It’s New Release Tuesday! This week we’ve got Kaiju, pro-wrestling, Salvador Dali, multiple Seattle documentaries, and tons more, but most importantly, WE’RE OPEN. So come visit and rent some New Releases!
by Darcy Moynahan and Ben Redder
ANYTHING FOR JACKSON (2020), DVD
After a tragic car accident that took their grandson’s life, Audrey and Henry are unable to go on without him. Following the guidance of their ancient spell book, the elderly couple decide to abduct a young pregnant woman with the intention of performing a “reverse exorcism” to channel their grandson’s spirit inside her unborn child.
AWAKENING, THE (1980), BLU-RAY
Arriving on Blu-ray for the first time is Mike Newell’s directorial debut, The Awakening. In this, the 3rd film adaptation of Bram Stoker’s The Jewel of the Seven Stars, screen legend and noted gun control activist Charlton Heston stars as a British archaeologist whose daughter’s body is taken over by the spirit of an Ancient Egyptian queen after he violates her tomb. Unlike the grandparents in Anything for Jackson, Heston’s character is against this.
BEATE (2018), DVD
In the northeast of Italy, the workers of a lingerie factory are about to be fired. Not far away, a handful of nuns, skilled in the art of embroidery and devoted to the Blessed Armida, risk being removed from their beloved abbey. Rather than save one or the other, the lingerie laborers and convent cohabitors join forces to say “porque no los dos?”. Or however you say that in Italian.
BLOOD ON THE CROWN (2021), DVD
Based on actual events, this film, starring Harvey Keitel and Malcolm McDowell, depicts the concealed account of how Maltese citizens fought for their independence against Britain in 1919, just after World War I. Due to a lack of information about the battle, or even much acknowledgement by the British government, the revolution is not documented and not widely known. About 115 Maltese citizens, mostly teenagers, were blamed for the violence and sentenced to life in jail.
BODY SLAM (1986), BLU-RAY
Off the top rope this week comes Burt Reynold’s stuntman and, also, director Hal Needham’s follow-up to RAD, the 1986 “Rowdy” Roddy Piper vehicle, BODY SLAM, in which a down-and-out music promoter inadvertently becomes a successful professional wrestling manager. After being exiled from the business by his rival, M. Harry Smilac (Dirk Benedict), a once successful music promoter, finds success in promoting shows that feature both wrestling and rock music. The film features many well-known wrestlers of the time and references the Rock ‘n’ Wrestling era of professional wrestling.
CENTER STAGE (1991), DVD & BLU-RAY
Maggie Cheung won the Best Actress award at Berlin International Film Festival in 1992 for her delicate portraiture of a renowned silent film in this film, based on the true story of the tragic life of China‘s first prima donna of the silver screen, Ruan Lingyu.
COOL LAKES OF DEATH (1982), DVD
A celebrated Dutch masterpiece, THE COOL LAKES OF DEATH is a historic melodrama featuring an outstanding performance by Renée Soutendijk as Hedwig, a wealthy woman who falls victim to a loveless marriage and the loss of her lover and child that leads to mental illness, prostitution and addiction – before finding possible redemption. A box-office smash upon its release in 1982, THE COOL LAKES OF DEATH remains one of the greatest Dutch drama films in history and was subsequently the Dutch entry for ‘Best Foreign Language Film’ at the Academy Awards.
DALI, SALVADOR: IN SEARCH OF IMMORTALITY (2018), DVD
An exhaustive journey through the life and work of Salvador Dalí, and also of Gala, his muse and collaborator, this documentary about the relentlessly eccentric Spanish painter benefits from plentiful archive access and a scholarly level of appreciation.
On the one hand we get some utterly bizarre footage of Dalí explaining how he seduced his wife-to-be Gala with a paste made of goat excrement and fish glue, and on the other a tight little knot of Dalí connoisseurs discussing the artist with each other while studiously avoiding the camera.
EAT WHEATIES! (2021), DVD
Sid Straw, played marvelously by Tony Hale of Arrested Development and Veep fame, leads a dull life until he accidentally stalks an old college classmate, actress Elizabeth Banks, on social media. With each failed attempt to prove he knows her, Sid rediscovers more of himself and the true meaning of friendship.
ENFORCEMENT (2020), DVD
Police officers, Jens and Mike, are on routine patrol in Svalegården’s ghetto when the news of Talib’s death comes in over the radio, igniting uncontrollable rage and a lust for revenge in the ghetto’s youth, and the two officers must find a way out.
FRENCH EXIT (2020), DVD
A widowed New York socialite played by Michelle Pfeiffer and her aimless son (Academy Award nominee Lucas Hedges) move to Paris after she spends the last of her husband’s inheritance. For context, a “French exit” – also known as a “French leave” – is a slang term for leaving an engagement or situation without warning or without saying goodbye.
GODZILLA VS. KONG (2021), DVD & BLU-RAY
Two big dorks start fighting for no reason.
HALL OF GIANTS: THE STORY OF FREMONT AND THE TROLL (2015), DVD-R
Named after the dramatic view corridor under the Aurora Bridge in Fremont, Giants is a documentary about the creation and endurance of The Fremont Troll. This film explores not only how the Troll was created but also the culture of Seattle behind the movement that created the famed statue. Through interviews, archival footage and rare photographs, the film explores the lives and times of those who produced the Troll, chronicling how public art can help define and revitalize urban spaces.
HOT HOUSE (2006), DVD
Israel detains over 10,000 Palestinian prisoners. They are deemed “security prisoners” by the Israeli government, but, to many in the Palestinian world, they are viewed as leaders and martyrs for the crimes they have committed against innocent people. While some of the prisoners have renounced violence in favor of peace, many others are as dedicated to their causes as the day they were incarcerated and are creating virtual terrorist training camps within the prison’s walls.
KINDRED (2020), DVD
Plagued by mysterious hallucinations, a pregnant woman suspects that the family of her deceased boyfriend has intentions for her unborn child. The pregnant woman’s name is Charlotte, not Rosemary.
LITTLE RASCALS – CLASSICFLIX RESTORATIONS V.1 (1930), BLU-RAY
Remastered, uncut and beautifully restored, now you can see The Little Rascals like never before! With restorations so glorious, it will be like watching these iconic shorts for the first time! This collection contains the first 11 Our Gang sound shorts produced by Hal Roach at the dawn of the “talkie era”.
LUST FOR GOLD: A RACE AGAINST TIME (2021), DVD
A team of modern adventurers is on a quest for gold in the mountains of eastern Arizona. This film is the true story of obsession, greed, and the hunt for gold. Boyhood dreams of treasure lead to a lifelong search when a retired missile scientist makes a monumental discovery and tempts fate for fortune as he hatches a secret plan to prove his claim.
MARTIN MARGIELA: IN HIS OWN WORDS (2021) DVD
Calling all fashionistas, this one’s for you! Martin Margiela is an icon in the fashion industry, but has managed to stay an elusive figure by avoiding interviews and never being seen publicly—until now! This documentary is an intimate look at Margiela which features his drawings and notes and contains interviews with Margiela himself, as well as Jean Paul Gaultier, Carine Roitfeld and others. Belgian rock band dEUS provides the score!
ONE POTATO, TWO POTATO (1964) DVD & BLU-RAY
A new 4K scan from the original negative! Lee Peerce (Goodbye Columbus, Ash Wednesday) directed this study of interracial marraige in the 1960s. Starring Barbara Barrie as Julie (Breaking Away) and Bernie Hamilton (Starsky and Hutch) as Frank who are an interraccial pair who fall in love but are left to deal with the racist justice system when Julie’s divorced husband attempts to get custody of his child. When Frank is advised to leave Julie and her son he decides instead to confront the court system.
PUNK THE CAPITAL: BUILDING A SOUND MOVEMENT (2019) DVD
Punk the Capital explores the breakout of the punk subculture in the late 70’s DC. While focusing on the punk rock in the DC area, this documentary posits the local punk movement against the context of the national punk and rock narratives. Musicians featured include Bad Brains, Henry Rollins, and Ian MacKaye.
SIN (2019) DVD
Andrei Konchalovsky (Maria’s Lovers, Runaway Train) helms this exploration of Michelangelo Buonarroti. Michelangelo is reduced to poverty after finishing the Sistine Chapel, but when he is commissioned to make a tomb for Pope Julius II he becomes obsessed with sourcing the finest marble he can find. Meanwhile, he is forced to work on the facade of the San Lorenzo basilica for Leo X, whose family is out of favor with the Medici family that Michelangelo is creating the tomb for. Michelangelo’s internal conflict and secrecy to create for both families tortures his soul, leading him to hallucinations and a reexamination of his moral and artistic failings.
SPHINX (1980) BLU-RAY
Hold on to your seats for this adventure/thriller from Franklin J. Schaffner (Planet Of The Apes, Patton, Papillon, The Boys From Brazil)! For lovers of Egyptian intrigue and book adaptations alike, this film follows Lesley-Anne Down (The Great Train Robbery) as she searches for tombs of riches while avoiding black marketeers. This version comes with an exciting new 2K Transfer Of The Interpositive!
STREETWISE / TINY: THE LIFE OF ERIN BLACKWELL (2021) (CRITERION) DVD & BLU-RAY
This release has been long awaited by many of us here at Scarecrow, where we previously only had Streetwise on VHS. Streetwise is a must watch for Seattle film fans! This monumental documentary from Martin Bell follows nine runaway teenagers living on the streets of Seattle, revealing the life of drugs, theft, prositituaion, and poverty that their subculture presents to them. TINY: THE LIFE OF ERIN BLACKWELL is Martin Bell and Mary Ellen Mark’s follow up to STREETWISE, filmed about 30 years later, and focusing on Erin Blackwell, who was featured as a teen prostitute in the original film. This Criterion release comes with audio commentary, bonus shorts, featurettes, and theatrical trailers.
TAKE THIS JOB AND SHOVE IT (1981) BLU-RAY
Robert Hays (Airplane!) and Barbara Hershey (Hannah and Her Sisters) co-star in this keg of laughs that never runs dry! Yes, this is a comedy about breweries, and yes the rumors are true that this is the first movie to feature monster trucks! Directed by cult filmmaker Gus Trikonis (The Swinging Barmaids, Moonshine County Express, The Evil), this release comes with a theatrical trailer and a B&W and color stills gallery. So, make sure those midwestern brews or faygo 2 litres are chilled for this wild ride!
TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH (2019) DVD
From director Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Cure, Pulse), this story revolves around a young woman, Yoko (former J-pop idol Atsuko Maeda), as she discovers herself while on an unsuccessful reality TV travel show shoot in Uzbekistan. This release also includes a video Q&A with the director Kiyoshi Kurosawa.
TOUS LES MATINS DU MONDE (1991) DVD & BLU-RAY
This irresistible film from Alain Corneau (Série noire) features Jean-Pierre Marielle (The Da Vinci Code) as an isolated composer in 17th century France whose life is disrupted upon the arrival of a passionate student (Gerard Depardieu, The Last Metro, Cyrano de Bergerac ). “This is a simple story, made of three things: music, love, and regret.” -Roger Ebert.
TRUE MOTHERS (2020) DVD
A touching new film from Naomi Kawase (Sweet Bean), True Mothers is a tense story about a family who adopts a child, only to have their world shaken when years later a woman claiming to be the child’s mother demands to have her child returned. “[A] tender, compassionate drama about the complexities of motherhood.” – The Observer (UK)
UNDERCOVER PUNCH & GUN (2019) DVD
What would a new release list be without a film that is carried solely by its action and fight scenes? An elite cop, a drug ring, and a rival agency that’s out for blood, this fim wouldn’t be complete without joining forces with your enemy to take out a smuggler.
US KIDS (2020) DVD
A group of gun violence survivors pull off the largest youth protest in US history in this poignant documentary. The March For Our Lives movement took place in 2018, and spurred 880 similar events around the world. The movement continues to focus on gun violence, addressing racial injustice, the public health crisis, as well as encouraging youths to be active political citizens and voters.
VOYAGERS (2021) DVD & BLU-RAY
Neil Burger (Interview with the Assassin, The Illusionist) wrote and directed this new sci-fi flick starring Tye Sheridan (X-Men, Ready Player One) and Lily-Rose Depp (Johnny Depp’s™ daughter). This tried and true story is about bred humans sent off to colonize a planet but ultimately discovering their true mission which leads to paranoia, lust, and power struggles.
WALKING DEAD: WORLD BEYOND: SEASON 1 (2020) (3 DISKS) DVD
The first half of the limited series spin off of the Walking Dead. These 10 episodes are set ten years after the zombie apocalypse and explore the first generation to grow up under these oppressive conditions. “…there’s a willingness to reinvent, to genuinely probe a corner of the universe previously untouched, that makes this series feel serious in its intent and, for fans of the forerunning series, well worth checking out” -Variety
YOURSELF AND YOURS (2016) DVD
Hong Sang-soo ( Woman is the Future of Man, Hahaha) directed this drama about a couple who decides to take a break in their relationship. The following day one half of the duo, Min-jeong (Lee Yoo-young), disappears, but another woman identical to her appears and begins to date every man in town. “Fresh and enchanting, by turns delicate, romantic, mysterious, witty and crushing” – Los Angeles Times
ZEROVILLE (2019) DVD & BLU-RAY
James Franco stars and directs this comedy-drama that is set in 1969 Hollywood. Franco’s character gets involved in various aspects of the film industry and becomes interested in a character played by Megan Fox. From here, the synopsis of the film differs wildly, but with a supporting cast of Seth Rogen, Danny McBridge, Craig Robinson, Jacki Weaver, and more, it should at the very least make for an amusing watch. This film was announced 10 years ago, so I think it’s safe to say the release of this is a big deal.