Just because the Oscars are over doesn’t mean that the magic of Hollywood isn’t still in the air. Just check out this week’s new releases for proof of this! Two Disney favorites kick things off, followed by several star-packed Warner Archives releases, cult favorites, recent theatrical releases, and other flicks for discerning film fans. Wondering what to watch this week? Relax, we have got you covered and then some!
When the loss of a key component has Litwak’s Arcade ready to junk its “Sugar Rush” console, 8-bit besties Wreck-It Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly) and Vannelope (Sarah Silverman) have to find a replacement–and hop a Wi-Fi router that launches them online into the brave new world of the web. Can they find their prize without being sidetracked by the comic clickbait coming their way? Superlative sequel also features the voices of Gal Gadot, Taraji P. Henson, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch.
The Little Mermaid (30th Anniversary Signature Collection)
The instant-classic animated film that launched the “Disney Renaissance,” this charming adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen fable follows young Ariel on her quest for true love with a land-dwelling prince, much to the distress of her sea king father. Wonderful, Oscar-winning score (including “Under the Sea,” “Part of Your World,” and “Kiss the Girl”) and an array of memorable aquatic characters fuel this all-ages treat.
Impressive historical opus offers a striking depiction of 16th century Scots regent Mary Stuart (Saoirse Ronan) and her tense rivalry with threatened first cousin Elizabeth I (Margot Robbie), from the newly-widowed Mary’s return from France through the political turbulence of her unions with Darnley (Jack Lowden) and Bothwell (Martin Compston) to her years of imprisonment in England. David Tennant, Joe Alwyn, Guy Pearce, Ismael Cruz Córdova, Gemma Chan also star.
Outrageous comedy from Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale (“Back to the Future”) that depicts the cutthroat feud between rival used car dealerships owned by the battling Fuchs brothers (Jack Warden in a dual role). When Luke Fuchs dies of a heart attack, slick salesmen Rudy (Kurt Russell) and Jeff (Gerrit Graham) must come up with a series of wacky schemes to keep the car lot from falling into the hands of Luke’s brother Roy. With Deborah Harmon, Joe Flaherty, Michael McKean, David L. Lander, and Al Lewis (yeah!).
The Possession of Hannah Grace
Rehabbing ex-cop Megan Reed (Shay Mitchell) was just trying to get back on the rails when she took a night shift job at the morgue. She’d find a workplace challenge she never expected in trying to process the disfigured corpse of Hannah Grace (Kirby Johnson)…since the cause of death was a botched exorcism, and the now-ambulatory, demon-driven Hannah is letting her displeasure be known. Moody shocker co-stars Grey Damon, Stana Katic, Louis Herthum, Nick Thune.
Sent by his Manhattan bank to uncover why its Hollywood studio is bleeding money, stuffy number cruncher Atterbury Dodd (Leslie Howard) learns the industry ropes from Lester Plum (Joan Blondell), the savvy stand-in actress he takes on as an assistant. They maneuver around egotistical stars, a hard-drinking producer (Humphrey Bogart), and conniving moguls in this unsung inside satire gem helmed by Tay Garnett; Alan Mowbray, Jack Carson, Tully Marshall, Marla Shelton also star.
Having done time for the manslaughter of his wife’s lover, ex-Chicago cop Jim Slade (Burt Lancaster, who co-directed) was lucky to have landed a night security job at a small-town college. When a co-ed turns up murdered–and the administration’s all too quick to pin it on a creepy janitor–a suspicious Slade starts his own prying, and some politically connected suspects seek to see him clock out for good. Long-sought thriller co-stars Susan Clark, Cameron Mitchell, Joan Lorring, Morgan Woodward.
Intrepid archeologists Roger Bentley (John Agar) and Jud Bellamin (Hugh Beaumont) explore caves in the mountains of Asia, only to discover an underground-dwelling race of Sumerian albinos who keep as their slaves the hunchbacked, clawed, and bug-eyed Mole People. Can our heroes escape with their lives? Only if their flashlight batteries hold out! Cynthia Patrick, Alan Napier, Nestor Paiva also star in this science-fiction classic.
Returned to his old stomping grounds in the Reno outskirts, L.A. racketeer Eddie Bendix (John Hodiak) looked to horn in on the operations of casino owner/old flame Fritzi Haller (Mary Astor)…as well as make time with her now-grown daughter Paula (Lizabeth Scott). Fritzi’s not much thrilled with either prospect–and she gave local deputy Tom Hanson (Burt Lancaster) incentive to remove Bendix by any means necessary. Long-requested, color-splashed noir tale co-stars Wendell Corey, Kristine Miller.
Her odd facial and physical deformities aside, Tina (Eva Melander) was quite the asset to the Swedish customs service–for her ability to literally smell the guilt on smugglers. However, when she patted down Vore (Eero Milonoff), a traveler with similar afflictions, she was set on a stunning path regarding the truth about his visit…as well as their respective origins. Provocative fantasy-thriller also stars Sten Ljunggren, Jörgen Thorsson, Rakel Wärmländer.
A Bill of Divorcement (aka Never To Love)
Middle-aged divorcée Meg Fairfield (Fay Bainter) was looking forward to her impending remarriage, as well as the planned nuptials of her daughter Sydney (Maureen O’Hara). What she didn’t expect was for her long-institutionalized husband Hilary (Adolphe Menjou) to show up at the door–escaped, rational, and looking to resume his life. Third filming of the Clemence Dane play, adapted here by Dalton Trumbo, also stars Herbert Marshall, May Whitty, Patric Knowles, C. Aubrey Smith; John Farrow directs. AKA: “Never to Love.”
William Holden turns in one of the most sterling performances of his career in this violent yet poignant film from writer/director Blake Edwards. Holden is Ross Bodine, an aging cattle rustler who’d like to hang up his boots in Mexico, but lacks the needed funds. After meeting rambunctious, young cowpoke Frank Post (Ryan O’Neal), the pair decides to rob a bank…but their jaunt to the border is fraught with challenges. Co-stars Karl Malden, Tom Skerritt, Lynn Carlin, and Joe Don Baker.
Based on Joseph Conrad’s novel, this Italian-made adventure saga stars Anthony Quinn as Peyrol, a former pirate now in the employ of the French government during the Napoleonic Wars. On a mission to deliver an important message to the port of Toulon, Peyrol becomes involved with a mentally troubled young woman (Rosanna Schiaffino) who, in turn, falls for a French naval officer (Richard Johnson). With Rita Hayworth, Ivo Garrani.
Chamber of Horrors/The Bride of Fu Manchu
First, enter the “Chamber of Horrors” as a condemned Baltimore criminal (Patrick O’Neal) chops off his own hand as part of an elaborate plan to wreak gory revenge on those who sentenced him to die. Outfitting himself with a nasty hook atop his bloody stump, the madman strikes again and again. Wilfrid Hyde-White, Laura Devon co-star. Next, you can’t keep a good supercriminal down, as Fu Manchu (Christopher Lee) launches a devious plan to kidnap the daughters of government officials, then uses the ransom money to finance a powerful ray gun that will enable him to rule the world. “Brides of Fu Manchu” co-stars Douglas Winter, Marie Versini.
YOU look into the gun of a fear-maddened killer, thanks to the “subjective camera” of director/star Robert Montgomery in this adaptation of the Raymond Chandler mystery. Hired by a pulp magazine editor (Audrey Totter) to discreetly track down the runaway wife of her boss (Leon Ames), gumshoe Philip Marlowe (Montgomery) finds himself on a trail abounding with tough dialogue, complications, and red herrings. Stylish effort also stars Lloyd Nolan, Jayne Meadows, Tom Tully, Morris Ankrum.
At the close of WWII, a Philippines-stationed deserter (John Ashley) makes a pact with Satan (Vic Diaz), gaining the safety and immortality he sought…by becoming the Devil’s emissary on Earth. After a quarter-century, however, he was looking to get out of the deal…and found himself transforming into a bloodthirsty creature as he tried to welch. Shocker from “Blood Island” maestro Eddie Romero also stars Mary Wilcox, Leopoldo Salcedo, Eddie Garcia.
To Sleep with Anger (Criterion Collection)
In South Central L.A., the relative quiet at the home of Gideon (Paul Butler) and Suzie (Mary Alice) is interrupted by the welcomed arrival of an old friend from back east, the personable and sweet-talking Harry (Danny Glover). Their invitation to stay as long as he likes turns into a source of regret, as he starts to inflame tensions amongst the couple and their sons (Richard Brooks, Carl Lumbly). Charles Burnett’s memorable and effective drama also stars Reina King, Vonetta McGee, Sheryl Lee Ralph.
Click here for a complete list of this week’s new releases.