by Malakie Peters
It’s New Release Tuesday! This week we’ve got Branagh’s nostalgia, tons of Italian exploitation, Hungarian classics, Marilyn Monroe in 4K, the entire original Scooby-Doo, and lots more.
ATTICA (2021) (DVD)
Survivors, observers, and expert government officials recount the 1971 uprising at the Attica Correctional Facility. The violent five-day standoff between mostly Black and Latino inmates and law enforcement gripped America then, and highlights the urgent, ongoing need for reform 50 years later.
BELFAST (2021) (BLU-RAY, DVD)
Written and directed by Academy Award nominee Kenneth Branagh, Belfast is a poignant story of love, laughter, and loss in one boy’s childhood, amid the music and social tumult of the late 1960s. Buddy’s family lives in a largely Protestant district with a few Catholic families, but one day his community and everything he thought he understood about life are suddenly turned upside down. Buddy’s family gets caught in the mayhem and must decide to stay or leave the only place they have ever called home. Through it all, his passionate parents (Caitrona Balfe and Jamie Dornan) and quick-witted grandparents (Academy Award-winner Judy Dench and Ciarán Hinds) keep the joy alive through music and the magic of movies in this feel-good story that reminds us that no matter how far you go, you never forget where you came from.
DEMONIC (2021) (DVD)
A young woman unleashes terrifying demons when supernatural forces at the root of a decades old rift between mother and daughter are revealed.
THE FIFTH HORSEMAN IS FEAR (1965) (BLU-RAY)
A Jewish former doctor is compelled to work cataloging the confiscated homes and possessions of fellow Jews. When asked to secretly treat a wounded resistance fighter, he is plunged into a moral dilemma, and begins a nightmarish odyssey to save the man.
FLEE (2021) (BLU-RAY)
Forced to leave his home country of Afghanistan as a young child with his mother and siblings, Amin now grapples with how a secret he’s kept for over 20 years will affect his future in Denmark. Amin looks back over his life, opening up for the first time about his past, his trauma, the truth about his family, and his acceptance of his own sensuality. Told brilliantly through the use of animation, Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s film is a poignant story of belonging and the search for identity.
THE HALFWAY HOUSE (2004) (BLU-RAY)
When a missing teen’s sister goes undercover at Mary Magdalen Halfway House for Troubled Girls, she’ll expose an unholy conspiracy of pervy priests, bonehead cops, aggressive lesbians and a secret dungeon where naked runaways are sacrificed to a one-eyed Cthulhu.
HIGHWAY TO HEAVEN (2021) (DVD)
Inspired by Michael Landon’s beloved classic ’80s TV series, Lifetime’s original Highway to Heaven movie reboot follows Angela Stewart, played by Grammy winner Jill Scott, who is an angel sent back to Earth in order to help people in need. This story finds a junior high student struggling with the tragic loss of his mother as he and his dad drift apart. Angela takes a temporary job as a school counselor working alongside principal Bruce Banks (Barry Watson) to bring the broken family back together, and help them find the light in each other’s darkness.
HUNGARIAN MASTERS (BLU-RAY)
Second Run presents a selection of essential works by Hungarian cinema’s most renowned filmmakers. This special limited edition box set contains three celebrated films from stunning new 4K restorations and released for the first time ever on Blu-ray.
Merry-Go-Round (Körhinta) (1955)
A love story set against the rural backdrop of communist farming collectives, a young girl (Mari Törőcsik) falls for farm worker Máté, but is betrothed by her domineering father to another man. This pastoral on Romeo and Juliet is a rich and achingly beautiful work, framed by the turbulent changes in society taking place at that time.
Current (Sodrásban) (1963)
A group of young friends on the cusp of adulthood decide to spend one last idyllic day together by the river before they depart for jobs and university. When one of them goes missing, a frantic search begins – and recriminations ensue.
Agnus Dei (Égi bárány) (1970)
Miklós Jancsó’s symbolic re-enactment of Hungary’s 1919 revolution and counter-revolution explores political upheaval, oppression, and the complicity of the Church in this refined, complex allegory of the rise of fascism in Hungary.
INTERSECTION (1994) (BLU-RAY)
Richard Gere portrays Vincent Eastman, an award-winning architect whose personal life is on shaky ground. Separated from his beautiful but aloof wife (Sharon Stone), Vincent has an affair with a joyful and passionate writer (Lolita Davidovich) whose love promises a new beginning. But Vincent remains emotionally torn between the two women, leaving his future happiness – and that of his thirteen year old daughter – hanging in the balance. As his relationships start to crumble, Vincent hurtles on a collision course toward the one fateful moment when he must confront his true feelings and cross the Intersection.
THE JUNGLE BOOK (2016) (3D/BLU/DVD)
Raised by a family of wolves since birth, Mowgli (Neel Sethi) must leave the only home he’s ever known when the fearsome tiger Shere Khan (Idris Elba) unleashes his mighty roar. Guided by a no-nonsense panther (Ben Kingsley) and a free-spirited bear (Bill Murray), the young boy meets an array of jungle animals, including a slithery python and a smooth-talking ape. Along the way, Mowgli learns valuable life lessons as his epic journey of self-discovery leads to fun and adventure.
KIDS IN THE HALL: BRAIN CANDY (1996) (BLU-RAY)
Comedy group crack-ups The Kids in the Hall made their big-screen debut with this cult favorite full-length satire that features an endless array of crazy characters. The country hits cloud nine when obsessed scientist Chris Cooper (Kevin McDonald) invents Gleemonex, a happiness drug. Soon everybody is taking the little orange pill. But Cooper gets a heavy dose of the blues when he discovers that early test subjects have slipped into comas. Can Cooper stop the people’s happy habit before it’s too late?
LIBERTÉ (2019) (BLU-RAY)
Expelled from the puritanical court of Louis XVI, a group of aristocratic libertines pursue an ideal of enlightenment through the rejection of conventional morality. At a time when hypocrisy and false virtue reign, they seek a place to indulge their quest for pleasure, inhabiting a libidinous twilight world dedicated to realizing unfulfilled desires.
THE LIGHTHOUSE (MAYAK) (2006) (BLU-RAY)
This elegiac, semi-autobiographical drama unfolds against the backdrop and legacy of the Caucasus wars of the early 1990s. Told with a dream-like intensity, a young woman returns to her home in a remote, war-ravaged Armenian village to persuade her grandparents to leave with her for safety in Moscow.
MANHUNT: THE NIGHT STALKER: SEASON 2 (2021) (DVD)
Fresh off his success catching a headline-grabbing killer, DCI Colin Sutton is asked to review the long-running inquiry into a notorious serial rapist, whose 17-year reign of terror has left the elderly of Southeast London living in fear. Based on the real-life story, this gripping miniseries explores how Colin came late to the case but helped crack it open at last.
MASTERPIECE: AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS (2021) (DVD)
Phileas Fogg lives a comfortable but utterly unfulfilling life in London, spending every day at his club with his friends Fortescue and Bellamy. But when he receives a hand-delivered postcard, with only the word ‘COWARD’ written on the back, it turns his world upside down.
NICK OF TIME (1995) (BLU-RAY)
The moment accountant Gene Watson (Johnny Depp) arrives at L.A.’s Union Station with his daughter, two shadowy strangers separate him from his little girl, slap a gun into his hand, and present a devil’s bargain: kill a government official at a nearby political rally…or never see his beloved child alive again. Hold on tight for a deadly race against time that plunges an ordinary man into an extraordinary nightmare from which there may be no escape!
NIGHT OF THE DEMON (1980) (BLU-RAY)
When a group of Anthropology students heads into the forest to investigate a series of Sasquatch attacks, they’ll discover a brain-blast of crazy hermits, mutilated Girl Scouts, interspecies copulation, and “one of the goriest final scenes in the whole history of splatter flicks” (A Slash Above).
THE PILOT: A BATTLE FOR SURVIVAL (2021) (DVD)
Based on a true story: In 1941, a Russian WWII pilot crash-lands deep in enemy territory. Seriously injured, he must battle hunger, extreme cold, and wild animals, all while evading Nazi soldiers if he is ever to make it home alive.
THE REAL CHARLIE CHAPLIN (2021) (DVD)
Hollywood icon Charlie Chaplin rocketed to fame from the slums of Victorian London and spent decades as one of Hollywood’s most famous and beloved stars until his scandalous fall from grace. His stage persona and incendiary media portrayal defined how he was perceived, but his private life has always been shrouded in mystery – until now. Never-before-heard recordings, intimate home movies, and newly restored classic films reveal a side to Chaplin that the world never got to see.
SCOOBY-DOO WHERE ARE YOU! THE COMPLETE SERIES (1969) (BLU-RAY)
The world’s most lovable mystery-solving dog, along with his best friend Shaggy and the rest of the gang, stars in a spooky and laugh-filled collection of classic cartoons featuring the one and only Scooby-Doo. Watch out, villains! Scooby-Doo is on your trail, and he always captures his quarry and solves the puzzle. But there’s nothing puzzling about finding fun and excitement – just sit back, have a Scooby snack, and enjoy the zany animated antics of the wacky dog detective.
SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959) (4K + BLU-RAY)
When Chicago musicians Joe and Jerry accidentally witness a gangland shooting, they quickly board a southbound train to Florida, disguised as Josephine and Daphne, the two newest and homeliest members of an all-female jazz band. Their cover is perfect until a lovelorn singer falls for Josephine, an ancient playboy falls for Daphne, and a mob boss refuses to fall for their hoax! Well, nobodys perfect… except for the cast, including Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon!
TODD AND THE BOOK OF PURE EVIL: THE END OF THE END (2017) (BLU/DVD)
In the long-awaited animated feature film conclusion to the beloved television series,Todd and the gang reunite to save Crowley High.
A WALK IN THE SUN [THE DEFINITIVE RESTORATION] (1945) (BD/DVD)
Lewis Milestone directs this compelling drama of American soldiers in combat during the Allied invasion of Italy in September 1943. An eclectic group of citizen-soldiers are thrust into a life-or-death mission to blow up an enemy bridge while attempting to capture a strategic farmhouse heavily garrisoned by German troops.