With summer prepped to begin momentarily, the weather is going to be heating up. Fear not though movie lovers, as we’ve got a rundown of the new releases that will keep you cool in the sultry months ahead. This week presents an exciting new batch of Blu-rays, DVDs and 4K Ultra HD releases that span from the heyday of Hollywood to recent theatrical hits. All in all, it’s another fantastic week to be a physical media lover — as these offerings illustrate!
The Northman (2022)
As a boy, the Viking prince Amleth bore witness to the slaying of his father Aurvandill (Ethan Hawke) by his treacherous uncle Fjölnir (Claes Bang), who’d desired his mother Gudrún (Nicole Kidman). Having fled for his life, he swore he’d have vengeance–and the day came that Amleth (Alexander Skarsgård), grown into a formidable barbarian, returned to claim it. Robert Eggers’ brooding, brutal take on the mythos that inspired “Hamlet” co-stars Anya Taylor-Joy, Willem Defoe, Björk.
Lawrence of Arabia (60th Anniversary Limited Edition)(4K Ultra HD)
David Lean’s epic biography of British army officer T.E. Lawrence, who helped unite and lead Arab rebels in their fight against Ottoman Turks during World War I, won seven Academy Awards including Best Picture and Director. Peter O’Toole made a lasting impression as the enigmatic Lawrence in his starring debut. Co-stars Alec Guinness, Omar Sharif, Anthony Quinn, Jack Hawkins, Jose Ferrer, Claude Rains.
For Me and My Gal (1942)
Delightful romp set in pre-WWI vaudeville, with naive young singer Jo Hayden (Judy Garland) being wooed away from her stage partners by debonair hoofer Harry Palmer (Gene Kelly, in his film debut). The pair struggles to make it big, and find their romance interrupted by Harry’s enlistment in an entertainment troupe overseas. George Murphy, Ben Blue, and Keenan Wynn co-star under Busby Berkeley’s direction. Songs include “Oh, You Beautiful Doll,” “After You’ve Gone,” and the title song.
The Tales of Hoffman (1951)(Criterion Collection)
Jacques Offenbach’s fantasy work is magnificently brought to the screen by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger (“The Red Shoes”). Robert Rounseville stars in the title role of the German romanticist, regaling a tavern crowd about his fantastical but foredoomed love affairs with a beautiful automaton (Moira Shearer), a treacherous courtesan (Ludmilla Tchérina), and a terminally ill soprano (Ann Ayars), in this enthralling blend of opera, ballet, and drama.
The Wedding Veil Unveiled (2022)
Now, the antique veil has passed to Emma (Autumn Reeser)–who’s taking a teaching opportunity in Italy to also research the garment’s creation, as well as the origins of the myth that it would bring wedded bliss to its owner. Turns out that lacemaking scion Paolo (Paolo Bernardini) might prove an invaluable resource in a number of ways, in this second leg of the Hallmark romantic trilogy; Lacey Chabert, Alison Sweeney, Alessandra Carrillo also star.
La Brea: Season One (2021)
Swallowed up by a gigantic sinkhole that suddenly appears at Los Angeles’ La Brea Tar Pits, a group of disparate people are somehow transported to a perilous prehistoric realm. Can these strangers band together to find their way home and discover the truth behind this remarkable occurrence, all as the fate of one family hangs in the balance? Debuting on NBC in 2021, this sci-fi/drama series stars Natalie Zea, Eoin Macken, Chiké Okonkwo, Karina Logue. 10 episodes on 2 discs.
The Diary of Anne Frank (1967)
In this long-sought TV adaptation of the fact-based stage play, Diana Davila portrayed the Netherlands Jewish teenager who so heartbreakingly chronicled the two years she spent with her family and other refugees hiding in an Amsterdam attic during the Nazi occupation. Moving production originally broadcast on ABC co-stars Max von Sydow, Lilli Palmer, Viveca Lindfors, Marisa Pavan, Donald Pleasence, Theodore Bikel.
Beyond Evil (1980)
Legend has it that Casa Fortuna–a sprawling mansion on an island near the Philippines–has been haunted ever since onetime owners Esteban and Alma Martin killed each other there. When architect Larry Andrews (John Saxon) and his wife Barbara (Lynda Day George) move into the house, Alma’s evil spirit begins to slowly take possession of Barbara so that she may live again. Michael Dante, Mario Milano co-star in this supernatural shocker.
9 Bullets (2022)
For hard-edged exotic dancer Gypsy Moon (Lena Headey), it was about looking out for number one–and never more so since she broke up with the local gang boss (Sam Worthington). However, when her ex delivers fatal payback to a neighbor family, she embarks a on a perilous road run to deliver their surviving child (Dean Scott Vazquez) to safe harbor out of state. Writer-director Gigi Gaston’s nailbiting effort also stars Cam Gigandet, Martin Sensmeier, La La Anthony, and Barbara Hershey. AKA: “Gypsy Moon.”
Ziegfield Girl (1941)
Super-opulent M-G-M opus that follows the efforts of three young lovelies (Judy Garland, Hedy Lamarr, Lana Turner) in their quest to become “Glorified American Girls.” Magnificent Busby Berkeley production numbers, including “You Stepped Out of a Dream”; Judy sings “I’m Always Chasing Rainbows.” James Stewart, Jackie Cooper co-star.
Defining Moments (2021)
Nearing the age of 80–and believing he has only nine months left to live–Chester (Burt Reynolds, in his final screen performance) spends time with his daughter (Polly Shannon). As they come to terms with their relationship, six other loosely connected people all deal with the various things life can throw at you, including illness, romantic woes, and late-in-life pregnancy. Heartfelt comedy from Canada also stars Sienna Guillory, Tammy Blanchard, and Graham Greene.
One Summer (2021)
Though managing recovery from a grave and mysterious illness, Iraq vet Jack Armstrong (Sam Page) still abruptly and tragically lost spouse Lizzie (Amanda Schull) in the interim. Uprooting for her seaside hometown, he resolved to rehabilitate the now-derelict lighthouse she loved…and her presence would bring him guidance with their difficult daughter (Madeline Grace Popovich) and a potential new love (Sarah Drew). Fantasy-tinged drama from the David Baldacci novel co-stars Gavin Borders.
Forbidden Zone (1980)
Opening a strange door in her family’s basement leads young Frenchy Hercules (Marie-Pascale Elfman) into the Forbidden Zone, a whacked-out realm whose ruler, King Fausto (Herve Villéchaize), wants to woo her…while jealous Queen Doris (Susan Tyrrell) wants her dead. Chicken boys, topless princesses, dancing frog men, and a hyperkinetic Danny Elfman score make this surreal cult comedy a must-see. With Phil Gordon, the Kipper Kids, and “The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo.” Includes the black-and-white and color versions.
Stunt Rock (1978)
Leading Australian cinema stunt man Grant Page (playing a fictionalized version of himself) got the call to Hollywood, and proceeded to get racked up on the first day’s shoot. Breaking out of the hospital to get back on set, he quickly becomes a media sensation, but how long can he stay in the fast lane? Demanded cult item from director Brian Trenchard-Smith co-stars Monique van de Ven, Margaret Girard, and the band Sorcery as themselves.
Grease 2 (1982)
It’s a new year in the rockin’ halls of Rydell High, and straight-arrow transfer Michael Carrington (Maxwell Caulfield) is having trouble fitting in. Will his disguise as a mysterious motorcyclist win over intrigued Pink Lady Stephanie Zinone (Michelle Pfeiffer)…but start a rumble with teed-off T-Bird leader Johnny Nogerelli (Adrian Zmed)? Music and fun-filled ’60s sequel also stars Lorna Luft, Tab Hunter, Eve Arden, Didi Conn.
Fortress: Sniper’s Eye (2022)
In this follow-up to Fortress starring Bruce Willis and Chad Michael Murray, a CIA agent confronts the legacy of his dead enemy when his bunker HQ is attacked a second time.
Marvelous and the Black Hole (2021)
With her increasingly delinquent behavior in the wake of losing her mother, 13-year-old Sammy Ko (Miya Cech) got an ultimatum from her exasperated dad (Leonardo Nam): a summer in small business school…or boot camp. The entrepreneur she chooses to shadow as a class project–eccentric émigré kids’ party magician Margot (Rhea Perlman)–proves to have sincere mentoring up her sleeve. Audience-pleasing indie also stars Kannon, Paulina Lule, Keith Powell.
Eraser: Reborn (2022)
U.S. Marshal Mason Pollard (Dominic Sherwood) was good at what he did–staging fake demises for high-value criminal witnesses, then sequestering them safely–and RIna Kamura (Jacky Lai), a mob wife ready to roll over on her husband, seemed like just another assignment. As he oversees her relocation to South Africa, they’re tracked by tipped-off assassins…and he’ll be challenged to survive, let alone succeed. Redo for the 1996 Schwarzenegger actioner co-stars McKinley Belcher III, Eddie Ramos.
The Contractor (2022)
Cashiered with an honorable discharge and little else, ex-Special Forces James Harper (Chris Pine) was out of options when old comrade Mike (Ben Foster) got him an in with a black ops professional (Kiefer Sutherland) claiming highest clearance. A dicey first mission, however, makes him question who his new boss is actually working for–and facing a deadly gauntlet to get out alive. Taut thriller co-stars Gillian Jacobs, Eddie Marsan, JD Pardo, Florian Munteanu.
The Clock (1945)
Frothy romance stars Judy Garland as Alice Maybery, a New York secretary who meets and falls in love with soldier Joe Allen (Robert Walker) in Pennsylvania Station while he is on leave. During their whirlwind courtship, they encounter all sorts of colorful characters in the Big Apple. Noted for its fabulous studio-bound sets, the film was directed by Vincente Minnelli and co-stars James and Lucile Gleason, Keenan Wynn, and Marshall Thompson.