In a remote oasis hotel in the Sahara Desert, British soldier Franchot Tone impersonates a servant in order to get information from the inn’s newest “guests”: invading Afrika Korps tank troops and their commander, Gen. Irwin Rommel (Erich von Stroheim). Things get tricky when Tone learns the servant was really a German spy in the WWII espionage tale “Five Graves To Cairo” (1943). The caustic comedy “A Foreign Affair” (1948) finds dignified congresswoman Jean Arthur’s investigation into black market influence on occupying GIs in post-war Berlin bringing her into close contact with handsome officer John Lund. The problem is that Lund is involved with Marlene Dietrich, a nightclub singer with ties to former Nazi officials.
Five-disc set includes restored versions of “Bird Of Paradise,” “A Farewell To Arms” (1932), “Little Lord Fauntleroy” (1936), “Nothing Sacred,” and “A Star Is Born” (1937).
The first five episodes from the seventh season–“Asylum of the Daleks,” “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship,” “A Town Called Mercy,” “The Power of Three,” and “The Angels Take Manhattan”–are featured in a two-disc set.
D.W. Griffith’s first talkie is a moving, down-to-earth look at the life of America’s 16th president, from Lincoln’s boyhood and his days as an Illinois lawyer to Washington and the turmoil of the Civil War. Walter Huston stars in the title role; with Una Merkel, Kay Hammond.
Disney/Pixar fantasy set in a mythical, ancient Scotland focuses on the plight of the willful, tomboyish clan princess Merida, who’s more interested in archery and adventuring than the suitors that her parents wish to foist off on her. When an ill-advised pact with a sorceress works an unwanted transformation on her mother, it’ll take all of Merida’s skills to set things right. With the voices of Kelly Macdonald, Julie Walters, Emma Thompson, and Billy Connolly.
Friends and coworkers try their darndest to find a good match for Robert (Neil Patrick Harris), the 35-year-old bachelor in their midst, in this beloved Stephen Sondheim musical full of wit and razzle-dazzle. Presented concert-style with the New York Philharmonic playing the unforgettable score, this production boasts Patti LuPone, Martha Plimpton, Craig Bierko, Jon Cryer, Christina Hendricks, and Stephen Colbert (!) among those pushing their noses into “Bobby-bubby’s” personal business.
Writer/director Todd Solondz offers up another black comedy with the story of Abe (Jordan Gelber), a corpulent man-child in his 30s who lives at home with his parents (Christopher Walken, Mia Farrow), has a dysfunctional obsession with collecting toys, and proposes marriage to Miranda (Selma Blair) shortly after they meet. Rather than elevating him out of his eternal childhood, their bond only serves to further disjoint his sense of reality. With Justin Bartha, Donna Murphy.
“Clueless” colleagues Alicia Silverstone and director Amy Heckerling reteam for this sassy vampire comedy set in contemporary New York City. The story follows two gorgeous young bloodsuckers (Silverstone, Krysten Ritter) who find themselves questioning the “gift” of immortality when they both come across potential romantic partners with whom they could spend the rest of their (mortal) lives. With Richard Lewis, Sigourney Weaver, Malcolm McDowell, and Dan Stevens.
The award-winning Athol Fugard play set in apartheid-era South Africa comes to the screen as 17-year-old Hally (Freddie Highmore) arrives home from school to engage in some pleasant reminiscences with the two middle-aged black servants (Ving Rhames, Patrick Mofokeng) he has known all his life. When news comes that Hally’s alcoholic father will soon be returning from the hospital, their conversation turns contentious and hurtful. Director Lonny Price played “Master Harold” on Broadway; with Justin Stein.
Writer/director Julie Delpy’s charming, humorous sequel to “2 Days in Paris” finds her reprising her role of French photographer Marion, now living with a journalist/radio host (Chris Rock) in a New York City apartment along with the children they had with their previous partners. As if that situation weren’t complicated enough, some of Marion’s dysfunctional relatives suddenly arrive for a chaotic visit. Dylan Baker, Kate Burton co-star.
This expert political suspense yarn stars Burt Lancaster as a renegade Air Force officer who breaks military prison and stages the takeover of an ICBM silo. His terms: either documents detailing U.S. war crimes in Vietnam get released…or missiles start raining on Moscow. Richard Widmark, Joseph Cotten, Melvyn Douglas, Paul Winfield co-star under Robert Aldrich’s direction.
Lawrence of Arabia (Restored Version)
David Lean’s epic biography of British army officer T.E. Lawrence, who helped unite and lead Arab rebels in their fight against Ottoman Turks during World War I, won seven Academy Awards including Best Picture and Director. Peter O’Toole made a lasting impression as the enigmatic Lawrence in his starring debut. Co-stars Alec Guinness, Omar Sharif, Anthony Quinn, Jack Hawkins, Jose Ferrer, Claude Rains. Includes original overture, entr’acte, and exit music.
Three-disc set includes “Hurry Sundown,” “Skidoo,” and “Such Good Friends.”
First, eight ribald tales from Boccaccio’s medieval literary classic are brought to the screen by Italian filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini for “The Decameron” (1971), the first entry in his “Trilogy of Life.” The highlight: a man who poses as a deaf-mute in order to win the favors of a convent filled with sex-hungry nuns. Franco Citti, Ninetto Davoli star. Next, the bawdy humor your English Lit teacher played down is brought back in full force in Pasolini’s “The Canterbury Tales” (1972), a quartet of stories centered on religious hypocrisy and sexual misadventures. Pasolini himself appears as author Geoffrey Chaucer; with Josephine Chaplin, Hugh Griffith. Finally, “Arabian Nights” (1974) is an erotic, exotic series of vignettes about an Arabian prince’s search for his lost love–a slave girl–and the stories his party tells to pass the time. Sumptuous sets and Pasolini’s trademark unbridled sensuality highlight this unique film. Davoli, Citti, and Tessa Bouche star.
The wizards of Pixar Animation Studios continue to amaze and delight viewers with more of their unforgettable short films. Included among this compilation of cartoon gems are the Oscar-nominated shorts “Presto” (2008), “Day & Night” (2010), and “La Luna” (2011), as well as “Partly Cloudy” (2009), “Dug’s Special Mission” (2009), and “Hawaiian Vacation” (2011). Also includes the bonus shorts “The Lady & The Lamp” (1979), “Nitemare” (1980), “A Story” (1987), “Somewhere In The Arctic” (1988), “Winter” (1988), “Palm Springs,” and “Next Door.”
Would you trust Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, and Richard Ayoade to watch your neighborhood? In this ribald buddy comedy, the foursome hilariously patrols a suburban Ohio community, hoping to locate a killer who took the life of a friend. Little do they realize they’ll soon be up against some truly “out of this world” interlopers! With Will Forte, Rosemarie DeWitt, Doug Jones, and Erin Moriarty.
Oliver Stone co-wrote and directed this searing adaptation of the novel by Don Winslow. When the girl (Blake Lively) they both share is kidnapped by a Mexican drug cartel leader (Salma Hayek) who insists on working with them, two marijuana growers (Taylor Kitsch and Aaron Johnson) enlist the aid of a corrupt DEA agent (John Travolta) to take on Hayek and her ruthless enforcer (Benicio Del Toro) in an effort to get Lively back.
John Huston directed this historical drama set against the 1850s opening of Japan to the West, with John Wayne as U.S. Consul General Townsend Harris, whose less than gentle diplomacy puts him at odds with his Japanese hosts. Fact-based story is enlivened by the romantic entanglement between Harris and the beautiful geisha Okichi, played by Eiko Ando. With Sam Jaffe, So Yamamura.
Bizarre melodrama set against the backdrop of a Hungarian sideshow troupe following the volatile triangle between ladykiller barker John Gilbert, cooch dancer Renee Adoree, and her thug lover Lionel Barrymore, who’s ready to rig an accident and take his rival out of the picture. Typicall outre outing for director Tod Browning also stars Gertrude Short.
All 157 episodes from the series’s five-year run are featured in a 15-disc boxed set.
The repeal of Prohibition offers bootleg beer baron Edward G. Robinson a chance to leave his illegal past behind him and retire to a life of leisure among California’s social elite. Robinson soon learns that the horsey set can be just as greedy and devious as his old mob cronies in this crime comedy. Mary Astor, Helen Vinson also star.
For details and availability of more of this week’s new releases, click here.
Here’s a look at last week’s DVD and Blu-ray releases.