New Releases for January 17!

Here’s the menu (heh) for this week’s New Release Tuesday!

AFTER SHE DIED (2022)

A grieving teenager is horrified to discover that her father’s new girlfriend looks identical to her dead mother. (DVD)

BIG TIME GAMBLING BOSS (1968)

The film is set in Tokyo in the thirties, where gang boss Arakawa is ill and a successor must be named. The choice falls on Nakai, but being an outsider he refuses and suggests senior clansman Matsuda instead. But Matsuda is in jail and the elders won’t wait for his release, so they appoint the younger and more malleable Ishido to take the reins. Clan honor and loyalties are severely tested when Matsuda is released, resulting in an increasingly violent internal strife. (BLU-RAY)

BRADDOCK: MISSING IN ACTION III (1988)

Colonel Braddock (Norris) goes back to Vietnam…but this time it’s personal! Long after the fall of Saigon, Braddock discovers that his wife and son are still alive, living in squalor under Communist rule. Stopping at nothing to bring them home, Braddock returns to the jungles of ‘Nam to teach the enemy one simple lesson: Don’t mess with an American vet’s family! (BLU-RAY)

ELEMENT OF CRIME (1984) (CRITERION)

Lars von Trier’s stunning debut feature is a grungily expressionistic hallucination—a trancelike trawl through fractured memories, a murder mystery, and the psychic limbo of cultural displacement. From his exile in Cairo, a former police investigator (Michael Elphick) undergoes hypnosis in order to relive his memories of Europe and his last case, for which he went to dangerous lengths to enter into the mind of and catch a serial killer targeting children. Bathed in a sulfurous yellow glow pierced only by startling flashes of electric blue and red, The Element of Crime combines hard-boiled noir, dystopian science fiction, and dazzling operatic flourishes to yield a celluloid nightmare of terrifying beauty. (BLU-RAY)

EPIDEMIC (1987) (CRITERION)

A jet-black comedy of contagion, a subversive medical-horror freak-out, and a sly metacinematic prank, Lars von Trier’s sophomore feature—born from a bet that he couldn’t make a film for less than $150,000—finds the director channeling his singular thematic obsessions into an evocatively lo-fi, perversely self-reflexive provocation. The filmmaker himself stars as a harried screenwriter whose efforts to complete a script about the outbreak of a deadly disease coincide with a grisly real-life plague. A twisted reflection on Europe’s haunted past—from the Black Death to World War II—and its scarred present, Epidemic is von Trier at his most idiosyncratic and audaciously experimental. (BLU-RAY)

EUROPA (1991) (CRITERION)

“You will now listen to my voice . . . On the count of ten you will be in Europa.” Max von Sydow’s ominous, hypnotic induction inaugurates the entrancing final installment of Lars von Trier’s Europe Trilogy. An idealistic American (Jean-Marc Barr) travels to postwar Germany to take a job as a sleeping-car conductor for the Zentropa railways—and finds himself plunged into a murky, Kafkaesque world of intrigue and betrayal where the shadow of Nazism hovers menacingly over everything. With its ravishing cinematography (in black and white, color, and at times a stunning mix of both), dreamlike use of rear projections, and lush fusion of melodrama and noir conventions, Europa is a sublimely stylized cinematic fugue. (BLU-RAY)

HAPKIDO (1972)

Angela Mao is once more pitted against a gang of Japanese thugs, alongside fellow soon-to-be kung fu legends Sammo Hung (Knockabout) and Carter Wong (Big Trouble in Little China) as disciples of the titular Korean fighting style, studying under reallife hapkido grandmasters Ji Hanjae (Game of Death) and Hwang Inshik (The Way of the Dragon). (BLU-RAY)

LADY WHIRLWIND (1972)

Angela Mao is dead set on avenging the death of her sister, only to find herself fighting a common enemy alongside the man she wants revenge on. (BLU-RAY)

MENU, THE (2022)

A young couple (Anya Taylor-Joy and Nicholas Hoult) travels to a coastal island to eat at an exclusive restaurant where the chef (Ralph Fiennes) has prepared a lavish menu, with some shocking surprises. (BLU-RAY and DVD)

MISSING (2021)

Depressed and in debt following the death of his wife, Santoshi tells his young daughter he has found a way out. Pointing to the reward note, he vows to find infamous serial killer “No Name” claiming he saw the man in the flesh a few days earlier. Kaeda cannot believe her aloof, goofy father. But when he goes missing without a trace, she starts fearing the worst and begins looking for him. (DVD)

MISSING IN ACTION (1984)

American servicemen are being held captive in Vietnam, and only one man can bring them home in this blistering, fast-paced action/adventure starring martial arts superstar Chuck Norris. Colonel James Braddock (Norris), armed with top-secret information and state-of-the-art weaponry, is prepared to blast his way into Vietnam…but can he blast his way back out? (BLU-RAY)

MISSING IN ACTION 2: THE BEGINNING (1985)

Norris returns as Braddock in this intense, action-packed prequel to the original hit. Captured during a daring mid-air rescue operation, Braddock and his men are imprisoned by the insane Colonel Yin, who stops at nothing to break their spirits. For Braddock, the choice is clear. With fists, high explosives and sheer courage, he becomes an army of one! (BLU-RAY)

PROGRAMMED TO KILL (1987)

Action greats Robert Ginty (The Exterminator, Exterminator 2) and Sandahl Bergman (Conan the Barbarian, She) square off for deadly combat in this high-tech tale of a lethally beautiful killer android on a rampage of inhuman revenge! Captured in a daring raid by ex-CIA agent Eric Mathews (Ginty), the merciless terrorist hit-woman Samira (Bergman) is brought to the U.S., where she undergoes experimental brain surgery. Transformed into an unstoppable bionic warrior, she returns to the Middle East, where she obediently wipes out all of her former comrades. But when a malfunction reactivates Samira’s human memories, she launches into a frenzy of cold-blooded vengeance. As she methodically terminates her CIA adversaries, only Mathews can halt her murderous onslaught! Directed by Allan Holzman (Forbidden World), Programmed to Kill (a.k.a. The Retaliator) is a gripping, futuristic action thriller that also stars James Booth (Avenging Force) and a young Paul Walker (Fast & Furious). (DVD)

SPEAK NO EVIL (2022)

One family accepts an invitation to the rural home of another they met on vacation, only to find their lives altered in unexpected, deeply horrifying ways. (DVD)

SPIN ME ROUND (2022)

When the manager of an American chain restaurant is selected to attend a special training program in Italy, her head swims with dreams of European glamour and romance. (BLU-RAY and DVD)

TILL (2022)

Till tells the story of Mamie Till-Mobley (Danielle Deadwyler), whose pursuit of justice for her 14-year-old son Emmett Louis Till (Jalyn Hall) became a galvanizing moment that helped lead to the creation of the civil rights movement. (BLU-RAY and DVD)

UTAMA (2022)

In the arid Bolivian highlands, an elderly Quechua couple has been living a tranquil life for years. While he takes their small herd of llamas out to graze, she keeps house and walks for miles with the other local women to fetch precious water. When an uncommonly long drought threatens everything they know, Virginio and Sisa must decide whether to stay and maintain their traditional way of life or admit defeat and move in with family members in the city. Their dilemma is precipitated by the arrival of their grandson Clever, who comes to visit with news. The three of them must face, each in their own way, the effects of a changing environment, the importance of tradition, and the meaning of life itself. This visually jaw-dropping debut feature by photographer-turned-filmmaker Alejandro Loayza Grisi is lensed by award-winning cinematographer Barbara Alvarez (Lucrecia Martel’s The Headless Woman) and won the Grand Jury Prize (World Cinema Dramatic) at the Sundance Film Festival. (DVD)

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