New Releases for July 13!

by Darcy Moynahan

It’s New Release Tuesday! Starring Spongebob, Jason Statham, Cameron Crowe, Roger Corman, Laurence Fishburne, Erich Von Stroheim, Gordon Parks, Scorpion and Sub-Zero, Lizzie Borden, and more. 

ALIAS NICK BEAL (1949)

One of the great holy grails of the marriage of pulp fiction and film noir finally arrives on home video, finally, thanks to the good folks at Kino Lorber. Crime fiction scribe Jonathan Latimer wrote some great novels (Solomon’s Vineyard, Murder In The Madhouse) before bringing his penchant for offbeat characters and wry, snappy dialogue to Hollywood, and after his terrific adaptation of The Glass Key (1942,) he teamed up with director John Farrow for a handful of film noirs. The first was The Big Clock (1948,) which is one of those inspired genre classics where every element – acting, direction, score, cinematography – is note perfect. The following year, Latimer, Farrow, and Big Clock star Ray Milland reunited for a kind of political noir with a macabre twist, featuring Thomas Mitchell as a principled D.A. who, after losing a case due to a corrupt system, proclaims that he’d sell his soul for a chance to take down all of the bad guys. Enter Ray Milland as the corporeal iteration of Mister Scratch and the battle for the D.A.’s soul is on. Featuring some great turns by noir character actors (Fred Clark, George Macready, Audrey Totter) and a wonderful, memorable Franz Waxman score, Alias Nick Beal is an incredibly welcome addition to physical media and Scarecrow Video. (DVD, BLU-RAY) (capsule by Mark Steiner)

ALMOST FAMOUS (2000) – BOOTLEG CUT AND THEATRICAL CUT

Writer/director Cameron Crowe’s affectionate, semi-autobiographical story centers on high school student William Miller (Patrick Fugit), who aspires to cover the rock scene in the early 1970s. Bluffing his way into an assignment for Rolling Stone magazine, William is soon accompanying the band Stillwater on tour–and immersing himself in the wild world of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. With Billy Crudup, Kate Hudson, Frances McDormand, Jason Lee, and Philip Seymour Hoffman as legendary music critic Lester Bangs. (4K-UHD, BLU-RAY)

BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS (1980)

Roger Corman produced this space opera version of Magnificent Seven and Seven Samurai, which was written by John Sayles and directed by Jimmy T Murakami. Despite receiving mixed reviews, Battle Beyond the Stars’ low budget special effects by James Cameron were well received, which helped start his career. If nothing else, this film is worth a watch for its set, which purportedly used painted McDonald’s containers as corridors in the space ship. The film stars Richard Thomas, Robert Vaughn, George Peppard, John Saxon, Sybil Danning, and Darlanne Fluegel. (BLU-RAY)

BRITISH NOIR- 5 FILM COLLECTION VOL. 3 

This five-film collection assembles some of the lesser-known Brit Noir titles from various British studios, featuring such major talents as actors Carole Landis, Glynis Johns, Mai Zetterling, Honor Blackman, Herbert Lom, Terry-Thomas and Dennis Price; and directors Terence Young, George King and Thornton Freeland. THE FRIGHTENED LADY (1940) A woman (Helen Haye, The 39 Steps) tries to protect her family’s name when she discovers that one of her relatives is a murderer and that her niece Isla Crane (Penelope Dudley-Ward, Dangerous Cargo) may be his next victim. Based on an Edgar Wallace (Chamber of Horrors) play and directed by George King (The Face at the Window). Marius Goring (The Red Shoes) co-stars. Also-known-as The Case of the Frightened Lady. THE BRASS MONKEY (1948) Popular radio host Carroll Levis (playing himself) and Kay Sheldon (Carole Landis, I Wake Up Screaming) find themselves entangled in a web of smuggling and murder when a priceless brass monkey is stolen from a Japanese temple and smuggled into England. Directed by Thornton Freeland (Flying Down to Rio) and co-starring Herbert Lom (Return from the Ashes), Ernest Thesiger (The Old Dark House) and Terry-Thomas (The Green Man). THIRD TIME LUCKY (1949) In this British crime drama directed by Gordon Parry (Twilight Women) Lucky (Dermot Walsh, The Flesh and the Fiends), a compulsive gambler falls in love with a woman (Glynis Johns, The Court Jester) and believes she’s bringing him good luck, unfortunately she also catches the eye of one of his gambling rivals. Will his gambling addiction be the death of him? Co-starring John Stuart (Number 17), Helen Haye (The Skin Game) and Sebastian Cabot (The Time Machine). TALL HEADLINES (1952) Also-known-as The Frightened Bride, the 1952 British noir directed by the great Terence Young (Dr. No, Wait Until Dark) stars Mai Zetterling (Knock on Wood), Michael Denison (The Importance of Being Ernest), Flora Robson (Wuthering Heights), Dennis Price (Kind Hearts and Coronets), Naunton Wayne (The Lady Vanishes) and Mervyn Johns (Dead of Night). A family struggles to try to put their life back together after the eldest son is convicted of, and then executed for, murder. BREAKAWAY (1956) Suave, if a trifle elderly, private eye Tom Duke Martin (Tom Conway, The Falcon Strikes Back) is on the trail of a secret formula and a kidnapped girl. This wonderful British noir was directed by Henry Cass (The Glass Mountain) and beautifully shot in glorious black-and-white by Monty Berman (The Flesh and the Fiends). Co-starring Honor Blackman (Goldfinger and TVs The Avengers) and John Colicos (Raid on Rommel). (DVD)

CARNIVORES (2020)

Alice is vegan, but she hungers for her partner Bret voraciously. Bret is completely consumed with caring for her dog Harvie, whose convalescence and rigorous medication schedule leaves Alice feeling neglected, physically and emotionally. She can’t sleep, and when she does she sleepwalks, waking up in random places, unable to distinguish disturbing dreams from reality and finding herself increasingly drawn to the meat section of the supermarket. When Harvie mysteriously goes missing, the two women must search for what they’ve lost in this compelling hybrid of dark comedy, psychological thriller, and drama. (DVD)

DARK SPELL (2021)

Zhenya, a young wife and mother, is heartbroken after her husband leaves her. Desperate, she tampers with the forces of reality by employing sinister magic—in the form of a spell called “Black Wedding”—to bring him back into her arms. Sure enough, her husband returns to her…but his renewed love for Zhenya has become twisted into something far more obsessive and frightening. Now Zhenya has no other choice but to find a way to reverse an irreversible spell, but she soon learns that not even death will part those who have been joined by the Black Wedding. (DVD)

DEEP COVER (1992)

Film noir hits the mean streets of 1990s Los Angeles in this stylish and subversive underworld odyssey from veteran actor-director Bill Duke. Laurence Fishburne stars as Russell Stevens, a police officer who goes undercover as “John Hull,” the partner of a dangerously ambitious cocaine trafficker (Jeff Goldblum), in order to infiltrate and bring down a powerful Latin American drug ring operating in LA. But the further Stevens descends into this ruthless world of money, violence, and power, the more disillusioned he becomes—and the harder it is to make out the line between right and wrong, crime and justice. Steeped in shadowy, neon-soaked atmosphere and featuring Dr. Dre’s debut solo single, Deep Cover is an unsung gem of the nineties’ Black cinema explosion that delivers a riveting character study and sleek action thrills alongside a furious moral indictment of America and the devastating failures of the war on drugs. This new 4K Restoration includes an interview with director Bill Duke, multiple conversations about the film, and an essay by Gillespie! (BLU-RAY, DVD)

FRONTLINE-THE VIRUS THAT SHOOK THE WORLD (2021)

FRONTLINE examines living through the year of the pandemic, filmed around the world, from lockdowns to funerals to protests. Using extensive personal video and local footage, see how people and countries responded to the virus, with the differing struggles, beliefs and responses, across cultures, race, faith and privilege. (DVD)

GREAT GABBO (1929)

Inspired by the dark short story “The Rival Dummy” by Ben Hecht, this uncanny 1928 drama stars Erich Von Stroheim (Hollywood’s “The Man You Love To Hate”) as the cruel egotistical ventriloquist, The Great Gabbo. Mary (Betty Compson), Gabbo’s beautiful assistant, loves Gabbo and sees goodness within him, despite the torrent of abuse that he heaps upon her. Incapable of expressing any human warmth except through Otto, his wooden dummy, Gabbo drives Mary away. Gabbo’s career surges upward bringing him fame and fortune as a Broadway headliner while his descent into insanity accelerates along with his twisted belief that Otto, his only companion, is truly alive. Mary reappears, but when Gabbo realizes that she isn’t returning to be his lover, he becomes totally unhinged in a final spectacular burst of self-destructive madness.

Directed by James Cruze, famous for 1929’s epic western The Covered Wagon, the film alternates the melodrama with musical numbers of the late Vaudeville era. Erich Von Stroheim’s intense performance as Gabbo is the highlight of the picture, his first talkie. Born in Austria and coming to the United States in 1909, he began as a bit player working for D.W. Griffith and Douglas Fairbanks, but his real interest was directing. As a director, his debut film Blind Husbands (1919) met with acclaim, but his film Queen Kelly (1928) starring Gloria Swanson, was shut down in mid-production for going over budget. He was brought into the production of The Great Gabbo for his marquee value. Von Stroheim continued to act for the rest of his life, forever typecast as a monocled, arrogant villain. In a strange twist paralleling his life, Von Stroheim’s last performance was as Max Von Mayerling, the failed Hollywood director, to Swanson’s Norma Desmond, in Sunset Boulevard (1950), bringing him his only Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. (BLU-RAY)

HELD (2020)

In HELD, Emma (Jill Awbrey) and Henry’s (Bart Johnson) marriage is losing its spark. In an effort to reconnect, they vacation to a remote high-end rental, complete with automated smart house features and integrated security. However, after suspecting a nighttime intruder they decide to flee, only to become forcibly trapped inside by the automated security system. Emitting from the house, an unknown ‘Voice’ watches their every move through an array of hidden cameras, revealing an intimate and unsettling knowledge of their relationship. While the situation grows increasingly brutal, Emma and Henry must work together to uncover the truth and find a way out before it’s too late. (BLU-RAY, DVD)

JOURNEY INTO BUDDHISM (2021)

Yatra is the Sanskrit word for pilgrimage or spiritual journey. These three visually stunning documentaries are cinematic pilgrimages to legendary places in Southeast Asia and Tibet, including the spiritual wonders of Laos, Thailand, Burma, Bali, Cambodia, Java and Central Tibet. (DVD)

LARCENY (1948)

John Payne (99 River Street), Joan Caulfield (The Unsuspected), Dan Duryea (Scarlet Street) and Shelley Winters (Cry of the City) play the old confidence game in the riveting crime drama Larceny. Smooth-talking grifter Rick Maxon (Payne) tries to swindle wealthy war widow Deborah (Caulfield) into giving up her savings for a nonexistent memorial. When Rick falls in love with Deborah he has pangs of remorse, but he must contend with his gang boss, Silky (Duryea), and the tough-as-nails moll, Tory (Winters), who is enamored with Rick but is considered Silky’s girl. Director George Sherman (The Sleeping City, Against All Flags, Big Jake) keeps the twists and turns coming in this hard-boiled film noir. Beautifully shot by Irving Glassberg (The Tarnished Angels, The Price of Fear) and co-starring Dan O’Herlihy (RoboCop) and Gene Evans (Fixed Bayonets!). (BLU-RAY, DVD)

MOMENTS WITHOUT PROPER NAMES (1987)

In his final film as director, Gordon Parks (The Learning Tree, Shaft) turned the camera upon himself and created a deeply personal and remarkably poetic self-portrait. Moments Without Proper Names blends Parks’ striking photographs (spanning four decades) with newly-shot footage of the artist, his own musical compositions, and personal reminiscences performed by a trio of esteemed actors: Avery Brooks, Roscoe Lee Browne, and Joe Seneca. Restored from the original camera negatives, presented in cooperation with the Gordon Parks Foundation and the Library of Congress, Moments Without Proper Names offers a penetrating gaze into the life and mind of one of the 20th Century’s most celebrated artists. (DVD)

MONSTER COLLECTION (2021)

A creature double-feature from the depths of the drive-in, The Monster Collection features two impressively comprehensive documentaries by Alexandre Poncet and Gilles Penso, Phil Tippett: Mad Dreams and Monsters, a portrait of the man behind some of the most recognizable movie creatures of the modern era, and The Frankenstein Complex, profiling the workaday wizards who turn rubber, latex, and resin into cinema’s most memorable and terrifying creations.

This collector’s set includes hours of exclusive bonus features, including new audio commentaries, behind-the-scenes footage, extended interviews segments, galleries, and rare short films from Phil Tippett. (BLU-RAY)

MORE AMERICAN GRAFFITI (1979)

Ron Howard, Cindy Williams, Charles Martin Smith and Paul Le Mat return in More American Graffiti, the follow-up to George Lucas’ original coming-of-age classic. Set a few years later, the film traces the continuing hopes, dreams and romances of a group of high school friends. Gone are the sock hops, cruise nights and make-out spots. Now it’s all about campus parties, love-ins and peace rallies – as these friends find themselves in the midst of the amazing era that was the mid-60s. Featuring a timeless soundtrack loaded with the period’s greatest hits by Bob Dylan, Donovan, Simon and Garfunkel, The Byrds, The Doors and more, it’s a story sure to evoke memories of a time when becoming an adult meant laughing, crying and savoring old friendships. (BLU-RAY)

MORTAL KOMBAT (2021)

In “Mortal Kombat,” MMA fighter Cole Young, accustomed to taking a beating for money, is unaware of his heritage—or why Outworld’s Emperor Shang Tsung has sent his best warrior, Sub-Zero, an otherworldly Cryomancer, to hunt Cole down. Fearing for his family’s safety, Cole goes in search of Sonya Blade at the direction of Jax, a Special Forces Major who bears the same strange dragon marking Cole was born with. Soon, he finds himself at the temple of Lord Raiden, an Elder God and the protector of Earthrealm, who grants sanctuary to those who bear the mark. Here, Cole trains with experienced warriors Liu Kang, Kung Lao and rogue mercenary Kano, as he prepares to stand with Earth’s greatest champions against the enemies of Outworld in a high stakes battle for the universe. But will Cole be pushed hard enough to unlock his arcana-the immense power from within his soul-in time to save not only his family, but to stop Outworld once and for all? (4K-UHD, BLU-RAY, DVD)

NIGHT (2020)

After a night out with friends, an exhausted married couple, Babak (Shahab Hosseini) and Neda (Niousha Jafarian), and their baby take shelter in the grand, but eerie Hotel Normandie. Throughout a seemingly endless night, mysterious disturbances ruin their rest as Babak and Neda soon realize they’re locked in with a malevolent force that hungers for the dark secrets they’ve kept from one another. With The Night, director Kourosh Ahari made history for being the first U.S. produced film to receive a license for theatrical release in Iran since the revolution. The psychological thriller follows in the footsteps of The Shining, luring viewers into a hotel that is both ominous and inviting, where the ghosts of the past still linger around each corner. The horrors that haunt these corridors are real and terrifying…The Night will make you reconsider ever spending a night away from home again. (BLU-RAY, DVD)

NO MAN’S LAND (2021)

On a Texas ranch sharing a border with Mexico, two families are about to collide. While out on a border patrol, rancher’s son Jackson Greer accidentally kills a Mexican immigrant boy. When his father tries taking the blame, Jackson flees south on horseback, becoming a gringo “illegal alien” in Mexico. Pursued by both Texas Rangers and Mexican Federales, he journeys across Mexico to seek forgiveness from the dead boy’s father…only to fall in love with the land he was taught to hate. Inspired by the real-life “no man’s land” along the Texas-Mexico border, this thoughtful modern Western explores an engrossing and potent new twist on a hot-button issue. (DVD)

PIANIST (2002)

They were degraded, they were hoarded up, and they were sent to die. A brave few fought back, but one man would not be beaten, would not be taken, and would remain defiant. Wladyslaw Szpilman (Adrien Brody), a brilliant Polish pianist, a Jew, escapes deportation. Forced to live in the heart of the Warsaw ghetto, he shares the suffering, the humiliation and the struggles, and manages to escape and hide in the ruins of the capital. Includes an interview with screenwriter Ronald Harwood; an interview with Andrzej Szpilman, son of Wladyslaw Szpilman; and “A Story Of Survival: Behind-The-Scenes Of The Pianist” (BLU-RAY)

PRIMARY COLORS (1998)

Mike Nichols directed this Elaine May screenplay adaptation starring John Travolta as Bill Clinton (basically). I love it when my man John does an accent and an impression, and this movie is no exception to either of those things. I’m sure this movie has lots of political themes and subtleties that can be dissected and examined, but for me this will always be a film about Travolta playing Bill Clinton and I can’t get past that. I recommend pairing this one with White Man’s Burden if you’re looking for a Travola double feature. Honorable mention to the squirrel lady from Rat Race (Kathy Bates) giving a memorable performance and also Billy Bob Thornton for being as cringy as he always is. Don’t forget to check out our newly added Elaine May section in the Director’s area! (BLU-RAY)

PRIVATE SCHOOL (1983)

Phoebe Cates (Fast Times At Ridgemont High), Matthew Modine (Vision Quest), and Betsy Russell (Tomboy) star in the outrageous romantic comedy that could only happen in the ’80s: Private School! Cherryvale students Christine Ramsay (Cates) and Jim Green (Modine) from the nearby Freemount Academy are experiencing the joys and pains of first love. But when Christine’s rival Jordan (Russell) sets her sights on Jim, and Jim’s party animal pal Bubba (Michael Zorek) attempts to make his move on Jordan, it sets off a cavalcade of raucous hijinks that turn both the schools and Chris and Jim’s lives upside-down. (BLU-RAY)

ROSE PLAYS JULIE (2019)

Fixated with discovering the truth about her background, adoptee/veterinary student Rose (Ann Skelly) tracks down and wheedles a meet with her birth mother, actress Ellen (Orla Brady). Upon learning that she was the product of a rape, she put on a new persona–“Julie,” the name Ellen put on the birth certificate—for a fateful confrontation with her archeologist biological father (Aiden Gillen). This controlled and complex chiller also stars Sadie Soverall, Catherine Walker, and Joanne Crawford. (DVD)

SEPARATION (2021)

8-year-old Jenny (Violet McGraw) is constantly caught in the middle of the feuding between her lawyer mother Maggie (Mamie Gummer) and artist father Jeff (Rupert Friend). She leads a lonely but imaginative life, surrounded by puppets called “Grisly Kin”, which are based on the works of her father. When Maggie is tragically killed in a hit-and-run, Jeff and Jenny try to piece together a new life. But when Maggie’s father (Brian Cox) sues for custody, and babysitter Samantha (Madeline Brewer) tries to be the new woman of the house, life in their Brooklyn townhome takes a dark turn. The puppets and frightening characters come to life and Jenny is the only person who can see them. When the motives of the ghoulish creatures become clear, the lives of everyone are put very much in jeopardy. (DVD)

SICILIA! (1999)

Something as simple as a herring roasting on a hearth, or a meal of bread, wine and winter melon, takes on the humble aura of a Caravaggio painting in this masterful film. That is to say, Straub-Huillet extols ordinary Sicilians who are poor of means but rich in spirit. Filmed in Syracuse and Messina, Sicilia! is a tragicomedy involving an orange peddler, an Italian recently returned from America, two “stinky” police officers, a guilt-stricken landowner, a traveling knife sharpener and, perhaps most unforgettably, an indomitable peasant mother who reminisces about meals of snails and wild chicory, her husband’s philandering and cowardice, and her own father’s belief in an honest day’s labor, socialism, and St. Joseph. Includes a new digital restoration of Pedro Costa’s Where Does Your Hidden Smile Lie? (DVD)

SILAT WARRIORS-DEED OF DEATH (2019)

When a reckless young gambler’s wild lifestyle of illegal gambling, drag racing, and betting on brutal street fights pits him against a ruthless criminal betting ring, his luck finally runs out. The gang shows up at his family’s home to collect on the debt, forcing his family to fight in order to save their land and his life – before their limited time runs out. (BLU-RAY)

SKIN DEEP (1989)

Hard-drinking novelist Zach Hutton (John Ritter) spirals out of control after his wife (Alyson Reed) and mistress both leave him. Alone and crippled by a bad case of writer’s block, Zach slips in and out of casual relationships and one-night stands, while his drinking becomes more and more severe. With the help of a bartender (Vincent Gardenia) and his therapist (Michael Kidd), Zach confronts his demons — women and alcohol—and rediscovers his writing voice. (BLU-RAY)

SLALOM (2020)

This riveting, Cannes-selected #MeToo drama from debut filmmaker Charlne Favier follows the relationship between a teenage ski prodigy and her predatory instructor, played by frequent Dardenne brothers collaborator Jrmie Renier (The Kid with a Bike, In Bruges). In a breakthrough role, Noe Abita plays 15-year-old Lyz, a high school student in the French Alps who has been accepted to an elite ski club known for producing some of the country’s top professional athletes. Taking a chance on his new recruit, ex-champion turned coach Fred decides to mold Lyz into his shining star despite her lack of experience. Under his influence, she will have to endure more than the physical and emotional pressure of the training. Will Lyzs determination help her escape Freds exploitative grip? (DVD)

SPONGEBOB MOVIE-SPONGE ON THE RUN (2020)

Are you ready kids?? I’ll admit I haven’t seen this yet because it wasn’t released in theaters and was only available on Paramount+, and who has that? But I’M READ-DY I’M READ-DY (as Spongebob would say). Here’s the thing, Spongebob was great for its first 3 seasons. Like, *I still watch those seasons all the time* kind of great. And The Spongebob Squarepants Movie was the most amazing thing my 11 year old self had ever seen when it came out in 2004. After the movie Stephen Hillenburg, the creator, left the show along with many of the original writers and the show has since been turned into a garbage kids’ show with cash cow spinoffs that Stephen Hillenburg specifically stated he didn’t want (he also didn’t want more than 60 episodes but the series has now been running for 22 years). So as someone who proudly and openly loves the first 3 seasons of Spongebob and the first movie, let me clearly state that I am excited to see this! The second movie, Sponge out of Water was a total bust. But Sponge on the Run has Tim Hill helming it, and he wrote the first movie and was involved with the first few seasons of the show. My high hopes in this film lie entirely in thinking that surely Nickelodeon knows us millennials demand the charm and humor of the original show and movie, but also Nickelodeon clearly couldn’t care less about honoring the show’s creator, let alone fans like me. Anyways, the only way to find out if this movie can live up to my hype is by renting it, so what are you waiting for?? (BLU-RAY, DVD)

SUBLET (2020)

Starring Tony Award-winning and Emmy-nominated John Benjamin Hickey (The Good Wife) and featuring the impressive debut of Niv Nissim, SUBLET focuses on Michael (Hickey), a travel columnist for The New York Times, who goes to Tel Aviv to write an article after suffering a tragedy. He is still grieving and the loss has caused problems between him and his husband. He just wants to do his research and go home. But when he sublets an apartment from Tomer (Nissim), a young film student, he finds himself drawn into the life of the city. (DVD)

THERE IS NO EVIL (2020)

Working in defiance of a lifelong ban on filmmaking, dissident director Mohammad Rasoulof delivers a piercing drama about a subject he knows well: the costs of living under a repressive, brutal government. Winner of the Golden Bear, the top prize at the Berlin Film Festival, There Is No Evil is a film in four chapters, each telling a different story related to the death penalty in contemporary Iran. The first story concerns a family man who, as we come to see, pays a grave moral price for his comfortable middle-class life. The second and third chapters focus on conscripted soldiers in Iran, it is often these men who are forced to perform executions and both segments explore the tension and turmoil that can come with such harsh coercion. The final section involves a family secret, which brings the film to its powerful conclusion. Suspenseful, mysterious, and shot through with a sense of urgency, Rasoulofs work bears the mark of an artist who sets his own terms and who knows just how to captivate an audience. (DVD)

TULSA-FIRE AND THE FORGOTTEN  (2021)

One hundred years after the destruction of the Black-owned Greenwood district of Tulsa, Oklahoma, one of the worst incidents of racial violence in U.S. history, residents and descendants examine the history of the 1921 tragedy and its aftermath. Through the historical lens of white violence and Black resistance, the film explores vital issues of atonement, reconciliation and reparation. (DVD)

TWO WORLDS OF JENNIE LOGAN (1979)

Lindsay Wagner stars in this romantic drama filled with plot twists and suspense. Hoping to repair their marriage, Jennie Logan (Wagner) and her husband (Alan Feinstein) move into a beautiful Victorian manor. When Jennie tries on an antique dress she finds in the attic, she is transported back one hundred years, where she meets the house’s previous owner, David (Marc Singer). As her feelings for David grow, it becomes clear that Jennie is not only torn between two men and two times, but she also faces danger in both worlds. (BLU-RAY)

WEB (1947)

From Michael Gordon, the acclaimed director of An Act of Murder, The Lady Gambles, Woman in Hiding, Pillow Talk, Portrait in Black and Texas Across the River, comes this stylish film noir starring Ella Raines (Phantom Lady, The Suspect), Edmond OBrien (The Hitch-Hiker, D.O.A.), William Bendix (Lifeboat, Wake Island) and Vincent Price (Tales of Terror, The House of the Seven Gables). Leopold Kroner, formerly of Colby Enterprises, is released after five years in prison for embezzlement. Andrew Colby (Price), claiming that Kroner has threatened him, hires lawyer Bob Regan (OBrien) as a secret bodyguard. Sure enough, Kroner turns up in Colbys room with a gun, and Regan kills him. Then Regan, who sticks around to romance Colbys secretary Noel (Raines), begins to suspect he’s been used. Director Gordon and the superb cast spin a web of deception, seduction and murder in this first-rate crime drama. (BLU-RAY, DVD)

WE’RE NO ANGELS (1955)

For the first time on Blu-ray, Humphrey Bogart plays one of his rare comedy roles in this jaunty excursion about three convicts – Joseph (Bogart), Albert (Aldo Ray) and Jules (Peter Ustinov) – who are plotting their escape from Devil’s Island. Fate intervenes when they hide out with kindly, but inept Felix (Leo G. Carroll) and his family. Felix manages a store for his arrogant cousin Andre (Basil Rathbone), who makes the fatal mistake of stealing Albert’s pet, a poisonous snake. After resolving Felix’s problems, the convicts return to prison, convinced that the world is much too wicked. Based on the play by Albert Husson. (BLU-RAY)

WINTER WAR (1990)

The Winter War (Finnish: Talvisota) is a Finnish war film directed by Pekka Parikka, and based on the novel Talvisota by Antti Tuuri. It is set in the Winter War and tells the story of a Finnish infantry regiment from Southern Ostrobothnia fighting on the Karelian Isthmus, focusing mainly on a platoon of reservists from Kauhava. This new addition to our collection is an extra long region free import. (BLU-RAY)

WOMEN COMPOSERS (2018)

When Leipzig pianist Kyra Steckeweh realised that her repertoire almost exclusively consisted of music composed by men, she began searching for pieces written by female composers. Her research in archives, libraries, and publishing houses quickly brought to light a variety of remarkable piano pieces that have been buried in history and rarely performed. Steckeweh sees a lot of catching up to do, which is why the focus of her piano recitals and recordings has since shifted to the music of women composers, particularly Mel Bonis, Lili Boulanger and Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel. With these releases she has brought to our attention and delight three very different composers, all of whom left a diverse body of work. In addition to the in-depth examination of the music, Steckeweh, as a pianist and historian, seeks to look “behind the notes”: How did these women live? What barriers did they have to overcome and how did they manage to cope with the obstacles of their time? The film “Women Composers” highlights the historical and personal circumstances under which these three remarkable women created their works in the 19th and early 20th centuries. (DVD)

WORKING GIRLS (1986)

Sex work is portrayed with radical nonjudgment in Lizzie Borden’s immersive, richly detailed look at the rhythms and rituals of society’s most stigmatized profession. Inspired by the experiences of the sex workers Borden met while making her underground feminist landmark Born in Flames, Working Girls reveals the textures of a day in the life of Molly (Louise Smith), a photographer working part-time in a Manhattan brothel, as she juggles a steady stream of clients, balances nurturing relationships with her coworkers with the demands of an ambitious madam, and above all fights to maintain her sense of self in a business in which the line between the personal and the professional is all too easily blurred. In viewing prostitution through the lens of labor, Borden boldly desensationalizes the subject, offering an empathetic, humanizing, often humorous depiction of women for whom this work is just another day at the office. 

This 4K restoration comes packed with special features! Audio commentary from 2007 featuring Borden, director of photography Judy Irola, and actor Amanda Goodwin; a new conversation between Borden and filmmaker Bette Gordon; a new conversation with Goodwin, actor Louise Smith, producer Andi Gladstone, and assistant director Vicky Funari; a new conversation with sex workers Antonia Crane, Daphne, Selena the Stripper, and Jo Weldon; and an essay by author So Mayer and excerpts from a 1987 interview with Borden by film critic Scott MacDonald. (BLU-RAY, DVD)

WRATH OF MAN  (2021)

A mysterious and wild-eyed new cash truck security guard (Jason Statham) surprises his coworkers during a heist in which he unexpectedly unleashes precision skills. The crew is left wondering who he is and where he came from. Soon, the marksman’s ultimate motive becomes clear as he takes dramatic and irrevocable steps to settle a score. Directed by Guy Ritchie! (BLU-RAY, DVD)

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