This week’s new Blu-ray and DVD releases span the history of Hollywood — from classic studio pictures to monster matinees to contemporary releases and beyond. There’s also an assortment of cult TV titles now available as well, making this round-up of new titles an invaluable guide to what you’ll want to add to your home video library!
The Goldfinch (2019)
Thirteen-year-old Theo Decker (Oakes Fegley) was attending an art exhibition at the Met when he lost his mother in a terrorist bomb blast. In the confusion, he chose to steal the Fabritius painting that had been her favorite…and that act would send him on an episodic and troubled journey to manhood that left the adult Theo (Ansel Elgort) struggling to make up for past mistakes. Epic take on the Donna Tartt novel co-stars Nicole Kidman, Finn Wolfhard, Aneurin Barnard, Luke Wilson, Sarah Paulson.
Big Trouble in Little China (Collector’s Edition)(1986)
Action, fantasy, comedy, and martial arts mix in John Carpenter’s furiously offbeat adventure. Kurt Russell stars as a swaggering truck driver who agrees to help an old buddy rescue his girlfriend from a 2,000-year-old magician and becomes caught up in the ancient war between good and evil being waged under San Francisco’s Chinatown. Kim Cattrall, Dennis Dun, Victor Wong, and James Hong also star. And remember, “It’s all in the reflexes.”
Battle of Leningrad (2019)
In September 1941, with the Nazi siege of Leningrad underway, schoolgirl Nastya (Maria Melnikova) and her army cadet boyfriend Kostya (Andrey Mironov-Udalov) were among the thousand-plus shepherded aboard a dilapidated barge bound across Lake Ladoga in search of safety. The elements and the enemy would combine to wreak a mass tragedy, in this stunning, fact-based Russian effort; Gela Meskhi, Anastasiya Melnikova, Valeriy Degtyar also star. AKA: “Saving Leningrad.”
One winter morning, lonely, hearing-impaired North Dakota 10-year-old Wesley (Danny Murphy) made a discovery in the snow–the unconscious form of a wounded bank robber (Aaron Paul). Helping the fugitive to an abandoned barn to recover, the boy finds his suspect charge to give companionship and mentoring not forthcoming from his own distant dad (Scoot McNairy)…but a betrayal may be in the offing. Singular thriller also stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Charlee Park, Darcy Fehr.
Based on George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Fire and Ice” fantasy novels, this Emmy-winning HBO series follows the machinations of seven noble families vying for the Iron Throne, and with it control of the fictitious continent of Westeros. As old rivalries resurface and new alliances are forged, a growing danger from the wintry northern lands threatens to overwhelm all. Amelia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, and Maisie Williams head the ensemble cast. All episodes from the series’ final season are included in this collection.
All 73 episodes of the series are featured in a 34-disc set.
You’ll go ape over this Saturday matinee favorite from the 1960s featuring Michael Gough as British scientist Dr. Charles Decker, who discovers a serum that transforms a lab chimp into a gorilla. By hypnotizing the creature, Decker gets it to kill his enemies, and then it terrorizes London when it grows to king-size (or is that “Kong-size”?) proportions. With Margo Johns, Jess Conrad.
Bad Company (1969)
Fleeing induction into the Union Army, an Ohio preacher’s son (Barry Brown) beats it into the Civil War-era West, where he manages to fall in with a charming young con artist (Jeff Bridges) and his ragtag band of drifters and thieves. Their struggles to stay a step ahead of the law fuel this entertaining early gem from director Robert Benton. John Savage, Jerry Houser, David Huddleston, Geoffrey Lewis co-star.
Shirley Valentine (1989)
Pauline Collins re-creates her Tony-winning stage role as Shirley, a wisecracking English housewife from Liverpool who feels that she is stuck in a rut. After deciding to leave her husband and two children and take a vacation in Greece, she encounters roguish tavern owner Costas (Tom Conti). But when Shirley begins an affair with the charming stranger, she begins to rediscover the joy of life. With Julia McKenzie, Joanna Lumley, Alison Steadman, Bernard Hill.
The Story of Temple Drake (Criterion Collection)(1933)
College girl Temple Drake (Miriam Hopkins) lived a faster life than her respected Southern family deemed proper. One ill-considered date, however, found her stranded in the lair of a vicious bootlegger (Jack La Rue) who assaulted her and forced her into prostitution…and her violent escape still left her having to balance her reputation against an innocent man’s life. Notorious, long-demanded pre-Code potboiler based on William Faulkner’s “Sanctuary” also stars William Gargan, Irving Pichel, Guy Standing.
The second and final season for Colin Baker’s Sixth Doctor was the series’s 23rd overall and featured four stories that were shown as the 14-part “The Trial of a Time Lord” saga. Held captive on a Gallifreyan space station, the Doctor is made to answer for violating the Time Lords’ code of non-interference. Presented as video evidence by the Valeyard (Michael Jayston), “The Mysterious Planet” finds the Doctor and Peri (Nicola Bryant) battling a deadly robot on the planet Ravolox. More testimony is provided in “Mindwarp,” in which the pair must try to prevent an alien brain from being transplanted into Peri’s body. The Doctor defends himself with footage depicting his and Mel Bush’s (Bonnie Langford) efforts to stop plant-like aliens from killing everyone onboard a space vessel, in “Terror of the Vervoids.” And, the trial concludes and the Doctor learns what role the Master (Anthony Ainley) played in the proceedings, in “The Ultimate Foe.”
Glorifying the American Girl (1929)
The legendary Flo Ziegfeld “personally supervised” and appears briefly in this early Hollywood musical. Featured are 75 glorified beauties, music composed by Irving Berlin, wonderful costumes and choreography, and an all-star cast that includes Rudy Vallee crooning “Vagabond Lover,” Helen Morgan singing “What Wouldn’t I Do for That Man?,” Eddie Cantor performing his “Cheap Charlie” skit, and more. With Mary Eaton, Noah Beery, Billie Burke, and a cavalcade of screen icons.
Bennett’s War (2019)
An encounter with an IED during his Afghanistan service ensured that the riding days of onetime motocross cyclist Marshall Bennett (Michael Roark) were behind him. However, when his dad (Trace Adkins) stands to lose the family farm, the cash prize being offered at a local dirt track competition might be more than he can pass up–even if a minor spill could hobble him for life. Inspiring sports drama also stars Allison Paige, Tony Panterra, Ali Afshar, Hunter Clowdus, Brando Eaton.
Joan the Maid (1994)
Director Jacques Rivette’s epic chronicle starring Sandrine Bonnaire as Joan of Arc opens with “Joan the Maid: The Battles,” in which the 15th-century teenager attempts to convince the French Dauphin (André Marcon) that she has been called by God to lead the nation in combat against the English. Then, “Joan the Maid: The Prisons” tells of how Joan was left by her men for capture by the British and sentenced to death at the stake. Nathalie Richard, Edith Scob also star.
Kurt Vonnegut’s heralded novel “Slaughterhouse-Five, Or the Children’s Crusade” comes to the screen in all its outrageous glory. Follow the exploits of optometrist Billy Pilgrim, who becomes “unstuck” in time and fluctuates between the past (as a POW in Dresden during WWII), the present (as a “typical” family man), and the future (as an abductee on a distant planet with a sexy movie star). Michael Sacks, Valerie Perrine, Ron Leibman, Eugene Roche star; directed by George Roy Hill.
Tunes of Glory (Criterion Collection)(1960)
In the aftermath of World War II, bootstrap career soldier Maj. Jock Sinclair (Alec Guinness) was ordered to stand down from his regimental command in favor of aristocratic academic Lt. Col. Basil Barrow (John Mills). The thorny transition would place the mismatched officers in a fateful clash for the hearts and minds of the battalion. Ronald Neame’s riveting service tale co-stars Kay Walsh, Dennis Price, John Fraser, and, in her first film, Susannah York; James Kennaway adapted his novel for the screen.
Ready or Not (2019)
Getting along with your in-laws can be tough. For newlywed Grace De Lomas (Samara Weaving), it’s positively life-threatening. At a gathering with her husband’s (Mark O’Brien) wealthy and offbeat family, Grace takes part in a game of hide-and-seek that turns into a desperate fight for survival when it becomes apparent that she’s being hunted to the death by her new–and heavily armed–relatives. Laced with pitch-black humor, this quirky thriller also stars Adam Brody, Henry Czerny, and Andie MacDowell.
The Magic Sword (1962)
Young knight Sir George (Gary Lockwood) is aided by the titular blade as he leads a daring quest to rescue the kidnapped Princess Helene (Anne Helm) from the clutches of evil wizard Lodac (Basil Rathbone). Standing in the hero’s way are ruthless rival Sir Branton (Liam Sullivan) and some fantastic creatures, including an ogre and a two-headed dragon. Estelle Winwood, Danielle De Metz also star in this well-done Bert I. Gordon fantasy.
Cop and Marine reservist Callahan (Jai Courtney) had to lean on his faith in the system when his half-brother and squadron mate Oyster (Nat Wolff) went up for manslaughter after a fatal bar fight. Between his grueling last tour and Oyster’s peril in a corrupt penitentiary, the shaken warrior resolves to lead his comrades in executing a stunning jailbreak and flight across the border. Intense, charged actioner also stars Finn Wittrock, Leighton Meester, Beau Knapp, Arturo Castro.
First appearing in 30-second spots on “The Tracey Ullman Show” in 1987, Matt Groening’s “The Simpsons” has gone on to become the longest-running animated series in prime-time history. Now the Emmy-winning misadventures of Springfield’s funniest dysfunctional family (Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie) are on home video. Features the voice talents of Dan Castellaneta, Nancy Cartwright, Julie Kavner, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria, and Harry Shearer. All 20 episodes from the nineteenth season are included in this four-disc set.