It’s no exaggeration to say that this is the biggest week of Blu-ray and DVD releases ever. After all, how can it be when the new titles that are now available are led off by the biggest movie moneymaker of all time? There’s so many exciting things to watch this week that you should start planning your viewing now. All of these are worth your time and then some!
Five years after suffering a crushing defeat and staggering losses at the hands of the evil Thanos (Josh Brolin in a motion-capture performance), Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), and the rest of the remaining Avengers join forces with allies new and old as they travel back in time to various points in the past in a desperate attempt to obtain the powerful Infinity Stones and put things right. Thrilling, critically acclaimed, blockbuster sequel also stars Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner.
In 1951, film actress Lucille Ball and her musician husband Desi Arnaz spent $5,000 to produce a TV sitcom pilot about a Cuban-born bandleader named Ricky Ricardo, his zany, starstruck wife Lucy, and their madcap life in a Manhattan apartment. The result was the decade’s biggest show and a landmark in TV history that ran until 1957. William Frawley and Vivian Vance co-star as the Ricardos’ best friends and neighbors, Fred and Ethel Mertz. This two-disc set includes the colorized episodes “Pioneer Women,” “Lucy Does a TV Commercial,” “Job Switching,” “The Million Dollar Idea,” “Bonus Bucks,” “L.A. at Last,” “Lucy Gets in Pictures,” “The Fashion Show,” “The Dancing Star,” “Harpo Marx,” “Lucy Visits Grauman’s,” “Lucy and John Wayne,” “Lucy Goes to Scotland,” “Lucy’s Italian Movie,” “Christmas Show,” and “Lucy and Superman.”
The third miniseries drawn from Philippa Gregory’s historical fiction focuses on the teenage Catherine of Aragon (Charlotte Hope), arrived in England to meet Arthur, Prince of Wales (Angus Imrie) and fulfill their childhood betrothal. Her fitful assimilation to court worsens when she discovers that Arthur’s romantic correspondence was actually penned by his cocksure younger brother Harry (Ruairi O’Connor). Alexandra Moen, Elliot Cowan, Stephanie Levi-John, Aaron Cobham.
Lavish, romantic version of the mysterious story of Anna Anderson, the woman who claimed to be the surviving daughter of Russia’s Czar Nicholas II. Focusing on the international scrutiny that followed her declaration and her struggle to reclaim her royal heritage, the film offers a glimpse at one of the most intriguing figures in Russian history. Amy Irving, Rex Harrison, Olivia de Havilland, Omar Sharif, and Susan Lucci star.
Marlon Brando is magnificent as Harrison MacWhite, a U.S. ambassador sent to a Southeast Asian nation in the grip of conflict between democratic and communist forces. MacWhite strives to defuse the dangerously volatile situation, which may prove to be far more complex than he could have possibly imagined. Engaging political drama, based on the novel by Eugene Burdick and William Lederer, co-stars Sandra Church, Pat Hingle, Eiji Okada, Arthur Hill.
The notorious best-seller by Terry Southern and Mason Hoffenberg is brought to the screen in all of its satirically erotic, psychedelic glory, as naive and luscious teenager Candy Christian (Ewa Aulin) finds the road to sexual awakening is paved with kooks who want to seduce her. Among them are a guru (Marlon Brando), a poet (Richard Burton), a general (Walter Matthau), a surgeon (James Coburn), a gardener (Ringo Starr), and even her uncle and her father (John Astin, in dual roles).
British period piece from director Fritz Lang stars Stewart Granger as the leader of a gang of buccaneers, who, one day, becomes the guardian of a young orphan. At first, the greedy renegade does his best to reject the kid–until he learns the boy is due to inherit a precious and expensive heirloom. George Sanders, Viveca Lindfors, Jon Whiteley also star in this swashbuckling adventurer, based on the book by J. Meade Falkner.
Vice Squad (Collector’s Edition)
Sensationally brutal look at the seamier side of L.A. street life, as a woman who turns to prostitution to support herself and her young daughter helps vice squad detectives capture a pimp suspected of murder. But when the crazed flyguy escapes, guess who he sets his deadly sights on? Season Hubley, Wings Hauser, Gary Swanson, Beverly Todd, original MTV VJ Nina Blackwood, and Fred “Rerun” Berry as Sugar Pimp star.
Following the deaths of the their parents, brother and sister Loren (Shannon Presby) and Abby (Lori Loughlin) move to a small Florida town to live with their aunt and uncle. When Abby attracts the unwanted attention of local teen hood Eddie Dutra (James Spader), she and Loren must fight for their lives against the dangerous punk. Intense thriller from “Friday the 13th” director Sean S. Cunningham also stars John Philbin, David H. MacDonald, and Eric Stoltz.
In 1972, styling but shiftless Ohio motorhead Harry Barber (Travis Fimmel) was just trying to prove he belonged as wheelman for the crew of his mobbed-up, Nixon-loathing uncle Enzo (William Fichtner). He’d get his chance as Enzo brought his gang to California–with the intent of cracking the security deposit box rumored to contain an illegal $30 million presidential re-election slush fund. Flavorful, fact-inspired heist flick also stars Forest Whitaker, Rachael Taylor, Lily Rabe, Jake Weary.
The eternal American teenagers of Archie Comics fame received a stylish, strikingly dark, and compelling re-imagining with this hit CW series. The benign little burg of Riverdale, USA, was rocked by a stunning murder…and the web of deceit and old vendettas underlying the small-town facade started enveloping local kids like aspiring musician Archie Andrews (K.J. Apa), school journalist Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart), rich transplant Veronica Lodge (Camila Mendes), and cynical outsider Jughead Jones (Cole Sprouse). Luke Perry, Mädchen Amick, Marisol Nichols also star. All 22 Gargoyle King-infused episodes of the third season are included in this four-disc set.
Steve Martin delivers the performance of his career and scripted this disarming romantic comedy about a modern-day “Cyrano” who must deal with his bumbling firemen’s troupe, long-nose jokes, his unrequited love for Roxanne (Daryl Hannah), and the dumbstruck hunk he vicariously lives through. Co-stars Shelley Duvall, Rick Rossovich, and Fred Willard.
Jade and David (Brooke Shields, Martin Hewitt) are Chicago teens who meet and begin a passionate romance. But when Jade’s parents think things are moving too fast, the troubled David commits a dangerous act that turns everyone’s world upside down. With Shirley Knight, Don Murray, Beatrice Straight, James Spader, and Tom Cruise (in his film debut); Franco Zeffirelli directs.
Based on the play by Charles Bennett, Hitchcock’s (and England’s) first sound film concerns the girlfriend of a Scotland Yard detective who kills a man in self-defense after he tries to rape her. As her lawman beau attempts to help her cover up the crime, the pair is blackmailed by an unscrupulous murder–leading to deception and death. Anny Ondra, John Longden, Donald Calthrop star.
Would-be architect Megan Quinn (Sarah Jane Morris) returns to her hometown in order to convince her former mentor (Dolores Drake) to sell her house to make way for an entertainment venue. But as Megan winds up pitching in at her family’s restaurant, she finds she must also face Joe Wainright (Andrew W. Walker), a long-ago boyfriend who dumped her right after high school. Garry Chalk, Cassidy Nugent, Casey Manderson also star in this Hallmark Channel original movie.
Superior Alfred Hitchcock suspenser stars Herbert Marshall as Sir John Menier, a juror who believes Diana Baring (Norah Baring), a young actress on trial for murder, is innocent. Pressured into going along with the rest of the jury’s guilty verdict, Sir John takes it upon himself to conduct his own investigation in order to find the real killer and clear Diana’s name. With Phyllis Konstam, Edward Chapman, Esme Percy.
Hard-driving action movie stars Jan-Michael Vincent as Carrol Jo Hummer, a man who returns home from Vietnam and takes over his father’s trucking business in Tucson, Arizona. Unwilling to go along with the corruption and racketeering that seems to dominate the industry, C.J. becomes determined to fight back–with explosive results. With Kay Lenz, Slim Pickens, Dick Miller, and Martin Kove.
The Inland Sea (Criterion Collection)
The ongoing contrast in Japan between traditional values and modern civilization is the focus of this unique documentary, based on the 1971 travel memoir by film historian and Japanophile Donald Richie. American expatriate Richie reflects on his adopted homeland and explores the ideas of man’s universal quest for meaning, as well as the natural beauty of the area known as the Inland Sea. Directed by Lucille Carra; Richie narrates.
Having so often memorably interpreted the artist, Kenneth Branagh changes things up and considers Shakespeare the man, portraying the Bard in this intriguing biopic centering on the last year of the playwright’s life. Returned to Stratford-upon-Avon after the Globe Theatre’s destruction by fire, Shakespeare faced a cool reception from spouse Anne Hathaway (Judi Dench) and distant daughters Susanna (Lydia Wilson) and Judith (Kathryn Wilder). With Ian McKellen as Henry Wriothesley