New Release Wall
One of the best films of 2021, the Oscar-nominated “West Side Story” (20th Century) arrives on 4K, Blu-ray, and DVD and earns an immediate place in your library. This first release is a little lean on extras, but it does include a new documentary from Laurent Bouzereau, the king of “making-of,” offering a look at Steven Spielberg’s process in crafting this electrifying musical.
“The 355” (Universal Home Entertainment) An impressive line-up of stars (including Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong’o, Diane Kruger, Penélope Cruz, and Fan Bingbing) can’t save this spy thriller from being more by-the-numbers than a Sudoku.
“Belfast” (Focus/Universal) Kenneth Branagh racked up Oscar nods and very mixed notices for his nostalgic coming-of-age drama.
“Coming 2 America” (Paramount Home Entertainment) Were you a fan of the original “Coming to America”? Enjoy seeing every gag repeated if not cut-and-pasted from the first movie.
“Cosmic Dawn” (Kino Lorber) After witnessing her mother’s alien abduction as a child, a young woman joins a UFO cult, and it doesn’t turn out well.
“A Journal for Jordan” (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment) Denzel Washington directs Michael B. Jordan in this sentimental tale of a soldier keeping the titular diary for his newborn son.
“The King’s Man” (20th Century) More natty secret agents in this prequel, starring Ralph Fiennes.
“Marry Me” (Universal Pictures Home Entertainment) Jennifer Lopez taps into her own self-image to play an unlucky-at-the-altar singing sensation in this charming rom-com.
“The Matrix Resurrections” (Warner Bros. Home Entertainment) Lana Wachowski simultaneously revives and deconstructs the franchise in this long-awaited sequel.
“Nightmare Alley” (Searchlight) Guillermo del Toro’s remake doesn’t hit the heights of the legendary original, but it’s a visual feast from start to finish. (The black-and-white version isn’t featured on this edition, alas.)
“Puppy Love” (Mill Creek Entertainment) It’s Tara Reid! And Dean Cain! And a puppy!
“Red Rocket” (Lionsgate) Simon Rex won a well-deserved Independent Spirit Award for his performance as a magnetically self-serving porn star; it’s one of the greatest charismatic heel turns since Kirk Douglas in “Ace in the Hole.”
“Silent Night” (RLJE) It’s Christmas Eve, and also the last night of Earth, and Keira Knightley just wants everyone to have a nice time in this apocalyptic dark comedy.
In “Project Space 13” (Vinegar Syndrome), Keith Poulson (“I Blame Society”) stars as a performance artist who’s not going to let the Manhattan COVID-19 lockdown get in the way of his long-coveted gallery show. As he locks himself into the white-cube space and insists on performing for no one, he finds himself in an all-night argument with the security guards the gallery has hired to watch over him in Michael Bilandic’s art-world satire (shot by “Good Time” DP Sean Price Williams).
“Agnes” (Magnet) This tale of possible demonic possessions at a convent features a terrific supporting cast, including Rachel True, Chris Sullivan, and Sean Gunn.
“Blood on Her Name” (Yellow Veil Pictures) Southern noir thriller about a woman who covers up a murder and then, wouldn’t you know it, has an attack of conscience.
“Demonic” (IFC Midnight) Director Neil Blomkamp (“Chappie”) is back with a high-tech horror about locating the demons within.
“Tragedy Girls” (Gunpowder & Sky) Horror-comedy about two girls who turn amateur detectives to hunt a serial killer, before developing a taste for murder themselves.
“Stop-Zemlia” (Altered Innocence), an insightful and delightful coming-of-age tale from Ukraine, takes on an added resonance in the wake of recent world events. Doc filmmaker Kateryna Gornostai makes an empathetic fiction debut as she follows a group of high-school friends through the exciting and awkward time that links childhood to adulthood. Distributor Altered Innocence is donating $1 from every copy sold to Voices of Children, which will work to protect Ukrainian children and rehabilitate them from PTSD resulting from the current conflict.
“Brighton 4th” (Kino Lorber) This family dramedy was this year’s Georgian Oscar entry.
“Delta Space Mission” (Deaf Crocodile) Wild and weird Romanian sci-fi animation freakout dates back to 1984 but is only now being rescued from cult obscurity in this country.
“France” (Kino Lorber) Bruno Dumont’s loopy satirical melodrama stars Léa Seydoux as a celebrity news presenter with lots of complications in her life.
“Golden Voices” (Music Box) A Russian Jewish couple move to Israel, seeking to rebuild their voiceover careers, but find another path instead.
“Hypnosis” (Altered Innocence) Is a hypnotherapist controlling his patients? Mmmmaybe.
“Josep” (Icarus Films Home Video) If “Flee” put you in the mood for more animated biopics, this one tells the story of artist Josep Bartoli and his struggle during the Spanish Civil War.
“The Red Star” (Kino Lorber) A comic historical mockumentary from Gabriel Matias Lichtman about the capture of Adolf Eichmann.
“Signal” (Shout Factory) High ranking government officials are dying, and hot young detectives are on the case — and BTS sings the theme song!
“Striding Into the Wind” (Cheng Cheng Films) Wei Shujun’s satirical and autobiographical feature debut takes on the state of Chinese indie filmmaking.
“The Whaler Boy” (Film Movement) A 15-year-old in a Bering Strait whaling village discovers the internet and begins to desire a life beyond his current locale.
“A Writer’s Odyssey” (Shout Factory) A fantasy novel that’s merging with real life must be stopped in this Chinese adventure fantasy.
Could pita hold the secret to world peace? “Breaking Bread” (Cohen Media) follows the first Muslim Arab woman to win Israel’s “Top Chef,” as she embarks on a mission of social change through food. TheWrap’s Elizabeth Weitzman gave the film a positive review, calling it an “unabashed passion project” and noting that cinematographer Ofer Ben Yahuda’s mouth-watering food shots will make you immediately seek out your nearest Middle Eastern restaurant.
“23rd Century Giants: The Story of Renaldo & The Loaf” (MVDVisual) Cult weirdo music vets get their moment in the documentary sun.
“Charli XCX: Alone Together” (Greenwich) After a headlining global tour in 2019, British pop star Charli XCX dealt with the COVID lockdown by making an album (and a documentary about making the album) at home.
“The Last Waltz” (The Criterion Collection) Martin Scorsese’s genre-defining music doc, about The Band’s farewell concert.
“Let Me Be Me” (Greenwich) Fashion designer Kyle Westphal’s family provides him with moral support over the decades as he learns to live with autism.
“Mau” (Greenwich) Canadian design visionary Bruce Mau examines his process and shares his idea that everyone, in one way or another, is a designer themselves.
“President” (Greenwich) The struggle for democracy in Zimbabwe after decades of corruption is the focus of this documentary from Camilla Nielsson.
“Rock Hudson’s Home Movies” (Kino Classics) Mark Rappaport’s 1992 film essay posits that Hudson’s hidden homosexuality was always hiding in plain sight in the actor’s films.
“Ronnie’s” (Greenwich) Ronnie Scott’s legendary London jazz club featured the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Nina Simone, Chet Baker, and Jimi Hendrix (who played there the night of his death).
“Sight: The Story of Vision” (IndiePix) Narrated by Elton John, this documentary explores the medical and technical advances in bringing sight to people with diminished vision.
Of all the man-vs.-nature knockoffs spawned by the massive success of “Jaws,” only “Alligator” (Scream Factory) boasts a screenplay by John Sayles. This 1980 cult favorite gets the full Scream Factory treatment, including new 4K scans of the theatrical and extended TV cuts, new interviews with Sayles, director Lewis Teague, and actress Robin Riker, not to mention Bryan Cranston — billed here as “Famous Actor-Director-Producer” — who served as a PA on the film.
“13 Fanboy” (Mill Creek Entertainment) Cast members from the “Friday the 13th” series, including Dee Wallace and Kane Hodder, find themselves being stalked by a franchise superfan.
“6:45” (Well Go USA Entertainment) A couple gets trapped in a time-loop of terror, from director Craig Singer.
“The Antichrist” (KL Studio Classics) This 1974 Italian “Exorcist” rip-off features a pregnant woman carrying the titular demon, so it’s kind of a “Rosemary’s Baby” rip-off as well.
“The Boy Behind the Door” (Shudder/RLJE) Two abducted boys spend a terrifying night trying to escape their captors.
“Bryan Loves You” (MVD Marquee) Cult classic found-footage horror with Tony Todd.
“Cold Wind Blowing” (Mill Creek Entertainment) Cabin in the woods + supernatural creature + Christmas = holiday horror.
“Come Drink With Me” (Arrow) 1966 King Hu martial arts classic that kickstarted an entire genre and is now a feminist classic. (Kind of? Sort of?)
“Dagmar’s Hot Pants, Inc.” (Kino Lorber Studio Classics) Silly 70s sex farce with a title based on a fashion craze of the moment.
“Dirty O’Neil” (Kino Lorber Studio Classics) Lewis Teague co-directs this 70s police saga, which deals with a sexual assault investigation even as the poster sells it as “The Love Life of a Cop.”
“Monkey Kung Fu” (88 Films) 1979 Wuxia classic from the Shaw Brothers, starring Siu-Tung Ching (“Shaolin Boxer”).
“The Requin” (Lionsgate) Alicia Silverstone vs. a school of killer white sharks.
“Screams of a Winter Night” (KL Studio Classics) Late-70s horror anthology with at least one Bigfoot story and a tree witch.
“Shaolin Mantis” (88 Films) From legendary actor-director Lau Kar Leung (“The 36th Chamber of Shaolin”) comes this 1978 hit from Hong Kong’s golden age of martial-art films.
It’s a great year to be a Francis Ford Coppola fan, from theatrical reissues of his films (including the ever-timely “The Conversation”) to “The Godfather” Trilogy (Paramount), a 4k restoration box set celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first film in the series. Coppola himself completely oversaw the visual and audio restoration for the entire box set, which includes his recent “The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone” cut of “Godfather III.” (There are newly remastered versions of that film’s original theatrical cut and 1991 director’s cut.) A limited-edition collector’s set will also include a coffee-table book packed with photos.
“Adoption” (The Criterion Collection) Hungarian auteur Márta Mészáros was the first woman to win the coveted Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival with this 1976 drama.
Alain Resnais: Five Short Films (Icarus) Collected shorts from the legendary French New Wave filmmaker.
“An American Werewolf in London” (Arrow) Limited-edition release of this horror-comedy classic comes overstuffed with extras, making this an essential edition for fans of the film.
“The Apartment” (Kino Lorber Studio Classics) Billy Wilder’s heartbreaking Best Picture winner makes its 4K debut.
“Back Street” (Kino Lorber Studio Classics) This memorable 1941 romance with Charles Boyer and Margaret Sullavan spawned a later, much soapier remake featuring John Gavin and Susan Hayward.
“Bilitis” (Fun City Home Entertainment) This still-controversial 1977 lesbian cult film was co-written by French filmmaker Catherine Breillat and stars Patti D’Arbanville.
“Blue Skies” (Kino Lorber Studio Classics) The “Holiday Inn” team of Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, and Irving Berlin reunited in 1946.
“Cain and Abel” (Kani Releasing) A restoration of the little-seen (in North America) 1982 family drama from legendary Filipino auteur Lino Brocka.
“Captain of the Clouds” (Warner Archive Collection) James Cagney plays a hotshot young pilot in this 1942 WWII drama.
“Le Cercle Rouge” (The Criterion Collection) One of the great crime films of all time, Jean-Pierre Melville’s masterpiece finally gets a North American 4K release.
“C.H.O.M.P.S.” (Kino Lorber) Wesley Eure (“Land of the Lost”) and Valerie Bertinelli build a robot security dog, the Canine Home Protection System, and it’s about what you’d expect as a live-action movie from Hanna-Barbera.
“The Devil Strikes at Night” (Kino Classics) Noir master Robert Siodmak returned to his native Germany for this 1957 thriller.
The Douglas Sirk Collection: “The Girl from the Marsh Croft” & “The Final Chord” (Kino Classics) Before fleeing Germany in the 1930s, Sirk was already making sophisticated melodramas, including the pair featured here.
“Dream a Little Dream” (Lionsgate) Perhaps the apotheosis of the Corey Haim/Corey Feldman moment, with Meredith Salenger and Jason Robards thrown in for good measure.
“Eastern Promises” (Kino Lorber Studio Classics) David Cronenberg directs Viggo Mortensen and Naomi Watts in this Russian-mob saga, now available in a new UHD SDR master, personally overseen by cinematographer Peter Suchitzky.
Edgar G. Ulmer Sci-Fi Collection: “The Man from Planet X” / “Beyond the Time Barrier” / “The Amazing Transparent Man” (Kino Lorber Studio Classics) A triple feature of 60s sci-fi from one of its most talented practitioners.
“F/X “& “F/X 2” (Kino Lorber Studio Classics) Bryan Brown and Brian Dennehy team up for a pair of action-thrillers about a makeup-effects artist who keeps getting involved in murders.
“Farewell” (Kino Classics) A 1930 realist drama from Robert Siodmak.
“Fast Charlie…The Moonbeam Rider” (Kino Lorber Studio Classics) David Carradine plays a WWI vet who becomes a motorcycle racer in this 1979 roaring-‘20s comedy, co-starring Brenda Vaccaro.
“The Final Option” (Kino Lorber Studio Classics) Judy Davis leads a “fanatical” anti-nuke group and has to be stopped in this 1982 action thriller.
“The Flight of the Phoenix” (The Criterion Collection) Survivors of a plane crash try to build another aircraft out of the wreckage in this Robert Aldrich classic, starring James Stewart, Peter Finch, and Richard Attenborough.
“Hester Street” (Cohen Film Collection) Undersung indie legend Joan Micklin Silver made a splash (and star Carol Kane earned a Best Actress Oscar nomination) with this tale of Jewish immigrants assimilating (or not) in turn-of-the-century New York City.
“The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls In Love” (Strand Releasing Home Entertainment) Maria Maggenti’s sweet 1995 teen romance became a cornerstone for the second wave of the New Queer Cinema.
“The Legend of the Stardust Brothers” (SRS Cinema) The 1985 cult obscurity follows two Japanese teenagers recruited to be a synthpop boy band, only to chafe at the demands of fame.
“Liar’s Moon” (MVD Rewind) Young Matt Dillon and Cindy Fisher play star-crossed lovers in a forbidden romance in this hot and heavy 1982 melodrama.
“Love Jones” (The Criterion Collection) Nia Long and Larenz Tate are artists trying to figure out if what they have between them is romantic or just physical in this sleeper hit of 1990s Black cinema.
“Man on the Moon” (Kino Lorber Studio Classics) Jim Carrey IS Andy Kaufman in Milos Forman’s biopic, one of several films from screenwriters Larry Karaszewski and Scott Alexander that examine American culture from the POV of its wildest outsiders.
“Man’s Favorite Sport?” (Kino Lorber Studio Classics) Rock Hudson and Paula Prentiss star in Howard Hawks’ 1964 sex farce of duplicity and competitive fishing.
“Monster from Green Hell” (The Film Detective) Jim Davis, who’d later be known as the Ewing patriarch on “Dallas,” stars in this 1957 creature feature.
“Murphy’s Law” (Kino Lorber Studio Classics) Charles Bronson’s a cop framed for murder in a Cannon Films thriller featuring a one-of-a-kind ensemble that includes Carrie Snodgress, Kathleen Wilhoite, and Angel Tompkins.
“Now and Forever” (Kino Lorber Studio Classics) Swindler Gary Cooper suddenly finds himself taking custody of daughter Shirley Temple in this 1934 drama, which also features Carole Lombard.
“Princess Tam Tam” & “Zou Zou” (Kino Classics) Faced with Hollywood discrimination in the 1930s, Josephine Baker went to France to become a star, and did, particularly with these two films.
“Privilege” (Kino Lorber) 1967 dystopian teen pop star satire w Manfred Mann lead singer Paul Jones and OG supermodel Jean Shrimpton mockumentary
“Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins” (Kino Lorber Studio Classics) Fred Ward plays a cop who gets a new face and identity in this bizarre 80s action-comedy — despite the title, no sequel ever happened — featuring Kate Mulgrew and, in insane yellowface, Joel Grey.
“Shake Down” (Kino Lorber Studio Classics) Howard Duff plays an unscrupulous San Francisco news photographer alongside Lawrence Tierney, Brian Donlevy, and Rock Hudson in this 1950 noir.
“Shooter” (Paramount Home Entertainment) Mark Wahlberg plays a sniper who takes the blame for an assassination attempt.
“A Star is Born” (Warner Archive Collection) The 1937 version with Janet Gaynor and Frederic March, which started it all, gets a new Blu-ray release.
“Strange Bedfellows” (Kino Lorber Studio Classics) Rock Hudson and Gina Lollobrigida star as a squabbling couple who discover, on the eve of their divorce, that they might actually be right for each other.
“To Sleep So As To Dream” (Arrow) Kaizo Hayashi’s dreamlike 1986 debut, about detectives hunting for an actress trapped in the reel of a silent film.
“Touch of Evil” (KL Studio Classics) A 4K restoration of this Orson Welles masterpiece gets a three-disc set that includes the theatrical, reconstructed, and preview cuts, plus gobs of extras.
Two Films by Aaron Katz: “Quiet City” / “Dance Party USA” (Collective) Let the mid-2000s mumblecore revival begin!
“Village of the Giants” (Kino Lorber) Bert I. Gordon turns 1965 teens like Beau Bridges into giants, and only Tommy Kirk and little Ronny Howard can stop them.
“The Wonderful World of The Brothers Grimm” (Warner Archive Collection) One of the few narrative films shot in three-strip Cinerama, this 1962 fairy-tale collection comes to Blu-ray with the option to view it in the “smilebox” format, which recreates the ultra-wide aspect ratio on your home screen.
“Zoot Suit” (KL Studio Classics) Luis Valdez’s 1981 musical drama about LA’s Zoot Suit Riot of the 1940s remains a searing look at American racism.
One of the most iconic mustaches of the 1980s never looked so good, as “Magnum P.I.” — The Complete Series (Mill Creek Entertainment) makes it to Blu-ray for the first time. The most legendary “let’s-shoot-a-show-in-Hawaii” series (alongside “Lost”) to be produced between the two versions of “Hawaii Five-0,” this show was so popular that there’s a whole spoof built around it in “The Big Chill.”
“Adventure Time”: Distant Lands (Warner Bros) – This set of four specials follows the “Adventure Time” crew into… distant lands.
“American Gods”: The Complete Series (Lionsgate) It never quite bounced back after the first season, but here’s the whole shebang in one handy box set.
“Dexter: New Blood” (CBS/Paramount) Dexter returns to inflict more serial-killer justice and in the hopes that you’ll forget that last season ever happened.
“Dalgliesh,” Series 1 (Acorn) Sleuthing and spying and secrets, based on the novels of PD James.
“Gomorrah”: Fourth Season (Kino Lorber) A four-disc set of Italy’s very popular crime drama series.
“Head of The Class”: The Complete Fourth Season (Warner Bros. Home Entertainment) Digging further into the 80s fave that spawned a recent reboot.
“Highway to Heaven” (Lionsgate) Speaking of reboots, Jill Scott steps into Michael Landon’s wings for this TV movie.
“The Madame Blanc Mysteries”: Series One (Acorn TV) You haven’t cozy-mysteried until you’ve solved whodunits in a French antique store.
“Rick and Morty”: The Complete Seasons 1-5 (Adult Swim/WB) Fans of the hit cable cartoon can luxuriate in commentaries, making-of docs, and lots more extras.
“Starflight One” (Kino Lorber Studio Classics) Lee Majors and Lauren Hutton star in this 1983 TV movie that takes the airplane disaster movie literally into orbit.
“Vikings”: Season 6, Vol. 2 (Warner Bros) The Scandinavians with the beards have lots more pillaging to do.
“Yellowstone”: Season 4 (Paramount) It’s that show with Kevin Costner that your dad likes, now on Blu-ray with four hours of bonus content.