So far, August isn’t joking around. We are only in the second week of the month and there are so many great vintage and recent theatrical films making their DVD and/or Blu-ray debut this week that it is mind-boggling. Looking for renowned telefilms? We’ve got you covered! TV season sets? Check! Comedy and drama hits? Uh-huh! In fact, this week is packed with an abundance of viewing options that will keep you occupied well into the fall. Take a look and see for yourselves.
For housewife Deanna Miles (Melissa McCarthy), the good news was that her daughter Jennifer (Debby Ryan) was heading into her senior year of college. The bad, however, was that she just got callously dumped by her cheating husband (Matt Walsh). Her response was to return to school–alongside a dumbstruck Jen–and finish her degree, and her fitful reacclimation to campus life makes for a full syllabus of laughs. Gillian Jacobs, Maya Rudolph, Julie Bowen, Stephen Root, Jacki Weaver also star.
In WWII-era Burma, OSS captain Tom Reynolds (Frank Sinatra) was tasked with training the locals in guerilla warfare to fend off the occupying Japanese. When a traitorous Chinese warlord decides to exploit the chaos with a sneak attack, however, Reynolds forgoes his orders for a vengeance mission onto the mainland. John Sturges’ gripping blend of Intrigue, adventure, and romance co-stars Peter Lawford, Gina Lollobrigida, Paul Henreid, and Brian Donlevy, with early supporting turns by Steve McQueen and Charles Bronson.
As conflict between the U.S. and Soviet Union escalates into nuclear war, an atomic missile strike destroys Kansas City, Missouri…and those pockets of survivors within the outlying region face a harrowing struggle with the blast’s terrible aftermath. One of the most controversial and popular TV movies ever made, this riveting doomsday drama stars Jason Robards, JoBeth Williams, Steve Guttenberg, John Lithgow, Amy Madigan, John Cullum.
After her father’s abrupt death, single mom Shaun Russell (Gabrielle Union) gathered her kids (Ajiona Alexus, Seth Carr) and headed to his secluded Malibu mansion to wind up his affairs. Unfortunately, the house was also targeted by a quartet of dangerous thugs looking for rumored stores of cash…and a desperate Shaun will go to any lengths to get her trapped children from their clutches. Jarring home invasion thriller co-stars Billy Burke, Richard Cabral, Levi Meaden, Christa Miller.
Horror maestro John Carpenter wrote and directed this made-for-television chiller starring Lauren Hutton as Leigh Michaels, a woman stalked by an anonymous maniac living across from her Los Angeles high-rise apartment. Naturally, the police are of no assistance whatsoever, leaving the lovely Leigh to fend for herself as she attempts to turn the tables on the invasive creep. David Birney, Adrienne Barbeau, Charles Cyphers also star.
It was the late 1930s on Broadway, and federal support for the mounting of the socially charged stage musical “The Cradle Will Rock” was being scrutinized by the political right. The efforts of playwright Marc Blitzstein (Hank Azaria), director Orson Welles (Angus MacFadyen), and producer John Houseman (Cary Elwes) to circumvent shutdown are deftly chronicled in writer/director Tim Robbins’ semi-fictionalized account. Bill Murray, Susan Sarandon, Emily Watson, John Cusack co-star.
Gorgeous Jen (Matilda Lutz) thought it’d be the usual weekend’s sun and sex when she was airlifted out to the secluded desert house of older, married and wealthy paramour Richard (Kevin Janssens). However, two of his hunting buddies (Vincent Colombe, Guillaume Bouchède) dropped by…and after she’s assaulted, chased over a ravine, and left for dead, she resolves to show them who the real alpha predator is, in writer/director Coralie Fargeat’s stylish and stunning vengeance actioner.
In the wake of a tragic car accident that claimed the lives of his wife and daughter, composer John Russell (George C. Scott) rents a sprawling, Victorian-era mansion in the hopes it will help him deal with his pain. But he is not alone. It seems the house is haunted by the spirit of a child who was murdered there decades earlier and has now latched on John’s grief. Spine-tingling ghost story also stars Trish Van Devere (Scott’s real-life wife), Melvyn Douglas.
Upstate New York psychotherapist Emily Milburton (Jenny Slate) was having a dicey introduction to new patient Josh Norman (Zachary Quinto), plagued by vivid delusions and obsessed with his estranged TV star big brother Craig (Jon Hamm). With Craig back in town to settle their parents’ affairs, Emily’s faced with a challenge to Josh’s fragile stability–and an ill-considered affair with her patient’s sibling. Intriguing drama co-stars Sheila Vand, Dale Soules, Tonya Pinkins, Marin Ireland.
Queen of the Stardust Ballroom
A year alone had Bronx widow Bea Asher (Maureen Stapleton) resigned to the belief that she’d never find romance again. Encouraged by friends to visit the neighborhood’s throwback dance hall, she finds a new lease on life through the kind attentions of charming mailman Al Green (Charles Durning), but is he hiding something that will compromise her happiness? Simple, touching multiple Emmy-winner co-stars Charlotte Rae, Michael Brandon, Beverly Sanders, Jacquelyn Hyde.
In Cold War-era Singapore, an Irish expatriate/private eye (Dan Duryea) asked to look into the blackmailing of an old army buddy (Patric Knowles) uncovers a labyrinthine scheme involving the kidnap of a nuclear physicist and the threat of Armageddon for the city. Crackling film noir, directed by an uncredited Robert Aldrich and shot on the sets of Duryea’s “China Smith” TV show, co-stars Reginald Denny, Gene Lockhart, Nigel Bruce, Douglass Dumbrille.
Riverdale: The Complete Second Season
The eternal American teenagers of Archie Comics fame received a stylish, strikingly dark, and compelling re-imagining with this hit CW series. The benign little burg of Riverdale, USA, was rocked by a stunning murder…and the web of deceit and old vendettas underlying the small-town facade started enveloping local kids like aspiring musician Archie Andrews (K.J. Apa), school journalist Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart), rich transplant Veronica Lodge (Camila Mendes), and cynical outsider Jughead Jones (Cole Sprouse). Luke Perry, Mädchen Amick, Marisol Nichols also star. All 22 episodes from the second season are featured in this four-disc set.
For her whole life, teenage Anna (Bel Powley) knew no world outside of the barred attic where she was kept–and her maturation arrested–by the old eccentric (Brad Dourif) she called “Daddy.” When the unsavory arrangement is discovered, she’s bound into the care of the local sheriff (Liv Tyler), who tries to provide a normal home life…but as a feral nature begins to surface in her, so does the uncanny truth of her origins. Folkloric shocker co-stars James Le Gros, Collin Kelly-Sordelet.
The Good Doctor: Season One
Having achieved a medical degree through his extraordinary recall and observational skills, young autistic savant Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore) embarked upon his surgical residency at a major San Jose Hospital. His dealings with supporters and skeptics amongst colleagues and administration, as well as grateful patients, fuel this popular ABC doctor drama based on a South Korean series. Nicholas Gonzalez, Antonia Thomas, Beau Garrett, Tamlyn Tomita, Hill Harper, and Richard Schiff also star. All 18 episodes from the series’ first season are featured in this collection.
With the rest of the Justice League unable to contain the rampage of the murderous alien behemoth called Doomsday, Superman (voiced by Jerry O’Connell) must engage the all-powerful monstrosity in a cross-country combat that will shake the nation to its foundations…and that neither might walk away from. Second feature-length animated take on the Man of Steel’s most celebrated story arc also features the voices of Rebecca Romijn, Rainn Wilson, Rosario Dawson, Jason O’Mara.