Mmm yeah…I’m gonna need you to go ahead and check out this week’s new releases. This time around, movies from the past and recent indie faves take the spotlight…highlighted by a 20th anniversary edition of a contemporary cult classic. Stars ranging from Bette Davis to Kirk Douglas to Sir Laurence Olivier make appearances in this batch of new releases, as do some exciting TV season sets. Here are the most notable DVDs and Blu-rays now available. So don’t have a case of the Mondays, watch some movies and television shows!
Office Space (20th Anniversary Edition)
“Beavis and Butt-head” creator Mike Judge tackles flesh-and-blood characters in this satiric look at the occupational crises felt by a group of friends at a ‘90s software company. Downsizing consultants, cubicles, embezzled pennies, a hypnotherapist, flair, a detested printer, and a missing Swingline stapler add up to a hilarious few days for computer programmer Peter Gibbons (Ron Livingston) and company. Co-stars Gary Cole, Jennifer Aniston, David Herman, Ajay Naidu, and Stephen Root as Milton.
In Nazi-occupied Norway, Resistance fighter Knut Straud (Richard Harris) and scientist Dr. Rolf Pedersen (Kirk Douglas) are supposed to help British commandos take out a German factory involved in heavy water production for atomic weapon research, but are forced to try and destroy the facility themselves, in Anthony Mann’s gripping, based-on-fact WWII actioner. With Michael Redgrave, Anton Diffring; based on both the memoir by Knut Haukelid and a novel by John Drummond.
Paul Lukas won an Academy Award for his portrayal of a German underground leader chased by the Nazis from his homeland to America. Bette Davis co-stars as his wife, and together the pair discovers how far the Nazis reach is, as their new life in Washington, D.C., is threatened by such figures as a shady blackmailer. Featuring a screenplay by Dashiell Hammett, this adaptation of Lillian Hellman’s stage hit co-stars Geraldine Fitzgerald, Lucile Watson.
Accompanying her parents to Paris on business, 13-year old Lauren (Diane Lane, in her film debut) became mutually smitten with cabbie’s son Daniel (Thelonious Bernard). Taking the offhand advice of an affable senior (Laurence Olivier) to heart, they run off to Venice for a romance-sealing kiss–and spark scenic adventure as they try to stay a step ahead of the authorities. George Roy Hill’s whimsical and winning charmer also stars Sally Kellerman, Arthur Hill, Broderick Crawford, David Dukes.
Based on Barbara Michaels’ novel “Ammie Come Home,” this made-for-TV chiller stars Barbara Stanwyck as Ruth Bennett, a woman who inherits an apparently haunted house in Pennsylvania Amish country. The house’s dark and deadly past is exposed after a local professor (Richard Egan) and Ruth’s niece (Kitty Winn) are possessed, respectively, by the spirits of a supposedly traitorous Revolutionary War general and his daughter. With Michael Anderson, Jr., Doreen Lang, Mabel Albertson.
This perversely refreshing horror tale in the Grand Guignol tradition stars Geraldine Page as Claire Marrable, a demented, elderly widow whose method of digging herself out of debt includes murdering her housekeepers one by one and stealing their savings. Ruth Gordon co-stars as Alice Dimmock, who poses as Mrs. Marrable’s new employee in order to investigate the disappearance of her friend–the old lady’s last victim. With Rosemary Forsyth, Robert Fuller, Mildred Dunnock.
24 Frames (Criterion Collection)
For what turned out to be his last project, Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami chose to wed his passions for still photography and cinema, selecting two dozen images from his portfolio–primarily landscapes and wildlife–and crafting separate, dialogue-free, four-and-a-half-minute-long digitally animated vignettes capturing the moments just before and after the shutter snapped, creating both a remarkable immersive viewing experience and a very fitting career capstone.
Marguerite Duras’ 1985 remembrance of life during the Nazi occupation receives a haunting screen adaptation from filmmaker Emmanuel Finkiel, as Mélanie Thierry unforgettably portrays the author as she tried to deal with the detention of her husband Robert Antelme (Emmanuel Bourdieu) through the attentions of a smitten collaborationist (Benoît Magimel) and an affair with a fellow Resistance fighter (Benjamin Biolay). Elsa Amiel, Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet also star.
On the streets of Bed-Stuy, a confrontation between a lone African-American and six white cops ends in fatal gunfire–and the lives of two witnesses will be forever changed: a black policeman (John David Washington) weighing his silence, and a reformed dealer (Anthony Ramos) who caught it all on his phone and could take it all public. Intense and timely effort co-stars Kelvin Harrison Jr., Rob Morgan, Chanté Adams, Nicole Beharie, Jasmine Cephas Jones.
Back in Clinton Era L.A., 13-year-old Stevie (Sunny Suljic) wasn’t getting much attention from his oft-absent single mom (Katherine Waterston), or much more than abuse from his moody, damaged big brother (Lucas Hedges). When he falls in with a pack of slightly older skateboard kids, he may find the acceptance he seeks–and maybe more trouble than he can deal with. Jonah Hill’s trenchant debut as writer-director co-stars Na-kel Smith, Gio Galicia, Ryder McLaughlin, Olan Prenatt, Alexa Demie.
As he wound down his days in his Brooklyn apartment, aging ex-Mossad operative Asher (Ron Perlman) wasn’t above supplementing his retirement with the occasional contract killing. However, his latest side job found him crossing paths with the beautiful Sophie (Famke Janssen)…and, having fallen for her, discovering there’s no simple out from his path of violence. Stylish thriller also stars Richard Dreyfuss, Jacqueline Bisset, Peter Facinelli, Guy Burnet.
Offering a more serious, downbeat look at the life of a pimp than many of its ’70s “blaxploitation” brethren, this gritty drama stars Roscoe Orman as Willie, who tries to out-hustle a rival pimp and pays the price, even as ex-hooker-turned-social worker Cora (Diana Sands) tries to persuade Willie to give up his flashy and dangerous lifestyle. Roger Robinson, Joyce Walker, Thalmus Rasulala also star.
While driving to a boxing match, four suburban guys (Emilio Estevez, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Stephen Dorff, Jeremy Piven) elect the fateful choice of a short cut through the wrong part of town. Quickly getting lost, they wind up as eyewitnesses to a drug-related murder…and now the only fight they’ll see is one for their lives, as the killer (Denis Leary) and his hoods take off in pursuit. Urban cat-and mouse thriller also stars Peter Greene, Everlast.
For widowed Buckinghamshire neighbors Phil (John Cleese) and Edith (Alison Steadman), the game plan was to marry, pull up stakes, and live out their days on a Maltese beach. That was the case, at least, before Edith’s middle-aged son Roger (Jason Watkins) had a nervous collapse, walked out on family and job, and moved back into her house! Engaging BBC sitcom also stars Rosie Cavaliero, Joanna Scanlan, Anne Reid, James Cosmo, Peter Egan. All seven episodes are included in this release.
Texas criminal lawyer Henry Deaver (André Holland) didn’t understand why he’d been cryptically summoned to return to his small–but foreboding–Maine hometown. He might regret his curiosity as he delves into the uncanny truth regarding a mysterious convict (Bill Skarsgård) held for two generations in the recesses of Shawshank Penitentiary. Creepy series that pulls on plot threads from across Stephen King’s oeuvre also stars Sissy Spacek, Melanie Lynskey, Jane Levy, Scott Glenn, Ann Cusack, Terry O’Quinn. All 10 episodes from the debut season are included in a three-disc set.
Spun out of the popular and politically charged fantasy film franchise, this USA series set on the violence-filled night when America suspends martial law follows the Purge’s impact on various types from a combat Marine (Gabriel Chavarria) come home to rescue his sister (Jessica Garza) from a suicide cult to a businesswoman (Amanda Warren) out to manipulate the chaos for her own advancement. Hannah Emily Anderson, Colin Woodell, Lili Simmons, Lee Tergesen, and William Baldwin also star. All 10 episodes from the debut season are included in this two-disc set.
Let us know which of these you are interested in below!