by Malakie Peters
It’s the first New Release Tuesday of 2022! We’ve got scary monsters, a big pile of classic cinema (including some vintage Hitchcock), documentaries, and the latest from maverick Abel Ferrara.
ALL MY SONS (1948) (BLU-RAY)
Chris Kelley (Burt Lancaster) returns home from war with news of his impending engagement to Ann Deever (Louisa Horton), the fiancee of his missing-in-action and presumed-dead brother. With Ann come memories better left forgotten. As the ghosts of the past creep back into the Kelley home, Chris’s father (Edward G. Robinson) makes a stunning and painful revelation that will change the family forever.
AMERICAN VETERAN (2021) (DVD)
America has nearly 18 million living military veterans, from the “Greatest Generation” to men and women coming home from recent tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. They join the now-silent ranks of American veterans reaching back to our earliest conflict, the Revolutionary War.
ANTLERS (2021) (BLU-RAY) (DVD)
A small-town Oregon teacher and her brother, the local sheriff, discover a young student is harbouring a dangerous secret that could have frightening consequences.
BLACK FRIDAY (2021) (DVD)
On Thanksgiving night, a group of disgruntled toy store employees begrudgingly arrive for work to open the store at midnight for the busiest shopping day of the year. Meanwhile, an alien parasite crashes to Earth in a meteor. This group of misfits led by store manager Jonathan (Bruce Campbell) and longtime employee Ken (Devon Sawa) soon find them themselves battling against hordes of holiday shoppers who have been turned into monstrous creatures hellbent on a murderous rampage on Black Friday.
CHINA (1943) (BLU-RAY)
During the Japanese invasion of China, a cynical, macho profiteer (Alan Ladd) meets a compassionate, beautiful school teacher (Loretta Young).
THE CRIME OF THE CENTURY (1933) (BLU-RAY)
He couldn’t stop himself from committing The Crime of the Century! Director William Beaudine crafts a clever whodunit about Dr. Emil Brandt, a hypnotist who bursts into a police station and confesses to a murder. The only problem is, the murder he’s confessed to hasn’t happened yet – although stolen money and dead bodies soon turn up. A wisecracking reporter tries to unravel the mystery by staying one step ahead of the cops.
DEAD PIXELS: SEASONS 1 & 2 (2019) (DVD)
Meg, Nicky, and Usman are friends who share an obsession with a fantasy role-playing game called Kingdom Scrolls. Dead Pixels follows their lives and their friendship both in the real world and online.
THE DJINN (2021) (DVD)
A mute boy becomes trapped in his apartment with a sinister monster after making a wish to fulfill his heart’s greatest desire.
DOUBLE DOOR (1934) (BLU-RAY)
The female of the species is more deadly than the male! In this gothic chiller from director Charles Vidor, Mary Morris reprises her acclaimed Broadway role as one of the most dastardly villains of all time, Victoria Van Brett. In a spooky New York City mansion, the Van Brett matriarch rules her clan with an iron hand. The sinister spinster schemes to ruin any chance her siblings might have for happiness. Evil lurks around every corner of this old dark house, and especially in a secret room behind a certain double door!
DRAMARAMA (2020) (DVD)
In 1994, a closeted teen struggles to part ways with his four high school drama friends at their final murder mystery slumber party before they leave for college.
FILM ABOUT A FATHER WHO (2021) (DVD)
Over a period of 35 years between 1984 and 2019, filmmaker Lynne Sachs shot 8 and 16mm film, videotape, and digital images of her father, Ira Sachs Sr., a bon vivant and pioneering businessman from Park City, Utah. Sachs’ cinematic exploration of her father offers simultaneous, sometimes contradictory, views of one seemingly unknowable man who is publicly the uninhibited center of the frame yet privately ensconced in secrets. As the startling facts mount, Sachs discovers more about her father than she had ever hoped to reveal.
GOLDEN EARRINGS (1947) (BLU-RAY)
Escaping from the Nazis, agent Ralph Denistoun (Ray Milland) and his partner arrange to meet in Stuttgart to steal Hitler’s poison gas formula. On the journey, Denistoun meets Lydia (Marlene Dietrich), who keeps him out of harm’s way. Only with the help of the extraordinary woman can he finish the mission that will make him a hero in this tale of espionage and intrigue.
IDA RED (2021) (DVD)
Incarcerated crime boss Ida “Red” Walker (Melissa Leo) lives on borrowed time. Calling the shots from her prison cell, Ida brings in son, Wyatt (Josh Harnett), and brother, Dallas (Frank Grillo), to pull off one huge heist that promises to buy her freedom. But there’s one problem: Wyatt’s brother-in-law, a local cop, is partnered with an FBI agent to investigate the family. Putting their own lives on the line, Wyatt and Dallas face the ultimate sacrifice for family and freedom.
NAKED APE (1973) (BLU-RAY) (DVD)
The naked ape is only human! From executive producer Hugh Hefner comes this provocative adaptation of Desmond Morris pop-zoology bestseller. Through a series of animated and live-action vignettes starring Johnny Crawford and Victoria Principal, The Naked Ape traces the evolution of sex and offers insight into why we behave the way we do. Part docudrama, part satire, part surreal countercultural experiment, The Naked Ape exposes the naked truth about love, courtship, jealousy and violence. Can you dig it?
NATURE: MY GARDEN OF A THOUSAND BEES (2021) (DVD)
Martin Dohrn, a veteran wildlife cameraman and a bee enthusiast, embarked on a special challenge during the COVID-19 lockdown of 2020: to film all the bees he could find in his tiny urban garden in Bristol, England. By the end of the summer, he became bee obsessed and even developed relationships with some individuals.
ONLY THE ANIMALS (2019) (DVD)
Following the disappearance of the glamorous and secretive Evelyne Ducat during a blizzard in the highlands of southern France, the lives of five people inextricably linked to her are brought together to devastating effect as the local police investigate the case.
RICH AND STRANGE (AKA EAST OF SHANGHAI) (1931) (BLU-RAY) (DVD)
Fred Hill and his wife Emily lead a boring existence in the London suburbs. When the Hills come into an inheritance from a wealthy uncle, Fred quits his mundane job and they embark on a world cruise to get a taste of the high life. But all does not go as planned as the couple’s voyage becomes fraught with treacherous romantic duplicities. Money doesn’t buy happiness when Alfred Hitchcock steers the ship!
SHAKE HANDS WITH THE DEVIL (1959) (BLU-RAY) (DVD)
In 1921, Kerry O’Shea (Don Murray), an American medical student living in Ireland, learns that his esteemed professor, Sean Lenihan (James Cagney), is also a leader in Ireland’s rebel army. Even though Kerry’s father and roommate have both been killed by British troops, he refuses to join the Irish rebellion. However, after Kerry is unjustly imprisoned and tortured by the British “Black and Tans” special forces, he fully commits himself to the cause of Irish freedom.
STOP AND GO (2021) (DVD)
Sisters Blake and Jamie’s big plans come to a screeching halt when they’re forced to rescue their grandmother and her beloved dog from a nursing home. They soon embark on a cross-country race against time while contending with a deranged dog breeder, a highly inappropriate 9-year-old, and a clueless Romeo.
THE SUPERDEEP (2020) (DVD)
In 1984, a Russian research team goes below the surface to find out what secret the world’s deepest borehole is hiding. Little do they know, something unexpectedly gruesome awaits the researchers on their expedition.
SWIMMING OUT TILL THE SEA TURNS BLUE (2020) (DVD)
Filmmaker Jia Zhangke chronicles his local literature festival in Shanxi, China, which includes a multi-generational roster of the country’s most esteemed writers.
TOGETHER (2021) (BLU-RAY)
A husband and wife are forced to re-evaluate themselves and their relationship through the reality of the COVID-19 lockdown.
ZEROS AND ONES (2021) (BLU-RAY) (DVD)
Ethan Hawke and director Abel Ferrara join forces for this gritty, tense political thriller set on one deadly night in Rome. Called to the city to stop an imminent terrorist bombing, soldier J.J. (Hawke) desperately seeks news of his imprisoned rebel brother, Justin (also Hawke), who holds knowledge that could thwart the attack. Navigating the capital’s darkened streets, J.J. races to a series of ominous encounters, hoping to keep the Vatican from being blown to bits.