It’s new release time again, and the traditionally sleepy month of April when it comes to new releases is anything but due to an influx of fantastic titles. Classics from the Warner Archives mingle with recent releases, forgotten-but-great horror flicks, recent theatrical biopics, and so much more. Fire up your DVD and Blu-ray players, they’re going to serve you well in the week ahead. Here’s what titles are now available!
Mark Hogancamp (Steve Carell) suffers devastating memory loss after being beaten by five men. He finds an unusual, yet effective, method of coping when he constructs Marwen, a miniature WW II-era town complete with action figures that represent himself and the people in his life. Mark’s elaborate, imaginative adventures in Marwen are portrayed through visually stunning motion-capture sequences. Based on a true story, Robert Zemeckis’ offbeat drama co-stars Leslie Mann, Janelle Monáe.
By the early ‘70s, law professor Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Felicity Jones) was all too familiar, in spite of her academic excellence, with professional hurdles stemming from her gender. She was steered to the case of a taxpayer denied an elder care write-off because he was an unmarried man–and Mimi Leder’s engrossing biopic chronicles the first steps in the future Supreme Court Justice’s path of tireless advocacy against sexual discrimination. Armie Hammer, Justin Theroux, Sam Waterston co-star.
Bearing her grandpa’s $1000 legacy, Nebraska farmgirl Jennie Jones (Marie Wilson) came to the big town looking to purchase a sure-thing racehorse…and was summarily separated from her cash by fast-talking track touts Tip (Allen Jenkins) and Jinx (Charley Foy). When the lottery ticket that they sell her as a make-good actually hits, will the stunned grifters be able to fleece her a second time? Far-turn farce also stars Johnnie Davis, Jerry Colonna, Frankie Burke.
In his Lower East Side tenement, tinkering plumber Mendel Marantz (George Sidney)–to the disdain of disbelieving family and friends, save supportive neighbor Bessie (Aline McMahon)–sunk his spare time into crafting a practical dishwasher. When the invention is a hit, his clan wants to take off for Park Avenue…but would he be happy living with the swells? Screen take on the David Freedman stage farce “Mendel, Inc.” co-stars Joe Smith and Charlie Dale, Ruth Hall, Donald Cook; Mervyn LeRoy directs.
Told that his next on-field injury could be crippling, star college quarterback Ken Thomas (William Hopper) promised girlfriend Lucille Martin (June Travis) he’d hang up his cleats. When it’s revealed that a huge alumnus bequest hinges upon the team’s beating their despised rival, they agree he should suit up…but will the donor’s greedy heirs throw a flag? Gridiron farce co-stars Johnnie Davis, William Harrigan, Gordon Oliver; look for Jane Wyman, Carole Landis, Marie Wilson amongst the co-eds.
Scarred at the hands of Nazi torturers, the bulk of his wealth gone, Baron Victor Von Frankenstein (Boris Karloff) had little choice but to trade on the family infamy and let an American TV crew lens a monster movie at his ancestral castle. Unfortunately for the frightened filmmakers, he’s using the proceeds to craft a creature (Mike Lane) of his own…and he’s running out of parts. Matinee menace staple co-stars Don “Red” Barry, Jana Lund, Tom Duggan, Charlotte Austin.
Night on Earth (Criterion Collection)
Maverick filmmaker Jim Jarmusch casts his camera on the relationships and rapport that emerge between five taxi drivers and their passengers in this omni-cab comedy that visits L.A., New York, Paris, Rome, and Helsinki on the same night. Playing the hacks in the vignettes are Winona Ryder, Roberto Benigni, Isaach De Bankolé, Matti Pellonpää, and Armin Mueller-Stahl; their riders include Gena Rowlands, Giancarlo Esposito, Béatrice Dalle, and Rosie Perez. Score by Tom Waits.
Stranger Than Paradise (Criterion Collection)
On the Lower East Side, the stagnant lives of shiftless Hungarian émigré Willie (John Lurie) and his no-less misfit pal Eddie (Richard Edson) get an unanticipated jolt from Willie’s teenage cousin Eva (Eszter Balint), arrived from the old country en route to visit an aunt in Cleveland. An offbeat and engaging look at the American dream is delivered in Jim Jarmusch’s witty, starkly filmed “culture clash” comedy/drama.
While beating the bushes in far Montana, Chicago football scout Rusty Walker (William Demarest) was struck by the rifle arm (and bullet head) of cowpoke Harry Lynn (Bert Wheeler). Harry agrees to come East and turn pro on the condition that his best girl Maizie (Marie Wilson) come along…but what happens when his new bosses get tired of his being distracted and connive to break them up? Giddy gridiron grinfest also stars Gloria Dickson, William Hopper, Eddie Foy, Jr.
Frequent co-stars Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly reteam for this absurdly hilarious take on famed detective Sherlock Holmes and his faithful sidekick, Dr. Watson. A threat on the life of Queen Victoria causes Holmes (Ferrell) and Watson (Reilly) to spring into action, leading them on a riotously ridiculous adventure as they try to track down brilliant criminal–and Holmes’ arch-foe–Professor Moriarty (Ralph Fiennes). With Rebecca Hall, Kelly Macdonald, Lauren Lapkus, and Hugh Laurie.
Kung fu goes batty in this energetic Hammer Films/Shaw Brothers production, as Professor Van Helsing (Peter Cushing) finds a clan of bloodsuckers under the command of Count Dracula in a Chinese village and enlists the aid of a group of martial arts experts. With Julie Ege and John Forbes-Robertson as the Count. Also includes the American version of the film, “The Seven Brothers Meet Dracula.”
Ten years after taking part in a prison escape, ex-pat American Joe Moran (Charles Bronson) lives quietly on the French Mediterranean coast. But when his former partners kidnap his wife and daughter in order to force him to join in a drug deal, Moran will stop at nothing to rescue his family. Intense actioner based on Richard Matheson’s 1959 novel “Ride the Nightmare” also stars Liv Ullmann, James Mason, and Jill Ireland.
Rider on the Rain (Le Passager de la Pluie)
This unusual and moody suspenser stars Marlène Jobert as Mellie, a French woman who, after being raped, shoots her attacker and dumps the body in the ocean. Col. Dobbs (Charles Bronson) is a U.S. Army investigator who suddenly arrives and informs Mellie that a corpse has been found and he’s certain she’s responsible. But does Dobbs really know all he claims to? Annie Cordy and Jill Ireland co-star. René Clément directs this French/Italian production.
The gaggle of teens who thought their lakeside summer weekend would be all about water-skiing and partying got to spend it begging for their lives instead, courtesy of a chunky, cowboy gear-clad maniac who owned a big, sharp blade and knew how to use it. Notorious shot-on-video shoestring slasherama stars Doug Barry, Angela Darter, Mike Kaufman, Travis Krasser, and Tiny Frazier as the Killer.
Don Cheadle gives a career-defining performance as controversial Washington, D.C., radio personality Ralph “Petey” Greene in this riveting biopic. Becoming a sensation throughout the late ’60s and early ’70s by honestly discussing his views and analyzing his own shortcomings over the airwaves, he quickly gained plenty of fans–and critics. With Martin Sheen, Mike Epps, Cedric the Entertainer.
It opened for business in the late ‘40s, and the Mahoning Drive-In–nestled in rural Pennsylvania, 80 miles due north from Philly–was one of the last surviving drive-in theaters on the landscape. Unable to afford the conversion to digital projection, the operators pinned their hopes on screening 35mm prints of vintage films, and their new business model’s embrace from the local community is warmly chronicled in this effort no movie fan should miss.
The landmark erotic classic stars sultry Sylvia Kristel in the title role of the love-starved and sexually frustrated wife of a French embassy official in Thailand. Follow Emmanuelle on an odyssey to explore-and shatter-the frontiers of her sexuality with a variety of male and female lovers. Alain Cuny, Marika Green also star; Just Jaeckin (“The Story of ‘O'”) directs.
Gorgeous Sylvia Kristel stars in this exotic, erotic sequel to “Emmanuelle.” Here, she travels to Hong Kong to be with her husband, Jean (Umberto Orsini). But that doesn’t stop Emmanuelle from seeking (as always) to satisfy her insatiable sexual appetite by engaging in a series of steamy carnal encounters. With Catherine Rivet, Caroline Laurence, and future screen Emanuelle Laura Gemser. AKA: Emmanuelle 2: The Joys of a Woman.”
Parting is such sweet sorrow, especially when it’s sexy Sylvia Kristel as Emmanuelle. On the lush beaches of the Seychelles, Emmanuelle’s husband (Umberto Orsini) becomes jealous when her initially casual affair with a filmmaker takes an unexpectedly serious turn. French softcore drama, notable as the first theatrical release from Miramax Pictures, co-stars Alexandra Stewart, Olga Georges-Picot. AKA: “Emmanuelle 3.”
For a complete overview of all of this week’s new releases, click here.