This week’s new releases include everything from classics from the Warner Archive Collection making their Blu-ray debut to recent films, be it critically acclaimed releases of flicks that seem destined for cult status. Here’s a look at the titles that are now available on DVD and Blu-ray!
Damn Yankees (1958)
A lifelong and long-suffering Washington Senators fan makes a deal with the devilish Mr. Applegate (Ray Walston) and is transformed into young slugger Joe Hardy (Tab Hunter), ready to lead his club to the pennant, in this hit adaptation of the Broadway musical comedy from George Abbott (who co-directed with Stanley Donen). Gwen Verdon is Lola, Applegate’s sultry sidekick; look for choreographer Bob Fosse as a mambo dancer. The score includes “Heart,” “Whatever Lola Wants.”
Damaged med school dropout Cassie Thomas (Carey Mulligan) had a special way of dealing with a profound tragedy–feigning drunkenness to garner the attention of predatory men, and confronting them as they try to take advantage. While the attentions of a former classmate (Bo Burnham) have her on the cusp of breaking that cycle, the trauma of the past is about to catch up. Emerald Fennell’s darkly funny revenge thriller co-stars Allison Brie, Laverne Cox, Jennifer Coolidge, Clancy Brown.
Driving Miss Daisy (1989)
The winner of four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actress, tells the poignant story of the decades-long relationship that developed between Daisy Werthan (Jessica Tandy), an elderly Jewish woman living in Atlanta, and Hoke Colburn (Morgan Freeman), the benevolent black chauffeur hired in the ‘40s to drive her. Touching on themes of racism, anti-Semitism, and a changing America, Bruce Beresford’s comedy-drama, adapted from Alfred Uhry’s play, co-stars Dan Aykroyd.
What’s Up, Doc? (1972)
Writer-director Peter Bogdanovich’s salute to the screwball comedies of the ’30s and ’40s is set in San Francisco and revolves around four identical plaid overnight bags and the chaos that ensues when they’re accidentally mixed up. Among the bags’ contents are prehistoric musical rocks, a wealthy lady’s jewels, top-secret government papers, and a trouble-prone young woman’s clothes. Barbra Streisand, Ryan O’Neal, Kenneth Mars, and Madeline Kahn (in her feature film debut) star.
When it’s determined that a homicide victim was last seen sharing drinks with a quartet of recently returned GIs, the investigating cop (Robert Young) partners with the men’s sergeant (Robert Mitchum) to flush out the killer…and they soon discover their prime suspect to have had a disturbing motivation. Edward Dmytryk’s hard-hitting, socially charged film noir, adapted from a Richard Brooks novel, co-stars Robert Ryan, Sam Levene, Gloria Grahame, Paul Kelly.
A brilliant scientist (Ryûnosuke Tsukigata) was laboring on the secret of invisibility, as were his young apprentices (Kanji Koshiba, Daijirô Natsukawa)…a fact he shouldn’t have shared with a ruthless businessman (Shôsaku Sugiyama). Which one is the unseen menace pursuing an invaluable diamond necklace? Thriller argued to be Japan’s first sci-fi film co-stars Takiko Mizunoe, Chizuguru Kitagawa. This release also includes the bonus feature The Invisible Man vs. the Human Fly (1957).
Flower and Snake (1974)
The president of a large corporation becomes dismayed at the prospect of his wife leaving him, so he orders one of his lackeys to coax her into a more submissive posture. The subordinate, once impotent, rediscovers his virility in the process. The popular S&M novel by Oniroku Dan comes to the screen for the first time in this outrageous, decadent entry in the “Roman Porno” genre. Naomi Tani, Nagatoshi Sakamoto star.
I Am Lisa (2020)
A young woman barely survives a brutal beating by a local sheriff, and a subsequent wolf attack. She awakens in a remote cabin in the woods, to discover that she has gained strange, new powers…powers she can use to exact revenge upon her attackers. Kristen Vaganos stars in this revenge thriller.
Literal, lush adaptation of the Carlo Collodi classic from filmmaker Matteo Garrone (“Tale of Tales”) finds its Geppetto in Roberto Benigni (who played the title role in his own ‘02 version), opposite Federico Ielapi as the living puppet that the old woodcrafter carved from an enchanted log. The many misadventures on his path to becoming a real boy are effectively and remarkably recounted; Marine Vacth, Massimo Ceccherini, Rocco Papaleo, Gigi Proietti also star.
Tower of Evil (1972)
A deserted lighthouse built over an ancient Phoenician tomb on a remote island is the setting for unrelenting horror, as four partying teens travel to the island, but only one is found alive…and is suspected of killing her friends. A private investigator joins an archeological expedition to the site to learn what really happened…but will they meet the same shocking fate? British chiller stars Bryant Haliday, Jill Haworth, Anthony Valentine.
Céline and Julie Go Boating (Criterion Collection)(1974)
Director Jacques Rivette’s hypnotic and surreal drama, based in part on the writings of Henry James, follows flamboyant nightclub magician Céline (Juliet Berto) and withdrawn librarian Julie (Dominique Labourier) on a strange visit to a country mansion, where they relive–and try to comprehend–the mystery of two women vying for the affections of a widower with an invalid daughter. With Bulle Ogier, Marie-France Pisier, Barbet Schroeder.
Cru Jones (Bill Allen) is the best BMX biker in Cochrane. He’s got the talent to become the best BMX daredevil in the world. As the local paperboy, he jumps, spins, twists, and flips his bike with amazing ability. Bart Taylor (Bart Conner) is the best BMX biker in the world, and he’s in town to race in the Helltrack competition, the most grueling BMX race in history. Cru wants a shot at winning the title, but his mom (Talia Shire) insists he take his college entrance exams which fall on the same day.
Runaway Train (1985)
A mismatched pair of convicts–aging bank robber Manny (Jon Voight) and cocky young thug Buck (Eric Roberts)–made their way through the storm drain from their isolated Alaska prison, and onto a freight train to certain freedom. They didn’t have long to celebrate, as a fatal heart attack to the engineer trapped them, and lone railroad maintenance worker Sara (Rebecca De Mornay), on a rolling juggernaut to disaster. Andrei Konchalovsky’s edge-of-the-seat actioner, based on a screenplay by Akira Kurosawa, also stars Kenneth McMillan, T.K. Carter, Kyle T. Heffner.
Los Angeles, 2024: With the nation ravaged by the spread of COVID-23, immune cycle courier Nico (KJ Apa) labored in hopes of a future with his locked-down love Sara (Sofia Carson). When her grandmother takes ill, however, he’s got to barter with his least reputable clients (Demi Moore, Bradley Whitfield)–traffickers in black-market immunity papers–to escape her deportation. Speculative sci-fi stunner co-stars Craig Robinson, Alexandra Daddario, Peter Stormare, Paul Walter Hauser.
We Hunt Together: Season One (2020)
The meet-up of former Congolese child soldier Baba Lenga (Dipo Ola) and sociopath sex worker Freddy Lane (Hermione Corfield) was a tragedy waiting to happen, as evidenced by the murder spree that followed. The pairing of bitter DS Lola Franks (Eve Myles) and Gambian émigré/ex-IA Jackson Reid (Babou Ceesay) to track them down makes for suspense and surprises in this effective procedural miniseries; Vicki Pepperdine, Babirye Bukilwa, Sharlene Whyte, Steffan Rhodri co-star.
The Hard Ride (1971)
Vietnam veteran Phil (Robert Fuller) keeps his word to a fallen war buddy, taking possession of the man’s prized motorcycle and planning his funeral back in the States. He also falls for his pal’s gorgeous girlfriend (Sherry Bain), but soon finds himself running afoul of a gang of rough-and-tumble bikers. Unusual actioner also stars Tony Russel, William Bonner, Marshall Reed, and, in an uncredited cameo as a police officer, teen idol Fabian.
In his small Irish community, the locals knew that you’d better have cash in hand if stone-cold debt collector Mark Taffin (Pierce Brosnan) came knocking. The hired muscle might just be the town’s savior, though, when he’s set against corrupt politicians and developers strong-arming their way to erecting an unwanted chemical plant. Gritty actioner co-stars Alison Doody, Ray McAnally, Patrick Bergin, Gerard McSorley.
Rock Rock Rock! (1956)
Malt shops, bobby sox, and dance hops permeate this rock flick with Cleveland disc jockey Alan Freed, plus Fats Domino, Connie Francis, Chuck Berry, Frankie Lymon and The Teenagers belting out some big hits, Tuesday Weld (at 13 years of age!), and the only screen appearance of The Johnny Burnette Trio (performing “Lonesome Train”). Songs include “You Can’t Catch Me,” “Baby, Baby,” and “I Never Had a Sweetheart.”
The War Wagon (1967)
Released from prison, rancher Taw Jackson (John Wayne) plots to get even with the corrupt cattle baron (Bruce Cabot) who had him wrongfully sent up and stole his land. Jackson forms an unlikely alliance with the gunman (Kirk Douglas) hired to shoot him years earlier, and together they hatch a plan to steal a shipment of the cowman’s gold that’s being transported in a souped-up, armored stagecoach called the War Wagon. Howard Keel, Robert Walker, Jr., Keenan Wynn, Bruce Dern co-star.
Born the son of a South Philly union boss, Peter Flood (Matthias Schoenaerts) grew up watching his immediate family fall to violence–and wanted to keep a quiet distance from the rackets. However, when his ambitious and aggressive cousin Michael (Joel Kinnaman) started moving on the Italian Mob’s turf, his efforts to bring down the temperature might bring still more tragedy. Gritty take on Pete Dexter’s novel “Brotherly Love” co-stars Ryan Phillippe, Maika Monroe, Paul Schneider. AKA: “The Sound of Philadelphia,” “Sons of Philadelphia.”
Bartender/hacker Connor Black (Jack Kesy) was using his online skills to pay back a snotty patron when he tumbled onto a secret society promising untold wealth to those who can decipher their cryptic clues. Joined by his art expert buddy (Ron Funches) and a gorgeous librarian (Conor Leslie) with her own agenda, their treasure hunt gets them on the NSA’s radar–and into the peril of their challenger’s endgame. Fast, funny thriller co-stars Alan Ritchson (who directed and co-wrote), Andreas Apergis.
Looking for a tasty serving of comedy, British-style? Then watch Lenny Henry as Gareth Blackstock, the demanding head chef at the famous, albeit financially troubled, Le Chateau Anglais countryside restaurant in this popular 1993-1996 BBC series. Caroline-Lee Johnson, Roger Griffiths, Dave Hill, Claire Skinner, Gary Parker, Gary Bakewell, Pui Fan Lee, Erkan Mustafa, Jeff Nuttall, Lorelei King, Tim Matthews, Jean Luc Rebaliati also star. 19 episodes on 3 discs.
Don’t Tell a Soul (2020)
Midwest teen brothers Matt (Fionn Whitehead) and Joey (Jack Dylan Grazer) saw burglary as the only way out from the medical bills being racked up by their single mom (Mena Suvari). Their efforts got them a chase through the woods from security guard Hamby (Rainn Wilson)–and with their pursuer falling down a well, the siblings come into conflict over their next move, and Hamby must figure out how to manipulate the situation for his survival, in this intriguing thriller.
Psycho Goreman (2020)
Eons ago, a monstrous, all-powerful intergalactic conqueror was captured by his foes and entombed on the backwater planet Earth…until he was freed by the backyard diggings of preteen sibs Mimi (Nita-Josee Hanna) and Luke (Owen Myre). Looks like his vengeance is going to have to keep, however, as he’s now subject to the every outrageous whim of his bratty saviors! Way over-the-top fantasy-comedy also stars Adam Brooks, Alexis Kara Hancey, and Matthew Ninaber as “PG.”
Money Plane (2020)
Heist artist Jack Reese (Adam “Edge” Copeland) had to make good–or else–after a botched assignment for mob boss Darius “The Rumble” Grouch (Kelsey Grammer). All he had to do was book passage on an airborne casino that serviced the planet’s most disreputable high rollers–and relieve it of billions in cash and cryptocurrency. High-flying caper effort co-stars Denise Richards, Thomas Jane, and director/co-scripter Andrew Lawrence; keep an eye out for Andrew’s sibs Joey and Matthew.
Castle Freak (2020)
Not long after being blinded in a car accident with her hard-partying friends, Rebecca Whateley (Clair Catherine) learned that she’d been bequeathed an Albanian castle by her birth mother (Kika Magalhães). As she and her entourage journey to investigate the property, she’ll find it inhabited by a misshapen creature–and learn the extent and unholy nature of her family legacy. Disturbing do-over of the 1995 Stuart Gordon shock staple co-stars Jake Horowitz, Emily Sweet, Chris Galust, Genti Kame.
Even paradise has a dark side. When Nick Slaughter loses his job at the DEA, he takes his keen investigative mind and healthy libido down to the tropical paradise of Key Mariah, Florida, where there’s a seemingly endless supply of sunshine, women, and crime. Once there, he meets Sylvie Girard, a local travel agent, who helps Nick run his private detective agency. Together they form a strong friendship and a crack detective team. Also includes the feature film Criss Cross. All 66 episodes of the series are featured in this collection.
In 1983, alerted to human remains clogging the plumbing at a North London complex, the police sought out the tenant, Scottish civil servant Dennis Nilsen (David Tennant). They’d be stunned as the unprepossessing man who’d soon become known as the “Muswell Hill Murderer” matter-of-factly confessed to luring and ritually slaying 15 victims since 1978. Absorbing take on one of Britain’s most notorious prosecutions co-stars Daniel Mays, Jason Watkins, Ron Cook, Barry Ward.
The original audio from this 1968 serial is accompanied by all-new animation substituting for the long-erased video. Off the coast of England, the Doctor (Patrick Troughton) and his companions must help the crew of a gas refinery when they encounter a form of seaweed that can transform people into dangerous monsters with toxic breath.