Wednesdays DVD releases and film favorites feature TV reunions, The Raid on Osama Bin Laden with Seal Team Six, Yul Brynner conducting the London Symphony Orchestra and the late 1930s comic genius of Charley Chase.
|Dead By Sunset||Charley Chase Shorts, Vol. 1|
Charley Chase Shorts, Vol. 1 (1937-1940)
The considerable comic gifts of Charley Chase remain well-evident in these late-career efforts for Columbia’s short subject department. Eight Chase-starring shorts–”Man Bites Lovebug” (1937), “The Mind Needer” (1938), “The Chump Takes A Bump” (1939), “Rattling Romeo” (1939), “Skinny The Moocher” (1939), “The Awful Goof” (1939), “The Heckler” (1940), and “South Of The Boudoir” (1940), plus the Chase-directed Smith and Dale short “A Nag In The Bag” (1938)–are collected on one disc.
After losing his job, girlfriend, and stage partner, hapless New York singer/songwriter Alex (writer/director Ryan O’Nan) teams up with eccentric musician Jim (Michael Weston) for a cross-country tour–with the duo performing on children’s instruments–that culminates in a Los Angeles “Battle of the Bands” concert. Quirky and endearing road comedy also stars Arielle Kebbel, Melissa Leo, and Andrew McCarthy.
A confirmed-bachelor attorney (Dean Martin) takes it upon himself to rescue the marriage of his best friend (Eli Wallach) by seducing away the pal’s mistress (Anne Jackson). The plan unravels in a hurry when he realizes that he’s targeted the wrong woman (Stella Stevens) for the wooing. Sharp romantic farce co-stars Betty Field, Jack Albertson.
Once More, With Feeling! (1960)
Able to put up with the egomania and eccentricities of London Symphony conductor Yul Brynner–but not his roving eye–angry spouse Kay Kendall (her final effort before her untimely passing) walks out on him. With his professional life following in collapse, the chastened maestro must make amends before the final curtain falls. Engaging British comedy based on the hit play by Harry Kurnitz and directed by Stanley Donen co-stars Shirley Anne Field, Geoffrey Toone, Mervyn Johns.
Previously responsible for the startling imagery of “Koyaanisqatsi” and “Baraka” (as cinematographer and director respectively), filmmaker Ron Fricke delivers another documentary of stunning beauty, originally photographed in 70mm and lensed in 25 countries on five continents. A feast for the eyes, this production links the mysteries of spirituality to industrial society and the rhythms of the natural world.
Originally broadcast on the National Geographic Channel, this riveting, fact-based combat drama chronicles the end game in the hunt for the infamous terrorist leader responsible for the September 11 attacks on the United States. Gambling on mounting but not definitive intelligence that Osama bin Laden’s location had been discovered in Pakistan, the government prepped a Navy SEAL team to capture–or kill–the target. Cam Gigandet, Anson Mount, and Kathleen Robertson star.
Twenty years after executing a hot-dog play that won his high school team’s game but resulted in a crippling injury to his leg, Scott (Brian Presley) faces serious challenges on his family farm. Miraculously one morning, he wakes up back in time, seemingly given the opportunity to alter his own destiny. Will this “second chance” change his future, or prove to him that sometimes fate is inescapable? Kurt Russell, Melanie Lynskey co-star.
This reunion film for the magical sitcom finds a still-smoking Barbara Eden returning to her signature role. Jeannie can’t bottle up her anger when Tony (Wayne Rogers) reneges on his promise to her and their teenage son (Mackenzie Astin) that he was done with space flights. Has her always-calculating twin sister (Eden) finally gotten an in? Bill Daily, Hayden Rorke co-star.
Now Is Good (2012)
Facing certain death from leukemia, Tessa (Dakota Fanning) begins assembling her “bucket list”–actively pursuing an assortment of fulfilling experiences. As one important wish concerns losing her virginity, Tessa banks on a relationship with a new neighbor (Jeremy Irvine) she hopes will be compassionate enough to indulge a romance with her despite the predetermined outcome. Paddy Considine, Olivia Williams co-star in this adaptation of Jenny Downham’s book “Before I Die.”
Dead By Sunset (1995)
A doctor (Lindsay Frost) finds herself falling for a handsome, charismatic banker (Ken Olin). However, the more she learns about his bitter split with his ex-wife (Annette O’Toole), and his spurious alibi for the night of her brutal murder, the more she comes to dread her decision. Gripping miniseries taken from Ann Rule’s chronicle of the Cheryl Keeton/Brad Cunningham case co-stars Sally Murphy, John Terry.
The popular British comic book hero Judge Dredd explodes onto the screen in this violent actioner. As police, judge, jury, and executioner all rolled into one, Judge Dredd (Karl Urban) is charged with freeing the crime-ruled streets of American metropolis Mega-City One from a ruthless prostitute-turned-drug lord (Lena Headey) who controls the city’s supply of a dangerous new narcotic. With Olivia Thirlby, Wood Harris.
Flight Into Nowhere (1938)
Grounded after a war of wills and words with air carrier topkick Jack Holt, brash pilot Dick Purcell undertakes a treacherous South American jump anyway…and crashes in uncharted Peruvian jungle for his trouble. The guilt-ridden Holt organizes a search and rescue expedition, but will they be prepared for what they find? Deft actioner co-stars Julie Bishop, Lotus Long, Fritz Leiber.
Hollywood Streets of Gold (1961-1982)
Experience the glitz and glamour of Tinseltown and delve into the mystique of its brightest stars with this two-disc set of behind-the-scenes documentary programs. “Hollywood: The Golden Years” (1961) retraces the highlights of film history from the silent era to the onset of the talkies; Henry Fonda narrates “Hollywood: The Great Stars” (1963), featuring tributes to many a cinematic legend; “The Legend Of Marilyn Monroe” (1966) explores the iconic performer’s life and death; Fonda interviews Bergman, Hitchcock, Hepburn, and other greats in “Hollywood: The Selznick Years” (1969); and comedic actors such as Carol Burnett, Richard Pryor, Jack Lemmon, and others are celebrated in “Hollywood: The Gift Of Laughter” (1982).
Tim Burton adapted his 1984 short film for this computer-animated tale that follows young monster movie fanatic Victor as he becomes grief-stricken when his beloved dog Sparky is hit and killed by a car. After bringing the pooch back to life, Victor must convince his family and neighbor’s that his bolt-necked canine isn’t a monster. With the voices of Charlie Tahan, Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short, Martin Landau, and Winona Ryder.