There’s magic in the air this week with this incredible batch of new releases. Dive into these recent hitsm, archival favorites, obscurities, TV season sets and more and you’ll conjure up plenty of entertainment to watch for the foreseeable future!
Sorcerer Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) agreed to defend dimension-hopping teen America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) from an unknown entity looking to exploit her powers. Will he be challenged on his sundry time/space tampering by the mysterious council called the Illuminati…and will he regret turning to disgraced Avenger Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) for backup? Shock- and cameo-laden Marvel sequel co-stars Benedict Wong, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams; Sam Raimi directs.
The Lost City (2022)
Brilliant, but reclusive romance novelist Loretta Sage, best known for her adventure stories featuring handsome cover model Alan, is kidnapped by an eccentric billionaire looking for the ancient lost city from her latest novel. Wanting to prove that he can be a hero in real life, Alan sets off to rescue her. Thrust into an epic jungle adventure, the unlikely pair will need to work together to survive the elements and find the city’s legendary treasure before it’s lost forever. Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum, Daniel Radcliffe, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Brad Pitt star.
The Duke (2020)
Back in 1961, rebellious Newcastle retiree Kempton Bunton (Jim Broadbent) found it grossly unfair that he and spouse Dorothy (Helen Mirren) had to pay to watch the BBC. So much so, that he orchestrated the theft of Goya’s portrait of the Duke of Wellington from the National Gallery in London–to be held until his demands of free TV for all pensioners had been met. Engaging fact-based dramedy also stars Fionn Whitehead, Matthew Goode, Anna Maxwell Martin; final feature directed by Roger Michell.
Cleavage and camp converge in this thrill-packed telefilm as a group of men traveling by plane is forced down onto an island where there exists a population of mysterious, beautiful women who have been stranded there since childhood. Can they work out their Mars-Venus issues in time to defend themselves against a band of violent savages? Clint Walker, Peter Lawford, Rosalind Chao star.
They Live in the Grey (2022)
Grief-stricken child protective services caseworker Claire (Michelle Krusiec) concluded that the best way to process the loss of her own son was returning to the job. Tasked with evaluating young Sophie (Madelyn Grace), who was manifesting mysterious cuts and bruises, she’d learn to her terror that the explanation of the parents (Ellen Wroe, J.R. Cacia)–infliction by a violent apparition–was uncannily true. Disquieting effort also stars Ken Kirby, Mercedes Manning.
Planet of the Vampires (1965)
Influential sci-fi shocker from Mario Bava stars Barry Sullivan as Captain Mark Markary, the commander of one of two spaceships stranded on the planet Aura. As Captain Markary and his crew search for the other ship, they discover that Aura is populated by disembodied beings with the ability to possess human corpses and turn them into unwitting killers. Norma Bengell, Angel Aranda, Evi Marandi co-star in this cult classic. AKA: “The Demon Planet.”
Grantchester: The Complete Seventh Season (Masterpiece Mystery!)(2022)
“Masterpiece Mystery” brings James Runcie’s books to the small screen with this British detective series about the unique if unlikely partnership between Anglican priest Sidney Chambers (James Norton) and Detective Inspector Geordie Keating (Robson Green). The two join forces to solve baffling crimes when the vicar decides to take up sleuthing work as a hobby in his home village of Grantchester. With Morven Christie, Tessa-Peake Jones. 8 episodes on 3 discs.
Scared to Death (1980)
As an unknown, freakishly strong assailant left a trail of corpses across L.A., ex-cop turned pulp novelist Ted Lonergan (John Stinson) was called in for consult. The trail lead to a covert lab where researchers were looking to create the perfect soldier, but their monstrous synthesized genetic organism–“Syngenor”–knew no reason or mercy…and maybe can not be stopped. Feature directing bow for genre stalwart William Malone co-stars Jonathan David Moses, Diana Davidson.
Voyage of the Rock Aliens (1984)
In your average American town of Speelburgh, high schooler Dee Dee (Pia Zadora) wanted to sing in the band of her rocker boyfriend Frankie (Craig Sheffer), but he was cool to the idea. He’d soon be facing a rival from out of town–way out of town–as an alien (Tom Nolan) and his crew landed, searching for rock music’s source. There’s songs, a giant lake monster, escaped killers, and more in this of-its-moment effort. Ruth Gordon, Jermaine Jackson, Alison La Placa, Michael Berryman co-star.
Thriller: A Cruel Picture (1973)
Violent rape-and-revenge actioner, banned in its native Sweden, stars Christina Lindberg as Madeline, a young woman, mute since a childhood assault, who is lured into drugs and prostitution and even loses an eye to a vicious pimp. The deaths of her parents send Madeline over the edge, as she learns karate and firearms to exact a brutal vengeance. The film helped inspire Quentin Tarantino’s “Kill Bill” movies. Heinz Hopf, Solveig Andersson also star. AKA: “Hooker’s Revenge,” “They Call Her One-Eye.”
Time Out of Mind (1947)
When she was a girl, Kate Fernald (Phyllis Calvert) came to live in the Maine shipping magnate’s manse where her mother was a domestic, and grew up alongside scion Christopher Fortune (Robert Hutton). Her choice to stand by him as he passed on the family business in favor of a music career abroad would have sad repercussions for all involved. Robert Siodmak’s moody, famously troubled take on the Rachel Field novel co-stars Ella Raines, Eddie Albert, Leo G. Carroll, Helena Carter.
Look, up in the sky! It’s…Captain Invincible? Once a beloved costumed crimefighter, the courageous Captain (Alan Arkin) hung up his cape and hit the sauce pretty hard following accusations of communist sympathies. But the good news is he’s back after a 30-year hiatus to save the world from old foe Mr. Midnight (Christopher Lee) and his Hypnoray! Kate Fitzpatrick, Bill Hunter co-star in this quirky superhero musical/comedy from Australia. AKA: “Captain Invincible.”
In 1940s Bahia, lovely Flor (Sonia Braga) was the only one with cause to mourn the abrupt passing of her good-for-nothing but great-in-bed wastrel spouse Vadinho (José Wilker). After respectful courtship, she marries the kind if unfulfilling druggist Teodoro (Mauro Mendonça)–but the staid connubial situation gets a supernatural jolt when Vadinho’s randy ghost begins to visit her, in Bruno Barreto’s spicy and witty international hit.
Raw Deal (1948)
Knockout film noir follows Joe Sullivan (Dennis O’Keefe), a crook serving time after taking the rap for mob boss Rick Coyle (Raymond Burr). In an effort to avoid paying Joe the $50,000 he owes him, Coyle arranges an escape in the hopes the con will be killed in the break-out. But when Sullivan survives, he must settle his score with Coyle while getting caught in a dangerous love triangle with two beautiful women (Claire Trevor and Marsha Hunt). John Ireland co-stars; Anthony Mann directs.
Coming Apart (1969)
A time capsule of both ’60s sexuality and early independent cinema, Milton Moses Ginsberg’s offbeat drama stars Rip Torn as Joe, a successful, adulterous New York psychiatrist. Setting up a hidden camera (by which most of the film is viewed) in a mirrored apartment, Joe coolly chronicles a series of sexual encounters–including with a former patient (Sally Kirkland) and an ex-mistress (Viveca Lindfors)–as well as his own mental breakdown.
16-year-old Izzy (Zelda Adams) suffers from a rare illness that has kept her isolated on a mountaintop with her mother (Toby Poser) her whole life. As Izzy begins to question her sickness, she pushes back against her confinement and secretly befriends Amber (Lulu Adams), another girl living on the mountain, but her newfound happiness is derailed after she eats a live worm as part of a juvenile game and finds an insatiable and violent hunger awakened within her. To understand the hunger, Izzy must learn the dark secrets of her family’s past and the ancient power in her bloodline.
Disillusioned after a breakup and desirous of a change of scenery, young British doctor Ruby Walker (Amrita Acharia) jumped at the posting for–she thought–an upscale hospital in South India. She arrived to find a one-story facility administrated by dictatorial expatriate Lydia Fonseca (Amanda Redman). Her embrace of the colorful community and her part as caregiver propels this charming ITV effort. James Floyd, Neil Morrisey, Darshan Jariwala, Nimmi Harasgama, Sagar Radia also star. 6 episodes on 2 discs.
When they were hunting for a getaway vacation rental, Tom (Shane West) and Alice (Chelsea Gilligan) were thrilled to have found a striking postwar villa designed by the renowned late architect Frederick Banner (Stephen Lang). Unfortunately, when he wasn’t at the drafting table, Banner dabbled in the occult–and his malevolent spirit, as well as those of various prior occupants, will deliver a timeshare in terror. Bruce Dern, Vanessa Williams, Annapurna Sriram, and director Sonja O’Hara co-star.
Out of the Blue (1980)
Powerful drama featuring a great performance by Linda Manz (“Days of Heaven”) as Cebe, a troubled, punk rock-loving teen, who feels isolated in her small-town home. Unable to talk to her drug-addicted mother, Cebe hopes for a better life with the pending release of her alcoholic father (Dennis Hopper, who also directed) from jail, but things soon spiral out of control. With Sharon Farrell, Raymond Burr, Don Gordon. AKA: “No Looking Back.
Mustered out of the Marines, John Stewart (voiced by Aldis Hodge) was unsure of his next move. He hadn’t counted on being chosen by the embattled Guardians of Oa as the next Green Lantern of Earth…or being tasked with defusing interplanetary conflict between Rann and Thanagar while confronting the assassins decimating the Lantern Corps. Riveting animated GL adventure also features the voices of Jimmi Simpson, Ike Amadi, Brian Bloom, Jamie Gray Hyder, Keesha Sharp.
Into the depressed ex-gold rush town of Greenvale rode bounty hunter Red Bill (Douglas Booth), toting the sack of heads that he severed from his prey for convenience’s sake. Sheriff Arthur McCoy (Dominic Cooper) didn’t want to pay up–or do anything that could draw attention to his own corruption–and the mercenary’s visit might not be comfortable. Miniseries laden with spaghetti western homage and dark humor co-stars Christian Cooke, Niv Sultan, Paterson Joseph, Rose Williams. 8 episodes on 2 discs.
Manhattan, 1882: Newly arrived and nouveau riche robber baron’s spouse Bertha Russell (Carrie Coon) was determined to see her clan reap the benefits of high society. The rivalrous pushback she’d find from imperious old money neighbor Agnes Brook van Rhijn (Christine Baranski) fuels this lavishly mounted HBO effort from Julian Fellowes. Morgan Spector, Taissa Farmiga, Cynthia Nixon, Louisa Jacobson, Harry Richardson, Blake Ritson, Denée Benton, Simon Jones, Jack Gilpin also star. 9 episodes on 3 discs.