieving the runaway. Strapped into a leather suit that will self-destruct within three days, the bandit sets off on a journey to find the young woman -- and his own path to redemption. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray, Blu-ray/DVD Combo. Extras: "The Making of Prisoners of the Ghostland.” (RLJE Films).
(1981) Based on E.L. Doctorow’s best-selling novel of the same name, tells an unforgettable story of disparate characters in New York City in the early 1900s. From the emerging New York suburb of New Rochelle to the flashy spectacle of Atlantic City, a family faces racial tensions, scandals, and violence that will test everything they believe in. With music by Randy Newman, the film features a spectacular cast including James Cagney, Brad Dourif, Moses Gunn, Elizabeth McGovern, Kenneth McMillan, Pat O’Brien, Donald O’Connor, James Olson, Mandy Patinkin, Howard E. Rollins, Jr., Mary Steenburgen, Debbie Allen, Jeff Daniels, Fran Drescher, Samuel L. Jackson, Norman Mailer, John Ratzenberger. 40th anniverssry edition of director Milos Forman's film has been remastered from a 4K film transfer and is presented in collectible packaging featuring a foldout image of the film’s theatrical poster and an interior spread with key movie moments. Includes a newly discovered director’s cut workprint version of the film (along with the theatrical version), deleted and extended scenes, a look back with Larry Karaszewski and screenwriter Michael Weller, commentary by Forman, and executive producer Michael Hausmanaccess to a Digital copy of the theatrical version. Formats: Two-disc Blu-ray set + Digital Code. (Paramount Presents).
Some Came Running BLU-RAY DEBUT
(1958) Director: Vincente Minnelli; stars Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Shirley MacLaine, Martha Hyer. After a round of partying he can’t remember, World War II veteran Dave Hirsh is placed on a bus headed for the last place he’d choose Parkman, Indiana, the hometown Hirsh hasn’t seen in well over decade. Frank Sinatra plays Hirsh, whose arrival in Parkman brings small-town hypocrisy to the unforgiving light of day in this character-driven tale based on a novel by James Jones (whose "From Here to Eternity" led to Sinatra’s 1953 Oscar). In his first screen pairing with Sinatra, Dean Martin plays a sharp-witted card sharp. And Shirley MacLaine earned one of the movie’s five Academy Award nominations as the good-hearted floozy with a potentially fatal attraction to Hirsh.
Formats: Blu-ray. Extras: “The Story of Some Came Running” featurette, original theatrical trailer. (Warner Archive).
Wife of a Spy
(2021 -- Japan) Master filmmaker Kiyoshi Kurosawa ("Pulse," "Cure," "Tokyo Sonata") won the Silver Lion (Best Director) at the Venice Film Festival for this riveting, gorgeously crafted, old-school Hitchcockian thriller shot in stunning 8K. The year is 1940 in Kobe, on the eve of the outbreak of World War II. Local merchant and amateur filmmaker Yusaku (Issey Takahashi) senses that things are headed in an unsettling direction. Following a trip to Manchuria, he becomes determined to bring to light the things he witnessed there, and secretly filmed. Meanwhile, his wife Satoko (Yû Aoi) receives a visit from her childhood friend, now a military policeman. He warns her about Yusaku’s seditious ways and reveals that a woman her husband brought back from his trip has died. Satoko confronts Yusaku, but when she discovers his true intentions, she is torn between loyalty to her husband, the life they have built, and the country they call home.
Formats: DVD, Blu-ray. Extras: "The Making of Wife of a Spy," trailer. (Kino Lorber).
(2019) Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Masumi. Set in the expansive Japanese community of Sao Paulo in Brazil — the largest Japanese diaspora in the world — Yakuza Princess follows Akemi (MASUMI), an orphan who discovers she is the heiress to half of the Yakuza crime syndicate. Forging an uneasy alliance with an amnesiac stranger (Johnathan Rhys Meyers) who believes an ancient sword binds their two fates, Akemi must unleash war against the other half of the syndicate who want her dead.
Formats: DVD, Blu-ray, 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo, VOD, Digital. (Magnolia Home Entertainment/Magnet Label). Read more here
(2021) Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Emile Hirsch, Paz Vega, Jeremy Piven, Anastacia. Art and life collide in this neo-noir thriller. When a highly coveted Andy Warhol painting suddenly surfaces, it triggers a chain reaction of danger-filled events for a colorful group of characters including: a forger turned art dealer (Rhys Meyers); a mobster and painter (Hirsch) with a penchant for scorpions; a seductive museum conservator (Vega); and a stuntman and wannabe ninja (Piven). Filled with daring double-crosses and surprising twists and turns.
Formats: DVD, Blu-ray, VOD, Digital. (Lionsgate). Read more here
(2021) Trace Adkins, Stuart Townsend, Scout Taylor-Compton, Thomas Jane, Ed Morrone, Danielle Gross. Apache Junction is an outpost of lawlessness, a haven for thieves and cold-blooded killers. After big-city reporter Annabelle Angel (Taylor-Compton) arrives to write an article on the town, she becomes a target when notorious gunslinger Jericho Ford (Townsend) comes to her aid. Now Annabelle must entrust her future to a man with a deadly past, as Jericho heads toward a tense showdown in this thrilling Western that unloads a double-barreled blast of action. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray + Digital. Extras: "True Western: Making Apache Junction," commentary with cast and crew. (Lionsgate).
(1941) In the most dazzling debut feature in cinema history, 25-year-old writer-producer-director-star Orson Welles synthesized the possibilities of sound-era filmmaking into what could be called the first truly modern movie. In telling the story of the meteoric rise and precipitous fall of a William Randolph Hearst–like newspaper magnate named Charles Foster Kane, Welles not only created the definitive portrait of American megalomania, he also unleashed a torrent of stylistic innovations -- from the jigsaw-puzzle narrative structure to the stunning deep-focus camera work of Gregg Toland -- that have ensured that "Citizen Kane" remains fresh and galvanizing for every new generation of moviegoers to encounter it.
Formats: 4-disc 4K UHD/Blu-ray combo and 3-disc Blu-ray, with new 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack. In the 4K UHD edition: One 4K UHD disc of the film is presented in Dolby Vision HDR and three Blu-rays with the film and special features Extras: Three audio commentaries: from 2021 featuring Orson Welles scholars James Naremore and Jonathan Rosenbaum, from 2002 featuring filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich, and from 2002 featuring film critic Roger Ebert; "The Complete Citizen Kane,” (1991), a rarely seen feature-length BBC documentary; new interviews with critic Farran Smith Nehme and film scholar Racquel J. Gates; new video essay by Orson Welles scholar Robert Carringer; new program on the film’s special effects by film scholars and effects experts Craig Barron and Ben Burtt; interviews from 1990 with editor Robert Wise, actor Ruth Warrick, optical-effects designer Linwood Dunn, Bogdanovich, filmmakers Martin Scorsese, Henry Jaglom, Martin Ritt, and Frank Marshall, and cinematographers Allen Daviau, Gary Graver, and Vilmos Zsigmond; new documentary featuring archival interviews with Welles; interviews with actor Joseph Cotten from 1966 and 1975; "The Hearts of Age," a brief silent film made by Welles as a student in 1934; television programs from 1979 and 1988 featuring appearances by Welles and Mercury Theatre producer John Houseman; program featuring a 1996 interview with actor William Alland on his collaborations with Welles; selection of The Mercury Theatre on the Air radio plays featuring many of the actors from "Citizen Kane"; trailer. (The Criterion Collection).
Deep Blues BLU-RAY DEBUT
(1992) In 1990, commissioned by award-winning musician, songwriter, producer, innovator and Eurythmics co-founder Dave Stewart, veteran music film director Robert Mugge and renowned music scholar Robert Palmer ventured deep into the heart of the North Mississippi Hill Country and Mississippi Delta to seek out the best rural blues acts currently working. Starting on Beale Street in Memphis, they headed south to the juke joints, lounges, front porches, and parlors of Holly Springs, Greenville, Clarksdale, Bentonia, and Lexington. Along the way, they visited celebrated landmarks and documented talented artists cut off from the mainstream of the recording industry. The resulting film expresses reverence for the rich musical history of the region, spotlighting local performers, soon to be world-renowned, thanks in large part to the film, and demonstrating how the blues continues to thrive in new generations of gifted musicians. Digitally restored in 4K. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray. Extras:
New audio commentary by director Robert Mugge, "Deep Blues Behind-the-Scenes." (Film Movement).
Escape From Death Block 13
(2021) Robert Bronzi, Nicholas Turturro, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, Chris Hahn, Debbie Scaletta. After the death of his brother, Mick Kovacs travels to America to seek justice. Framed for attempted murder, he is sent to the notorious Pleasant Hill Penitentiary where survival is an everyday struggle. Seeking revenge after discovering the truth behind his brother’s death, Mick’s rage ignites an explosive riot as he makes a daring escape. Formats: DVD, VOD. (Uncork’d Entertainment). Read more here
Lullaby of Broadway BLU-RAY DEBUT
(1951) Doris Day, Gene Nelson, S.Z. Sakall, Gladys George, Billy DeWolfe. Doris Day is at the top of her form in this Warner Bros. musical classic, which gave her a chance to not just vocalize with her usual excellence, but to also show off her impressive dancing talents. The prospect was daunting for the star, as a car accident during her youth left her with severe injuries, and she was told that she would have to put aside her dreams of becoming a dancer. Vocally talented as she was, she rose to fame as a big band singer, which eventually led to her screen stardom. When preparing for this big-budget musical’s finale to the famous title tune, the steps of the studio set towered before her like a pyramid. All Day had to do was dance up and down those steps wearing a flowing gold lamé dress. “You’ve got to be out of your minds,” Day exclaimed in a voice head across the soundstage. “I can’t even walk up and down those stairs.” She danced divinely – and sang in this musical delight about a singer newly arrived in New York ... and destined for Great White Way fame.
Formats: Blu-ray. (Warner Archive).
Menace II Society
(1993) Directors Albert and Allen Hughes and screenwriter Tyger Williams were barely into their twenties when they sent shock waves through American cinema and hip-hop culture with this fatalistic, unflinching vision of life and death on the streets of Watts, Los Angeles, in the 1990s. There, in the shadow of the riots of 1965 and 1992, young Caine (Tyrin Turner) is growing up under the influence of his ruthless, drug-dealing father (Samuel L. Jackson, in a chilling cameo) and his loose-cannon best friend, O-Dog (Larenz Tate), leading him into a spiral of violent crime from which he is not sure he wants to escape, despite the best efforts of his grandparents and the steadfast Ronnie (Jada Pinkett). Fusing grim realism with a propulsively stylish aesthetic honed through the Hughes brothers’ work on rap videos, "Menace II Society" is a searing cautionary tale about the devastating human toll of hopelessness.
Formats: 2-disc 4K UHD/Blu-ray Combo, Blu-ray, with new 4K digital restoration of the directors’ cut of the film, supervised by cinematographer Lisa Rinzler and co-director Albert Hughes, with 7.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. In the 4K UHD edition: One 4K UHD disc of the film presented in Dolby Vision HDR and one Blu-ray with the film and special features. Original 2.0 surround soundtrack, presented in DTS-HD Master Audio. Extras: Two audio commentaries from 1993 featuring directors Albert and Allen Hughes; "Gangsta Vision," a 2009 featurette on the making of the film; new conversation among Albert Hughes, screenwriter Tyger Williams, and film critic Elvis Mitchell; new conversation among Allen Hughes, actor and filmmaker Bill Duke, and Mitchell; interview from 1993 with the directors; deleted scenes; film-to-storyboard comparison; trailer; an essay by film critic Craig D. Lindsey. (The Criterion Collection).
Phantom of the Mall: Eric's Revenge [Limited Edition}
(1989) With numerous interpretations of Gaston Leroux's classic novel "The Phantom of the Opera" having been turned out over the years, it was only a matter of time before the slasher genre decided to take a stab at the tale - step forward 1989's "Phantom of the Mall: Eric's Revenge"! High school sweethearts Eric Matthews and Melody Austin are so in love, but their youthful romance is cut tragically short when Eric apparently dies in a fire that engulfs his family home. One year later and Melody is trying to move on with her life, taking up a job at the newly built Midwood Mall along with her friends. But the mall, which stands on the very site of Eric's former home, has an uninvited guest - a shadowy, scarred figure that haunts its airducts and subterranean passageways, hellbent on exacting vengeance on the mall's crooked developers. Directed by Richard Friedman ("Scared Stiff," "Doom Asylum"), and featuring star turns from Pauly Shore and Morgan Fairchild. Includes three versions of the feature: Original Theatrical Cut, TV Cut and bonus Integral Fan Cut. Formats: Blu-ray. Extras: 60-page fully-illustrated perfect-bound book featuring new writing by Daniel Budnik and Amanda Reyesl; large fold-out double-sided poster featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Justin Osbourn; six postcard-sized lobby card reproductions; limited edition packaging with reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Justin Osbourn; audio commentary with director Richard Friedman, moderated by filmmaker Michael Felsher; new audio commentary with disc producer Ewan Cant and film historian/author Amanda Reyes; "Shop Til’ You Drop!: The Making of Phantom of the Mall"; "The Vandals Go to the Mall" interview with Joe Escalante of The Vandals on the creation of the "Phantom of the Mall" theme song; alternate and deleted scenes from the TV cut; domestic and international trailers; image gallery; Scott J. Schneid and Tony Michelman's original script and associated special effects storyboards by Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff, Jr. [BD-ROM Content]. (Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment). Read more here.
(2021) Voices of Jerry O’Connell, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Rob Schneider, Dolph Lundgren, Tyler Hollinger, Isadora Swann, Nicholas Turturro with Eric Roberts, Danny Trejo, Keith David and Malcolm McDowell. Get ready for hilarious canine holiday hijinks. While everyone is away on a company ski trip, a jealous inventor hires two thieves to break into his co-worker’s house and steal his top secret new creation. But they are no match for a mischievous pack of neighborhood pups, who set up tricks and traps to protect the home and save Christmas. Formats: DVD, VOD, Digital.(Paramount). Read more here
(2021 -- Hong Kong) Donnie Yen, Nicholas Tse, Patrick Tam, Kenny Wong, Deep Ng, Jeana Ho, Lui Leung Wai, Simon Yam. Bong (Yen) is a highly respected hardline cop with a long history of success on dangerous cases. However, his past unexpectedly comes back to haunt him when a sting operation is attacked by a mysterious group of criminals led by Ngo (Tse), his former protégé, a talented former officer who had once respected and admired Bong. However, a terrible mistake years prior landed him in prison, quickly turning the once rising star into a furious man with a grudge, and the will to destroy everyone who had wronged him -- including his former mentor. With a new English dub. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray, VOD, Digital. (Well Go USA). Read more here
Sailor Suit and Machine Gun
(1981 -- Japan) A perky high-schooler takes on the mob in this one-of-a-kind genre-bender that riffs on the yakuza film, coming-of-age drama and "idol movie," inventively adapted from Jiro Akagawa's popular novel by director Shinji Somai, a massively influential figure in Japanese cinema whose work has been little seen outside his homeland. Hoshi Izumi is a young innocent forced to grow up quickly when her father dies and she finds herself next in line as the boss of a moribund yakuza clan. Wrenched from the security of her classroom and thrust into the heart of the criminal underworld, she must come to terms with the fact that her actions hold the key to the life or death of the men under her command as they come under fire from rival gangs. Presented in both its original theatrical and longer complete versions, and the first time one of Somai's films has been released on home video in the West, this landmark work from his early career was responsible for launching teen talent Hiroko Yakushimaru as the iconic face of a generation, with the catchy theme song she performs indelibly etched into the zeitgeist of early-1980s Japan. High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentations of the original theatrical version and the 1982 complete version (kanpeki-ban) re-issue of the film, restored by Kadokawa Pictures from a 4K scan of the original negative. Formats: Blu-ray. Extras: "Girls, Guns and Gangsters: Shinji Somai & Sailor Suit & Machine Gun," an exclusive new 50-minute documentary; original trailers and TV spots for both versions; image gallery; reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Michael Lomon; *FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Aaron Gerow and Alex Zahlten, and a discussion between the film's star Hiroko Yakushimaru and acclaimed director Kiyoshi Kurosawa, who was an assistant on the film. (Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment). Read more here.
The Sesame Street: Wonderful World of Friends
(2021) Contains over 2 hours of fun. With songs and segments from the show, kids will celebrate cultural traditions and meet international visitors on Sesame Street: Friends from around the world gather for an international food festival; Telly and Zoe help Leela celebrate the Indian holiday Rakhi; and Rosita shares what being Mexican means to her. Special guests Alessia Cara, Billy Porter, Josh Groban, and John Legend join in this special celebration of friendship. Formats: DVD, Digital. Extras: "A Very Sesame Thanksgiving," "The Magical Wand Chase: A Sesame Street Special." (Sesame Workshop/Shout! Kids).
The Snake Girl and the Silver-haired Witch
(1968 -- Japan) Yûko Hamada, Kazuo Umezu, Mariko Fukuhara, Yachie Matsui. A classic horror manga comes to life. A fantastically phantasmagorical slice of twisted tokusatsu terror ostensibly made for children that will irreparably traumatize any child that sees it. A young girl named Sayuri is reunited with her estranged family after years in an orphanage - but trouble lurks within the walls of the large family home. Her mother is an amnesiac after a car accident six months earlier, her sullen sister is confined to the attic and a young housemaid dies inexplicably of a heart attack just before Sayuri arrives ... is it all connected to her father's work studying venomous snakes? And is the fanged, serpentine figure that haunts Sayuri's dreams the same one spying on her through holes in the wall? Making its worldwide Blu-ray debut and its home video premiere outside Japan, this rarely-screened, nightmarishly disorienting creepshow not only displays a seldom-seen side of kaiju auteur Noriaki Yuasa, but its skilful blending of director Kazuo Umezu's comics (published in English-language markets as Reptilia) arguably anticipates many of the trends seen in J-horror decades later. Formats: Blu-ray. Extras: New commentary by film historian David Kalat; "This Charming Woman," a newly filmed interview with manga and folklore scholar Zack Davisson; theatrical trailer; image gallery; reversible sleeve featuring new and original artwork by Mike Lee-Graham; FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collectors’ booklet featuring new writing by Raffael Coronelli.(Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment).
The Thin Man Goes Home BLU-RAY DEBUT
(1944) William Powell, Myrna Loy, Lucile Watson, Gloria De Haven, Anne Revere. William Powell and Myrna Loy reunite as amateur sleuths Nick and Nora Charles in this penultimate 5th entry to the beloved, long-running series of mystery comedies that began a decade earlier. Outlaws come and go in Nick and Nora’s lives. Now it’s time to meet the in-laws. The debonair sleuths leave little Nicky Jr. at boarding school, grab Asta and head to Nick’s boyhood home of Sycamore Springs. Of course, wherever they go, murder has a way of showing up on the doorstep. Nick can show off his gumshoe talents for his parents when an artist is killed. And he’ll do it without customary liquid inspirations… because Nick is on the wagon. Formats: Blu-ray. Extras: Classic M-G-M Robert Benchley short “Why, Daddy?,” classic M-G-M Tex Avery cartoon “Screwball Squirrel,” original theatrical trailer. (Warner Archive).
Two From Sergei Eisenstein: October & Alexander Nevsky
Born in Riga, Latvia in 1898, Sergei Eisenstein brought Russian history to life and to the masses through a blend of avant-garde filmmaking and Communist propaganda. A director and film theorist, he was perhaps best known for being the father of the film montage and despite his relatively small output, he’s regarded as one of cinema's chief architects whose influence transcended national and political boundaries. "October" (1928): Officially produced to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the Russian Revolution, "October" quickly became another of Sergei Eisenstein's experiments in film form. As in his masterpiece, "Battleship Potemkin," Eisenstein uses explosive montage to create the spirit of revolution -- in this case, the events in St. Petersburg during the months leading up to the Bolshevik revolt. Given complete access to the city – including the Czar’s Winter Palace -- Eisenstein utilized non-actors to recount history from a political perspective. There is no main character in "October"; no one person, not Lenin not a minister or Bolshevik is singled out. The hero of the film, as Eisenstein saw it, is the proletariat. Its triumph, its victory, is the Revolution, and Eisenstein's insistence on speaking the language of pure film shoves his mad rush of images straight into the viewer's mind in an unforgettable way. "Alexander Nevsky" (1938): Ten years after "October," upon returning from Hollywood and Mexico, Eisenstein changed his cinematic approach, leaving behind the densely edited style of his celebrated silent films, turning instead to historical sources, contradictory audiovisuals, and theatrical sets for this grandiose yet subversive sound-era work. Eisenstein's landmark tale of Russia thwarting the German invasion of the 13th century was wildly popular and quite intentional, given the prevailing Nazi geopolitical advancement and destruction at the time. In 1242, Russia in being invaded by two sides: from the orient by the Mongols and from Europe by the German Teutonic Knights of the Holy Roman Empire. The last free city in Russia, Novgorod, calls the Prince Aleksandr Nevsky, who had defeated the Swedish in a previous battle, to defend the city. Featuring some of the most beautiful imagery ever put on film, a majestic music score from Prokofiev and a dazzling, climactic battle on a frozen lake. Formats: DVD, Digital. (Corinth Films).
(2019) This jolt of pure cinematic adrenaline affirmed directors Josh and Benny Safdie as heirs to the gritty, heightened realism of Martin Scorsese and John Cassavetes. Adam Sandler delivers an almost maniacally embodied performance as Howard Ratner, a fast-talking New York jeweler in relentless pursuit of the next big score. When he comes into possession of a rare opal, it seems Howard’s ship has finally come in -- as long as he can stay one step ahead of a wife (Idina Menzel) who hates him, a mistress (Julia Fox) who can’t quit him, and a frenzy of loan sharks and hit men closing in on him. Wrapping a vivid look at the old-school Jewish world of Manhattan’s Diamond District within a kinetic thriller, "Uncut Gems" gives us a tragic hero of competing compulsions on a shoot-the-moon quest to transcend his destiny.
Formats: DVD, Blu-ray, 4K Ultra HD, with 4K digital transfer, with Dolby Atmos soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Extras: Audio commentary from 2019 featuring writer-directors Josh Safdie and Benny Safdie, writer and editor Ronald Bronstein, and producer Sebastian Bear-McClard; new interviews with cinematographer Darius Khondji, costume designer Miyako Bellizzi, and casting director Jennifer Venditti; documentaries from 2019 and 2020 on the making of the film and soundtrack; screen test featuring actors Adam Sandler and Julia Fox; "Goldman v. Silverman," a 2020 short film by the Safdies, featuring Sandler and Benny Safdie; “Question & Answer,” a 2020 short film featuring the Safdies, Sandler, actor Jason Bateman, and comedy writer Megan Amram; deleted and extended scenes, including a full performance of “The Morning” by the Weeknd; trailer; an essay by film critic J. Hoberman and, for the 4K UHD and Blu-ray, a 2020 discussion of the film by the editorial staff of Jewish Currents magazine. (The Criterion Collection). Read more here.
(2021) Single-disc with four episodes. When Jodie’s young son vanished from a lakeside picnic, it was presumed he drowned, but Jodie believed he was abducted. Years later, she sees a boy she’s certain is her son. Jeopardizing the life she’s painstakingly rebuilt, Jodie begins a dangerous and morally dark journey to prove the boy is her son and save him from his abductor.
Formats: DVD. (Sundance Now).
Giallo Essentials (Red Edition Blu-ray)
Alongside the spaghetti western, the giallo is one of the most famous Italian export genres: films steeped in mystery and intrigue, delivered with stylized violence and unforgettable musical themes. "The Possessed" (1965) masterfully combines noir, mystery and giallo tropes in a proto-giallo based on one of Italy's most notorious crimes. It tells the story of a depressed novelist (Peter Baldwin) in search of his old flame (Virna Lisi) who has disappeared under suspicious circumstances, prompting an investigation that finds him plunged into a disturbing drama of familial secrets, perversion, madness and murder. "The Fifth Cord" (1971) boasts a complex, Agatha Christie-esque plot of investigation into a series of brutal assaults. As the body count rises, whisky swilling journalist Andrea Bild (Franco Nero) finds himself under suspicion, making it all the more imperative he crack the case. "The Pyjama Girl Case" (1978), inspired by a real-life case that baffles to this day, takes us to Australia where former inspector Timpson comes out of retirement to crack the case of a young woman, found on the beach, shot in the head, burned to hide her identity and dressed in distinctive yellow pyjamas. In the first of a multi-volume series of Giallo Essentials, these films feature a raft of talent in front and behind the camera with each film restored from the original camera negative and presented with a range of contextualizing interviews and featurettes. Three-disc set with brand new 2K restorations of the films from the original camera negatives. Rigid box packaging with newly designed artwork by Adam Rabalais in a windowed Giallo Essentials Collection slipcover. Formats: Blu-ray. Extras: Commentaries, video appreciations, interviews, trailers, (Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment).
Heaven Can Wait BLU-RAY DEBUT
(1978) Warren Beatty stars in (as well as produces, co-writes, and co-directs) this fan-favorite comedy, which has been fully restored and remastered from the original negative under Beatty’s supervision for its arrival on Blu-ray for the first time ever. Directed by Beatty and Buck Henry, with a screenplay by Elaine May and Beatty, "Heaven Can Wait" features a sensational cast filled with comedic talent, including Julie Christie, James Mason, Charles Grodin, Dyan Cannon, Buck Henry, Vincent Gardenia, and Jack Warden. Joe Pendleton (Beatty) is a Los Angeles Rams backup quarterback ready to lead the team all the way to the Super Bowl, but the afterlife has other plans. It seems an overzealous guardian angel has prematurely plucked Joe from the living. When he’s returned to Earth in the body of millionaire industrialist Leo Farnsworth, he inherits a world of challenges, including winning the love of a woman (Christie) who already hated “him.” Formats: Blu-ray + Digital Copy. (Paramount).
(2021) The latest creation from "Conjuring" universe architect James Wan. The film marks director Wan's return to his roots with this new original horror thriller. Madison is paralyzed by shocking visions of grisly murders, and her torment worsens as she discovers that these waking dreams are in fact terrifying realities.
Vitals: Director: James Wan. Stars: Annabelle Wallis, Maddie Hasson, George Young, Michole Briana White, Jacqueline McKenzie, Ingrid Bisu, Paula Marshall, Jake Abel. 2021, CC, MPAA rating: R, 118 min., Horror, US box office gross: $13.374 million, worldwide $33.174 million, Warner.Formats: DVD, Blu-ray, VOD, Digital. Extras: "Malignant: James Wan’s Visions" behind-the-scenes featurette. Read more here.
Party Girl BLU-RAY DEBUT
(1958) Director: Nicholas Ray; stars Robert Taylor, Cyd Charisse, Lee J. Cobb, John Ireland. When maverick director Nicholas Ray turned his talents to a gangster movie, a familiar genre became startling and new. Under the auspices of long-time M-G-M musical producer Joe Pasternak, and with the added gloss of the CinemaScope widescreen and Metrocolor, the auteur created a cult classic. Set in 1930s Chicago, "Party Girl" follows a bum-legged mouthpiece for the mob (Taylor) and a gorgeous, wised-up vamp (Charisse) who fall in love, try to go straight ... and head straight for trouble. Ray deepens the drama and heightens the violence with filmmaking artistry: a screen painted in sinister ebony and blood red, an urban landscape of shattered glass and shattered bodies, and a scene where a Jean Harlow-besotted mobster learns his idol has married – and shreds her photo with a rat-a-tat of lead. Formats: Blu-ray. (Warner Archive).
(1981) Directed, co-written, produced by and starring Warren Beatty, the masterful political and historical epic celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. The story of a radical American journalist embroiled in the Bolshevik revolution mesmerized critics and audiences alike and remains as relevant today as when it was originally released on December 25, 1981. New two-disc Blu-ray set, newly restored under Beatty’s supervision. The film was restored and remastered from the original negative in 4K with High Dynamic Range using a vintage print from the Paramount archives as a reference, which was approved by Academy Award-winning cinematographer Vittorio Storaro. In addition to Beatty, the film boasts an outstanding cast including Diane Keaton, Jack Nicholson, Edward Herrmann, Gene Hackman, Paul Sorvino, and Maureen Stapleton, whose performance won her an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. The engrossing depiction of the love story between activists John Reed (Beatty) and Louise Bryant (Keaton) set against the outbreak of World War I and the rise of communism in Russia garnered 12 Academy Award nominations and won three, including Best Director for Beatty, who also took home every other major directorial award of the season.
Formats: Blu-ray + Digital Code. Extras: "Witness to Reds: The Rising, Comrades, Testimonials, The March, Revolution – Part 1, Revolution – Part 2, Propaganda"; "Reds" trailer. (Paramount).
(2021) Morfydd Clark, Jennifer Ehle, Lily Frazer, Lily Knight, Marcus Hutton, Turlough Convery, Rosie Sansom. The debut film from writer-director Rose Glass, "Saint Maud" is a chilling and boldly original vision of faith, madness, and salvation in a fallen world. Maud, a newly devout hospice nurse, becomes obsessed with saving her dying patient's soul — but sinister forces, and her own sinful past, threaten to put an end to her holy calling.
Formats: DVD, Blu-ray, VOD, Digital. Extras: Audio commentary with writer-director Rose Glass, "A Higher Calling: The Rapture of Saint Maud." (Lionsgate).
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
(2021) In the newest entry in the Marvel Universe, Shang-Chi spent his childhood being trained as an assassin by his ruthless father. This brutal upbringing made him a kung fu master, but he chose a life away from his deadly family. After escaping to San Francisco, Shang-Chi forged a new identity and tried to forget how he was raised. Years later, Shang-Chi finds himself pulled into the secretive organization of the Ten Rings and embroiled once again in the criminal world he had left. He must decide if he will fight for or against his father, who is more powerful than Shang-Chi ever realized.
Vitals: Director: Destin Daniel Cretton. Stars: Simu Liu, Tony Leung, Awkwafina, Meng’er Zhang, Fala Chen, Michelle Yeoh, Yuen Wa.
2021, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 132 min., Action Adventure, US box office gross: $201.699 million, worldwide $368.876 million, Disney.Formats: DVD, Blu-ray + Digital Code, 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo + Digital Code, VOD, Digital.
Extras: Gag reel, deleted scenes, "Building a Legacy" behind-the-scenes featurette, "Family Ties" featurette on the rich but complicated legacy of Shang-Chi and Xu Wenwu, commentary by director Destin Daniel Cretton and writer Dave Callaham.
Read more here
All listings are based on information from
the home video studios. Some release dates may change and titles may come out
after a specified date (with no announcement from the studio). Additionally,
some titles may be released with little or no advance announcement. And since
all DVDs are priced at sell-through and are available for substantial discounts
at both online and brick-and-mortar stores, we only list suggested retail prices
for some special editions, box sets and collections.
All DVDs are screened on a reference system consisting of a
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.