This week’s new Blu-ray and DVD releases run the gamut from classic Hollywood pictures to recent theatrical fare, with all of the movie magic you would come to expect. Yes friends, from cult films to documentaries, TV hits to overseas gems, there’s a bit of something for everyone in these latest releases. Here’s a rundown of the greatest new titles that are now available!
Shadow of the Thin Man (1941)
When murder occurs among the “horsey set,” ostensibly retired husband and wife sleuths Nick and Nora Charles (William Powell, Myrna Loy) spend a day at the races sifting through the usual long list of suspects–including a pair of high-stakes gamblers, two reporters, and a low-level tout–to track down the killer. Fourth “Thin Man” entry also stars Barry Nelson, Donna Reed, Sam Levene, Stella Adler.
Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard (2021)
On forced work sabbatical–and barred from using weaponry or lethal force–Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) gets saved from a would-be killer by Sonia Kincaid (Salma Hayek), spouse of frenemy Darius (Samuel L. Jackson). It wasn’t out of the goodness of her heart, as she needs Bryce’s help springing her husband from the clutches of an international mobster (Antonio Banderas)…and all he’s bringing to the fight are his wits. Fast-paced follow-up co-stars Morgan Freeman, Frank Grillo, Richard E. Grant, Tom Hopper.
The Emperor Waltz (1948)
Director Billy Wilder’s peppy musical comedy features Bing Crosby as Virgil Smith, an American phonograph salesman in Austria who tries to pitch his product to the country’s ruler (Richard Haydn). But when Virgil falls for a beautiful countess (Joan Fontaine), will be able to secure the emperor’s blessing? Roland Culver, Lucile Watson, Harold Vermilyea also star. Tunes include “I Kiss Your Hand, Madame,” “Friendly Mountains,” and the title song.
In order to keep elderly employer Miss Victoria Woodworth (Edith Evans) from learning that she’s broke, loyal butler Claude “Fitzwilly” Fitzwilliam (Dick Van Dyke) enlists the aid of the household staff to commit a series of robberies. Things get complicated as Fitzwilly and Miss Vicki’s newly hired assistant Juliet (Barbara Feldon) fall in love. Is it too late for a Christmas Eve department store heist? Alternately madcap and touching, this comedy also stars John McGiver, Harry Townes.
In the Good Old Summertime (1949)
In early-20th-century Chicago, music store salesman Andrew Larkin (Van Johnson) got off on the wrong foot with new hire Veronica Fisher (Judy Garland)…and proceeded to remain there. The frosty co-workers, however, also have no idea that they’re one another’s anonymous lonely-hearts pen pal. Charming musical version of “The Shop Around the Corner” co-stars S.Z. Sakall, Spring Byington, and Buster Keaton; look for a young Liza Minnelli with her mother in the finale. Songs include “Meet Me Tonight in Dreamland,” “I Don’t Care.”
Infamous British sex comedy in which a surgeon who specializes in transplants finds the perfect donor and recipient for his much-anticipated male organ transplant after a freak accident. After some problems with the new “member” to his family, the recipient, Edwin (Hywel Bennett), seeks out his late “benefactor’s” old flames–and finds them all gorgeous! Denholm Elliott, Elke Sommer, and Britt Ekland star; music by The Kinks.
Stunting small-town paperboy Cru Jones (Bill Allen) knew he had what it took to excel at BMX, and he wanted to prove it by qualifying for the grueling pro event known as “Helltrack.” Can he prevail against the surly factory riding champ (Bart Conner) cutting him off at every turn? Freewheeling “‘Karate Kid’ with pedals” that’s become a cult favorite since its moment also stars Lori Loughlin, Talia Shire, Ray Walston, Jack Weston; Hal Needham directs.
The Fortune Cookie (1966)
In their first screen team up, Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau (in a Best Supporting Actor Oscar-winning performance) star in Billy Wilder’s hilarious, cynical fable. Lemmon is TV cameraman Harry Hinkle, who is injured while shooting a football game. Luckily, his conniving lawyer brother-in-law William H. “Whiplash Willie” Gingrich (Matthau) comes up with a plan to collect a hefty insurance pay out…whether Harry really deserves or not. With Ron Rich, Judi West.
Riders of Justice (2020)
When his wife perished in a train crash, commando Markus (Mads Mikkelsen) returned home to care for his teen daughter (Andrea Heick Gadeberg). Approached by Otto (Nikolaj Lie Kaas), a survivor of the wreck that widowed him–who claimed the tragedy was orchestrated to kill a state’s witness against a biker gang–the simmering soldier now had someplace to turn his rage. Dark humor-leavened actioner co-stars Lars Brygmann, Nicolas Bro, Gustav Lindh.
The Water Man (2020)
For Amos Boone (David Oyelowo, who also directed), a move to rural Oregon hadn’t helped his small family cope with the failing health of his wife Mary (Rosario Dawson). For their impressionable 11-year-old Gunner (Lonnie Chavis), the local kids’ tall tales of a forest-dwelling “water man” with magical healing powers set him into the woods on a mission of hope…and gave him a revelatory adventure. Fine family drama also stars Amiah Miller, Maria Bello, and Alfred Molina.
The Truffle Hunters (2020)
For gourmands around the globe, the white truffle remains one of the most prized delicacies–and in the Piedmont woods of Italy, an eccentric handful of octogenarians partner with their specially trained dogs in pursuit of the precious and unfarmable fungus. This captivating documentary memorably follows three of the hunters as they ply their arcane and dying craft, and demonstrate their devotion to their canine collaborators.
Blessed–or cursed–with the ability to communicate with the dead, newlywed antique store owner Melinda Gordon (Jennifer Love Hewitt) uses her gift to help wayward spirits reconcile unfinished business with the living, allowing them to rest in peace. This unique mix of emotional drama and supernatural chills ran on CBS from 2005-2010 and starred Aisha Tyler and David Conrad.
All 107 episodes from the series are featured in this 29-disc set.
Programmer kids Naoto, Yuka and Ippei stunningly found that the hero of their game creation had been taken over by the extra-dimensional cop Gridman, who’d miraculously merge with Naoto to prevent cyber-creatures from entering our plane and wreaking havoc. Giant-hero entry from the makers of “Ultraman” was later adapted for the U.S. as “Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad”; Masaya Obi, Jun Hattori, Takeshi Sudo star. 39 episodes on 4 discs.
Original Cast Album: Company (Criterion Collection)(1970)
A rare look at the making of the cast album of the hit Broadway play featuring music by Stephen Sondheim. Go behind the scenes with stars Dean Jones, Barbara Barrie, Charles Kimbrough, Donna McKechnie, Elaine Stritch, George Coe, and Beth Howland under the direction of Sondheim. Songs include “Getting Married Today,” “The Ladies Who Lunch,” “Another Hundred People,” “Barcelona,” “Being Alive”; D.A. Pennebaker (“Don’t Look Back”) directs.