The past and the future collide this week, as the new Blu-rays and DVDs now available are a great mix of recent hits and classics from the golden years of Hollywood. To quote the motto of Pokémon, you gotta catch em’ all! Here’s a rundown of what hot titles are now available!
Young Tim Goodman (Justice Smith) arrived in Pokémon-friendly Ryme City to settle the affairs of his estranged and vanished cop father Harry, and got to meet his dad’s beat partner–a Pikachu with a human voice (Ryan Reynolds) that only he can understand. Together, they resolve to break Harry’s unsolved last case…if some powerful special interests don’t break them first. Fun family hit, the first live-action/CGI mix feature for the fabled franchise, co-stars Kathryn Newton, Bill Nighy, Ken Watanabe.
It didn’t take long for New Yorker Martha (Diane Keaton) to second-guess her decision once she uprooted for a retirement community in the Deep South. Encouraged to come up with an activity to her liking, she hit on the cheerleading ambitions she had to table as a girl–and sets about recruiting an impromptu and improbable pep squad from her bemused fellow residents. Engaging sunset ensemble farce co-stars Jacki Weaver, Pam Grier, Rhea Perlman, Celia Weston, Phyllis Somerville, Alisha Boe.
In early-‘70s Los Angeles, widowed social worker Anna Tate-Garcia (Linda Cardellini) was faced with a string of odd–and oddly similar–child endangerment cases. Her investigations began to show that the legendary spectral “crying woman” that preyed on kids was no mere myth…and that disillusioned priest Father Perez (Tony Amendola) may be the only salvation for her own imperiled family. Eerie entry in the “Conjuring” universe co-stars Raymond Cruz, Sean Patrick Thomas, Patricia Velásquez.
The repeal of Prohibition offers Chicago bootleg beer baron Bugs Ahearn (Edward G. Robinson) a chance to leave his illegal past behind him and retire west to a life of leisure among Santa Barbara’s social elite. The class-conscious Bugs soon learns that life amongst the ostensibly legit upper crust can be just as rife with greed and deception as his old existence in this snappy pre-Code crime comedy. Mary Astor, Helen Vinson, Berton Churchill, Russell Hopton also star.
Smooth-talking ex-con Pressure Maxwell (Edward G. Robinson) hatches a scheme to buy a struggling luggage store and use it as a front while he and his flunkies (Edward Brophy, Broderick Crawford) tunnel into an adjoining bank. When Pressure’s ward (Jane Wyman) learns of the plan, she and a smitten suitcase salesman (Jack Carson) manage to make the business such a success that there’s no time to dig. Delightful caper comedy co-stars Anthony Quinn, Harry Davenport, Jackie Gleason.
Caustic comedy from Billy Wilder set in post-WWII Berlin, where dignified congresswoman Phoebe Frost’s (Jean Arthur) investigation into black-market influence on occupying GIs brings her in close contact with handsome Captain John Pringle (John Lund). The problem is that Pringle is involved with nightclub singer Erika von Schlütow (Marlene Dietrich), whom Phoebe learns has ties to former Nazi officials.
Billy Wilder’s reworking of the lightning-quick Hecht-MacArthur newspaper satire features Jack Lemmon as Hildy Johnson, the Chicago reporter whose impending nuptials and retirement will end his partnership with gruff editor Walter Burns (Walter Matthau). That is, until they become embroiled in getting the scoop on an escaped convict on the eve of his execution. Susan Sarandon, Charles Durning, Vincent Gardenia, and Carol Burnett as Mollie Malloy co-star.
Nicholas Hoult delivers a fine performance as celebrated fantasy author J.R.R. Tolkien in this engaging biodrama. The film explores how young Tolkien’s relationship with future wife Edith Bratt (Lily Collins), the close bond he forms with three great friends, and his service as an officer in the British Army during World War I would influence the writing of “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings.” Colm Meaney, Derek Jacobi, Anthony Boyle co-star.
Olivia (Alexa PenaVega) is an ultra-organized event planner who gets a great new job working on a culinary cruise ship. But she soon clashes with Tony (Carlos PenaVega, Alexa’s real-life husband), an inexperienced cruise director looking to prove himself. Can these two find a way to cooperate or will they both keep acting saltier than the sea air towards each other? Breezy Hallmark Channel romance co-stars Melissa Carache, Audrey Landers, William R. Moses.
An Angel At My Table (Criterion Collection)
Originally made as an Australian TV mini-series, director Jane Campion’s award-winning drama vividly depicts the troubled life of acclaimed New Zealand writer Janet Frame, from her impoverished family life and the drowning deaths of her sisters to an eight-year stay in a mental hospital when she was wrongly diagnosed as schizophrenic. Kerry Fox stars as Frame; with Alexia Keogh, Iris Churn.
In January 1972, Aretha Franklin joined with the choir at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Watts, and the live gospel album that resulted, “Amazing Grace,” became her personal best-seller as well as the genre’s. The documentary chronicle that Sydney Pollack shot of the performance was tied up in litigation for over 40 years–until now–and this restored presentation provides the Queen of Soul at the height of her powers; “Amazing Grace,” “Mary, Don’t You Weep,” many more performed.
Action-packed Universal serial stars Buck Jones as Montana Larkin, a cowboy, who, along with Morgan brothers Jinglebob (Frank McGlynn, Sr.) and Clem (Harlan Knight), sets his sights on some land rich in mineral deposits. Montana soon has his hands full squaring off against shady ranch foreman Gil Gillespie (Walter Miller) while trying to win the hand of pretty rancher’s daughter Mary Parker (Muriel Evans). With Eole Galli, Fred Santley. 15 chapters on 2 discs.
The real-life experiences of first-time writer/director Fred Schepisi (“A Cry in the Dark”)informs this effective, award-winning Australian drama set in a 1950s Catholic boys’ seminary school in Melbourne. A group of pubescent teens, headed by Tom Allen (Simon Burke), struggle with awakening sexual interests, while the constrained feelings of the brothers who run the school threaten to explode. Co-stars Arthur Dignam, Nick Tate, Thomas Keneally.
Brooke Shields’ first film role was in this moody, psychological thriller, shot on a miniscule budget in New Jersey and drenched in religious symbolism. Shields stars as Karen, the popular younger sister of envious Alice (Paula E. Sheppard). Could Alice possibly be the mask-wearing killer responsible for the brutal death of Karen in a church? With Lillian Roth, Mildred Clinton, and wrestler Antonino Rocca. AKA: “Communion,” “Holy Terror.”
In early-’80s London, reticent film student Julie (Honor Swinton Byrne) was steeped in her graduation project when she caught the eye of older, charming F.O. staffer Anthony (Tom Burke). As their immediate and palpable chemistry drove her swift choice to move in together, she’d come to learn–far too late–the extent of the private demons behind his polished facade. Joanna Hogg’s semi-autobiographical rumination also stars Tilda Swinton, Richard Ayoade, Jack McMullen, Frankie Wilson.
In August of 2000, the Russian nuclear submarine Kursk was on maneuvers in the Barents Sea when a torpedo malfunction ripped open the hull, sinking the vessel and killing the bulk of the crew. The harrowing fate of the few survivors waiting for a rescue that never came–and of which their government waved off international offers of assistance–is memorably depicted here. Matthias Schoenaerts, Léa Seydoux, Michael Nyqvist, August Diehl, Max von Sydow, and Colin Firth star. AKA: “Kursk.”
Six total strangers regain consciousness, confined to the same quarters…on a spaceship hurtling through the cosmos. As they struggle to deal with their uncanny circumstances–from how and when they were abducted, to their captors’ purposes for subjecting them to unholy terror–their chances of survival might have to rest with one another. Intriguing Canadian sci-fi thriller stars James Gallanders, Deragh Campbell, Daniel Fathers, Alex Woods, Caroline Raynaud, Konima Parkinson-Jones.
Returned home to a meth-addicted wife and no prospects, rawboned Marine Jarhead Earl (Jamie Bell) had his game plan–make the journey to an underground fight promotion with a $100,000 purse, stealing enough along the way to cover the entrance fee. He also wound up sharing the trip with the abused sister (Margaret Qualley) of his spouse’s sadistic dealer Chainsaw Angus (Frank Grillo), who’s not happy that his sib ripped him off. Brutal drama co-stars James Badge Dale, Chris Browning.
While a gauntlet of Batman’s greatest foes–each straying from their typical M.O.–comes ever closer to destroying the Dark Knight, Bruce Wayne finds himself dogged by personal tragedy as well. Who is the bandage-wrapped criminal mastermind answering to Hush? Why is he orchestrating this assault…and how does he seem to know Batman’s greatest secret? Animated adaptation of the 2002 Jeph Loeb/Jim Lee story arc features the voices of Jason O’Mara, Jennifer Morrison, Jerry O’Connell.
With a full 10 weddings amongst their social set coming over the course of the summer, freshly-broken-up Alice (Maya Erskine) and long-luckless-in-love Ben (Jack Quaid) readily agree to be one another’s wingman at the soirees until it’s all over. Their odyssey finds them having to deal with their emerging feelings for one another as well as the gift registries in this incisive and charming farce. Ed Begley, Jr., Finn Wittrock, Beck Bennett, Rosalind Chao also star.
After their death sentences in the Tate-LaBianca murders were commuted to life in prison, Leslie Van Houten (Hannah Murray), Susan Atkins (Marianne Rendón), and Patricia Krenwinkel (Sosie Bacon) received outreach from grad student Karlene Faith (Merritt Wever). Her attempts to break through the women’s indoctrination at the hands of Charles Manson (Matt Smith) propel this fact-inspired opus from director Mary Harron and scripter Guinevere Turner; Suki Waterhouse, Annabeth Gish also star.
Fun, fascinating, and informative, this documentary provides a look behind the scenes of the oft-ignored entry in the “Star Trek” universe. In addition to exploring how and why the show is finally being recognized 20 years after it ended, the film also features showrunner Ira Steven Behr and the other writers getting together to break down what a new episode of the series might be like. Includes all-new interviews with Nana Visitor, Rene Auberjonois, Michael Dorn, Colm Meaney, Alexander Siddig, Terry Farrell, and more.
For a complete overview of all of this week’s new releases, click here.