New Releases for August 3!

by Ben Redder

It’s New Release Tuesday! Tons of classics from Kino, a little-seen vintage Kaiju trilogy, a punk documentary, proof you might be living in the simulation, Angelina Jolie vs. a wildfire, and more, including maybe the best animated movie/toy commercial ever. Remember, you got the touch!


Lady reporter Augusta “Gusto” Nash (Claudette Colbert) poses as the wife of imprisoned American pilot Tom Martin (Ray Milland) to save him from execution by Spanish fascists. The gesture lands her a front-page story and the praise of her boss, Mr. Phillips (Walter Abel), who assigns her to cover the impending war. Martin and Nash begin a romance that may be torn apart when conflicting career obligations pull them in different directions, in the wake of Hitler’s invasion of Poland. (Blu-ray, DVD)


As the Earth Turns is a 1938 American science-fiction silent film directed by Richard Lyford. Lyford was 20 years old when he directed As the Earth Turns and the film is one of many avant-garde films that he made in Seattle, Washington, before finding success with Walt Disney in the 1940s. (DVD)

THE BOXER (1997)

Rising teen boxer and Belfast native Danny Flynn (Daniel Day-Lewis) was imprisoned for 14 years after getting involved with the Irish Republican Army. Newly freed from jail in his early 30s, Danny returns home and attempts to put his life back together. Reopening his neighborhood gym and reconnecting with his lost love, Maggie (Emily Watson), now a single mother while her husband is in prison, Danny battles against his former IRA compadres, including the militant Harry (Gerard McSorley). (Blu-ray)


Based on the best-selling novels by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling). Oh, so J.K. Rowling can change genders but no one else can? (DVD)


The true story of DS Stephen Fulcher and his hunt for missing 22-year-old Sian O’Callaghan, and how it led to the arrest of Christopher Halliwell. This was the beginning of the capture of a prolific serial killer and the detectives’ own downfall. Martin Freeman plays the role of Detective Superintendent Steve Fulcher in the story that details how Fulcher breached police procedure and protocol to catch a killer. (DVD)


Arizona lawman Walt Coogan (Clint Eastwood) hopes to make a short business trip to the big city, but his journey quickly becomes an odyssey of violence. Walt is flummoxed when Manhattan police put the brakes on his plan to return a jailed murderer (Don Stroud) to the Southwest. Bent on getting his man, he temporarily outwits the New Yorkers, only to be plunged into a series of ugly confrontations with counterculture types who are the antithesis of the straitlaced Walt. (Blu-ray)


Also known as THE CORPSE, this forgotten gem tells the story of a mother and daughter who hatch a scheme to murder their family’s domineering and sadistic patriarch, played by Michael Gough. However, the girls’ plan backfires when it seems that Michael has arisen from the dead. (Blu-ray)


Daimajin is a series of Japanese films. The trilogy of films were all shot simultaneously and released in 1966 with three different directors and predominantly the same crew. The Daimajin Trilogy saw Daiei’s Kyoto studios bringing its own iconic movie monster to life in a unique but short-lived series that transplants the Golem legend to Japan’s Warring States period of the late-16th century.

In DAIMAJIN, directed by Kimiyoshi Yasuda (Yokai Monsters, Zatoichi on the Road), the young son and daughter of the benevolent feudal lord Hanabusa flee to the mountains when their parents are slain by the treacherous usurper Odate. Ten years later, when the elderly priestess who has harboured them is also murdered, the rage of the slumbering ancient god that lies beneath the crumbling giant stone idol hidden deep in the forests in the mountains is invoked.

In RETURN OF DAIMAJIN, Kenji Misumi (Tale of Zatoichi, Lone Wolf and Cub) brings his usual stylistic flourish, as the wrathful deity is roused from his new home on an island in the middle of a lake by the violent incursions of a vicious warlord.

In the final film, WRATH OF DAIMAJIN, by veteran jidaigeki director Kazuo Mori, four young boys make a perilous trip to elicit the help of the ancient mountain god in freeing their family members who have been enslaved by a tyrannical lord.

Remarkably overlooked in the West, these three thrilling tales of feudal oppression and divine retribution meted out by the iconic stone warrior of the title combine lavish period detail with jaw-dropping special effects. (Blu-ray)


This stand-up special / non-fiction film hybrid that interweaves live performance with animation, appearances by scientists, and animated characters to manifest a custom blend of insight and humor, provocation and inspiration, personal stories and social commentary. The film uses physics, which explains how the universe works, to explain our metaphysics — the story of our values, our institutions, our interactions, from the mind of comedian Emily Levine. (DVD)


From director Franco Zeferelli, here is the time-worn tale of parental disapproval of two teenagers wrapped up in a passionate love affair that causes a confusion of arson, death and insanity. For the uninitiated, I can’t imagine this holding up well, however the theme song by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie remains a stone cold classic. (Blu-ray)


When a deadly bubonic plague breaks out on a coastal steamer ship, four passengers steal a lifeboat and set sail on a mission of survival. They land on a remote Malayan island and soon shed all trappings of their former selves. After their native guide is suddenly murdered, they find themselves at the mercy of hostile islanders and must use their newfound survival skills if they are going to escape a terrible fate. Co-starring Herbert Marshall (The Good Fairy), Mary Boland (Stingaree), William Gargan (The Story of Temple Drake) and Leo Carrillo (20 Mule Team), this largely overlooked treasure highlights the versatility of one of Hollywood’s most renowned filmmakers, Cecil B. DeMille. (Blu-ray)


Director Rodney Ascher (ROOM 237) sets out to answer the age-old question, “Hey man, did you ever like, think that maybe we live in, like, a simulation or something?” (DVD)


Veteran comedy writer Charlie Burnz forms an unlikely yet hilarious and touching friendship with New York lounge singer Emma Payge. Emma unexpectedly wins a lunch with the comedy legend, but their relationship gets off to an extremely rocky start. Before long, each finds in the other a sort of soulmate, forging a deep bond that kicks the generation gap aside and redefines the meaning of friendship, love and trust. (DVD)


When their car breaks down on a road trip, six college friends are sidetracked into an eerie backwoods town. Curiosity gets the better of them when they are intrigued by its macabre House of Wax. They soon find out that the town is not what it seems, and that they must find their way out before they fall victim to its ghoulishly inventive killers. (Blu-ray)


An innocent dancer is accused of a murder after his shoe prints are found at the scene, but his wife follows the trail of clues to find the real perpetrator. (Blu-ray)

LUCA (2021)

Set in a beautiful seaside town on the Italian Riviera, this latest feature from Disney and Pixar is a coming-of-age story about one young boy experiencing an unforgettable summer filled with gelato, pasta and endless scooter rides. Luca shares these adventures with his newfound best friend, but all the fun is threatened by a deeply-held secret: he is a sea monster from another world just below the water’s surface. (Blu-ray, DVD)

LUCKY (2020)

May, a self help author with all the answers, suddenly finds herself stalked by a masked man who mysteriously reappears every night. Even when she kills him. May struggles to get help from the people around her as she fights to stay alive. Is this paranoia, or is she doomed to accept her new reality? (DVD)


“The Man In The Hat” sets off from Marseilles in a small Fiat 500. On the seat beside him is a framed photograph of an unknown woman. Behind him is a 2CV into which is squeezed Five Bald Men. Why are they chasing him? And how can he shake them off? As he travels North through France, he encounters razeteurs, women with stories to tell, bullfights, plenty of delicious food, a damp man, mechanics, nuns, a convention of Chrystallographers and much more. And always, on his tail, the Five Bald Men. Though largely silent, the film is interrupted by regular bursts of music, with new songs from Stephen Warbeck, Schubert Lieder sung by the incomparable Mark Padmore, Canteloube aria from the Cevennes, and Try a Little Tenderness, amongst others. As the Fiat 500 wends its way across the mountains, gorges and bridges of France, the 2CV hard behind him, the Thin Man (Ciaran Hinds) comes face to face with the vivid eccentricities of an old country on an old continent. (DVD)


Katherine Grant (Claudette Colbert) is a successful, cultured photojournalist who takes an assignment photographing blue-collar diggers. She snaps a photo of a gruff worker named Jim Ryan (Fred MacMurray) while he is in a scuffle with another laborer. After the photo gets published, Jim is suspended for fighting on the job. Katherine feels guilty and hires Jim to assist her. Soon, against her better judgment, she falls for Jim — but their differences may be impossible to overcome. (Blu-ray)


Leading a team of 36 commandos, Captain Charles Nelson (Errol Flynn) parachutes into Japanese-occupied Burma in hopes of destroying a critical radar base. The mission is a success, but when the group reaches the air strip where they expect to find planes ready to fly them to safety, they instead find a waiting Japanese army. With no choice but to attempt an escape on foot, Nelson splits his team in two and reluctantly heads into an impenetrable jungle. (Blu-ray)


The Phantom tells the story of one of the darkest episodes in the long history of American justice. A story of how the State of Texas knowingly sent an innocent man to his death and left a serial killer at large. A case in which—for the first time—it can be conclusively proven that the US courts executed a blameless man. This film uncovers the shocking truth behind a tale of murder, corruption and lies that unfolded in the dusty, desperate streets of a Texas oil town nearly thirty years ago. (DVD)


A feature-length tribute to the age and spirit of Punk, which begins as a gentle ramble through the pasture of popular culture and spirals into a story of comic absurdity. 30 years after the release of his cult record ‘Punk Strut’ Kevin Short has assembled the original musicians to record a new kicking version of the track, and to mark the event, Richard Gibson becomes Rik Shaw once again to present a wild and highly entertaining rockumentary of Kevin Short and His Privates 30th year reunion. In the process, they explore the world of punk today, and meet some of the surviving bands and fans. Mixing documentary, music, and fiction, the film also looks at the reality of punks approaching their sixties. (DVD)

SEANCE (2021)

Camille Meadows is the new girl at the prestigious Edelvine Academy for Girls. Soon after her arrival, six friends invite her to join them in a late-night ritual, calling forth the spirit of a dead former student who reportedly haunts the halls. But before morning, one of the girls is dead, leaving the others wondering what they may have awakened. (Blu-ray, DVD)


Marine veteran Johnny Christopher meets and is immediately drawn to beautiful Evelyn Smith one day on the beach. Evelyn’s new job as secretary to a U.S. senator in California soon brings unexpected intrigue and trouble for her and Johnny. The machinations of a sinister group of Nazi spies lead to mysteries and mistaken identities, and the two soon find themselves framed for murder! A brilliant hard-nosed thriller that turns up the tension and builds to a two-fisted climax. (Blu-ray)

TAKE BACK (2021)

Zara and Brian are living the perfect small-town life when Zara heroically foils a robbery and becomes headline news. This unwanted notoriety draws elements of Zara’s mysterious past back into her life, putting the lives of her family in danger. When Zara and Brian’s daughter is kidnapped by a sadistic gang of people traffickers led by the vicious Patrick, the pair face a race against time to save her life. With Det. Chalmers also on Patrick’s trail, Zara and Patrick’s paths collide in a final stand-off in the desert. (DVD)


Although Larry Ballentine (Robert Young) is married to the wealthy Greta (Rita Johnson), he still sees other women on the side. While he is involved with Verna Carlson (Susan Hayward), they commit embezzlement and run away together. However, a car accident occurs in which Verna is burned to death and thought to be Greta by police. When Larry goes to find Greta, he discovers that she has died in an equestrian accident and hides her body. Now Larry stands trial for murder of the missing Verna. (DVD)


Still reeling from the loss of three lives, Hannah is a smoke jumper who’s perched in a watchtower high above the Montana wilderness. She soon encounters Connor, a skittish boy who’s bloodied, traumatized and on the run in the remote forest. As Hannah tries to bring him to safety, she’s unaware of the real dangers to follow: two relentless killers hunting Connor, and a fiery blaze consuming everything in its path. (Blu-ray, DVD)


Remember that scene in BOOGIE NIGHTS when Dirk Diggler decides to become a rock singer, and we see him in the booth belting out the lyrics, “You’ve got the touch, you’ve got the power, yeah!”? That song is from this movie. (4K UHD, Blu-ray)


Veteran Dick Allen (Robert Preston) and gambler Sid Campeau (Brian Donlevy) plot to derail the construction of the Union Pacific Railroad at the behest of crooked banker Asa M. Barrows, a major investor in a competing railroad line who will profit from any delay. Meanwhile, Allen and his old friend, railroad boss Jeff Butler (Joel McCrea), compete for the attention of Mollie Monahan (Barbara Stanwyck), beautiful postmistress and daughter of the railroad engineer. (Blu-ray)


It’s midsummer and Sweden wakes up to a state of emergency. TV, internet, and telephone networks are down, and before anyone realizes what’s behind the collapse, a series of unexplained attacks take place around the country. Alex, a successful pianist whose controlled existence is upturned when his mother dies in a suspected terror attack, returns to his childhood village to arrange the funeral. There, he must reconcile with both his father and his old flame, Anna, who he has desperately been trying to forget. As old feelings come back to the surface, more mysterious attacks plunge Sweden into chaos and confusion. A disaster-thriller about time running out, and protecting what matters most. (DVD)


From John Sturges comes this hard-hitting western starring action icon Charles Bronson as Chino Valdez, a leather-tough horse breeder who lives by his own rules. Avoided by everyone for having Native American blood, Chino lives in seclusion until he takes a young runaway under his wing and shows him the ropes of ranching. Chino soon strikes up a romance with the beautiful Catherine, but the smoldering passion ignites a fire of hatred when her brother, a ruthless cattle baron, unleashes violence upon the half-breed. It’s all-out war—classic Bronson at his toughest! A lush score by Guido and Maurizio De Angelis highlights this rousing Italian-Spanish-French co-production from Dino De Laurentiis. (Blu-ray, DVD)


As Mandarin-language teacher Ling continues with fruitless IVF treatment while taking care of her ailing father-in-law, she finds herself slowly drawn towards a promising student who seems to have been abandoned by his parents. Outside it’s monsoon season, but Ling’s inner turmoil looks set to get her into a heap of trouble. Director Anthony Chen brings this simmering Singapore-set drama to boiling point, whilst using an associative and poetic editing rhythm, repeating colors and shapes to highlight the small parallels that link people, and reveal the profound in lovely and subtle ways. With uniformly sensitive performances from the returning cast of Ilo Ilo, Chen’s Wet Season is the classy and well-measured teacher-student drama that will get you weeping this autumn. (DVD)

WILLOW (2019)

Coming all the way from Macedonia is this film about three women – one medieval, two contemporary – all struggling to become mothers. They have not set out to change the world or society, but their struggles with tradition, loyalty, adoption and control over their bodies make them unlikely heroines. (DVD)

WIND (1992)

In 1983, yacht sailor Will Parker (Matthew Modine) leads an American crew financed by millionaire Morgan Weld (Cliff Robertson) to defeat during the America’s Cup race against an Australian crew. Determined to get the prize back, Will convinces Morgan to finance an experimental boat designed by his ex-girlfriend Kate’s (Jennifer Grey) new beau, Joe Heisler (Stellan Skarsgard). When the boat is completed, the Americans head to Australia to reclaim the cup. (Blu-ray)

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