This week’s new Blu-ray and DVD offerings include everything from a pair of Disney favorites (one new, one classic), to classics from the Warner Archives, recent theatrical offerings, cult hits, and so much more. Movie lovers, have we got a week of dynamic new releases for you!
Wounded and widowed after his WWI service, circus equestrian Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell) finds the only task waiting for him is caretaker to the troupe’s elephant-and the calf she bore with freakishly large ears. Holt’s kids (Nico Parker, Finley Robbins) take charge of the taunted little pachyderm-and are the first to marvel how his appendages have amazingly given him the gift of flight. Tim Burton’s stylish reimagining of the 1941 Disney classic co-stars Danny DeVito, Michael Keaton, Eva Green, Alan Arkin.
Cinderella (The Walt Disney Signature Collection)
Wonderful music and marvelous Disney animation bring to life the timeless fairy tale classic of poor Cinderella, a beautiful and kind young woman tormented by her scheming stepsisters. But an encounter with her fairy godmother, a date with Prince Charming at a lavish ball, a glass slipper, and the ultimate midnight curfew could change her life forever. Features the voices of Ilene Woods, Verna Felton, James MacDonald; Songs include “The Work Song,” “Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo.”
Suspense classic set in Victorian London with Ingrid Bergman as Paula Alquist, who, along with her scheming husband Gregory Anton (Charles Boyer), moves into the mansion where she found her aunt murdered years earlier. Gregory soon hatches a sinister plot to make Paula believe she’s on the verge of insanity while he searches for a stash of hidden gems. With Joseph Cotten, May Whitty, and Angela Lansbury (in her film debut).
Ex-football star turned Hollywood PI Carson Phillips (John Travolta) headed to his hometown of Galveston at the behest of an old flame (Famke Janssen) with a dead son-in-law and a daughter (Ella Bleu Travolta) who’s the prime suspect. Phillips’ quest for the truth brings him into perilous contact with the local crimelord (Morgan Freeman) and a sanitarium owner (Brendan Fraser) with shady secrets. Taut thriller from the Richard Salvatore novel co-stars Peter Stormare, Kat Graham, Robert Patrick.
Ernest Hemingway’s celebrated story receives a stirring translation in this lauded made-for-TV effort, as Anthony Quinn takes the role of Santiago, the aging and impoverished Cuban fisherman whose most productive days are far behind him. On a fateful outing, Santiago hooks–and wins a days-long struggle with–a tremendous marlin, but returning home with this catch of a lifetime intact will be another challenge entirely. Patricia Clarkson, Gary Cole, Joe Santos, Alexis Cruz, Francesco Quinn also star.
Wally Gator: The Complete Series
Oh, fuddle-dee-do! Debuting in syndication as part of “The Hanna-Barbera New Cartoon Series” package over 1962-1963, these long-demanded shorts followed the escapes and escapades of amiable alligator Wally (voiced by Daws Butler), whose constant schemes to slip past ever-exasperated keeper Mr. Twiddle (Don Messick) and experience life outside the confines of the city zoo always seemed to wind up in disaster. All 52 episodes are included in this two-disc set.
Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Criterion Collection)
Stepping back into the high-heeled shoes of his off-Broadway play’s title character, director/co-writer John Cameron Mitchell stars as an East German glam rock performer and recipient of a semi-successful sex-change operation. As Hedwig and her band embark on a cross-country tour of U.S. dives and seafood restaurants, she seeks a reunion with an ex-lover who became famous performing Hedwig’s songs. This campy and unique rock musical also stars Michael Pitt, Miriam Shor, Andrea Martin.
War and Peace (Criterion Collection)
This epic Russian-made adaptation of Tolstoy’s Napoleonic novel took five years and $100,000,000 to make! Grand vignettes of human drama are framed by astounding battle scenes, including one that featured over 120,000 extras. Winner of the Best Foreign Film Oscar, director Sergei Bondarchuk’s remains a sprawling, faithful version of the literary classic. Bondarchuk, Lyudmila Saveleva, and Boris Zakhava star.
Could the blood from a species of fish unchanged by evolution turn a dog into a deadly wolf, or transform an ordinary dragonfly into a giant monster? Ask college science professor Dr. Donald Blake (Arthur Franz), but you’ll have to do it when he himself is not devolving into a rampaging caveman. Joanna Moore, Judson Pratt, Nancy Walters, Troy Donahue co-star in this horror/sci-fi tale from “Creature from the Black Lagoon” director Jack Arnold.
This chilling spine-tingler features Doris Day in the atypical role of Kit Preston, an American woman, newly married to a British financier (Rex Harrison), who finds herself being stalked on the streets of London and over the phone by an unseen assailant. With her spouse believing her to be the victim of a practical joker, or, quite possibly, delusional, will Kit be able to save her sanity…and her life? John Gavin, Myrna Loy, Roddy McDowall also star in this film version of the play “Matilda Shouted Fire” by Janet Green.
Director David Lynch chauffeurs you down a dark and twisted road of passion, madness, and murder. The seemingly unconnected stories of a musician (Bill Pullman) and his wife (Patricia Arquette), who learn someone is videotaping them inside their home, and a mechanic (Balthazar Getty), who has an affair with a mob boss’s (Robert Loggia) mistress (Arquette again), are brought together, thanks to the machinations of a white-faced mystery man (Robert Blake). With Gary Busey, Richard Pryor.
Christmas in Evergreen: Letters to Santa
At crossroads in career and relationship, retail designer Lisa (Jill Wagner) needed to clear her head…and she opted to do so with her first visit in years to her holiday-loving hometown of Evergreen, Vermont. Between discovering the dilapidated shape of the village’s once-revered, now-shuttered country store–and her rapport with attractive local contractor Kevin (Mark Deklin)–she might find her new direction. Heartfelt follow-up co-stars Holly Robinson Peete, Barbara Niven, Andrew Francis.
For adman Dan Edwards (Frank Sinatra), stodgy routine had long since replaced the hell-raising lifestyle that spouse Valerie (Deborah Kerr) had fallen in love with. When their Mexican getaway results in a clerical error–and the entry of a divorce decree–he wants to clean up the paperwork…but she wants to rekindle matters with her swinging ex (Dean Martin). Raucous marital romp also stars Cesar Romero, Tony Bill, Hermione Baddeley, Nancy Sinatra.
Quintessential Fifties romantic comedy features Frank Sinatra as theater agent Charlie Reader, a hip bachelor whose ways with the women impress his unhappily married best pal and current house guest Joe McCall (David Wayne). Charlie’s lifestyle is put to the test when he meets ingénue Julie Gillis (Debbie Reynolds), who insists he drop his other girlfriends and propose. Celeste Holm, Lola Albright, Carolyn Jones, Jarma Lewis also star.
It looked like the hard luck was finally turning for bank teller Johnny Dalton (Frank Sinatra), whose tip from a grateful bookie turned into a $60,000 windfall…and meant he could propose to girlfriend/colleague Mibs Goodhue (Jane Russell). However, a massive shortage at the office finds the two now-flush lovebirds suspected of embezzlement, and embarking on a cockeyed scheme for exoneration cooked up by their wacky waiter pal (Groucho Marx). Nestor Paiva, Don McGuire, Howard Freeman co-star.
Fearful that buddy Ricky (Dwayne Hickman) will hit on Dee Dee (Annette Funicello) while he’s on Naval Reserve duty, Frankie (uncredited Frankie Avalon) gets a witch doctor (Buster Keaton) to send a magical bikini, which is stuffed with beautiful Cassandra (Beverly Adams), to woo away Ricky. And that’s just the start of the hi-jinks in this bouncy beach comedy that also stars Mickey Rooney, The Kingsmen, Jody McCrea, and Harvey Lembeck; with a cameo by Elizabeth Montgomery.
Dom DeLuise delivers a wonderful performance as Dominick DiNapoli, a good-natured, albeit overweight, guy who tries to reduce after an obese relative’s death. As Dom struggles with giving up the foods he loves so much, he joins a support group called the Chubby Checkers, and finds love with a local antique shop owner (Candice Azzara). Funny and touching seriocomedy co-stars Anne Bancroft (who also wrote and directed), Ron Carey, Michael Lombard
While vacationing in Barbados, widowed and lonely British Home Office functionary Judith Farrow (Julie Andrews) strikes sparks with charming Soviet military attaché Feodor Sverdlov (Omar Sharif). Their swift liaison doesn’t go unnoticed by British intelligence, which is convinced that his interest is solely to recruit her as a spy. Romance and intrigue abound in Blake Edwards’ take on the Evelyn Anthony Cold War thriller; Anthony Quayle, Sylvia Syms, Dan O’Herlihy, Oskar Homolka also star.
The Dick Cavett Show: Baseball’s Greatest Hits: Pitchers
Dick Cavett crouches behind the plate and calls for candid observations from a magnificent seven of the 20th century’s most accomplished All-Star hurlers: Whitey Ford, Bob Feller, Dizzy Dean, Satchel Paige, Denny McLain, Vida Blue, and Tommy John. Other guests on these “Cavett Show” entries include Mickey Mantle, Paul Simon, Robert Altman, Marcel Marceau, Salvador Dali. Six episodes on three discs.