Even though we are saying goodbye to April, May is already showering us with plenty of unmissable new Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD titles. In fact, it has been awhile since there have been this many titles making their debut in a single week. So take a few minutes to peruse this list of what films, TV shows and other releases that you’ll want to make a part of your Springtime viewing!
In director Roland Emmerich’s exciting sci-fi disaster epic, the moon’s orbit begins to change, bringing it dangerously close to the Earth. Now, a NASA official (Halle Berry), a former astronaut and shuttle pilot (Patrick Wilson), and a conspiracy theorist (John Bradley) will learn the amazing truth about the moon’s ancient origins as they undertake a perilous space mission to avert certain doom. With Michael Peña, Charlie Plummer, and Donald Sutherland.
Grand Slam (1967)
Globetrotting heist classic in which a school teacher decides to go for a big score by orchestrating an elaborate diamond robbery. After rounding up a group of experts that includes a safecracker, an electronics wizard, a con artist, and a thief, the teacher tries to nab the gems–in Rio De Janeiro during Carnivale time. Edward G. Robinson, Janet Leigh, Klaus Kinski, and Adolfo Celi star.
Queens of Mystery: Series 2 (2021)
Returning to her small hometown to join the constabulary, still-single DS Matilda Stone (Olivia Vinall) braced for the anticipated meddling from hovering aunts Beth (Sarah Woodward), Cat (Julie Graham), and Jane (Siobhan Redmond). Not merely with her personal life, either–as each of the three was an established crime novelist, and eager to horn in on her caseload. Engaging whodunit series also stars Rebecca Grant, Andrew Leung, Martin Trenaman, Michael Elcock. 3 episodes on 2 discs.
Danny Thomas was nightclub entertainer Danny Williams in this hit sitcom that aired on ABC from 1953-1957, then on CBS until 1964. The series followed Danny’s hectic life on stage and with his family: wife Margaret (Jean Hagen), who passed away and was followed in 1957 by Kathy (Marjorie Lord); kids Terry (Sherry Jackson) and Rusty (Rusty Hamer); Kathy’s daughter Linda (Angela Cartwright); and wacky Uncle Tonoose (Hans Conried). AKA: “Make Room for Daddy.” 30 episodes on 4 discs.
Last Survivors (2021)
A father and son, who have been living off grid for 20 years, encounter an outsider who threatens to destroy the utopia they’ve built. Alicia Silverstone, Stephen Moyer, Drew Van Acker star.
Writing with Fire (2021)
Uttar Pradesh, India, 2002: A small group of women–all belonging to the lowest social caste–chose to start a news service. Their publication Khabar Lahariya (“waves of news”) thrives today, complete with a digital presence. The challenges they face as they engage in grassroots journalism in the face of apprehension and scorn from the politically and commercially empowered, to say nothing of their own male relatives, are tellingly explored in this remarkable documentary.
We Need to Talk About Cosby (2022)
The circumstances of Bill Cosby’s fall from grace beggar easy description, from the heinousness of his credibly alleged sexual misconduct to the vastness of a pop cultural legacy that is now forever tarnished. W. Kamau Bell’s compelling and clear-eyed docuseries shares many perspectives from thought leaders, co-workers, fans–and victims–about the arc of Cosby’s career, the pattern of his predation, and the sad truth of their decades-long interconnection.
Gasoline Alley (2022)
L.A. tattoo artist/ex-con Jimmy Jayne (Devon Sawa) didn’t think much of it when he gave a promotional lighter to the friendly hooker he’d chatted up at a bar. He’d have another think the next day, as he was rousted by LAPD cops Vargas (Luke Wilson) and Freeman (Bruce Willis)–because the woman and two colleagues were found murdered. Jimmy decides the only path to exoneration would come from working his own leads, in this taut thriller; Kat Foster, Sufe Bradshaw, Kenny Wormald co-star.
In the mid-’80s, as the United Kingdom was caught up in a year-long miners’ strike, the struggling residents of a small Welsh mining town found support and solidarity from a most improbable source–a London-based group of gay and lesbian activists. Their poignant quest for common ground fuels this rousing, fact-based ensemble comedy-drama. Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Dominic West, Paddy Considine, Andrew Scott, George Mackay star.
King David (1985)
Visually stunning take on the life of the second King of Israel with Richard Gere in the title role, as David’s life is traced from the slaying of Goliath to his contentious relationship with father-in-law and predecessor Saul (Edward Woodward) to his controversial union with Bathsheba (Alice Krige). Dennis Quilley, Niall Buggy, Cherie Lunghi, Hurd Hatfield co-star; Bruce Beresford directs.
‘Round Midnight (Criterion Collection)(1986)
In the 1950s, noted New York saxophonist Dale Turner (Dexter Gordon) was losing his battles with substance abuse, and sought a needed change of scenery in Paris. Befriended by a local fan, graphic artist Francis Borler (Francois Cluzet), Dale gets clean…but whether he can maintain once back in the States, even with Francis’ help, might be another matter. Bertrand Tavernier’s acclaimed study also stars Lonette McKee, Gabrielle Haker and Herbie Hancock.
Eyimofe (This Is My Desire) (Criterion Collection) (2020)
In contemporary Lagos, engineer Mofe (Jude Akuwudike) dreamed of emigrating to Spain, but the bureaucratic nightmare spinning out of a family tragedy might mean those dreams are over. Bartender Rosa (Temi Ami-Williams) sought new lives for herself and her pregnant teen sister (Cynthia Ebijie) in Italy, but her natural resiliency might not stand against repeated disappointment. Remarkable feature bow for Nigerian twin directors Arie and Chuko Esiri co-stars Tomiwa Edun, Jacob Alexander.
The Trick (2021)
In 2009, weeks before University of East Anglia researcher Philip Jones (Jason Watkins) was to address the U.N. global summit on climate change, his institution’s server was hacked and its contents disseminated by denialists. The controversy that percolated over the ensuing months, as Jones sweated out the repercussions to reputation and job, is effectively dramatized in this fact-based BBC effort; Victoria Hamilton, George MacKay, Jerome Flynn, Tara Divina also star.
Between-jobs executive Carol Peters (Melissa McCarthy) needed a friend, and found an unlikely one…an artificial intelligence (voiced by James Corden) that starts communicating with her via her home devices. While she enjoys her new ally’s support, from eliminating her money woes to patching things up with her ex (Bobby Cannavale), the supposedly benign AI’s using her as a test case to decide whether to destroy mankind! Brian Tyree Henry, Sam Richardson, and Ben Falcone (who directed) co-star.
Caligula and Messalina (1981)
During his cruel reign, the Roman emperor Caligula (Vladimir Brajovic) sought a companion whose appetites for power and pleasure matched his own–and he found her when he watched the wily warrior woman Messalina (Betty Roland) in gladiator combat. She handled palace intrigues and erotic encounters with equal ease, as shown in this perversity-packed peplum opus from exploitation master Bruno Mattei. Françoise Blanchard, Florence Guérin co-star.
My Best Part (2020)
Beyond his career struggles, overwrought Paris actor Jérémie (Nicolas Maury, who directed and co-wrote) had to deal with paralyzing jealousy over his long-term Albert (Arnaud Valois)…which might actually be justified. Retreating to the Limousin home of his eccentric mother (Nathalie Baye) to focus up for an audition, the breakthroughs might finally be forthcoming. Charming dramedy co-stars Théo Christine, Laure Calamy, Jean-Marc Barr.
Locked Down (2021)
Unhappy London marrieds Linda (Anne Hathaway) and laid-off Paxton (Chiwetel Ejiofor) picked a bad time to decide it was over–stuck together during the COVID-19 lockdown. As he found a sketchy new job transporting high-end goods, and she had to knock down her marketing company’s Harrod’s display, they decide to improve their lot by helping themselves to a £3 million diamond. Romantic caper farce co-stars Stephen Merchant, Mindy Kaling, Ben Stiller, Ben Kingsley.
The Beast Must Die (2021)
Vacationing Londoner Frances Cairnes (Cush Jumbo) wouldn’t accept the Isle of Wight cops’ conclusion that the hit-and-run death of her 6-year-old may never be solved. She insinuated herself in the home of her own suspect–arrogant businessman George Rattery (Jared Harris)–but her agenda will put her at odds with newly assigned PD Nigel Strangeways (Billy Howle). Miniseries take on the Cecil Day-Lewis classic co-stars Maeve Dermody, Geraldine James, Douggie McMeekin.
Take Back the Night (2021)
Urban artist Jane (Emma Fitzpatrick, who co-wrote) was trying to get home from an evening’s gallery showing when she was assaulted by a shrouded monster. Surviving the attack, she finds an unresponsive justice system more focused on her prior conduct than her complaint, and little support from either social media or inner circle. Her decision to take matters into her own hands has shocking repercussions, in Gia Elliot’s allegorical scare story; Angela Gulner, Jennifer Lafleur co-star.
Thief of Hearts (1984)
A handsome cat burglar (Steven Bauer) finds something not so fenceable at his latest break-in, but no less intriguing: the secret diaries of the lady (Barbara Williams) of the house, where she vented her sexual frustrations and erotic longings. He contrives his way into her life, but the promise of a perfect lover might have deadly consequences. John Getz, George Wendt, David Caruso co-star.
Tom Sawyer (1973)
The beloved Mark Twain story Tom Sawyer is brought to life in this musical adaptation starring Johnny Whitaker (TV’s Family Affair) as Tom, Jodie Foster (The Silence of the Lambs, Contact) as Becky Thatcher, Jeff East (Superman) as Huckleberry Finn, Celeste Holm (All About Eve) as Aunt Polly and Warren Oates (The Wild Bunch) as Muff Potter. Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman (Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) provide the sparkling music and lyrics with music conducted and adapted by John Williams (Jaws, Star Wars).
Caligula: The Untold Story (1982)
You’ve heard all about him. Now see the full, shocking story behind the maniac who ruled Ancient Rome and subjected his people to depraved cruelties and bizarre sexual practices. Screen Emmanuelle Laura Gemser stars as a beautiful Moor woman who works her way into Caligula’s (David Brandon) good graces–and his bed–in order to kill him. This compellingly erotic and explicit drama from Joe D’Amato also stars Luciano Bartoli, Charles Borromel, Fabiola Toledo. AKA: “Emperor Caligula: The Garden of Taboo,” “The Emperor Caligula: The Untold Story.”
Singin’ in the Rain (1952)(4K Ultra HD)
Stars Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, and Donald O’Connor, M-G-M’s song catalog, and a script by Betty Comden and Adolph Green combine to make what is regarded as the best musical of all time. In Hollywood at the end of the silent era, a dashing film star puts up with his vapid leading lady while falling for a humble chorus girl. Songs include “Make ‘Em Laugh,” “Good Morning,” “You Were Meant for Me,” and the title tune. Co-stars Jean Hagen; co-directed by Kelly and Stanley Donen.