It’s been awhile since we’ve had a week crammed with as many great new Blu-ray and DVD releases as this one! Now available are everything from recent theatrical hits to an assortment of Greta Garbo classics unearthed from the Warner Archives. Here’s what films and TV shows you’ll be wanting to add to your personal home video library!
Self-made but monstrous tech entrepreneur Jordan Sanders (Regina Hall) was a terror to everyone on her payroll…and then the day came when she bullied a little kid who wished she was her size. The next morning, Jordan woke up as her 13-year-old self (Marsai Martin)–and she’s now pressing already-abused assistant April (Issa Rae) into helping her maintain cover until the curse can be reversed! Fun fantasy farce co-stars Justin Hartley, Tone Bell, Rachel Dratch, JD McCary, Mikey Day.
Boston doctor Louis Creed (Jason Clarke) had been having the standard difficulties moving practice, wife Rachel (Amy Seimetz) and kids to rural Maine. However, when the beloved cat of daughter Ellie (Jeté Laurence) is killed in traffic, eccentric new neighbor Jud (John Lithgow) tips him to the uncanny restorative properties of a local Indian burial ground…and starts a string of unholy consequences. Disquieting do-over of the Stephen King shocker co-stars Obssa Ahmed, Maria Herrera.
Minnesota farmgirl Anna Christofferson (Greta Garbo) came to the New York docks in search of the barge skipper father (George F. Marion) whom she hadn’t seen since she was a child. As she falls in love with a rescued Irish sailor (Charles Bickford)–and her parent disapproves of the match–she’ll have to confront both with the sordid details in her past. Garbo’s storied talking picture debut, adapted from Eugene O’Neill’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, also stars Marie Dressler, James T. Mack.
The famed Dutch exotic dancer who used her seductive charms to spy for the Germans in World War I is vividly portrayed by Greta Garbo in this thrilling, if somewhat fictionalized, biodrama. Trying to get her hands on top secret Allied information, Mata Hari may find both mission and heart compromised as she begins to fall for the dashing young Russian lieutenant (Ramon Novarro) who’s carrying the intel. Lionel Barrymore, Lewis Stone, C. Henry Gordon, Karen Morley also star.
Greta Garbo is electrifying in this fanciful portrait of the fierce-willed, colorful and controversial 17th-century Swedish monarch. After slipping from her palace in man-drag, she enjoys a surreptitious liaison with a Spanish envoy (John Gilbert) unaware of her identity…with the affair threatening to scuttle a politically motivated arranged marriage and her hold on the throne. Romantic classic, the fourth and final Garbo/Gilbert pairing, co-stars Ian Keith, Lewis Stone; Rouben Mamoulian directs.
Greta Garbo gave one of her greatest performances in this lavish costume drama as the Czarist Russian noblewoman who finds the persistent attentions of a dashing officer (Fredric March) drawing her away from her functionary husband (Basil Rathbone)…and down a path of disgrace and disaster. Garbo’s second pass at Tolstoy’s tragic heroine, after the loose 1927 silent adaptation “Love,” also stars Maureen O’Sullivan, May Robson, Freddie Bartholomew, Reginald Owen.
Classic science-fiction drama finds scientists Dr. Ruth Adams (Faith Domergue) and Dr. Cal Meacham (Rex Reason) abducted by white-haired, big-foreheaded aliens and taken to their war-ravaged homeworld of Metaluna. Can Ruth and Cal escape before they’re robbed of their free will and the Metalunans carry out their planned conquest of the Earth? Jeff Morrow, Russell Johnson, and the bug-eyed Metalunan Mutants also star.
Convinced that oil is plentiful in the seabed off the Gulf of Mexico, a pair of wildcatters (James Stewart, Dan Duryea) get their backers to stake them to a platform off of a Louisiana coastal town. The struggling local shrimpers, though, aren’t happy with the intrusion, and the tensions might blow sky-high well before any gusher. Anthony Mann’s thrilling adventure-drama co-stars Gilbert Roland, Joanne Dru, Marcia Henderson, Jay C. Flippen.
Underrated gem stars Clint Eastwood as Bronco Billy McCoy, the owner and star performer in a ragtag Wild West show. Together with his lively companions–including a high-strung society girl, a one-armed Native American, and a soft-spoken strongman–he attempts to keep his business afloat despite bad luck, waning public interest, and other seemingly insurmountable obstacles. With Sondra Locke, Scatman Crothers, Geoffrey Lewis, Sam Bottoms.
When explorers land on an irradiated Pacific island and happen upon huge eggs and two foot-long native sisters (Yumi and Emi Ito, aka The Peanuts), they decide to bring their finds back to Japan. After being forced to appear in a freak show, the girls send out a call to Mothra, a gigantic female moth from back home, that now threatens Tokyo and wreaks havoc to retrieve her eggs and save the twins. With Frankie Sakai, Hiroshi Koizumi, Kyoko Kagawa.
One of the most chilling films ever made, this British anthology follows a group of visitors to a remote country manor as they relate their nightmares to one another. An antique looking glass reflects an ancient crime, in “The Haunted Mirror”; a “Christmas Party” is visited by a ghost; “The Ventriloquist’s Dummy” begins taking on a life of its own; there’s terror on the green, in “Golfing Story”; and, a race car driver has a grisly vision of the future, in “Hearse Driver.” Mervyn Johns, Sally Ann Howes, Michael Redgrave star.
The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid
Philip Kaufman (“The Right Stuff”) wrote and directed this gritty look at legendary outlaws Jesse James (Robert Duvall) and Cole Younger (Cliff Robertson). Bringing their respective gangs together, the two anti-heroes plot a daring, and ultimately ill-fated, robbery of “the biggest bank West of the Mississippi.” With John Pearce, R.G. Armstrong, Luke Askew, Donald Moffat.
Aging, stodgy academic Richard (Johnny Depp) was quite resigned to classrooms full of posers and sustaining a loveless marriage to Veronica (Rosemarie DeWitt) for the sake of daughter Olivia (Odessa Young). After being told he has a year at the most to live, however, he resolves to spend it on his terms–and brings measures of comic disruption and crystal clarity to both home and campus. Telling comedy-drama also stars Danny Huston, Ron Livingston, Zoey Deutch, Siobhan Fallon Hogan.
Hard-drinking playboy vintner Paul Wagner (Maurice Ronet) was being harangued by operations manager Christine Belling (Yvonne Furneaux) to cash out the business, and his only confidant was his best friend–and her ex–Christopher (Anthony Perkins). As his frequent blackouts now appear linked by circumstance to a string of violent murders, could the pressure be costing his sanity? Claude Chabrol’s stylish thriller co-stars Stéphane Audran, Henry Jones.
Unseen for decades, this gorgeously restored 1924 version of James M. Barrie’s play tells of the boy who never grew up and his adventures with Wendy, her brothers, and a fairy named Tinkerbell in Never Never Land, where they encounter Captain Hook, a crocodile, and a band of Indians. Betty Bronson, Ernest Torrance and Anna May Wong star; features color tints.
Account exec Kate Mitchell (Tricia Helfer) and her land developer beau Eric (Scott Elrod) had a mutual promise that work would be off the table during their Cancun getaway–but he reneged once he ran into a hot prospect. By chance, Michael “Shep” Shepard (Paul Campbell), the resort’s activities director, turned out to be a bygone summer camp friend of hers…and as they reconnect over old times, she starts to question her life itinerary. Engaging effort from Hallmark co-stars Tim Russ, Sadie Robertson.
With the murder of agent Picasso Trigger (John Aprea) in Paris–and subsequent attacks on members of the Agency–by vengeance-seeking double-crosser Miguel Ortiz (Rodrigo Obregón), a blood vendetta is set in motion by a dashing spy (Steve Bond) and a crack squad composed of seven (count ’em, seven) former Playmates. Andy Sidaris’ scorching sequel to “Malibu Express” co-stars Hope Marie Carlton, Roberta Vasquez, Cynthia Brimhall, and Dona Speir.
This thrill-a-minute Andy Sidaris adventure is filled with hot babes (of course) and big guns (obviously). Former Playboy centerfolds Dona Speir and Hope Marie Carlton reprise their roles from previous Sidaris epics as sexy federal agents Donna and Taryn, who get caught up to their pretty necks in trouble while trying to retrieve a treasure of stolen gold from a sunken World War II-era Japanese ship. With John Aprea, Teri Weigel, Patty Duffek.
Europa Europa (Criterion Collection)
Writer/director Agnieszka Holland’s acclaimed, controversial film tells the amazing true story of a Jewish teen who escapes from the Polish ghetto and poses as a Nazi to escape the camps. Eventually, he joins a Hitler youth school and the German army, and must hide his true identity from a girl he cares for. Marco Hofschneider, Julie Delpy star.
This gritty and action-packed Italian crime thriller from Umberto Lenzi follows two-fisted cop Inspector Leonardo Tanzi (Maurizio Merli) as he tries to protect and serve on the mean streets of Rome. Bucking the system and playing by his own rules, Tanzi finds himself up against a particularly deadly foe when he must take down a murderous, hunchbacked maniac (Tomas Milan). Maria Rosaria Omaggio, Ivan Rassimov, Arthur Kennedy also star. AKA: “Assault with a Deadly Weapon,” “Brutal Justice,” “Rome Armed to the Teeth.”
Silent Hill (Collector’s Edition)
In an attempt to find the cause of her adopted daughter’s sleepwalking, young mother Rose Da Silva (Radha Mitchell) takes her to Silent Hill, an abandoned West Virginia town whose name the girl wakes up screaming. Rendered unconscious when they arrive, Rose comes to and finds her daughter is gone, sending her on a frantic search that leads her to a ghostly child, a bizarre religious cult, and a frightening alternate reality. Video game-based shocker also stars Laurie Holden, Deborah Kara Unger, Alice Krige, and Sean Bean.
Life’s not easy when you’re the new kid in town, especially when the high school is ruled by a sadistic gang and you make a play for the leader’s girl! Moving from Connecticut to California’s San Fernando Valley, rebellious, trouble-prone teen Morgan Hiller (James Spader) finds himself locked in a violent competition with the brutal Nick (Paul Mones) for the love of the beautiful Frankie (Kim Richards). Fast-paced action film co-stars Robert Downey, Jr., Matt Clark.
A motorcycle gang roars into a small southern town en route to the Daytona races, unnerving the locals with their standoffish attitude and disrespect for social niceties. When one of their number, the charismatic Vance (Dafoe), hooks up with sportscar-driving Telena (Marin Kanter, Endangered Species), he incurs the wrath of the girl’s father, setting the gang on a collision with the town.
As she settled in for freshman year away at college, Tessa Young (Josephine Langford) found herself shredding her scrupulously crafted life plan due to her growing attraction to edgy bad-boy classmate Hardin Scott (Hero Fiennes Tiffin). As her emotional attachment deepens, though, so may her heartache from the emergent dark truths of his past. Riveting take on Anna Todd’s One Direction fan fiction-turned-New Adult sensation co-stars Selma Blair, Peter Gallagher, Jennifer Beals.
A group of condemned hard-case criminals was conscripted as crew for a high-risk space mission in search of alternative energy sources…and for added misery, they were subject to the human reproductive experiments of a deranged researcher (Juliette Binoche). The quest of inmate Monte (Robert Pattison) for human dignity, and ultimately, survival, propels this edgy sci-fi scenario marking Claire Denis’ English-language debut; André Benjamin, Mia Goth, Agata Buzek, Lars Eidninger co-star.
The Extraordinary World of Charley Bowers
The 17 surviving surreal silent and sound short comedies that sprang from the vivid imagination of cartoonist and pioneering animator Charley Bowers have been collected in this two-disc set. The director/star paired live action with stop-motion puppets to distinctive effect in efforts like “He Done His Best” (1926), “Now You Tell One” (1926), “Egged On” (1926), “Fatal Footsteps” (1926), “A Wild Roomer” (1927), “Many a Slip” (1927), “Nothing Doing”(1927), “There It Is” (1927), and more.
Lippy the Lion and Hardy Har Har: The Complete Series
He said “It’ll never work…oh, me…oh, my…”–but these never-forgotten shorts from the 1962-1963 “Hanna-Barbera New Cartoon Series” syndication package have finally been collected on home video. As sure as upbeat leonine vagabond Lippy (voiced by Daws Butler) would have some cockeyed fast-buck scheme in mind, it was certain that his lugubrious hyena sidekick Hardy (Mel Blanc) would be on the short end when it fell through. All 52 installments of the crazy cartoon are included in this two-disc set.
Years before a caped vigilante watched over the dangerous streets of Gotham City, the unenviable task fell to an idealistic cop named Det. James Gordon. Gordon finds himself caught in Gotham’s complex web of organized crime and police corruption while becoming an unlikely mentor to young orphan Bruce Wayne. This dark and gritty prequel series, based on DC Comics’ Batman mythos, stars Ben McKenzie, Donal Logue, Sean Pertwee, Jada Pinkett Smith, David Mazouz, and Robin Lord Taylor as the Penguin. All 100 episodes of the series are included in an 18-disc set.
Broad City: The Complete Series
Comediennes Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson created and star in this hilariously offbeat Comedy Central show that was based on their web series. Pot-loving slacker Ilana Wexler (Glazer) and her best friend, aspiring artist Abbi Abrams (Jacobson), are joined by an eclectic group of friends and co-workers as they deal with the personal and professional pitfalls that come with being young women in New York City. With Hannibal Buress, John Gemberling, Stephen Schneider. All 50 episodes of the series are included in this 11-disc set.
For a complete overview of all of this week’s new releases, click here.