Twas the week before Christmas and panic sets in, “what do I get for my friends and kin?” But fear not my friends we’ve got the solution for you. Check out these new DVDs and rays that are Blu!
With their respective desperate needs to fly out of Boise–despite adverse weather predictions–photojournalist Alex Martin (Kate Winslet) and surgeon Ben Bass (Idris Elba) agreed to split the cost of chartering a puddle-jumper. Tragic fate, however, causes them to go down in a wintery mountain range–and the mismatched companions must lean on each other in a harrowing, seemingly impossible trek back to civilization. Gripping survival tale adapted from the Charles Smith novel co-stars Beau Bridges, Dermot Mulroney.
Spirited adventure saga set in the 1820s, with Burt Lancaster (who also directed) as a widower who takes his young son with him on a journey from his native Kentucky to Texas. Along the way he visits his well-meaning relatives, frees and befriends a female bondslave, and is confronted by a nasty saloon owner. Donald MacDonald, Diana Lynn and Walter Matthau (in his film debut) co-star.
Burt Lancaster stars as Valdez, an aging Mexican-American lawman out for revenge against Tanner (Jon Cypher), a wealthy rancher who tricked him into killing an innocent man and then left him for dead when he suggested compensating the widow. In order to get even, Valdez kidnaps Tanner’s woman (Susan Clark) and waits for his enemy to come get her. Frank Silvera, Hector Elizondo also star in this rugged, guns-a-blazin’ western, adapted from an Elmore Leonard novel.
Big Business/Scenes from a Mall
First, in Big Business (1988), a maternity ward mix-up sent mismatched twins (Bette Midler, Lily Tomlin) home to the wealthy Sheltons…and their siblings (Midler again, Tomlin again) to the dirt-poor Ratliffs. Forty years later, with their town factory about to be bought out and closed down by the Sheltons’ company, the Ratliff ladies head to Manhattan for a protest–and a head-on comic confrontation with their real sisters! Fast-paced farce also stars Edward Herrmann, Fred Ward, Michael Gross, Barry Primus. Then, in Scenes from a Mall (1991), on their 16th wedding anniversary, pop psychologist Deborah Fifer (Midler) and her sports attorney husband Nick (Woody Allen) take a trip through a Beverly Hills mall, and find something they didn’t bargain for: the discovery that their relationship isn’t as solid as they thought. Paul Mazursky’s insightful, funny look at the state of marriage in the ’90s co-stars Bill Irwin, Fabio, and Kamarr, the discount magician.
Betsy’s Wedding/Holy Matrimony
Betsy’s Wedding (1990) stars Molly Ringwald as a bride-to-be looking forward to the biggest day of her life. But for her harried father Eddie (Alan Alda, who wrote and directed)–so desperate to impress his little girl’s well-off new in-laws-to-be–it’s a day loaded with one comic catastrophe after another. Hilarious, heartfelt look at marital misadventures also stars Joe Pesci, Ally Sheedy, Madeline Kahn, Catherine O’Hara, Anthony LaPaglia, and Joey Bishop. Next, Holy Matrimony (1994) follows criminal couple Havana and Peter (Patricia Arquette, Tate Donovan) as they flee to Canada to hide out in the Hutterite community where he was raised. They marry and try to abide by the colony’s strict religious code, but a bad situation for Havana gets worse when Peter dies, and she gets remarried–to his 12-year-old brother (Joseph Gordon-Levitt)–in a bid to find out where Peter hid their loot. Dark farce co-stars Armin Mueller-Stahl, John Schuck, Courtney B. Vance; Leonard Nimoy directs.