Although summer isn’t technically underway for a few weeks yet, it’s a safe bet that most of you are thinking about the warm days ahead. As is the entertainment industry, as they are counting on the fact that families will be spending time in the season ahead watching movie and TV releases in their down time. Due to this, there are an abundance of exciting titles that are now debuting on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD. Indeed, there are great offerings for every taste, as this rundown of new releases illustrates. Take a look!
The Courier (2020)
In 1960, British machine parts salesman Greville Wynne (Benedict Cumberbatch) was approached by MI6 and the CIA to be an international contact for Oleg Penkovsky (Merab Ninidze), a GRU officer wary of the Khrushchev regime’s excesses. While the relationship provided America with intel critical to staving off the Cuban Missile Crisis, their perilous dealings would ultimately saddle both with a price. True espionage tale co-stars Rachel Brosnahan, Jessie Buckley, Angus Wright.
Season eight–Jon Pertwee’s second as the Third Doctor–introduces new companion Jo Grant (Katy Manning) and the Doctor’s arch foe, the sinister Time Lord the Master (Roger Delgado). “Terror of the Autons” finds the Doctor and Jo working with UNIT in order to foil an invasion scheme by the Master and his Nestene allies. The Doctor must save the members of a global-peace conference from becoming the latest victims of the Master, whose weapons are a stolen nerve gas missile and a parasitic alien that feeds on evil thoughts, in “The Mind of Evil.” Peaceful alien beings called Axons land on Earth in search of aid, in “The Claws of Axos.” But a skeptical Doctor unmasks their true motives and a deadly plan by the Master. Next, dispatched by the Time Lords to a remote planet fought over by farmer colonists and a mining company, the Doctor and Jo go up against the Master, who is using the “Colony in Space” as a base to construct a Doomsday Weapon. Finally, an ancient English burial mound is the setting for the Master’s plot to take over the Earth with the help of a devilish-looking alien, and it’s up to the Doctor, Jo, and UNIT to stop him, in “The Daemons.”
25 episodes on 8 discs.
The Little Rascals – The ClassicFlix Restorations, Volume 1 contains the first 11 Our Gang sound shorts produced by Roach at the dawn of the “talkie era”: Small Talk to A Tough Winter—with each short newly scanned and restored from original Hal Roach 35mm film elements. A must-have for any true Our Gang fan, Volume 1 features the talents of Jackie Cooper, Allen “Farina” Hoskins, Mary Ann Jackson, Bobby “Wheezer” Hutchins, Joe Cobb, Harry Spear and Norman “Chubby” Chaney.
Smokey and the Bandit (1977)(4K Ultra HD)
Starring Burt Reynolds, Jackie Gleason, Sally Field and Jerry Reed, Smokey and the Bandit delivers outrageous laughs in one of the biggest box-office hits of all time. Bandit (Reynolds), a fun-loving, fast-talking trucker, takes on his craziest haul yet-delivering 400 cases of beer from Texarkana to Atlanta in just 28 hours. With Sheriff Buford T. Justice (Gleason) hot on his trail and eager to teach him some respect for the law, the Bandit joins forces with good ol’ boy, Cledus (Reed) and runaway bride Carrie (Field). Gear up for huge laughs, pedal-to-the-metal action, and some of the wildest car crashes ever filmed!
Montana teen Betsy Calhoun (Karen Lamm) hopped a bus to L.A. in search of movie stardom, and on arrival, she was promptly robbed, raped, and sold into prostitution. Her rancher big brother Jim (James Mitchum) saddled up and headed south in search of her…and when the local authorities prove useless, he’ll have to break a few laws–and heads–to come to the rescue. Intense actioner co-stars Erik Estrada, Kathy Lee Crosby, Anne Archer, Ray Sharkey.
The Vault (2021)
Brilliant young engineer Thom Laybrick (Freddie Highmore) had a long-held fascination with the Bank of Spain’s century-old Madrid headquarters, and its subterranean safe protected from breach by an underground river. However, his interest is about to become more than academic–as he assembles a team of thieves to plunder it while the city is focused on the World Cup finals. Crackling caper effort co-stars Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, Famke Janssen, Sam Riley, Liam Cunningham. AKA: “Way Down.”
I Hate Suzie: Season One (2020)
Debuting in 2020, this darkly hilarious British comedy series stars Billie Piper (who also co-created) as TV actress Suzie Pickles, whose phone is hacked, revealing risqué photos of her to the world. Her life and marriage thrown into utter chaos as a result, Suzie will do whatever it takes in order to keep her family from falling apart–and maybe pull her career back from the brink of extinction in the process. With Leila Farzad, Daniel Ings, Matthew Jordan-Caws, Nathaniel Martello-White. 8 episodes on 2 discs.
But I’m a Cheerleader (Director’s Cut)(1999)
In this knowing satire, Natasha Lyonne is an all-American high school cheerleader whose parents are fearful that she’s becoming a lesbian because of her Melissa Etheridge poster and vegetarianism. They ship her to a special camp where they hope she’ll get in touch with her heterosexual feelings, but not everything goes as planned. Michelle Williams, Cathy Moriarty, RuPaul Charles and Clea DuVall co-star.
The original, landmark “spaghetti western” that spawned a slew of unrelated sequels. Franco Nero stars as the wandering gunman who, dragging his machine gun in a coffin behind him, arrives in a decaying frontier town caught in the middle of a violent battle between Mexican bandits and hooded racists. Director Sergio Corbucci’s compelling drama also stars Eduardo Fajardo.
Spare Parts (2020)
An all-woman rock quartet found the misfortune of blowing a tire between bar gigs becoming far, far worse after they’re lured to an auto scrapyard…that doubles as a gladiator arena for yahoos lorded over by a demented “emperor” (Julian Richings). As each has an arm amputated–and is fitted with a prosthetic weapon–can they manage to turn the tables when they’re forced to battle to the death? Out-there horror-actioner co-stars Michelle Argyris, Emily Alatalo, Kiriana Stanton, Chelsea Muirhead.
Endangered Species (2021)
Lauren and Jack Halsey (Rebecca Romijn, Philip Winchester) thought it would be a bonding experience for their privileged but troubled clan if they took their adult kids to Kenya for a safari vacation. The level of adventure would be more than they bargained for, though, after a charging rhino flipped their van–leaving them injured, miles from help, and at the mercy of leopards, hyenas, and some two-legged predators as well. Jerry O’Connell, Isabel Bassett, Michael Johnston also star.
Mommie Dearest (1981)
The story of legendary movie star Joan Crawford is told in this uncannily effective portrait, based on adopted daughter Christina’s controversial bestselling book. Faye Dunaway delivers a mesmerizing performance as the troubled actress, who struggles to further her career while battling the inner demons of her private life, her unpredictable behavior impacting her children in profound ways. Diana Scarwid, Steve Forrest also star.
The Love Butcher (1975)
When a string of lawn implement slayings struck a well-off neighborhood, the eye of suspicion passed over local gardener Caleb (Eric Stern), thanks to his old age, infirmities, and passive nature. All it takes is to don a toupee, however, and Caleb gives way to Lester (Stern, again), an alter ego that’s confident, calculating…and murderous. Made in 1975 but not released until seven years later, this gory goodie co-stars Robin Sherwood, Richard Kennedy, Jeremiah Beecher, Kay Neer.
Who Done It? (1956)
TV’s beloved bawdy Brit, Benny Hill, made his screen debut in this slapstick Cold War thriller, a late effort from the famed Ealing Studios. Ice rink sweeper-turned-private detective Hugo (Hill) gets mixed up in a wacky adventure involving a weather-controlling machine and a plot to assassinate top British scientists. Can he save the day in spite of himself? With Belinda Lee, David Kossoff, Garry Marsh.
The Blue Lamp (1950)
Taut British crime drama focuses on London police constables George Dixon (Jack Warner) and Andy Mitchell (Jimmy Hanley), with the seasoned, streetwise Dixon taking the green Mitchell under his wing. When Dixon is gunned down during a confrontation with a low-level thug (Dirk Bogarde), the young rookie becomes part of the expansive manhunt dedicated to tracking the killer down and seeing that he’s put behind bars. With Robert Flemyng, Bernard Lee, Peggy Evans.
The Green Man (1956)
Alastair Sim shines in this British dark comedy, playing Harry Hawkins, a meek watch repairman who moonlights as an assassin-for-hire, happily bumping off society’s most annoying people. Hawkins’ latest job–eliminating an insufferable politician at a seaside hotel–hits a snag when he constantly winds up in the company of a bumbling vacuum cleaner salesman (George Cole). With Jill Adams, Raymond Huntley, Terry-Thomas.
The horror is unbearable, as a ferocious, 18-foot grizzly preys on the unsuspecting patrons of a state park. Realizing that taking the beast on alone would be a boo-boo, a park ranger (Christopher George) enlists the help of a naturalist (Richard Jaeckel) and a chopper pilot (Andrew Prine) to bring it down. Can they do it before more unhappy campers wind up as the picnic? Joan McCall, Joe Dorsey also star.
In February 1946, after his honorable discharge, decorated African-American WWII veteran Isaac Woodard boarded a bus home to North Carolina. His request for a rest stop spurred his removal by South Carolina cops, and the subsequent beating he endured permanently cost him his sight. After state authorities refused to act, an appalled Harry Truman sought federal prosecution, and this “American Experience” offering takes a compelling look at the case and its social repercussions.
Trigger Point (2021)
Former special ops Nicolas Shaw (Barry Pepper) was living a quiet retirement–understandable after having been captured, tortured to the point of partial amnesia, and given up colleagues that were picked off afterwards. Now, he’s been approached by old boss Elias Kane (Colm Feore), asking him to free his daughter (Eve Harlow) from a criminal mastermind…but the mission might confront him with the truth of his recent past. Laura Vandervoort, Carlo Rota, Nazneen Contractor, Greg Bryk also star.
Shoplifters of the World (2021)
Remember that day in ‘87 when The Smiths broke up? It wouldn’t soon be forgotten by Denver record store clerk Dean (Ellar Coltrane), who broke into a local radio station and ordered the DJ (Joe Manganiello)–at gunpoint–to play nothing but the band’s music. His story intertwines with that of a shoplifting superfan (Helena Howard) leading her clique (Elena Kampouris, James Bloor, Nick Krause) on their own campaign of outrage; fact-inspired, Smiths songs-packed slice of its times co-stars Thomas Lennon.
In Queens, NY, Chinese-American basketball prodigy Alfred “Boogie” Chin (Taylor Takahashi) aspires to NBA stardom. He attends an exclusive prep school in the hopes it will lead to a college scholarship. But Boogie soon finds himself facing a series of struggles both on the court and off, including a burgeoning romance and important decisions about his future. Taylour Paige, Pop Smoke, Pamelyn Chee, Perry Yung co-star in this engaging coming-of-age drama.
Bowing on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim in 2019, this daunting and dialogue-free animated adventure series from “Samurai Jack” creator Genndy Tartakovsky is set in a prehistoric fantasy world, and follows the adventures of a Neanderthal man (“Spear”) and a female Tyrannosaurus (“Fang”)–each having just lost their clan to predators–as they come to journey and hunt together for survival. All 10 episodes from the first season are included in this two-disc set.
Jett (Darren Mann) has been caring for younger brother Quinn (Colin McKenna) since their father Cash (Stephen Dorff)–a champion MMA fighter–abandoned them after learning Quinn was born with Williams Syndrome. But Jett will get the chance to settle his score with Cash once and for all as he becomes a successful fighter in his own right and finds himself facing his father in the ring. Powerful drama also stars Elizabeth Reaser, Donald Faison, Karrueche Tran, Saïd Taghmaoui.
The World to Come (2020)
In mid-19th century New York, farm wife Abigail (Katherine Waterston) found her unfulfilling life with distant husband Dyer (Casey Affleck) tested further by the recent loss of her child. As they gain new neighbors in the vibrant Tallie (Vanessa Kirby) and her problematic spouse Finney (Christopher Abbott), the women find their immediate rapport blossoming into something far more, but it might not be enough to forestall cruel destiny, in director Mona Fastvold’s atmospheric effort.
Could it get worse for Claire (Kimberly Williams-Paisley) when the corporate whistleblower who wants her representation is Cassie Piper (Elysia Rotaru), the lawyer who drove mom and partner Joanna (Wendie Malick) from her former high-end firm? It could, when Cassie is thereafter fingered for the slaying of a key witness…and Miles (Tom Cavanagh) is assigned the prosecution! Michelle Harrison, Barclay Hope also star.
Your Honor (2021)
Well-respected New Orleans judge Michael Desiato’s (Bryan Cranston) teenaged son Adam (Hunter Doohan) is responsible for a hit-and-run accident that leaves a young man dead. And when he discovers the victim’s father is a powerful mob boss, Desiato will face the ultimate crisis of conscience as he attempts to cover up Adam’s involvement in the incident. Riveting 10-part Showtime limited series also stars Hope Davis, Sofia Black-D’Elia, Isiah Whitlock, Jr. 10 episodes on 3 discs.