DVD & Blu-ray Releases: Week of 1-23-12

DVD & Blu-ray Releases this week feature Godzilla (Criterion Collection), The Whistleblower with Vanessa RedgraveLooking for some high-flying new releases? If so, you’re sure in the right place! There’s a bunch of great offerings making their debuts this week, but none are more noteworthy than the classic Wings — a film that has the distinction for winning the very first Academy Award for Best Picture. But that’s not all. Film favorites ranging from Godzilla’s film debut to a Kojak telefilm are also being released this week. Check out the rest of what is now available!

Wings

Thrilling aerial combat scenes highlight director William Wellman’s silent 1927 WWI saga. Richard Arlen and Charles “Buddy” Rogers are small-town best friends, in love with the same girl, who enlist in the Army Air Corps to fight in Europe. Clara Bow is a France-based ambulance driver from back home, and Gary Cooper–in an early role–plays a cocky cadet.

Godzilla (Criterion Collection)

Atomic testing in the Pacific awakens a gigantic reptilian creature dubbed Godzilla off the coast of Japan and sends the monstrous menace on a rampage across Tokyo and its environs. Director Ishiro Honda’s “kaiju” classic spawned innumerable sequels; Akihiko Hirata, Takashi Shimura, Momoko Kochi, and Haru Nakajima star. Includes the original Japanese release “Gojira” and the 1956 re-dubbed American version “Godzilla, King Of The Monsters,” with Raymond Burr.

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century: Season One

All 21 episodes from the series’s first season–including the pilot “Awakenings,” “Return of the Fighting 69th,” “Unchained Woman,” “Space Vampire,” and “Flight of the War Witch”–have been collected in a six-disc set.

Mannix: The Sixth Season

All 24 episodes from season six–including “The Open Web,” “Portrait of a Hero,” “A Puzzle for One,” “The Faces of Murder,” and “The Danford File”–are featured in a six-disc set.

Meet the Browns: Season 4

The next 20 episodes of the series–including “Meet the Alter Ego,” “Meet the Anniversary,” “Meet the Racist,” “Meet the Job Offer,” and “Meet the Postponement”–are presented in a three-disc set.

The Mill and the Cross

Mixing live actors with painted backdrops, this challenging film restages the action of “The Procession to Cavalry,” the famous 1564 canvas painted by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (Rutger Hauer). Parallel to the events of the famous Christian story, the movie relates the tale behind the creation of the work, as Bruegel has encounters with his patron and the woman who inspired his depiction of the Virgin Mary. Michael York and Charlotte Rampling co-star in this Swedish-Polish drama based on Michael Francis Gibson’s book.

The Moment of Truth (Criterion Collection)

From director Francesco Rosi comes this exhilarating look at the life of a famous matador (portrayed by real-life bullfighting icon Miguel Mateo). As the fearless torero experiences incredible success and bloody defeat in the ring, insight into sport, showmanship, and casual violence is presented. With Jose Gomez Sevillano, Linda Christian.

The Whistleblower

Based on actual events, this dramatic thriller follows Nebraska police officer Kathryn Bolkovac (Rachel Weisz) as she accepts a United Nations peacekeeping position in post-war Bosnia. Once there, she uncovers a dangerous sex-trafficking ring and an international conspiracy to cover it up that involves her superiors. With Vanessa Redgrave, Monica Bellucci, David Strathairn.

Real Steel

“Rocky” meets the Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots in this inspiring underdog tale loosely based on the short story “Steel” by Richard Matheson. It’s the year 2020 and the sport of boxing is dominated by high-tech mechanical fighters. A washed-up former-pug-turned-promoter (Hugh Jackman) bonds with his estranged son (Dakota Goyo) as they work together to turn a broken-down, obsolete robot into a real contender. WithEvangeline Lilly, Kevin Durand, Hope Davis.

Restless

Meet Enoch Brae (Henry Hopper), a death-fixated lad whose one (imaginary) friend is the ghost of a Kamikaze pilot and whose sole entertainment is attending the funerals of complete strangers. It’s at one such gathering that he meets the pixieish and terminally ill caregiver Annabel (Mia Wasikowska), and they determine to make the most of her remaining time. Post-modern “Harold and Maude” from director Gus Van Sant co-stars Schuyler Fisk, Jane Adams, Ryo Kase, Lusia Strus.

The Confession

This exciting feature edited from an original series produced for the Internet stars Kiefer Sutherland as an assassin seeking redemption by confessing to a priest (John Hurt). While the hit man subscribes to no faith, he looks for answers from the holy man by revisiting his violent past (seen in flashbacks) and debating the existence of free will. With Max Casella, Michael Badalucco.

The Lie

Filled with malaise from a dead-end job and unfulfilled dreams of musical success, video editor Lonnie (star/director/co-scripter Joshua Leonard) gets out of work by telling his boss his infant daughter is ill. The seemingly innocent white lie snowballs into a comical web of deception that overwhelms Lonnie and those around him. Jess Wexler, Mark Webber, Alia Shawkat, and Jane Adams also star in this darkly funny tale.

50/50

Loosely based on the experiences of screenwriter Will Reiser and actor Seth Rogen, this poignant comedy/drama follows Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a 27-year-old man diagnosed with a rare form of spinal cancer. Adam’s long, darkly comic road to recovery includes physically draining chemotherapy treatments coupled with “help” from his well-meaning best pal (Rogen), his overbearing mother (Anjelica Huston), his emotionally detached girlfriend (Bryce Dallas Howard), and a pretty therapist (Anna Kendrick).

Another Happy Day

For middle-aged divorcee Lynn, a weekend gathering at her parents’ Annapolis estate for the wedding of her estranged oldest son turns into a group exercise in resentments, reopening old wounds, and other self-destructive behavior. Writer/director Sam Levinson‘s (son of Barry) biting dysfunctional family drama stars Ellen Barkin, Kate Bosworth, Ellen Burstyn,Thomas Haden Church, George Kennedy, andDemi Moore.

Kojak: The Complete Movie Collection

This four-disc collection of “Kojak” features leads off with the lollipop-loving lieutenant’s (Telly Savalas) introduction in the gripping made-for-TV movie “The Marcus-Nelson Murders” (1973), in which Kojak suspects his colleagues of rigging a murder case. Lorraine Gary, Marjoe Gortner, and Jose Ferrer co-star. In “The Belarus File” (1985), Kojak uncovers a conspiracy involving both the Nazis and Soviets; in “The Price of Justice” (1987), Kojak gets close to a female murder suspect; “Ariana” (1989) finds Theo coping with a new partner and the lure of a Greek girl; Kojak looks for the “Fatal Flaw” (1989) in the case of a murder victim with mob ties; in “None So Blind” (1990), Kojak protects a woman who saw a murder; “It’s Always Something” (1990), as Theo learns when he is suspected of killing a prostitute; and “Flowers for Matty” (1990) finds Kojak solving a homicide involving an author.

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.

  • Robert Clark

    I had asked earlier just when this film would be available and was assured that as soon as it was, you would tell us. So, congrats! However, it is only offered in Blu-ray. Will it also be offered in DVD? I have no Blu-ray machine yet although I know it will show both the Blu-ray and the DVD but not vice versa.

    Please let me know what are your plans.

    S/Bob Clark

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