The week after Labor Day is rough. The summer is over, school starts back up, and the fun, sun-drenched days are suddenly a thing of the past. But you don’t have to be bummed out, because there’s always movies. And this week, we’ve got some fantastic titles making their DVD and Blu-ray debuts, from a documentary about everybody’s favorite sweatered TV personality to some horror flicks that will get you in the mood for Halloween (which is closer than you think). Check ’em out!
In the early ‘50s, Pittsburgh seminarian Fred Rogers believed that the emergent medium of television could and should do more for preschool kids. At the turn of the century, as “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” wound up its remarkable 30-plus-year run, his soft-spoken but undeniable gift for engaging children was part of our cultural fabric. This engrossing and endearing look back at his life and legacy offers insights from family, friends, and colleagues into a fondly remembered icon.
The bitter relationship between miniaturist Annie Graham (Toni Collette) and her eccentric mother had long tainted the life she built with her husband (Gabriel Byrne) and teenage kids (Alex Wolff, Milly Shapiro), and she hoped that the old woman’s passing would let her move on. However, as the Grahams become enveloped in horrifying tragedy and eerie happenings, their true family legacy comes to unholy light. Genuinely chilling entry co-stars Ann Dowd, Mallory Bechtel, Zachary Arthur.
In 1983, adventurous free spirit Tami Oldham (Shailene Woodley) was at loose ends in Tahiti when she fell into an mutual attraction with British mariner Richard Sharp (Sam Claflin). Having jumped at a commission to return a yacht to San Diego, the pair would fatefully sail into the Category 4 force of Hurricane Raymond…and Tami faced a desperate struggle to find safe harbor for her injured lover and ruined ship. Romantic survival saga from Oldham’s memoir co-stars Jeffrey Thomas, Grace Palmer.
Reality TV psychic debunker Phillip Goodman (Andy Nyman) was exhorted by his professional hero (Leonard Byrne) to investigate a trio of unsolved cases that might involve legitimate paranormal activity. As he pursues the subjects–a watchman (Paul Whitehouse) at a shuttered asylum, a teenager (Alex Lawther) involved in a bizarre hit-and-run, and a poltergeist-plagued financier (Martin Freeman)–his own soul may be imperiled. Chilling throwback portmanteau co-stars Paul Warren, Nicholas Burns.
Grizzled gunfighter Clay McCord (Alex Cord) may be forced into early retirement thanks to the uncontrollable tremors afflicting his shooting arm. He sets out for the town of Tuscosa to take advantage of an offer of amnesty to outlaws, but before he can enjoy his pardon, McCord will be forced to take the town’s corrupt boss (Mario Brega) down once and for all. Exciting western drama from Italy also stars Robert Ryan, Arthur Kennedy, Enzo Fiermonte, and Nicoletta Machiavelli. AKA: “Dead or Alive,” “Outlaw Gun.”
Scenes from a Marriage (Criterion Collection)
Acclaimed film chronicles the many years of love and turmoil that bind Marianne and Johan, tracking their relationship through matrimony, infidelity, divorce, and subsequent partnerships. Originally conceived by director Ingmar Bergman (The Seventh Seal) as a five-hour, six-part television miniseries, the film is also presented in its three-hour theatrical cut. Shot largely in intense, intimate closeups, and featuring flawless performances by Liv Ullmann and Erland Josephson, Bergman’s emotional X-ray reveals the deep joys and pains of a complex bond.
Could you keep the names of realtor Melvyn Orton (Dudley Moore), hit man Mike Lawton (Bryan Brown), and affair-seeking small-town mayor Maurice Horton (Richard Griffiths) straight? It was certainly beyond the bumbling bellhop (Bronson Pinchot) at the posh hotel where all three were staying…and when he juggles their itineraries, all kinds of riotous mix-ups ensue. Frenetic farce co-stars Patsy Kensit, Penelope Wilton, Alison Steadman, Andreas Katsulas.
At loose ends in Rome, broke Americans Phoebe (Sean Young) and Julian (Richard Lewis) thought it’d be easy cash when they headed to Monte Carlo to collect a matron’s reward for her lost dachshund. They arrived to find the old lady dead, and themselves persons of interest! All-star remake of the 1960 Italian caper farce “Crimen” also features John Candy, James Belushi, Cybill Shepherd, George Hamilton, Ornella Muti, and Giancarlo Giannini; Eugene Levy directs.
Sylvester Stallone puts on the pinstripes to play “Snaps” Provolone, a 1930s gangster who promises his dying father he’ll go straight, discovers his accountant is set to marry his daughter, and loses black bags that contain $50,000 and jewelry. Screwball farce from John Landis also stars Ornella Muti, Don Ameche, Tim Curry, Kirk Douglas, Marisa Tomei, and Chazz Palminteri.
Which of these will you be watching? Let us know in the comments below!