It’s 90-plus degrees in the Northeast this week, but the nights are getting longer and kids are lining up for the school bus, so it’s pretty clear that autumn is just around the corner. That means it’s time for MovieFanFare to offer a sneak peek at some of the DVD and Blu-ray releases for September. Along with some of the summer’s biggest hits, there are fairy tale favorites for all ages, classic film and TV titles, special editions and much more:
Aquarius: The Complete First Season (2015) – Los Angeles, 1967: At an old flame’s behest, veteran police detective Sam Hodiak (David Duchovny) takes on a search for the woman’s runaway teen daughter (Emma Dumont), who’s vanished into the city’s burgeoning hippie subculture. The quest brings him into contact with unanticipated danger…in the form of charismatic cult leader Charles Manson (Gethin Anthony). All 13 episodes from the debut season of NBC’s powerful period crime drama are featured in a four-disc set.
The Beginning of the End (1947) – Straightforward and sobering M-G-M docudrama chronicles the U.S. military’s development and deployment of the first atomic bomb, from the experiments of Italian-born scientist Enrico Fermi (Joseph Calleia) to the oversight of the top-secret Manhattan Project under General Leslie Groves (Brian Donlevy) and J. Robert Oppenheimer (Hume Cronyn) to the fateful 1945 flight of the Enola Gay over Hiroshima. Robert Walker, Audrey Totter, Barry Nelson, Tom Drake also star.
Breaker Morant (Criterion Collection) (1979) – In the waning months of the Boer War, the British Army arrested and court-martialed a trio of Australian infantry officers–Harry “Breaker” Morant (Edward Woodward), Peter Handcock (Bryan Brown), and George Witton (Lewis Fitz-Gerald)–over the summary execution of eight Boer POWs. The enduringly controversial tale of their prosecution is stirringly delivered in Bruce Beresford’s acclaimed opus; Jack Thompson, John Waters also star. Special edition includes audio commentary, the bonus documentary “The Breaker” (1974), featurettes and theatrical trailer.
Cinderella (2015) – Disney’s visually extravagant, live-action rendering of the fairy tale classic delights anew, as the young and beautiful Cinderella (Lily James) is forbidden to attend the palace ball by her wicked stepmother (Cate Blanchett). Soon after a visit from her Fairy Godmother (Helena Bonham Carter), Ella is put on an enchanted course to meet a handsome Prince (Richard Madden). Kenneth Branagh directs; Holliday Grainger, Stellan Skarsgard, and Derek Jacobi co-star.
Cop Car (2015) – Two young boys (Hays Wellford, James Freedson-Jackson) stumble upon what seems like an abandoned police cruiser and decide to take the car on a joyride. Little do they know that the vehicle was temporarily vacated by a renegade sheriff (Kevin Bacon)…a man with a secret to protect and a need to get his car back before anybody realizes he’s lost it. Humorous thriller co-stars Camryn Manheim, Shea Whigham.
Directed by John Ford – Peter Bogdanovich’s 1971 documentary about the legendary director has been recut with new interview footage and restructured with added anecdotes, insights, and observations for this special release. Clint Eastwood, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Katharine Hepburn, and many others offer remarks about Ford and how the man who made “Stagecoach” and many other classics affected them personally and professionally.
Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films (2014) – Throughout the 1980s, Israeli cousins Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus dominated the movie industry. Well, not really. But as the owners of Cannon Films, they did enjoy a well-earned reputation for quickly cranking out schlocky, low-budget fare. This fun and fascinating documentary explores the “anything goes” approach to filmmaking taken by the ambitious studio heads. Features interviews with Richard Chamberlain, Tobe Hooper, Elliott Gould, Molly Ringwald, and many more.
Empire: The Complete First Season (2015) – Diagnosed with ALS and given only three years to live, music industry mogul Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard) must choose which of his three sons he will put in charge of his successful company, Empire Entertainment. Complicating matters is Cookie (Taraji P. Henson), Lucious’ ex-wife who’s just finished a 17-year prison sentence and wants her half of Empire back. Bryshere Y. Gray, Jussie Smollett, Trai Byers also star in the sleek, sexy hit Fox drama. All 11 episodes from the debut season are featured in a four-disc set.
Entourage (2015) – The gang is back in this big-screen romp that picks up where the hit HBO series left off. With Vincent Chase (Adrien Grenier) starring in, and making his directorial debut on, a troubled adaptation of “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” he’ll need his boys (Kevin Connolly, Kevin Dillon, and Jerry Ferrara) and agent-turned-studio-boss Ari (Jeremy Piven) to help him deal with the film’s difficult father-and-son financiers (Billy Bob Thornton and Haley Joel Osment).
The Flash: Season 1 (2014) – The combination of a particle accelerator explosion and lightning strike imbues young Central City forensics cop Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) with super-speed. As The Flash, he uses his newfound abilities to combat crooks and metahuman menaces, as well as to unearth the truth behind his mother’s mysterious murder. Lively, popular take on the DC Comics hero from The CW co-stars Candice Patton, Tom Cavanagh, Danielle Panabaker, Carlos Valdes, and Jesse L. Martin. All 23 episodes from the debut season are featured in a five-disc set.
Furious 7 (2015) – Ready to leave their hard-driving days behind them, wheels-savvy Dom (Vin Diesel) and speed racer Brian (Paul Walker, in his final film before his untimely death) must reassemble their fast and furious team one more time. Their globe-spanning mission: recover a stolen surveillance software program dubbed “God’s Eye” and stop a terrorist (Jason Statham)–brother of an old foe–who’s out for revenge. With Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, and Tyrese Gibson.
The Gumby Show: The Complete ’50s Series – “He was once a little green ball of clay.” Then creator Art Clokey’s fun-loving Gumby became the star of his very own stop-motion animated series from 1956-1957. Watch as Gumby, his pony pal Pokey, and his family and friends dive into storybooks, travel to outer space and the Wild West, and have all sorts of magical, shape-shifting adventures. All 22 episodes–plus the unaired pilot episode and Clokey’s experimental short film “Gumbasia” (1955)–are featured in a two-disc set. There’s also a special limited edition which comes with your very own bendable Gumby figure.
Hitler: The Last Ten Days (1973) – Alec Guinness delivers a mesmerizing performance as the Nazi leader in this realistic, revealing drama. The film chronicles the final days in the life of Adolf Hitler, spent in an underground Berlin bunker as the Red Army advanced into Germany, focusing on his descent even further into madness, his clashes with his most trusted advisors, and his tumultuous relationship with Eva Braun (Doris Kunstmann). Simon Ward, Adolfo Celi, Eric Porter also star.
Jack and the Beanstalk (1967) – Imaginative, music-filled romp through the fairy tale classic stars Gene Kelly (who also directed) as Jeremy Keen, a Yankee peddler who ascends the magical beanstalk into the clouds with young Jack and invokes the wrath of an ill-tempered, treasure-hoarding cartoon giant. Blend of live-action and animation from Hanna-Barbera co-stars Bobby Riha as Jack, Marian McKnight, and the voices of Janet Waldo, Ted Cassidy, and Cliff Norton.
The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst (2015) – What was wealthy real estate developer Robert Durst’s involvement in the 1982 disappearance of his wife Kathie, the 2000 murder of best friend Susan Berman, and the killing and dismemberment of his neighbor Morris Black in 2001? New and archival interviews, security footage, and dramatic re-enactments are used to examine these horrific crimes in this riveting six-part HBO documentary series from Andrew Jarecki that ultimately led to Durst’s 2015 arrest for first-degree murder.
Lost in Space: The Complete Adventures (Blu-ray) – Join the Robinson family, Major Don West, the ever-faithful Robot, and the ever-devious Dr. Zachary Smith as their planned Earth-to-Alpha Centauri journey takes them on an adventure-filled odyssey through space in Irwin Allen’s original 1965-68 sci-fi series. With Guy Williams, June Lockhart, Billy Mumy, Mark Goddard, Marta Kristen, Angela Cartwright, and “special guest star” Jonathan Harris. Along with all 83 episodes, this 18-disc collector’s edition also includes interviews, a cast reunion performance of an unproduced script by Mumy,, the unaired pilot episode, original versions of four episodes with commercials and bumpers, a 1973 animated film, interviews, documentaries and more.
Monkey Kingdom (Blu-ray/DVD Combo) (2015) – As heartwarming as it is visually stunning, this “Disneynature” documentary follows a group of toque macaque monkeys living in the Sri Lankan jungles of Polonnaruwa. The film focuses on new mother “Maya,” who struggles to protect her son “Kip,” even as she rises to a position of leadership in her community when they’re forced to look for a new area to call home. Narrated by Tina Fey.
Moonrise Kingdom (Criterion Collection) (2012) – Director/co-writer Wes Anderson’s charming comedy/drama is set on a small New England island in 1965 and tells the tale of Sam (Jared Gilman) and Suzy (Kara Hayward), two youngsters who decide to run away together in an effort to shake off their discontent. Their plan to escape goes beautifully and romance blooms–until the adults in their lives turn the town upside down looking for them. Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand co-star. Special edition includes audio commentary; audition footage, featurettes and theatrical trailer.
Over the Garden Wall (2014) – The award-winning 2013 animated short “Tome of the Unknown” becomes the first Cartoon Network miniseries, with this enchanting tale of brothers Greg (voiced by Collin Dean) and Wirt (Elijah Wood) and their journey through a mysterious forest. Unable to find their way back home, the siblings enlist the help of Beatrice (Melanie Lynskey), a bluebird who knows her way around the strange land. Co-stars the voices of John Cleese, Shirley Jones, and Christopher Lloyd.
Pitch Perfect 2 (2015) – An embarrassing wardrobe malfunction involving Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) during a performance at Lincoln Center results in the Barden Bellas being suspended from the world of a capella competition. In an effort to get reinstated, Beca (Anna Kendrick) and the girls must win a cutthroat international championship, a feat which no American group has ever managed. Lively sequel also stars Hailee Steinfeld, Brittany Snow, John Michael Higgins, and Elizabeth Banks (who also directed).
Poltergeist (2015) – In this modern update of the ’80s horror classic, Eric (Sam Rockwell) and Amy (Rosemarie DeWitt) Bowen and their three kids have barely moved into their new home when they realize they are not its only residents. It seems their house was built on top of an old cemetery and the malevolent spirits who are still trapped there need the Bowens’ youngest daughter, Madison (Kennedi Clements), to escape their otherworldly prison. With Jared Harris, Jane Adams, Saxon Sharbino, Kyle Catlett.
A Room with a View (Criterion Collection) (1986) – A delightful tale of Victorian romance and British conceit, concerning the interwoven lives and loves of a group of English tourists on holiday in Italy and their reunion back home. Helena Bonham Carter, Maggie Smith, Denholm Elliott, Julian Sands, and Daniel Day-Lewis star. Oscar-winning adaptation of E.M. Forster’s novel from Ismail Merchant and James Ivory. Special edition includes featurettes and theatrical trailer.
Sisters: Seasons One & Two – The first primetime series to focus primarily on women, this 1991-96 NBC drama chronicled the tumultuous professional and personal lives of four sisters living in Winnetka, Illinois. The cast included Swoosie Kurtz as wealthy oldest sister Alex; Sela Ward as the free-spirited, alcoholic Teddy; Patricia Kalember as the down-to-earth Georgie; and Julianne Phillips as career-driven youngest sibling Frankie. Garrett M. Brown, Elizabeth Hoffman, Ed Marinaro and Heather McAdam were also part of the show’s ensemble cast. All seven episodes from the first season and all 22 episodes from the second season are featured in a seven-disc set.
Spy (2105) – It had gotten old for ultra-competent but plus-sized CIA desk jockey Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy) to have been the brains behind some of the agency’s most daring coups, but taking none of the bows. That changed when a cunning arms runner (Rose Byrne) threatened the compromise of every known operative, and Susan was rushed into the field for a raucous cross-European chase! Paul Feig’s hit secret agent satire co-stars Jude Law, Jason Statham, Allison Janney, Miranda Hart.
Zipper (2015) – Attorney Sam Ellis (Patrick Wilson) has it all–a great job, a beautiful wife (Lena Headey), and a promising future. But it all starts to come crumbling down around him when he begins to frequent an escort service just as he’s poised to embark on a high-profile political career. Now, Sam must use any and all means necessary to keep his indiscretions under wraps before they ruin him. Diana Agron, Alexandra Breckinridge, Ray Winstone, John Cho, and Richard Dreyfuss also star.
You can see release dates and more information on these and other upcoming titles by clicking here.