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That Time of The Decade: DVD & Blu-ray Reviews Galore!

So, April Fool’s!  It’s been far, far too long since a DVD/Blues column has been finished.  This was intended for publication more than several weeks ago, then a major family health crisis put everything on the back burner.  After waiting far too long, we’ve finally gotten some answers from the doctor and although the news isn’t great, it could be far, far worse.

But hey, those are my excuses.  Within you’re going to find dozens and dozens of discs covered, so when you say I have no idea what to watch, pop open this list.

Fire up your queues, fill up your shopping cart and settle in…

 

2016 World Series Champions: The Chicago Cubs
Shout! Factory / Released 12/6/16

All droughts end with rain. The cleansing washes away all of the curses and superstitions and omprobable losses. The Chicago Cubs ended their drought. Fly the W! The Cubs are 2016 World Series Champions!

The 2015 Fall Classic was the end of a long road. Generations of families and friends celebrated cherished memories newly washed by a championship. And it may even be the begining of a new kind of journey for the Cubs ands their fans.

Owner Tom Ricketts and Presisdent of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein collaborated to shape a staff and team that could pull of the most epic of Championships.

Extras include Regular Season Highlights, Clinching Moments, World Series Highlights and World Series Parade.

 

 

For the Love of Spock – Special Director’s Edition
FilmRise /Released 12/6/16

For The Love of Spock celebrates the life and career of Star Trek‘s Mr. Spock and the actor who played him, Leonard Nimoy, in a never-before-seen way: through the eyes of his son and director Adam Nimoy. Includes interviews and clips with Jim Parsons, Zoe Saldana, William Shatner, George Takei and many more. Extras include teaser and trailer, commentary, Leonard Nimoy’s Boston, Kickstarter Gallery, Tribeca Panel, Trivia Time with Jason Alexander, and On Set with the “Big Bang Theory.”

Last Word:  Entertaining, informative and occasionally quite moving documentary on actor Leonard Nimoy, as well as an appreciation of his most famous (and beloved) portrayal, Star Trek’s Spock.

From its fascinating home movies at the start of the film to its many celebrity insights to analyses of Spock’s immediate – and enduring – appeal, For The Love of Spock is indeed a labor of love. The film was directed – and interviews conducted by – Nimoy’s son, Adam, and the film examines Adam’s at-times rocky relationship with his dad.

While Nimoy was unwavering in his giving his fans attention, it sometimes led to his neglecting his family. Adam and his sister did resent this, but ultimately their love shines through, and For The Love of Spock is a seemingly unflinching but ultimately greatly affectionate look at their dad and his famous alter ego.  We learn of Nimoy’s fledgling career in the 50s and 60s, his landing of the role of Spock, his – and Gene Roddenberry’s – refining the role after every actor sans Nimoy was recast after the FIRST pilot. We hear of initial negative reactions to the show by both critics and contemporaries (Nimoy’s longtime friend, actor Barry Newman, warned Nimoy that his role as Spock was a “treadmill to oblivion”).

Trek fans will note many familiar faces in the doc: Nichelle Nichols, Walter Koenig, George Takei and William Shatner (who never does address the reason he and Nimoy weren’t speaking at the time of his death, alas). Also, newer Trek alum, such as Chris Pine, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, Zoe Saldana and a very respectful Zachary Quinto, who has played Spock in the most recent Trek films.

For The Love of Spock dives into Nimoy’s directing career, his work as a stage actor, and yes, his musical career (fear not; “The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins” is represented here).  While there are certainly many tidbits here that longtime fans may be well-aware of (the origin of the “live long and prosper” gesture, for one), there were more than a few anecdotes and observations that seemed fresh to this lifelong Trek fan.  But the main selling point is part of the title: the love on display here, the respect for Nimoy and the character of Spock, and the participants’ personal anecdotes and interpretations of his universal appeal are always interesting, often emotional and sometimes revelatory.

Despite some well-tread ground, For The Love of Spock is simply a must for Trek fanatics, but it may be just as exciting for casual fans and newcomers. It’s ultimately an intriguing look at one man’s life and legacy, through his personal life and his career; simultaneously an involving character study and a valuable pulling back of the curtain on showbiz.  And damned if it didn’t make me tear up. Ahem…more than once. (– Dean Galanis)

 

Lego Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures
Disney / Released 12/6/16

Taking place between the events of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, these new adventures follow a family of scavengers who build and sell starships from battle debris strewn throughout the galaxy.

When their youngest discovers a natural connection with the Force through an ancient artifact – the Kyber Saber, he and his family are thrown into an epic struggle against the Empire to restore peace and freedom to the galaxy.

Extras include magnets.

Includes the episodes:

  • A Hero Discovered: Rowan meets a Jedi named Naare and learns of the Kyber Saber.
  • The Mines of Graballa: While attempting to retrieve a Kyber Saber Crystal from an asteroid field, Rowan is captured by Graballa the Hutt.
  • Zander’s Joyride: When Zander takes a classic starfighter out for a joyride, he winds up in the clutches of Darth Vader.
  • The Lost Treasure of Cloud City: A hunt for precious cargo brings the Freemakers to Cloud City.
  • Peril on Kashyyyk: Kordi’s attempts to save money force the Freemakers into trouble on Kashyyyk.
  • Crossing Paths: While on the run from Imperials, Luke and Leia show the Freemakers the selfless nature of the Force and the Rebellion.
  • Race on Tatooine: Graballa lures the Freemakers into a trap.
  • The Test: It is time for Rowan to test his powers of the force in its final episode of the first season.
  • The Kyber Saber Chase: The freemakers go to find more kyber saber crystals.
  • The Maker of Zoh: The Freemakers travel to Zoh where they meet the Maker, who teaches Rowan how to build using the Force.
  • Showdown on Hoth: The race for the Kyber Saber Crystals comes to an exciting finish on Hoth.
  • Duel of Destiny: Rowan & Naare engage in a light saber duel that has galactic consequences.
  • Return of the Kyber Saber: The explosive final battle for the Kyber Saber comes down to Rowan vs Naare vs the Emperor!

 

Don’t Think Twice
Universal / Released 12/6/16

From the director of Walk With Me and the creator of This American Life comes this smart, funny and honest comedy starring Keegan-Michael Key, Gillian Jacobs, Mike Birbiglia, Kate Micucci, Chris Gethard and Tami Sagher.

For 11 years, the six-person comedy team known as The Commune has killed onstage, waiting for its big break. The team finds itself at a crossroads, when one of the group becomes a solo success and the others start to wonder if they will make it after all.

Extras include featurettes and deleted scenes.

Last Word: Comedy comes from a dark place.

And the comedy business appears to be even more cutthroat.

Despite spending over a decade together, the improv troupe struggle maintaining their familial love, jealousy and trust as one member gets courted by a late night sketch comedy series.  Filled with humor, and honesty, Don’t Think Twice, features several impressive performances and captures the inspiration and defeat in creativity in a memorable and touching film that stays with you long after the credits end.

 

Henry Portrait of a Serial Killer: 30th Anniversary
MPI Media / Released 12/6/16

Henry Portrait of a Serial Killer is a chilling profile of a cold-blooded killer that, 30 years after its historic festival premiere, has lost none of its power to shock.

The film, loosely based on a true story, has been hailed as one of the most disturbing and terrifying examinations of mass murderers ever filmed.

Henry (Michael Rooker, The Walking Dead) is a psychopathic drifter who has coldly murdered a number of people for no particular reason and without any remorse.

Leaving bodies in his wake, Henry makes his way to Chicago, where his he settles into the run-down apartment of his drug-dealing former prison friend and occasional roommate Otis (Tom Towles).

Also moving into the space is Otis’s younger sister Becky (Tracy Arnold), who is fleeing her abusive husband. As she fends off her brother’s incestuous advances, Becky finds herself attracted to Henry – unaware that he, along with Otis, are continuing their murderous rampage.

Extras include featurettes, interviews, trailer and booklet.

 

The Hollars
Sony / Released 12/6/16

John Hollar, a struggling NYC artist is forced to navigate the small middle-American town he left behind when news of his mother’s illness brings him home.

Back in the house he grew up in, John is immediately swept up in the problems of his dysfunctional family, high school rival, and an over-eager ex-girlfriend as he faces impending fatherhood with his girlfriend in New York.

From a script by Jim Strouse that is at turns hilarious and heartbreaking, John Krasiniski’s second feature is a poignant look at the bonds of family and friendship.

Krasinski stars with an amazing ensemble which includes Mary Kay Place, Richard Jenkins, Margo Martindale, Josh Groban, Charlie Day, Anna Kendrick, Sharlto Copley, Ashley Dyke and Randall Park.

Extras include commentary, featurettes and LA Film Festival Q& A.

 

The Shannara Chronicles: Season One
Paramount /Released 12/6/16

Based on the 26-volume book series by Terry Brooks, The Shannara Chronicles tells the epic story of an Elvin princess, a bandit, and a half-Elf tasked with stopping the end of the world. Created and Executive Produced by Alfred Gough & Miles Millar (“Smallville”) and Executive Produced by Jon Favreau (Iron Man), and shot against the epic landscapes of New Zealand.

Thousands of years after the destruction of our civilization, Earth is divided into what is known as the Four Lands, whose inhabitants are a mix of races including elves, dwarves, trolls, gnomes and humans. At the center is the Shannara family, whose descendants are empowered with ancient magic and whose adventures continuously reshape the future of the world.

As the story begins, dark and terrible forces thought to be confined for years, begin to escape. When Amberle, a young elven princess; Wil, the last descendant of the Shannara family; and Eretria, a human rover learn that only they have the power to stop the advancing evil, they form an uneasy alliance.

Their seemingly impossible quest to save the world becomes a voyage of self-discovery as they find the inner strength to overcome self-doubt and fear, and embrace their destinies. Shannara stars James Remar, John Rhys-Davies, Ivana Baquero, Manu Bennett, Austin Butler and Poppy Drayton. Extras include featurettes.

Includes the episodes:

  • Chosen, Parts 1 & 2: Thousands of years after the fall of Humankind as we know it the Four Lands is in grave danger. The fate of the world rests on the shoulders of an unlikely trio: an Elvin Princess, a Human Rover & a Half-Elf.
  • Fury: Wil and Amberle are kidnapped by Eretria and Cephalo while returning to the palace. But the Rovers are the least of their worries -Wil must learn how to use the Elfstones before a bloodthirsty Fury kills them all.
  • Changeling: While Amberle embarks on a deadly task to prove her worth to the Ellcrys, the Dagda Mor sends the Changeling, an ancient, shape-shifting Demon, to kill her and anyone in its way.’
  • Reaper: Amberle, Wil and Eretria are forced to overcome their differences to survive the perils of their quest, including the nightmarish Reaper. At the palace, Ander attempts to recruit help from an unlikely ally to find the Dagda Mor.
  • Pykon: On the run from the relentless Reaper, Amberle, Wil and Eretria take shelter in Pykon, a snowy Elvin outpost that houses a grisly secret. Meanwhile, Ander and Slanter make a devastating discovery about the Dagda Mor’s forces.
  • Breakline: Amberle and Eretria run from bloodthirsty Elf Hunters who relish in cutting off elves’ ears for fun, while Wil searches for them with the help of an unexpected friend.
  • Utopia: Wil and Amberle desperately search for Eretria to save her from the vicious elf hunters who kidnapped her. Little do they know, she’s stumbled upon a secret settlement of Humans and may finally feel like she belongs.
  • Safehold: With time running out, Wil, Amberle and Eretria must cross ancient Human ruins to reach the Bloodfire. But a nefarious evil stands in their way, testing their friendship and manipulating them against each other.
  • Ellcrys: Wil and Amberle race to reach the Ellcrys while Allanon and Ander lead the Elvin army in an epic battle against the Dagda Mor and his Demon horde. But the cost of their quest could prove too great.

 

In Order of Disappearance
Magnolia / Released 12/6/16

When a father (Stellan Skarsgard), uncovers his son’s murderer, he begins to unravel.

Once an upstanding citizen, Nils embarks on a blood-thirsty quest for revenge that escalates into a full-blown international gang war.

With darkly funny humor reminiscent of Tarantino and The Coen Brothers, Nils finds himself caught up in a world not his own surrounded by drug traffickers, con artists and kingpins, in order to bring his son’s murderers to justice.

Extras include interviews and trailer.

 

 

The Neptune Factor
Kino Lorber /Released 12/6/16

An Undersea Odyssey! This intense adventure takes a group of scientists into an undersea world in the depths of the unknown. Starring Ben Gazzara, Walter Pidgeon, Ernest Borgnine, Yvette Mimieux,  and featuring awe-inspiring special effects and unprecedented underwater photography. The Neptune Factor takes submarine suspense to explosive levels – deep in the Atlantic, the Ocean Lab II, a state-of-the-art underwater habitat, houses a team of scientists studying man’s ability to live in the ocean.

When a violent earthquake sends the lab sliding down into a trench, a rescue team is assembled to locate the damaged station and save any survivors.

In the cold depths where no man is welcome – nothing could prepare the team for the bizarre and deadly world lurking below.

Extras include commentary, isolated score and score F/X tracks, featurette, animated montage, trailer, teaser and tv spots.

Last Word: Half Marooned, half Lost World, the Canadian-made The Neptune Factor should have been a lot better. You think you’re getting the realistic Marooned approach, but then you get people scuba diving 300+ meters underwater, and then you get giant fish. So you ready yourself for the science fiction approach, assuring yourself that the filmmakers will take the opportunities to give us some battles with the giant fish. But no. At the conclusion, some divers need to escape from predator fish, but there is virtually no conflict, no spear guns, not even a drawn dagger. I’d praise the film for its restrained realistic approach, but the realism was already ruined! To make matters worse, the same things happen over and over along the way, inducing an irritating monotony by the halfway mark. You wait and wait… for nothing.

But it is competently made, featuring copious colorful underwater images: the subs and divers, the fish, sea trenches, a giant lobster, a giant crab. All the “giant” fish are regular aquarium fish shot to look huge. They don’t look huge, but they are nice looking fish. Veteran character actor Ben Gazzara plays the hesitant Neptune skipper with the Southern drawl. Yvette Mimieux  plays a scientist-diver who often stares vacantly at the camera. Walter Pidgeon  is the clichéd old scientist. Ernest Borgnine is the roughneck dive foreman – the only likeable character. “Damn ocean’s a junkyard!” he complains. The actual Neptune sub is smaller than a bus. (-David E. Goldweber)

 

The Frontier
Kino Lorber/Released 12/6/16

Filmed in the California desert on Super 16mm, The Frontier weaves elements of classic noir, American western, and the hard-boiled paperbacks of the ’50s to create a timeless world within which the film’s colorful characters roam.

Shadowy, textured, and wonderfully lush, The Frontier looks like it popped out of the front cover of a gritty paperback novel. A female drifter (Jocelin Donahue) discovers a violent gang of thieves at a desert motel run by a mysterious woman (Kelly Lynch) and hatches a plan to escape with their stolen cash.

An official selection of SXSW 2015, this riveting neo-noir keeps viewers guessing to the last exhilarating shot.

Extras include interviews, commentary, behind the scenes and trailer.

 

Kicks
Universal /Released 12/6/16

In Justin Tipping’s feature debut Kicks, nothing is as simple as it seems. Fifteen-year-old Brandon longs for a pair of the freshest sneakers that money can buy; assuming that merely having them on his feet will help him escape the reality of being poor, neglected by the opposite sex and picked on by everyone — even his best friends.

Working hard to get them, he soon finds that the titular shoes have instead made him a target after they are promptly snatched by local hood, Flaco. Seemingly the embodiment of menace, Flaco harbors complexities of his own that will be revealed when Brandon goes on a mission to retrieve his stolen sneakers with his two best friends in tow.

Boasting a strong ensemble cast and featuring a memorable lead performance by newcomer Jahking Guillory, the film transcends a deceptively traditional hero’s journey to deliver an entertaining and sobering look at the realities of inner-city life, the concept of manhood and the fetishization of sneaker culture. From the producers of Short Term 12 and Morris from America, with an amazing soundtrack of both hip-hop classics and Bay Area favorites, Kicks creates an authentic and original portrait of a young man drowning in the expectations of machismo. Extras include photo gallery and featurette.

 

Doomwatch
Kino Lorber / Released 12/6/16

A remote island village… A team of intrepid scientists… A terrifying secret…

The mysterious island village of Balfe is experiencing unexplainable phenomena from grossly oversized sea-life to half-buried bodies in the dark woods to strange Neanderthal like men suffering from a rare disfiguring disease.

Is this town afflicted by radioactive waste contaminating their water? Is there a vengeful mutant monster lurking in the woods? Or worse, are the townsfolk being punished by an act of God for their past sins?

It is up to Dr. Del Shaw (Ian Bannen) and the dedicated scientists at Doomwatch headquarters to discover the cause of these horrific mutations.

Infuriating local villagers who cling to their secluded island’s survival, Dr. Shaw and local schoolteacher Victoria Brown (Judy Geeson) risk their lives to uncover the truth behind the strange happenings, no matter how frightening or dangerous it may be. Horror veteran, Peter Sasdy (Taste the Blood of Dracula, Countess Dracula, Hands of the Ripper) directed this haunting telltale based on the hit British TV show by Kit Pedler (Doctor Who) and Gerry Davis (The Bionic Woman). Extras include intro, interview and commentary.

Last Word: Doomwatch began as a TV series that lasted three seasons starting in 1970. The protagonists were members of a special government department that tackles pollution. (This was a new idea in 1970, when the United States EPA was first created.) In this sad feature film, the intrepid Dr. Shaw gradually uncovers the source of the weird mutations besetting a close-knit community on a remote British island.

There is little action, but Sasdy’s direction keeps the exposition and investigation exciting by revealing details only one at a time. Much of the mystery is solved halfway through, but some scary and tense moments await at the conclusion. Everything is logical and convincing, although this prevents surprises. The conclusion should have been longer, with shots of the streets and houses.

It’s a decent film in its own right, but it gets better if you watch it in comparison to The Wicker Man. While the ideas confronted in The Wicker Man are completely different, the storytelling mode is the same, with a lone representative of the realm making a journey by boat to a remote island where he is met with suspicion and hostility. Shaw is free to come and go, is more sensible and likeable than Howie of The Wicker Man, and meets islanders who don=t intend direct harm. The endings are, in a sense, reversed. But the forlorn atmosphere and the sense of paranoia are quite similar in the two films. (– David E. Goldweber)

 

Phantasm: Ravager
Well Go USA/Released 12/6/16

Small-town friends Reggie, Mike, and Jody continue in their quest to stop the evil, dimension-hopping schemes of The Tall Man (Angus Scrimm) and his armada of killer Sentinel Spheres.

This time, the fight becomes a multi-dimensional battle across multiple timelines, alien planets and altered realities, where no less than the fate of Earth is on the line.

Extras include commentary, behind the scenes, deleted scenes, bloopers & outtakes and trailer.

 

 

 

Zoo: The Second Season
Paramount / Released 12/6/16

James Wolk, Kristen Connolly, Nonso Anozie, and Nora Arnezeder star in the second season of the suspenseful television show, Zoo.

Animals have been hunted, enslaved, and slaughtered by humans for millennia…now it’s their turn!

What started as a string of animal attacks has evolved into a global war between beast and man, but when maverick zoologist Jackson Oz (James Wolk) and his team uncover a secret plan to exterminate all wildlife on the planet, they learn that humans are still the most dangerous animal of all!

Extras include featurettes, gag reel, and deleted scenes.

Includes the episodes:

  • The Day Of The Beast: Following the dramatic shift in violent animal behavior, the team attempts to rescue Jamie and the leopard whose DNA may hold the key to curing the animal crisis.
  • Caraquet: The team discovers a shocking mutation that threatens the life of one of their own.
  • Collision Point: After tragedy strikes their only ally within the government, the team is left on their own to stop a surge of animal-related attacks from destroying the city of Geneva, Switzerland.
  • The Walls Of Jericho: In an effort to unravel a dark conspiracy within the Noah Objective, the team travels to Vancouver, where it must infiltrate a black-tie event in order to get close to General Davies and stave off an impending animal threat.
  • The Moon And The Star: Jamie and Logan arrive in Caraquet but are horrified to find it’s not the refuge they hope for.
  • Sex, Lies And Jellyfish: The team travels to Portugal where they square off against a dangerous venom dealer in order to get one step closer to the cure.
  • Jamie’s Got A Gun: Mitch digs into Jackson’s past to get the answers they need to make the cure.
  • Zero Sum: Jackson learns his mother is missing in Africa, but before he can look for her, he and the team must contend with a hostile force that has overtaken their plane.
  • Sins Of The Father: Jackson faces the most difficult decision of his life.
  • The Yellow Brick Road: With Jackson missing, Mitch and Abraham race to find him before General Davies and the International Animal Defense Group can locate him and prevent the team from making a cure.
  • The Contingency: Mitch and Jamie brave an animal attack at the Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C., and Jackson finally gets the answers he’s been looking for from a surprising source.
  • Pangaea: Mitch and Jamie hatch a daring plan to undermine the Noah Objective once and for all, and the team reunites on the Island of Pangaea where the final pieces of the cure are put in place.
  • Clementine: Mitch and Jamie hatch a daring plan to undermine the Noah Objective once and for all, and the team reunites on the Island of Pangaea where the final pieces of the cure are put in place.

 

BrainDead: Season One
Paramount / Released 12/6/16

When struggling documentary filmmaker Laurel Healy (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) takes a job working with her brother, Senator Luke Healy (Danny Pino), she soon discovers there’s more to Washington than meets the eye.

As tensions grow amongst political parties, so does a conspiracy involving alien bugs replacing the brains of several members of congress. The investigation unfolds while the infection spreads.

Whatever’s happening, it’s clear this isn’t politics as usual.

Extras include featurettes, and gag reel.

Includes the episodes:

  • The Insanity Principle: How Extremism in Politics is Threatening Democracy in the 21st Century: When Laurel Healy returns home to Washington, D.C. to work for her brother, Senator Luke Healy, on Capitol Hill, she is caught in the midst of two huge problems: the government has stopped working due to budgetary disagreements, and mysterious bugs are eating the brains of a growing number of Congress members and Hill staffers.
  • Playing Politics: Laurel continues to investigate the death of esteemed Dr. Daudier, while bugs infect more citizens of Washington, D.C. Rochelle Daudier, the deceased doctor’s daughter and Gustav Triplette, an eccentric genius, both encounter the bugs separately and begin to question exactly what is happening.
  • Goring Oxes: When a bizarre and deadly incident takes place on live television, Agent Onofrio’s investigation into it causes Laurel, Gustav and Rochelle to dig deeper into the bug mystery.
  • Wake Up Grassroots: Laurel and Rochelle try to persuade Laurel’s friend Abby to get an MRI so they can uncover the real cause of the strange behavior taking over Washington, D.C.
  • Back to Work: Laurel asks her brother, Luke, for his help to get the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to investigate the bugs, but he insists she first consult Dr. Joanne Alaimo, a leading entomologist, for her perspective on the invasion.
  • Notes Toward A Post-Reagan Theory Of Party Alliance, Tribalism, And Loyalty: Laurel and Gareth are drawn unexpectedly closer as the bug infestation continues to take over Washington, D.C.
  • The Power of Euphemism: Laurel comes under investigation about her potential involvement with the bug infestation.
  • The Path to War Part One: Rochelle and Gustav capture and question a man they suspect is infected by the bugs.
  • Taking on Water: Senator Red Wheatus hires a special investigator to dig into the Healy family’s financial and personal history.
  • The Path to War Part Two: Laurel must work alongside an old boyfriend, Ben Valderrama, when Luke enlists her help in putting together a political documentary to support his anti-war initiative.
  • Six Points on the New Congressional Budget: Luke and Laurel rush to uncover Red’s secret agenda, which is buried in a massive new budget bill.
  • Talking Points Toward a Wholistic View of Activism in Government: When Laurel discovers that a senate bill is not what it appears, she implores Luke to help, leading to a dramatic Senate sit-in.
  • The End of All We Hold Dear: Laurel discovers the secret to driving the bugs out of a person’s brain and tests the tactic on her father.

 

The Bureau: Season 1
Kino Lorber /Released 12/6/16

Based on real-life accounts by former French spies, The Bureau tells the story of a man torn between love and loyalty, in a world where a single lie can kill.

When French intelligence officer Guillaume “Malotru” Debailly (Mathieu Kassovitz) returns to Paris after six years as an undercover agent in Syria, he struggles to reconnect with his daughter, ex-wife, colleagues and even, his old self. But after learning that his lover in Syria (Nadia, played by Zineb Triki), is now in Paris, Guillaume breaks agency rules and approaches her as the man he was in Damascus: Paul Lefebvre.

As Guillaume begins living a double life, he opens himself up (and DGSE) to new and unprecedented dangers.

Includes the episodes:

  • S01E01: After six years undercover in Damascus, agent Malotru returns home to Paris. As he begins to reconnect with real life – family, work & friends – Malotru struggles to forget his mistress Nadia, whom he fell in love with back in Syria.
  • S01E02:With Cyclone still missing, the Bureau now has to handle the exfiltration of one of their assets in Algeria, Gherbi. Malotru rekindles his relationship with Nadia, but his guilt and resulting paranoia soon make him question her loyalty
  • S01E03: Malotru decides to test Gherbi’s loyalty by luring him into a trap. Nadia joins in on a mysterious meeting with other Syrians, but her regular “night-outs” soon arouse the suspicion of a Syrian agent, Nadim.
  • S01E04: At a French-Algerian meeting, Malotru attempts to read the other Algerian officers to find out whether or not they are holding Cyclone in detention.
  • S01E05: When Sisteron goes after Cyclone in Algiers, another agent known as Pigalle reaches out to Malotru with potential intel about Cyclone.
  • S01E06: While attempting to trade Pigalle’s intel on Cyclone, Malotru must find a way to uncover the former’s true identity and underlying motive.
  • S01E07: Kerbouche is finally brought to the DGSE and unveils the truth about Cyclone’s life-or-death situation, which requires immediate action from the Bureau.
  • S01E08: The DGSE recruits Lefkir’s secretary to plant a tracking device on him. In the meantime, devastated by Malotru’s revelations, Nadia cannot set out to betray her country and refuses to join the DGSE.
  • S01E09: Encouraged by the French government, the DGSE pretends to accept a deal offered by the Algerian DG. But on the side, Mag secretly asks Malotru for a plan B to avoid any foreign interference.
  • S01E10: At the DGSE, Sisteron is anxiously waiting for Cyclone’s release over the next few days. Malotru takes a few days off the Cyclone operation – now in the hands of the Action Division – and secretly meets up with the CIA.

 

Phantasm: Remastered
Well Go USA / Released 12/6/16

Mike, a young teenage boy who has just lost his parents, afraid to lose his brother follow him to a funeral, where Mike witnesses the Tall Man lifting a coffin on his own.

Mike decides to investigate, and discovers that the Tall Man, protected by his flying spheres, is shrinking dead bodies down to half their normal size and reanimating them as slaves. It is then up to Mike, his brother, and Reggie the ice cream man to stop the Tall Man.

Extras include commentary, vintage interviews, deleted scenes, trailers and more.

Last Word: There’s an old adage about how we fear what we don’t understand.

Phantasm helps prove it.

All my guidebooks, and pretty much anyone who has seen the film, will say the same thing: it doesn’t make sense, but this is what makes it frightening. Some matters are purposefully left unexplained, but even those matters that ARE explained seem so outlandish as to become frightening once again. It feels like there is nowhere to hide, no safe spot from which to view this movie with knowing detachment. Halfway through, Reggie the ice cream man exclaims: “What the hell is going on?!?!”

That’s likely to be your reaction as well. It’s a good reaction.

Many before me have noted that there is more here than mere shocks and gore; Mike’s adolescence is treated with seriousness and empathy. Brother Jody and friend Reggie are strong characters in their own right. As in Night of the Living Dead, the low-budget sheen works in the movie’s favor, adding a rawness that makes the story seem realistic. It lacks real logic but compensates with primal dream logic. Sprinkled through the film are short dreams and non-linear cross-cutting sequences.

Although most viewers remember the film as being gory, there is actually only one standout gore sequence. But Coscarelli makes the film feel gory by maintaining the continuous creepy atmosphere. Viewers also tend to remember the flying spiked sphere, although it only gets about a minute of screen time. As in Invaders from Mars, the science fiction elements are here to reinforce the horror. Also as in Invaders from Mars, much of the story unfolds through the eyes of a boy, although in Phantasm‘s case the boy is a confused adolescent rather than a helpless grade-schooler. And as in Invaders, the conclusion blurs the border between reality and dreams. (– David E Goldweber)

 

The Unspoken
Anchor Bay / Released 12/6/16

In 1997 the close-knit Anderson family vanished from their country home without a trace, without an explanation.

No bodies were found and the house has remained undisturbed for 17 years…until now.

When a mother and her mute son move into the mysterious place, a local teen reluctantly accepts a job as the son’s caretaker to help her financially struggling father.

She immediately finds herself trying to make sense of the supernatural activities taking place in the house, all of which seem eerily similar to the past.

 

 

 

The Choice 2016
PBS /Released 12/6/16

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are two of the most polarizing presidential candidates in modern history.

Now, Frontline goes behind the headlines Trump and Clinton have generated to investigate what has shaped these two candidates, where they came from, how they lead and why they want to take on one of the most difficult jobs imaginable.

On September 27, Frontline presents the two-hour special, The Choice 2016, an interwoven investigative biography of Clinton and Trump that draws on dozens of interviews from those who know the candidates best — friends and family, advisors and adversaries — as well as authors, journalists, and political insiders.

What emerges is a deeply reported narrative arc of both candidates’ lives, side by side, with trustworthy journalism and powerful new insights at a moment when voters are being bombarded with conflicting partisan stories about each candidate.

“Both Clinton and Trump have been public figures for most of their lives — in fact, they’ve been active in public life on television for decades,” says veteran Frontline filmmaker Michael Kirk. “But we’ve undertaken the most ambitious television biographies of these candidates ever created, going beyond the headlines they’ve generated and the personas they’ve created to explore what has made them who they are as people and as politicians.”

From their childhoods, to their college experiences, to their tumultuous careers, The Choice 2016 investigates formative moments in the lives of Donald Trump, who has challenged the establishment at every turn, and Hillary Clinton, who has become the first female presidential nominee.

“Both candidates have high unfavorability ratings, and the bitter divide in this country makes it incredibly hard for people to understand how others could support the candidate on the opposite side,” says Kirk. “After watching The Choice 2016, no matter where your allegiance lies, you’ll come away with a new and richer understanding of who the opposing candidates are, and how and why he or she has reached this point.”

 

Porky’s II: The Next Day / Porky’s Revenge
Kino Lorber / Released 12/6/16

Porky’s II: The Next Day – Bob Clark (A Christmas Story) co-wrote and directed this sequel to his own box office smash, Porky’s.

Proving they haven’t matured a bit since the original, much of the cast is back to take on bigots, religious fanatics and double-talking politicians. Count on more delicious revenge for the gym teacher everyone loves to hate and outrageous antics that never enter the realm of good taste.

Includes trailer.

Porky’s Revenge – When Meat (Tony Ganios) picks up a buxom babe, the gang discovers that Porky’s is back in business – and that the babe is Porky’s daughter.

But when her father kidnaps Meat, forcing him into a shotgun wedding, the boys set out to save their friend and shut down Porky’s for good. Both films star Dan Monahan as everyone’s favorite nerd Pee Wee Morris. Includes trailer.

 

Sad Vacation: The Last Days Of Sid And Nancy
MVD Visual / Released 12/6/16

Sad Vacation is an up close and personal account of the tumultuous and stormy relationship between Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen and how it ended in Room 100 of the Chelsea Hotel.

Directed by Danny Garcia (The Rise and Fall of The Clash, Looking for Johnny), this films pulls no punches and reveals the facts through personal friends, insiders and witnesses.

Includes interviews with Sylvain Sylvain (New York Dolls), Bob Gruen, Walter Lure (The Heatbreakers), Leee Black Childers, Howie Pyro (D Generation), Kenny Gordon (Pure Hell), Cynthia Ross (The B- Girls) and many more.

Extras include trailers and bonus interviews.

 

 

Curse of the Man Who Sees UFOs
Virgil Films /Released 12/6/16

A man waging a lonely campaign to prove alien beings are visiting Earth gets a chance to spread the word in the thought-provoking – and hilarious – new documentary Curse of the Man Who Sees UFOs.

Christo Roppolo claims to have been videotaping and communicating with UFOs around Monterey, California, for several years. Intent on getting his stunning information out to a wide audience, he contacted director Justin Gaar in 2013 to begin creating a film about his sightings. Skeptical of the footage Christo had shot, but intrigued by his eccentricities and wild stories, Justin begins spending time with Christo hunting UFOs along California’s beautiful Central Coast.

When a crop circle appears in Monterey County and becomes international news, Christo is validated in his belief in alien contact.

A shocked Justin begins investigating the source of the crop circle and how Christo knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that he’s being contacted by his “brothers from space.” The two travel up and down the Central Coast and through the Central Valley hunting for UFO activity.

In Curse of the Man Who Sees UFOs, Christo comes across like a traveling UFO preacher, explaining the sightings to passersby, asking about their own experiences with the unknown, spreading his gospel of extraterrestrial salvation. In his strange and wondrous journey with the passionate and endearing Christo, Justin finds that sometimes aliens from space can tell us more about our own humanity here on Earth.

 

Knucklehead
Image Entertainment/Released 12/6/16

When his brother disappears, mentally disabled Langston Bellows (Gbenga Akinnagbe) is left without a protector in Brooklyn’s housing projects.

Now under the control of his abusive mother, (Alfre Woodard) Langston must take his future into his own hands. He sets out to find the one doctor he believes can cure him, a celebrity magazine columnist who touts questionable prescription drug cocktails.

Langston strives for independence from his mother, his neighborhood and from his fractured mind – while all around him people are not who they seem.

 

 

 

Morgan
20th Century Fox/Released 12/14/16

From Oscar-Nominated producer Ridley Scott and director Luke Scott comes this visceral, edge-of-your-seat thriller with an all-star cast starring Kate Mara, Paul Giamatti, Toby Jones, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Rose Leslie.

Inside a remote, top-secret lab, a group of scientists are working on an experiment that is leading the way for the next steps in human evolution. But when the experiment’s subject – a genetically designed “human” (Anya Taylor-Joy) – triggers a terrifying event, those involved must decide if the promise of infinite potential outweighs the incalculable danger.

Extras include short film Loom, commentary, featurettes, gallery and deleted scenes.

Last Word: I watched Morgan with no idea what I was seeing. I didn’t read anything because I wanted to be surprised.  I was not surprised at all. The only thing that left me sort of surprised about this action-thriller that it was only mildly predictable.

The story focuses on a young girl, Morgan, the namesake of the film, played by Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch). A normal teenage girl, or is she? Forty-five seconds into this movie you find out she is not at all what she seems. When there is an incident at the laboratory where she is being studied, the corporation that is funding the operation sends in a risk-management consultant to see what went wrong.

She soon discovers that there is even more to to Morgan then she was originally led to believe. When things go even more sideways she must contain the situation. Morgan escapes and The Consultant must track her down. The Consultant is brilliantly played by Kate Mara and one of the two good things i like about the film. The other being the performance by Taylor-Joy as Morgan.

Beautiful cinematography try to save what is, in fact, a pedestrian thriller. At moments it is almost a taught-psychological film. Director, Luke Scott, son of the producer and film maestro Ridley Scott himself, has learned well from his father about how to make a beautiful shot film despite a mediocre and predictable script. Writer Seth Owen almost has what could be a great script given one more rewrite to really flesh out the actions and motivations of the actors.

The scientists and doctors played by Michelle Yeoh, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Toby Jones, Michael Yare, Chris Sullivan, Vinette Robinson and Rose Leslie are all good. I DO love watching Paul Giamatti at his most “Giamattiest” since San Andreas, who plays the corporation-assigned psychologist. They really try to make the words mean something and convey the gravitas I believe Owen was trying to go for but they can only do so much. Even the greatest actors in the world can be hamstrung by a “meh” script.

I can’t help but compare this film to two other psychological thrillers, Ex Machina and Under The Skin. I love both of those films and though I kind of enjoyed this film it was missing something. I think, ironically, it was missing heart and soul. All the gloss and beautiful cinematography that I love did it’s best to distract me from the fact that the weak script made me not really care about any of the characters in the film no matter what happened to them. I found their characterizations to be annoying save the two main characters played by Mara and Taylor-Joy.  (– Benn Robbins)

 

Black Christmas
Shout! Factory /Released 12/14/16

The college town of Bedford is receiving an unwelcome guest this Christmas. As the residents of sorority house Pi Kappa Sigma prepare for the festive season, a stranger begins to stalk the house.

A series of obscene phone calls start to plague the residents of the sorority and it becomes clear that a psychopath is homing in on the sisters with dubious intentions. And though the police try to trace the calls, they discover that nothing is as it seems during this Black Christmas.

Extras include commentaries, featurettes, convention panel, archival interviews, two scenes with new vocal soundtrack, midnight screening Q & A, original trailers, tv, radio spots, still gallery and alternative title sequence.

Last Word: As many critics and historians have noted before me, half a dozen elements of the Canadian-made Black Christmas anticipate the nascent slasher subgenre. Blood and Lace and Silent Night, Bloody Night came first, but Black Christmas is far better. We get a mysterious killer who stalks female victims one by one. We get grotesque murders committed via household objects (including a hook and a pointed statuette). We get a “good girl” surrounded by saucy tarts, and this good girl survives (apparently) to the end. As John Stanley notes, we get general “tone and ambience for which the slasher genre was to become known.” Jim Harper calls it “a true classic”. More specifically we get excellent “killers eye view” shots picked up in Halloween and Friday the 13th; we get a juxtaposition between nasty deaths and happy holidays picked up in Halloween and My Bloody Valentine; we get weird obscene phone calls as in When a Stranger Calls, Nightmare on Elm Street, or Scream; we even get a scary Jasonesque hockey mask. It is arguably the first true slasher film. The first 15 minutes are tremendous. The phone calls are frightening. The closing credits are pleasingly ambiguous.

Unfortunately, the movie loses focus during its draggy middle third. There is no central character. We are amused by the foul-mouthed trollop played by Margot Kidder, and we feel sorry for the good girl played by Olivia Hussey trying to dump her weird boyfriend and abort their baby, and we admire the no-nonsense detective played by John Saxon. But we quickly forget them once the movie is done. I also thought there might have been a more essential connection made to the Christmas holiday somewhere.

The good stuff, besides the pre-slasher elements, includes an old-style sorority house that is gorgeous both inside and out, and a bevy of subversive quips. It’s also impressive how much gore is suggested but how little is shown. Bob Clark previously made Deathdream and Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things; he later made Murder by Decree. He is most famous for A Christmas Story (1983), a surprisingly wholesome, if goofy, Christmas film.(– David E. Goldweber)

 

Harley And The Davidsons
Lionsgate/Released 12/14/16

This is the story of young men – best friends and brothers – coming of age and dealing with rivalries, expectations of parents, business competitors and life and death on the race track. In Milwaukee at the turn of the 20th century, the Davidson brothers and their friend Bill Harley launch a motorcycle company that will eventually become an iconic brand and an enduring symbol of Americana. Harley and the Davidsons reveals that great opportunities can be forged not only through ingenuity and innovative design, but also from brotherhood and friendship, guts, and an ironclad will to survive.

Extras include making of featurette, and “Biketacular” Special.

Includes the episodes:

  • Amazing Machine: Bill Harley and brothers Walter and Arthur Davidson found a motorcycle company in a shed behind the Davidson’s home. But competition is fierce, and Walter has to put their fledgling business on the map by risking his life in racing competitions to beat the industry powerhouse, Indian Motorcycles. The rivalry between the two companies escalates with deadly consequences.
  • Race to the Top: Walter and Bill convince Arthur that Harley-Davidson must rejoin the racing community if their business is to survive. Distracted by their race to the top, the founders of Harley-Davidson leave themselves vulnerable to a devastating and unforeseen threat to the survival of their company.
  • Legacy: The Great Depression ravages America and cripples the motorcycle industry. With their company on the brink of ruin, Walter, Arthur, and Bill flout conventional wisdom by embarking on their most ambitious and expensive design yet.

 

Bad Girl
Kino Lorber / Released 12/14/16

The great Frank Borzage (A Farewell to Arms) directed this pre-code classic set during The Great Depression.

James Dunn and Sally Eilers play a poor couple who must marry when she becomes pregnant. Skeptical about romance they nonetheless fall in love, but their lack of confidence in humanity and the opposite sex begins to haunt their marriage.

Academy Award Nominee for Best Picture and Winner of Two Academy Awards for Best Director (Borzage) and Best Writing and Adaption (Edwin J. Burke). Based on the Novel by Viña Delmar and the play by Brian Marlow.

Extra includes commentary.

 

Dreamscape
Shout! Factory /Released 12/14/16

Alex Gardner (Dennis Quaid) is a man with an incredible psychic gift… but for years has used it solely for personal gain.

Reuniting with his old mentor, Dr. Novotny (Max von Sydow), Gardner joins a government project in which he learns to channel his abilities in order to enter peoples’ subconscious through their dreams.

As his powers grow, the young psychic soon finds himself in a living nightmare of conspiracy and murder… and the only way out is to go back in.

A sleeper hit on its initial release, Dreamscape’s reputation as a classic of ’80s genre entertainment has only grown over the years.

From its impressive cast – including Christopher Plummer, Kate Capshaw, Eddie Albert, David Patrick Kelly, and George Wendt – to behind-the-camera talent such as director Joseph Ruben (The Stepfather) and co-writer Chuck Russell (A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, 1988’s The Blob), Dreamscape is a rousing mix of science fiction, adventure, and horror beyond your wildest imagination. Extras include retrospective documentary, featurettes, interviews, commentary, test footage, still gallery and trailer.

 

Creepshow 2 (Special Edition)
Arrow /Released 12/14/16

Horror titans George A. Romero and Stephen King deliver yet another fiendish selection of blood-curdling tales in Creepshow 2 – now newly remastered in 2K!

In “Old Chief Wood’nhead”, a group of young hoodlums face retribution from an unlikely source after looting a local hardware store.

Meanwhile, “The Raft” sees a group of horny teens wishing they’d read the warning signs first before taking a dip in a remote lake.

Finally, an uptight businesswoman finds herself with some unwanted company following a hit-and-run incident in “The Hitch-hiker”.

Whilst retaining the EC comic book flavour that made the original such a hit, Creepshow 2, this time directed by long-time Romero collaborator Michael Gornick, is a decidedly darker and grimmer affair than its predecessor and remains one of the greatest horror anthologies of all time. Extras include commentary, make-up featurettes, behind the scenes footage, extended scene, trailers and tv spots.

 

Moving Violations
Kino Lorber /Released 12/14/16

A Crash Course in Traffic School! A charming smartass (John Murray), a spacey rocket scientist (Jennifer Tilly), a nebbish puppeteer (Brian Backer), a terminal hypochondriac (Wendie Jo Sperber), an auto ‘doctor’ (Fred Willard) and other challenged citizens, all have their licenses suspended and sentenced to traffic school.

But when a vengeful traffic cop (James Keach) and a crooked judge (Sally Kellerman) plot to sell everyone’s impounded cars, the class hits the gas with their own plan for high-speed payback on a road full of Moving Violations.

Neal Israel (Police Academy) directed and co-wrote this hilarious comedy with Pat Proft (Real Genius), based on a story by Paul and Sharon Boorstin (Fire with Fire). Extras include audio commentary.

 

I Am Not a Serial Killer
Shout! Factory / Released 12/14/16

Sixteen-year-old John Wayne Cleaver (Max Records, Where the Wild Things Are) is not a serial killer but he has all the makings of one.

Keeping his homicidal tendencies and morbid obsessions with death and murder in check is a constant struggle that only gets harder when a real serial killer begins terrorizing hisy Midwestern town.

Now, in order to track down a psychopath and protect those around him, John must unleash his darkest inner demons.

Extras include deleted scenes, 2011 test film, 2011/2015 scene comparison, featurettes, gallery and storyboards.

 

 

The Man Who Skied Down Everest
Film Detective/Released 12/14/16

Winner of the 1975 Academy Award for Best Documentary, this stirring chronicle tells the tale of Japanese alpinist Yûichirô Miura and his attempt to ski down Mt. Everest in 1970.

With hundreds of crew members and 27 tons of equipment, the adventure seeker sets out to do the impossible.

Footage was shot in 35mm Panavision and is paired with readings from Miura’s diary – narrated by Douglas Rain (The Year We Make Contact, 2001: A Space Odyssey) – give an inside look at the daredevil’s intimate thoughts as he ascends on a grueling expedition that resulted in several deaths … All so Miura could live his dream.

Skiing down 6,600 feet of the mountain in two minutes and 40 seconds, using a parachute to brake his descent, Miura stops just shy of a would-be lethal crevasse in this one-of-a-kind account of an amazing feat.

 

Suicide Squad
Warner Bros. / Released 12/14/16

Assemble a team of the world’s most dangerous, incarcerated Super Villains, provide them with the most powerful arsenal at the government’s disposal, and send them off on a mission to defeat an enigmatic, insuperable entity.

U.S. intelligence officer Amanda Waller has determined only a secretly convened group of disparate, despicable individuals with next to nothing to lose will do.

However, once they realize they weren’t picked to succeed but chosen for their patent culpability when they inevitably fail, will the Suicide Squad resolve to die trying, or decide it’s every man for himself?

Extras include featurettes and gag reel.

Last Word: One thing we can all agree on is that the DC Cinematic Universe got off to a rocky start and seemed doomed with the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.  The controversy won’t end with this film, but I can say writer/director David Ayer finally gets it. Nothing is ever perfect but this movie is more than what meets the eye from the promos.  Spanning superhero, comedy, supernatural and military genres and introducing visual elements more commonly found in video games, Suicide Squad is a wild ride.

The opening of the film introduces the players of Amanda Waller’s (Viola Davis) Task Force X in a series of individual (and quick) vignettes and we even get an appearance by Ben Affleck’s Batman early in the film. As comparisons go, this is practically a new kind of movie. Deadpool had absurdist cursing and breaking the fourth wall. Captain America: Civil War pitted team against team. Batman v Superman introduces the idea of more metahumans in this world. What Suicide Squad does is lay out the crazy, pits the team against itself and goes all in on metahumans and specially skilled warriors.

Inevitably, the big star power does a lot of the heavy lifting. Leading the team of prisoners from Belle Reve prison are the standouts of the team; Will Smith (Deadshot), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) and personal favorite Joel Kinnaman (Rick Flag). Karen Fukuhara makes a killer debut as Katana, Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang, Jay Hernandez as El Diablo and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje rounds out the roster as Killer Croc. Cara Delevingne also stars as Enchantress, and of course Jared Leto is our new Puddin’, The Joker.

Contrary to the marketing, The Joker and Enchantress, who both play a big part in the movie aren’t members of the Squad but play around the sandbox in a different way. We see The Joker rise to power as a Gotham gangster with his former doctor Harley by his side. Any criticism I have toward Leto and The Joker and this movie is all surface. They overdid it on the tattoos (they are fine, but too many, and the smile on his hand is way over the top), but overall he’s a decent Joker. He’s channeling Jokers before him while trying to make it his own. Given more screen time, I bet Leto would be able to flesh him out a bit more.

The Harley / Mr. J relationship hits all the right beats and feels as right as the animated series version. We’re even treated to a Harley origin we haven’t seen before, peppered throughout the movie. This is a great team movie, but at times, Ayer pushes the gorgeous Margot Robbie into the spotlight as the star. Will Smith’s Deadshot is a cold blooded and precision assassin but they give him enough breathing room to be funny here, you forget that this is Will Smith in the roll and believe in the man behind the scope, Floyd Lawton.

When Enchantress turns bad and wreaks havoc on Midway City, the US government and A. R. G. U. S. turn to Task Force X to break her down. This isn’t easy for Rick Flag, who has fallen in love with her alter-ego June Moone. Kinnaman is firm and a great military leader in this type of role. Rick Flag fits him better than the RobCop suit, but specifically fans of The Killing will appreciate how much screen time he gets in this movie as Suicide Squad leader. Both him and Waller have the ability to explode team member’s heads at anytime, as a red shirt Slipknot (Adam Beach) demonstrates. Croc, Diablo, and Katana are also given times to shine and use their special abilities, watching Katana’s sword work is great. In fact, fight choreography was also fun to watch in this movie packed with plenty of action.

By the third act, we’ve seen a Patrick Bateman version of The Joker, supernatural monsters, tactical soldier strategy, actually funny jokes and tons of characters we’ve previously only seen in the comics books. In a way also, this movie out-Ghostbusters Ghostbusters. Predictably, the city is almost destroyed at the end…and a big portal opens in the sky. Are we surprised at this point? Those are the new go-to moves. Fortunately for the fans, Ayer and the creative forces behind the pages, likely Geoff Johns, and yes, Zack Snyder, included plenty of easter eggs for the DC fan while making the whole experience special.

This is certainly not the Gotham of the Nolan-verse, it is closer to the world created in the Arkham video game series. There’s more rain, more grime and everyone’s dressed like a crazy person with access to a Black Amex at the worst mall in America. Ayer has a hit on his hands, undeniably this is a fun movie that I don’t need to hate watch or re-watch to see if I ‘missed anything’ (Read: Batman v Superman). Suicide Squad rights the ship and sets the tone for what we have been teased from the upcoming Justice League.

I will say that movies like Guardians of the Galaxy and Suicide Squad have one thing in common to their advantage. With no pre-expectations since no one knows as much about these characters from the start, the the actors can play around with what they are given. This is the opposite of what Cavill was handed with Superman, and that really hurt Man of Steel and Batman v Superman. (Clay N Ferno)

 

Chicago Cubs 2016 World Series Collector’s Edition
Shout! Factory / Released 12/14/16

The wait is over, the Chicago Cuba are 2016 World Series Champions! The Cubs overcame a 3-1 game deficit to the Cleveland Indians to win a 7 game Fall Classic for the ages. Dominating pitching, spectacular defense, and clutch offense all helped the Cubs end a 108-year title drought in dramatic fashion.

The Chicago Cubs 2016 World Series Collector’s Edition includes all 7 games of ther Fall Colassic, as well as a bonus disc of the pennant-clinching NLCS Game 6 at Wrigley Field. Relive every moment of the 2016 World Series starring Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Dexter Fowler, Javier Baes, Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester, and World Series MVP Ben Zobrist. Features 4 alternate audio options.

 

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
20th Century Fox /Released 12/14/16

From visionary director Tim Burton, and based upon the best-selling novel, comes an unforgettable motion picture experience.

When his beloved grandfather leaves Jake clues to a mystery that spans different worlds and times, he finds a magical place known as Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children.

But the mystery and danger deepen as he gets to know the residents and learns about their special powersand their powerful enemies.

Ultimately, Jake discovers that only his own special peculiarity can save his new friends.

Extras include featurettes, gallery and music video.

 

Florence Foster Jenkins
Sony /Released 12/14/16

Based on the incredible true story, Academy Award winner Meryl Streep stars as a New York socialite who dreams of becoming a great opera singer.

While the voice she hears in her head is beautiful, to everyone else it is hilariously awful. Her husband and biggest fan, St. Clair Bayfield (Golden Globe winner Hugh Grant) is determined to protect his beloved Florence from the truth.

But when Florence stages a huge concert at Carnegie Hall, he faces his greatest challenge to make sure her performance is a rousing success.

Florence Foster Jenkins also co-stars  Simon Helberg and Rebecca Ferguson.

Extras include featurettes, deleted scenes and Q & A with Meryl Streep.

 

Legend of Korra: The Complete Series
Nickelodeon / Released 12/14/16

The spirit of the Avatar lives on in the complete series of The Legend of Korra! Relive every moment from all four books.

From meeting Avatar Korra, a teenage girl from the Southern Water Tribe, in book one, to opening the spirit portal and entering a new age where spirits and mankind coexist in books two and three, to embarking on a journey of self-discovery and restoring balance to the Earth Kingdom in book four, you won’t want to miss a second of air, earth, water and firebending in this complete collection of all 52 episodes.

Voice cast includes Janet Varney, Jeff Bennett, Dee Bradley Baker, P.J. Byrne, David Faustino, J.K. Simmon, Seychelle Gabriel, Mindy Sterling, John Michael Higgins, Maria Bamford, Richard Riehle, James Remar, Lisa Edelstein, Henry Rollins, Aubrey Plaza, Lance Henriksen,Daniel Dae Kim, Carlos Alazraqui, Maurice LaMarche, Dante Basco, Eva Marie Saint, Jim Cummings, D.B. Sweeney, Steven Yeun, Tom Kenny, Rami Malek, Clancy Brown, Stephen Root, Fisher Stevens, Hector Elizondo and Jason Isaacs. Extras include featurettes and commentaries.

 

Ben-Hur
Paramount /Released 12/14/16

Ben-Hur is the epic story of Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston), a prince falsely accused of treason by his adopted brother Messala (Toby Kebbell), an officer in the Roman army.

Stripped of his title, separated from his family and the woman he loves (Nazanin Boniadi), Judah is forced into slavery.

After years at sea, Judah returns to his homeland to seek revenge, but finds redemption.

Based on Lew Wallace’s timeless novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, the film also stars Rodrigo Santoro, Ayelet Zurer, Pilou Asbaek, Sofia Black D’Elia and Academy Award winner Morgan Freeman.

Extras include featurettes.

Last Word: Ben-Hur is the most recent cinematic remake of the story of Judah Ben-Hur; a man accused of a crime, who is betrayed by his adopted brother, the Roman soldier Messala. Everything is taken from Judah, his family is imprisoned, and he is sold into slavery. Fueled by hate, Judah works his way home to seek retribution. His road to revenge leads him to an unexpected place, forgiveness.

If you were looking for Fast and the Furious meets Gladiator, you will be sorely disappointed. Ben-Hur is not actually an action movie. It is a drama salt and peppered with some action sequences.  It is difficult a to write about the new Ben-Hur movie and not compare it to one of the five other pre-existing adaptations of Lew Wallace’s novel. Which begs the question, “Why remake this story, again?” The only answer I have is to give a new generation access to a story in a way that they can connect to it. With each telling you build a bridge from one generation to the next, making the message accessible to all.

The message of Ben-Hur is always the same; revenge will consume your life, love and forgiveness will save it. It is a timeless message. Unfortunately, this version of the film will not be timeless. It will look just as dated in 20 years as the 1959 version of the film looks now. Director Timur Bekmambetov’s Ben-Hur is a mess of poor script writing, melodramatic acting, and overbearing special effects that border on first person, video game cinematics. You know there is a problem when the Charlton Heston version of the film looks subtle is comparison.

The dialog was so predictable, that several times I heard the person sitting next to me whisper the next line of the script before the actor had a chance to deliver it. Jack Hudson’s Judah seemed lost for the three quarter’s of the film, not gaining a backbone until the chariot race. Judah seems to survive more by luck than an inner strength and fury that allows him to claw his way back to home and status. The female cast are wasted. Nazanin Boniadi, Sofia Black-D’Elia, and Ayelet Zurer each are talented actresses, and used as little more than set dressing. Their own pains or plights are never given much thought except in the context of their loss is Judah’s loss.

Having Morgan Freeman as the character of Ilderim, the man who gives Ben-Hur a chance at chariot races, should have helped to save the film, but Freeman just looks bored most of the time. His bookend narration only served to highlight the spoon-fed storytelling that is the hallmark of this film. The Ben-Hur chariot race is one of the most famous action scenes in cinematic history. Both the race of the silent film and of Heston’s 1959 film where groundbreaking for their times. So, how does a director reinvent the race to make it feel new and exciting? Apparently, he uses jumpy camera work and digital technology. However, better technology doesn’t necessarily bring better storytelling. The shaky-cam, close shots make it hard to follow the action and choppy. The digital technology allows for accident to happen with the horses, which could not be filmed in real life. These accidents are intense, but they are the equivalent of a jump scare in a horror movie; effective, but cheap and lose their impact with repeated use.

The one redeeming piece is the different take on Messala. Toby Kebbel plays Judah’s nemesis with a sympathetic leaning. Messela is portrayed as a man looking to be on equal footing with the wealthy Judah, taking the only road open to a man of his circumstances, a military career. Instead of the traditional back stabbing, ambitious roman soldier, Messela is more of a man who is between a rock and a hard place, making the wrong choice because he can see no other choice.

Lastly, there is the story of Jesus. Judah’s story is traditional intertwine with the capture and crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Through Judah, you see how the teachings of Jesus can save a man from a life of destruction. These bits are shoehorned in the most obvious ways, making it feel like Christian conversion propaganda tacked on to a daytime drama.  Ben-Hur had all the ingredients to join the pantheon of great sword and sandal movies. Instead, this charioteer lost control of his team and crashed into a blooded mess. (– Elizabeth Robbins)

 

Fear The Walking Dead Season 2
Anchor Bay /Released 12/14/16

Last season, Fear the Walking Dead explored a blended family who watched a burning, dead city as they traversed a devastated Los Angeles.

In Season 2, the group aboard the Abigail is unaware of the true breadth and depth of the apocalypse that surrounds them; they assume there is still a chance that some city, state, or nation might be unaffected — some place that the Infection has not reached. But as Operation Cobalt goes into full effect, the military bombs the Southland to cleanse it of the Infected, driving the Dead toward the sea.

As Madison, Travis, Daniel, and their grieving families head for ports unknown, they will discover that the water may be no safer than land.

Extras include commentaries, featurettes, deleted scenes, Flight 462 webisodes and PaleyFest Panel.

Includes the episodes:

  • Monster: Travis, Madison, and their blended family set sail on Strand’s boat off the coast of California in an effort to escape the apocalypse. While they’re looking for safety, they only find more trouble at sea.
  • We All Fall Down: The group seeks shelter with a survivalist family. Madison tries to uncover the family’s true motives. Meanwhile, Salazar works to discover Strand’s intentions.
  • Ouroboros: Madison confronts Strand about his mysterious destination. Meanwhile, Nick, Alicia and others inspect wreckage from a plane crash.
  • Blood in the Streets: The group lets a family in distress board the Abigail. Strand’s past begins to come to light. Nick looks for an associate of Strand’s.
  • Captive: Alicia works toward reuniting with her family. Travis comes across a familiar face. Madison and Nick try to save their family against all odds.
  • Sicut Cervus: Conflict arises as the Abigail approaches its destination. Chris makes a staggering decision. Nick meets a new maternal figure.
  • Shiva: The family faces their biggest test yet. Nick, Madison, Travis and others try to stay close to each other.
  • Grotesque: Nick’s steadfeast search for answers leads him into a deadly dog-eat-dog landscape. A dark piece of his past is uncovered.
  • Los Muertos: Madison, Strand, and others move forward after the compound falls; Nick gets picked for a dangerous assignment.
  • Do Not Disturb: Travis has a hard time connecting with Chris while looking for shelter; Alicia meets a woman with a bloody past.
  • Pablo & Jessica: Alicia and Madison try to bring two competing factions together. Nick uses skills from his past for his new role.
  • Pillar of Salt: At the Colonia, Alejandro reveals his darker side. A hotel resident becomes violent and Madison springs into action.
  • Date of Death: Refugees begin flooding into the hotel the group is staying at, and they recognize a familiar face among them. Madison has a hard time dealing with the entire situation.
  • Wrath: Travis is blindsided by new refugees at the hotel. Meanwhile, Nick must make the decision to leave the Colonia or stay with Luciana.
  • North: Travis’ rage causes unrest at the RBH. Madison must decide if she will stand by Travis. Nick takes on leadership of the Colonia as Narcos close in.

 

Southside With You
Lionsgate /Released 12/14/16

Inspired by Barack and Michelle Obama’s first date, Southside With You recounts the eventful summer day in 1989 when a charming young law associate named Barack Obama (Parker Sawyers) tries to woo reluctant attorney Michelle Robinson (Tika Sumpter) during a daylong date across Chicago’s South Side.

He famously arrived to pick her up in a beat-up old car with a hole in the floor, and their date — though she reminded him the entire day that it was not a date — included them watching Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing. Along the way, two bright young public servants explore their differences and paths, and find a kinship and share a sweet first kiss outside of a Baskin-Robbins ice cream parlor.

Extras include commentary and animation featurette.

 

Little Men
Magnolia /Released 12/14/16

When 13-year-old Jake’s (Theo Taplitz) grandfather dies, his family moves from Manhattan back into his father’s Brooklyn home.

There, Jake befriends the charismatic Tony (Michael Barbieri), whose single, Chilean mother Leonor (Paulina Garcia) runs the dress shop downstairs.

When Jake’s parents Brian (Greg Kinnear) and Kathy (Jennifer Ehle) ask Leonor to pay a higher rent — and a feud ignites between the adults — the boys take an oath of silence against their parents in protest.

Directed by Ira Sachs with his trademark humanism and insight, Little Men is the story of a life defining friendship amid family turmoil.

 

 

Stagecoach: The Texas Jack Story
Cinedigm / Released 12/14/16

After retiring from his life as an infamous outlaw, livery owner Nathaniel Reed (Trace Adkins) quietly leads an honest existence on the Texas frontier with his devoted wife, Laura Lee.

But his gun-slinging past suddenly comes back to haunt him when he learns that Calhoun (Kim Coates), the man he once maimed during a stagecoach robbery, is now an unhinged U.S. Marshal who’ll stop at nothing to exact vengeance.

After a violent shootout brings tragic consequences, Nathaniel partners with his original gang, returns to his lawless ways and becomes Texas Jack: the most wanted outlaw in the West.

Extras include featurette and trailer.

 

800 Words: Season 1
Acorn /Released 12/14/16

Successful newspaper columnist George Turner (Erik Thomson) has his world turned upside down when his wife suddenly dies.

Looking for a fresh start, George packs up and moves his two teenaged children, Shay (Melina Vidler) and Arlo (Jack Anthony), from the bustle of Sydney to the picturesque seaside town of Weld, New Zealand.

But the Turners’ new life doesn’t go as planned when they face a series of setbacks and meet the eccentric townsfolk, including handyman Woody (Rick Donald) and the “women of Weld” – four single ladies who are intrigued by the handsome widower and his offspring.

Includes the episodes:

  • S01E01: In the wake of his wife Laura’s sudden death, George Turner makes the potentially unwise decision to sell up in Sydney and move his life and the lives of his two teenagers, Shay and Arlo, across the Tasman Sea to Weld. Unfortunately, the home he has bought sight unseen online is not the holiday house he remembered from his family holidays as a kid.
  • S01E02: George has rapidly become the most unpopular new Aussie in town as a result of calling Weld a “dead end town” in his column. Having unwisely underestimated the power of the internet in bringing his story to Weld ,George has incurred the wrath of Big Mac, head of the large local McNamara clan, who makes sure the entire district knows by lambasting George in his little newspaper, News of the Weld.
  • S01E03: When George goes on the offensive, tracking down the source of a scurrilous rumor about him, what he learns changes everything between him and the women of Weld.
  • S01E04:Shay, now well aware of the women’s interest in her dad, makes it clear he needs to watch out, prompting George to become hyper-vigilant when he is around any of the Women of Weld. But in trying to keep a low profile, George stumbles into a web of family secrets and conflict – and it all begins with a comment about poor grammar at the local museum.
  • S01E05: The family’s attempts to mark Laura’s birthday are disrupted by the discovery that their new home’s piles are on the verge of collapsing, forcing them to move temporarily into the local motel. Here, George runs into his teen surfing nemesis, one Dean “the Orca” Marshall, who, in George’s memory at least, is one of the main reasons he is still such a terrible surfer.
  • S01E06: George throws himself into solving the mystery of Sir Frederick Weld’s missing head – when he should be solving a whole other mystery, one much closer to home. George is left reeling from the revelations that the secret he failed to notice was his own daughter’s.
  • S01E07: George struggles with the realization that while he was looking the other way, his children have been navigating a world he feels unqualified to deal with. Under pressure, George writes an unusually personal column about his struggles as a solo dad.
  • S01E08:George Turner brought his family to the town of Weld, New Zealand, in search of a new life. That life is now in ruins. George is forced to ask himself whether they should stay in Weld or go back to Sydney.

 

American Gothic: Season One
Paramount /Released 12/14/16

American Gothic centers on a prominent Boston family reeling in the wake of the chilling discovery that someone in their midst is linked to an infamous string of murders.

As shocking secrets from the past and present are revealed, their mounting suspicion and paranoia that one of them is a killer threatens to tear the family apart.

Extras include featurettes, gag reel and extended/deleted scenes.

Includes the episodes:

  • Arrangement In Grey And Black: A prominent Boston family reels in the wake of the chilling discovery that someone in their midst is linked to an infamous string of murders.
  • Jack-In-The-Pulpit: After tragedy strikes the Hawthorne family, Cam, Tessa and Alison seek an explanation for the silver bells they found in the shed, while Garrett plans an explosive public announcement about a family secret.
  • Nighthawks: As police begin to focus on the Hawthorne family’s possible connection to the “Silver Bells Killer,” Cam attempts to erase his past while Garrett reconnects with his.
  • Christina’s World: A death on the Hawthorne property gives Detective Brady a solid lead on the “Silver Bells Killer” (“SBK”) case.
  • The Artist in His Museum: Cam’s hallucinations make him question his own participation in a gruesome crime.
  • The Chess Players: When the Hawthornes are publicly implicated in the SBK case and forced to hole up in the house to avoid media scrutiny, they quickly begin to turn on one another.
  • The Gross Clinic: A major revelation about the Silver Bells murders turns everyone’s world in the Hawthorne family upside-down: Christina (Catalina Sandino Moreno) loses trust in Garrett, Alison’s mayoral campaign sinks, Cam’s sobriety is tested, and Tessa witnesses disturbing new behavior in Jack.
  • Kindred Spirits: While Cam is in rehab, Jack is lured into a dangerous adventure by a new friend, Sadie.
  • The Oxbow: Key Hawthorne family secrets are revealed when Garrett is forced to reflect on his 14 years of solitude in the woods.
  • The Veteran in a New Field: The city is in a panic after the SBK’s accomplice strikes again.
  • Freedom From Fear: After Hawthorne family members catch each other lying about the past, they are forced to revisit a fateful night in 2002.
  • Madame X: With a killer taunting them, the Hawthornes look to the police for assistance, but Brady needs Garrett’s help to solve the case.
  • Whistler’s Mother: With a killer taunting them, the Hawthornes look to the police for assistance, but Brady needs Garrett’s help to solve the case.

 

Counter Clockwise
Artsploitation /Released 12/14/16

Counter Clockwise inventively merges mind-bending science fiction with dark comedy, as a befuddled time traveling scientist caught up in a murder mystery.

Bearded scientist Ethan Walker stumbles into inventing a time machine and recklessly zaps himself six months into the future.

Ethan finds that the future has taken a sinister tone as men are out to kill him and the police are looking for him for the murder of his sister and wife. He now needs to try to return to the point right before everything went wrong and solve the mysteries.

An inventive, head-scratching, fast-paced American Indie time-traveling gem.

 

Sully
Warner Bros. / Released 12/20/16

On January 15, 2009, the world witnessed the “Miracle on the Hudson” when Captain Sully Sullenberger (Tom Hanks) glided his disabled plane onto the frigid waters of the Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 aboard. However, even as Sully was being heralded by the public and the media for his unprecedented feat of aviation skill, an investigation was unfolding that threatened to destroy his reputation and his career. Extras include featurettes.

Last Word: In dramatizing the true life heroics of Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger’s historic Hudson River landing on January 15, 2009, 86-year-old Clint Eastwood delivers pure, meat-and-potatoes filmmaking that defines sheer professionalism.

It makes sense in a film that certainly covers a fair deal of thematic ground in its tight 96 minutes (a miracle for a Clint film), but in the end, Sully is all about business—getting the damn job done.

It’s encapsulated, through and through, in Tom Hanks’ masterful performance as the title character. During the thrilling recreation of the aircraft’s bird-strike, engine blow-out and subsequent river landing, Hanks’ eyes are fixated on nothing more than accomplishing what he needs to do. He knows he needs to land the plane. He knows he won’t be able to make it make to an airport runway. He knows they’re landing in the Hudson.

But most of all, he knows he needs to deliver each of the 155 people aboard the plane safely back to their families. In perhaps Hanks’ strongest moment in the film, he is told that all 155 people have been accounted for, alive and well. His relief is so palpable that we exhale in unison with him. He had one job to do, and by all means, he got it done.

Sully highlights the perilous 208 seconds of this event—two different times in fact, both presented in separate contexts—as well as the aftermath that surfaced, between the media circus and investigations performed by the by-the-book hearings committee. This committee, led by fine supporting performances from Mike O’Malley and Anna Gunn, insists that Sully could have landed the plane on a runway. But Sully and his co-pilot Jeff Skiles (a great Aaron Eckhart) know otherwise. They were there, and no matter what the simulations say, these men know they accomplished what needed to be done.

But don’t call them heroes.

As Sully tells Katie Couric (playing herself) in an interview, “I don’t feel like a hero. I was just doing my job.”—again, highlighting the recurring theme of Eastwood’s latest film, and so many others to come before it. If anything, the hero here is Clint himself. Eastwood is a fine, fine filmmaker who delivers incredibly polished and crafted works regularly. Even the worst Eastwood film is leaps and bounds above the best that others have to offer.

But, like Sully, Eastwood would likely reject the term “hero” bestowed upon him. He’s just doing his job. (– Greg Vallente)

 

The Magnificent Seven
Sony /Released 12/20/16

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his modern vision to a classic story in The Magnificent Seven.

With the town of Rose Creek under the deadly control of industrialist Bartholomew Bogue, the desperate townspeople employ protection from seven outlaws, bounty hunters, gamblers and hired guns. As they prepare the town for the violent showdown that they know is coming, these seven mercenaries find themselves fighting for more than money.

The cast includes Denzel Washington, Vincent D’Onofrio, Ethan Hawke, Peter Sarsgaard, Chris Pratt, Matt Bomer, Cam Gigandet, Haley Bennett, Luke Grimes and Byung-Hun Lee.

Extras include featurettes.

 

Hellraiser: The Scarlet Box Limited Edition Trilogy
Arrow /Released 12/20/16

Stephen King was once quoted as saying: “I have seen the future of horror… his name is Clive Barker.” That future became reality when, in 1987, Barker unleashed his directorial debut Hellraiser – launching a hit franchise and creating an instant horror icon in the formidable figure of Pinhead.

Barker’s original Hellraiser, based on his novella The Hellbound Heart, follows Kirsty Cotton (Ashley Laurence) as she comes head-to-head with the Cenobites – demonic beings from another realm who are intent on reclaiming the soul of her deviant Uncle Frank.

Picking up immediately after the events of the original Hellraiser, Hellbound: Hellraiser II finds Kirsty detained at a psychiatric institute and under the care of Phillip Channard, a doctor who abuses his position to realise his own dark aims. In Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth, a reporter investigating a mysterious death at a nightclub finds herself in the way of Pinhead and the Cenobites, who plan to bring their horrifying world into our own.

Coming at a time when the genre was degenerating into self-parody, Hellraiser offered a fiercely unique vision that approached its horrors with a far greater degree of seriousness than many of its contemporaries.

These terrifying and original films boast brand new 2k restorations along with hours of archival content and newly produced extras including audio commentaries and interviews with Clive Barker, Doug Bradley and Sean Chapman in his first interview on the Hellraiser films in decades.

The 4-disc set will also include the newly edited version of Leviathan, the definitive documentary on Hellraiser and Hellbound: Hellraiser 2. A new documentary, Hellraiser: Evolutions, will also be included and will look at the evolution of the hit horror franchise and its enduring legacy.

These features will sit amongst a host of rarities and never-before-seen footage from the movies including the legendary ‘Surgeon’ scene from Hellbound: Hellraiser 2, the subject of fierce debate amongst fans for many years, now finally unearthed for its home video debut.

This limited edition Blu-ray comes with an exclusive illustrated 200-page hardback book featuring new writing from Clive Barker archivists Phil and Sarah Stokes and a 20-page booklet featuring never-before-seen original Hellraiser concept art. The limited edition packaging is adorned with incredible new artwork from Gilles Vranckx alongside a set of 5 exclusive art cards and a fold-out reversible poster.

 

Greater
Well Go USA/Released 12/20/16

Greater follows the true story of Brandon Burlsworth who is perhaps the greatest walk-on in the history of college football. Brandon dreamed of playing for the Arkansas Razorbacks but was told he wasn t good enough to play Division I ball.

Undeterred, Brandon took a risk and walked on in 1994. Written off by fellow teammates and coaches, Brandon displayed dogged determination in the face of staggering odds. The awkward kid who once was an embarrassment to his teammates and an annoyance to his coaches ended up becoming the most respected player in the history of the program, changing the lives of all he touched.

Extras include commentary, bloopers, deleted scenes and trailer.

 

Maximum Ride
Paramount /Released 12/20/16

Based on the phenomenal, bestselling book series by James Patterson. Fearless and wise beyond her teenage years Max, knows what it’s like to soar above the world.

She and her family of orphans–Fang, Iggy, Nudge, Gazzy and Angel–are just like ordinary kids. Only they can fly. It may seem like a dream come true to some, but their lives can morph into a living nightmare at any time.

When Angel, the youngest member of their flock, is kidnapped, Max must face her worst nightmare yet and lead them back to the lab where they were created. In the process, she discovers the biggest betrayal of all.

 

 

Department Q Trilogy
MPI Home Video /Released 12/20/16

Based on Jussi Adler-Olsens international bestsellers, the riveting Department Q series introduces maverick detective Carl Mørck (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) who, after majorly botching an assignment, is relegated to reviewing cold cases.

With his new partner Assad (Fares Fares) and secretary Rose (Johanne Louise Schmidt) the moody Mørck digs into shocking unsolved mysteries including the kidnapping of a high-ranking government official, a brutal prep school murder and a bloody message from two children presumed dead.

A nonstop series of ingenious twists and shocking surprises keep the suspense simmering in these three stylish thrillers:

  • The Keeper of Lost Causes: Based on the international bestseller, the riveting first film in the Department Q series introduces maverick detective Carl Mørck (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) who, after majorly botching an assignment, is relegated to reviewing cold cases. With his new partner (Fares Fares), the moody Mørck begins digging into the unsolved disappearance of a high-ranking female politician (Sonja Richter) who supposedly committed suicide but whose body was never recovered–a mystery that plunges the investigators into a dark and disturbing conspiracy. A nonstop series of ingenious twists and shocking surprises keep the suspense simmering in this stylish thriller.
  • The Absent One: In 1994 two young twins are found brutally murdered in a summer cottage. A number of clues point in the direction of a group of young upper class students from a nearby boarding school, but the case is closed as a local outsider pleads guilty and is convicted for the murders. When the case ends up on Carl Mørck’s desk 20 years later, he soon realises that something is terribly wrong. As Carl and Assad start investigating the case, they are led on to an old emergency call from a desperate girl, Kimmie, who seems to know the secrets of the murders. But Carl and Assad will have to contend with a group of influential men at the top of society who will do all they can to keep Kimmie silent.
  • A Conspiracy of Faith: A desperate message in a bottle, written in blood by a boy being held captive, is received eight years after it was sent. It leads renegade cold case detectives Carl Mørck (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) and Assad (Fares Fares) to a shadowy religious community connected with a string of missing and murdered children-including two whose lives hang in the balance.

 

Roseanne for President!
MPI Home Video /Released 12/20/16

27 years after Roseanne Barr’s groundbreaking sitcom Roseanne became the #1 show on television, Roseanne for President! brings you the story of the Emmy Award-winning actress and trailblazing comedians 2012 gonzo campaign for president of the United States.

Having created a sitcom that changed the cultural landscape by revolutionizing what Americans think of family, class, race, gender, and gay rights, Roseanne is uniquely qualified to fix well, everything.

Through the warped lens of the Barr Campaign, this surreal dark comedy examines the impact Roseannes work has had on society and who she is as a person. But fearlessly speaking truth to power comes with a price, and Roseanne has taken some bumps and bruises along the way.

Digging deep into Roseanne’s past, Roseanne for President! begins as a political journey before becoming a raw and revealing portrait of a comedic icon.
American Honey
Lionsgate/Released 12/27/16

An astonishing portrait of youth on the American fringe, American Honey is told through the eyes of a vivacious teenage rebel who joins a group of fellow misfits hustling and partying their way across the country.

Bursting with electric, primal energy, American Honey is an immersive, exhilarating odyssey of heartbreaking beauty — a generation-defining film that celebrates the defiant resilience of youth in pursuit of the American Dream.

Starring Sasha Lane, Shia LaBeouf, Riley Keough and Arielle Holmes.

Extras include interview.

 

In a Valley of Violence
Universal /Released 12/27/16

From acclaimed director, Ti West (The Sacrament, The Innkeepers), and famed producer Jason Blum comes In a Valley of Violence.

Ethan Hawke stars as Paul, a lone drifter who wanders into the forgotten town of Denton, Texas – dubbed by locals as the “valley of violence”.

There, he picks a fight with the wrong man, Gilly (James Ransone), the troublemaking son of the town’s unforgiving Marshal (John Travolta).

As tensions arise between Paul and Gilly, an inevitable act of violence starts a disastrous chain reaction that quickly drags the whole town into the bloody crosshairs of revenge.

Only the world-weary Marshal struggles to stop the violent hysteria, but after a gruesome discovery about Paul’s past…there’s no stopping the escalation.

Extras include behind the scenes featurette.

 

The Dressmaker
Broadgreen /Released 12/27/16

A glamorous, worldly dressmaker returns to her small Australian hometown to seek the truth behind her notorious reputation.

This dark and quirky comedy stars Academy Award winner Kate Winslet as Tilly Dunnage, who cares for her eccentric mother (Academy Award nominee Judy Davis), schemes with the local sergeant (Hugo Weaving) who has secrets of his own, and falls for local farmer Teddy (Liam Hemsworth).

As she starts to unravel her scandalous past, she transforms the town’s women with her exquisite creations. Armed with only her sewing machine and haute couture style, Tilly shows she is a force to be reckoned with and that revenge never goes out of style.

Extras include featurettes and gallery.

 

Ray Donovan: The Fourth Season
Showtime / Released 12/27/16

After the bloody Minassian shootout, Ray Donovan (Liev Schreiber) is focused on healing himself and his damaged relationship with his family. But Ray is soon pulled back into his old life by a troubled boxer and an enigmatic art dealer with ties to the Russian mafia.

This compelling series also stars Paula Malcomson, Eddie Marsan, Dash Mihok, Pooch Hall and Jon Voight in his Golden Globe-winning role as Ray’s manipulative, ex-con father.

Guest stars include Lisa Bonet, Embeth Davidtz, Ted Levine, Dabney Coleman, Gabriel Mann, Austin Nichols, and Reginald VelJohnson.

Extras include featurettes.

Includes the episodes:

  • The Bag Or The Bat: Los Angeles fixer, Ray Donovan, does what needs to be done for a set of high powered attorneys, Ezra Goldman and Lee Drexler. Ray learns his father, Mickey Donovan, has been released from prison five year early and is headed out to Los Angeles, something Ray is not happy about. Before he catches his plane, Mickey kills a priest and vows revenge on Ray for the frame job that sent him to prison. Ray’s first order of business is to help Lee’s megastar, Tommy Wheeler, avoid a scandal with a transsexual. Later he sorts out who’s stalking Stu Feldman’s girlfriend, Ashley. In addition to his job, Ray has to deal with the tensions at home where his wife Abby is concerned about the kids’ schooling and moving to a better location.
  • A Mouth is a Mouth: Finding out about the priest that Mickey killed in Boston before he came to Los Angeles, Ray sets into motion a plan to put Mickey back in prison. Ray deals with an A-list actor who refuses to go to work after he gets a threatening message and finds his home security breached. Ray has to deal with another crisis involving Tommy Wheeler, this time a blackmail demand with a sex video. Even though Ray tells Abby not to have anything to do with his father, Abby spends the day with Mickey and the kids in Malibu. When they return Mickey to Terry Donovan’s gym, Abby meets Ray’s half-brother, Daryll.
  • Twerk: Even though Ray warns him to stay away, Mickey interjects himself back into Terry and Bunchy’s lives. Having finally had enough of the loud music from his neighbor, rapper Re-Kon, Ray pays a visit and ends up being solicited to help out a young hip hop artist. Although preoccupied by the bad things he’s done in the past, Ezra hosts a fund raiser for The Goldman Ovarian Cancer Center, a tribute to his late wife. FBI Agent Van Miller approaches Mickey and explains the deal that got him out of prison early.
  • Black Cadillac: The family visits Bel Air Academy where Abby wants Bridget to attend. Ray’s promised Abby to attend and to put work on hold but he gets called away by Lena when surveillance at a Beverly Hills hotel goes awry. Mickey heads to Palm Springs with Daryll and Bunchy to see his ex-girlfriend, Claudette, who is also Daryll’s mother. Teddy has his nurse Frances over to the gym for dinner. Ray gets some bad news about his plan to put Mickey back in prison.
  • The Golem: Ezra’s accident requires emergency medical attention. Terry’s romance with Frances advances. With his settlement check from the church, Bunchy goes looking for a house. Mickey pays an unsettling visit to Ezra to air his grievances. Later, when pressed by Ray, Ezra can’t recall what he told Mickey. Ashley is back bothering Ray again. Ray and Avi get some troubling news and try to figure out who Mickey keeps meeting up with.
  • Housewarming: After talking with his FBI informant, Ray learns about Van Miller’s investigation and attempts to shut it down. Ray forbids the family to have anything to do with Mickey. Bunchy and Mickey throw a housewarming party at the new house but things get out of control. Ezra wanders off.
  • New Birthday: Ray catches a flight to Boston to search for Sully. Van Miller is intent on bringing down Ray and thinks he has a way via Sean Walker. Mickey continues to stalk Sean.
  • Bridget: Ray, Terry and Bunchy honor the anniversary of their sister’s death with a toast. Mickey’s day at the spa includes a hook up with a former starlet. Bridget defies Ray and Abby and hooks up again with Marvin. Ray and Avi work on getting Bunchy’s money back from the man who sold him the house. Lena gets back at her girlfriend. Terry goes after Frances’ husband when she shows up at the gym with a black eye.
  • Road Trip: To gather incriminating evidence, Van Miller wires Mickey for a meeting with Sean Walker. Avi and Sully head out to California. Ray has to deal with Marty Grossman who plans to publish compromising photos of Tommy Wheeler.
  • Fite Nite: With Ezra’s money, Ray continues with the plan to have Sully kill Mickey. Ray plans to attend Daryll’s fight at the gym as his alibi. When Mickey is a no show Daryll wants to hold up the fight, but Ray reminds him that he should get used to Mickey letting him down.
  • Bucky F… Dent: Ray deals with a crisis at the gym while someone from Bunchy’s past is met with aggression. Mickey finds himself in police crosshairs as they make inquiries about a recent murder. With Sully on the loose, Avi is tasked with protection detail for Abby and the kids.
  • Same Exactly: On the run with Sully’s money, Eddie is caught by Ray and Avi. Bunchy throws Mickey out of his place. Abby and the kids hide in Malibu while Ray circulates information about “America’s Most Wanted” being in Santa Monica. Ezra asks Deb to marry him.

 

Blair Witch
Lionsgate / Released 1/3/17

A group of college students venture into the Black Hills Forest in Maryland to uncover the mysteries surrounding the disappearance of their friend’s sister, who many believe is connected to the legend of the Blair Witch.

At first the group is hopeful, especially when a pair of locals offer to act as guides through the dark and winding woods, but as the endless night wears on, the group is visited by a menacing presence.

Slowly, they begin to realize the legend is all too real and more sinister than they could have imagined.

Extras include commentary, featurette and documentary.

 

Stryker
Kino Lorber / Released 1/3/17

In the future, after the last breakdown of technology – there’s debris everywhere, but the most devastating consequence of the state of the “post apocalyptic” world is the shortage of water.

Several groups of marauders, men who have banded together for survival on the parched planet, battle each other in raids for water. In the midst of these savages is a group of brave and beautiful women who have made the most important discovery in the world – they have located a water source, but soon their source is exposed and the band of savages are determined to take over the water supply at any cost – the women turn to lone road warrior, Stryker (Steve Sandor, Fire and Ice) for help.

Stryker was first of seven Cirio H. Santiago (TNT Jackson, Firecracker) “post apocalyptic” action films, followed by Wheels of Fire (1985), Future Hunters (1986), Equalizer 2000 (1987), The Sisterhood (1988), Dune Warriors (1991) and Riders of the Sun (1992). All produced by Roger Corman film studios, New World Pictures, Concorde Pictures and New Horizons Pictures. Extras include commentary.

 

The Monkey King 2
Well Go USA / Released 1/3/17

Soi Cheang and legendary action director Sammo Hung lead a star-studded cast in this sequel to the international blockbuster fantasy hit.

500 years after the Monkey King (Aaron Kwok) wreaked havoc in heaven, a traveling monk (William Feng) releases him from his confines under the Five Finger Mountain. With newfound freedom the Monkey King vows to protect the innocent from a demon seeking immortality (Gong Li) as he accompanies the monk on an epic journey to the West.

Extras include making of and trailer.

 

 

Sleepy Hollow: The Complete Third Season
20th Century Fox / Released 1/3/17

Nine months after Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) and Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) parted ways, they reunite when Abbie, now an FBI agent, returns to Sleepy Hollow to release an imprisoned Crane. The two Witnesses face all-new dangers, including a demon who kills anyone with a dark secret, an undead army, and a horrifying beast with ties to Jenny Mills.

But the arrival of a mysterious woman named Pandora brings the most terrifying threat of all. After she uses Abbie and Crane to resurrect “The Hidden One,” a seemingly invincible god, the fate of the world hangs in the balance, leading to the series’ most shocking climax so far.

Extras include deleted scenes and gag reel.

Includes the episodes:

  • I, Witness: Abbie Mills receives a message from Ichabod Crane after not hearing from him for several months. They now become aware of a new evil that must be addressed, and join forces with old friends to face this new threat to Sleepy Hollow.
  • Whispers in the Dark: Past deeds return to give Crane, Abbie & Jennie reasons to come clean.
  • Blood and Fear: Fear is rampant in Sleepy Hollow when Pandora releases an ancient artifact from her box that can transform an ordinary human into a terrifying figure from the past.
  • The Sisters Mills: More powerful than ever, Pandora unleashes her most evil force yet. Meanwhile, Abbie and Jenny work together when the latest monster targets the children of Sleepy Hollow.
  • Dead Men Tell No Tales: When Ichabod’s old nemesis returns from the dead, Ichabod and Abbie turn to Temperance Brennan and Seeley Booth to unlock 18th century secrets using 21st century science.
  • This Red Lady from Caribee: Pandora unleashes a monster that haunts Sleepy Hollow residents at night, which tempts Abbie and Jenny to face a painful chapter of their lives. Meanwhile, Ichabod draws on his own experiences to offer Abbie advice when she must make an important decision about her career.
  • The Art of War: When Reynolds heads to D.C. to discuss developments in the Nevins case, Abbie is left in command. Jenny and Joe deal with unexpected consequences as a result of stealing the shard, which leaves both the lives of the heroes and Abbie’s career in great peril. Meanwhile, a new, more dangerous evil force is revealed.
  • Novus Ordo Seclorum: In the aftermath of Jenny and Joe’s run-in with Sophie, Abbie is in deep water with Reynolds. Meanwhile, the Witnesses deal with lasting implications of the shard and find themselves in grave danger as they come face-to-face with a greater evil than they could have imagined.
  • One Life: Following Abbie’s huge sacrifice, Crane and Jennie find themselves at a loss. In an effort to save Abbie, Crane forms and unlikely partnership and Jenny confronts a former foe.
  • Incident at Stone Manor: In the quest to save Abbie, Crane and Sophie are forced to battle a supernatural force targeting the citizens of Sleepy Hollow, while Pandora and The Hidden One only grow stronger. Meanwhile, in an effort to find out what truly happened to her sister, Jenny faces an old foe: her father. Can our heroes solve their most personal case yet?
  • Kindred Spirits: The Kindred, the Frankenstein-esque creature Abby & Crane used against the Headless Horseman, returns and wreaks bloody havoc on Sleepy Hollow.
  • Sins of the Father: When Jenny makes the decision to confront her father, family turmoil from the past rises to the surface. Meanwhile, Atticus Nevins returns to town, bringing more danger than the FBI could have imagined.
  • Dark Mirror: As a monster resembling the New Jersey Devil ravages Sleepy Hollow, Crane must draw on his past to find the connection. Meanwhile, Jenny and Joe stumble as they navigate their new relationship and Abbie continues to struggle with the aftermath of her trauma.
  • Into the Wild: Abby and Agent Foster go on a two day FBI survival training course and encounter one of the creatures summoned by The Hidden One. Crane attempts to find out more about the symbol from the world Abby was trapped in.
  • Incommunicado: Crane and Abbie need to cooperate with their most detested foes when a supernatural event shocks the witnesses. Joe and Jenny try to restore their relationship.
  • Dawn’s Early Light: As The Hidden One grows stronger, Crane must examine his past with Betsy Ross to find the key to stopping him. Meanwhile, Jenny wonders if she can ever have a relationship with her father, and Abbie faces a hard decision as things with Reynolds become more strained.
  • Delaware: The team welcomes a new member. Crane and Abigail continue their quest to find the catacombs. The Hidden One grows stronger as the hourglass runs out. Jenny discovers something new about her father.
  • Ragnarok: After a startling discovery, Abbie and Crane realize what they must do in order to make Pandora’s box complete again. Meanwhile, the team works tirelessly to stop The Hidden One, before he destroys all of humanity.

 

Bones: The Complete Eleventh Season
20th Century Fox / Released 1/3/17

Six months after Bones (Emily Deschanel) and Booth (David Boreanaz) leave their jobs to start a new life, Booth goes missing. Desperate for distraction, Bones takes a murder case, and is devastated to learn the deceased’s identity.

Featuring the highly anticipated Bones and Sleepy Hollow crossover event – teaming the Jeffersonian gang with paranormal mystery solver Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) and FBI agent Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) in a chilling case for the ages – and with guest stars Betty White and Kim Raver, Bones Season 11 turns up more wicked wit and grisly, pulse pounding intrigue than ever.

Extras include deleted scenes and gag reel.

Includes the episodes:

  • The Loyalty in the Lie: While Booth and Bones take the next step in their lives, the other members of the Jeffersonian are adjusting to the change. Aubrey is taking up his New role in the FBI and looking forward to his next case.
  • The Brother in the Basement: As Aubrey and Miller further investigate about the whereabouts of Booth and his intentions, new evidence comes to light suggesting an insider’s job.
  • The Donor in the Drink: Booth and Brennan return to their old jobs and work on the case of a man whose organs had been harvested and sold. Meanwhile, Cam struggles with choosing work over her relationship with Arastoo and Hodgins encourages Angela to showcase her photography.
  • The Carpals in the Coy-Wolves: Brennan enlists help in the investigation into the death of a real estate agent.
  • The Resurrection in the Remains: The grisly discovery of human remains leads Brennan and Booth on a hunt for clues, during which they cross paths with Ichabod Crane and Abbie Mills, who are looking for answers of their own.
  • The Senator in the Street Sweeper: The team races against the clock to find out who killed a US Senator from Virginia before a vital press conference that may promote the killer.
  • The Promise in the Palace: An escape artist’s corpse is found in the woods; Booth and Brennan try to decide if the tooth fairy should visit Christine; Angela works on her photography with Sebastian Kohl (Gil Darnell).
  • High Treason in the Holiday Season: A political journalist is found dead after writing an article exposing corruption at the NSA, and Hodgins becomes paranoid when he’s convinced their investigation is being closely monitored. Meanwhile, the team gathers for Thanksgiving.
  • The Cowboy in the Contest: To solve a murder, Brennan and Booth go undercover at an Old West-style shooting competition, while Angela and Hodgins discuss the future of their family and Cam gets close with photographer Sebastian Kohl.
  • The Doom in the Boom: Aubrey and Hodgins are hurt in an explosion. The team goes all out to find a cop killer. Aristoo asks Cam to take him back. Hodgins has complications to his injury.
  • The Death in the Defense: It’s 8 weeks after the explosion that left Hodgins paralyzed. He is doing his exercises, but is not sure about being OK with spending the rest of his life in a wheel chair.
  • The Murder of the Meninist: The team investigates the death of a member of a meninist group. Hodgins is handling his situation badly, and the others try to help.
  • The Monster in the Closet: Christine is having nightmares about a monster in her closet. Meanwhile the team are investigating the death of a woman. The murder seems to be connected to a previous victim, who has not yet been identified.
  • The Last Shot at a Second Chance: A suspect in the murder of a convicted felon has ties to Booth; Brennan testifies to the FBI on an unnamed suspect on her assault from a previous case.
  • The Fight in the Fixer: The team investigates the murder of a high profile ‘fixer’. Hodgins is trying to patch up things with Angela while Aubrey has found some shocking truth about the whereabouts of his father.
  • The Strike in the Chord: When the lead singer of a college acapella group dies, the team must question members of the group and some female competitors; Aubrey’s college experience is revealed while Booth tried to plan a trip with Parker; a new intern is brought to the lab.
  • The Secret in the Service: A drunk college student discovers the dead body of a Secret Service agent just before a presidential visit to the area. Booth is ready to hit the ground running and turns to Secret Service agent and former colleague Brandt Walker for information, but is surprised to learn the Secret Service has reservations about Booth’s involvement in the case. The team uncovers some shocking evidence that heightens the seriousness of the case, causing Booth to step up for his country. Meanwhile, Brennan is out sick with the flu and former intern Dr. Colin Fisher returns to the Jeffersonian to run lead on the case, but Brennan refuses to be kept out of the loop. Also, Hodgins takes his life into his own hands and turns a corner after a potentially dangerous experiment.
  • The Movie in the Making: A television crew follow the medico-legal lab crew around for several days, documenting the relationship between the Jeffersonian Institute and the FBI. They follow a ten year old murder case of a boy buried in a landfill.
  • The Head in the Abutment: Bones and Booth investigate the death of a professional hockey player whose headless corpse was dumped in a river. Booth is reunited with a hockey rival from his past, putting him back on the ice. Meanwhile, Hodgins and Oliver have a competition of their own when Hodgins builds two drones and they compete to retrieve the victim’s missing head.
  • The Stiff in the Cliff: The remains of a billionaire explorer are found ten years after his disappearance and Dr. Clark Edison becomes a suspect since he was part of the expedition. Meanwhile, Cam argues with her sister when she comes to help with her wedding plans.
  • The Jewel in the Crown: The team investigates a body found at a glass recycling plant with a diamond lodged in its jaw. French Inspector Rousseau approaches the team with an accusation against the Marquis De Chaussin, who is revealed to be the victim’s husband and lives in Virginia. Meanwhile, Booth discovers he suffers from a temporary eye illness, and Hodgins thinks he’s being followed by a ghost.
  • The Nightmare in the Nightmare: The team attempts to find The Puppeteer, a serial killer from the past, who lives with his victim’s bodies before disposing of them; Brennan struggles with guilt over not stopping the killer earlier.

 

Operation Avalanche
Lionsgate / Released 1/3/17

In 1967, during the height of the Cold War, two young CIA agents (Matt Johnson and Owen Williams) go undercover at NASA to investigate a possible Russian mole.

In disguise as documentary filmmakers, they tap phones and break into offices while purporting to learn more about the Apollo project.

But when they end up uncovering a shocking NASA secret – and a major government cover-up – they decide to embark on a new mission that puts their own lives at risk.

Extras include deleted scenes, featurettes and commentaries.

 

 

The Red Skelton Hour: In Color: Unreleased Seasons
Time Life / Released 1/3/17

One of the country’s most treasured comedians, Skelton kept TV audiences in stitches for 20 groundbreaking seasons on The Red Skelton Show.

The son of a circus clown, Red always had a twinkle in his eye and a spring in his step (often accompanied by a cowbell sound effect); his heart was pure gold, his jokes were silly and his gifts for physical comedy were unparalleled.

And from his inimitable comic mind also came a memorable lineup of zany characters including the country bumpkin Clem Kadiddlehopper, the lovable hobo Freddie the Freeloader, Sheriff Deadeye and more.

The 3-disc collector’s set features 12 never-before-released episodes, including best-loved sketches with Freddie the Freeloader joining a love-in with hippie Tim Conway; Sheriff Deadeye facing off with Rooster Cogburn (John Wayne); and Clem Kadiddlehopper being mistaken for a robot by mad scientists Boris Karloff and Vincent Price.

Other fan favorite sketches include classics such as “Dial M for Moron” with Phyllis Diller, “Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Dumb” with George Gobel, and “Eenie Meenie Minee Schmo” with Mickey Rooney.

Extras include interviews with Bobby Rydell and Vicki Lawrence.

 

X-Rated: The Greatest Adult Movies of All Time
Kino Lorber / Released 1/3/17

A scintillating countdown of the 32 greatest adult movies ever produced, X-Rated is the definitive look at the art of carnal films.

Ranging between the 1970s and the 2010s, this erotically charged documentary is a vital history that provides commentary about the movies’ lasting impact on the adult industry and the world.

Hosted by Chanel Preston, it features in-depth interviews with stars Jenna Jameson, Ron Jeremy, Marilyn Chambers, Christy Canyon, Jessica Drake, Georgina Spelvin, Sharon Mitchell, Kay Parker, Herschel Savage, Nina Hartley, and many more.

 

 

 

The Accountant
Warner Bros. / Released 1/10/17

Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck)  is a math savant with more affinity for numbers than people.

Behind the cover of a small-town CPA office, he works as a freelance accountant for some of the world’s most dangerous criminal organizations. With the Treasury Department’s Crime Enment Division, run by Ray King (J.K. Simmons), starting to close in, Christian takes on a legitimate client: a state-of-the-art robotics company where an accounting clerk has discovered a discrepancy involving millions of dollars.

But as Christian uncooks the books and gets closer to the truth, it is the body count that starts to rise.

Extras include featurettes and trailers.

Last Word: Though it’s plot is familiar, the entertainment factor is high.  The Accountant is pure movie escapism propelled by solid performances from not only Affleck and Simmons, but throughout the entire ensemble including Anna Kendrick, Jon Bernthal, Jeffrey Tambor, John Lithgow and Jean Smart.  You might not remember the twists (including the big one which I thought was pretty obvious) or even the film itself, but the journey is entertaining from beginning to end and is an easy and  solid recommendation.

 

Deepwater Horizon
Lionsgate / Released 1/10/17

Mark Wahlberg leads an all-star cast (including Kurt Russell, Kate Hudson and John Malkovich) in this unforgettably powerful film inspired by a thrilling story of real-life heroes.

For the one hundred and twenty-six people aboard the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig, April 20, 2010, began like any normal day. Before day’s end, the world would bear witness to one of the greatest man-made disasters in U.S. history.

Deepwater Horizon reveals the brave acts of the men and women who rose to the challenge – and risked everything to lead others to safety.

Extras include featurettes.

 

Homeland The Complete Fifth Season
Showtime / Released 1/10/17

The fifth enthralling season of the Emmy-winning series Homeland.

Now working at a private security firm in Berlin, Carrie is trying to start a new life, but she soon discovers she can’t escape her past.

Blindsided by stunning betrayals, and without Saul (Mandy Patinkin) and Quinn (Rupert Friend) to rely on, Carrie must uncover a deadly conspiracy that puts thousands of lives at risk, including her own.

Extras include featurettes.

Includes the episodes:

  • Separation Anxiety: Almost two years after the embassy attack in Islamabad, Season 5 begins with Carrie building a new life in Berlin. But her peace is threatened when a request from her boss forces her back into the dangerous world she left behind.
  • The Tradition of Hospitality: Carrie and Düring visit a refugee camp; Saul and Allison are at odds; Quinn stays on mission.
  • Super Powers: Jonas and Carrie revisit her past; Quinn stalks his prey.
  • Why Is This Night Different?: Answers elude Carrie; Laura asks Jonas for help; Saul and Allison run an operation.
  • Better Call Saul: The hacktivists rise up; Quinn covers for Carrie; Dar and Allison assess the damage.
  • Parabiosis: Saul orders a sweep at the station; Carrie looks to Düring for support.
  • Oriole: Carrie reconnects with old friends; Saul opens up to Allison.
  • All About Allison: Carrie needs Allison’s help; Quinn’s plans change.
  • The Litvinov Ruse: The CIA and BND make a play.
  • New Normal: The terrorists use Quinn as leverage to get what they want and Allison swears she can help out.
  • Our Man in Damascus: The fate of Peter Quinn is revealed, as well as information on Carrie’s new life in New York City. What’s she doing now?
  • A False Glimmer: Carrie races to save Berlin from the terrorist attack while Allison seems to be whisked away with Ivan.

 

Scavenger Hunt
Kino Lorber / Released 1/10/17

It’s a mad, mad mob of maniacs in a wild and hilarious $200,000,000 winner-takes-all Scavenger Hunt! The nutty and newly-departed millionaire’s will was specific: his fifteen would-be heirs are to participate in a highly-unusual Scavenger Hunt and whoever finds all the items first, wins his entire estate! Richard Benjamin, James Coco, Cloris Leachman, Roddy McDowall, Tony Randall, Cleavon Little, Scatman Crothers, Ruth Gordon, Vincent Price, and Arnold Schwarzenegger portray only a few of the wonderful and zany characters who fight each other for the biggest stakes ever… and it’s a mad dash through the San Diego Zoo and through the streets of Hollywood to find everything from an ostrich to a commode.

Cast also includes Richard Mulligan, Dirk Benedict, Willie Aames, Stephen Furst, Richard Masur, Meat Loaf, Pat McCormick, Avery Schreiber and Stuart Pankin. Wonderfully directed by Michael Schultz (Car Wash, The Last Dragon). Extras include commentary.

 

Band of the Hand
Mill Creek / Released 1/10/17

Producer Michael Mann (Ali, The Insider) delivers an action-packed dose of high-octane fun in this infamous 1980s crime thriller, Band Of the Hand. Directed by Paul Michael Glaser (TV’s Starsky & Hutch), the cast features awesome performances by future stars Laurence Fishburne (The Matrix), Lauren Holly (What Women Want), Leon (Above the Rim), James Remar (TV’s Sex & the City), and James Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig & the Angry Inch).

The killer retro soundtrack features the title track performed by Bob Dylan backed by Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers.

While serving time in a grueling rehab program in Florida’s Everglades, five young felons bond together to form an unlikely union. Band Of the Hand goes for the jugular, never once loosening its grip until it’s heart-stopping climax!

The film zeroes in on five juvenile delinquents who are plucked from their various detention facilities and unceremoniously dumped in the wilds of the Everglades. The boys begin to panic until hardcase Vietnam veteran Stephen Lang arrives. Lang explains that they’ve been paroled in his custody, and that it is his task to teach them how to work as a team in order to survive. When they return to Miami’s dangerous ghetto, the five former criminals wage a lethal war on the drug kingpins who rule the underworld of murder and mayhem.

 

XXX: 15th Anniversary Edition
Sony / Released 1/10/17

Xander “XXX” Cage (Vin Diesel) is a notorious underground thrill seeker who, until now, has been deemed untouchable by the law. NSA Agent Gibbons forces XXX to cooperate with the government to infiltrate an underground Russian crime ring to avoid going to prison.

Betting XXX can succeed where other conventional spies have failed, Gibbons sends XXX to enter this world of crime undetected, using his natural athletic prowess and a whole lot of attitude. Enlisted for a dangerous covert mission, he must combat a clever, organized and ruthless crime enemy far beyond the scope of his experience.

Cast includes Asia Argento, Samuel L. Jackson, Danny Trejo, Thomas Ian Griffith, and Eve.

Extras include commentary, featurettes, deleted scenes, storyboard comparisons, music videos and trailer.

 

The Story Of God With Morgan Freeman: Season One
National Geographic Channel/ Released 1/10/17

Who is God? Where did we come from? Why does evil happen? What happens when we die? Every human being on earth has asked themselves these questions at some point, and most likely each person has found a different answer.

National Geographic Channel and Revelation Entertainment’s epic series The Story of God with Morgan Freeman, produced by Freeman, Lori McCreary and James Younger, takes viewers on a trip around the world to explore different cultures and religions on the ultimate quest to uncover the meaning of life, God and all these big questions in between.

Today, for better or worse, the power of religion touches all of our lives, no matter what our faith.

This is Morgan Freeman’s journey to discover how our beliefs connect us all. This is the quest of our generation. This is the Story of God.

Episodes include:

  • Beyond Death: Host Morgan Freeman explores how different religions of past and present answer the question: What happens when we die?
  • Apocalypse: Host Morgan Freeman examines both the past and the future to determine what various faith traditions predict about the End of Days.
  • Who Is God?: Morgan begins a quest to discover who God is and how he, she or they have evolved over human history.
  • Creation: Morgan Freeman traverses the globe to ask: Where did we come from, and what happened in the beginning?
  • Why Does Evil Exist?: Where does evil come from? Morgan sets out to understand the root of evil and how our ideas of it have evolved over the millennia.
  • The Power of Miracles: Do miracles really happen? Morgan sets out to discover why we believe in miracles and how they shape our understanding of God.

 

Broad City: Season 3
Comedy Central / Released 1/10/17

Broad City Season 3 brings back TV’s baddest BFFs for a whole new set of adventures. Join Abbi, Ilana and a lineup of special guests as they find true love (or one-night stands), get high on life (among other things) and show New York City how it’s done.

Guest stars include Arturo Castro, Ilana Wexler, Paul W. Downs, John Gemberling, Hannibal Buress, Bob Balaban, Susie Essman, Seth Green Tracee Ellis Ross, Adam Levine, Tony Danza, Hillary Clinton, Alan Alda, Rachel Dratch, Cynthia Nixon, Eugene Mirman, Whoopi Goldberg, Vanessa Williams, and Melissa Leo.

Includes the episodes:

  • Two Chainz: Abbi and Ilana experience major wardrobe malfunctions on the way to a friend’s gallery show and embark on a desperate search for a public bathroom.
  • Co-Op: Abbi has to pretend to be Ilana in order to cover her shift at the food co-op, and Ilana goes to Long Island for a very important doctor’s appointment.
  • Game Over: Ilana gets a new opportunity at Deals, Deals, Deals, and Abbi tries to keep her competitive side in check at Soulstice Games Day.
  • Rat Pack: After receiving a hefty exterminator bill, Jaime and Ilana decide to throw a party to recoup the costs. Meanwhile, Abbi embarks on a mission to meet new people.
  • 2016: Ilana finds her new calling, and Abbi must brave the most dreaded place in the world: the DMV.
  • Philadelphia: Abbi and Ilana head to Philly to visit Abbi’s childhood home. When Abbi realizes that she made a huge mistake in high school, she and Ilana go on a mission of atonement.
  • B&B-NYC: Abbi and Ilana list their apartments on B&B-NYC to make some extra cash.
  • Burning Bridges: Ilana’s parents come to the city for their 30th anniversary, but Abbi and Ilana find it hard to celebrate when they both experience relationship problems.
  • Getting There: Abbi and Ilana are going on a trip, but getting to the airport proves to be much harder than they expected.
  • Jews on a Plane: When Abbi gets her period while on an airplane, she and Ilana go to extreme lengths to find a tampon.

 

Return from the Dead
National Geographic Channel / Released 11/9/16

In this groundbreaking documentary, world-leading neuroscientist and Doctor Steven Laureys embarks on an extraordinary and unique investigation into death and the human brain.

He wants to investigate the extraordinary, intense and often life-changing tales of those who’ve been to the brink of death and returned.

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Girl: The Complete Fifth Season
20th Century Fox / Released 9/20/16

The laughs continue as one of television’s wittiest comdies returns for a hilarious fifth season – and its landmark 100th episode.

Although Jess (Emmy and Golden Globe nominee Zooey Deschanel) and Nick (Jake Johnson) remain broken up, Schmidt and Cece (Max Greenfield and Hannah Simone) are headed down the aisle. Disaster arrives when the loft becomes an Airbnb, Schmidt’s bachelor party hits the road, and Cece’s judgmental mom shows up.

Meanwhile, Jess lands a fantastic teaching gig, only to learn her boss is dating her ex, and Winston (Lamorne Morris) gets a great new girlfriend – or does he? Featuring fresh writing, standout performances and popular guest stars Henry Winkler, Julie Hagerty, Fred Armisen and Nasim Pedrad, New Girl is as lovably funny as ever!

Includes the episodes:

  • Big Mama P: When Cece and Schmidt ask Jess and Nick to be their Maid of Honor and Best Man, respectively, their first task is to plan the engagement party. But when Jess invites Cece’s mom to join in the celebration, Cece is forced to make a surprising announcement to Schmidt.
  • What About Fred: Jess jumps back into the dating pool, but her attempt lands her a dud (guest star Taran Killam), and things get complicated when she falls in love with his perfect parents (guest stars Henry Winkler and Julie Hagerty). Meanwhile, Nick and Schmidt have very different ideas about how to run the bar.
  • Jury Duty: Jess eagerly reports to jury duty, until she discovers she may be up for a work promotion. Meanwhile, Nick reaches his limit with Cece’s messiness in the loft.
  • No Girl: With Jess sequestered at jury duty, Nick turns the loft into an air b-n-b in order to help pay for Schmidt’s upcoming bachelor party. Meanwhile, Winston asks Cece for help when he suspects KC is cheating on him in the all-new.
  • Bob & Carol & Nick & Schmidt: Schmidt helps Nick ponder his future after Nick’s cousin and his wife visit to ask for a very special handout. Meanwhile, Winston helps Cece shop for a wedding dress.
  • Reagan: A beautiful pharmaceutical rep enters the gang’s life when she agrees to sublet Jess’ room while she is on jury duty.
  • Wig: When Nick’s attraction to Reagan starts affecting Schmidt and Cece’s relationship, they enact a plan to demystify her, in hopes of helping Nick get over her. Meanwhile, Winston teaches Reagan the art of the breakup.
  • The Decision: Reagan causes chaos between Nick and Winston when she tells them she’ll sleep with just one of them in an attempt to challenge the guys’ indecisiveness. Meanwhile, Schmidt is reunited with his college frenemy, Benjamin, when looking at wedding venues with Cece.
  • Heat Wave: Things heat up between Nick and Reagan over who can provide the loft with the best air conditioning unit. Meanwhile, Winston uses his “cop voice” to help Schmidt prep Cece for a newscaster audition.
  • Goosebumps Walkaway: Jess returns from jury duty and attempts to uncover the real identity of a juror sequestered with her. Meanwhile, Reagan prepares to move out of the loft and out of Nick’s life, and Winston and Cece help Schmidt get over his fear of public dancing.
  • The Apartment: It’s time for Cece to move into the loft. While Jess is helping her friend move out of her beloved apartment, she has to finish the school’s budget by morning, which the new principal has neglected to tell her. Meanwhile, Winston gets a new partner to avoid having to work side-by-side with Aly.
  • D-Day: After Cece receives an exciting new job offer, Jess agrees to help Schmidt with the wedding preparations, but things don’t go as planned when Schmidt’s dad, Gavin, appears. Meanwhile, Winston and Nick get into a competition over whose job is harder.
  • Sam, Again: Jess applies for a job at a progressive new school, but things take a turn when she finds out the principal is dating her ex-boyfriend, Sam. Meanwhile, Nick gets a cold and Schmidt quarantines the roommates to prevent himself from getting sick before his big presentation.
  • 300 Feet: When Jess is served a restraining order by her former boyfriend, Sam, she sets out to clear her name with Winston’s help. Nick and Schmidt plot against the owner of a trendy new bar that opened on their street.
  • Jeff Day: To turn the tables on a sexist car salesman, Jess invents a male alter ego, which backfires on her. Schmidt and Cece panic over Winston’s date, his new prankster girlfriend, to their wedding.
  • Helmet: Despite being happy with Sam, Jess confesses to Cece that she had a sex dream about Nick. And Schmidt attempts to help Winston land Furguson a cat audition when he finds out Aly’s star boyfriend is a talent agent for pets.
  • Road Trip: After being emasculated in front of Cece, Schmidt insists on a manly bachelor party weekend in Vegas, but the road trip goes awry when the guys end up at a desert biker bar and he must put his newfound bravado to the test.
  • A Chill Day In: Cece and Jess try to have a “chill day” celebrating Cece’s bachellorette party.
  • Dress: The wedding is coming up and Jess hasn’t finished Cece’s wedding dress. Schmidt has been ignoring work while doing the wedding planning.
  • Return to Sender: Jess is introduced to Sam’s female best friend; Nick worries that Gavin will leave Schmidt disappointed again; Winston isn’t happy about someone’s reaction to a birthday present.
  • Wedding Eve: On the night before the wedding, Nick and Winston try to help Schmidt re-write his vows and Jess, thinking that Sam is going to propose to her, rallies the gang into playing True American to avoid giving him an answer.
  • Landing Gear: Schmidt makes a last ditch effort to convince Cece’s mom to come to their wedding, but in doing so, he might miss the special day himself.

 

Missing Dial: Season 1
National Geographic Channel / Released 9/27/16

In 2014, Cody Roman Dial, son of legendary explorer Roman Dial, vanished while trying to complete a solo trek in the most dangerous jungle in Central America. The evidence quickly led his family to believe foul play was involved.

Now Roman Dial is going on his highest-stakes expedition ever. With a team of former FBI agents, he’ll retrace the steps of his son to solve the mystery of what happened to him.

Includes the episodes:

  • Vanished: When Roman Dial learned his son was missing in Costa Rica, he searched hundreds of square miles of the Corcovado National Rainforest hoping to find him – but Cody Dial had disappeared without a trace. Believing his son is a victim of foul play, Roman begins a new search with investigators Carson and Ken. Together they will retrace Cody’s steps and uncover the truth about his disappearance.
  • Prime Suspect: Confirmation that Cody Roman made it out of the jungle alive comes when his backpack is found.
  • Into the Jungle: In order to find out what happened to Cody Dial, Ken follows Pata de Lora, the last person to see Cody alive, into the jungle to retrace his steps. Along the way, they encounter a local illegal gold miner, Guicho, who raises Ken’s suspicions. While Ken treks through the jungle, Carson enlists the help of two locals to wiretap and record a conversation with Pata de Lora, leading to a new suspect.
  • The Interrogation: Ken and Carson must interrogate Pata de Lora to determine whether he’s the prime suspect or the prime witness to the crime.
  • A Father’s Plea: After hitting a snag in the investigation, Ken and Carson must convince Pata de Lora to make a statement to the Costa Rican authorities.
  • The Confrontation: In this explosive finale, the investigation comes to a head when Pata de Lora must confront those he accused of killing Cody Roman Dial. Just as the team is about to get some form of closure, they’re thrown a curveball as new information is brought to light, leading to a startling conclusion.

 

The Grinder: The Complete First Season
20th Century Fox / Released 10/11/16

Starring Emmy nominees Rob Lowe and Fred Savage, The Grinder is a comedy about two brothers: Dean (Lowe) is a spotlight grabbing actor who plays TV’s most popular lawyer, and Stewart (Savage) is a real-life, small-town attorney who has yet to find his spotlight.

When Dean’s series is cancelled, he moves back to his hometown where it doesn’t take long before he’s inserting himself into every aspect of Stewart’s life, both in the courtroom and at home.

But when the brothers stop arguing with each other, and start arguing together in court, they make a formidable team…sort of.

Guest appearances include Odette Annable, Brian Huskey, Kumail Nanjiani, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Nat Faxon, Christina Applegate, Michael Showalter, Jason Alexander, Timothy Olyphant, Jimmy Kimmel, Richard Schiff, Efren Ramirez, Tony Sirico, Steve Little. Maya Rudolph, Colton Haynes, Jim Rash, Pat Healy, Dennis Haysbert, Caroline Rhea, Jenna Fischer, Chris Klein, and Anne Archer.

Includes the episodes

  • Pilot: Rob Lowe stars as a popular TV lawyer whose drama series ends, so he returns to his hometown to work in the family law firm, where he squares off with his younger brother.
  • A Hero Has Fallen: After a smash victory in court, the firm is flooded with business, and Dean wants to take on a big case, while Stewart disagrees, which puts the brothers at loggerheads. Meanwhile, Dean encourages Debbie to aggressively go for a promotion at work, but her plan backfires.
  • The Curious Disappearance of Mr. Donovan: Convinced that the only explanation for Claire’s non-interest in him is that she’s a mole, Dean tells Stewart that Claire is sharing secrets with a rival firm.
  • Little Michard No More: Stewart and Deb wonder if their new friends like them only because he has a famous brother, while Dean is perplexed because Claire doesn’t seem the least bit impressed with his celebrity.
  • A Bittersweet Grind (Une Mouture Amer): Dean, frustrated at not finding love, has his belief in romance restored when he reconnects with a former girlfriend. Meanwhile, Deb tries to convince uptight Stewart to allow Lizzie to go on a supervised date.
  • Buckingham Malice: Stewart tells Dean that to be considered a “regular guy,” he needs to stop relying on his famous reputation, but Stewart has a change of heart when they wind up in trouble and Dean’s celebrity may be their only way out. Meanwhile, Debbie hires a new assistant, who needs more assistance from Debbie to do her job.
  • Dedicating This One to the Crew: Instead of following in his father’s footsteps and joining the backstage technical crew, Ethan auditions for a role in the school play. Meanwhile, Stewart questions his father about why he gave Dean and him two different takes on how to live their lives.
  • Giving Thanks, Getting Justice: Dean is excited to spend a real Thanksgiving celebration with the family, but his meddling uncovers a major, surprising family secret. Meanwhile, flashbacks reveal events that led to Dean’s departure from his hit TV drama and the show’s subsequent cancellation.
  • Grinder Rests in Peace: “The Grinder: New Orleans,” a spinoff of the original hit series, asks Dean to film a scene giving closure to his beloved character, Mitch Grinder. Not surprisingly, Dean struggles with being replaced by his TV brother, Rake. Meanwhile Stewart, who has also been feeling replaced by his brother in Ethan’s eyes, jumps at the opportunity to get Dean back into acting and out of his hair.
  • The Olyphant in the Room: Dean spots Timothy Olyphant (as himself) romancing Claire, and feels justified in trying to “win her back” by taking the lead on a case involving her friend, but he resorts to questionable tactics. Meanwhile, Stewart is thrilled to be the subject of a reporter’s feature story, but isn’t so excited after Dean steps in and turns the focus on himself.
  • Exodus (Pt.1): Stewart and Deb inform Dean that his time with them is up and he needs to find another place to live. Meanwhile, a rival firm wants Dean to come work for them; and Deb’s come to depend on Dean’s former stand-in, who has been staying with the family.
  • Blood Is Thicker Than Justice: After a falling out, Dean and Stewart square off against each other in a divorce case. Meanwhile, life without Uncle Dean around the house has an impact on Ethan and Lizzie, which Stewart and Deb quickly notice.
  • Grinder V Grinder: Dean’s TV Grinder replacement returns to Boise and Stewart invites him to hang out at the firm, where the two actors’ rivalry resumes. Later, when Dean and Stewart argue over who’s the better attorney, the brothers square off in a mock trial.
  • The Retooling of Dean Sanderson: An overly dramatic Dean scares off an important prospective client, which prompts Stewart to suggest that it’s time to dump his “Grinder” persona and take a reality check by going to see a therapist. But after therapy, Dean overcompensates and starts “therapizing” the entire family, including Debbie, who considers quitting her difficult job.
  • The Ties That Grind: Dean is encouraged by his therapist to dump his Grinder persona and discover the real Dean, and through therapy exercises, he begins to get those around him to come to grips with their own issues, which really gets under Stewart’s skin.
  • Delusions of Grinder: Stewart believes there is a conspiracy against the firm and investigates. Meanwhile, Dean sheds his “Grinder” persona to concentrate on becoming the office intern.
  • The Resurrection: Stewart desperately tries to turn Dean back into “The Grinder” to help unravel a conspiracy surrounding Sanderson and Yao, but Dean has abandoned the “grind” to attend law school.
  • Genesis: Dean loses his ability to grind after therapy, so he tries to solve the case of the office being ransacked. Meanwhile, in flashback, a young Dean must decide whether to embrace a simple life or pursue his destiny and become the Grinder he was meant to be.
  • A System on Trial: Stewart is concerned about Dean Sr.’s anger issues complicating their case, so Dean arranges some focus-group testing to see what the masses really think.
  • Divergence: When Stew learns that his father is guilty, he wants to settle, but Dean tries one of his old “Grinder” tricks to solve the case.
  • For the People: Dean and Stewart’s mother visits unannounced, which sends Dean into a panic since she’s never been a fan of his lifestyle. Meanwhile, Stewart is desperate to snare a reservation to a hot restaurant in town for his anniversary; and havingmore
  • Full Circle: In the series finale, Stewart gets sidelined during Dean Sr.’s malpractice trial and it’s up to the rest of the Sanderson & Yao team to save the firm and discover the secret mastermind behind Cory Manler and Dean Sr.’s case.

 

I Am Rebel: Season 1
National Geographic Channel / Released 10/16/16

Rebels, radicals, mavericks, and change makers.

I Am Rebel is a documentary series about unfamiliar yet game-changing characters who prove that beneficial change can happen when you break the rules.

These stories are seemingly disparate, but they share a common thread – outsiders finding their voices in the underworlds of vice.

Out of this darkness comes lightning bolts that lead to progress.

Includes the episodes:

  • Jacked: In response to racially motivated police brutality, three Detroit men hijack a plane in 1972. Their botched mission leads to sweeping reforms.
  • Weegee the Famous: New York’s first crime scene photographer chronicles Prohibition-era gang warfare, prompting police to change tactics to end the public violence.
  • The Love Drug: Chemistry prodigy Alexander Shulgin goes to war with the DEA when his psychedelic cure to treat PTSD hits the streets as party drug Ecstasy.
  • Phreaks and Geeks: Computer hackers aren’t a major threat until one sends the FBI on a cat-and-mouse hunt in the 1980s, shaping online security in today’s digital age.

 

Generation X: Season 1
National Geographic Channel / Released 11/29/16

National Geographic Channel dives into history on a quest to re-define Generation X.

Each hour examines one major milestone of Generation X — from the premiere of “Reality Bites” to the remarkable presidential election of 2008 to the legalization of gay marriage — and then breaks it down to explore the political, cultural and economic forces at play.

Using original interviews with gen X members and archival footage from the era, the series puts the Generation in the spotlight it has long deserved.

 

 

 

Sea Monsters: The Definitive Guide
National Geographic Channel / Released 12/20/16

The deep ocean has always been even more mysterious than outer space – populated in our imaginations and in seaman’s tales with strange, alien monsters, creatures out of nightmares – Leviathan, Kraken…

Now, the latest scientific techniques and discoveries allow us to explore the ocean like never before.

And scientists and explorers are discovering that, when it comes to Sea Monsters, the truth can be even stranger and more terrifying than legend.

 

 

 

 

Keeping Up With The Joneses
20th Century Fox / Released 1/10/17

The Gaffneys’ lives are interrupted by the arrival of new neighbors, The Joneses, whose stunning looks are matched only by the worldly sophistication of their lives.
Tim Jones is an accomplished travel writer whose hobbies include blowing glass, and his wife, Natalie, is a social media consultant, cooking blogger and heroine to Sri Lankan orphans.

Mr. and Mrs. Jones are covert spies embroiled in international espionage.  The Gaffneys soon find themselves in the center of a storm of international espionage that gives them a breathtaking glimpse of life outside their cul-de-sac.

Cast includes Zach Galifianakis, Isla Fisher, Jon Hamm, Gal Gadot, Patton Oswalt, Ming Zhao and Matt Walsh.

Extras include deleted scenes and featurettes.

 

The Whole Truth
Lionsgate / Released 1/10/17

Defense attorney Richard Ramsay (Keanu Reeves) takes on a personal case when he swears to his widowed friend, Loretta Lassiter (Renee Zellweger), that he will keep her son Mike (Gabriel Basso) out of prison.

Charged with murdering his father, Mike initially confesses to the crime. But as the trial proceeds, chilling evidence about the kind of man that Boone Lassiter (Jim Belushi) really was comes to light.

While Ramsay uses the evidence to get his client acquitted, his new colleague Janelle (Gugu Mbatha- Raw) tries to dig deeper – and begins to realize that the whole truth is something she alone can uncover.

 

Roger Corman’s Death Race 2050
Universal / Released 1/10/17

Legendary filmmaking icon, Roger Corman, is back with his most outrageous film yet in this sensational, action-packed and darkly humorous reboot of the original Death Race 2000! It’s the year 2050 and America is controlled by an all-powerful corporate government ruled by The Chairman (Malcolm McDowell). The masses have been brainwashed with violent virtual-reality entertainment.

The event of the year is the Death Race, in which a motley crew of violent drivers compete in a cross-country road race, scoring points for shamelessly running people over and driving each other off the road.The reigning champion and fan favorite, Frankenstein (Manu Bennett), who’s half-man half-machine, wants to take the crown, but his rebel spy co-pilot threatens his legacy.

Extras include making of, featurettes and deleted scenes.

 

Long Way North
Shout! Factory / Released 1/10/17

Long Way North is set in late-19th century Saint Petersburg. Sacha, a young girl from the Russian aristocracy, has always been fascinated by the exciting life of her grandfather, Oloukine, a renowned scientist and Arctic explorer who has yet to return from his latest expedition to conquer the North Pole.

But Sacha’s parents, who have already made arrangements for her marriage, strongly disapprove of her fascination, to say the least.

Defying her parents’ wishes, Sacha flees her home and launches an adventure-filled quest toward the Great North in search of Oloukine and his ship.

Extras include conceptual short, featurette, interview, galleries and animatics.

 

Come And Find Me
Lionsgate / Released 1/10/17

David (Aaron Paul) and Claire’s (Annabelle Wallis) idyllic relationship comes to an abrupt and mysterious end after Claire disappears without a trace.
Devastated but incapable of letting go, David follows her trail down a frantic and increasingly dangerous path.
Shocked at discovering Claire was living a double life, he’s forced to risk everything if he ever wants to see her again.
Extras include commentary and featurette.

 

 

 

Love Boat: Season Three Volume One
Love Boat: Season Three Volume Two
Paramount / Released 1/10/17

From the imagination of producer Aaron Spelling comes the third season of The Love Boat.

In each episode, a new set of passengers would work through their problems with love every week aboard the Pacific Princess, which would make its way south from California to Mexico and back.

The crew of the ship was led by Captain Merrill Stubing. Regular crew members included ship’s doctor Adam “Doc” Bricker, purser Burl “Gopher” Smith, chief bartender Isaac Washington and cruise director Julie McCoy.

Joining the cast this season is Jill Whelan as Captain Stubing’s daughter, Vicki.  Guest stars this season include Mark Harmon, Lorne Greene, Audra Lindley, Ray Milland, Don Most, Tony Roberts, Julia Duffy, Amanda Blake, Werner Klemperer, Adam Rich, Buddy Hackett, Carol Lawrence, Joyce DeWitt, Phyliss Diller, Richard Kline, Lyle Waggoner, Don Ameche, Joanna Cassidy, Conrad Janis, Jaye P. Morgan, Don Knotts, Julie Newmar, Jane Wyatt, Melissa Sue Anderson, Carolyn Jones, Frank Sinatra Jr., Joan Van Ark, Vic Tayback, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Jackie Earle Haley, John Hillerman, Larry Linville, Dina Merrill, Ginger Rogers, Natalie Schafer, The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, Telma Hopkins, Nancy McKeon, Jimmie Walker, Demond Wilson, Barbie Benton, Dack Rambo, Rosey Grier, Melba Moore, Dick Martin, Jo Anne Worley, Judy Landers, Milton Berle, Alan Hale Jr., Nancy Kulp, Jill St. John, Kaye Ballard, Sonny Bono, Red Buttons, Juliet Prowse, Jessica Walter, Don Adams, Charo Marjorie Lord, Juliet Mills, Loni Anderson, Eve Arden, Pam Grier, Robert Guillaume, Rich Little, Donny Osmond, Marion Ross, Richard Roundtree, Slim Pickens, Ja’net DuBois, Vicki Lawrence, Cleavon Little, Joe Namath, Florence Henderson, Diane Ladd, Kent McCord, Connie Stevens, Ethel Merman, Hayley Mills, Gene Rayburn, Arte Johnson, Audrey Meadows, Bert Parks, Maureen McCormick, Jane Wyman, Jayne Meadows, Shelly Hack, Eve Plumb, Britt Ekland, Ann B. Davis, Shelley Fabares, Gordon Jump, David Hasselhoff, Helen Hayes, Maurice Evans, Martin Short, and Catherine Bach.

This season includes three double length episodes.  The Love Boat: Season Three is a throwback to the magical television series of the Seventies and a must watch.

 

I Love Lucy: Superstar Special #2
Paramount / Released 1/10/17

This disc features the first two episodes of the show’s 5th season, first broadcasting in fall 1955 in both their colorized and original black-and-white versions.

Includes the episodes:

Lucy Visits Grauman’s: With only a week left in Hollywood, Lucy weeps about her lack of souvenirs. Her collection already includes a tin can run over by Cary Grant’s rear tire, a napkin boasting Lana Turner’s lip-prints, and a few other goodies. But when Lucy discovers that John Wayne’s concrete block at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre is loose, she decides to take home a souvenir to end all souvenirs.

Lucy and John Wayne: Lucy is spotted while attempting to “collect” a cement block with John Wayne’s footprints from Grauman’s Chinese Theater. To avoid publicity and keep Lucy out of jail, Ricky enlists John Wayne’s help in replacing the block. One mishap leads to another, and the plot thickens — as does the cement. John Wayne guest-stars.

 

Bubba The Redneck Werewolf
And You Entertainment / Released 1/10/17

Pre-Werewolf Bubba (Chris Stephens) is a nightshift dogcatcher and local laughingstock who longs to win back the heart of his high school sweetheart, Bobbie Jo (Malone Thomas).

But when the Devil (Bubba comic-creator Mitch Hyman) comes down to Florida, Bubba signs a deal to make himself a bad-ass, only to wake up the next morning permanently transformed into a Werewolf (Fred Lass).

In order to save his town and be the hero he longs to be, Bubba will have to navigate a country crock of malicious bikers, cryptic hobos, gaseous gypsies, and even a zombie hoard – leading up to a climactic duel with the dark prince.

Extras include documentary, deleted scenes, bloopers, featurette, music video and trailer.

 

Silicon Cowboys
Film Rise / Released 1/17/17

Launched in 1982 by three friends in a Houston diner, Compaq Computer set out to build a portable PC to take on IBM, the world’s most powerful tech company.

Many had tried cloning the industry leader’s code, only to be trounced by IBM and its high-priced lawyers. “Silicon Cowboys” explores the remarkable David vs. Goliath rise, and eventual demise, of Compaq, an unlikely upstart who altered the future of computing and helped shape the world as we know it today.

Directed by Oscar-nominated director Jason Cohen, the film offers a fresh look at the explosive rise of the 1980’s PC industry and is a refreshing alternative to the familiar narratives of Jobs, Gates and Zuckerberg.

Extras include featurette and trailer.

 

Dogs on the Inside
Kino Lorber / Released 1/10/17

Dogs on the Inside follows the relationships between abused stray dogs and prison inmates working towards a second chance at a better life.

In an attempt to re-build their confidence and prepare for a new life outside, these prisoners must first learn to handle and care for a group of neglected strays.

This heart-warming story reconfirms the timeless connection between man and dog, showing the resiliency of a dog’s trust and the generosity of the human spirit in the unlikeliest of places.

Extras include behind-the-scenes footage, deleted scene, updates and trailer.

 

 

The Killing of America
Severin / Released 11/8/16

In 1981, director Sheldon Renan and Academy Award nominated co-producer/co-writer Leonard Schrader (brother of filmmaker Paul) created a graphic and provocative examination of America’s history with – and penchant for – senseless violence, mass shootings and cold-blooded murder.

Piercing, brutal and at times, unflinchingly graphic, The Killing of America was exhibited briefly in New York in 1982…and subsequently shelved.

While the ensuing thirty five years have – thankfully – seen the lowering of overall violent crimes in the nation, the documentary’s themes about equating violence with economic & racial discrimination and the continued proliferation of personal firearms in our republic still echo in the national discourse during this election year.

Sometimes, to solve a problem in front of us, we must look to the past…

The Killing of America begins with the following cautionary note: “All of the film you are about to see is real. Nothing has been staged.” Guided by interviews with criminals (including Robert Kennedy’s assassin Sirhan Sirhan) and law-enforcement officials as well as incendiary newsreel footage of actual violent crimes, viewers are taken on a profoundly disturbing and still chillingly relevant journey into a uniquely American heart of darkness. Extras include commentary and interviews.

 

The Code: Season 2
Acorn / Released 1/24/17

Months after unleashing a storm in the Australian government by exposing corrupt officials, hacker Jesse Banks (Ashley Zukerman) and his journalist brother, Ned (Dan Spielman), face the threat of extradition to the US on serious criminal charges.

Fortunately for them, Australian authorities have an explosive case they cannot crack, and Jesse might have the skills they need to do it. The government’s target is the brilliant but volatile Jan Roth (Anthony LaPaglia), proprietor of an online bazaar of illicit weapons, drugs, and dangerous ideas. Exchanging Jesse’s computer expertise for their freedom, the Banks brothers and Jesse’s girlfriend, Hani (Adele Perovic), delve into Roth’s dark world. But getting close to Roth could cost the trio not only their lives, but all that they hold dear.

Extras include featurettes.

Includes the episodes:

  • S02E01: Jesse and Ned are confronted with the possibility of being extradited to the US to face serious charges for their actions months earlier. Fortunately for the brothers, Australian National Security is sitting on a case they cannot crack, and Jesse might have the skills they need.
  • S02E02: Jesse and Hani are kidnapped by Roth and disappear into the jungles of West Papua. But Roth offers them a deal: if Jesse unlocks a heavily encrypted file, Roth will release them. Hoping this will buy them time to find the data the authorities need to save Callum, Jesse reluctantly agrees.
  • S02E03: Jesse and Roth form an unlikely alliance to liberate a Papua Independence leader from false imprisonment and find Callum before it is too late. Frantic for news of his missing brother, Ned contacts an undercover photojournalist to help locate Jesse.
  • S02E04: Ned and Jesse are on the run after extradition warrants are served. They return to West Papua, where Jesse must lie to Roth in order to save himself and Hani’s father. As Jesse works to decrypt the files, political tensions run high, and a protest turns ugly.
  • S02E05: Meg, Ned, and Roth take a fatally wounded protestor to the mine in hopes of receiving medical attention. Jesse is torn between genuine concern for Roth and the need to salvage his own future. Ned and Meg try to identify the person responsible for the original attack on Roth and his colleagues.
  • S02E06: Consumed by grief, Roth develops a shocking plan of revenge. Jesse struggles to come up with a way to free them all, but must cut the cord and stand on his own feet. Meanwhile, Ned, Meg, and Hani desperately try to find evidence for their exposé.

 

The Code: Season 1
Acorn / Released 10/6/15

Lucy Lawless, David Wenham, and Adam Garcia headline the outstanding ensemble cast in this multi-award-winning political thriller.

Deep in the Australian outback, two joyriding teenagers are involved in a deadly crash, setting off an escalating chain of events that could unravel some of the government’s darkest secrets.

When smartphone footage of the accident finds its way into the hands of Internet journalist Ned Banks (Dan Spielman), he and his brother, Jesse (Ashley Zukerman), a brilliant but unstable hacker, become targets in a high-stakes national conspiracy.

To emerge with their freedom—and their lives—they’ll have to fortify their already volatile relationship in the face of those who want to do them harm.

The Code mixes top-notch performances, high-tech twists, and noirish intrigue for an utterly engrossing drama. Extras include featurette.

Episodes include:

  • S01E01: After a fatal road accident in the Australian outback, digital journalist Ned Banks gets a major scoop by securing cell-phone footage of the crash. When Ned’s brother, computer hacker Jesse, discovers that the truck involved was owned by a secretive government research facility, it signals a conspiracy.
  • S01E02: Accused of hacking into Physanto’s database and stealing classified files, Jesse is being held captive by the cybersecurity unit and tortured. Meanwhile, Ned ventures to the remote town of Lindara, where he gains startling new insights about the case.
  • S01E03:Shaken up and paranoid, Jesse and his suspiciously affectionate friend Hani skip town to try to take his mind off of his captivity. When Andy King, the volatile head of Physanto security, starts looking for him, will King or Ned get to Jesse first?
  • S01E04: As Ned uncovers more of the conspiracy with help from Sophie and Alex, Jesse grows ever closer to cracking the code on the Physanto files. When Hani refuses to cooperate with the cybersecurity unit, the government threatens to deport her immigrant family.
  • S01E05: After striking a deal with the government for Jesse’s freedom, Ned agrees to keep all he’s learned about Physanto a secret. But that may change when a crazed Andy King, frantic to save his faltering black-market deal, tracks down Hani and takes her hostage.
  • S01E06: Ned and Jesse have broken their deal with the government to help Hani, and in doing so, have delivered dangerous technology into the black market. Can anything be done to stop the breach from becoming a global catastrophe?

 

Hooperman Season 1
Hooperman Season 2
Olive Films / Released 1/24/17

With an already memorable list of television performances, John Ritter (1984 Emmy winner, Best Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for TV’s Three’s Company) would add the character of Hooperman (from the creative team of Steven Bochco and Terry Louise Fisher, TV’s L.A. Law) to his credits. For his starring role on Hooperman, Ritter would receive an Emmy nomination in 1988 for Best Lead Actor in a Comedy Series.

Available for the first time on DVD, the classic 80s TV series Hooperman stars Ritter as plainclothes police detective Harry Hooperman. When he inherits a building from his former landlady, he also gains ownership of her dog, a feisty Jack Russell Terrier named Bijoux. Comedy and drama ensue in equal measure as Hooperman juggles the pressures of his job, his newfound pet, and a romantic entanglement with the building manager he hires.

The series co-stars Barbara Bosson and Felton Perry and includes guest appearances (throughout the two-season run) by Don Cheadle, Norman Fell, Mark Hamill, Barbara Rush, David Paymer, Joanna Kerns, Jane Leeves, Dan Lauria, Lorna Luft, Robert Romanus, William Sadler, Terry Kiser, Conchata Ferrell, Miguel Ferrer, Dennis Dugan, John de Lancie, Merritt Butrick, Nana Visitor, Mitch Pileggi, Richard Kind, Dennis Christopher Kim Delany, Seymour Cassel. Stuart Pankin and Shannon Tweed.

Includes the episodes:

Season One

  • Pilot: The beloved owner of the apartment building is killed by a burglar and Hooperman inherits both the building and her dog, Bijoux.
  • The Answer My Friend, Is Passing in the Wind: Bijoux is on trial for attacking a mailman. Hooperman claims Bijoux is a ‘police sniffer’ and has 24 hours to prove it. Hooperman also has problems with his new job as building owner, when the plumbing goes crazy.
  • Don We Now Our Gay Apparel: Things start warming up between Hooperman and his fix-it person and DeMott is again a victim of cupid’s arrow.
  • Aria Da Capo: Hooperman must wrestle with his ethics when the Federal Witness Protection Program orders him to ignore a rape by one of its witnesses.
  • John Doe, We Hardly Knew Ye: A psychic tenant helps identify an unidentified body found at the docks. Also, a ‘nephew’ claims he is entitled to the apartment.
  • The Shooting: Hooperman can’t bring himself to shoot an escaping robbery suspect.
  • Hot Wired: Hooperman gets all wired up to go undercover. Stern and Pritzger suffer communication problems.
  • Baby Talk: An Arab sheik brings his spoiled daughter with him to the U.S., and Hooperman must watch over her. Meanwhile, DeMott and Silardi work to catch baby brokers that kidnap innocent children.
  • Blues for Danny Welles: Hooperman makes friends with an inmate who has AIDS. Elsewhere, a shoplifter is arrested, who claims that she has an interesting boyfriend–Captain Stern’s estranged husband.
  • I, Witness: When an old man calls a press conferance and announce he can identify a murderer, Hooperman and Stern have no choice but to pay attention.
  • Deck the Cell With Bars of Folly: The precinct is in the holiday spirit and holds an open house for a colorful array of petty criminals.
  • The Naked and the Dead: Someone is stealing from corpses at the cemetery, Hooperman has to catch a ghoulish thief. Meanwhile, Susan has a novel that she’s sure will be successful.
  • The Snitch: Hooperman’s informant is petrified of tattling on thugs and needs police protection. Elsewhere, a chef clubs his wife. Unfortunately, his weapon was edible and Bijoux was hungry.
  • Chariots of Fire: Hooperman buys a vintage sports car from a convicted drug dealer and Susan is writing an article about women involved with cops.
  • High Noon: While working undercover as a fence, Hopperman discovers that a convict who threatened to kill him has just escaped from prison.
  • Blaste From the Past: Love draws Stern to a precinct shrink, Susan to a muscle-bound airhead, and Hooperman to a recently divorced ex-girlfriend.
  • Tomato Can: When an illiterate ex-boxer decides to be a cop, Hooperman becomes his friend. Elsewhere, McNeil is extremely nervous before a game show appearance.
  • Me and Mr. Magoo: An eccentric pilot helps out Hooperman on a child abuse case.
  • Baby On Board: Hoopperman learns he’s the father of Susan’s unborn child.
  • Trudy and Clyde: Stakeout experts Hooperman and Pritzger spend days ogling a robbery suspect’s girlfriend who does aerobics in the buff, until she calls for help and pulls a gun on them.
  • Nick Derringer, P.I.: Out to nail an elusive drug dealer, Hooperman sides with a pint-size private eye who makes short shrift of his clients and the police department.
  • Surprise Party: It’s showdown time when Silardi’s homophobic twin brother and Susan’s Hooperphobic mother both show up in time to celebrate Hooperman’s birthday.

Season Two

  • Requiem for an S.O.B: Harry must deliver the eulogy for a despised colleague and a cop killer is tricked with a winning Lotto ticket.
  • We’ll Always Have Paris: Grief over the loss of their unborn child leads to a fight between Hooperman and Smith and a hasty proposal from Hooperman.
  • Who Do You Truss?: Hooperman gets a hernia and won’t have it treated because he doesn’t trust hospitals or surgeons.
  • In Search of Bijoux: Hooperman must appear on TV to recover an ungrateful Bijoux. Also, Hooperman goes undercover in drag to hunt down a slasher.
  • Look Homeward, Dirtbag: A former inmate released from prison harasses Hooperman to put him back in the slammer.
  • Nightmare in Apartment One: Hooperman makes a mistake when he rents an apartment to McNeil.
  • Hooperman Goes to Hell in a Handcart: When a gunshot sends Hooperman falling down a flight of stairs and into unconsciousness, he wakes up to discover that he is chained to a wall in a tacky underworld whose only other inhabitant is a red-suited demon who takes devilish delight in playing Pat Boone’s ‘April Love’ on an old phonograph.
  • Rashomanny: Hooperman is found in a compromising position with a female suspect whose retelling of the incident differs wildly from his.
  • In the Still of My Pants: Hooperman falls for Lisa’s roommate and doesn’t know how to handle it. A bunco artist zeros in on elderly women.
  • The Dating Game: When his girlfriend goes out of town to visit her parents, Hooperman is left dateless for the annual policeman’s ball.
  • Intolerance: Star-struck Hooperman allows a movie producer fresh out of film school to use the apartment building as a set for a gory movie.
  • The Nun and I: Hooperman is in love with a new woman; a nun.
  • The Sure Thing: Hooperman’s colleagues are furious with him after he persuades them to join him in an investment scheme.
  • The Long So Long: Hooperman and McNeil must cart around a corpse during a transportation strike.
  • Stakeout: Hooperman is forced on a stakeout with a good-natured lout, but must bite his tongue because his new partner is the Commissioner’s nephew.
  • Dog Day Afternoon, Morning and Night: A ventriloquist asks Hooperman to retrieve a stolen dummy, and Hooperman seeks professional help when Bijoux won’t stop biting Alex.
  • Love Bytes: Hooperman sets up a love connection between a convicted computer criminal and the woman who spurned his advances, but used his crooked program for her own profit.
  • Take My Building, Please: Two renters in the building are at each other’s throats after one puts down a deposit on an apartment that the other won’t vacate. Also, a building inspector finds numerous violations and Mrs. Davis offers to buy the apartment building. Hooperman confronts a pregnant thief.
  • Some of That Jazz: While moonlighting as a jazz saxophonist, Hooperman considers trading his life as a cop for a life of music. Also, DeMott is guilt-ridden after accidentally shooting Silardi.
  • Goodnight, Sweet Hooperman: A precinct-wide sleep-deprivation experiment withholds sweet slumber from Hooperman, but something in the sleeplessness makes DeMott seem suddenly seductive.

 

Adventure Time: Islands
Cartoon Network / Released 1/24/17

In Adventure Time: Islands, Finn (voiced by Jeremy Shada), Jake (John DiMaggio), BMO (Niki Yang) and Susan Strong (Jackie Buscarino) leave the Land of Ooo to embark on a quest of epic proportions across the ocean and into new lands—encountering new creatures, discovering new islands and using teamwork along the way.

Episodes include:

  • The Invitation: A mysterious craft invades Ooo and Finn believes it may hold the secrets to his past.
  • Whipple the Happy Dragon: Finn, Jake, and Susan set sail on a ocean voyage full of wonders and danger.
  • Mysterious Island: After waking up alone and shipwrecked, Finn investigates a bizarre island in search of his friends.
  • Imaginary Resources: Finn and Jake travel to a land where reality has been redesigned and improved.
  • Hide and Seek: While exploring some futuristic ruins, Susan sees glimpses of a familiar girl.
  • Min & Marty: An unexpected revelation from Susan leads Finn closer to answers about his past.
  • Helpers: Finn and his friends journey to a last refuge called Founders Island.
  • The Light Cloud: Finn confronts the power behind Founders Island, but will he ever return home to Ooo?

 

Boy, Did I Get a Wrong Number!
Olive Films / Released 1/24/17

Bob Hope  + Phyllis Diller= madcap mayhem in the delightful comic romp Boy, Did I Get a Wrong Number!, co-starring Elke Sommer.

The wrong number of the title turns out to be that of Hollywood bombshell Didi (Sommer) and the lucky caller is real estate agent Tom Meade (Hope).

In need of a quick fix for slumping sales, Meade sees Didi’s celebrity status as a way of boosting interest in a cabin property by offering her the charming getaway as a place where she can hide from the Hollywood moguls and flacks hot on her trail.

But wires aren’t the the only thing crossed when Meade’s acid-tongued housekeeper, Lily (Diller), suspecting that he’s having an affair, flies into spy mode to protect Meade’s loving wife Martha (Marjorie Lord,).

Boy, Did I Get a Wrong Number! is directed by George Marshall (Houdini) from a story by George Beck and a screenplay by George Kennett, Albert E. Lewin and Burt Styler.

 

Inferno
Sony / Released 1/24/17

From director Ron Howard and based on the book by Dan Brown, Inferno follows the famous symbologist Robert Langdon (again played by Tom Hanks) on a trail of clues tied to the great Dante himself.

When Langdon wakes up in an Italian hospital with amnesia, he teams up with Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones), a doctor he hopes will help him recover his memories.

Together, they race across Europe – and against the clock – to foil a deadly global plot.

Extras include featurettes and deleted scenes.

 

 

The Light Between Oceans
Touchstone / Released 1/24/17

The film is based on the 2012 best-selling novel by M.L. Stedman, which transported readers with its story of fate, love, moral dilemmas and the lengths one couple will go to see their hard-fought dreams realized. When a lifeboat bearing precious cargo washes ashore, a lighthouse keeper and his wife face a dilemma that will engulf their world, and that of a stranger, in a love story about a fateful choice.

The Light Between Oceans features Michael Fassbender as Tom Sherbourne, a young combat veteran and lighthouse keeper on a remote island off the coast of Western Australia; Alicia Vikander as Isabel Graysmark, the beautiful and spirited daughter of the school headmaster on the mainland of Partageuse; Rachel Weisz as Hannah Roennfeld, a resident of Partageuse who is desperately hoping to find her husband and baby lost at sea; Bryan Brown as Septimus Potts, Hannah’s wealthy, influential father; and Jack Thompson as Ralph, a salty, sea-faring skipper.

The film is written for the screen and directed by Derek Cianfrance. Extras include commentary and feature

Last Word: You should definitely see this film if:

1 . You loved the book

2. You love the cast

3. You are dying to see the movie that brought real-life couple Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander together

4. You just love lighthouses

But if none of those reasons apply, then best skip this middling melodrama.

What you think of this film will largely depend on whether you can get past the ridiculously contrived central premise: A childless lighthouse keeper and his wife living on a remote island find a baby that miraculously washes up on shore in a rowboat. The baby is the perfect age to pass off as the woman’s own, who just lost her second child, so that when they decide to keep the child and bury the dead man in the boat with her, no one is the wiser. Eventually, the husband’s conscience gets the better of him once he learns who the real mother is, leading to heartache for everyone involved.

The novel was a New York Times best-seller and perhaps this plot works better in a book. Unfortunately, it’s a flimsy basis for a film that runs more than two hours.

The cinematography by Australian D.P. Adam Arkapaw is beautiful, with gorgeous shots of the ocean and the remote, windswept island. The actors —- Michael Fassbender as the lighthouse keeper Tom; Alicia Vikander as his wife, Isabel; and Rachel Weisz as the child’s real mother, Hannah — are all great. But the story is simply not compelling enough to sustain a feature film.

We see Tom and Isabel’s courtship, marriage and their heartbreak as they lose two babies in a row. We can understand Isabel’s desire to keep the child, who seems heaven-sent. And we also understand Tom’s reluctance to keep the child’s true identity a secret, especially once he spies Hannah grieving at the gravesite of her husband and child when Lucy (as Isabel names the child) is brought to the mainland to be christened and meet her “grandparents” for the first time.

He starts a chain of unhappy events in motion when he foolishly writes an anonymous note to Hannah that her child is “alive and well.” Eventually, Isabel’s deception is revealed and both she and Tom face jail for their crime.  The story seems to be building to a desperately tragic outcome for one or more of the players — surely someone will fling themselves off a rocky cliff or be drowned or simply die of sorrow. Instead, the story limps along with outright tragedy averted and everyone ending up more or less okay.  In the end, you might have been momentarily moved, but you’re far more likely to wish you’d spent the last two-plus-hours doing something much more worthwhile. ( – Sharon Knolle)

 

USS Indianapolis: Men Of Courage
Lionsgate / Released 1/24/17

In the waning days of World War II, the Navy warship USS Indianapolis secretly delivered one of two atomic bombs that would eventually end the war.

The Japanese attacked and sank the heavy cruiser. The USS Indianapolis’ mission was so classified it was not reported missing, and no one knew the ship had been attacked until four days later.

Of the 1197 crewmembers, nearly 300 went down with the ship. Stranded in the shark-infested waters of the Philippine Sea, the remaining survivors of the USS Indianapolis endured hunger, thirst, heat, delirium, relentless shark attacks and the death of many shipmates.

Five days later only 316 men survived and were eventually rescued. Directed by Mario Van Peeples, USS Indianapolis: Men Of Courage stars Nicolas Cage, Thomas Jane, James Remar, Tom Sizemore, Brian Presley, and Matt Lanter.

Extras include featurette.
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back
Paramount / Released 1/31/17

Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise) returns to enforce his bold brand of justice in the action-packed sequel based on author Lee Child’s best-selling series.

When Army Major Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders) is framed for treason, Reacher discovers she’s the target of a massive government conspiracy.

With help from Turner and a mysterious new ally, Reacher risks everything to take down a powerful organization that will stop at nothing to protect its secrets.

Extras include featurettes.

 

 

Tyler Perry’s Boo! A Madea Halloween
Lionsgate / Released 1/31/17

NAACP Image Award-winning director Tyler Perry returns as Madea, who’s been summoned to keep a watchful eye on her nephew Brian’s (also Perry) teenage daughter from attending the crazy frat party next doo and keep her out of trouble.

Little does Madea know, the trouble is coming for her.

Fortunately, or not, she has her posse of Bam (Cassi Davis), Hattie (Patrice Lovely) and Joe (Perry yet again) to shield off ghosts and killer clowns.

Extras include featurette and montage.

 

 

Poltergeist II: The Other Side
Shout! Factory / Released 1/31/17

In this thrilling follow-up to the smash hit Poltergeist, the Freeling family (JoBeth Williams, Craig T. Nelson, Heather O’Rourke, Oliver Robins) settles into a new home following the annihilation of their former residence by terrifying visitors from the netherworld. But the spirits of the dead are still hell-bent on luring the family’s clairvoyant daughter Carol Anne to “the other side.”

This chilling sequel, directed by Brian Gibson also stars Will Sampson, Julian Beck and Zelda Rubinstein returns as Tangina.

Extras include commentaries, interviews, featurettes, vintage featurettes, trailer, tv spots and still galleries.

 

 

Tyler Perry’s Madea On The Run
Lionsgate / Released 1/31/17

Madea is at it again in Tyler Perry’s most outrageously funny stage play ever.

In trouble with the local authorities, Mabel Simmons, notoriously known as Madea, is on the run from the law. With no place to turn, she volunteers to move in with her friend Bam who is recovering from hip replacement surgery.

Bam is so grateful that her faithful friend Mabel is putting her on life on hold in order to nurse Bam back to health.

Unknown to Bam however, Madea is only using the concerned friend gag as a way to hide out from the police. But as they say… all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to his purpose.

Madea’s presence at Bam’s house is just what the doctor ordered.

 

Victoria: The Complete First Season
PBS / Released 1/31/17

Jenna Coleman (Doctor Who) stars as the young Queen Victoria at the outset of her epic reign, which set the stage for an entire era that would be named in her honor.

Scripted by bestselling novelist Daisy Goodwin (The Fortune Hunter) the series follows Victoria from her accession to the throne at age 18, through her education in politics, courtship and marriage, Victoria paints a portrait of a monarch who was raised to be the pawn of her powerful elders but who wasted no time in showing the empire who was in charge.

The stellar cast includes Rufus Sewell as Lord Melbourne, the British prime minister who was Victoria’s father figure and intimate friend; Tom Hughes as the handsome, brilliant and awkward Prince Albert, who stole Victoria’s heart after a rocky start; and Alex Jennings as Leopold I, King of Belgium, Victoria and Albert’s matchmaking uncle who had dreams of a dynasty for his obscure royal line—which he amazingly achieved.

Paul Rhys plays Sir John Conroy, the rumored lover of Victoria’s mother, the Duchess of Kent, a German princess played by German actress Catherine H. Flemming. Conroy pictures himself as the de facto ruler of the realm—if only he can get the duchess appointed regent for the immature queen. And Peter Firth appears as Victoria’s conniving uncle, the Duke of Cumberland, who is convinced that he rightfully belongs on the throne and diligently conspires to get there.

Episodes include:

  • Doll 123: Upon the death of King William IV, his 18-year-old niece, Princess Alexandrina Victoria of Kent, inherits the throne as Queen, and finds herself tested by new responsibilities and conflicted loyalties.
  • Ladies in Waiting: As Lord Melbourne’s popularity in the House wanes, the Tories eagerly await triumph, while Victoria’s uncle, the Duke of Cumberland, sees a chance to prey on her vulnerability and establish a co-regency.
  • Brocket Hall: King Leopold suggests Victoria consider Prince Albert as a suitable consort, which results in her being surrounded by suitors, though her determination to rule alone leaves her uncle suspicious of her closeness to Melbourne.
  • The Clockwork Prince: Prince Albert arrives in England for the first time and he and Victoria take an instant dislike to one another in an awkward first meeting. However, their disdain passes and an attraction grows – to Melbourne’s dismay.
  • An Ordinary Woman: Melbourne warns Victoria that Parliament will not be happy to see her marry a German prince, a prediction that proves accurate when the Privy Council refuse to grant Albert a royal title prompting worries for both Victoria and Albert.
  • The Queen’s Husband: Feeling he needs a greater role in public affairs, Albert becomes involved in the anti-slavery movement. Skerrett faces a dilemma when she realises that the only man who can save her cousin is the one she trusts least.
  • Engine of Change: A pregnant Victoria declares that in the event of her death Albert will become head of state, outraging members of the Tory party who fear a German prince holding sway over the nation and so they plan to disrupt his visit to the North.
  • Young England: A heavily pregnant Victoria defies the advice of her mother and husband, refusing to be confined to the palace. However, when she does venture out the crowds pose a danger as a deranged onlooker attempts to assassinate her.

 

Poltergeist III
Shout! Factory / Released 1/31/17

They are back….again! And they’re looking for Carol Ann in this riveting finale to the Poltergeist trilogy.

Sent by her parents to live in a Chicago highrise with her aunt (Nancy Allen) and uncle (Tom Skeritt), Carol Ann discovers she must now face demons more frightening than ever before.

Led by the Reverend Kane (now played by Nathan Davis), the spirits have moved from invading homes to taking over an entire skyscraper.

They are lurking behind every mirror… waiting. Fortunately, Tangina (Zelda Rubinstein) returns to battle these malevolent forces. Extras include commentaries, interviews, trailer, tv spots and still galleries.

 

Masterminds
 20th Century Fox / Released 1/31/17

Zach Galifianakis is armed and dangerously funny in this hilarious action-comedy inspired by an incredible but true story.

David (Galifianakis) is an unassuming armored-truck driver who longs for adventure. Lured into the scheme of a lifetime by his beautiful work crush Kelly (Kristen Wiig) and her cohort Steve (Owen Wilson), David manages the impossible and makes off with $17 million in cash.

But when his partners-in-crime keep the loot and set him up for a fall, David must dodge the authorities, evade a hitman (Jason Sudeikis) and find a way to take back what he rightfully stole.

Extras include featurette.

 

Pinocchio
Walt Disney / Released 1/31/17

Lonely woodcarver Geppetto longs for a child, and his wish is partially granted when the Blue Fairy brings his wooden marionette Pinocchio to life.

In order to become a real boy, Pinocchio must prove himself worthy. He sets out into the world, accompanied by his “conscience,” Jiminy Cricket.

Pinocchio is led astray by the wicked fox J. Worthington Fowlfellow, first to “a life in the theater”- Stromboli’s puppet show – and then to Pleasure Island, where boys behave like (and become!) jackasses.

Pinocchio redeems himself by saving Geppetto from Monstro, the whale.

Extras include commentaries, featurettes, Oswald The Lucky Rabbit short, song selection, making of, deleted scenes, live-action reference footage, trailers, music video, making of, and storyboard/comparison.

Last Word: There has never been another animated film before or since that is of equal to Disney’s 1940 masterpiece.  Thoroughly enchanting, beautifully animated, with perfect performances and questionably the very best Disney song of all time, “When You Wish Upon a Star” as sung by Cliff Edwards, Pinocchio is a testimony to the magic of cinema and the vision of Walt Disney.  Highest recommendation.

 

Danny Says
Magnolia / Released 1/31/17

Danny Says is a documentary on the life and times of Danny Fields. Since 1966, Danny Fields has played a pivotal role in music and “culture” of the late 20th century: working for the Doors, Cream, Lou Reed, Nico, Judy Collins and managing groundbreaking artists like the Stooges, the MC5 and the Ramones.

Danny Says follows Fields from Phi Beta Kappa whiz-kid, to Harvard Law dropout, to the Warhol Silver Factory, to Director of Publicity at Elektra Records, to “punk pioneer” and beyond. Danny’s taste and opinion, once deemed defiant and radical, has turned out to have been prescient. Danny Says is a story of marginal turning mainstream, avant garde turning prophetic, as Fields looks to the next generation.

Extras include Q & A, featurette, interview outtakes, audio recordins, Nico promo film featuring The Stooges and trailer.

Last Word: It is very likely that the first time I encountered the name ‘Danny Fields’ was while reading No One Here Gets Out Alive, the seedy biography of Jim Morrison.

Danny Fields had been the ‘company freak’ at Elektra Records, and convinced the promotions department to release ‘Light My Fire’ as a single.  Soon, The Doors were on their way to success. Danny Fields was on his way to something simultaneously more vague and more interesting.

Danny Fields, a powerfully intelligent child born in Queens, NY in 1939, grew up to be one of the quiet taste makers of the The 20th Century. His resume is intimidating: in addition to breaking The Doors in America, he worked with Andy Warhol and The Velvet Underground; he signed and The MC5 and The Stooges to Elektra Records during his hitch at the company; he introduced Iggy Pop to David Bowie; he hung around with The Beatles, despite not being a huge fan of theirs; he managed The Ramones. He was America’s top secret barometer of cool for about 40 years.

Danny Says is the much-anticipated documentary film about our hero. Mr. Fields comes across as low-key and hilarious, deadpanning his way through anecdotes about having to hide an inebriated Jim Morrison’s car keys. The film is charming and fun, and never depends on nostalgia.

In fact, Mr. Fields is a man who has spent his entire life looking towards the future. The scene in which Danny plays a tape recording of him playing The Ramones’ debut for an ecstatic Lou Reed is worth the price of admission, by itself. (– Guy Benoit)

 

Ballers: The Complete Second Season
HBO / Released 1/31/17

Dwayne Johnson returns as Spencer Strasmore in Season Two of the hit HBO Comedy series from Stephen Levinson (Entourage).

Digging deeper into the exravagant, high-stakes world of pro footbal in Miami, FL, the new season finds the retired superstar turned financial manager going head to head with the biggest shark in the pool, Andre Allen (Andy Garcia).

And in a business where it’s “go big or go home”, Spencer and his crew are about to learn that having it all means always being ready to put up a fight for more dollars, deals and respect.

Extras include play by play for each episode.

Episodes include:

  • Face of the Franchise: Convinced to appear on a talk show, Spencer ends up facing off with an old adversary, which puts his company and reputation in jeopardy. A reformed Ricky gets bad news in advance of his 30th birthday party. Charles relishes his new status as a fan favorite, but may face changes on the field.
  • Enter the Temple: Spencer makes a play to poach a big client from Andre, his business rival, while struggling to find a quick fix for his physical ailments. Ricky considers where to head to next. Reggie fights for what he believes Vernon owes him. Feeling underpaid and undervalued, Tracy takes a stand with her boss. Charles gets insights from his coach.
  • Elidee: Spencer advises a reluctant Vernon to stay quiet when the truth behind his injury threatens his career. Trying to stave off Andre’s attacks on their business, Spencer and Joe butt heads over how best to advise a client. Charles worries whether he’s up for a challenge. A hard-to-impress Ricky takes a trip to tour a potential new home.
  • World of Hurt: Spencer and Joe search for Andre’s weakness; Vernon anxiously awaits news; Jason woos a client; Ricky attempts to understand his father; Charles gets the truth from Siefert.
  • Most Guys: Spencer tries to mentor Travis while dodging unwelcome medical news; Reggie and How buy a wild gift in an attempt to cheer up Vernon; Ricky encourages Charles to stand up for himself…
  • Saturdaze: Spencer tries to broker peace between Travis and a critic; Charles is forced to deliver bad news…
  • Everybody Knows: Andre’s surprise visit to the office sends Spencer scrambling to stay one step ahead of his rival. Meanwhile, Joe learns some unsavory secrets about his partner; Ricky tries to make up with his dad; and Charles schemes to keep a friend nearby.
  • Laying in the Weeds: As Spencer tries to move forward, Joe works to keep things together. Charles and Ricky clash. Travis faces tough questions and worries about his prospects. At his Draft Day party, Spencer asks for help while trying to keep ASM’s latest developments quiet.
  • Million Bucks in a Bag: Spencer gets a surprising offer from Andre; Ricky mulls where to put down roots; Vernon works overtime to return to the field; Charles and Julie clash over his busy schedule.
  • Game Day: Spencer makes a last-ditch effort to get back what he’s lost. Ricky awaits a call that could define his future. Vernon takes a road trip. Siefert offers Charles a big opportunity, but it comes at a cost.

 

The Disappointments Room
20th Century Fox / Released 12/20/16

The door to heart-pounding terror swings wide open in this gripping psychological thriller based on true events.

Looking for a fresh start, Dana (Kate Beckinsale), David (Mel Raido) and their five-year-old son move from the big city to a rural Southern mansion in need of restoration.

But the young family’s dream home quickly becomes a chilling nightmare when Dana discovers a hidden room in the attic, unleashing unexplainable events that test her sanity and slowly reveal shocking secrets from the past.

Extras include featurette.

 

 

Takashi Miike’s Black Society Trilogy
Arrow Video / Released 1/24/17

After several years spent working almost exclusively in the direct-to-video world of V-cinema in Japan, Takashi Miike announced himself as a world-class filmmaking talent with this trio of thematically-connected, character-centric crime stories about violence, the underworld of Japanese society, families both real and surrogate, and the possibly hopeless task of finding one’s place in the world.

His first films made specifically for theatrical release, and his first for a major studio, the Black Society Trilogy (Shinjuku Triad Society, Rainy Dog, Ley Lines) was the beginning of Miike’s mature career as a filmmaker and they remain among the prolific director’s finest works.

  • Shinjuku Triad Society: Set in the bustling Kabuki-cho nightlife neighborhood of Tokyo, Shinjuku Triad Society follows a mixed-race cop (Kippei Shiina, Outrage) struggling with private issues while hunting a psychotic criminal (Tomorowo Taguchi, Tetsuo the Iron Man) who traffics in children’s organs.
  • Rainy Dog: Shot entirely in Taiwan, Rainy Dog is about an exiled yakuza (Dead or Alive‘s Show Aikawa) who finds himself saddled with a son he never knew he had and a price on his head after the Chinese gang he works for decides to turn on him.
  • Ley Lines: Ley Lines moves from the countryside to the city and back, as three Japanese youths of Chinese descent (including The Raid 2‘s Kazuki Kitamura) seek their fortune in Tokyo, only to run afoul of a violent gang boss (Naoto Takenaka, The Happiness of the Katakuris).

Three of the most dramatically moving films created by the director, the Black Society Trilogy offers clear proof that Miike’s frequent pigeonholing as a specialist in bloody spectacle is only one aspect of his filmmaking career, and taken as a whole, the films are among the finest works ever to deal with the way violence and brutality can unexpectedly destroy even the most innocent of lives.

Extras include interviews, commentaries, trailers and illustrated collector’s booklet.

 

The Black Dragon’s Revenge – Special Edition
The Film Detective / Released 1/31/17

This action-packed thriller stars martial arts legends Ron “The Black Dragon” van Clief (Fist of Fear, Touch of Death) and Charles “The Latin Panther” Bonet (Death Promise) in a story of rival gangs searching for Bruce Lee’s lost “finger fighting” manual.

From the heyday of 1970s “Blaxploitation” and Kung Fu flicks, The Black Dragon’s Revenge boasts the crude dialog and cut-rate film techniques typical of those genres, but succeeds by having a legit bad ass like van Clief (nicknamed “The Black Dragon” by Lee himself) in the lead role. He’s a showstopper, ya dig?

Extras include trailer and Bruce Lee Dubs compilation.

 

Loving
Universal / Released 2/7/17

From acclaimed writer/director Jeff Nichols, Loving celebrates the real-life courage and commitment of an interracial couple, Richard and Mildred Loving (Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga), who married and then spent the next nine years fighting for the right to live as a family in their hometown.

Their civil rights case, Loving v. Virginia, went all the way to the Supreme Court, which in 1967 reaffirmed the very foundation of the right to marry – and their love story has become an inspiration to couples ever since.

Extras include commentary and featurettes.

Last Word: History is full of great speeches that roused the spirit of justice within the breasts of men.

From “four score and seven years ago” to “I have a dream”, well-written monologues have the ability to elicit emotion and understanding when a play at straight empathy fails.

Part of what makes Jeff Nichols’ movie Loving so unique is how it moves the audience through the glances and looks shared between an excellent cast with little dialogue to distract from an intimate movie experience.

The film opens on Mildred (Ruth Negga) telling Richard (Joel Edgerton) that she is pregnant. He is silent for a moment, with the only noise being the constant soundtrack of grasshoppers reminding the audience how far out in the country they truly are. Richard’s reaction is a simple smile which sets the tone for the entire film.

The pair is consistently shown as a quiet and private couple who want nothing more to be left alone to live their life together but find themselves the center of one of the most frequently cited cases in history.

Loving is based on the true story of Mildred and Richard Loving, an interracial couple whose marriage was against miscegenation laws in Virginia. Their case against the state went to the Supreme Court, who ruled in their favor citing marriage as a fundamental right. The action made all laws on the books banning interracial marriage unconstitutional.

Nichols does a wonderful job trusting his cast. Instead of putting words in their mouths, he heavily relies on the weight of silences to express emotion. With lesser actors this could lead to a dull and plodding venture. But Negga in particular turns in a stellar performance through her eyes, which have a range that can easily display love, sadness, and joy in a single glance. The level of connection between Edgerton and Negga usurps the need for lofty dialogue.

In scenes where their love is tested by the system, it particularly shines.

Early in the film the couple is arrested in the middle of the night. Richard finds himself released the next morning but forbidden from posting bail for his wife, leaving a pregnant Mildred alone in jail for the weekend. As he is led out past her cell, Mildred runs to the bars and calls his name softly while heartbreaking confusion and longing pass over Richard’s face. He has a few words for the officer leading him out, but the underlying message of helplessness is transmitted so well through his hung head, downward cast eyes, and heavy step that exchanging it for clever pointed barbs would be a loss.

Just as important as the understated writing is the careful attention to setting. Filmed on location in Virginia, the endless fields and rural plywood homes that make up their peacefully mixed race section on the outskirts of town are just as much a character as the Lovings themselves. Mildred in particular has a connection between her home and her heart that is stretched to breaking when they are forced to flee to the city due to the conditions of their release from jail. Establishing shots from car windows showing brick, pavement, and exclusively Black faces create a strong sense of leaving one world for another without having to put a name on it. The way she slowly wilts without saying a word and the increasing concern that Richard displays while watching her brings depth to the emotional burden each one faced. Again, here is a movie where the pauses are more important than the speeches.

Though the two carry the movie, a supporting cast of slightly chattier family members, neighbors, and eventually ACLU lawyers move the story forward as needed. The dynamic between Richard and his friends (all Black) is that he is the “quiet guy” in the group. Alano Miller gives a solid performance as a confidant and protector of the two, and is a welcome third voice to add dimension and levity to family scenes. Nick Kroll plays the lead lawyer Bernard Cohen with eagerness but also a bit of unsettling smarminess which takes away from a few of the scenes he is featured in.

This film is a straight shot, with little embellishment of history. There are no fights, no swelling score, no grand theatrics. Yet the story of the extraordinary circumstances surrounding a completely normal couple in love will leave the audience feeling like they have experienced something larger than themselves or the quiet but kind pair onscreen. (– Kristen Halbert)

 

Quantum Leap: The Complete Series
Mill Creek / Released 2/7/17

Join Dr. Sam Beckett (Scott Bakula), a time traveler lost in time, who temporarily leaps into the bodies and lives of other people to put right what once went wrong.

Accompanied by Al (Dean Stockwell), a wise-cracking holograph that only Sam can see and hear, Sam twists the hands of fate with each heart-pounding, action-packed adventure in the hopes that he can someday complete the mission that will take him home.

Guest cast includes Neil Patrick Harris, Patrick Warburton, CCH Pounder, Mark Boone Junior, Terry Farrell, Amy Ryan, Jason Priestley, Michael Madsen, Anna Gunn, Carla Gugino, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jennifer Aniston, Diedrich Bader, Max Gail, Brooke Shields, Bob Saget, Michael Boatman, Neal McDonough, Teri Hatcher, Claudia Christian, Liz Vassey, Bruce McGill, Max Wright, Melora Hardin, and Willie Garson.

 

Dirty Dancing: 30th Anniversary Edition
Lionsgate / Released 2/7/17

In the summer of 1963, innocent 17-year-old Baby (Jennifer Grey) vacations with her parents at a Catskills resort.

One evening she is drawn to the staff quarters by stirring music. There she meets Johnny (Patrick Swayze), the hotel dance instructor, who is as experienced as Baby is naive.

Baby soon becomes Johnny’s pupil in dance and love.

Cast also includes Jerry Orbach, Cynthia Rhodes, Jack Weston, Lonny Price and Kelly Bishop.

Extras include interviews, commentaries, featurettes, screen tests, outtakes, music videos and deleted/alternate/extended scenes.

 

Penny Dreadful: The Complete Series
Showtime / Released 2/7/17

Some of literature’s most terrifying characters, including Dr. Frankenstein and his monster, Dorian Gray, and iconic figures from the novel Dracula are lurking in the darkest corners of Victorian London.

They are joined by a core of original characters in a complex, frightening new narrative, where personal demons from the past can be stronger than vampires, evil spirits and immortal beasts.

Extras include featurettes, production blogs, roundtable and character profiles.

Episodes include:

Season One

  • Night Work: Vanessa Ives recruits Wild West showman Ethan Chandler and big game hunter Sir Malcolm to track down a killer that turns out to be more than human. Meanwhile, Victor takes an interest in the creature as well.
  • Seance: Egyptologist Sir Ferdinand Lyle hosts a party and requires Vanessa and Sir Malcolm to attend. There they meet Dorian Gray during a séance held by Madame Kali. Meanwhile, Ethan makes the acquaintance of a young Irish immigrant, Brona Croft, with a dark past.
  • Resurrection: While Victor confronts his firstborn creation over the corpse of the second, Ethan returns to Malcolm seeking work in exchange for money to buy Brona medicine. Soon the Wild West showman is accompanying Malcolm, Sembene, and Vanessa on a night job to find the missing Mina Harker.
  • Demimonde: Seeking relief from his boredom, Dorian attends the Grand Guignol and meets Ethan and Brona. Meanwhile, Malcolm faces off against a home intruder when Fenton summons his Master.
  • Closer Than Sisters: Vanessa recalls her past and the events that led to Mina’s disappearance.
  • What Death Can Join Together: Malcolm, Ethan, and Sembene go to investigate a plague ship but the explorer refuses to take Vanessa with them. Left to her own devices, Vanessa goes on a dinner date with Dorian but gives into temptation. Meanwhile, Van Helsing tells Victor more about the vampires that he faces.
  • Possession: When Vanessa is possessed by the demon that haunts her, Malcolm and the others try to cure her and, realizing that it may be impossible, contemplate putting her out of her misery.
  • Grand Guignol: Vanessa and Sir Malcolm face their worst nightmares while Ethan and Victor are confronted with their pasts.

Season Two

  • Fresh Hell: Evelyn torments Vanessa with demonic visions in an attempt to bring her to her Master. Meanwhile, Victor struggles to bring Brona back to life, Caliban finds a new job, and Malcolm and his wife go their separate ways.
  • Verbis Diablo: Malcolm remakes Evelyn’s acquaintance, unaware that he is falling under her spell. Meanwhile, Vanessa finds a means of relieving her terror, and Victor reteaches Brona the basics she needs to survive in the world.
  • The Nightcomers: Vanessa tells Ethan how she mastered her abilities with the aid of an old witch, the Cut-Wife… and the fate that befell her.
  • Evil Spirits in Heavenly Places: While Ferdinand and Malcolm seek to translate Brother Gregory’s relics, Ethan makes the unwitting acquaintance of Evelyn’s daughter Hecate. Meanwhile, Vanessa and Victor go shopping, and Brona learns about corsets and women’s shoes.
  • Above the Vaulted Sky: While Hecate and Evelyn prepare their totems, Malcolm and his friends prepare the manor for a siege. Victor takes Brona out in public for the first time, while Caliban and Vanessa discuss poetry.
  • Glorious Horrors: Malcolm is surprisingly unaffected by news of his family’s most recent tragedy. Meanwhile, Rusk and Roper both confront Ethan, Ethan asks Sembene for a favor, and Dorian sends out invitations for Angelique’s coming-out ball.
  • Little Scorpion: Vanessa takes Ethan to Joan’s cottage to acquire the book when they realize the extent of the foe they face.
  • Memento Mori: While Caliban demands Brona for himself, Evelyn tries and fails to ensnare Malcolm for good. However, when he comes looking for her, she has a plan within a plan to acquire her Master’s true goal.
  • And Hell Itself My Only Foe: Vanessa and Ethan return to London, and Rusk warns Ethan that he will be following him day and night. The team advise caution in rescuing Malcolm, but Vanessa insists on going in alone.
  • And They Were Enemies: While Vanessa confronts the Master–Lucifer–Malcolm and Victor face their inner demons.

Season Three

  • The Day Tennyson Died: In the aftermath of previous events, Vanessa lurks alone in the townhouse. Malcolm travels to Africa to bury his friend Sembene, Caliban returns home, Victor seeks the help of an old friend, and Ethan is rescued from execution by men working for his father.
  • Predators Far and Near: Hecate tracks down Ethan before Rusk can. Meanwhile, Vanessa invites Dr. Sweet to a night at the magic lamp show, while Lily and Dorian attend a more private showing.
  • Good and Evil Braided Be: A familiar confronts Vanessa with her past. Meanwhile, Caliban seeks out his former family, Lily and Dorian convince Justine to join their cause, and Rusk, Malcolm, and Ketenay continue their hunt for Ethan.
  • A Blade of Grass: Using hypnosis, Vanessa explores her first encounter with Dracula… an encounter that she had suppressed from her memories.
  • This World Is Our Hell: As Ethan and Hecate cross the desert, Malcolm and Katenay follow them to cure Ethan… or kill him. Meanwhile, Victor continues assisting Henry in his work to cure the criminally insane.
  • No Beast So Fierce: Ethan and his father Jared have a final showdown. Meanwhile, Vanessa and Sweet draw closer, and Lily gives Victor a final warning.
  • Ebb Tide: While Kaetenay, Ethan, and Malcolm travel to London, Vanessa receives an offer from the darkness that has plagued her. Meanwhile, Caliban returns to his wife and son, while Dorian joins forces with Victor and Henry.
  • Perpetual Night: While Victor considers Lily’s final fate, Renfield launches an attack on Seward. Meanwhile, Ethan, Malcolm, and Kaetenay arrive in London only to find it shrouded in a fog of death.
  • The Blessed Dark: The group tracks down Dracula for one final battle for the fate of the world… and Vanessa’s soul. Meanwhile, Caliban’s wife presents him with a hideous choice, and Lily returns to Dorian.

 

Vice Principals: The Complete First Season
HBO / Released 2/7/17

Created by Danny R. McBride and Jody Hill (creators of HBO’s Eastbound & Down, along with Ben Best), Vice Principals: Season 1 tells the story of North Jackson High School and the two people who almost run it, the vice principals. McBride and Walton Goggins star as the school administrators, who are in an epic power struggle, vying for the top spot: to be school principal.

But when new rival Dr. Belinda Brown (Kimberly Hébert Gregory) enters the picture, these bitter antagonists must form an unholy alliance to bring down the outsider by any means necessary.

Also featuring Georgia King, Busy Phillips, Shea Whigham, Sheaun McKinney and guest stars Bill Murray and Susan Park.

Extras include deleted scenes, bloopers, and audio commentaries.

Episodes include:

  • The Principal: When the principal of a high school retires, his two vice principals go to extremes to land the vacant job.
  • A Trusty Steed: Gamby and Russell invade Belinda’s private space; a school evaluator spooks the vice principals.
  • The Field Trip: Gamby looks to impress Amanda on a field trip organized by Mr. Hayden, a good-guy history teacher.
  • Run for the Money: Gamby and Russell eye a homecoming football game as a way to further break Dr. Brown’s spirit.
  • Circles: Dr. Brown orders Gamby to lighten up on discipline; Russell copes with a disruptive neighbor.
  • The Foundation of Learning: Amanda makes a deal with Gamby, while Dr. Brown takes a veteran teacher to task over a shipment of missing books.
  • The Good Book: Gamby bonds with Amanda during teacher workday; Russell’s patience is tested; Dr. Brown deals with the sudden appearance of her ex-husband Dascious.
  • Gin: Gamby and Russell look to finish what they started; Gamby confronts Amanda about her relationship with Hayden.
  • End of the Line: Gamby and Russell play their end game with Dr. Brown.

 

From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series – Season 3
Sony / Released 2/7/17

Season three follows Seth and Richie as they continue to fight their way through the chilling world of culebras, the vampire-snake hybrids that control hidden empires in Texas and Mexico.

Once the baddest outlaws in the land, the Gecko brothers made a run for the Border two years ago to save their lives — and their fortune. After stumbling into a bar full of bloodsuckers and bandits, they encountered the vampire goddess Santánico, joining her cause to settle an old score, and it won them a place in the culebra world.

Now that world is on the verge of violent and destructive explosion as new enemies hell-bent on domination gather to take them down.

But, in typical Gecko fashion, Seth and Richie assemble an unlikely crew (some new, some old) to take on the forces of hell.

Extras include commentary, featurettes, inside the episodes, trailers and deleted scene.

Includes the episodes:

  • Head Games: After the Lords demote Seth and Richie to collectors, their organization is infiltrated by a mysterious new enemy bent on destroying the Geckos, the Lords, and all culebras.
  • La Reina: Seth and Richie seek help from Santanico Pandemonium, only to discover she’s the target of the Xibalban leader, an ancient queen who has taken on a familiar form. Meanwhile, Freddie and Ximena follow a trail of massacres to a deadly confrontation with Brasa.
  • Protect and Serve: Ranger Freddie Gonzalez must team up with an old enemy to bring down a demon hell-bent on enslaving culebras. Meanwhile, Seth and Richie track down an ancient hunter.
  • Fanglorious: When Amaru puts Scott Fuller in her sights, the Geckos and their team must defend him against Brasa’s most lethal fighters yet – Jaguar Warriors from hell.
  • Shady Glen: A cannibal attack in a suburban neighborhood forces Seth to bring his makeshift team together to save innocent civilians.
  • Straitjacket: After being kidnapped by Amaru, Richie wakes up in an abandoned asylum and calls Seth for help. Sensing a trap, Seth brings the team – and Amaru unleashes a demon like no other.
  • La Llorona: The team catches a lucky break against Amaru. But nothing is what it seems, as our heroes fall victim to the seductions – and horrors – of a female Xibalban demon.
  • Rio Sangre: Santanico returns with a new secret – and a potential new ally – leading the Geckos to Lord Venganza, who is hiding out in a bloody culebra prison.
  • Matanzas: The Geckos pursue Amaru to a mysterious Western town, where she plans to reclaim her true form and open the gates of hell.
  • Dark Side of the Sun: With Kate Fuller near death, our heroes race against an eclipse to defeat Amaru and close the gate to Xibalba, before hell consumes the world.

American Pastoral
Lionsgate / Released 2/7/17

Ewan McGregor directs and stars alongside Jennifer Connelly and Dakota Fanning in this acclaimed film adapted from Philip Roth’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.

Seymour “Swede” Levov (Ewan McGregor), a once-legendary high school athlete, is a successful businessman married to an ex-beauty queen, Dawn (Jennifer Connelly).

When Swede and Dawn’s daughter (Dakota Fanning) disappears after being accused of a violent crime, Swede’s perfect life is broken forever and he is left to make sense out of the chaos.

Extras include commentary and featurettes.

 

The 9th Life Of Louis Drax
Lionsgate / Released 2/7/17

After surviving eight near-death accidents throughout his unlucky life, Louis Drax (Aiden Longworth) plunges off a steep cliff on his ninth birthday.

While police investigate the cause of Louis’s near-fatal fall and the whereabouts of his violent father, Peter (Aaron Paul), acclaimed neurologist Dr. Allan Pascal (Jamie Dornan) uses unorthodox techniques to try to tap into the boy’s unconscious mind and reveal the truth about the events that led to his condition.

But as he’s drawn deeper and deeper into the mystery of Louis’s seeming ability to cheat death, the doctor finds himself falling for Louis’s mother, Natalie (Sarah Gadon).

As new clues emerge in the case, a shocking revelation changes the fates of Louis Drax and everyone around him.

Extras include making of.

 

What a Way to Go!
Kino Lorber / Released 2/7/17

All Louisa May Foster (Shirley MacLaine, Two for the Seesaw) wants is a man to love and grow old with. But she keeps meeting and marrying men with a desire to strike it rich and a habit of dying soon thereafter.

A spectacular lineup of Hollywood’s legendary stars appeared in this delightful and romantic camp comedy, including Paul Newman (Paris Blues), Robert Mitchum (Man with the Gun), Gene Kelly (An American in Paris), Dean Martin (The Silencers), Dick Van Dyke (Mary Poppins) and Robert Cummings (The Chase). J. Lee Thompson (Kings of the Sun) directed this colorful comedy that is pure delight from beginning to its all-too-soon ending.

What a Way to Go! was nominated for two Academy Awards including Costume Design for Edith Head’s gowns worn by lovely Miss MacLaine and Moss Mabry’s men’s wardrobe worn by the legendary male leads. Shot in glorious Cinemascope by iconic cinematographer Leon Shamroy (Prince of Foxes, Daddy Long Legs).

 

227 : The Complete First Season
Mill Creek / Released 2/7/17

It’s a hilarious look at family life in a Washington, DC, apartment building. 227, one of the most popular Saturday night sitcoms of the ’80s, revolves around housewife Mary Jenkins and her close-knit circle of friends and neighbors, dishing about life, family and each other in this first season collection of twenty-two hysterical episodes.

Starring Marla Gibbs as Mary, Hal Williams as her hard-working husband Lester, Regina King as their teenage daughter Brenda, Alaina Reed as Mary’s best friend Rose, Helen martin as crotchety busybody Pearl, and Emmy Award-winner Jackée Harry as they sexy, “man-wise” Sandra Clark.

Guest stars include  Leslie Nielsen, Stephen Tobolowsky, LaWanda Page, Dennis Haysbert, Whitman Mayo and Fran Drescher.

Includes the episodes:

  • Honesty: Mary regrets her offer to pay for the damage to a car she dented.
  • Mary’s Brother: Mary’s attempt to fix her brother up with Rose falls through when he falls for Sandra.
  • Family Hero: While helping Brenda find an interesting ancestor for an essay assignment, she discovers a Civil War corporal — and his claim to fame.
  • The Refrigerator: Mary agrees to let Sandra use her apartment for a party if Sandra can talk the landlord into getting Mary a new refrigerator.
  • Do You Love Me?: When Mary learns that her neighbors’ marriage has ended, she thinks the same thing may happen to her and Lester.
  • Pilot: The landlord of Mary’s apartment building dies, leaving it in the care of a “tenant”.
  • The Sidewalk Sale: Rose inherits the building. But after a building inspector drops by, he notes so many violations that it’s going to take a lot of money to repair them. So the guys decide to have a sidewalk sale. After nearly reaching their goal, Mary gives the money to Lester to hide. He hides it. Mary sells something that Lester told her not to. They learn it’s where Lester kept the money.
  • A Letter to the President: Mary receives praise for complaining to the president about a pothole, then the Secret Service shows up.
  • Pity the Poor Working Girl: Mary is concerned when Sandra is fired from her old job and begins a new one at Lester’s construction firm.
  • Football Widow: Tired of being a lonely widow, Mary tries to buy tickets to a Redskins game for herself and Lester.
  • A Daughter Is a Precious Thing: Brenda ignores her mother’s advice and listens to Sandra’s about impressing a boy who’s into “older women”.
  • The Big Piano Play-Off: Mary and Sandra compete to see who’s learned more from Rose about playing the piano in three weeks.
  • Mary’s Christmas: Sandra, upon learning the Church is being asked to move out of the land they’re on, volunteers Lester to help move it to it’s new location. It’s also Christmas time and the annual pageant will help commemorate the Church on it’s new location. But the Church doesn’t arrive there and they’re wondering what they’ll do for the pageant.
  • The Bed of Rose’s: Rose connects with the man Sandra found “boring”, then panics when he suggests they spend a weekend in New York.
  • Brenda’s Last Date: At Pearl’s request, Lester has a man-to-man talk with Calvin about sex, which leads to Calvin asking out Brenda.
  • A Young Man’s Fancy: Calvin misunderstands Sandra’s neighborliness and falls in love with her.
  • We the People: Lester’s mentor shows up and Rose gives him the job of apartment manager. Later he invites some friends to stay with him. Later they learn that they’re all homeless including Lester’s boss. But when Rose hears of this, she feels she has no choice but to throw them out. Until she hears their woes.
  • Redecorating Blues: Lester considers spending his bonus from work on a sports car, but his apartment is burglarized.
  • Fifty Big Ones: Mary plans a party for her parents’ 50th anniversary, but they aren’t speaking to each other.
  • Slam Dunked: Sandra dates a basketball player whose style proves to be a bad influence on Calvin.
  • Pick Six: Mary gives Pearl and Rose a lecture on the evils of gambling, but her lottery entry happens to have the same numbers her friends picked.
  • Young Man with a Job: Lester gets Calvin a part-time job in construction, but Calvin proves to be inept at it.

 

Frankenstein: The Real Story / The Real Wolfman
Lionsgate / Released 2/7/17

In-depth analysis of the crimes and cases that sparked the Frankenstein and werewolf mythologies.

The Frankenstein: The Real Story collection from History examines how the tale of a brilliant but deranged scientist who builds a grotesque monster from the body parts of fresh corpses has its roots in reality.

  • “In Search of the Real Frankenstein” looks at scientists throughout history who experimented with reviving animal and human corpses to find the secret force of life. “Frankenstein” explores the fact-or-fiction origins of the tale that became the first science fiction novel.
  • “It’s Alive! The True Story of Frankenstein” further traces the story through all its artistic renditions, from 19th-century stage adaptations to 1930s silent films to Mel Brooks’s satirical Young Frankenstein and Kenneth Branagh’s faithful horror interpretation. This spectacular set features interviews with actors including Gene Wilder and experts on Mary Shelley, the 19th-century novel, the horror genre, cinema makeup, and much more.

The Real Wolfman: In the mid-1700s, a mysterious beast viciously attacked and killed 102 villagers in the French village of Gévaudan. The victims, mostly women and children, were mauled and decapitated, their naked bodies all bearing the savage bite marks of a non-human creature. The killings marked the largest number of alleged werewolf attacks in history and are a contributor to the Hollywood “Wolfman” legend. Venture deep into the mythology and folklore of werewolves with renowned cryptozoologist Ken Gerhardt and veteran criminal profiler George Deuchar as they investigate the reviled creature believed to brutally kill when the moon is full. Their investigation includes intriguing paranormal transformations, diseases that make men look and act like animals, and strange but true stories of children raised by wolves. What they uncover in the dark side of human nature is the horrific truth behind the Gévaudan werewolf attacks, and the wolfman within us all.

 

Life On The Line
Lionsgate / Released 2/7/17

As a huge electrical storm sweeps towards Texas, lineman Beau (John Travolta) is haunted by memories of his brother’s death by lightning years earlier.

Bailey (Kate Bosworth), the niece he helped raise, has a secret she needs to share with her boyfriend Duncan (Devon Sawa).

Braving dangerously dizzying heights, the unsung heroes dedicated to keeping the populace safe must face a deadly storm as it heads straight for their Texas town. Can they keep their community connected? Life on the Line is a tribute to the heroes who risk it all to keep us safe.

Also starring Sharon Stone, extras include music video and interviews.

 

Girl Asleep
Oscilloscope / Released 2/7/17

In this vibrant portrayal of Australian adolescence, Greta Driscoll’s bubble of obscure loserdom is burst when her parents throw her a surprise 15th birthday party and invite the whole school!

Perfectly content being a wallflower, suddenly Greta’s flung far from her comfort zone into a distant, parallel place — a strange world that’s a little frightening and a lot weird, but only there can she find herself.

Equal measures Wes Anderson and Lewis Carroll, Girl Asleep is an enchanting journey into the absurd — and sometimes scary — depths of the teenage mind.

Also includes short film Pickle. Extras include making of, interview and trailer.

 

Antibirth
Shout! Factory / Released 2/7/17

Hard-drinking, pill-popping, bong-ripping Lou (Natasha Lyonne) and her best friend Sadie (Chloë Sevigny) spend their days adrift in a druggy haze. But one wild night out becomes a bad trip that never ends when Lou wakes up with symptoms of an unexplained, highly abnormal pregnancy.

Who—or what—is growing inside her?

As her due date approaches with alarming swiftness, the fear, paranoia, and conspiracy theories begin to pile up. Spiked with blasts of hallucinatory color, surreal shocks, and subversive comedy, the audacious feature debut from Danny Perez is a no-holds-barred descent into delirium.

Also starring Meg Tilly and Mark Webber.

Extras include short films, storyboards and trailer.

 

The General / The Three Ages
Kino Lorber / Released 2/7/17

Considered by many to be Keaton’s masterpiece, The General tells the story of an engineer who bravely journeys behind enemy lines during the Civil War to recapture his stolen locomotive.

Filled with breathtaking physical comedy, expertly-staged chases, and an astonishing sense of historical authenticity, The General remains not just one of the finest of all silent comedies, but one of the finest of all films, from any era.

This edition features a choice of two orchestral music scores: one by Robert Israel, the other by Joe Hisaishi.

Special features include audio commentary by film historians Michael Schlesinger and Stan Taffel, filmed introductions by Orson Welles and Gloria Swanson, and “Return of The General”, a vintage short film on the restoration of the legendary locomotive.

Three Ages is Keaton’s first feature-length comedy, structured as a parody of D.W. Griffith’s Intolerance, with the story of a hapless young man’s quest for love taking place in three distinct historical settings (the Stone Age, Ancient Rome, and a modern city). This edition includes a choice of two scores, one by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra, and the other by Robert Israel. Special features include rare television appearances by Buster Keaton, including a vintage Alka-Seltzer commercial and a Candid Camera segment, plus Man’s Genesis (1912), a D.W. Griffith short parodied in Three Ages .

Orchestral score by Robert Israel, Orchestral score by Joe Hisaishi, Audio commentary by film historians Michael Schlesinger and Stan Taffel, Introduction by Orson Welles, Introduction by Gloria Swanson, “Return of The General,” a vintage short film on the restoration of the legendary locomotive

 

The Alchemist Cookbook
Oscilloscope / Released 2/7/17

Young outcast Sean has isolated himself in a trailer in the woods, setting out on alchemic pursuits, with his cat Kaspar as his sole companion.

Filled with disdain for authority, he’s fled the daily grind and holed up in the wilderness, escaping a society that has no place for him.

But when he turns from chemistry to black magic to crack nature’s secret, things go awry and he awakens something far more sinister and dangerous.

Extras include commentary, outtakes and behind the scenes footage, deleted scenes and trailer.

 

 

Cross Wars
Sony / Released 2/7/17

Straight from the comics to the mean streets of Los Angeles armed with a powerful ancient Cross amulet, Callan (Brian Austin Green) and his team of weapons experts battle local thugs and heinous criminals.

When a ruthless villain named Muerte (Danny Trejo) threatens to kill Callan’s crew, he and his team join with an all-girl crime-fighting squad led by Riley — who has an ancient amulet of her own!

But Muerte is not working alone. He has resurrected the evil immortal Gunnar (Vinnie Jones) who has a plan more sinister than anyone can imagine. Can Callan prevent the looming apocalypse and save humanity? Its enough to make a superhero all stressed out!

Extras include commentary and alternate credits.

 

Nerdland
Sony / Released 2/7/17

The story of two best friends, aspiring screenwriter Elliott and aspiring actor John, whose dreams of super-stardom have fizzled.

With their 30th birthdays looming and their desperation growing, John and Elliot decide that in this 24/7, celebrity-obsessed world of over-shared navel-gazing, there are more ways to become famous — or infamous — then ever before. So why not become famous TODAY?

Nerdland is that day. Making up for what they lack in brains and talent with abundant, witless enthusiasm, John and Elliot troll Los Angeles on a fame-grab journey, encountering and abusing friends both new and old.

Navigating their hyper-stimulating landscape of consumerism gone wild, our two consumers want desperately to be consumed — and they will have their FAME, no matter what the cost.

Cast includes Paul Rudd, Patton Oswalt, Mike Judge, Christopher McCulloch, Hannibal Buress and Riki Lindhome.

 

Look at Us Now Mother!
Virgil Films / Released 2/7/17

Look at Us Now Mother! is an unflinching look at the complex bond between mother and daughter.

It has its roots in My Nose, a humorous short in which Gayle Kirschenbaum introduced us to her hypercritical mother, Mildred, as she pressed Gayle to have a nose job! The film barely scratched the surface of what was clearly a fascinating and perhaps universal story of mothers and daughters. So, Kirschenbaum embarked on a long, miraculous and poignant journey for the full-length film Look at Us Now Mother!

In the midst of shooting, Gayle’s father died, changing the dynamics of her relationship with Mildred.

They head off alone together and start traveling the world. Gayle keeps cameras on as they move through countries, continents, time zones – and emotional minefields.

What ultimately emerges is a uniquely cinematic, courageous and intimate family study with both humor and pathos in the midst of conflicts and affections that bind mother and daughter. Told with biting humor and raw honesty.

As these two formidable women the bumpy road of discovery, their relationship changes before our eyes and teaches us a universal lesson: the power of forgiveness.

 

Beyond Redemption
Well Go USA / Released 2/7/17

Master stuntman Brian Ho stars in this action-packed thriller as undercover cop Billy Tong, who infiltrates the inner circle of a powerful gang in order to prove his loyalty to its leader (Don Lew).

Venturing deeper and deeper into Vancouver’s seedy underbelly, Billy must maintain his cover if he wants to crack a high-stakes case involving those with dangerous connections to the Triad—at the risk of losing his own identity and his old life in the process.

Extras include featurettes and trailer.

 

 

 

Kikoriki: Legend of the Golden Dragon
Shout! Factory / Released 2/7/17

The lovably simple residents of peaceful Kikoriki Island are thrown kicking and screaming into big adventure when their resident scientist invents an amazing device – a helmet called “the Improverizor” – which takes personality traits from one person and swaps them with someone else’s!

But when spineless young Wally tries to use the untested device to cure his cowardice, he ends up even more spineless – by getting accidentally body-switched with a squirmy little caterpillar. Now he’s got more to fear than he ever dreamed, and so do his fellow villagers, as they’re dragged into a madcap adventure packed with plane crashes, mistaken identities, erupting volcanoes and angry natives on the warpath. Boy, do the Kikoriki Сrew wish they could switch places now – with anyone!

Extras include character profiles.

 

Two Lovers And A Bear
20th Century Fox / Released 2/7/17

From critically acclaimed writer and director Kim Nguyen, comes this visually stunning romance about two burning souls who make a leap for love in the icy Arctic.

Lucy (Tatiana Maslany) and Roman (Dane DeHaan) develop a passionate bond while living in a remote outpost.

But when Lucy’s emotional demons return, the couple ventures into the uncharted wilds to escape the past and keep their love alive.

 

 

 

 

Dynasty: The First Season
Paramount / Released 2/7/17

The first season of Dynasty, the powerhouse primetime 80s soap opera, begins with oil tycoon Blake Carrington marrying his former secretary, Krystle.

Krystle’s former lover, Matthew, returns to town and causes more problems when he tells Krystle that he’s still in love with her.

Blake’s daughter Fallon does not support his marriage, and chooses to marry childhood friend Jeff Colby just for her father’s benefit.

Cast and notable guest stars include John Forsythe, Linda Evans, Joan Collins, Heather Locklear, Jack Coleman, John James, Pamela Sue Martin Pamela Bellwood, Michael Nader, Lloyd Bochner, Robert Davi, Stepfanie Kramer, and Brian Dennehy.

Includes the episodes:

  • Oil: Krystle learns the ways of the rich as she prepares to marry Blake. Matthew comes back from the Middle East. Claudia leaves the mental hospital.
  • The Honeymoon: Blake must cut short his honeymoon to handle business matters. Steven goes to work for Matthew and Walter. Blake makes it clear to the staff that Krystle is their mistress.
  • The Dinner Party: Blake invites Matthew and Walter to a dinner party. It goes badly. Fallon teaches Krystle how the rich do things. Jeff and Fallon skinny dip in the swimming pool.
  • Fallon’s Wedding: Steven’s ex-boyfriend Ted comes to town; a co-worker finds out. Fallon and Jeff elope; but to Fallon the marriage is a business deal.
  • The Chauffeur Tells a Secret: Michael tells Blake why Fallon married Jeff Colby. Claudia and Steven surprise themselves when they share a kiss.
  • The Bordello: Walter takes Steven to a bordello hoping to veer him away from men. Steven’s co-workers accuse him of sabotage. Krystle hocks her necklace to help Matthew.
  • Krystle’s Lie: Lindsay discovers her parents conceived her before marriage; Fallon asks Ted to stay away from Steven; Blake learns Krystle is taking birth control pills.
  • The Necklace: Krystle has sold her necklace and Fallon finds out; Claudia nearly beds a stranger from a singles bar, then turns to Steven; Matthew and Walter strike oil.
  • The Beating: Lindsay finds out that her mom and Steven are having an affair. Blake has Michael beaten up for going to bed with Fallon.
  • The Birthday Party: Michael tells Blake what Krystle did with her necklace. Fallon tells Jeff why she married him. Ted comes back into Steven’s life.
  • The Separation: Krystle leaves Blake. Steven leaves Ted. Blake’s fit of rage leads to disaster.
  • Blake Goes to Jail: Blake goes on trial for murder.
  • The Testimony: Andrew calls Claudia to the stand against Blake’s wishes. Against Andrew’s wishes, Blake testifies. The state calls a surprise witness.

 

Twilight Zone: The Complete 80s Series
Paramount / Released 2/7/17

Travel into the fifth dimension once again with The Twilight Zone, testing the limits of reality and exploring the mysteries of the universe. Airing from 1985 to 1989, this critically acclaimed anthology series carried on the legacy of the original Rod Serling program and attracted a brand new audience of fans.

Containing all 65 episodes, Twilight Zone: The Complete 80s Series features such noted writers as Rod Serling, Rockne S. O’Bannon, Alan Brennert, J. Michael Straczynski, Harlan Ellison, George R.R. Martin, Martin Pasko, Charles Beaumont, Ray Bradbury, David Gerrold, Theodore Sturgeon, Arthur C. Clarke, Joe Haldeman, Robert R. McCammon,Greg Bear, Steven Bochco,Stephen King, Richard Matheson, Sidney Sheldon, Robert Silverberg, and Roger Zelazny.

Notable guest stars include Richard Mulligan, William Atherton, Martin Balsam, Danica McKellar, Jeffrey Tambor, Jenny Agutter, Adrienne Barbeau, Eric Bogosian,Robert Klein, Helen Mirren,Charles Martin Smith, Bruce Willis, Ralph Bellamy, Robert Carradine, Peter Coyote, Terry Farrell, William Petersen, Tom Skerritt, Robert Knepper, Bud Cort, Louise Fletcher, Harry Morgan, Peter Scolari, Janet Leigh, Esai Morales, Annie Potts David Faustino, Fred Savage, Giovanni Ribisi, Xander Berkeley, John Carradine, Lukas Haas, Frances McDormand, Jenny Lewis, John Agar, Dee Wallace, Gina Gershon, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Peter Riegert, Joan Allen, Sherman Hemsley, Nana Visitor, Steve Railsback, Ron Glass, John de Lancie, John Cameron Mitchell, Morgan Freeman, Norman Lloyd, Frances Conroy, Adam Arkin, Lori Petty, Brent Spiner, Jeffrey DeMunn, Terry O’Quinn, Pam Dawber, Arliss Howard, Lin Shaye, and Donald Moffat.

 

The Crooked Man
Lionsgate / Released 2/14/17

As a young girl, Olivia (Angelique Rivera) recited a haunting rhyme at a slumber party, which summoned the demonic figure known as the Crooked Man.

Years later, she must team up with a reclusive mastermind (Michael Jai White) to defeat the demon before they die by his hands.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arrival
Paramount / Released 2/14/17

When mysterious spacecraft touch down across the globe, an elite team–lead by expert linguist Louise Banks (Amy Adams)–are brought together to investigate. As mankind teeters on the verge of global war, Banks and the team race against time for answers–and to find them, she will take a chance that could threaten her life, and quite possibly humanity.

Arrival also stars Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker and Michael Stuhlbarg. Extras include featurettes.

Last Word: When enormous alien ships appear across the globe, Dr. Louise Banks (Amy Adams) is the linguist who is called on to find out if they’re here to help or hurt us.

This simple premise ends up being far more suspenseful, thought-provoking and emotional than it sounds.

It’s, quite simply, one of the best films of the year: smartly written, beautifully shot, stunningly scored and powerfully acted. The imagery is instantly iconic: The Montana ship, floating above a grassy field surrounded by a sea of white clouds and a growing encampment of curious humans.

The first time the civilians ever so slowly enter the space ship and their first glimpse of the aliens are all stunning sci-fi moments.

I hesitated to write something too glowing about this film, because of the way too much hype can distort a film’s appeal. I hate to think I’d be responsible for anyone walking into the film and being disappointed.

And yet, I have to say it, this is the profoundly moving, philosophical sci-fi film Interstellar wanted to be. It out-Nolans Christopher Nolan on every level.

It’s far from the popcorn whiz-bang of Independence Day, although it can’t help but echo WarGames as the scientists try to prevent all-out global war against the aliens. It’s much closer to the spirit of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, if, say, the entire film were about François Truffaut’s character instead of Richard Dreyfus’s.

Villeneuve ably shifts between the global crisis and Louise’s life, seen in flashes as she copes with the end of her marriage and the loss of her daughter. I haven’t always been a fan of Amy Adams, ditto Jeremy Renner as a fellow scientist, but they’re both very good here.

This is not the kind of humanistic movie I’d expect from Villeneuve, the director of such visceral exercises in paranoia as Prisoners, Sicario and Enemy. (I haven’t seen his acclaimed early film Incendies yet.) There are odd, dream-like visual parallels with Enemy, which I won’t spoil here.

Not everyone will be as moved as I was, certainly. A friend at the same screening thought it was “just okay.” But another friend and I were in tears (as was the fellow in front of us), partly a result of the heartbreaking beauty of Max Richter’s “ On The Nature Of Daylight” that ends the film.

This is a movie that’s a worthy addition to the “big ideas” sci-fi pantheon and one that will surely have you thinking about it long after the final credits roll. ( – Sharon Knolle)

 

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
Sony / Released 2/14/17

The film is told from the point of view of 19-year-old private Billy Lynn (newcomer Joe Alwyn) who, along with his fellow soldiers in Bravo Squad, becomes a hero after a harrowing Iraq battle and is brought home temporarily for a victory tour.

Through flashbacks, culminating at the spectacular halftime show of the Thanksgiving Day football game, the film reveals what really happened to the squad contrasting the realities of the war with Americas perceptions.

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk also stars Steve Martin, Chris Tucker, Vin Diesel, Kristen Stewart and Garrett Hedlund.

Extras include featurettes and deleted scenes.

Last Word: Based on the award winning novel by Ben Fountain, Ang Lee’s newest film follows the honoring of a special Army squad at a Dallas football game. 19 year old Billy Lynn (newcomer-to-watch Joe Alwyn) is the central hero of the back-story, brought to the attention of the American public by a caught-on-camera act of courage during a 2004 Iraq battle. Lynn’s act of courage opens the film in the manner most of us experience war—its context set by news reporter narration, its content grainy and blurred. The image begins to fill the screen until we’re completely pushed in on nothing but a collection reds, greens and blues.

Then you’re thrusted into reality.

As for the film itself, it’s understandable why Ang Lee would take a gamble here, with the film serving as a metaphor for the personal impact of war and America’s perception of it from their living room couch. “I can’t imagine what you boys went through over there,” is just one of the script’s throwaway lines given to an array of talented actors, including Steve Martin, Kristen Stewart, Vin Diesel, Chris Tucker, and Garrett Hedlund.

There’s a hell of a lot of cinematic cliché that saddles the film, which I still can’t truly figure out if it’s intended as satire or simply schmaltz. If satire, there’s a subplot in which our heroes await the possible verdict that their story will be turned into a movie, resulting in a large payout. If schmaltz, there’s the doe-eyed cheerleader that falls for Billy by halftime and conflicts with his plans to go back to battle.

The soldiers are a rowdy, but ultimately loveable motley gang. Martin plays a villainous billionaire who battles deals when not overseeing the failing efforts of the football team he owns. Tucker also goes for non-comedic gusto playing a Hollywood agent desperate to put the movie deal together. Stewart is, surprise, a dark and brooding sister that threatens to kill herself if Billy doesn’t stay home after the game.

Everyone contemplates the meaning of life, the pointlessness of violence and the uncertainty of destiny. All of which you’ve seen this before in a hundred other war dramas, some of which were a hundred times more real and compelling than Billy Lynn’s.

As instantly-aware you were that HD television doesn’t do any favors to your favorite aging stars, the very un-film looking 120 frame-rate only heightens your awareness of bad line delivery, strange blocking, confusing editing and the occasional strange color-correction. Even the most talented director, and Ang Lee is certainly one of the top, may have to relearn everything they knew about filmmaking.

I get that Lee is playing with the overall themes of the story.

Through the eyes of the characters we see a post-traumatic reality of the present and flash to the horrific remembrance of reality’s past. Occasionally actors speak directly to the camera, putting you in Lynn’s POV. It’s immersive and achieves reality. But the more traditional shots, not to mention first time screenwriter Jean-Christophe Castelli’s routine script, brings you right back to the cinema.

It’s a shame that the film’s heightened, or really hijacked, by its flaws. But the boldness of the project is something to admire, and it represents a giant leap for movie-kind.

Cinema is dependent on persistence of motion, which is an optical illusion. The more real the process becomes, the more we expect actual reality. 120 fps might not be well-suited for dramatic storytelling at all, at least until the rules can be rewritten for filmmakers.

Not unlike Sony’s recent entry into VR with Playstation, all initial content designed for this brand-new tech is a guinea pig. Or is it a gimmick? ( – Todd Sokolove)

 

The Edge of Seventeen
Universal / Released 2/14/17

The Edge of Seventeen is an honest, candid, often hilarious look at what it’s like to grow up as a young woman in today’s modern world. Everyone knows that growing up is hard, and life is no easier for high school junior Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld), who is already at peak awkwardness when her all-star older brother Darian (Blake Jenner) starts dating her best friend Krista (Haley Lu Richardson).

All at once, Nadine feels more alone than ever, until the unexpected friendship of a thoughtful boy (Hayden Szeto) gives her a glimmer of hope that things just might not be so terrible after all. The film also stars Kyra Sedgwick as Nadine’s well-meaning but completely ineffective mother, and Woody Harrelson as Nadine’s History teacher, mentor and reluctant sounding board.

Extras include deleted scenes and gag reel.

Last Word: Coming-of-age high school dramedies have been an exhausted dime-a-dozen trope in movies for decades now, but not since Superbad in 2007 has one been as fresh and well-written. First time director Kelly Fremon Craig’s script and direction lend a hand to a truly tremendous leading performance by Hailee Steinfeld as Nadine. She smartly meanders her way through high school and deals with issues which, while certainly seen more than once before, manage to feel handled with more confidence thanks to Craig’s keen eye for both realism and heart. An absolute gem of a movie, criminally underseen by audiences in 2016. (– Steve Carley)

 

One Million Years B.C.
Kino Lorber / Released 2/14/17

In this vivid view of prehistoric life, a man from the vicious Rock People, Tumak (John Richardson) is banished from his home, but soon finds himself living among the kind, gentle Shell People.

There, he falls in love with the beautiful Loana (Raquel Welch), in the role that made her an international sex symbol and a major star. The two decide to strike out on their own, living by their wits in a deadly land of treacherous beasts and unknown dangers, leading to a thrilling climax by the edge of an angry volcano.

The stunning primeval creatures were created by the legendary special effects wizard Ray Harryhausen (The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms). One Million Years B.C., a true science-fiction classic, was directed by Don Chaffey (Jason and the Argonauts) and featured a strong supporting cast that included Martine Beswick, Robert Brown, Percy Herbert and Yvonne Horner.

The 100-minute international cut and the 91-minute U.S. cut are both included on this Blu-ray. Extras include commentary, interviews and animated montage of posters and images.

Last Word: Everyone seems to have one favorite thing about this Hammer remake of Hal Roach’s 1940 original. For most, it is the buff blonde Raquel Welch in her skimpy fur bikini. But for others it is the climactic volcano and earthquake sequence. Or, in two separate scenes, the loud rhythmic wheezing of Harryhausen’s animated dinosaurs as they slowly sink towards death. Or the strange “primitive drums” soundtrack. Or the trippy mood-setting “origin of the universe” montage which anticipates 2001.

I like it all. There are slow stretches of uninteresting visuals and ooga-booga dialogue, but this is the film that crystallized the subgenre. Harryhausen’s wonderful animated creatures include an apatosaurus, turtle, allosaurus, and pterosaur. Late in the film he animates an incredible fight between a triceratops and tyrannosaurus, both of which appear uncommonly powerful. A real iguana and tarantula are also used, spliced to look huge as in the 1940 original. (– David E. Goldweber)

 

King Cobra
Shout! Factory / Released 2/14/17

Based on a stranger-than-fiction true story, King Cobra is a deliciously dark, twisted plunge into the behind-the-scenes world of the pornography industry.

It’s 2006, YouTube is in its infancy, and internet porn is still behind a paywall.

Taking the stage name Brent Corrigan, a fresh-faced, wannabe adult video performer (Garrett Clayton) is molded into a star by Stephen (Christian Slater), a closeted gay porn mogul who runs the skin flick empire Cobra Video from his seemingly ordinary suburban home.

But as Brent’s rise and demands for more money put him at odds with his boss, he also attracts the attention of a rival producer (James Franco) and his unstable lover (Keegan Allen) who will stop at nothing to squash Cobra Video and steal its number one star.

Co-starring Alicia Silverstone and Molly Ringwald, King Cobra is part delirious, tabloid-shocker satire, part American tragedy. Extras include commentary, outtakes and trailer.

 

 

Quarry: The Complete First Season
HBO / Released 2/14/17

Set in and around Memphis during the early 1970s, Quarry is a thrilling action drama that centers on the character of Mac Conway, a Marine who returns home from a second tour of duty in Vietnam, only to find himself stigmatized by his involvement in a highly publicized massacre while fighting abroad.

With the relationship with his wife Joni growing tenuous, Mac finds himself tempted by a lucrative offer from The Broker, a shady criminal involved in a network of killing and corruption that spans the length of the Mississippi River.

Based on the books by Max Allan Collins, extras include commentaries, interviews, deleted scenes and music videos.

Includes the episodes:

  • You Don’t Miss Your Water: Sullied Vietnam vet Mac Conway is tempted by criminal elements after returning home to Memphis in 1972.
  • Figure Four: Mac looks to pay down a debt; Joni is queried by detectives following the death of a co-worker.
  • A Mouthful of Splinters: Concerned about Joni’s safety after receiving a menacing call from Suggs, Mac turns to The Broker and his associate, Karl, for help. Meanwhile, Buddy convalesces from a nasty leg wound at his mother’s home; and Moses gets a new assignment from The Broker.
  • Seldom Realized: With Suggs at large, Mac and Joni seek temporary refuge in a remote motel run by an affable owner, Harlow. When Mac tries to help him with his defective swimming pool pump, Mac learns that Harlow has a lot more troubles than a broken pool.
  • Coffee Blues: At Joni’s urging, Mac reluctantly turns to his father Lloyd for help. The Broker resurfaces to take Mac on an unsettling road trip. An unspeakable act of racial violence rocks Memphis, hitting close to home for Ruth and her son, Marcus.
  • His Deeds Were Scattered: Mac gets a high-profile assignment from The Broker. Buddy’s erratic behavior worries his mother Naomi. Joni contemplates a financial opportunity that could free Mac from the Broker’s yolk. A curfew is ordered in Memphis in the wake of racial unrest.
  • Carnival of Souls: Pressured by Joni to sell their home, Mac instead accepts a contract from The Broker to take out a big-time Memphis heroin dealer. Buddy pitches a new position for himself. Reeling from setbacks, Olsen decides to take matters into his own hands.
  • Nuoc Cha Da Mon: Mac and Buddy track down their latest target, but the hit comes with collateral damage. Mac confronts his war demons and settles the score with an old adversary.

 

Mercy Street: Season 2
PBS / Released 2/14/17

Allegiances blur and loyalties shift as the Civil War pushes the drama beyond the hospital.

Follow the growing chaos at Alexandria’s Mansion House, the precarious position of the Green family, and the changing situation of the burgeoning black population.

From executive producers Ridley Scott and David W. Zucker of Scott Free, Lisa Q. Wolfinger, and David Zabel, Mercy Street follows the doctors, nurses, and soldiers, as well as free, enslaved, and contraband African Americans and other residents of the war-torn Virginia city, as they navigate the new world emerging from the most cataclysmic event in our country’s history.

Cast includes AnnaSophia Robb, Donna Murphy, Gary Cole, L. Scott Caldwell,Peter Gerety, Suzanne Bertish, Josh Radnor, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Luke Macfarlane, Norbert Leo Butz, Tara Summers, Jack Falahee, Hannah James, McKinley Belcher III, and Brad Koed.

Includes the episodes:

  • Balm in Gilead: The staff unites to save one of their own. A former slave turned activist arrives in town, causing a rift between Foster and Mary. The Greens are in disarray; Emma and Frank’s romance ignites and Samuel plans for a reunion with Aurelia.
  • The House Guest: A house guest becomes the focus of Alice’s schemes. When Mary falls ill, Foster’s attempts to care for her antagonize the new chief. Charlotte tries to contain the smallpox epidemic and Samuel has to make a difficult decision.
  • One Equal Temper: As Pinkerton looks at the Greens more closely, they join forces to hide an ugly secret. McBurney, hoping to distance Foster from Mary, sends him to a nearby army camp on a house call. Alice helps Frank escape and Samuel earns Charlotte’s respect.
  • Southern Mercy: After the Second Battle of Bull Run and the battle of Chantilly (Ox Hill), Hopkins and Emma set out to rescue a stranded group of wounded Union soldiers. Lisette, a hospital observer, discovers the truth about a young soldier, shocking Foster. Hopkins and Emma share an intimate moment.
  • Unknown Soldier: Lisette re-creates on paper the face of a disfigured, amnesiac soldier, leading to a family reunion. When Anne’s plans to be made head nurse fail, she rejoins Hale to undermine McBurney’s authority. Pinkerton questions the Greens, causing a rift.
  • House of Bondage: After Antietam, the Greens suffer a setback and Pinkerton’s inquiry heats up. Foster and Samuel visit Foster’s family plantation, where they intervene in a difficult labor. The hospital staff unites to oust their hated chief.

 

Steamboat Bill, Jr. / College
Kino Lorber / Released 2/14/17

Steamboat Bill, Jr. was Keaton’s last independently-produced silent comedy, and also one of his best. He plays the effete son of a tough riverboat captain (Ernest Torrence) who struggles to earn his father’s respect, as well as the love of the daughter (Marion Byron) of a rival riverboat captain. The film is best remembered for its climactic cyclone sequence, which features one of Keaton’s most impressive stunts.

This edition features a choice of orchestral score by Timothy Brock and organ score by Lee Erwin, audio commentary by film historians Michael Schlesinger and Stan Taffel, an introduction by film preservationist Serge Bromberg, and a vintage Alka-Seltzer commercial starring Buster Keaton.

College stars Keaton as a bookish student who attempts to win the heart of the girl he loves by proving his athletic prowess. This edition features a choice of music by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra and an organ score by John Muri, plus audio commentary by Rob Farr, a tour of the filming locations, by John Bengtson, author of Silent Echoes, an introduction by Serge Bromberg, a filmed introduction by Lillian Gish, Run, Girl, Run, a 1928 collegiate comedy starring Carole Lombard, and the industrial short The Scribe (1966), Keaton’s final on-screen performance.

 

Deep Water
Acorn / Released 2/14/17

When a young gay man is brutally murdered near Bondi Beach, Detectives Tori Lustigman (Yael Stone) and Nick Manning (Noah Taylor) are assigned to investigate.

After more bodies are found, Tori links the deaths to a series of murders of gay men in the 1980s and 90s. Overlooked by police at the time, the crimes were reported as unexplained deaths, suicides, and disappearances, but Tori suspects they are all connected, despite her commanding officers (William McInnes) calls for caution.

Striving to bring closure to the victims families and haunted by the long-ago loss of her own brother, Tori’s fascination with the case soon turns to fixation.

Includes the episodes:

  • S01E01: Detectives Tori Lustigman and Nick Manning are called to investigate the murder of man found beaten to death in Bondi. Nick is convinced it was a domestic incident, but Tori believes the killer used a hook-up app to lure the victim.
  • S01E02: Inspector Peel stresses the need for damage control after footage of the Rohan incident is splashed all over the Internet. When another body is discovered, Tori and Nick interview football star Chris Toohey.
  • S01E03: Evidence found on Toohey’s body connects his death to the other killings, but phone records show that that the footballer’s last few calls were to his lawyer. Tori receives startling news about what happened to her brother.
  • S01E04: With Hammers identified in Oscar’s attack, Peel reluctantly approves a search warrant. Tori pressures Hammers’s ex-girlfriend to talk, but there’s still a missing link in the investigation.

 

Beavis & Butt-Head: The Complete Collection
Paramount / Released 2/14/17

This 12-DVD set that includes includes all four volumes of the acclaimed television series – including the boys’ triumphant return in 2011.

The set also includes the Special Collector’s Edition of the fan-favorite movie Beavis and Butt-Head Do America.

Extras include “Taint of Greatness: The Journey of Beavis and Butt-Head” Parts 1-3, VMA appearances, a Thanksgiving Special with Kurt Loder, the 1994-1996 Butt-Bowls, MTV 20th Anniversary Special, the original, un-cut “Frog Baseball,” a 2011 Comic-Con panel featuring Mike Judge and moderator Johnny Knoxville, promos, montages, and more.

 

 

The Powerpuff Girls V1 – Tiara Trouble
Cartoon Network / Released 2/14/17

They’re back…Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup are saving the day for the first time on DVD.

The re-imagined The Powerpuff Girls will bring the superhero sisters back with 12 action packed episodes on one great DVD.

Known to their fellow citizens of Townsville as The Powerpuff Girls, together, they protect their beautiful, bustling metropolis from sinister evildoers, intent on taking over.

Juggling school, homework and a regular parade of villains is no easy task, but The Powerpuff Girls are more than up to the challenge.

Includes the episodes:

  • Man Up: When Buttercup’s aggression inadvertently allows villain Man-Boy to escape, she starts a new-age lifestyle in an effort to be more calm. But when Man-Boy returns to enact his revenge, Buttercup must embrace the balance between punching and hugging in order to defeat him.
  • Escape from Monster Island: After Bubbles wins two tickets to see the girls’ favorite band, Blossom and Buttercup vie for her plus one. But when the Mayor’s plane crashes, the girls put aside their differences to save the day!
  • Princes Buttercup: When Buttercup starts spending a lot of time with her new friends, a group of bad-girl skaters, it seems The Powerpuff Girls are down to two.
  • The Stayover: After going overboard on the candy, Blossom and Buttercup wake up with no memory of last night and no idea where Bubbles is! They must find Bubbles before the Professor gets back!
  • Bubbles of the Opera: When Bubbles gets a bad school photo, it sends her into an existential tailspin of darkness.
  • Painbow: When a mysterious rainbow causes everyone to become unnaturally happy, the Powerpuff Girls must find where it ends to save the day.
  • Tiara Trouble: Bubbles’ excitement over being a contestant in The Townsville Beauty, Talent and All-Around Flair pageant is ruined when Blossom and Buttercup become overbearing stage-sisters.
  • Viral Spiral: When the Amoeba Boys wreak havoc on the internet, Bubbles has to hack her sisters in to stop them.
  • Horn Sweet Horn!: Bubbles convinces the Professor to test his new transmogrifying ray on her new friend Donny the Pony in an effort to help him become the unicorn he’s always wanted to be.
  • Strong Armed: When Bubbles breaks her arm and gets a powerful robotic cast, she must learn to stop being timid and embrace her smashy side to defeat the sleazy, sinister Pack Rat!
  • Little Octi Lost: Buttercup steals Octi to teach Bubbles a lesson but ends up wanting to keep him for herself.
  • Man Up 2: Still Man-ing: Still Man-ing: When someone steals all the water in Townsville, it’s up to the girls to race through the Townsville Wastelands to get it back.

 

Hacksaw Ridge
Lionsgate / Released 2/21/17

Hacksaw Ridge is the extraordinary true story of Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield) who, in Okinawa during the bloodiest battle of WWII, saved 75 men without firing or carrying a gun.

He was the only American soldier in WWII to fight on the front lines without a weapon, as he believed that while the war was justified, killing was nevertheless wrong. As an army medic, he single-handedly evacuated the wounded from behind enemy lines, braved fire while tending to soldiers, was wounded by a grenade, and hit by snipers. Doss was the first conscientious objector to ever earn the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Extras include deleted scenes, making of, Veteran’s Day message and trailer.

Last Word: Mel Gibson’s invigorating, infuriating and inspirational Hacksaw Ridge opens on assaults of orange flooding the screen. First, flames and explosions, then, human bodies within them being hurled directly at the camera. We cut from the haunting and horrific to the hopeful—a young Desmond Doss in his youth, where a juvenile incident provides the child with an early perspective on the value of human life. Doss stares at his family’s artistic display of the Ten Commandments, zeroing in on “Thou Shall Not Kill.”

It’s this connection between Doss, his God and this specific commandment that carries us through the remainder of the film. Doss grows up, falls in love with a beautiful girl and enlists in the war because he refuses to stand around while others bleed on the battlefield for his freedom. It’s an honorable approach that many took back then, but Doss differs once he’s among his fellow soldiers by directly refusing to carry or discharge a weapon during combat, choosing rather to be a medic in the field. This is met with confusion and contempt by Doss’s contemporaries and command, some believing him to be acting superior through his faith while others attribute his actions to pure cowardice.

Regardless, Doss never budges, and Hacksaw Ridge is the story of how this particular soldier went on to save 75 men in the Battle of Okinawa without ever once firing a gun or taking another human’s life. This is a remarkable story told in remarkably visceral ways through Gibson’s approach. The first hour or so of the film builds and builds on Doss’s story, delivering an Old Hollywood-style cheesiness that may indubitably prove off-putting for many a moviegoer. But we need this hokey escalation to highlight the humanity before the horror. From Andrew Garfield’s effortlessly appealing smile and charm as Doss, to his compelling love story with Dorothy (Teresa Palmer), to his hard-earned comradery amongst his peers, the actor carries the weight of the movie’s first half with the single best male performance so far this year and a highlight of his evolving career.

However, as soon as we enter the battlefield, this is Gibson’s movie through and through. The director composes scenes of carnage with such excruciating expertise that the experience becomes intolerable—as it rightfully should be. The combat never feels like Hollywood heroics, contrasting grandly with the many moments that preceded it. There is blood and anguish and guts and gore and tears and desperation—men become animals and lose the essence of their souls. Gibson constructs some of the most stomach-churning war scenes I’ve seen put to screen, and the fact that these scenes repelled me so much means the filmmaker is doing everything exactly right.

War is ugly as all hell—nay, war is hell, to use a tired expression—and Gibson uses this fiery landscape to produce a piercing exposé of our most basic moral compositions and how war snatches these away like an effortless assassin. At one point, I simply burst into tears.

Hacksaw Ridge delivers just a brief pause before diving back into the warfare, and it all feels so relentless until hope enters the picture once more, as a stranded Doss remains on a vacated battlefield to save the lives of all the wounded men who were left for dead. Doss’s heroics are emotional and powerful, a reminder of how humanity can reign in even the darkest of times. As the film nears its final minutes, Gibson admittedly lays on the Christ imagery a tad thick, but it works well in this particular story where “God” and “Good” are essentially inseparable. The goodness shines throughout the entire film, even in its ugliest moments and regardless of how you feel personally about this particular filmmaker. I’m a sucker for films about good people, and Desmond Doss is one of the great ones. (– Greg Vallente)

 

Manchester By The Sea
Lionsgate / Released 2/21/17

Casey Affleck heads a powerhouse cast in this acclaimed and deeply moving film from award-winning writer-director Kenneth Lonergan.

After a solitary Boston janitor (Affleck) unexpectedly becomes the sole guardian of his 16-year-old nephew, he must come to terms with a past that separated him from his wife (Michelle Williams) and his hometown, as uncle and nephew unite for an unforgettable journey of love, community, sacrifice, and hope.

The ensemble also includes Kyle Chandler, Gretchen Mol, and Lucas Hedges. Extras include featurette, deleted scenes and a conversation with director/writer Kenneth Lonergan.

Last Word: Playwright and writer/director Kenneth Lonergan is no stranger to tragedy, having that been a common trope surrounding his past works, but never has it been realized so truthfully here. A career-best performance (a theme of this list, it seems) by Casey Affleck has him showcasing the gamut of human emotions as tragedy strikes from every angle over the movie’s 2 hour 17 minute runtime, and he handles it with brevity and sincerity in a way not seen on screen anywhere else in 2016. Michelle Williams continues her run of flawless screen performances, and newcomer Lucas Hedges shows incredible promise as the nephew of Affleck’s Lee Chandler, Patrick. This is a devastating production but with enough wit and charm to avoid becoming emotionally manipulative, and proves Lonergan to be among the most consistently great filmmakers working today. (– Steve Carley)

 

Nocturnal Animals
Universal / Released 2/21/17

A “story inside a story,” in which the first part follows a woman named Susan who receives a book manuscript from her ex-husband, a man whom she left 20 years earlier, asking for her opinion. The second element follows the actual manuscript, called “Nocturnal Animals,” which revolves around a man whose family vacation turns violent and deadly. It also continues to follow the story of Susan, who finds herself recalling her first marriage and confronting some dark truths about herself.

The ensemble includes Jake Gyllenhaal, Amy Adams, Michael Sheen, Isla Fisher, Michael Shannon, Franco Vega, Armie Hammer, Andrea Riseborough, Laura Linney, and Karl Glusman. Extras include featurettes.

Last Word: Tom Ford’s attempt at a Lynchian cinematic experience winds up being not much more than a beautifully shot mess.  There’s no reliable narrator and it never elevates beyond it’s B-movie noir plot.  It’s pretentious and doesn’t provide any resolution.  Performances are excellent, with stand out work by Gyllenhaal and Shannon. It is an interesting watch, but never winds up being particularly fulfilling.

 

Psychomania
Arrow Video / Released 2/21/17

The United States gave motorcycle-mad cinemagoers Easy Rider, The Wild One and The Wild Angels.

The United Kingdom gave them Psychomania, the tale of zombie bikers run amok is southern England. The Living Dead are a delinquent biker gang, fond of causing havoc on British roadways and making out in graveyards. Gang leader Tom (Nicky Henson) also has a Satanist for a mother, and when he discovers the secret of immortality, the name of his motley crew takes on a more literal meaning…

Directed by Hammer veteran Don Sharp and co-starring Beryl Reid and George Sanders, Psychomania is a wonderfully offbeat gem, outlandish and eccentric in equal measure.

Extras include new and old featurettes and interviews, and trailer.

Last Word: Far more coherent than its title and concept would suggest, the British Psychomania deserves a larger audience. The problem, I think, is that viewers can’t tell whether it’s serious or not. It OUGHT to be a joke, we think, but it plays many scenes straight. At times it verges on the wistful. I’m sure that it’s a satire, albeit one that sometimes can’t handle its own audacious ideas. I was hooked from the start, and I loved watching the “Living Dead” biker gang roll about the highways and harass the square townies. Their helmets are supposed to look like skulls, but to me they looked like owls, which is also good.

The leader, who resembles a young David Warner, discovers from his occultist-aristocrat mother that you can rise after suicide if only you believe that you will. Then you become super strong, not to mention immune to knives and bullets. He persuades his gang to join him in undeath by killing themselves in creative ways. But will the one “good girl” join them or betray them? See for yourself, Dear Reader. It’s weird but it’s good.

Like many British genre films of the early 70s (Dracula A.D. 1972 comes to mind), Psychomania is hesitantly anti-establishment. It presents the rebels as aimless and dangerous, yet also gives them a sly charm, and obviously takes great delight in mocking the crusty elder generation. Note that Tom is upper class himself, but I suppose that=s true of most rebels throughout history. It’s probably best not to take the rebellion too seriously and instead enjoy the action and surprises.(– David E. Goldweber)

 

Alzheimer’s: Every Minute Counts
PBS / Released 2/21/17

Many know the unique tragedy of this disease, but few know that Alzheimer’s is also a major and rapidly growing public health crisis.

There are now five million Americans with Alzheimer’s disease. Because of the growing number of aging baby boomers, and the fact that the onset of Alzheimer’s is primarily age-related, the number of those with Alzheimer’s is expected to rise 70% by 2030.

And by 2050, the Alzheimer’s Association estimates that number will explode to 15 million, including half of Americans over 85, unless prevention or a cure is found.

This “tsunami” of Alzheimer’s cases will not only be a profound human tragedy for the country, but an economic one as well.

Due to the length of time people live with the illness and need care, it’s the most expensive medical condition in the nation. Without a medical breakthrough, future costs for Alzheimer’s threaten to put in jeopardy Medicare, Medicaid and the life savings of millions of Americans. It’s estimated that when the number of patients triples in the years ahead, the budget to address Alzheimer’s will exceed that of the Defense Department.

Few people are aware of any of this. The purpose of Alzheimer’s: Every Minute Counts is to change that. With power and passion, the one-hour documentary weaves together the sobering statistics about Alzheimer’s; expert commentary delineating the societal consequences if we don’t have a medical breakthrough; and compelling stories filmed around the country in places where Alzheimer’s is growing rapidly – places where we see previews of the future happening today.

 

Beauty And The Beast
Shout! Factory / Released 2/21/17

A struggling merchant stumbles upon the magical domain of the fearsome Beast, who sentences him to death for stealing a rose. The merchant’s youngest daughter Belle bravely sacrifices herself and takes her father’s place.

Once at the Beast’s castle, it is not death that awaits Belle, but a strange and fantastical life unlike anything she has ever experienced… and the discovery that her mysterious host is living under a terrible enchantment. As Belle valiantly attempts to release the Beast from his curse, the two discover that a most unlikely bond blooms between them… true love.

Visually stunning and magnificently produced, Beauty And The Beast is a rich and thoroughly modern interpretation of one of the world’s most beloved stories.

Last Word: I was quite apprehensive about watching this 2014 French-German production of Beauty and the Beast, but I felt even more concerned when I saw that it was directed by Christophe Gans, the man who gave the world Silent Hill, a painfully bland horror film that was adapted from a Konami videogame, which actually looked and had the narrative construction of a mid-2000s videogame. Yes, that good. Gans also directed the 2001 horror-action film, Brotherhood of the Wolf, which included the tasteful-CGI rendered moment where Monica Bellucci’s breasts become transformed into snow-capped mountains, or was it the other way around?

For that mess, Gans recruited Bellucci’s then full-time husband and respected actor, Vincent Cassel, who I assume liked the experience (or the money) so much that he signed on to play the titular “beast” in Gans’ recent and painfully unnecessary version of the 18th century story whose greatest sin, besides treading on cinematic hallowed grounds, is again wasting the fine acting talents of Léa Seydoux.

Sadly, the 2014 model of Beauty and the Beast has Seydoux as the fantasy film equivalent of a Bond girl. Léa pouts a great deal, has her breasts pushed up to her chin, and is forced to endure some laughably poor dialog in this bland film that offers nothing in terms of adaptation to make it even slightly more relevant for today’s audience. If Gans needed a model for a more relevant transformation of a classic fairy tale that would’ve utilized Seydoux’s talents to their fullest, he didn’t have to look any further than Catherine Breillat’s 2010 take on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Sleeping Beauty.

Gans employs the same tired narrative framing as countless filmed fairy tales: a parent reading a bedtime story, which we will later find out is his or her own story, to his or her children. I could get into this said story, but you’ve seen it before, except the focus of the tragedy of this version of Beauty and the Beast is more environmentally themed than its American counterparts.

This adaptation is a bit dark at times, as you do get some gore and nudity with Gans’ version that the Disney folks will probably not give you in their family-safe version coming to a multiplex near you in 2017, but when it is all said and done, you are just seeing Brotherhood of the Wolf again but with a few adorable CGI canine-like creatures running around the beast’s castle for potential merchandising options for the French kiddies.

So, if you want to give yourself and your family a treat, dig up the previously mentioned 1946 Jean Cocteau version, La Belle et la Bête. Warning, there are no CGI rendered stone giants or one-dimensional family members for you not to care about; there is only respect for the original source material, or as film critic Bosley Crowther once described Cocteau’s film, “a priceless fabric of subtle images, . . . a fabric of gorgeous visual metaphors, of undulating movements and rhythmic pace, of hypnotic sounds and music, of casually congealing ideas.”  Simply put: America doesn’t need another Casablanca, and France didn’t need another La Belle et la Bête. (– Generoso Fierro)

 

Bad Santa 2
Broad Green Pictures / Released 2/21/17

Bad Santa 2 returns Academy Award-winner Billy Bob Thornton to the screen as America’s favorite anti-hero, Willie Soke. Fueled by cheap whiskey, greed and hatred, Willie teams up once again with his angry little sidekick, Marcus (Tony Cox), to knock off a Chicago charity on Christmas Eve. Along for the ride is ‘the kid’ – chubby and cheery Thurman Merman (Brett Kelly), a 250-pound ray of sunshine who brings out Willie’s sliver of humanity.

Mommy issues arise when the pair are joined by Academy Award, Golden Globe and Emmy- winner Kathy Bates, as Willie’s horror story of a mother, Sunny Soke. A super butch super bitch, Sunny raises the bar for the gang’s ambitions, while somehow lowering the standards of criminal behavior.

Willie is further burdened by lusting after the curvaceous and prim Diane, played by Emmy Award- nominee Christina Hendricks, the charity director with a heart of gold and libido of steel. Extras include featurettes, gag reel, alternate opening and ending and deleted scenes.

Last Word: Sequels are sequels, so why should it be, so many of them are made so goddamn awfully? Bad Santa 2 is not the worst sequel I’ve ever seen, but it certainly falls prey to the problem of so many sequels. It attempts to exploit some of the things that made the original so beloved, without any of the spirit of the first movie. Billy Bob Thornton resumes the miserable character of part-time safe cracker/ part-time Santa/ Full-time drunk Willie Soke, whose life has unsurprisingly not taken a turn for the better.

He has been on the somewhat straight and narrow, finding himself followed by Thurman Merman , aka “The Boy” from the first movie. Ringleader Tony Cox gets back in touch with Willie for one last big haul. It’s a job in Chicago backed by an anonymous cohort that will find these drunk dreamers with enough money to retire to Mexico. Long story short, the anonymous cohort is Willie’s mother, played by Kathy Bates.

We learn quickly that placing Willie and his mom in the center of the nature/nurture debate is not a good way to win one point of view over the other. Bates delivers the crass nature of his mother with all of the nuance of a baseball bat. The secret of Willie’s disdain for the world (including himself) is not too slowly revealed for the rest of the movie.

Christina Hendricks is his love interest. I’m a big fan of her from Mad Men and found her to be criminally underutilized in this story. Her transformation into a Santa-loving lover was a little too easy, but it becomes one of the best sight gags in the movie.

Did I laugh? Sure. A couple of times I laughed out loud. The problem is that the first movie had me crying laughing, loving the quirks of the side characters (RIP Bernie Mac and John Ritter), and not rooting for anyone but the director and the cast. Bad Santa 2 tries real hard to capture these things but ultimately has them fall flat. ( – Joe Yezukevich)

 

Speed Sisters
First Run / Released 2/21/17

The Speed Sisters are the first all-woman race car driving team in the Middle East.

Grabbing headlines and turning heads at improvised tracks across the West Bank, these five women have sped their way into the heart of the gritty, male-dominated Palestinian street car-racing scene.

Weaving together their lives on and off the track, Speed Sisters takes you on a surprising journey into the drive to go further and faster than anyone thought you could.

 

 

 

The Level Series 1
Acorn / Released 2/21/17

Detective Sergeant Nancy Devlin (Karla Crome) is a good cop with a dark secret: she’s loyal to drug trafficker Frank Le Saux (Philip Glenister), who is like a father to her. But when their clandestine meeting turns violent, leaving Frank dead and Nancy with a bullet wound, Nancy fears her double life may soon be exposed.

Assigned to Brighton to investigate the crime, Nancy must track down Frank’s killer while concealing her role – and her injury – from her enigmatic new partner, DS Gunner Martin (Noel Clarke), and her old friend, DS Kevin O’Dowd (Robert James-Collier). Can Nancy stay one step ahead of her colleagues – and the killer?

Extras include featurette.

Includes the episodes:

  • S01E01: After winning a special police award for bravery, DS Nancy Devlin has a clandestine meeting with drug trafficker Frank Le Saux. When the meeting turns tragic, Nancy finds herself leading an investigation in her hometown of Brighton.
  • S01E02:After Nancy is forced to appear on camera at a media appeal for witnesses, Hayley’s dangerous ex-boyfriend, Shay Nash, contacts her. Then, Delia wakes up from her coma and reveals important information about Frank’s dealings.
  • S01E03: Evidence reveals that Theo was shot by the same gun that killed Frank. After a snafu with Theo’s car, Nancy and Kevin grow even more suspicious of Gunner. An unexpected provision in Frank’s will causes trouble for Cherie.
  • S01E04: Kevin saves Nancy from a confrontation with Gunner and DCI Newman, but Nancy’s relationship with Kevin remains tense. When Hayley asks Duncan to run the yard for her, Nancy plans a dangerous undercover mission.
  • S01E05: Upon learning that her mother has gone missing from her residential care unit, Nancy worries that Shay may have harmed her. Newman covers for Nancy after the firebombing of the Le Saux offices, but Kevin grows suspicious.
  • S01E06: When her mother has another breakdown, Nancy has a revelation about what the “gold mine” could mean. She makes a reckless decision in her quest for evidence, but it’s her father’s support that helps her crack the case.

 

Grace And Frankie: Season Two
Lionsgate / Released 2/21/17

After learning their ex-husbands plan to marry one another, lifelong rivals Grace and Frankie have bonded in an uneasy friendship.

The second season of this acclaimed comedy series brings more laughs and surprises as Grace and Frankie tackle the challenges of family and relationships – while driving each other crazy on a regular basis!

Cast includes Jane Fonda,Martin Sheen, Ethan Embry, Lily Tomlin, Sam Waterston, June Diane Raphael, Baron Vaughn, Brooklyn Decker.

Extras include gag reel.

Episodes include:

  • The Wish: Sol plans to tell Robert about his betrayal. Frankie is determined to finally separate emotionally from Sol, but events pull her back in.
  • The Vitamix: Brianna, Mallory and Bud help Sol deal with wedding details. A visit to Robert and Sol’s house brings up strong emotions for Grace and Frankie.
  • The Negotiation: Brianna wants to produce Frankie’s organic yam lube. Grace competes for her grandchildren’s affection. Frankie reconnects with her Yam Man, Jacob.
  •  The Road Trip: Frankie tracks down Grace’s former love Phil on the internet, and the two set off to find him. Tensions arise between Sol and Robert.
  • The Test: Frankie has difficulty passing the test to renew her driver’s license. Grace attempts to amp up her social life by reconnecting with old friends.
  • The Chicken: While Grace mentors a young woman seeking a new career, Frankie has conflicted feelings for Jacob, who wants more than a business relationship.
  • The Boar: Grace intervenes after Robert and Sol’s big fight. Frankie opens up to Jacob. An online friend request from Phil surprises Grace.
  • The Anchor: Frankie has issues with Brianna’s ideas for her yam lube and makes a stand. Phil asks Grace out for lunch. Sol tries to work things out with Robert.
  • The Goodbyes: Coyote shares some surprising news. Things go awry when Frankie and Sol host a family brunch. Grace must make a difficult decision about Phil.
  • The Loophole: Grace and Phil get closer, but complications arise. Sol and Robert square off on opposite sides of the conflict between Frankie and Brianna.
  • The Bender: Grace and Frankie nurse their emotional wounds: Frankie performs a ritual on the beach, and Grace goes out drinking. Bud and Coyote meet Jacob.
  • The Party: As Frankie helps her old friend Babe plan a big bash, she’s faced with a troubling decision. Grace tries to make amends to Frankie.
  • The Coup: Frankie and Grace receive surprise gifts from Babe that open new horizons for each of them. Sol reveals a long-held secret at Bud’s birthday party.

 

3 Classic Films by Claude Chabrol
Cohen Film Collection / Released 2/21/17

As one of the prime instigators of the French New Wave, Claude Chabrol directed lean narrative films whose keenly observed realism typically drew inspiration from the suspense film and psychological thriller.

Betty
Betty (Marie Trintignant), a young alcoholic woman, is caught cold while cheating on her bourgeois husband. Wasting no time, he and his family arrange a quick divorce settlement, ousting her from home and keeping her away from the two children the couple have. One night she ends up in a restaurant called Le Trou (The Hole), where she meets Laure (Stéphane Audran), an older woman, an alcoholic herself. Laure decides to take care of Betty after hearing the heart-breaking stories of her being a victim of a rich and ruthless society.

Betty receives care and friendship from Laure, who’s in a relationship with Mario (Jean-Francois Garreaud), the restaurant’s owner. The envy toward Laure for Mario grows each day and will drive Betty to artfully contrive the means to conquer her new friend’s lover. Laure realizes she has made a mistake by trusting her new friend and things soon begin to tremble between them. Betty’s true colors are now visible and she sees her life at a point of no return, as she selfishly stomped on the last chance she had been given to be a better person

Torment (L’Enfer)
Based on a script by Henri-Georges Clouzot, Chabrol explores the point at which jealousy and obsession turn to madness. Paul (François Cluzet) has just bought a charming waterfront hotel in the heart of France. In debt for the next ten years, he sets to work with his beautiful new wife, Nelly (Emmanuelle Béart). The life of the young couple is a dream come true. Paul, however, becomes increasingly irritated and high strung. He starts taking sleeping pills and is aware of a voice in his head expressing doubts. As the tension rises, Paul becomes more and more suspicious and violent.

The Swindle
Con artists Victor (Michel Serrault) and Betty (Isabelle Huppert) are a perfect team when it comes to cheating gamblers out of their winnings. But Betty, who’s a master of the art of seduction, has a bigger scheme in mind: double-crossing bagman Maurice Biagini (François Cluzet) out of millions of Swiss francs that belong to organized crime. While it sounds like an airtight plan, Victor — no fool when it comes to matters of deception — suspects a double cross.

 

Allied
Paramount / Released 2/28/17

Oscar winners Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard star as Max Vatan and Marianne Beauséjour, two of the world’s deadliest spies, who fall in love while undercover on a top-secret mission and marry during World War II.

But when Max learns his wife may be secretly conspiring with the enemy, he has only 72 hours to prove her innocence and save his family before he must do the unthinkable.

The film features an outstanding supporting cast including Lizzy Caplan, Jared Harris, August Diehl and Matthew Goode.

Extras include featurettes.

Last Word: Robert Zemeckis Allied is a decent Nazi spy romance film that is not without its problems with pacing and story, but still has some great scenes and overall looks great.

From the dizzying ‘when is he going to touch ground’ of Brad Pitt’s opening paratrooper scene to another steamy desert sex scene, the movie sure is great to look at. With the gorgeous Marion Cotillard dripping a satin sensuality and Pitt’s leading man charisma, the sexiness can blow the gasket off of an RAF Jeep. To be honest, Allied is a bit of a slogger, resting most of the burden on pure star power.

The movie has it’s very own identity crisis, switching sides from being a romantic period piece to a Nazi-punching war flick with behind the enemy lines grenade-throwing action. Where Zemeckis and writer Steven Knight go wrong is in the focus of the thing. Most, if not all, of the plot is revealed in the trailer, which sets ones’ expectations up for failure from the first scenes in French Morocco. Max (Pitt) is a Canadian Airman fighting for the RAF. He’s dropped into a desert reconnoiter with his inside man who gives him a weapon and a cover story, complete with fake wedding ring. In Casablanca, he meets his cover, a beautiful Marianne (Cotillard).

They play house for a week before infiltrating a Nazi dinner party and slaughtering the German Ambassador. After a tryst in the dessert after watching the sunrise, the fake couple begins to fall for each other, and conveniently decide that they shall meet in London post-mission to make their fantasy wedding a reality. They’ve truly fallen in love.

The setup for this to fall apart is nearly too perfect, as Max and Marianne fast forward to a perfect house in North London and have their precious baby Anna. Anna was born in hospital as shells are dropping outside in The Blitz. This is where the storytelling pushes the dramatic beats into the fantastic, though not necessarily realistic, it makes for a typical Zemeckis movie beat. Anna being born to midwives as bombs are bursting in air is a bit much.

On what is supposed to be Officer Max’s weekend off, he’s called in by his superiors for duty. Frank Heslop (Jared Harris) informs him he needs to listen to an officer from V-Section (now know as SIS or MI6), who accuses his Marianne of being a German spy, leaking information to the Hitler’s SS. Max is obviously in disbelief as V-Section gives him marching orders to drop some misinformation into his wife’s hands and, “come around Monday, we’ll see if the fake intel shows on the reports”. Not satisfied with his orders, he reluctantly places the clue for Marianne to find, but disobeys the order to not investigate on his own. This does lead to some of the most fun parts of the movie as Max steals a supply drop plane, runs fakes errands including a pin prick in the van to make it look as if he has given blood, and he satisfyingly blows up a tankful of Ratzis.

All the while on this fateful weekend, Marianne is planning a party for Max with the guest-list including suspicious refugees, Max’s RAF sister and her girlfriend, mixed in with Max’s command and RAF mates. At the party, Max is dressed down for doing any investigating on his own by Heslop, but also he is acting strangely toward some of Marianne’s friends he is suspicious of. The uneasy party is cut short when a Luftwaffe bomber buzzes the house after being shot down! What are the chances? Unfortunately, the chances were probably pretty good for the chaps back then trying to keep calm and carry on while London was being bombarded in such a raid.

Part war movie, part romance and a bit of interpersonal drama does not a great movie make, nor is this a compelling spy flick. While it is hard to criticize a beautifully shot movie from such an acclaimed director with top notch Academy Award winning talent, Allied moves along at a snails pace. The inevitable conclusion about the spy game, as mentioned before, is revealed in most all of the previews and solicits of the movie. Chances are if someone is accused of being a Nazi spy (spoiler warning) in a movie like this, then they turn out to be one. The movie is more romance than action but leaves a lot of boxes unchecked on both sides, taking its own concept too seriously and not showing enough ‘spy stuff’ to make this a truly great movie. It may move too slow for a history buff, it’s not British enough for an Anglophile and Americans will either love or hate that Pitt is playing a Canadian serviceman! Though, the French language comes in handy for Max in the movie.

You’ll notice I’m careful not to decry this movie as awful, my overall impression was positive, with great costumes (who doesn’t like to see a fully decked out desert version of an evil SS officer, or a German count that looks like he could be related to Grandpa Munster, and, of course, Cotillard slinking around in a way that could make you fall in love with her?) but there were expectations that weren’t quite met. At times I would have preferred to be watching Val Kilmer in Top Secret! than be engaged with this easy to predict storyline and conclusion. (– Clay N Ferno)

 

Moonlight
Lionsgate / Released 2/28/17

The poignant film stars Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Trevante Rhodes, André Holland and Janelle Monáe.

A timeless story of human connection and self-discovery, Moonlight chronicles the life of a young black man from childhood to adulthood as he struggles to find his place in the world while growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami.

Anchored by extraordinary performances from a tremendous ensemble cast, Moonlight is profoundly moving portrayal of the moments, people, and unknowable forces that shape our lives and make us who we are.

Extras include commentary and featurettes.

Last Word: Moonlight is a great film. Actually, it’s more than that, it’s important, beautiful, refreshing and real. It is transcendent filmmaking. Written and directed by Barry Jenkins, inspired by a play by Tarell Alvin McCraney, this Miami-set drama is a coming of age film set during three distinct moments in the life of its subject Chiron.

As a boy, as a teen and as an adult, Chiron is flawlessly cast by three fantastic actors (Alex Hibbert, Ashton Sanders, and Trevante Rhodes), who make the sprawling narrative so successful. On a similar track, the director has assembled three actors (André Holland, Jharrel Jerome, Jaden Piner) to portray Kevin, who we learn to be a major presence in Chiron’s life.

Jenkins divides the film also into three chapter headers, taken from different identities Chiron is either labeled as by others. Or is it perhaps that he’s somewhat adapted for these labels for himself, unsure of who he is or what he can become. It doesn’t take long to realize Chiron is one of the saddest, most heartbreaking leading characters you’ve ever followed on film. Bringing to mind the free-flow visual emotion of several Terrence Malick movies, Moonlight‘s fly-on-the-wall intimacy is engulfing.

Over neon-lit interiors and blazing sun-lit exteriors, we journey alongside Chiron’s coming of age—poor, Black, and gay. But throughout the tale, there’s an internal struggle going on. Chiron chooses silence and constraint, for most of his pre-adult life, so it’s all the more fascinating to experience the resulting third act.

The film’s supporting cast includes Mahershala Ali as an early role model/father figure, albeit neighborhood drug lord. Janelle Monáe makes her feature acting debut as the equally compassionate girlfriend to Ali’s character. But the rawest emotional counterpoint comes from Naomie Harris as Chiron’s single-mom. And then there’s the unbilled character on screen throughout the entire story—love. Love unfulfilled, love earned, love redeemed, love misunderstood, love rekindled. Ultimately, we learn, this is a love story. Unlike so many romance movies that have come before, yet refreshingly familiar enough to rank among the best of past. ( – Todd Sokolove)

 

Rules Don’t Apply
20th Century Fox / Released 2/28/17

An unconventional love story of an aspiring actress, her determined driver, and the eccentric billionaire who they work for.

Its Hollywood, 1958. Small town beauty queen and devout Baptist virgin Marla Mabrey (Lily Collins), under contract to the infamous Howard Hughes (Warren Beatty), arrives in Los Angeles. At the airport, she meets her driver Frank Forbes (Alden Ehrenreich), who is engaged to be married to his 7th grade sweetheart and is a deeply religious Methodist.

Their instant attraction not only puts their religious convictions to the test, but also defies Hughes #1 rule: no employee is allowed to have any relationship whatsoever with a contract actress.

Hughes behavior intersects with Marla and Frank in very separate and unexpected ways, and as they are drawn deeper into his bizarre world, their values are challenged and their lives are changed. Also starring Annette Bening, Matthew Broderick, Martin Sheen, Candice Bergen, Hart Bochner and Paul Sorvino.

Extras include featurette, music video and gallery.
Doctor Strange
Disney / Released 2/28/17

From Marvel comes Doctor Strange, the story of world-famous neurosurgeon Dr. Stephen Strange, whose life changes forever after a horrific car accident robs him of the use of his hands.

When traditional medicine fails him, he is to look for healing, and hope, in an unlikely place a mysterious enclave known as Kamar-Taj.

He quickly learns that this is not just a center for healing but also the front line of a battle against unseen dark bent on destroying our reality.

Before long Strange, armed with newly acquired magical powers, is to choose whether to return to his old life or leave it all behind to defend the world as the most powerful sorcerer in existence.

Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Doctor Strange also stars Tilda Swinton, Mads Mikkelsen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Wong, Rachel McAdams, Zara Phythian, Benjamin Bratt, and Michael Stuhlbarg.

Extras include featurettes, Phase 3 preview, Team Thor: Part 2 short, commentary, deleted scenes, and gag reel.

Last Word: The Marvel Cinematic universe is about to go all Inception and I am not sure how I feel about it but I think I am okay with it? Where I very much enjoyed Doctor Strange, I am also left with a “Huh, now what?”… and, “How do they plan on integrating all this insanity into the current MCU?” I mean, they do it in the comics pretty seamlessly so, it should stand to reason, with their near flawless track record, that they can do it in their films as well.

Overall I enjoyed it.

Doctor Strange tells the tale of brilliant, cutting edge surgeon named Stephen Strange. He is an exceptional surgeon cum arrogant asshole with very few redeeming qualities except that if you have messed up your brainpan he will be able to fix it. Think Sherlock but with a passable American accent.

Played by Benedict Cumberbatch, Strange ends up with a physical and existential crisis after an accident cripples his hands and he can no longer perform the delicate and nuanced surgery that got him all the fame and fortune. His path of healing takes him to Nepal in hopes that an experimental school of Eastern medicine and its teacher called “The Ancient One”, played by Tilda Swinton may heal him completely. Doctor Strange has learned that they can heal him both in mind and body and return him to his non-crippled, amazing doctorly self.

Basically from here it is like 2/3 of the Batman Begins plot mixed with Inception mixed with Harry Potter for the next 40 minutes. Earlier in the film you find out the bad guy, Kaecilus, played by Mads Mikkelsen, once a student of the “Ancient One”, has stolen a forbidden magic spell to bring a dark alternate universe and its menacing overlord, Dormammu, into our universe. It seems though that after this initial plot line at the start of the film the film makers literally forget about this for what seems to be an hour until they need to move the story along again. Doctor Strange, with his two buddies, one a bookish Asian monk named, Wong (Benedict Wong) and the other a straight laced do-gooder fighting monk named, Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) fight to defeat the sub boss that is, Kaecilius, in order to have Doctor Strange face the REAL threat, Dormammu.

Basically Doctor Strange hits all the marks you want and the cast is fantastic. I was thoroughly entertained for an hour and fifty-five minutes and I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of dry humor in the film that got more than a belly laugh from me at times.  It is definitely an, “origin” film and meant to set up the character for further shenanigans in the MCU. It is done very well, but it is still a set up film.

I could go into the obvious gaffs and continuity errors but it does not detract from the overall experience of the film. What I will say is that when dealing with time and time manipulation there is definitely a modicum of salt needed to let go of the obvious paradoxes and consequences of linear time travel. I mean I could spend a year talking about all the movies and their time travel paradoxes alone. My few real problems aren’t with the film itself but more with the use of the Deus Ex Machina of time travel and time loops as your solution to a problem.

Much Like Cumberbatch’s other journey into pop culture sci-fi in Star Trek: Into Darkness, Doctor Strange uses the ole “Khan blood will bring him back from the dead” scenario except with the “Eye of Agamotto” to help him in the end. It opens up a whole litany of questions about “How is there any consequences” or “How can there be any real gravitas now?”.

According to my wife, Doctor Strange now KNOWS the power and the consequences of wielding such power so now he will be less likely to just use it willy nilly. We shall see. Basically, Marvel has made a solid film from a second, possibly third tier character and has pretty much seamlessly integrated into their universe. ( – Benn Robbins)

 

The Gate
Lionsgate / Released 2/28/17

When best friends Glen and Terry stumble across a mysterious crystalline rock in Glen’s backyard, they quickly dig up the newly sodden lawn searching for more precious stones.

Instead, they unearth The Gate — an underground chamber of terrifying demonic evil. The teenagers soon understand what evil they’ve released as they are overcome with an assortment of horrific experiences.

With fiendish followers invading suburbia, it’s now up to the kids to discover the secret that can lock The Gate forever . . . if it’s not too late.

Extras include commentaries, isolated score and interview, featurettes, making of, trailers and galleries.

 

Shut In
20th Century Fox / Released 2/28/17

Terror hits home in this harrowing psychological thriller that will chill you to the bone!

Recently widowed child psychologist Mary Portman (Naomi Watts) lives an isolated existence caring for her bedridden stepson (Charlie Heaton) in rural New England.

But when a young boy (Jacob Tremblay) Mary is treating goes missing in a snowstorm and is presumed dead, she becomes convinced that his ghost is haunting her…and soon Mary’s grip on reality turns as slippery as her icy surroundings.

Extras include featuretes.

 

 

Officer Downe
Magnolia / Released 2/28/17

Adapted from the 2010 graphic novel by Joe Casey and Chris Burnham, Officer Downe concocts a hyper-real Los Angeles for the story of a savage L.A. policeman who is repeatedly resurrected and returned to active duty via dark science technology.

When a rookie officer named Gable (Tyler Ross) is recruited as back up, he discovers there’s much more to the titular super-cop (Kim Coates) than a mindless law enforcement drone warring against a twisted rouges gallery of over-the-top super-villains.

Extras include featurette, interview and trailer.

 

 

The Race Underground
PBS / Released 2/28/17

In the late 19th century, as America’s teeming cities grew increasingly congested, the time had come to replace the nostalgic horse-drawn trolleys with a faster, cleaner, safer, and more efficient form of transportation.

Ultimately, it was Boston — a city of so many firsts — that overcame a litany of engineering challenges, the greed-driven interests of businessmen, and the great fears of its citizenry to construct America’s first subway.

Based in part on Doug Most’s acclaimed non-fiction book of the same name, “The Race Underground“ tells the dramatic story of an invention that changed the lives of millions.

In the late 1800s, Boston reigned as America’s most crowded city, with nearly 400,000 people packed into a downtown of less than one square mile.

With more than 8,000 horses pulling the trolleys, the city was filthy and noisy, reeking of manure and packed with humanity.

But a young American inventor named Frank Sprague had a revolutionary idea. Inspired by his visits to the London Underground, Sprague envisioned a subway system that would trade London’s soot-spewing coal-powered steam engine with a motor run on the latest technology — electricity. After an early job with his idol Thomas Edison, Sprague launched his own venture, the Sprague Electric Railway & Motor Company. Seeking investors, he first struck out with financier Jay Gould after almost setting the mogul on fire during a demonstration. He soon found backing with the wealthy capitalist Henry Whitney, who owned a fortune in suburban Boston real estate and quickly saw the financial upside of connecting his desirable residential neighborhoods with the city’s economic center. Whitney also proposed the consolidation of Boston’s seven existing streetcar companies — all under his control. When the Massachusetts General Court granted Whitney the monopoly, he announced an unprecedented plan – to build the nation’s first subway. Powered by Sprague’s technology and enthusiastically supported by Boston Mayor Nathan Matthews, the project threw the city into a voluble debate.

“The Boston subway was not a foregone conclusion, not by a long shot. There was a petition at one point where 12,000 businessmen opposed the subway,” says historian Stephen Puleo. “There were going to be streets torn up, sewer systems affected, water lines affected, electrical lines affected. Secondly, folks felt like traveling underground was very close to the netherworld, that you were getting closer to the devil, that you were taking this great risk in God’s eyes by traveling on a subway.”

The debate raged on, but the Mayor finally convinced the city that the new subway would provide much-needed jobs and not infringe on the city’s beloved Boston Common. After two years of construction, Boston’s new subway made its first trip on September 1, 1897. Despite lingering fears, more than 250,000 Bostonians rode the underground rails on its first day. In its first year of operation, 50 million passengers would ride the Boston system, and within ten years, New York and Philadelphia opened subways, with more American cities to follow.

 

Ape 3-D aka A*P*E
Kino Lorber Released 2/28/17

A freighter peacefully glides along the still waters of a soft Pacific night; their cargo: a recently-captured 36-foot ape. A giant fist comes up through the deck sending the sailors sprawling, and in a matter of seconds, the A*P*E (Attacking Primate monster) is loose!

After battling a very large snake and a giant white shark, A*P*E defies the JAWS of the great white and is the victor. Joanna Kerns (TV’s Growing Pains) arrives in South Korea to appear in a film.

At the same time, A*P*E has also arrived and lays waste to the city of Inchon and continues his march forward, destroying everything in his path.

Paul Leder co-wrote and directed this cult classic that needs to be seen to be believed. Co-starring Hollywood veteran Alex Nicol, A*P*E is presented in both 2-D and 3-D formats (3-D viewing requires a compatible television and Blu-ray player).

Extras include commentary.

Last Word: When Paramount and Dino de Laurentiis promoted their 1976 King Kong, the Korean company Kuk Dong (Yongary) and an independent American producer-director Paul Leder (I Dismember Mama) figured they could cash in on the publicity. Publicity (and an aborted lawsuit) they got, but both films made no impression at the box office. Thirty-plus years later, the 1976 King Kong is seen as a valiant, if flawed, attempt at a strong and serious picture.

A*P*E is seen as a monument of cinematic ineptitude. As a target for ridicule it’s a sitting duck: the toy boat, the toy tanks and copters, the little toy cow wagging its mechanical tail, the obvious seams in the ape suit, the inept editing, the fatuous dialogue, you name it. The blonde actress-heroine seems to be making a film-within-a-film consisting only of attempted rape scenes.

Actually, A*P*E has a few small virtues, including a high percentage of action. Lots of 3D implements – including flaming arrows – fly at the camera. A*P*E also frankly acknowledges its sources, giving the director of the film-within-a-film (played by Leder) the name Dino. When an incredulous colonel hears reports of the giant ape, he snaps: “If you should bump into him, ask him if his name is King Kong!” So it’s easy to forgive the blatant copying. But who cares about the virtues when the real fun is the camp? Indeed, A*P*E rarely lets up. The only un-campy stretches are filled with footage of US Army tank-copter-infantry exercises, so the whole thing is entertaining.  ( – David E Goldweber)

 

We Are The Flesh
Arrow Video / Released 2/28/17

A visionary and bizarre slice of Mexican art house cinema, We Are The Flesh is an extraordinary and unsettling film experience, a sexually charged and nightmarish journey into an otherworldy dimension of carnal desire and excess, as well as a powerful allegory on the corrupting power of human desire.

A young brother and sister, roaming an apocalyptic city, take refuge in the dilapidated lair of a strange hermit.

He puts them to work building a bizarre cavernous structure, where he acts out his insane and depraved fantasies.

Trapped in this maddening womb-like world under his malign influence, they find themselves sinking into the realms of dark and forbidden behaviour.

Acclaimed by the Oscar-winning Mexican directors of The Revenant and Gravity, and playing to rave reviews and stunned audiences at genre film festivals around the world We Are The Flesh is that rare beast – an intelligent, beautifully-crafted art house film that is also provocative and deeply disturbing.

Mixing the graphic, powerful imagery of Gaspar Noé’s Love and Enter The Void with the surreal, hallucinatory impact of Alejandro Jodorowsky, and taking Mexican arthouse cannibal flick We Are What We Are to the next level, We Are The Flesh is a bizarre, psychedelic head trip, mixing intense, outrageously explicit imagery with a profound allegory on the nature of existence, to make this is an unforgettable, boundary-pushing experience unlike anything you’ve ever seen.

Visionary, unrelenting, and certainly not for the prudish or faint-hearted, We Are The Flesh is an erotic inferno of the senses that manages to pack all manner of delirium into its short running time, including incest, necrophilia, and cannibalism. This is extreme art cinema at its boldest and most taboo-bustingly bizarre. Extras include video essay, interviews, two short films, still gallery and trailer.

 

Deadtime Stories
Shout! Factory / Released 2/28/17

Your favorite nightmares come to life in a salute to the age-old bedtime story ritual.

Travel on a mysterious journey to a medieval world populated by blood-crazed witches, evil experiments and captive maidens.

Then from the catacombs and dark caverns of medieval Europe, you’ll plunge into modern suburbia and the adventures of a female jogger stalked by a savage werewolf.

Finally, sensuality will become macabre, black comedy as you follow the trail of three bank robbers who share their country house hideaway with a sweet murderess.

Extras include commentary, interviews, alternate cut of first tale, still gallery, deleted scenes and trailers.

 

Colors
Shout! Factory / Released 3/7/17

In the ‘hood, all that matters are your colors… Bob Hodges (Robert Duvall) is a seasoned street cop who has learned a lot from long experience while his new, young partner, Danny McGavin (Sean Penn), has learned nothing – yet knows it all.

Forced to work together in the L.A.P.D.’s renowned C.R.A.S.H. anti-gang unit, they set out to investigate a brutal gang murder. Hated and hunted by both sides, the cops soon find themselves trapped in the middle of a turf war. With nowhere to turn, they are ambushed, double-crossed and shot at in a take-no-prisoners street battle.

As the violence escalates, these two diametrically opposed men must come to terms with one important fact – to stay alive they must come together!

Extras include both theatrical and unrated cut, and interviews.

 

The Lesson
Shout! Factory / Released 3/7/17

Written and directed by Ruth Platt, the film stars Robert Hands (Shine, Stonehearst Asylum) as a bullied school teacher who has a mental breakdown, resulting in a terrifying act of revenge on his students.

Fin (Evan Bendall), a lone teen from a broken family, gets caught up in the wrong crowd of delinquent kids in this chilling horror film filled with white-knuckle suspense.

When Fin and his friend, Joel (Rory Coltart) act up in class, their English teacher (Hands) decides to teach them a lesson they will never forget.

Extras include trailer.

 

 

Always Shine
Oscilloscope / Released 3/7/17

Two friends, both actresses (Mackenzie Davis and Caitlin FitzGerald), leave Los Angeles for Big Sur embarking on a weekend getaway to reconnect.

Once alone, however, the two women’s suppressed jealousies and deep-seated resentments bubble to the surface, causing them to lose grasp not just of the true nature of their relationship, but also of their own identities.

Extras include interview and trailer.

 

 

 

 

 

The Americans: The Complete Fourth Season
20th Century Fox / Released 3/7/17

The stakes have never been higher for KGB operatives Philip and Elizabeth Jennings than in the pulse-pounding fourth season of The Americans.

Still grieving the death of her own mother, Elizabeth berates Paige for telling her pastor about her parents’ covert profession. A deadly bioweapon threatens Gabriel’s life, and the couple shatters the lives of loved ones when Martha is told about “Clark’s” true identity and Elizabeth betrays her friend Young-Hee.

Meanwhile, Philip’s involvement in a self-help cult and Paige’s romance with Stan’s son further challenge the Jennings’ mission.

Extras include extended and deleted scene.

Includes the episodes:

  • Glanders: Picking up on the heels of last seasons finale, the season 4 premiere of The Americans sees Philip and Elizabeth dealing with the fallout of all they’ve wrought.
  • Pastor Tim: Philip tries with increasing desperation to get rid of a sensitive and dangerous package as family tensions in the Jennings House reach a boiling point when Paige shares a secret of her own.
  • Experimental Prototype City of Tomorrow: Paige copes with new burdens that come with her family’s secret as Philip and Elizabeth struggle to contain their cover without destroying their daughter.
  • Chloramphenicol: A devastating flaw during a mission forces Philip, Elizabeth, William, and Gabriel to confront the depths of their patriotism… and their mortality. In Russia, in striving to be a better person, has Nina put her life on the line?
  • Clark’s Place: Philip must consider his life with Martha and make a crushing choice from which there is no coming back.
  • The Rat: Martha must finally face the truth she has denied – and her life may never be the same. Plus, a chilling new development in William’s work forces the Jennings to face the realities of what a biological war would mean.
  • Travel Agents: The KGB and the FBI both race to track down a vital agent… everything is at stake.
  • The Magic of David Copperfield V: The Statue of Liberty Disappears: The Jennings’s approach their breaking points as both Philip and Elizabeth must handle loyal agents. Will they make it through with their patriotism – and sanity – intact?
  • The Day After: The Day After premieres, making the stakes – and terrible consequences – of the Cold War plain. Even with that in mind, will Elizabeth be able to complete the painful process of the “Patty” operation?
  • Munchkins: When Paige’s long-ago indiscretion threatens to resurface and destroy the family, Philip and Elizabeth find themselves scrambling – and Paige finds herself reevaluating who her parents really are.
  • Dinner for Seven: Elizabeth completes the last steps of a very personal operation… but at what cost?
  • A Roy Rogers in Franconia: As Paige deals with last episode’s trauma, she sees her mother in a new light… and finds she has inherited some of her parents’ skills. Plus, has Oleg reached his breaking point with Stan?
  • Persona Non Grata: The explosive season finale of The Americans finds Philip and Elizabeth in a high-stakes race against the FBI to recover a hazardous package. Will they get there in time? And will Paige follow her parents into the family business?

 

Wentworth, Season 2
Acorn / Released 3/7/17

In Season 2, Bea languishes in solitary, plotting revenge for her daughter’s murder, while Franky (Nicole da Silva) runs the prison unopposed. But the arrival of sadistic new governor Joan Ferguson (Pamela Rabe) threatens Franky’s top-dog status. With Franky’s contraband operation in her crosshairs, Ferguson attempts to recruit informants, and the inmates are forced to choose a side.

Extras include featurettes and interviews.

Includes the episodes:

  • Born Again: Hoping to restore order at the prison, strict new governor Joan Ferguson focuses on austerity at Wentworth. Franky feels the pressure after her contraband operation is dismantled.
  • Whatever It Takes: Bea agrees to sign divorce papers if Harry will kill Jac’s son Brayden. Ferguson grants Doreen a greenhouse in exchange for keeping an eye on Bea. H2-block gets another inmate.
  • Boys in the Yard: Simmo’s return to Wentworth causes problems for Franky’s drug operation, but Bea sees an opportunity to get to Brayden. Graffiti in the yard angers Ferguson and threatens Doreen’s garden project.
  • The Danger Within: Franky’s new source comes through and drugs flow into Wentworth again. After forming a truce, Simmo warns Bea of the Holt family’s plan for revenge. Bea grows suspicious of the new group of inmates.
  • Twist the Knife: Fletch and Will are still on bad terms, despite Vera’s efforts to mediate. During visits, Simmo worries that her daughter is becoming indebted to the Holt family and Boomer gets bad news.
  • The Pink Dragon: After a nearly tragic incident, Ferguson doubles down on her efforts to stop the drug trafficking and pressures Liz to tell her what she knows. Simmo wrestles with the task Vinnie gave her.
  • Metamorphosis: Ferguson has the garden project torn down, and Doreen blames Franky. Vera grows suspicious of Fletch, who has been acting strangely, and Doreen receives unexpected news.
  • Sins of the Mother: As Franky obsesses over identifying the informant in her ranks, Ferguson asks Bea to stand against Franky. Liz anxiously prepares for her parole, and Doreen struggles to hide her pregnancy.
  • The Fixer: After Doreen’s secret is discovered, Ferguson tries to use the news to her advantage. Will faces accusations about his relationship with Bea. Now working with Ferguson, Bea moves back into H2-block.
  • Jail Birds: Liz’s release from prison is painful, but she finds life on the outside even more difficult, especially as Boomer plots revenge. Fletch gets a transfer notice, but a surprise visit from the GM shakes up Ferguson’s hold on Wentworth.
  • Into the Night: Tensions between Franky and Bea are high, as Bea tries to protect Liz and overthrow Franky. Jess gets closer than ever to Fletch on his last day at Wentworth.
  • Fear Her: After her escape from the hospital, Bea seeks out Brayden intent on avenging Debbie. Fletch’s departure from Wentworth is interrupted by a revelation about Ferguson.

 

New Life
Broad Green Pictures / Released 3/7/17

Seven year old Benjamin Morton’s life change forever the day he met the little girl next door.

Ava was and always would be the girl of his dreams. What began as a childhood friendship grows into a meaningful relationship as the two plan out their lives together.

When life takes a turn neither of them expect, their future is called into question. Now they must decide what it really means to make the most of life.

Extras include commentary, deleted scenes and featurette.

 

 

 

 

Graves Season 1
Lionsgate / Released 3/7/17

Graves, a single-camera dramedy, tells the story of President Richard Graves (Nick Nolte), a former two-term POTUS, as he embarks on a Don Quixote-like quest to right the wrongs of his administration and reclaim his legacy 25 years after leaving the White House.

With topics ranging from immigration to gay rights, foreign policy to public funding for arts and sciences, Graves holds nothing sacred as he unspools some of his administration’s proudest victories.

His enlightenment takes place just as his wife, Margaret Graves (Sela Ward), decides it’s finally time for her to pursue her own political ambitions.

Extras include featurettes and gag reel.

Includes the episodes:

  • Evil Good and Good Evil: Expected to spend his retired years living outside Santa Fe, NM, former President Richard Graves spins out into an existential crisis when he realizes that his White House’s policies of 25 years ago messed the country up and decides to go on a journey to right his administration’s wrongs.
  • You Started Everything: The family and staff try to prevent Graves from finding out that his attempted assassin Martin Treadwell is seeking a furlough to visit his dying mother. Margaret is approached by the Republican Party and invited to launch a Senate campaign.
  • Nothing Can Come of Nothing: The family deals with the repercussions of Graves’ unorthodox show of support for Mexican immigrants. His son Jeremy returns home after serving four years in the Army and Olivia is excited to have a sexy new man in her life.
  • That Dare Not Speak: Graves learns his political ally ex-U.K. Prime Minister Trevor Lloyd is dying of cancer and takes him on one last adventure. Olivia enlists Jeremy’s help because she’s in over her head with Arturo. Margaret falls into familiar patterns as she and Dalton strategize on her campaign.
  • Lions in Winter: Graves learns his political ally ex-U.K. Prime Minister is dying of cancer and takes him on a last adventure. Olivia enlists Jeremy’s help because she’s in over her head with Arturo.
  • A Tincture of Madness: Concerned about her husband’s strange behavior, Margaret has a therapist hold a session for the family. Jeremy intercepts a letter to the family asking if they would like to send someone to speak at Treadwell’s furlough hearing, and it sends him into a rage. Olivia acts out, angry about her impending divorce.
  • The Careless Giant: Graves tries to rectify mistakes he made dealing with Native American groups during his presidency, and Isaiah’s burgeoning relationship with Sammy becomes collateral damage during the adventure. Jeremy speaks at Treadwell’s furlough hearing and meets a new friend in the process. Margaret assists Olivia in her divorce proceedings while Olivia contemplates whether or not to stay with Arturo.
  • TV is the Shephard: The family welcomes a 60 Minutes-like news magazine show team into their home for a special on Graves’ post-presidential life. While presenting themselves as a picture-perfect family, Olivia discovers she’s pregnant. Pushed to his limits by the family’s shenanigans, Isaiah makes a decision about his future.
  • Through a Glass Gravely: Graves travels across state lines to convince Isaiah to come back to his staff. Margaret sets up her campaign office and is forced to consider what compromises she’s willing to make for her run. Treadwell visits his mother during his supervised furlough.
  • Not Giants, but Windmills: At the annual Republican conference, Graves enlists Isaiah’s help crafting a speech. Margaret manages infighting among her team as she prepares to officially announce her candidacy. Treadwell escapes his security escort and leaves his mother’s hospital room on a mission.

 

Man Down
Lionsgate / Released 3/7/17

When a U.S. Marine Gabriel Drummer (Shia LaBeouf) returns from his tour in Afghanistan, he finds the place her once called home in no better shape than the battlefields he’s left behind.

Desperate to find his estranged family – son Johnathan (Charlie Shotwell) and wife Natalie (Kate Mara) – Gabriel is aided in his search by his best friend Devin (Jai Courtney), a hard-nosed Marine.

Before long, the two intercept Charles (Clifton Collins Jr.), a man with vital information concerning the whereabouts of Gabriel’s family.

A psychological suspense-thriller also starring Gary Oldman, Man Down revisits the past on the way to unlocking the puzzle of Gabriel’s experience. Extras include commentary.

 

The Eyes of My Mother
Magnolia / Released 3/7/17

In their secluded farmhouse, a mother, formerly a surgeon in Portugal, teaches her daughter, Francisca, to understand anatomy and be unfazed by death.

One afternoon, a mysterious visitor shatters the idyll of Francisca’s family life, deeply traumatizing the young girl, but also awakening unique curiosities.

Though she clings to her increasingly reticent father, Francisca’s loneliness and scarred nature converge years later when her longing to connect with the world around her takes on a dark form.

Extras include gallery, interview and trailer.

 

 

Trespass Against Us
Lionsgate / Released 3/7/17

Trespass Against Us is set across three generations of the Cutler family who live as outlaws in their own anarchic corner of a rich countryside.

Chad Cutler (Michael Fassbender) is heir apparent to his bruising criminal father, Colby (Brendan Gleeson) and has been groomed to spend his life hunting, thieving and tormenting the police. But with his own son, Tyson (Georgie Smith) coming of age, Chad soon finds himself locked in a battle with his father for the future of his young family.

When Colby learns of Chad’s dreams for another life he sets out to tie his son and grandson into the archaic order that has bound the Cutler family for generations.

He engineers a spectacular piece of criminal business involving a heist, a high-speed car chase and a manhunt, which leaves Chad bruised and bloodied and with his very freedom at stake.

Extras include featurettes.
Cold War 2
Well Go USA / Released 3/7/17

The award-winning writing/directing duo Longman Leung and Sunny Luk strike again with a star-studded cast in this sequel to the 2012 megahit.

Chow Yun Fat joins Aaron Kwok, Tony Leung Ka Fai, and Eddie Peng as they reprise their roles in the tumultuous aftermath of Operation Cold War.

A suspected criminal mastermind escapes from police custody, throwing the city into turmoil. With the police department now divided, rival police chiefs are forced to take their fight to the streets of Hong Kong—with deadly consequences.

Extras include featurettes.

 

 

Moana
Disney / Released 3/7/17

Moana Waialiki is a sea voyaging enthusiast and the only daughter of a chief in a long line of navigators. When her island’s fisherman can’t catch any fish and the crops fail, she learns that the demigod Maui caused the blight by stealing the heart of the goddess Te Fiti.

The only way to heal the island is to persuade Maui to return To Fiti’s heart, so Moana sets off on an epic journey across the Pacific. The film is based on stories from Polynesian mythology.

Extras include commentary, theatrical short, Maui mini-movie, musical performances, deleted scenes, deleted song, featurettes, and more.

Last Word: There are few things as strongly tied to the idea of Disney than their ever-lucrative princess franchise. The family film powerhouse adds to their collection with a movie that will rival The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and The Lion King in terms of CGI excellence, catchy songs, and memorable storylines. Disney’s Moana is almost flawless in execution.

Even the few hiccups are endearing and serve purpose. This is easily their strongest outing in years, and will melt the hold Frozen has had on many little girls worldwide.

The story follows Moana, a young girl destined to be chief of her island tribe. While everyone seems happy to live in the close-knit community with no wonder about what lies beyond the horizon, Moana cannot quell her internal desire to explore past the reef. She is especially intrigued by the ancient lore shared by her grandmother about Maui, the demigod shape shifter who spread a curse throughout the land after stealing a sacred item. When the danger reaches her home shores, Moana takes it upon herself to reverse the curse by sailing across the ocean to find the long lost demigod so that he may restore the item to its rightful place.

The film brings together a powerhouse team from many other Disney blockbusters and the result is a beautifully rendered movie. Sweeping island landscapes show lush vegetation, sandy beaches, and ocean views that will have you looking at vacation packages to Fiji. The leaps that have been made in CGI are clearest once the film moves to its ocean setting (the vast majority of the movie). Water is notoriously difficult to animate realistically but the team at Disney have done an excellent job of capturing its natural ebb and flow, from the way it breaks upon the sand to the spray from giant waves crashing against rocks and boats.

While this is not the first time that Disney has used a cultural background to tell a story it is obvious that they have spared no small expense to ensure that Moana does not exist as a Polynesian caricature. Before setting sail the film spends the first quarter on her island to ensure the audience is drawn into the practices and morals of her world. Upbeat choral ensemble songs are used to explain the importance of roles without sounding pedantic, with much of the success coming from the partnership between master songwriters Lin-Manuel Miranda of Hamilton and the award-winning Opetaia Foa’i of the world music group Te Vaka.

A particular gem is their take on the classic “I Wish” song where she shares the desires that will drive her story. “How Far I’ll Go” is a contender to be this generation’s “Part of Your World”, while “We Know the Way” rivals The Lion King’s “Circle of Life”. Less successful with how it folds in but noteworthy for its composition is a song written and performed by Jemaine Clement of Flight of the Conchords. The side story that leads them to his character is a bit distracting but still worth the jaunt.

Newcomer Auli’i Cravalho is a bubbly, strong choice for Moana. Her comic delivery is excellent and impressive vocals make each song worth the soundtrack purchase. Equally notable is actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson who shines as the egotistical Maui, spending a great deal of the film tempering Moana’s enthusiasm with sharp barbs and self-absorbed statements. There is great vocal chemistry between the two and it is notable to see Disney’s dedication to finding talent representative of the culture they are portraying onscreen.

Happily missing in the story were the standard princess love interest and allusions of dependence. As the film opens to Moana’s responsibilities as future chief of the village, the story rarely veers towards any other feeling except that she is the master of her own destiny, as well as that of the people depending on her. It is a refreshing turn for the franchise, and one that will hopefully continue. Moana is sure to be a movie that warms the hearts of patrons through its anthemic songs, breathtaking visuals, and uplifting princess-for-today story. (– Kristen Halbert)

 

Jackie
20th Century Fox / Released 3/7/17

Jackie is a searing and intimate portrait of one of the most important and tragic moments in American history, seen through the eyes of the iconic First Lady, then Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy (Natalie Portman).

Jackie places us in her world during the days immediately following her husband’s assassination.

Known for her extraordinary dignity and poise, here we see a psychological portrait of the First Lady as she struggles to maintain her husband’s legacy and the world of “Camelot” that they created and loved so well.

Extras include featurette and gallery.

Last Word: Chilean director Pablo Lorrain had three different movies release this year, and Jackie is the only English-speaking one of the trio. It’s also one of the most unique and eye-catching movies of the year. Set during the hours before and after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Jackie sports one of Natalie Portman’s greatest performances, as First Lady Jackie Kennedy, as she unravels her own feelings during such a widespread national tragedy.

Hypnotic and meditative, Jackie is not a biopic but rather a snapshot of a certain moment in time, examined and dissected by both the filmmakers and the audience alike. It’s quiet but boasting, intimate but monumental, and the exquisite compositional score by Mica Levi roars down the hallways of the White House. Portman deserves accolades for her performance in this excellently crafted movie. (– Steve Carley)

 

Firestarter
Shout! Factory / Released 3/14/17

She has the power to set objects afire with just one glance! Firestarter, based on the unforgettable best-seller by esteemed horror author Stephen King, chronicles the extraordinary life of Charlene “Charlie” McGee. Eight-year-old Drew Barrymore stars as the child who has the amazing ability to start fires with just a glance. Can her psychic power and the love of her father save her from the threatening government agency, “The Shop,” which wants to control her… or destroy her?

Filled with blazing special effects and featuring an all-star cast including Martin Sheen, Heather Locklear, Art Carney, Louise Fletcher and George C. Scott, Firestarter is directed by Mark L. Lester and driven by a pulsating, thrilling score from Tangerine Dream.

Extras include commentary making, interviews, live music performance, radio spots, gallery and trailers.

 

Red Dawn
Shout! Factory / Released 3/14/17

From legendary writer-director John Milius (Apocalypse Now, Conan The Barbarian) comes the tale of what-could-have-been, had the Cold War gone another way.

When Communist paratroopers descend on a Colorado high school football field, a group of the school’s students wages an all-out guerilla war to save their town — and their country.

Featuring an all-star cast, including Patrick Swayze, Charlie Sheen, Lea Thompson, C. Thomas Howell, Jennifer Grey, Powers Boothe and Harry Dean Stanton, Red Dawn continues to resonate and thrill.  Wolverines!!!

Extras include documentary, featurettes and trailer.

 

Fences
Paramount / Released 3/14/17

Some people build Fences to keep people out-and other people build Fences to keep people in.

Denzel Washington and Viola Davis deliver the masterpiece of the year in the film adaptation of August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play.

Set in 1950’s Pittsburgh, the film takes a passionate look at former Negro-league baseball player Troy Maxon (Washington) as he fights to provide for those he loves in a world that threatens to push him down.

Washington’s directional triumph connects with the universal truths of love and forgiveness, despite what lies beyond your own fence.

Extras include featurettes.

Last Word: Denzel Washington is trying to make all of August Wilson’s Pittsburgh Cycle into films before he finishes his career as a human. After seeing this first one, I’m absolutely with him all the way.
Fences is definitely a play on film. There’s no way around that. But it really doesn’t matter at all.

The acting is some of the best acting I’ve ever seen. Denzel is a father who doesn’t know how to love because he was brought up without love. He has two sons be two wives and only connects with them through providing for them. His second wife, Viola Davis (who steals the entire film in about 10 minutes of dialogue after the big reveal), loves him but sees his faults with his children.

This is a film that can destroy you, emotionally. It’s a snapshot of what it was like to grow up in the 50s as an African American in the middle/lower class. (Probably redundant, I know.) It’s so good and so beautifully acted. If “Oscarsowhite” again this year, it’s absolutely because of racism. Because there’s no way that they didn’t see this and think that at least Denzel and Viola were worthy. (– Mark Wensel)

 

Collateral Beauty
Warner Bros. / Released 3/14/17

When a successful New York advertising executive suffers a great tragedy, he retreats from life. While his concerned friends try desperately to reconnect with him, he seeks answers from the universe by writing letters to Love, Time and Death.

But it’s not until his notes bring unexpected personal responses that he begins to understand how these constants interlock in a life fully lived, and how even the deepest loss can reveal moments of meaning and beauty.

Cast includes Will Smith, Kate Winslet, Helen Mirren, Ann Dowd, Keira Knightley, Edward Norton and Naomie Harris.

Extras include featurette.

Last Word:  For some reason several incredibly talented actors decided to collaborate on what might be one of the most unwatchable and disappointing films of recent memory.  Film, for me, is an escapism.  That doesn’t mean that I don’t want to be emotionally connected, but rather I don’t want to be manipulated.  Filled with pain, suffering and overall unpleasant, Collateral Beauty is a blight on the filmography of everyone who participated.

 

Solace
Lionsgate / Released 3/14/17

Anthony Hopkins, Jeffery Dean Morgan, and Colin Farrell Bring to life this gripping tale of a brilliant psychic – and the serial killer that stays one step ahead of him.

When three bodies turn up with identical wounds, cryptic notes nearby, and no other evidence, an FBI Agent (Morgan) calls on his clairvoyant colleague (Hopkins) to solve the case.

But when the all-seeing killer knows every move they’ll make, how can they stop the slaughter?

Originally intended to be a sequel to Se7en (Hopkins’ character was to have been Morgan Freeman’s Somerset, now with psychic abilities) before David Fincher got word and had that premise shut down.

Extras include commentary and featurette.

 

Ghost In The Shell
Starz / Anchor Bay / Released 3/14/17

2029 – A female cybernetic government agent, Major Motoko Kusanagi, and the Internal Bureau of Investigations are hot on the trail of “The Puppet Master”, a mysterious and threatening computer virus capable of infiltrating human hosts. Together, with her fellow agents from Section 9, they embark on a high-tech race against time to capture the omnipresent entity.

Last Word: Released in 1995 and directed by Mamoru Oshii, Ghost in the Shell was ahead of its time. It is not recommended for younger viewers because of violence and nudity.

Lots of nudity.

In the future, people are able to augment themselves with cybernetic enhancements. Humans and technology, one step closer to being one.

In this future lives Motoko Kusanagi. A full cybernetic, augmented human. Kusanagi, aka The Major, is an elite member of the spec-ops Public Security Section 9, an intelligence and law enforcement division of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Her team consists of Batou and Ishikawa. They are lead under the direction of Chief Aramaki, the director of Section 9.

The movie kicks off as Kusanagi spies on a foreign diplomat attempting to leave the country with a programmer, who has intimate knowledge of classified projects. Before he is able to leave, Kusanagi eliminates the diplomat and slips back into the night. The rest of Section 9 hunts for a hacker known as the Puppet Master.

Elsewhere, the Puppet Master hacks into a facility and has a female cybernetic body assembled. However, once outside it is hit by a truck. The parts are sent to Section 9 where they are analyzed. It appears to have a “ghost” inside, a human consciousness, so to speak. During the examination Section 6, a rival agency, arrived to say that the body was a trap to lure the Puppet Master. Kusanagi is about to plug into the body and talk to the ghost inside. As this happens, Section 6 storms the facility and takes the body.

Information gathered during the analysis points to a highly classified project called Project 2501. It was a supposedly created by Section 6 to catch a hacker, but was more likely to be a tool of Section 6 and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Aramaki speculates that Section 6 wants to suppress secrets that may get out.

Section 9 tails Section 6 to try and recover the Puppet Master. Batu and Ishakawa tail one car while Kusanagi follows another. The car Batu and Ishakawa follow is a decoy. Kusanagi confronts Section 6 and attempts to get Project 2501, aka the Puppet Master.

Ghost in the Shell is a magnificently animated film using a combination of cell animation and computer animation. The animation is high quality and fluid and the blending of the two different types of animation is nearly perfect. There is a scene right at the beginning after Kusanagi assassinates the foreign diplomat where she activates her thermal optic camouflage, which illustrates perfectly this seamless fluidity between cell animation and CGI. Another example is the fight between Kusanagi and a six-legged tank. The bullets flying around, the water and rain splashing, and the tearing apart of her body in a desperate bid to disable the tank also perfectly illustrate the great animation in view. There is this strive for realism that comes off. For example, in the same scene above with the tank, the bullets spark when hitting metal but do not when contacting cement. Fire arms being discharged have weight as well as the recoil looks accurate.

The sound design was also good. Sound effects sounded good and sounded appropriate for the scene. For example, there are times when the view is from a cybernetic human where things do sound futuristic. Also, when the characters are talking though their secured network, there is a reverberation that sounds like they are all talking in a large hall together. It may sound a little weird but it works brilliantly. The one area that seems lacking is the musical score. It is hit and miss. There are times when the background music is synced up with the visuals. However, there is also choral music that occurs, which in retrospect, appears to have taken a page from Akira. It is an almost haunting sound that just doesn’t seem to fit. Admittedly it is in Japanese, so there is the possibility that the lyrics add some juxtaposition that a non-speaker would not get. It is a small gripe in an otherwise solid aspect of the movie.

The real depth of Ghost in the Shell is that exploration of what makes humans human in a digital world, where the humans themselves have become digital. In fact, this very question is seen in the first few minutes of the film. Batou notes there is a lot of noise in Kusanagi’s brain. Her response in the subbed Japanese version is “It’s that time of the month.” The irony of the statement is that her body is fully cybernetic and incapable of menstruating. However, being a female, she seems to long for those things that make women, women. There is a conversation late in the movie in which she converses about reproduction and what does that actually mean for someone who can’t physically participate in that process. Beyond just being a woman, Kusanagi questions what makes them human. She asks Batou how much of him is cybernetic and how much is the real him. She appears envious on some level of Ishikawa, who doesn’t have any cybernetic enhancements. The paradox is the same enhancements allow for superhuman strength, endurance, and the ability to plug directly into the internet.

Ghost in the Shell was definitely ahead of its time and has been a huge influence on several filmmakers. Most notably, the Wachowskis used Ghost in the Shell as a framework for The Matrix trilogy and several aspects of those films were “borrowed” from Ghost in the Shell. The most obvious is the green digital rain that was in the opening credits for Ghost in the Shell that found their way into The Matrix. Then there is the idea of plugging in to a network via cords terminated at the basal skull or neck region. Beyond that are the narratives of what makes oneself human in a digital world, when humans have essentially become digitized. Other parallels have been drawn with movies such as Avatar and AI: Artificial Intelligence.

Ghost in the Shell is an impressive visual feat with a killer story line as well. The plot is great and the subtexts enhance the story line by giving profundity. It is no wonder that this has been influential to Sci-Fi. It is definitely a must watch. ( – Nathan Grube)

 

Six: Season One
Lionsgate / Released 3/14/17

Six follows members of Navy SEAL Team Six, modern American warriors whose mission to eliminate a Taliban leader in Afghanistan goes awry when they uncover a U.S. citizen working with the terrorists.

Inspired by real missions, the series authentically captures the inside world of America’s elite special operations unit, what these SEALs do, their personal lives, combat, and the life-and-death decisions they make.

Ensemble includes Barry Sloane, Kyle Schmid, Juan Pablo Raba, Edwin Hodge, Brianne Davis, Nadine Velazquez, Dominic Adams, Walton Goggins, Nondumiso Tembe, Jaylen Moore, Tyla Harris and Zeeko Zaki.

Includes the episodes:

  • Pilot: SEAL Team Six troop leader Rip Taggart makes a questionable decision while on a mission in Afghanistan. Two years later, Rip is captured by Boko Haram.
  • Her Name is Esther: During a tense raid on an oil tanker in Lagos, our SEAL Team attempts to detain a courier for Boko Haram who could be the key to finding Rip’s whereabouts.
  • Tour of Duty: The truth about Rip’s departure from SEAL Team Six is revealed, while in Nigeria, Rip makes a move to escape.
  • Man Down: The race is on to see who can get to Rip first: our SEAL Team or Michael.
  • Collateral: The Team struggles with loss while Rip comes face-to-face with his new captor.
  • Confession: SEAL Team Six makes a bold decision that could lead to Rip’s rescue but could also have grave consequences.
  • Blood Brothers: The Command has eyes on Rip and our Team plans a rescue. The team decides to risk their own careers to save Rip.
  • End Game: Our Team finally comes face-to-face with Michael and his jihadist soldiers.

 

Jetsons & WWE: Robo-Wrestlemania
Warner Bros. / Released 3/14/17

In the midst of an exhibition match, a powerful snow storm freezes Big Show solid. One hundred years later, Big Show has finally thawed and is discovered by George Jetson. His first mission is to revive wrestling in 22nd century Orbit City.

With Big Show’s help, Elroy and George build robotic Superstars. But Big Show had big plans of his own! The wrestle-bot army manages to capture Orbit City!

This leaves George and the Jetsons family one option: travel back in time to enlist WWE Superstars Alicia Fox, Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, and Sheamus to help defeat the Big Show and his wrestle-bot army in the future.

Extras include featurettes and three original The Jetsons episodes.

Last Word: Despite not having much interest in Wrestling, I’m a huge Hanna-Barbera fan.  Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed The Flintstones & WWE: Stone Age Smackdown! from a few years back.  Which made Jetsons & WWE: Robo-Wrestlemania all the more disappointing.  Where Stone Age Smackdown! featured amazing character designs by Shane Glines, inspired by the great Ed Benedict, Robo-Wrestlemania felt tired and cliché throughout.  If Hanna-Barbera continues to make direct to video films featuring their classic characters, I hope they focus less on the cross marketing opportunities and more on what made these characters great in the first place.

 

Drunk History: Season Four
Comedy Central / Released 3/14/17

What happens when you mix history with a whole lot of booze?

This.

Host Derek Waters is back with a new season of hammered storytellers recounting the most bizarre and exciting tales from the past. They cover it all, from Alexander Hamilton’s feud with Aaron Burr to Boston’s Great Molasses Flood to the story of a lady pirate who head-butted strangers.

So kick back and enjoy the finest history that can be told by people who aren’t actually historians – and who are also very drunk.

You might even learn something along the way.

Includes election special and deleted/extended scenes.

Episodes and guest stars include:

  • Great Escapes: LSD pioneer Timothy Leary escapes from prison, a sailor travels to Devil’s Island to perform a daring rescue, and a baker’s whiskey habit keeps him calm aboard the Titanic. Featuring Thomas Middleditch, Chris Parnell, Tom Lennon and Ron Funches.
  • Legends: Sam Patch becomes America’s first daredevil, Marilyn Monroe and Ella Fitzgerald form a lasting friendship, and Buster Keaton takes his talents to the big screen. Featuring Kyle Mooney, Tony Hale, Billie Joe Armstrong, Juno Temple and Gabourey Sidibe.
  • Bar Fights: Carry A. Nation vandalizes bars, Andrew Jackson gets involved in a shootout, and Marsha P. Johnson stands up for LGBT rights. Featuring Vanessa Bayer, Michael Cera, Mariah Wilson, Alexandra Grey, Dwight Yoakam, Brendan Sexton III and Trace Lysette.
  • The Roosevelts: Teddy Roosevelt revolutionizes football, Winston Churchill pays FDR a visit at Christmastime, and Eleanor Roosevelt befriends a female Soviet sniper. Featuring Rob Riggle, Mae Whitman, Busy Phillips, Rich Fulcher and Louie Anderson.
  • Scoundrels: Charles Ponzi hires a publicist to improve his image, Sadie the Goat becomes a notorious Hudson River pirate, and a conman poses as a Scottish royal. Featuring Jesse Plemons, Kat Dennings, Ed Helms, Taran Killam, Josh Charles and Ronda Rousey.
  • Siblings: Katharine Wright helps her brothers build an airplane, the Kopp sisters fight to protect their home, and the Fox sisters stoke the spiritualism craze. Featuring Elizabeth Olsen, Jason Ritter, Rachel Bilson, Sugar Lyn Beard, Sarah Ramos and Jenna Fischer.
  • Landmarks: Emily Roebling oversees Brooklyn Bridge construction, conman Victor Lustig sells the Eiffel Tower, and Shakespeare steals the Globe Theatre. Featuring Liev Schreiber, Taylor Schilling, John Cho, Andrew Rannells, Kevin Farley and Anthony Edwards.
  • Food: Mayor La Guardia fights the mob over artichokes, Julia Child meets the love of her life while working as a spy, and a molasses flood devastates Boston. Featuring Michael McKean, Joe Lo Truglio, Kevin Pollak, Samm Levine, Jason Ritter and Michaela Watkins.
  • Hamilton: “Hamilton” musical scribe Lin-Manuel Miranda tells the story of Alexander Hamilton, his nemesis Aaron Burr and their infamous duel to the death. Featuring Alia Shawkat, Aubrey Plaza, Tony Hale, Bokeem Woodbine, David Wain and Dave Grohl.
  • S**t Shows: DJ Steve Dahl sparks an anti-disco riot, the Cherry Sisters emerge as the worst vaudeville act of all time, and a rivalry between two actors turns violent. Featuring Colin Hanks, Jack McBrayer, David Koechner, Allison Tolman, Ben Folds and Patton Oswalt.

 

Assassin’s Creed
20th Century Fox / Released 3/21/17

Through a revolutionary technology that unlocks his genetic memories, Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender) experiences the adventures of his ancestor, Aguilar, in 15th Century Spain.

Callum discovers he is descended from a mysterious secret society, the Assassins, and amasses incredible knowledge and skills to take on the oppressive and powerful Templar organization in the present day.

Cast includes Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons, Brendan Gleeson, Charlotte Rampling, Michael K. Willaims, and Khalid Abdalla.

Extras include documentary, interviews and deleted scenes.

Last Word: Video game movies usually fall into two categories; Campy or serious. Assassin’s Creed definitely checks the serious box. Based on the video game franchise by Ubisoft, Assassin’s Creed is the story of Cal Lynch (Michael Fassbender) , a man on death row, who taken after “death” to become a part of a scientific experiment.

Through a series of experiments Cal becomes linked to his ancestor Aguilar, a master assassin. With each memory of Aguilar that is revealed, Cal becomes entangled the Assassin’s centuries long battle with the Knights Templar for the freewill of all humanity. It’s video game grandiose plot brought to the big screen. I haven’t really played any of the Assassin’s Creed video games, so I can only judge the movie on it’s merits as a film.

Director Justin Kurzel has helmed an action, fantasy/sci-fi film that holds it own. No prior videogame experience required to enjoy it. Assassin’s Creed is surprisingly chock full of award winning talent. Oscar winning Marion Cotillard plays Sofia, the head scientist that you are never quite sure if she is a naive academic or something more sinister. Fellow Oscar winner Jeremy Irons is her conniving Templar father. Fassbender brings plays Cal with the dedication he brings to all his roles. The three together bring a gravitas to the film that was unexpected. The cast is rounded out by a number of excellent character actors included Brendan Gleeson and Essie Davis that will tickle the back of your mind until the credits roll. I spent a good deal of time wondering how the heck this cast ended up in a videogame movie.

Although the story’s linchpin is based on some pretty silly pseudo silence, it is refreshing to have a filmmaker who doesn’t treat their audience as the lowest common denominator. In an era where even George Lucas won’t subtitle his movies because Hollywood believes audience won’t want to read (let’s face it, Jar Jar would have been so much better with an alien language and subtitles), the film takes a chance by having a third of it take place in the past in Spain with it’s dialog in Spanish with subtitles. It’s a brilliant move to make the story feel more real.

The action is dynamic and well choreographed. From what I have observed of the video games, fans should be pleased to see the look and the feel of the worlds created in the games brought to the silver screen. Much of the film reads like an origin story, and if the film is financially successful, I see many sequels in the future. There have been many terrible live-action video game films; Street Fighter (it’s a tragedy that it was Raul Julia’s last film), Super Mario Brothers (I was so embarrassed for Bob Hoskins), Bloodrayne (If you haven’t seen it, don’t. If you did, I’m sorry). Resident Evil and is one of the few that have been able to build a strong franchise with a devoted fan base.

Although Warcraft did poorly in the US, the overseas market take proves that the international box office is as integral to domestic profits. Assassin’s Creed has all it needs to grow into respectable series. The games have road mapped story arc’s for several films. If the same creative team of actors, writers and everyone behind the camera can execute future moves, they will have me happily returning to see the fate for Cal Lynch. (– Elizabeth Robbins)

 

The Love Witch
Oscilloscope / Released 3/14/17

Elaine, a beautiful young witch, is determined to find a man to love her. In her gothic Victorian apartment she makes spells and potions, and then picks up men and seduces them.

However, her spells work too well, leaving her with a string of hapless victims.

When she finally meets the man of her dreams, her desperation to be loved will drive her to the brink of insanity and murder.

With a visual style that pays tribute to Technicolor thrillers of the ‘60s, The Love Witch explores female fantasy and the repercussions of pathological narcissism.

Extras include commentary, featurettes, interview, deleted and extended scenes and trailers.

 

Certain Fury
Kino Lorber / Released 3/14/17

You can run, but you can’t hide! Oscar winners Tatum O’Neal and Irene Cara play Scarlet and Tracy.

The girls are caught in a brutal escapade of mistaken identity, accused of a crime they did not commit.

In a melee of carnage, the two girls mistaken for gun-toting killer-hookers are hustled and hassled and pursued by cops hell-bent on revenge and hot-tempered hoodlums with killer instincts alike.

In their efforts to save themselves, they trip through the criminal scene of junkies, prostitutes, pushers and hoods – a world where dirty deals go down and nobody wins.

The stellar supporting cast includes Peter Fonda, Moses Gunn, Nicholas Campbell and George Murdock. Directed by Stephen Gyllenhaal.

Extras include commentary.

 

King Solomon’s Mines
Olive Films / Released 2/17/17

Director J. Lee Thompson’s (Cape Fear) action-packed adventure film (based on the H. Rider Haggard novel of the same name) stars Richard Chamberlain (Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold) as intrepid explorer Allan Quatermain and Sharon Stone (Basic Instinct) as his adventurous paramour, Jesse Huston.

Hired by Jesse to find her father who she believes disappeared in an attempt to find the fabled mines of King Solomon, Quatermain will run afoul of the evil Colonel Bockner (Herbert Lom), a German explorer also on a quest to locate the mythic treasures. And neither Bockner nor his partner in crime, the merciless Turkish slave-trader, Dogati (John Rhys-Davies), like the competition.

Adapted for the screen by Gene Quintano and James R. Silke, King Solomon’s Mines features supporting performances by Ken Gampu and Sam Williams, with a score by Academy Award-winning composer Jerry Goldsmith.

 

Panther Girl of The Kongo
Olive Films / Released 2/17/17

The jaw-dropping, eye-popping, edge-of-your-seat exploits of the fearless Panther Girl are brought vividly to life in the Republic Pictures serial Panther Girl of the Kongo starring Phyllis Coates (Perils of the Jungle, Lois Lane of the film Superman and The Mole Men and TV’s The Adventures of Superman) as Jean Evans, the Panther Girl of the title; Myron Healey (The Unearthly) as big game hunter Larry Sanders; and Arthur Space (The Red House) as the maddest of the mad scientists, Dr. Morgan.

Franklin Adreon the prolific director and producer of many of the Republic Pictures serials, including Commando Cody: Sky Marshal of the Universe, helmed all twelve action-packed jungle adventures (including The Claw Monster, The Killer Beast, Crater of Flame and the thrilling final chapter of the serial, House of Doom).

 

 

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