by Darcy Moynahan
It’s New Release Tuesday! This week we’ve got tons and tons of new titles from Kino, Criterion, Shout!, Warner Archive, a bunch of classic films on 4K from Universal, and don’t forget about local martial arts movie THE PAPER TIGERS.
THE 317TH PLATOON (DVD/FRENCH & VIETNAMESE W-ENG SUBS/1965/B&W/RESTORED)
1954. The dying days of the French war in Indochina. As the battle of Dien Bien Phu rages, the 317th platoon of the French Far East Expeditionary Corps are ordered to destroy their base and evacuate. The French and Laotian soldiers must brave the Cambodian jungle on foot to reach the safety of French-held Tao Tsai, hoping to get there before the town falls. The men are optimistic as they set out. But what should be a 48-hour trek goes wrong almost from the start. After running into a Viet Minh supply base, the 317th platoon take casualties. Their rookie leader, the idealistic sub-lieutenant Torrens (Jacques Perrin) has spent all of 18 days in Indochina and insists on carrying the wounded. He clashes with his adjutant, Willsdorf (Bruno Cremer), a jaded Wehrmacht veteran of the Russian campaign. A harrowing week-long journey follows, through the mountains and across rivers, as the men vainly hope to be saved by air support.
ADORATION (DVD) Young lovers are on the run in the final film of Fabrice du Welz’s Ardennes trilogy (Calvaire, Alleluia). An official selection of Fantastic Fest, the film follows shy 12-year old Paul who lives near a psychiatric institute. After an encounter with a patient there, the troubled yet beautiful Gloria, he becomes infatuated and vows to protect her. Insisting the doctors are holding her hostage for an inheritance, the two escape and wreak havoc across the French countryside. A potent combination of violent thriller and romantic sexual awakening, du Welz masterfully captures the teenage intensity of amour fou’ pairing perfectly with Manuel Dacosse’s sumptuous 16mm photography.
ALI & CAVETT: THE TALE OF THE TAPES (DVD)
See boxing superstar Muhammad Ali through a new lens in Ali & Cavett: The Tale of the Tapes, which uses his many appearances on the Emmy-winning The Dick Cavett Show to give insight into his legacy, in and out of the ring. These recent interviews combined with footage from Ali’s Dick Cavett Show appearances explores how Ali came to symbolize something greater than boxing. By the time he carried the Olympic torch at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, his hand trembling from Parkinson’s disease, Ali’s legacy was immortalized as a beacon of equality and political conviction.
AMERICAN MADNESS (1932/BLU-RAY)
Newly remastered. One of Frank Capra’s early, lesser known films is a revelation for fans of It’s a Wonderful Life and Mr. Deeds Goes to Town. Addressing some of the same themes Capra would tackle in these classic films, in his own inimitable style, he again focuses on American history and the character of the small town hero. Bank president Thomas Dickson (Walter Huston, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre) battles his board of directors in order to keep making loans to his hard-pressed clientele. When dire circumstances threaten the bank’s solvency, chief teller Matt Brown (Pat O’Brien, Some Like it Hot, Angels with Dirty Faces) and his fiancee (Constance Cummings, Blithe Spirit) rally around the boss, but will it be too little too late?
AMERICAN ME (Shout Select)
In what The Hollywood Reporter calls “a brilliant debut,” award-winning actor Edward James Olmos sets the screen ablaze with his directorial bow—a powerful, stunning examination of a Latino crime lord, set against a backdrop of prejudice and hopelessness. Olmos stars as Santana, a youth from the streets of East Los Angeles who becomes the leader of the Mexican Mafia behind the gates of Folsom Prison. Once out, Santana discovers that the harsh reality of barrio life and his blood-stained past will not give him the chance to turn his back on his former way of life. With a vehement anti-drug and anti-gang theme, American Me is an explosive and unforgettable epic. This Shout release comes with, “A Look Back At American Me With The Inmates Of Folsom Prison” – brand-new interviews with co-stars Danny De La Paz, Daniel Villarreal, and Pepe Serna!
ANGELA’S ASHES (1999/BLU-RAY)
Angela’s Ashes, the Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir, comes to life in this stirring film from acclaimed director Alan Parker (Evita) starring Academy Award-nominee Emily Watson (Breaking The Waves) and Robert Carlyle (The Full Monty). Life in impoverished Depression-era Ireland holds little promise for young Frank McCourt, the oldest son in a tightly knit family. Living by his wits, cheered by his irrepressible spirit, and sustained by his mother’s fierce love, Frank embarks on an inspiring journey to overcome the poverty of his childhood and reach the land of his dreams: America.
AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MISS JANE PITTMAN (1974/BLU-RAY)
The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman is a highly acclaimed drama, based on the epic novel by Ernest J. Gaines. It covers the American Experience from the Civil War to the civil rights movement, all told from the memories of a fictional 110 year old former slave, played by Cicely Tyson. Ms. Tysons tour de force performance earned her two Emmys, best actress and actress of the year 1974. This film won nine Emmys, including best picture and was named by numerous movie critics as one of the best films ever made.
BELLE OF THE NINETIES (BLU-RAY/1934)
Ruby Carter (Mae West), the night club sensation of St. Louis, relocates to New Orleans and becomes the prize attraction of “The Sensation Club.” West’s risque brand of humor and naughty musical numbers enliven a plot that involves jewel thieves, a fixed boxing match and murder. Directed by comedy expert Leo McCarey (Duck Soup, 1933, The Awful Truth, 1937) and featuring Duke Ellington and His Orchestra who provide musical accompaniment for several of West’s songs.
THE BIRDS (4K UHD / BLU-RAY)
Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren) meets Mitch Brenner (Rod Taylor) in a San Francisco pet store and decides to follow him home. She brings with her the gift of two love birds and they strike up a romance. One day birds start attacking children at Mitch’s sister’s party. A huge assault starts on the town by attacking birds.
When an expensive car is pulled from the sea, veteran Northern Ireland police detective Tom Brannick (James Nesbitt) immediately suspects it’s the last in a long-buried series of mysterious disappearances. This gripping thriller chronicles Brannick’s obsessive quest to expose the semi-mythical figure responsible-a criminal with the code name Goliath – dredging up Northern Ireland’s dark past in the process.
BLOODSISTERS – LEATHER DYKES & SADOMASOCHISM (DVD/1995)
During the early 1990s, San Francisco was the epicenter of body modification and gender nonconformity, with transgender pioneers like Patrick Califia and Tala Brandeis fighting for visibility, alongside the voice of a bold S/M community. Michelle Handelman’s provocative and pioneering documentary BloodSisters captures these queer outlaws in their zeitgeist moment, shot on digital video with an unfiltered rawness that mirrors the activism of the era. From pushy bottoms to macho femmes, BloodSisters immerses the viewer in the San Francisco leather dyke scene, shattering assumptions about gender and lesbian sexuality, while broadening the discussion about personal expressions of eroticism and their political implications. In the 1990s, BloodSisters was attacked in congress by the American Family Association for its depictions of radical lesbian sexuality. Twenty-five years later, the film has become recognized as a treasured historical document of a movement that tore down barriers of sex, gender, and activism.
BLUE MONKEY (1994/BLU-RAY)
Take a fifties-style horror film in the tradition of ‘Them’ and ‘The Fly’ and then cross it with the spectacular special effects of the eighties and you’ve got Blue Monkey. This bizarre tale of horror begins in a greenhouse where a mysterious plant rubs its first victim the wrong way. So wrong that he lands at County Memorial Hospital where he gives birth to a hideous wormlike creature! Police detective Jim Bishop (Steve Railsback, Lifeforce) and Doctors Glass (Susan Anspach, Five Easy Pieces) and Carson (Gwynyth Walsh, The Crush) manage to contain the ‘thing’, but within hours, the Blue Monkey has developed into a grotesque insect of gigantic proportions. Now roaming the corridors looking for its favorite food—human bones—the creature is virtually indestructible. And when it produces an egg-laying female, only one course of action seems apparent..blow the hospital and everyone inside away! From the writer of the of 80’s video store hits ‘Children of the Corn’, ‘Force: Five’ and ‘Nowhere to Hide’, the cult classic Blue Monkey (aka ‘Insect’) features an all-star supporting cast that includes Sara Polley (Zach Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead), Robin Duke (Groundhog Day), John Vernon (Animal House), Joe Flaherty (SCTV) and Done Lake (Netflix’s Space Force).
THE BLUES BROTHERS (4K UHD / BLU-RAY)
Expanding on their Saturday Night Live characters, John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd star as Jake and Elwood Blues. Sporting cool shades and look-alike suits, Jake and Elwood are dispatched on a “mission from God” by their former teacher, Sister Mary Stigmata (Kathleen Freeman). Said mission is to raise $5000 to save an orphanage. In the course of their zany adventures, the Blues Brothers run afoul of neo-Nazi Henry Gibson, perform the theme from Rawhide before the most unruly bar crowd in written history, and lay waste to hundreds of cars on the streets and freeways of Chicago. In case you aren’t swept up in the infectious nuttiness of the brothers Blue, you might have fun spotting film’s legion of guest stars, including James Brown, Cab Calloway, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, John Candy, Carrie Fisher, Steve Lawrence, Twiggy, Paul Reubens (aka Pee-Wee Herman), Frank Oz, and Steven Spielberg.
CAREER OPPORTUNITIES (BLU-RAY/1991))
Written by John Hughes, the legendary screenwriter of National Lampoon’s Vacation, Mr. Mom, Pretty in Pink, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Home Alone, comes this hilarious film with maximum comedy at minimum wage! The town con (Frank Whaley, The Doors) and the town beauty (Jennifer Connelly, The Hot Spot) team up to outwit a half-wit pair of would-be burglars, real-life brothers Durmot Mulroney (Young Guns) and Kieran Mulroney (Nowhere to Run). Whaley stars as Jim Dodge, a smooth-talking small-town guy with a knack for putting up a front but no talent for holding down a job. But Jim’s life suddenly takes a turn for the fantastic when he finds himself locked inside the local department store one night with Josie McClellan (Connelly), the daughter of the town’s wealthiest citizen, and two bumbling criminals. Directed by television veteran Bryan Gordon (Curb Your Enthusiasm) and co-starring Barry Corbin (My Science Project), William Forsythe (Raising Arizona) and comedy legend John Candy (Spaceballs) in an unbilled cameo.
THE DEER HUNTER (Shout Select, Collector’s Edition) 4K UHD / BLU-RAY
One of AFI’s Top 100 Films of All Time, The Deer Hunter follows a group of Pennsylvania steelworkers from their blue-collar lives, hunting in the woods of the Alleghenies, to the hell of Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. Robert De Niro and Christopher Walken star in this unforgettable saga of friendship and courage. Experience the brutality of war and the depths of emotional strain on the human spirit in this extraordinarily powerful film classic. This 2 disc collector’s edition comes with an entire disc of bonus features including: deleted and extended scenes; an interview with actor John Savage, actress Rutanya Alda, producer Michael Deeley, post-production supervisor Katy Haber and Universal marketing executive Willette Klausner; audio commentary with cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond and journalist Bob Fisher; and much more!
EVERY DAYS A HOLIDAY (BLU-RAY/1937)
The impeccable Mae West (She Done Him Wrong) is Peaches O’Day, a con artist who befriends Captain Jim McCarey (Edmund Lowe, Chandu the Magician), a cop who must turn her in unless she leaves town. The clever Peaches returns transformed as sultry brunette and Parisian sensation Mademoiselle Fifi. After catching the show, crooked mayoral candidate John Quade (Lloyd Nolan, The House on 92nd Street) tries to close it down when Peaches demurely declines his romantic overtures. Captain McCarey jumps in the race for mayor against Quade, and the loyal Peaches fervently campaigns for him. With the help of jazz great Louis Armstrong (A Man Called Adam) on trumpet, an enthusiastic Mae rallies the crowd to “Laugh, Sing and Vote!” in a delightful final scene. Written by West and directed by A. Edward Sutherland (It’s the Old Army Game).
FUNERAL IN BERLIN (1966/BLU-RAY)
Michael Cane is Harry Palmer, in this classic British film now available for the first time on Blu-ray. In this thriller based on the book by Len Deighton, Colonel Stok is a Soviet intelligence officer responsible for security at the Berlin Wall. It appears he wants to defect, but the evidence is contradictory. Stok wants the British to handle his defection and enlists agent Harry Palmer to smuggle him out of East Germany. From Guy Hamilton, the acclaimed director of James Bond adventures “Goldfinger” and “Diamonds Are Forever.”
GENERALS DAUGHTER (BLU-RAY/1999)
“Go Behind the Lies” in this mystery thriller starring none other than John Joseph Travolta! This particular Travolta flick is surprisingly complex, especially for those of us whose eyes glaze over at troop lingo. Travolta plays Chief Warrant Officer Paul Brenner who is posing as a First Sergeant (as if I know the difference) to broker a deal with a freedom fighter, which would make for a much more engaging plot than what comes next. Instead, the story focuses on the mysterious death of the general’s daughter (!), who Brenner bumps into the night before her brutal murder. Thus begins an investigation into a rape, a military cover up, and psychological warfare. Unfortunately a love scene involving Travolta and his co-star Madeleine Stowe was cut from the film, but lucky for us John Travolta even starred, as Michael Douglas was originally attached to the film. Last I checked there were some beige promo shirts on eBay for this movie, so get them while they’re hot!
GO WEST YOUNG MAN (BLU-RAY/1936)
Screen legend Mae West stars in the screwball comedy Go West Young Man about a frustrated actress whose amorous desires keep getting her in trouble! Movie star Mavis Arden (West) is bound by a contract stating that she cannot marry for five years which her press agent, Morgan (William Warren) strictly enforces. While on a publicity tour, their car breaks down and leaves them stuck in a boarding house full of odd characters. One in particular catches Mavis’ eye — the robust farmhand, Bud (Randolph Scott). Mavis seductively pursues Bud and quickly learns the ramifications of small town gossip. Mayhem mounts as police, following a tip, suspect Mavis has been kidnapped by Morgan. Enjoying her chance to get even, she concedes to having Morgan arrested, but he has got a confession that even she did not bargain for!
GOIN’ TO TOWN (BLU-RAY/1935)
Screen legend Mae West shines as a saloon girl turned devilish debutante in her first western comedy, Goin’ to Town. Bride-to-be Cleo Borden (West) suddenly becomes the benefactor of her fiance’s ranch and oil business after a fatal shootout. Now a rich woman, she sets out to oversee the ranch and is met with disdain by British oil expert Edward Carrington. Sensing a challenge, Cleo takes a crash course in culture to get his attention. Her first test comes when she follows Edward to Buenos Aires where she successfully mingles with society’s elite in the glamorous world of horseracing. The toast of all men (except the one she’s after), Cleo agrees to marry affluent Fletcher Colton but soon learns of his dangerously obsessive gambling habits.
HALF BAKED-SPECIAL EDITION (BLU-RAY/1998)
From the director of Crossroads (starring a very lovable Britney Spears, please watch it!) is this stoner comedy of the decade! Dave Chappelle co-wrote and stars in this bud-dy comedy that delivers laughs by the ounce! But seriously, this is a summer classic, and also a favorite of a few here at Scarecrow. Even more exciting than that, this special edition comes with some fun bonus materials including audio commentary by director Tamra Davis, 8 deleted scenes, an alternate ending, five minutes with the Guy on the Couch, different types of smokers, and Granny’s Guide to Bakin’. Personally I don’t know what half of those special features entail, but I intend to find out!
HANG ‘EM HIGH (50th Anniversary Edition) (Shout Select)
Oklahoma, 1873: Jed Cooper (Clint Eastwood), mistaken for a rustler and killer, is lynched on the spot by crooked lawman Captain Wilson (Ed Begley) and a rampaging band of vigilantes. But as Wilson and his gang flee the scene, there’s one very important detail they’ve overlooked—Cooper is still alive! Saved in the nick of time by a marshal, Cooper takes on the job of deputy marshal in order to bring hard-handed justice to the Oklahoma territory…and to the nine men who “done him wrong.” Co-starring Inger Stevens and Pat Hingle, Hang ‘Em High is a savage and action-packed western adventure, presented to you in this celebratory 50th Anniversary Edition.
HERE ARE THE YOUNG MEN (DVD)
Based on the acclaimed novel by Rob Doyle, Here Are the Young Men catalogs the last hurrah of three high school graduates intent on celebrating their newfound freedom with an epic, debaucherous bender. However, when a horrible accident sends them spiraling, the trio must grapple with the most daunting challenge of their lives: facing their own inner demons.
HIS DARK MATERIALS – 2ND SEASON (DVD)
Expansive take on the Philip Pullman fantasy novels from BBC and HBO stars Dafne Keen as Lyra Belaqua, the college-raised orphan from a mystical parallel-world Britain whose investigation into strange child disappearances leads her to the shrouded truth about her parentage… and into amazing adventures that span multiple universes. Ruth Wilson, James McAvoy, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Clarke Peters, Anne-Marie Duff, Ruta Gedmintas, and Amir Wilson also star
HUNTER HUNTER (DVD)
Fur trapper Joe Mersault (Devon Sawa, The Fanatic) knew an off-the-grid existence in the Canadian wilderness with his wife Anne (Camille Sullivan) and tween daughter Renée (Summer H. Howell), and when a rogue wolf was ruining his snares, he left them behind in pursuit. Unfortunately, he came upon a grisly crime scene no four-legged animal could be responsible for-while his unknowing family might regret bringing in the bleeding stranger (Nick Stahl) at their door. Gabriel Daniels, Lauren Cochrane co-star.
I KNOW THIS MUCH IS TRUE COMPLETE SERIES (DVD)
Based on the bestselling novel by Wally Lamb, written and directed by Derek Cianfrance, and starring Mark Ruffalo, this limited series follows Dominick Birdsey as he struggles to care for his twin brother, Thomas, while discovering the truth about his own family history. “If you want to remember how curdlingly miserable 1990s misery-lit got, this show is a must.” –Times (UK)
I’M NO ANGEL (BLU-RAY/1933)
Screen legends Mae West and Cary Grant star in the sizzling pre-code comedy, I’m No Angel about a carnival performer with greater aspirations—wealthy men! In addition to circus acts, Tira (West) performs some questionable business maneuvers and takes a job as a lion tamer to escape jail. After Tira’s first show catapults her to stardom, she attracts the attention of the wealthy Kirk Lawrence (Kent Taylor) who happens to be engaged. His business partner, Jack Clayton (Grant), blows his friend’s cover and begins a romance with Tira. This time, Tira is in love for real and is devastated when a misunderstanding causes Jack to break off the affair. Serving as her own counsel, Tira sues Jack for breach of contract and takes him through a cross-examination he’ll never forget!
IN HARMS WAY (BLU-RAY/1965)
Naval Captain Torrey (John Wayne) manages to bring his ship through the bombing of Pearl Harbor unscathed, but is later demoted when it is damaged in a subsequent battle due to his negligence. Back on land, he begins a reconciliation with his estranged son (Brandon de Wilde) and a romance with nurse Maggie (Patricia Neal), but duty calls him away when he and his firebrand friend, Cmdr. Paul Eddington (Kirk Douglas), are tasked with salvaging a dangerous and important mission. Pair this one with Down Periscope for a fun double feature!
JUST A GIGOLO (BLU-RAY and DVD)
Who can resist an irony-laden movie starring David Bowie as a gigolo and Marlene Dietrich as a brothel-ruling baroness? I have until this point, but as of today, no more! Bowie plays a Prussian officer returning to Berlin after WWI. When he isn’t able to secure employment he becomes a gigolo. He eventually is killed in a street fight between Nazis and Communists, with the Nazis burying him with honors after fighting to claim his body from those nasty commies, because how else would this movie end? Kim Novak came out of retirement for this fim and allegedly Bowie and Dietrich never met.
JUST ONE OF THE GUYS (1985/BLU-RAY)
Terri (Joyce Hyser, TV’s “L.A. Law”) blames sexism when her journalism teacher refuses to enter her article in a competition to win a summer internship at the local newspaper. With the help of her kid brother, Buddy (Billy Jacoby), she masquerades as a guy at a rival school and enters the contest there. During her charade, “Terry the Boy” tangles with a vicious bully, Greg (William Zabka, The Karate Kid), and fends off an amorous classmate, Sandy (Sherilyn Fenn, TV’s “Twin Peaks”). But when she falls for a handsome loner, Rick (Clayton Rohner, TV’s “Murder One”), our hero/heroine must find a way to convince him that she’s not JUST ONE OF THE GUYS.
KIPO & THE AGE OF WONDERBEASTS – COMPLETE SERIES (DVD)
After spending her entire life living in an underground burrow, a young girl named Kipo is thrust into an adventure on the surface of a fantastical post-apocalyptic Earth. She joins a ragtag group of survivors as they embark on a journey through a vibrant wonderland where everything trying to kill them is downright adorable. The series is executive produced and created by Radford Sechrist (How to Train Your Dragon 2) and executive produced and developed for TV by Bill Wolko. (Once Upon a Time).
KLONDIKE ANNIE (BLU-RAY/1936)
The glamorous Mae West stars as a “kept” woman who flees to Alaska and the Gold Rush of the 1890s in Klondike Annie. After the beautiful Rose Carlton (West) escapes from the clutches of the wealthy and possessive Chan Lo (Harold Huber), she finds herself on a ship bound for greater pastures. The ship’s captain, Bull Brackett (Victor McLaglen), instantly falls for Rose but she is distracted by her new cabin mate, Sister Annie Alden (Helen Jerome Eddy). Exchanging philosophies, the unlikely pair develop a meaningful friendship before Sister Annie becomes sick and passes on. In desperation, as Rose’s past starts to catch up with her, she changes her identity with her deceased friend and is inspired to a new calling. Mae West is at her best as she brings the immortal townspeople to their knees with her unconventional style of evangelism in this spirited tale of divine transformation.
LEATHER BOYS (BLU-RAY)
Part of Britain’s new wave of hyper-realistic “Kitchen Sink” films, The Leather Boys is a riveting mix of teen angst, biker thrills, and raging emotion. The movie follows young newlyweds Reggie (Colin Campbell) and Dot (Rita Tushingham, A Taste of Honey) as they embark on a new life together. But there’s trouble in paradise when Reggie develops feelings for Pete (Dudley Sutton), a member of a rival biker gang. Directed by Sidney J. Furie (The Entity) and written by Gillian Freeman from her novel, The Leather Boys explodes with expressionistic photography, gripping themes, and a bold exploration of identity. Long unavailable on home video, AGFA + Shout! Factory are elated to present a sparkling new restoration of this important chapter of early queer cinema.
MADAME CURIE (BD)
In an era when women were allowed to be ornaments, mothers or drudges, young Marie Sklodowska of Poland dreamed of something more. She defied convention to study physics and mathematics at the Sorbonne and—with Pierre Curie, the professor who became her husband—to make one of the greatest breakthroughs in 20th-century science. Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon reunite after their Mrs. Miniver triumph to portray the courageous couple who won the 1903 Nobel Prize for their discovery of radium. This stirring biopic captures the challenge of research, the triumph of achievement and the profound bond of love they shared. Madame Curie is “a lasting inspiration [that] makes the quest for knowledge aromantic and thrilling pursuit” -Bosley Crowther, The New York Times
MAJOR DUNDEE [2-Disc Limited Edition]
After making his first bonafide classic in Ride the High Country, director Sam Peckinpah took a step towards the epic with Major Dundee. Charlton Heston stars as Major Amos Dundee, a vainglorious Union Cavalry officer, who mounts an expedition to hunt down Apache war chief Sierra Charriba. Building his own army of criminals, ex-slaves and Confederate POWs—among them one Captain Ben Tyreen (Richard Harris), whose intense former friendship with Dundee is tainted with a sense of betrayal on both sides—Dundee heads into Mexico, his eye fixed firmly on a last shot at greatness.
Legendarily acerbic, Major Dundee would be the first time that Peckinpah had a movie taken away from him. While a director’s cut may be lost to us, this Limited Edition shows us the thrilling, morally complex epic that Peckinpah was aiming for.
MARTHA – A PICTURE STORY (BLU-RAY)
In 1970s New York, trailblazing street photographer Martha Cooper captured some of the first images of graffiti at a time when the city had declared war on it. Decades later, Cooper has become an influential figure to the global movement of street artists. “Directed with infectious zeal, it’s a photographer bio-doc that always feels to be in motion, especially given its excellent editing, fascinating subject, and narrative ambition.” – RogerEbert.com
MASTERPIECE: US (DVD)
Three weeks, six countries—and one divorce? Sometimes you need to spend time together to see why you’re falling apart. What was supposed to be the holiday of a lifetime becomes a desperate quest for Douglas Petersen to save his marriage. From the bestselling novel by David Nicholls, starring Tom Hollander, Saskia Reeves, and Tom Taylor.
MOBY DOC (DVD/2021)
Moby Doc is a surrealist biographical documentary narrated by Moby as he reflects on his turbulent personal life and iconic music from underground punk bands to chart-topping solo artist, and from struggling addict to vegan activist. Featuring interviews with David Lynch, David Bowie, and Shepard Fairey along with extraordinary concert footage, utilizing a unique blend of re-enactments, interviews, and archival footage, audiences will be treated to an insightful, unvarnished look at an artist who has sold more than 20 million albums, an activist who has long championed animal rights, and a man whose
traumatic childhood shaped him in profound ways. This introspective journey sets out to answer existential questions of purpose and meaning by examining a life of extreme highs and lows, joy, tragedy, success and failure.
THE MOLLY MAGUIRES (1970/BLU-RAY)
A secret society of militant coal miners battled their exploitation by the mine owners with violence and intimidation. This gripping, true story follows a detective on undercover assignment for the owners, fighting his own conscience, while attempting to gain the trust of the tough and suspicious leader of the Mollies. Starring Sean Connery, Richard Harris, and Samantha Eggar, and directed by Martin Ritt.
MY LITTLE CHICKADEE (BLU-RAY/1940) The inimitable Mae West (Klondike Annie) portrays the voluptuous Flower Belle Lee, whose reputation is tarnished when she is seen embracing a masked bandit in her bedroom. Forced to leave town until she can prove she is respectable and married, Flower Belle boards a train where she meets the incorrigible Cuthbert J. Twillie (W.C. Fields, Running Wild). Believing he’s quite a catch, Flower Belle accepts Twillie’s marriage proposal. The newlyweds stop in the town of Greasewood where Twillie’s exaggerated tales of adventure earn him the honor of becoming the sheriff of the town and bartender at “The Last Gasp” saloon. My Little Chickadee was written by its legendary stars Mae West and W.C. Fields, with wonderful direction by Edward F. Cline (Never Give a Sucker an Even Break).
NIGHT AFTER NIGHT (BLU-RAY/1932)
George Raft and Mae West star in the pre-code drama Night After Night about a speakeasy owner with a colorful past. Joe Anton (Raft), an ex-thug intent on losing his street-smart manner, hires a proper spinster named Mabel (Alison Skipworth) to accompany him and Miss Healy (Constance Cummings) to dinner at his swanky establishment. Complicating matters, his flamboyant ex-girlfriend, Maudie Triplet (West), breezes over to their table and innocently begins to expose Joe’s past. Making her screen debut, Mae West delighted audiences with her wit, beauty and charm thus launching her career as one of the most unforgettable Hollywood icons of all time.
NIGHT TERRORS AKA NIGHT DRIVE (DVD/1977)
TV legend Valerie Harper (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Rhoda) stars in this mesmerizing thriller about a terrorized motorist. Carol (Harper) learns that her son has been hospitalized and is in serious condition several hundred miles away. Her husband (Michael Tolan, All That Jazz) is out of town and cannot be reached, desperate to be with her son, she’s forced to start out alone on the long, barren drive from Phoenix to Denver. Very late at night and almost out of gas in an unfamiliar area, Carol notices a highway patrolman ticketing a speeding motorist, as she approaches them for directions to the nearest gas station, the officer is suddenly shot by the motorist. Carol, in panic, drives off in terror but not before the killer has seen her. The nerve-jangling events that follow are the tale of Carol’s frantic efforts to reach help before she’s the killer’s next victim. Night Terror also-known-as Night Drive was stylishly directed by television veteran E.W. Swackhamer (The Dain Curse) and features a stellar cast that includes Richard Romanus (Mean Streets), Nicolas Pryor (Risky Business), John Quade (Every Which Way but Loose), Quinn Cummings (The Goodbye Girl) and Dinah Manoff (Grease).
THE PAPER TIGERS (2020)
It’s finally here! The local film we’ve all been waiting for! Tran Quoc Bao’s The Paper Tigers is a local effort starring an Asian-American cast. Made by and for lovers of goofy martial arts, the story follows washed up former kung-fu child prodigies (Alain Uy, Ron Yuan and Mykel Shannon Jenkins) who must avenge their master’s death. The Paper Tigers was filmed in and around Seattle, largely in the International District where it was met with community support. The Paper Tigers is an absolute must watch and worth a celebration as a Seattle film gem with a lot of heart.
Scarecrow Radio hosts Ben and Darcy talked with Susan LaSalle who served as the Unit Production Manager on The Paper Tigers on a recent episode of the podcast. While the focus of the conversation is on Women in Film (WIF) Seattle, tune in to hear our thoughts on the Seattle film industry! Check it out here.
PARIAH (CRITERION) (BLU-RAY and DVD)
A Criterion release with loads of special features you won’t want to miss! Pariah is director Dee Ree’s feature length expansion of her 2007 short which is also titled Pariah. Adepero Oduye gives a gripping performance as Alike—a black teenager living in NYC learning to accept and embrace her lesbian identiy. Pariah explores the oft-ignored topic of queer, black coming-of-age-stories through an intimate and vulnerable portrait of Alike. This Criterion edition is a 2K digital transfer and comes with a conversation between director Dee Rees and filmmaker and professor Michelle Parkerson, a cast reunion, a program on the making of the film, an interview with film scholar Kara Keeling, and an essay by critic Cassie da Costa.
Pariah is included in this month’s REPRESENT! list which features queer directors and stories. See the full list here!
PICKUP ON SOUTH STREET (CRITERION) (BLU-RAY)
New 4K digital restoration, with an uncompressed monaural soundtrack! Petty crook Skip McCoy (Night and the City’s Richard Widmark) has his eyes fixed on the big score. When the cocky three-time convict picks the pocketbook of unsuspecting Candy (Viva Zapata!’s Jean Peters), he finds a more spectacular haul than he could have imagined: a strip of microfilm bearing confidential U.S. information. Tailed by manipulative Feds and the unwitting courier’s Communist puppeteers, Skip and Candy find themselves in a precarious gambit that pits greed against redemption, right against Red, and passion against self-preservation. With its dazzling cast and the signature hard-boiled repartee and raw energy of writer-director Samuel Fuller (Forty Guns), Pickup on South Street is a true film noir classic by one of America’s most passionate cinematic craftspeople. This Criterion edition also includes an interview with Samuel Fuller; An essay by critic Angelica Jade Bastién and a chapter from Fuller’s posthumously published 2002 autobiography, A Third Face: My Tale of Writing, Fighting, and Filmmaking; a new interview with critic Imogen Sara Smith, author of In Lonely Places: Film Noir Beyond the City; and Cinéma cinémas: Fuller, a 1982 French television program in which the director discusses the making of the film.
Poison is the second feature directed by Todd Haynes, the Oscar-nominated filmmaker of Far from Heaven and Carol. It is a groundbreaking American Indie and a trailblazing landmark of queer cinema. A work of immense visual invention, Haynes’ spectacular follow-up to his legendary Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story is audacious, disturbing and thrillingly cinematic. Inspired by the writings of Jean Genet, Poison deftly interweaves a trio of transgressive tales “Hero,” “Horror” and “Homo” that build toward a devastating climax. “Hero,” shot in mock TV-documentary style, tells a bizarre story of suburban patricide and a miraculous flight from justice; “Horror,” filmed like a delirious ’50s B-movie melodrama, is a gothic tale of a mad sex experiment which unleashes a disfiguring plague; while “Homo” explores the obsessive sexual relationship between two prison inmates. A runaway hit which made national headlines when it was attacked by right-wing politicians, Poison is unsettling, unforgettable and thoroughly entertaining.
Poison is included in this month’s REPRESENT! list which features queer directors and stories. See the full list here!
PSYCHO (4K UHD / BLU-RAY) Secretary Marion Crane (Janet Leigh), on the lam after stealing $40,000 from her employer in order to run away with her boyfriend, Sam Loomis (John Gavin), is overcome by exhaustion during a heavy rainstorm. Traveling on the back roads to avoid the police, she stops for the night at the ramshackle Bates Motel and meets the polite but highly strung proprietor Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins), a young man with an interest in taxidermy and a difficult relationship with his mother.
REALITY BITES (1994/BLU-RAY)
Ben Stiller, Winona Ryder, Ethan Hawke, Janeane Garofalo and Steve Zahn star in this smart, insightful and hilarious comedy that looks at life, love and the pursuit of gainful employment. This irreverent look at the harsh realities of life after college captures the misadventures of Lelaina (Ryder), an aspiring TV production assistant, and her relationships with her sarcastic roommate, Vickie (Garofalo), friends Sammy (Zahn) and Troy (Hawke) and an ambitious video executive, Michael (Stiller). Now, in its 10th anniversary, this is truly a comedic and cultural touchstone that encapsulates an era like no other.
REAR WINDOW (4K UHD / BLU-RAY)
When a broken leg forces photographer Stewart to become wheelchair-bound in his New York City apartment, he amuses himself by spying on his neighbors and soon becomes obsessed when he thinks he has witnessed a murder. Kelly, as his fashion model girlfriend, helps with amateur detective work. This is the 4K Ultra HD you’ve been waiting for!
SHAKIEST GUN IN THE WEST (1968/BLU-RAY)
Knotts stars as Jesse W. Heywood, a timid Pennsylvania dentist who leaves the comfort of the East to bring modern dentistry to the West. The misadventures begin when Jesse is duped into marrying a statuesque redhead (and reformed stagecoach bandit) who has agreed to finger the men responsible for selling whiskey to the Indians. Soon, Jesse and his bride are involved in a series of shootouts against renegade Indians and the town bad guy, and the desperate dentist is forced to switch from gums to guns in this rollicking comedy romp.
SLIDING DOORS (Shout Select) (Collector’s Edition)
The split-second moments that can take a life down one path instead of another form the tantalizing “what if?” in this delightful romantic comedy starring Gwyneth Paltrow. Paltrow plays London publicist Helen, effortlessly sliding between parallel storylines that show what happens if she does or doesn’t catch a morning train back to her apartment. Love. Romantic entanglements. Deception. Trust. Friendship. Comedy. All come into focus as the two stories shift back and forth, overlap, then surprisingly converge in “the most provocative romantic comedy in years” (Stephen Farber, Movieline)! John Hanna, John Lynch and Jeanne Tripplehorn co-star. This collector’s edition comes packed with new bonus features like audio commentary with Writer/Director Peter Howit; “The Sliding Doors Moments” -a feature-length documentary looking back at the making of the film; and a stroll through Sliding Doors London with Peter Howitt.
SOME KIND OF WONDERFUL (BLU-RAY/1987)
Keith Nelson (Eric Stoltz), an artsy high school outcast, tries to land a date with popular girl Amanda Jones (Lea Thompson) with some help from his tomboy best friend, Watts (Mary Stuart Masterson). However, his advances draw the ire of Amanda’s snobby ex-boyfriend, Hardy Jenns (Craig Sheffer), who makes plans to get even. Matters are further complicated when Watts realizes she likes Keith as more than just a friend and tries to convince him to stop pursuing Amanda. This steelbook comes with many special features, including commentary by director Howard Deutch and Lea Thompson, The Making of Some Kind of Wonderful, and more!
SPARTACUS 4K UHD / BLU-RAY
Spartacus, the genre-defining epic from director Stanley Kubrick, is the legendary tale of a bold gladiator (Kirk Douglas) who led a triumphant Roman slave revolt. The action-packed spectacle won four Academy Awards including Best Cinematography and Best Art Direction. Featuring a cast of screen legends such as Laurence Olivier, Charles Laughton, Peter Ustinov, Jean Simmons, John Gavin and Tony Curtis, this masterpiece is an inspirational true account of man’s eternal struggle for freedom.
In 1971, a 24-year-old fledgling David Bowie (Johnny Flynn) is sent to America to promote his newest record, The Man Who Sold the World. Leaving behind his pregnant wife Angie (Jena Malone), Bowie and his band embark on a makeshift coast-to-coast promotional tour with struggling Mercury Records publicist Rob Oberman (Marc Maron). Stateside, Bowie is quickly met with an audience that’s not yet ready for him. During the tumultuous journey, Bowie slowly begins to realize a need to reinvent himself in order to truly become himself; it’s with that realization that his iconic, celestial alter-ego Ziggy Stardust is born. Anchored by two stellar performances from Flynn and Maron, Stardust offers an intimate glimpse into the moments that inspired the creation of Bowie’s first and most memorable alter-ego, illuminating the turning point that cemented his legacy as one of the world’s greatest cultural icons.
STRAIGHT ON UNTIL MORNING
An ugly duckling (Rita Tushingham of A Taste of Honey and Smashing Time) yearns to leave her drab Liverpool life and move to swinging London to find her “Prince Charming.” But the big city holds some nasty surprises for the naïve young woman when she becomes obsessed with a handsome gigolo (Shane Briant of Demons of the Mind) who may be a depraved serial killer. Will this bizarre relationship have the storybook ending she’s always dreamed of, or can even the most beautiful of fairy tales lead to cruelty, madness and brutal murder? Find out for yourself in this gothic horror from Hammer Films!
TRAIL OF THE LONESOME PINE (BLU-RAY)
Screen legends Henry Fonda and Fred MacMurray star in The Trail of the Lonesome Pine—one of the first films ever to be filmed outdoors in glorious Technicolor! Deep in the undeveloped backwoods of the Blue Ridge Mountains, two young men are caught in the midst of an ancient and bitter feud between two families and fighting for the romantic attention of a beautiful woman (Sylvia Sidney). One of the most breathtaking movies ever to hit the silver screen, The Trail of the Lonesome Pine is an exciting melodrama and a landmark cinematic achievement that continues to captivate audiences today.
VERTIGO (4K UHD / BLU-RAY)
Hitchcock’s romantic story of obsession, manipulation and fear. A detective is forced to retire after his fear of heights causes the death of a fellow officer and the girl he was hired to follow. He sees a double of the girl, causing him to transform her image onto the dead girl’s body. This leads into a cycle of madness and lies.
WALKING THE EDGE (BLU-RAY)
Cult movie icons Robert Forster (Medium Cool) and Joe Spinell (Maniac) star with Nancy Kwan (Flower Drum Song) in Norbert Meisel’s gritty action drama Walking the Edge. Jason Walk (Forster), a down on his luck cabbie and numbers runner, has a chance at redemption when he crosses paths with revenge-seeking Christine Holloway (Kwan). She’s after the gang of violent criminals, led by Brusstar (Spinell), who murdered her husband and son. Jason unwittingly drives Christine to their lair and when she is unable to finish the job, a hellbent Brusstar and his goons hunt the pair with a vengeance. Jason Walk’s cab prowls the seedier, grimier locales of early 80s Los Angeles and picks up passengers, gamblers, prostitutes and addicts who match this environment. As such, Walking the Edge is both a sleazy urban thriller and a valuable visual record of an L.A. that has long since been scrubbed clean and redeveloped. And like Max Cherry in Jackie Brown, Jason Walk is the kind of everyman-turned hero that Forster excelled at playing throughout his career.
WATCH – SEASON 1 (DVD)
The City Watch, an unlikely group of misfits, finds the guts to save the world, surprising even themselves in the process. The series pits trolls, werewolves, wizards and other improbable heroes against an evil plot to resurrect a great dragon, which would lead to the destruction of life as they know it. This BBC series is based off of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld fantasy novel series. An episodic police procedural, The Watch has been praised for its production design, but came under scrutiny for not being a faithful adaptation of Pratchett’s world and for having too much of a “punk rock” senseability that is absent in the source material. As someone entirely uninitiated, this sounds like a great opportunity to read up on a new world and do some in-depth comparison, or better yet, let you Scarecrow fans report back to me on it!
WHAT HAPPENED WAS (DVD)
In her Manhattan loft, nervous law firm secretary Jackie (Karen Sillas) prepped dinner for the arrival of an office colleague—older, reticent Harvard-educated paralegal Michael (Tom Noonan). Over the course of the evening, as the two socially stunted souls search for some common ground, they wind up sharing more of their darker sides to themselves than they could have anticipated in director-writer Noonan’s sharply observed two-hander adapted from his play.
Captured in Mosul, journalist Khadija Young (Georgina Campbell) finds herself interrogated by militants who believe there’s more to her than she’s revealed. Their suspicions are confirmed when they learn Young is actually working for the CIA. Now, she must prevent the terrorists from acquiring highly sensitive codes that will allow them to easily attack the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. This intense, minimalist drama also stars Luke Benward, Ibrahim Renno, Mido Hamada.