April may be upon us, but we are most definitely not fooling when we say that this month will be packed with incredible Blu-ray and DVD new releases. We’ve got a lot of fantastic offerings that are now available, and you’ll want to make these a cherished part of your home video library.
Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)
Over 60 years after she first ventured into man’s world, Amazon princess Diana (Gal Gadot) lived a quiet pose as a D.C. researcher…until she looked into a legendary stone reputed to grant wishes. The artifact let her restore long-lost love Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) to life–but it also turned colorless colleague Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig) into the predatory Cheetah, before falling into the hands of power-mad industrialist Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal). Smash sequel co-stars Robin Wright, Connie Nielsen.
Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)/Wonder Woman (2017)
This two-disc set includes both of the Gal Gadot Wonder Woman films.
Secrets and Lies (Criterion Collection)(1986)
A 27-year-old black London optometrist decides to seek out the woman who gave her up for adoption after she was born. The search leads to a surprising discovery: her mother is a white factory worker living in the city’s grimy East End. Their emotional first meeting is just the beginning of a series of family crises in writer/director Mike Leigh’s moving comedy/drama. Brenda Blethyn, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Timothy Spall star.
Sugar Cookies (1973)
After adult film star Alta Leigh (Lynn Lowry) dies during rough play with porn producer Max Pavell (George Shannon), her agent/lover Camilla Stone (Mary Woronov) is oddly eager to help with the alibi. What’s her motive…and what’s her endgame in discovering a fresh-faced lookalike actress (Lowry, again) and grooming her to be Max’s next big find? Video store staple erotic suspenser, co-scripted by Lloyd Kaufman and co-produced by Oliver Stone, also stars Monique van Vooren, Jennifer Welles.
The Greatest Show on Earth (1952)
Ladies and gentlemen…Welcome to Cecil B. DeMille’s Best Picture Oscar-winning look at life under the big top. See lion-tamers and acrobats! Be amazed at death-defying stunts and incredible train wrecks! Charlton Heston stars as the manager of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus who has his hands full dealing with feuding trapeze artists (one of whom is his girlfriend), crooked midway games, a clown with a mysterious past, and more. With Betty Hutton, Cornel Wilde, James Stewart, Dorothy Lamour.
A Scream in the Streets (1973)
What’s tougher than trying to catch a brutal murderer/rapist? How about trying to catch one who blends in by dressing like a woman? That’s the unenviable assignment given to a pair of cops–veteran Ed Haskell (Joshua Bryant, billed as John Kirkpatric) and rookie Bob Streeker (Frank Bannon)–who pursue the sleazebag across a seedy Los Angeles landscape in this rough, adults-only crime drama. With Rosie Stone, Linda York, Brandy Lyman. AKA: “Girls in the Street,” “Scream Street.”
Falcon Rising (2014)
Explosive actioner stars Michael Jai White as John “Falcon” Chapman, a former U.S. Marine whose PTSD has given him a death wish. Traveling to Brazil when he learns that his sister (Laila Ali) has suffered a violent assault, Falcon’s wish may just come true as he puts his life on the line to investigate the attack and winds up uncovering a human-trafficking operation run by Yakuza gangsters and corrupt local cops. With Neal McDonough, Jimmy Navarro, Millie Ruperto.
Isle of the Dead (1945)
During the Balkan Wars, Greek general Nikolas Pherides (Boris Karloff) made a pilgrimage to the tiny island where his wife was interred, and watched as the atoll’s few inhabitants began to sicken and die. Is the cause an outbreak of plague…or was there something to the superstitious locals’ belief in a malevolent supernatural force? Atmospheric Val Lewton chiller co-stars Ellen Drew, Marc Cramer, Alan Napier, Jason Robards, Sr.; Mark Robson directs.
The Toll (2020)
Having made a red-eye flight arrival into Chicago, and needing to get to her father’s house in the boonies, Cami (Jordan Hayes) was quickly regretting becoming the fare of socially stunted ride-share driver Spencer (Max Topplin.) Matters would get far, far worse after they broke down in the middle of nowhere–and were subjected to pursuit from a monstrous entity demanding his due. Nightmarish offering co-stars Rosemary Dunsmore, James McGowan, and Daniel Harroch as the Toll Man.
Lust, Caution (2007)
Ang Lee’s sensual espionage drama, set in Japanese-occupied China in the late 1930s, concerns the transgressive affair between collaborating businessman Mr. Yee (Tony Leung) and Wong Chia Chi (Wei Tang), a young member of the Chinese resistance recruited to kill him. Becoming the sadomasochistic Yee’s mistress, the would-be Mata Hari finds her patriotism placing both her body and soul in equal jeopardy. Based on a short story by Eileen Chang; Joan Chen, Lee-Hom Wang co-star.
Quite a bit larger than a sled, Rosebud is a swanky yacht that just so happens to have the daughters of five wealthy, powerful, and influential international luminaries onboard. When Rosebud is seized by the Palestine Liberation Army, undercover CIA operative Larry Martin (Peter O’Toole) must rescue the ladies and foil the terrorists’ plot. Otto Preminger’s exciting thriller co-stars Richard Attenborough, Cliff Gorman, Peter Lawford, Isabelle Huppert, and Kim Cattrall (in her screen debut).
Known by various names and helmed by multiple directors, this pseudo-sequel to Werner Herzog’s “Nosferatu” remake finds the reborn, now-shaggy-haired vampire (Klaus Kinski) eager to return to the grave for all time. Advised to find a virgin willing to give her life for him, the rat-toothed bloodsucker settles on the sister of the woman who is the reincarnation of his long-dead wife. Confused? You aren’t the only one! With Christopher Plummer, Donald Pleasence, and Anne Knecht. AKA: “Prince of the Night,” “Vampire in Venice.”
55 Steps (2017)
In ‘80s San Francisco, nurse turned patient’s rights lawyer Colette Hughes (Hilary Swank) took on the case of Eleanor Riese (Helena Bonham Carter), a schizophrenic who voluntarily checked into a hospital and was then committed because she refused the prescribed medication. The improbable bond that emerged between counsel and client, as well as their transformative battle in the courts, is revealed in Bille August’s true-life drama; Jeffrey Tambor, Johan Heldenbergh co-star.
Office Uprising (2018)
With waves of cutbacks at his defense contractor employer, goof-off Desmond (Brenton Thwaites) preferred to keep his head down and develop his app on company time. Corporate R&D, however, succeeded too well–making an energy drink that turns consumers into berserk zombies–and he’s got to join with his sole friends from work (Jane Levy, Karan Soni) to get out the door in one piece. Satirical shocker co-stars Zachary Levi, Kurt Fuller, Gregg Henry, Barry Shabaka Henley.
Hitcher in the Dark (1989)
Giallo gore maestro Umberto Lenzi came stateside for this chilling tale in which deranged mama’s boy Mark Glazer (Joe Balogh) prowls the Virginia Beach area in his Winnebago, picking up women whom he thinks might take the place of his dead mother, then killing them when they come up short. Caught-alone camper Daniela (a pre-“Melrose Place” Josie Bissett) bears a striking resemblance to his late mom…unfortunately for her. Jason Saucier, Robin Fox also star. AKA: “Fear in the Dark,” “Hitcher 2,” “Paura Nel Buio.”
A Perfect Planet (2021)
Four years in the making, and spanning 31 countries across the globe, this grand-scaled and remarkable BBC One nature offering hosted by David Attenborough spends each of its five chapters giving focus to a different force of nature and how the Earth and its environment has been, and is being, shaped by same–volcanoes, the sun, weather, oceans and humans. The spectrum of animal species covered, and how they’ve adapted for survival, are wonders to behold.
Defending Your Life (Criterion Collection)(1991)
In this warm, witty comedy, writer/director/star Albert Brooks is killed in an auto accident and arrives at a most unusual afterlife: Judgment City, an ethereal resort with great food. There he’s put on trial for his life on Earth. If he wins, he moves on to a higher plane of existence; if not, it’s back to Earth to try again. Meryl Streep, Rip Torn, Buck Henry, Lee Grant also star.
“Go, go Power Rangers!” A group of teens is given the ability to “morph” into karate-chopping heroes in the hit live-action kids’ TV series from 1993-1996 that kicked off the Power Rangers craze. Watch as the kids use their amazing powers–and giant robotic vehicles called Zords–to defeat such alien villains as Rita Repulsa, Lord Zedd, and their monster henchman. Stars Richard Steven Horvitz, David Yost, Paul Schrier, Amy Jo Johnson. All 155 episodes of the 1990s favorite are included in this 19-disc set.
Another Round (2020)
A quartet of disaffected high school teachers (Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Lars Ranthe, Magnus Millang) hit on a plan to address their misery with their lot–by continuously maintaining a blood alcohol level above 0.05. The scheme makes them happier at work and home to a point…but as they conclude that more is better, the inevitable addiction causes both experiment and existences to crash in. Dark dramedy co-stars Maria Bonnevie, Susse Wold.
Easter Sunday, 1939: After her scheduled performance at Washington, D.C.’s Constitution Hall had been blocked by the Daughters of the American Revolution, legendary African-American contralto Marian Anderson gave an open-air concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial for an integrated crowd of 75,000 and a radio audience of millions. This “American Experience” offering gives a look at Anderson’s celebrated life, and the societal repercussions of this defining moment.
Little-seen horror gem starring Ferdy Mayne as Conrad Radzoff, a beloved horror movie actor whose freshly deceased body is swiped from a morgue by a group of drama students. The students take Radzoff’s remains to a creepy old house where the thespian made his most popular films, and soon the kids are not all right, spooked by the spirit of Conrad. Jeffrey Combs, Nita Talbot, and Peter Kastner also star. AKA: “Body Snatchers,” “Horror Star.”
Mr. Jealousy (1998)
Noah Baumbach’s witty independent comedy stars Eric Stoltz as Lester Grimm, a substitute teacher and aspiring writer dating museum tour guide Ramona (Anabella Sciorra). Suspicious of Ramona’s relationships with past lovers, Lester gives a fake name and enrolls in a group therapy session attended by one of her ex-boyfriends, pretentious author Dashiell Frank (Chris Eigeman). With Carlos Jacott, Bridget Fonda, Jean-Marie Baptiste, Peter Bogdanovich.
Graduation Day (1981)
Shortly after a high school track runner dies during a meet, a masked maniac terrorizes and murders the other members of the team. Who is after the students, and will any of them make it to…Graduation Day? “Pomp and Circumstance” gives way to “Bloody Hacks and Stabs” in this ’80s slasher classic. Christopher George, Patch Mackenzie, Michael Pataki, E.J. Peaker, and Linnea Quigley star; look quickly for Vanna White.
Charming Hallmark Movies & Mysteries filming of Debbie Macomber’s book finds Ashley Harrison (Meghan Ory) stuck at the airport on her way to Seattle to visit her mom for Christmas. Ashley’s only hope to get where she’s going is to share the last available rental car with hunky stranger Dash Sutherland (Andrew W. Walker). Will this unexpected road trip adventure lead to a little holiday romance? And, more importantly, what’s with the federal agents who are hot on their trail? With Aaron Craven, Rukiya Bernard.
Remember Sunday (2013)
A dramatic spin is put on “50 First Dates” in this touching and romantic “Hallmark Hall of Fame” movie. The story focuses on Gus (Zachary Levi), a former astrophysicist dealing with the loss of his short term memory after suffering a brain aneurism, and Molly (Alexis Bledel), the young woman who starts to fall in love with him but must face the reality that he may always struggle with remembering who she is. With Merritt Wever, Barry Shabaka Henley, Valerie Azlynn.
The Bermuda Depths (1978)
Travelling to Bermuda to learn the cause of his father’s mysterious death, a young man joins a daring expedition investigating bizarre underwater occurrences. In the heart of the Bermuda Triangle, the team will encounter a deadly giant sea turtle and the ghost of a beautiful girl who sold her soul to remain forever young. Leigh McCloskey, Connie Sellecca, Carl Weathers, and Burl Ives star in this made-for-TV sci-fi thriller from producers Arthur Rankin, Jr. and Jules Bass.
Our Friend (2019)
Having unsuccessfully hit on young Alabama mom Nicole Teague (Dakota Johnson), affable Dane Faucheux (Jason Segel) would improbably go on to form deep bonds with both her and her journalist husband Matt (Casey Affleck). Their depth would be shown after Nicole received a devastating medical diagnosis–and Dane chose to put his own life on hold as he moved in to help the family cope. Fact-inspired, laugh-leavened tearjerker also stars Gwendoline Christie, Cherry Jones, Ahna O’Reilly. AKA: “The Friend.”
Blue Hawaii (1961)
Elvis Presley sings 14 songs and still manages to drive sightseers around the islands in golf carts in this lush musical. Back home in Hawaii after being discharged from the Army, Chad Gates (Presley) is pressured to work with his father in the fruit business. Instead, Chad takes a much more enjoyable gig as a tour guide with his girlfriend’s agency. Angela Lansbury, Joan Blackman, Roland Winters also star. Features the title tune, “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” “Rock-a-Hula Baby,” and more.
Paradise, Hawaiian Style (1966)
Back in the Aloha State once more, Elvis this time is Rick Richards, an ex-airline pilot who starts a charter helicopter sightseeing service and finds himself coping with pretty tourists, FAA officials, and a chopper full of dogs! And remember, “Last one out of the water is a papaya picker!” Suzanna Leigh, James Shigeta co-star. Songs include “A Dog’s Life,” “Sand Castles,” and “Bill Bailey, Won’t You Please Come Home?”