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Random DVD and Blu-ray announcements

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Reply #870 on: April 27, 2020, 12:50:31 AM
2020 TBD

Phillip Borsos' The Grey Fox (1982) on blu-ray from Kino, from a 4K restoration of the original camera negative. Shot by Frank Tidy (The Duellists)

After decades in prison, stagecoach robber Bill Miner (Richard Farnsworth) emerges in 1901 a free man without a place in 20th century society…until he sees The Great Train Robbery and is inspired to once again do what he does best.

June 9, 2020

Ildikó Enyedi’s My 20th Century (1989) on blu-ray from Kino, from a (2K or 4K?) restoration

Awarded the Camera d'Or for best first feature at the 1989 Cannes Film Festival, Hungarian trailblazer Ildikó Enyedi's My 20th Century is a luminous, unconventional fairy tale. Two twins, Lili the anarchist and Dóra, a luxurious woman of loose morals (both played by the young Polish actress Dorotha Segda), are separated as young girls. Their lives proceed on opposing tracks until their paths reconnect on the Orient Express with Mr. Z. (Tarkovsky mainstay Oleg Yankovsky) who loves them jointly. Defiantly in pursuit of happiness and in retreat from the "mass murdering century," they are all entranced by Thomas Edison's inventions and drunk on the miracle of existence. Among the greatest of cinematic debuts, My 20th Century introduced the world to Enyedi (On Body and Soul), who remains a vital, distinctive artist into the 21st century.

May 19, 2020

Paul Mazursky's Enemies: A Love Story (1989) on blu-ray from Sony

Herman Broder (Ron Silver), a Holocaust survivor living in New York City and struggling with depression after his ordeals in the war, makes his living ghostwriting for a rabbi. Herman is married to Yadwiga (Margaret Sophie Stein) but is also having an affair with Masha (Lena Olin), a married woman. Things grow even more chaotic when Herman's first wife, Tamara (Anjelica Huston), who he thought had died in the war, shows up in New York as well. Based on the novel by Isaac Bashevis Singer.

May 26, 2020

Louis Malle's Atlantic City (1980) on blu-ray from Paramount. Unfortunately this looks to be a BD-R.

Atlantic City is revitalized as a resort when gambling is legalized. But the new industry also brings unsettling changes. For Lou (Burt Lancaster), 40 years a bodyguard-boyfriend to aging beauty queen Grace (Kate Reid), his number-running sideline escalates to mob involvement.

June 2, 2020

Steven Spielberg's Jaws (1975) on 4K blu-ray from Universal

When a seaside community finds itself under attack by a great white shark, three men embark on a quest to kill it before it strikes again.

May 12, 2020

Michael Curtiz's The Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933) on blu-ray from Warner Archive, newly restored by the UCLA Film & Television Archive and The Film Foundation

Bodies are mysteriously disappearing all over town, and a new wax museum has just opened. Is there a connection? But of course! In this horror classic, Fay Wray (King Kong) stars as the intended next victim of a mad wax sculptor obsessed with her resemblance to one of his prior creations. Glenda Farrell plays a quintessential wisecracking newspaper reporter, and noted actor Lionel Atwill is the deranged artist who loses his studio to a fire set by his partner. Filmed in the early Two-Color Technicolor® process, The Mystery of the Wax Museum was considered a lost film for decades, until a well-worn print was discovered nearly 50 years ago. Thanks to the meticulous new restoration presented on this disc, the film can now be experienced as intended.

Summer 2020 TBD

Allison Anders' Grace of My Heart (1996) on blu-ray from Scorpion Releasing

Philadelphia teenager Edna Buxton (Illeana Douglas) wins a talent contest during the early rock 'n' roll era, changes her name to Denise Waverly and moves to New York City to make it big. Though she flops as a recording artist, fast-talking record producer Joel Millner (John Turturro) recognizes her songwriting talent and teams her with struggling songsmith Howard Caszatt (Eric Stoltz). The ups and downs of Denise's career parallel the tumult of the 1960s pop scene.

June 30, 2020

Airplane! (1980) on blu-ray from Paramount, from a new 4K restoration

This spoof comedy takes shots at the slew of disaster movies that were released in the 70s. When the passengers and crew of a jet are incapacitated due to food poisoning, a rogue pilot with a drinking problem must cooperate with his ex-girlfriend turned stewardess to bring the plane to a safe landing.


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Reply #871 on: May 07, 2020, 10:35:47 AM
June 28, 2020

Jack Fisk’s Raggedy Man (1981) on blu-ray from Kino

While World War II rages overseas, a divorced mother of two, Nita Longley (Sissy Spacek), struggles to makes ends meet as a telephone operator in small-town Texas. As the subject of disdainful gossip due to her divorce, Nita faces a lonely existence of ostracism, where only the unscrupulous approach her -- often with ill intent. When she befriends Teddy (Eric Roberts), a sailor on leave, her situation improves, but he's soon sent to war. Once again, Nita must face her plight alone.

July 28, 2020

George Miller’s Lorenzo’s Oil (1992) on blu-ray from Kino

True-life drama of a father and mother who battled against the odds to save their son's life. Augusto and Michaela Odone are dealt a cruel blow by fate: five-year-old Lorenzo is diagnosed with a rare and incurable disease, but the Odones' persistence and faith leads to the cure which saves their boy and re-writes medical history. Directed by George Miller, and starring Nick Nolte, Susan Sarandon, Peter Ustinov, Kathleen Wilhoite, and Gerry Bamman.

Quote from:  Letterboxd user Les_Vampires
Hollywood Man: Okay George this is really simple Oscar bait stuff. Just show the parent's being super sad, slap some ugly makeup on the kid, and film in flat lighting and we'll all have Oscars by next year.

George Miller: Sounds good. I had a thought though. What if when the father learns of the disease we flash giant words super-imposed over his face and then have him collapse down the stairs clutching his chest like a Greek tragedy?

Hollywood Man: Oooookay sure, but again it doesn't need to be that compli-

George Miller: And what if the mother is in church and we have this massively high angle that tracks down right to her eye level as she looks up as if we're God and she's questioning why her?

Hollywood Man: George this all sounds really-

George Miller: And the music can be this operatic tome by Ennio Morricone based on the darkest movements by Mozart and Brahms!

Hollywood Man: ...look George do you just want to make a new Mad Max movie or what?

George Miller: Eventually, but first let me tell you about this script I'm writing about a talking pig.

Quote from: Andrew Johnson
Miller ping-pongs between the macabre and melodrama with such deftness that the film feels like as much of a miracle as its titular medicine. The style is too tonally inconsistent. This should not work, and yet, in Miller's hands, it does.

The first act is so brutal and uncomfortable that I nearly turned it off. Miller presents the disease as something akin to a demonic spirit, a foreign invader that twists and contorts the body into something unrecognizable.

July 28, 2020

Michael WInner’s The System aka The Girl-Getters (1964) on blu-ray from Kino. Also available from Indicator (UK)

In a picturesque village on the sea, resident Tinker (Oliver Reed) has developed a foolproof plan to seduce -- and then ditch -- wealthy ladies. Thanks to his work photographing tourists on summer vacation, he retains the names and addresses of his female clients, which get put in a pool. He and his hoodlum friends then make their selections and go out on the prowl. But the jaded Tinker finds his callous worldview shaken when he becomes smitten with an on-the-ball model (Jane Merrow).

June 2, 2020

Frank Simon’s The Queen (1968) on blu-ray from Kino

More than 40 years before RuPaul's Drag Race, this ground-breaking documentary about the 1967 Miss All-American Camp Beauty Pageant introduced audiences to the world of competitive drag. The film takes us backstage to kiki with the contestants as they rehearse, throw shade, and transform into their drag personas in the lead-up to the big event. Organized by LGBTQ icon and activist Flawless Sabrina, the competition boasted a star-studded panel of judges including Andy Warhol, Larry Rivers, and Terry Southern.. But perhaps most memorable is an epic diatribe calling out the pageant's bias delivered by Crystal LaBeija, who would go on to form the influential House of LaBeija, heavily featured in Paris Is Burning (1990). A vibrant piece of queer history, The Queen can now be seen in full resplendence thanks to a new restoration from the original camera negative.

June 30, 2020

G.W. Pabst’s Paracelsus (1943) on blu-ray from Kino

A physician, alchemist, and spiritual guru, Paracelsus (1493-1541) was one of the most enigmatic figures in the history of science. And, like its subject, this 1943 film is shrouded in mystery, even though it was directed by one of the supreme stylists of the German cinema: G.W. Pabst. Werner Krauss (The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari) stars as the Swiss-born scientist, who faces the seemingly impossible task of protecting the German people from a coming plague, and calming a rising tide of mass hysteria. Despite being called "a remarkably interesting film" by The New York Times's Vincent Canby (when it received its belated U.S. premiere in 1974), Paracelsus continues to be overlooked, along with most all of the films made in Germany during World War II. With fresh eyes, however, we can see that Paracelsus is not a propaganda film, but the work of an oppressed artist attempting to convey a humanist, possibly subversive message under the gaze of Reich Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels.

June 9, 2020

Reinhold Schünzel’s Victor and Victoria (1933) on blu-ray from Kino

In this dazzling musical romance, a young woman (Renate Müller), unable to find work as a music hall singer, partners with a down-and-out thespian (Hermann Thimig) to revamp her act. Pretending to be a man performing in drag, Victoria becomes the toast of the international stage. But she soon finds that her playful bending of genders enmeshes her personal and professional life in a tangle of unexpected complications. Produced in the final days of the Weimar Republic, Victor and Victoria received limited exposure in the United States, and is today best known by Blake Edwards's 1982 remake and the 1995 Broadway production. Viewers will be delighted to discover that the original is every bit as charming and outrageous, reminiscent of the sly sex comedies of Ernst Lubitsch and Billy Wilder.)

June 2, 2020

Michael Winner’s The Mechanic (1972) on blu-ray from Scorpion Releasing, from a new 2K restoration

Arthur Bishop (Charles Bronson) is a veteran hit man who, owing to his penchant for making his targets' deaths seem like accidents, thinks himself an artist. It's made him very rich, but as he hits middle age, he's so depressed and lonely that he takes on one of his victim's sons, Steve McKenna (Jan-Michael Vincent), as his apprentice. Arthur puts him through a rigorous training period and brings him on several hits. As Steven improves, Arthur worries that he'll discover who killed his father.

May 18, 2020

Toshio Matsumoto’s Funeral Parade of Roses (1969) on blu-ray from BFI (UK), from Cinelicious’ 4K restoration. Hope is this new disc will solve the encoding issues present on the US blu-ray release.

This kaleidoscopic masterpiece, one of the most subversive, intoxicating films of the 60s and a classic of queer cinema, is a headlong dive into a dazzling unseen Tokyo night-world of drag queen bars and fabulous divas. 

Toshio Matsumoto, one of Japan's leading experimental filmmakers, bends and distorts time, and freely mixes documentary interviews, Brechtian film-within-a-film asides, Oedipal premonitions of disaster, his own avant-garde shorts (eight of which are included on this release), and even on-screen cartoon balloons. Trans actor Peter gives an astonishing performance as Eddie, hostess at Bar Genet – where she's ignited a violent love-triangle with reigning drag queen Leda for the attentions of club owner Gonda.

April 20, 2020

Michael Elliott’s The Year of the Sex Olympics (1968) on DVD from BFI (UK)

In the near future, society is split into two strata: The ‘low-drives’ make up the zombie-like majority, mentally anaesthetized by an incessant diet of television, largely consisting of pornography. Television, and by extension the masses, is controlled by the ‘high-drives’, an educated class who remain servile through their perpetual quest for better ratings and audience subjugation. When the low-drives start to become increasingly uninterested in the programming on offer, co-ordinator Ugo Priest (Leonard Rossiter) ends up accidentally happening upon a new entertainment concept…..reality television.

First broadcast in 1968, The Year of the Sex Olympics is one of the most original pieces of television drama ever written and would foreshadow the likes of Big Brother and the phenomenon that is Love Island.

Five ways The Year of the Sex Olympics predicted the way we live now - BFI

June 29, 2020

Takeshi Kitano Collection (1989-1993) on limited edition blu-ray from BFI (UK)

Violent Cop
Detective Azuma (‘Beat' Takeshi) is a renegade cop who frequently resorts to violence and unethical methods to get results. While investigating a series of drug-related homicides, Azuma discovers that his friend and colleague is supplying drugs from within the police force. After his colleague is murdered and his sister is kidnapped, he breaks all the rules to dish out his particular form of justice.

Boiling Point
When the mild mannered Masaki (Yűrei Yanagi) falls foul of the Yakuza he decides to buy a gun to defend himself. He heads to Okinawa where he forms an unlikely partnership with Uehara (‘Beat’ Takeshi) who has his own reasons for wanting revenge.

Murakawa (‘Beat' Takeshi), an established and ruthless gangster, is sent to intervene in a gang war on the island of Okinawa. When the situation takes a turn for the worse, Murakawa and his men are forced to retreat into hiding, but it’s not long before their enemies track them down. A final and breathtaking showdown becomes inevitable.

May 11, 2020

Fritz Lang’s The Thousand Eyes of Dr. Mabuse (1960) on blu-ray from Masters of Cinema (UK)

After enjoying fantastic success with Fritz Lang s two-part "Indian Epic" in 1959, German producer Artur Brauner signed the great director to direct one more film. The result would be the picture that, in closing the saga he began nearly forty years earlier, brought Lang s career full-circle, and would come to represent his final celluloid testament by extension: his final film masterpiece.

The Thousand Eyes of Dr. Mabuse [Die 1000 Augen des Dr. Mabuse] finds that diabolical Weimar name resurfacing in the Cold War era, linked to a new methodology of murder and mayhem. Seances, assassinations, and Nazi-engineered surveillance tech all abound in Lang s paranoid, and ultimate, filmic labyrinth.

One of the great and cherished "last films" in the history of cinema, The Thousand Eyes of Dr. Mabuse provides a stylistic glimpse into the 1960s works on such subjects as sex-crime, youth-culture, and LSD that Lang would unfortunately never come to realise. Nonetheless, Lang s final film remains an explosive, and definitive, closing statement.

August 3, 2020

Mike Hodges’ Flash Gordon (1980) on 4K blu-ray and standard blu-ray from StudioCanal (UK), from a 4K restoration

Prepare to save the universe with the King of the Impossible! Alex Raymond's famous comic strip blasts to life in the timeless sci-fi cult adventure Flash Gordon!

Although NASA scientists are claiming the unexpected eclipse and strange "hot hail" are nothing to worry about, Dr. Hans Zarkov (Topol) knows better, and takes football star Flash Gordon (Sam Jones) and travel agent Dale Arden (Melody Anderson) with him into space to rectify things. They land on planet Mongo, where the despot Ming the Merciless (Max von Sydow) is attacking Earth out of pure boredom. With the help of a race of Hawkmen, Flash and the gang struggle to save their home planet.

Summer 2020 TBD

Jeff Lieberman’s Blue Sunshine (1978) on 4K blu-ray from Camera Obscura (Germany)

A bizarre series of murders begins in Los Angeles, where people start going bald and then become homicidal maniacs. But could the blame rest on a particularly dangerous form of LSD called Blue Sunshine the murderers took ten years before?


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Reply #872 on: May 13, 2020, 02:48:29 PM
Summer 2020 TBD

Jerry Schatzberg's Puzzle of a Downfall Child (1970) on blu-ray from Kino

A distraught fashion model (Faye Dunaway), once the best, recalls her empty life of alcohol, drugs and sex.

I have the French blu-ray of this movie, it's worth seeing.

July 14, 2020

Leontine Sagan's Mädchen in Uniform (1931) on blu-ray from Kino

After the death of her mother, teenage Manuela (Hertha Thiele) is sent off to a boarding school run by the autocratic Fräulein von Nordeck (Emilia Unda). Initially withdrawn from the other girls due to her grief and anger at being sent away, Manuela is drawn out of her shell by the beautiful and sympathetic young teacher Elizabeth von Bernburg (Dorothea Wieck). But when Manuela's fondness for her teacher turns into a romantic attachment, it becomes a school-wide scandal.

July 21, 2020

István Szabó's Mephisto (1981) on blu-ray from Kino, from a 4K restoration

A German stage actor finds unexpected success and mixed blessings in the popularity of his performance in a Faustian play as the Nazis take power in pre-WWII Germany. As his associates and friends flee or are ground under by the Nazi terror, the popularity of his character supersedes his own existence until he finds that his best performance is keeping up appearances for his Nazi patrons.

July 21, 2020

István Szabó's Confidence (1980) on blu-ray from Kino, from a 4K restoration

This powerful drama from Oscar®-winning director István Szabó explores the nature of love, trust, loyalty and betrayal borne under the weight of exceptional circumstances. János and Katalin are strangers but forced to pose as husband and wife to hide their links to the anti-Nazi resistance in Budapest 1944. The intensity and intimacy of this relationship forces them to passionately confront their past, challenging what they believe and in whom they can place their trust.

July 21, 2020

István Szabó's Colonel Redl (1985) on blu-ray from Kino, from a 4K restoration

Set during the fading glory of the Austro-Hungarian empire, the film tells of the rise and fall of Alfred Redl (Brandauer), an ambitious young officer who proceeds up the ladder to become head of the Secret Police only to become ensnared in political deception.

May 19, 2020

David Miller's Lonely Are the Brave (1962) on blu-ray from Kino

A fiercely independent cowboy arranges to have himself locked up in jail in order to then escape with an old friend who has been sentenced to the penitentiary.

August 25, 2020

Larry Yust's Trick Baby (1972) on blu-ray from Scorpion Releasing, based on the novel by Iceberg Slim

The son of a black prostitute and a white client, Johnny "Folks" O'Brien (Kiel Martin) spends his childhood in the ghetto hearing the hateful name "trick baby," only to realize as an adult just how useful it is to pass for white. Together with his mentor, con man "Blue" Howard (Mel Stewart), Folks succeeds in ripping off many of Philadelphia's wealthy whites with a clever diamond scam. The streak ends, however, when his latest victim turns out to be the father of a local Mafioso.

July 20, 2020

Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on blu-ray from Masters of Cinema (UK)

This trio of classic 1930s horror films Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Black Cat, and The Raven is also distinguished by a trio of factors regarding their production. Most notably, each film is based on a work by master of the macabre Edgar Allan Poe. Part of the legendary wave of horror films made by Universal Pictures in the 30s, all three feature dynamic performances from Dracula's Bela Lugosi, with two of them also enlivened by the appearance of Frankenstein's Boris Karloff. And finally, all three benefit from being rare examples of Pre-Code studio horror, their sometimes-startling depictions of sadism and shock a result of being crafted during that brief period in Hollywood before the enforcement of the Motion Picture Production Code's rigid guidelines for moral content.

Director Robert Florey, who gave the Marx Brothers their cinema start with The Cocoanuts in 1929, worked with Metropolis cinematographer Karl Freund to give a German Expressionism look to Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932), with Lugosi as a mad scientist running a twisted carnival sideshow in 19th-century Paris, and murdering women to find a mate for his talking ape main attraction. Lugosi and Karloff teamed forces for the first time in The Black Cat, a nightmarish psychodrama that became Universal's biggest hit of 1934, with Detour director Edgar G. Ulmer bringing a feverish flair to the tale of a satanic, necrophiliac architect (Karloff) locked in battle with an old friend (Lugosi) in search of his family. Prolific B-movie director Lew Landers made 1935's The Raven so grotesque that all American horror films were banned in the U.K. for two years in its wake. Specifically referencing Poe within its story, Lugosi is a plastic surgeon obsessed with the writer, who tortures fleeing murderer Karloff through monstrous medical means.

Significant and still unsettling early works of American studio horror filmmaking, these three Pre-Code chillers demonstrate the enduring power of Poe's work, and the equally continuous appeal of classic Universal horror's two most iconic stars.

June 29, 2020

Lindsay Anderson's Britannia Hospital (1982) on blu-ray from Indicator (UK)

Mick Travis is a reporter who is about to shoot a documentary on Britannia Hospital, an institution which mirrors the downsides of British Society...

The concluding installment in Lindsay Anderson's Mick Travis trilogy, following If.... and O Lucky Man!, Britannia Hospital finds the filmmaker casting a sourly satirical eye over Thatcher's Britain. With a phenomenal cast at his disposal – everyone from Alan Bates (Georgy Girl) and Joan Plowright (Time Without Pity) to Robin Askwith (Confessions of a Window Cleaner) and Mark Hamill (Star Wars) to Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange) reprising the role of Travis – Anderson trains his sights on royalty, trade unions, the media, and scientific research in typically uncompromising fashion.


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Reply #873 on: Yesterday at 05:08:59 PM
June 30, 2020

Wild Palms (1993) on blu-ray from Kino. Written by Bruce Wagner

A dark, sexy, noir Los Angeles of the future is the backdrop for Oliver Stone's haunting, sci-fi saga of greed, treason and virtual reality. Harry Wyckoff (James Belushi) is about to become a player in a dark and terrifying battle where everything is at stake and no one is who they seem. Featuring an all-star cast, this story about a cult, a corporation, and a conspiracy to rule the country, is one of the most original movie events in recent history.

Resized caps from the forthcoming blu-ray. DVDBeaver review here.