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This year’s reigning Best Picture winner, GREEN BOOK (***½, 128 mins., 2018, PG-13; Universal), is a winning “road trip” movie that provides stars Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali with two plum roles. It also manages to be heartwarming and unpretentious, preferring a humanistic, at-times comic approach to its subject matter – and in a year that saw “Black Panther” somehow net scores of award nominations, it’s unquestionably one of the most rewarding pictures of 2018.

Making his first “serious” film, director Peter Farrelly’s “Green Book” charts the relationship between Tony “Lip” (Mortensen), a Copacabana club bouncer who’s hired in the fall of 1962 to drive pianist Dr. Donald Shirley (Ali) on a tour from the Midwest through the Deep South. Prejudices are, of course, exposed, not only from the general populace the duo often encounter, but also between the two men – though their commonalities, eventually, form a bridge that enables a strong bond to develop between them.

“Green Book” was targeted by some critics for being too convenient and inauthentic – and there’s no question the general framework of the movie is familiar, if not a bit contrived (someone clearly was a fan of “Planes, Trains & Automobiles,” as evidenced by how the film wraps up). That being said, it’s hard to understand why a picture that promotes so many positive messages, and is truthful about the era it depicts, was dumped on by naysayers, particularly because the work of Ali – winning his second Oscar in three years – is so strong. He and Mortensen – completely playing against type – are marvelous together, raising the material while Farrelly keeps the film moving episodically throughout. In the end, the general decency of the film is matched by the conviction of its performances – and unlike many recent Oscar winners, it’s a “message movie” that never forgets to entertain the audience, promoting its humanity in often subtle ways as opposed to preaching the obvious.

Universal’s 4K UHD presentation of “Green Book” is out next week, providing viewers with a quality HDR enhanced HVEC transfer in an unusual 2:1 aspect ratio. The Dolby Atmos sound is wonderfully rendered with light extras including three featurettes, a Blu-Ray and Digital HD copy. Warmly recommended!

THE FAVOURITE Blu-Ray (**, 119 mins., 2018, R; Fox): When the health of Queen Anne (Oscar winner Olivia Colman) begins to flag in the early 1700s, a conniving servant girl (Emma Stone) tries to wedge herself into the Queen’s inner-circle, vying for the title of “The Favourite” with Anne’s best friend (and, here, lover), an aristocrat named Lady Sarah Churchill (Rachel Weisz). The historical record shows that little in Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara’s revisionist script is accurate – but that doesn’t stop them or director Yorgos Lanthimos (the auteur of “The Lobster”) from taking a scenario based in fact and turning it into a caustic, unpleasant satire with excessive amounts of R-rated unpleasantness and absurd characterizations. Colman, who shocked everyone by upsetting Glenn Close for Best Actress, and Weisz in particular are excellent, but this is an unlikeable “auteur show” some viewers are likely to have a difficult time getting through. Fox’s Blu-Ray looks splendid (1080p, 5.1 DTS MA) with deleted scenes, a featurette, DVD and Digital HD copy.

FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD 4K UHD (**, 134/141 mins., 2018, PG-13, Warner):Something’s amiss in Potter Land. This second installment in the prequel series nobody but hardcore fans of J.K. Rowling’s fantasy world wanted is a step backwards from even its mediocre first installment, despite Rowling again penning the screenplay for returning director David Yates.

Eddie Redmayne and Katherine Waterston return as dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald  (Johnny Depp) escapes from custody, requiring the wizardry of Newt Scamander (Redmayne) and friends to combat. Despite all the visual trappings and more of an attempt to connect the film with its Potter predecessors (with Jude Law playing a young Dumbledore), “Crimes of Grindelwald” is a real slog – nearly 2½ hours of talky plot and character set-up that’s going to interest only the most devout of Rowling’s fans.

A box-office underachiever that’s quite possibly going to cut down on the number of intended sequels (five!) that were initially announced, “Grindelwald” comes to 4K UHD this week from Warner. The Dolby Atmos/Dolby Vision presentation isn’t as drab as its predecessor, with Warner offering deleted scenes, featurettes, and either the 134-minute theatrical cut or an extended version with seven minutes of added footage for viewers to choose from.

MORTAL ENGINES 4K UHD Combo Pack (**, 128 mins., 2018, PG-13; Universal): A would-be franchise starter that wiped out at the box-office last winter, this Peter Jackson production adapts Philip Reeve’s Young Adult novel about a world where cities roll around on giant wheels in a post-apocalyptic universe – one filled with bland, boring characters and lots of CGI. Jackson himself co-wrote the script with his usual collaborators Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, while producing a movie that’s as formulaic as most modern Hollywood tentpoles – minus the branding that generates big opening weekends. Universal’s 4K UHD set of “Mortal Engines” looks dynamic with Dolby Vision/HDR and Dolby Atmos audio, while a five-part documentary examines the production, intended to ignite another cinematic franchise that was done as soon as it began.


New From Shout! Factory

Ridley Scott has always employed a very “hands on” approach to the home video releases of his films – participating in commentaries and often producing insightful supplements that enrich his work for viewers. The one glaring exception is SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME (**, 106 mins., R; Shout! Factory),Scott’s 1987 attempt to convince American studio honchos that he could make a “modern,” non-period, actor-driven film, and do it under budget.

Given the opportunity to do so at Columbia during the tumultuous reign of David Puttnam, Scott chose “Someone To Watch Over Me” as his first film after the fantasy epic “Legend.” Howard Franklin’s original screenplay follows a married NYC detective (Tom Berenger) who’s assigned to babysit a gorgeous, wealthy eyewitness (Mimi Rogers) to a murder. He protects her, they fall in love, his wife (Lorraine Bracco) senses his infidelity, all the while the killer (Andreas  Katsulas, later the “Fugitive”’s One-Armed Man) wants Rogers rubbed out.

Eschewing the use of widescreen, “Someone to Watch Over Me” nevertheless looks like a Ridley Scott film – or at least a Scott film where the director is trying valiantly to do “something different.” That something is put the picture’s burden on its actors instead of Scott’s visuals, which results in a chilly, not all that likeable film where the elements don’t quite coalesce. As Franklin – who later directed “The Public Eye” and co-helmed the underrated Bill Murray comedy “Quick Change” – points out in a new Shout interview, he wrote the project years before as something of a “70s movie,” while Scott directed it firmly as an “80s movie.” In the process, some of the peripheral details – Berenger’s Queens background and the class divide between him and Rogers’ socialite – were diminished, with too much of the film looking like an overly stylized music video or TV commercial. One could sense a grittier, Lumet or Scorsese-like approach better fitting the project, while the rather low-wattage cast (Berenger, coming off “Platoon,” being an exception) was a direct result of Puttnam’s decree that Columbia films didn’t always need big stars. Here, though, it may have helped, with Berenger and Rogers failing to ignite the needed sparks to put their romance over the top – and if you don’t believe them, you’ll have a hard time investing in this contrived thriller.

The lone Scott Blu-Ray holdout, “Someone to Watch Over Me” finally makes its HD debut on disc this month from Shout! Factory. This Coumbia-licensed 1080p (1.85) transfer may not be quite as detailed as one might expect but it’s sturdy enough, while the 2.0 DTS MA stereo sound is perfectly fine, featuring an unremarkable Michael Kamen score (his most notable track is a pleasant recording of the Gershwins’ title song, performed by Roberta Flack over the end credits – though to date neither that song, nor the score, have been released).

Franklin’s interview is the highlight of Shout’s supplements, with the writer candidly discussing his disagreements with Scott as well as the disappointment that befell the film at the box-office – no surprise coming just weeks after the opening of “Fatal Attraction.” A longer interview with Steven Poster is also included, with the cinematographer in awe of Scott’s “always working,” improvisational mind – something that likely explains how the now 81-year-old director continues to work at a feverish pace.

THE CRAFT Blu-Ray (***, 101 mins., 1996, R; Shout! Factory). WHAT IT IS: Entertaining 1996 box-office sleeper stars Robin Tunney as a high school outsider who befriends a group of outcasts — all with budding powers in the art of witchcraft. Tunney is fine but she’s completely overshadowed in director Andrew Fleming’s horror fantasy by Fairuza Balk’s gleefully bonkers performance as the group’s leader, who becomes increasingly unhinged as her powers develop. Screenwriter Peter Filardi and Fleming’s story, meanwhile, works as both a teenage thriller and a supernatural outing, with some moments of humor and effective F/X intertwined throughout. SHOUT SPECS: Brand new interviews with Fleming, producer Douglas Wick, co-writer Peter Filardi and makeup artist Tony Gardner highlight Scream Factory’s Collector’s Edition. Additional extras have been culled from prior editions, including commentary, deleted scenes, and featurettes. The 1080p (1.85) AVC encoded transfer and 5.1 DTS MA sound are both superb, on-par with Sony’s prior Blu-Ray release. AISLE SEAT BOTTOM LINE: Though a bit dated with its “grunge” soundtrack, “The Craft” has held up fairly well thanks to its performances. It’s unfortunate we haven’t seen more of Fairuza Balk as the years have gone by, but this one ranks with her most memorable work and remains a genre favorite among fans.

MAN’S BEST FRIEND Blu-Ray (**½, 87 mins., 1993, R; Shout! Factory). WHAT IT IS: A genetically-engineered canine ends up causing issues for the TV host (Ally Sheedy) who adopts him in this New Line programmer from director John Lafia (“Child’s Play” sequel veteran) that netted decent reviews and minor box-office during Thanksgiving ’93. Lance Henriksen co-stars as the scientist who created “Max,” a fast, strong, savvy Tibetan Mastiff who develops a taste for killing in a film anchored by Sheedy and Henriksen’s performances, and with a few effective death sequences spicing up a mostly forgettable story. SHOUT SPECS: A new 2K scan (1.85) from original film elements and commentary from Lafia are exclusive to Shout’s Blu-Ray debut of the picture, with the trailer and a 5.1 DTS MA soundtrack rounding out the disc. AISLE SEAT BOTTOM LINE: “Man’s Best Friend” has pretty much been forgotten, but it’s certainly not bad and is effectively executed by genre vets like Lafia and makeup artist Kevin Yagher. Recommended for genre fans.

BORN IN EAST L.A. Blu-Ray (**½, 85 mins., 1987, R; Shout! Factory). WHAT IT IS: Amiable, gag-laden comedy from writer-director-star Cheech Marin, whose American-born Latino is sent packing to Mexico during a deportation raid, despite the fact that he’s not only never been there but can’t speak Spanish either. Paul Rodriguez, Daniel Stern and Jan Michael Vincent co-star in this Universal comedy that’s held up better than the drug-laden Cheech & Chong vehicles, with the film offering a heartwarming story to back up its sporadic laughs. Shout’s Blu-Ray offers new commentary from Marin and interviews with Marin, Paul Rodriguez and co-star Kamala Lopez, plus the extended TV version, a 1080p (1.85) transfer and mono DTS MA sound.

Also New From Shout! on Blu-Ray: One of Universal’s better ‘50s monster efforts, THE DEADLY MANTIS (**½, 79 mins., 1957), stars Craig Stevens, William Hopper and Alix Talton in the story of a gigantic praying mantis that’s hatched and ready to roar. Nathan Juran helmed this efficiently-produced and crisply paced Universal-International favorite, on Blu-Ray on March 19th sporting a new 2K scan from original film elements (1.85) and an informative commentary with Tom Weaver and David Schecter. The MST3K version of the picture, a trailer and still gallery round out the disc…One of the best of producer Val Lewton’s 40s chillers, THE BODY SNATCHER (***, 77 mins., 1945) makes for an ideal Golden Age offering from Scream Factory. Featuring a new retrospective doc and 4K scan (1.33) of the original camera negative, this RKO chiller from director Robert Wise stars Boris Karloff in the title role — a conniving grave robber trying to bring “fresh goods” to a doctor (Henry Daniell) for his medical studies. With Bela Lugosi in a key supporting role, “The Body Snatcher is crisp, moody and terrifically atmospheric; Shout’s Blu-Ray also includes a vintage DVD commentary with Wise and historian Steve Haberman, the “Shadows In the Dark” doc, trailer and a still gallery. Highly recommended when it streets on March 26th.

Neil Simon brought his smash autobiographical play BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS (***, 109 mins., 1986, PG-13) to the screen in 1986. Even with Matthew Broderick being replaced here with Jonathan Silverman (Broderick would return to play Simon’s alter-ego in Mike Nichols’ 1988 film version of “Biloxi Blues”), this is a superb rendering of one of Simon’s most endearing works, nicely shot by John Bailey and scored by Michael Small. Shout’s no-frills Blu-Ray includes a respectable AVC encoded 1080p (1.85) Universal master with mono DTS MA sound…Also coming March 26th from Shout and GKids is PERFECT BLUE (82 mins., 1997), the debut film from Staoshi Kon about a pop singer who wants to become an actress and model, much to the chagrin of her younger fans. With a stalker on the loose, she loses her grip on reality in a tense, suspenseful anime brought here to Blu-Ray in its unrated version by Shout Factory. A 1080p (1.85) widescreen transfer, 5.1 DTS MA Japanese audio (an English language track is also on-hand), and ample extras (Kon’s lectures, recording sessions, cast/crew interviews, trailers/TV spots) comprise Shout’s Blu-Ray/DVD combo pack, available later this month…Finally, streeting this week is THEN CAME YOU (108 mins., 2018, Not Rated), a film that stars Maisie Williams as a terminally ill teenager who manages to help a 19-year-old hypochondriac (Asa Butterfield) in a bittersweet romantic comedy. Peter Hutchings’ film co-stars Nina Dobrev and Ken Jeong, and Shout’s Blu-Ray (1.85, 5.1 DTS MA) comes complete with a featurette and the trailer.


Twilight Time New Releases

It’s taken a long time for the original BEDAZZLED (***, 1967, 104 mins., PG-13) to hit Blu-Ray, but this goofy Dudley Moore-Peter Cook affair — directed in glossy widescreen by the recently departed Stanley Donen — has at last reached high-definition on these shores as yet another excellent Twilight Time limited-edition release.

Though dated in many respects (as a relic of the late swinging ‘60s, the film does function beautifully), this “Bedazzled” is leagues better than the 2000 Brendan Fraser remake, here starring Moore as a cook who agrees to sell his soul to the Devil (Cook) after striking out on true love with waitress Eleanor Bron. Raquel Welch makes for a most fetching Lust in a movie that screams “Mod!” in its editing, music and fashion – and feels overly extended in its running time – but still holds up thanks to Moore and Cook’s perfectly-pitched comic timing.

Twilight Time’s Blu-Ray is a virtual HD reprise of Fox’s prior DVD, from its clip of Cook and Moore on “The Paul Ryan Show” to a brief 2000 interview with Harold Ramis, who helmed the inferior remake. An isolated music/effects track is on-tap with viewers afforded the choice of 1.0 mono and 2.0 simulated stereo audio tracks. The 1080p (2.35) AVC encoded transfer’s framing of the wide Panavision-shot aspect ratio seems to be a little bit stretched-out, with the performers looking a little on the thin side.

An earlier Fox studio product, WILL SUCCESS SPOIL ROCK HUNTER? (***, 93 mins., 1957), is an enjoyable Frank Tashlin adaptation of George Axelrod’s stage play. Tony Randall is terrific in one of his most enjoyable features, playing an advertising executive who recruits a big star (top-billed Jayne Mansfield at the height of her career) to push his account for Stay-Put Lipstick. Tashlin’s pacing is crisp and use of the anamorphic Cinemascope frame puts this colorful cinematic confection over the top, a satirical comedy that looks great in Twilight Time’s 1080p (2.35) AVC encoded transfer. Multiple audio options include 5.1, 4.0 and 2.0 DTS MA stereo tracks, plus an isolated score track, commentary with historian Dana Polan, the trailer, and Fox Movietone news reels.

Future “Alfie”/James Bond director Lewis Gilbert helmed the 1957 adaptation of THE ADMIRABLE CRICHTON (***, 94 mins.), a Columbia release starring Kenneth More as “Peter Pan” author J.M. Barrie’s title character – a resourceful, by-the-book English butler who proves to be the most adept at handling things after he and the family he works for are stranded on a deserted island. Barrie’s play satirically looked at English’s class system and Gilbert carried these themes over to an amusing and well-performed play that had to have been an inspiration on “Gilligan’s Island” just a few years later. Making its Blu-Ray debut, “The Admirabe Crichton” includes a 1080p (1.85) Sony-licensed color transfer, isolated music/effects track, mono DTS MA sound and the trailer.

Finally, Oliver Stone’s follow-up to his box-office and critical hits “Platoon” and “Wall Street” was a change of pace project. Adapting actor Eric Bogosian’s stage play of the same nameTALK RADIO (**½, 109 mins., 1988, R) was a small, intimate film that opened up its source material while still keeping things mostly confined to its acerbic talk-radio host’s extended, mostly hostile interactions with his callers. Bogosian reprised his role of “Barry Champlain,” a compendium of several actual hosts, but most notably Alan Berg, a Denver radio personality who was murdered in 1984. Stone and Bogosian’s script includes peripheral roles for the likes of Alec Baldwin, Ellen Greene, John C. McGinley and Michael Wincott, but it’s mostly Bogosian’s show, and he’s dynamic to watch in a cynical film that understandably failed to find much of an audience upon its initial release. Twilight Time’s Blu-Ray debut of the film, licensed from Universal, includes a 1080p (1.85) transfer, 2.0 DTS MA stereo sound, Stewart Copeland’s score isolated, the trailer, and an archival featurette with Stone discussing the film.


 

 

Lionsgate New Releases

FEAR THE WALKING DEAD – The Complete Fourth Season Blu-Ray (12 hours, 2018; Lionsgate):Season 4 of the AMC “Living Dead” spinoff tries a “reboot” kind of approach, still offering the adventures of the Clark family (Kim Dickens and company) but with the addition of Morgan Jones (Lennie James), who hops over from the mothership “Walking Dead.” By now you know the drill – good guys, bad guys, zombies, and even-worse villains populate the barren post-apocalyptic word of the franchise, though there’s at least an attempt here to do something a little different. Lionsgate’s Blu-Ray includes commentaries, 1080p (1.78) AVC encoded transfers, 5.1 Dolby TrueHD soundtracks and Digital HD copies.

History’s long-running series ANCIENT ALIENS (9 hours, 2018) concludes its Season 11 DVD release with its nine back-end episodes on March 12th. Included in the two-disc set are Earth Station Egypt; Island of the Giants; The Taken; The Sentinels; Russia Declassified; They Came From the Sky; The Artificial Human: The Alien Phenomenon; and Return to Mars. 16:9 transfers and 5.1 soundtracks comprise the set…Also on March 12th from Lionsgate comes A.I. RISING (87 mins., 2019, R), a Serbian-made thriller about a man who reprograms his female cyborg to be more human – throwing their mission into jeopardy in the process. Making Of materials, deleted scenes and more are on-tap in Lionsgate’s DVD (2.66, 5.1), out next week.

Also New & Noteworthy

KRYPTON: The Complete First Season Blu-Ray (427 mins., 2018; Warner): The idea of a “Superman” prequel employing a “Terminator”-esque framework undoubtedly held a great deal of potential at some point, but the Syfy Channel series “Krypton” doesn’t make good on its concept. In fact, it’s not good at all – a dismal series focused on Seg-El (Cameron Cuffe), the future Superman’s grandfather, whose life is threatened by time-shifting bad guys looking to stop the future by altering the past. Adam Strange and Brainiac also appear in a show more in-step with the sensibilities of Zach Snyder’s DC adaptations than the fresher, more upbeat action of “Aquaman” and “Wonder Woman.” Still due for a second season on Syfy, “Krypton” comes to Blu-Ray this week from Warner sporting deleted scenes, a gag reel, two featurettes and the 2017 Comic Con panel, strong 1080p (1.78) transfers and 51 DTS MA soundtracks.

LONDON FIELDS DVD (108 mins., 2018, R; Fox): Amber Heard stars in this totally misfired adaptation of Martin Amis’ noir novel about a femme fatale who has a premonition that she’s going to be murdered by three possible men – and goes about seducing them one by one. This independently produced effort from director Mathew Cullen co-stars Billy Bob Thornton, Jim Sturgess, Theo James, Jason Isaacs and Cara Delevigne and just feels “off” from its very first frames. Unable to secure a studio distribution deal (with good reason), “London Fields” debuts on DVD March 12th from Fox featuring a 16:9 (2.35) transfer and 5.1 Dolby Digital sound.

MYSTERY ROAD Series 1 Blu-Ray (318 mins., 2018; Acorn/RLJ): Well-acted and engrossing Australian mystery stars Judy Davis as a police sergeant who’s teamed with a local detective (Aaron Pedersen) to find out what happened to a pair of boys at a remote cattle station. Their investigation leads to a mystery wrapped in the past in this acclaimed series that debuted on Acorn TV last August. RLJ’s Blu-Ray edition of “Mystery Road”’s first series is newly available sporting nearly an hour of cast/crew interviews, 16:9 transfers and 5.1 DTS MA soundtracks.

New From Mill Creek: Even though it becomes increasingly absurd throughout its four seasons, DAMAGES (2007-10) is an entertaining legal thriller that started off on FX before migrating to DirecTV where it concluded its run – after diminishing viewership – in 2010.

The first season of “Damages” is far and away its best. Rose Byrne stars as Ellen Parsons, a young New York attorney who joins the firm of superstar litigator Patty Hewes (Glenn Close), whose current case is a high-profile class action suit involving millionaire Arthur Frobisher (Ted Danson). Murder, mayhem, double-crossing and an endless succession of twists ensue in every episode of “Damages,” which starts off as a taut, believable series and then spirals out of control in its later episodes, losing all semblance of reality along the way. It’s all still fun and Close and Danson are terrific, but viewers new to the show should be prepared for a drop-off as the season progresses, with the coincidences coming at you so quickly that you can’t help but expect yet another “twist” from one scene to the next. This holds especially true for its subsequent three seasons. Mill Creek’s complete series Blu-Ray includes all 59 episodes of the series on 10 discs with 1080p (1.78) transfers and 5.1 DTS MA soundtracks.

Also new from Mill Creek this month are several added entries in their “Retro VHS” packaged Blu-Ray series, a few of which are brand new to the format altogether. The latter includes NEIGHBORS (*, 95 mins., 1981, R),the head-scratching reunion of SNL/”Blues Brothers” alums John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd, here starring in a massively unfunny black comedy that was reportedly beset with production problems. The on-screen content is certainly bewildering in terms of how this turkey ended up being made, even with Hollywood heavy-hitters like Richard Zanuck and David Brown (producers), Larry Gelbart (screenplay) and John G. Avildsen (director) behind it. For the curious, Mill Creek’s Blu-Ray is a decent affair serving up a 1080p (1.85) transfer and 2.0 DTS MA sound, with Bill Conti’s strenuously “comic” score (a replacement for a Tom Scott effort) compounding the problems.

MPI New Releases: A pair of vintage TV specials are new from MPI on DVD this month and come highly recommended for nostalgic fans. PERRY COMO’S MUSIC HALL (90 mins., 1967) was a live, NBC “In Living Color” broadcast with the mega-successful crooner, who’s joined here by George Carlin, jazz great Nancy Wilson and ballerina Joyce Cuoco. Hits like “Stop! And Think it Over” and “Pennies From Heaven” populate the special, while MPI has rounded out the disc with bonus sketches featuring Como playing off guests Flip Wilson, Carol Burnett and country star Bobbie Gentry plus a few solo performances…PAT BOONE AND FAMILY: SPRINGTIME & EASTER SPECIALS (1978-79), meanwhile, offers Pat and Family welcoming guests Parker Stevenson, Dick Van Patten, George Burns, Don Rickles, Ted Knight, Katherine Helmond and John Byner. These corny, heartwarming shows harken back to a different era of network TV and come warmly recommended for fans.

Film Movement New Releases: Vera Belmont’s 1997 film MARQUISE (116 mins.) provided Sophie Marceau with the memorable role of a street dancer who became the “Mademoiselle Du Parc,” navigating her way through the French aristocracy in order to become a famous actress and mistress for the playwright Racine. An interview with Belmont, essay from author Laurence Marie, a new 2K digital restoration (1.85) and French audio with English subtitles grace Film Movement’s Blu-Ray edition, out this week…Available next week is the documentary OVER THE LIMIT (77 mins., 2018), Marta Prus’ film about a Russian rhythmic gymnast named Margarita Mamum, a 20-year-old vying for Olympic gold. An incisive production, “Over the Limit” is a must for gymnastics enthusiasts with Film Movement’s DVD including a 16:9 transfer, Russian soundtrack with English subtitles, and Johnson Cheng’s short film “Iron Hands” about a 12-year-old Chinese girl trying out for an all-boys youth weightlifting team...Tamae Garateguy’s SHE WOLF (92 mins., 2018), is one strange, surreal import about a female serial killer (Monica Lairana) walking the streets of Buenos Aires. She’s able to manifest different versions of her inner-psyche, but tries to reform after she meets a young drug dealer. “She Wolf” is go for the jugular weirdness but it constantly keeps you watching, and comes to DVD this month from Film Movement featuring a 16:9 (1.78) B&W transfer with Spanish audio (English subtitles).

PBS New Releases: Available March 19thAPOLLO’S DARING MISSION (60 mins., 2018) is a Nova special recounting Apollo 8’s first manned mission to the moon. Archival footage, new interviews, and a compelling account of NASA’s “sprint to the moon” results in a superb view from writer/producer Rushmore Denoyer and director Kirk Wolfinger. PBS’ DVD includes a 16:9 transfer and 2.0 stereo sound…Also new next week is USS INDIANAPOLIS: THE FINAL CHAPTER (90 mins., 2018), which recounts the July 1945 sinking of the Naval vessel through its wreckage recovery in July of 2017 and the efforts of its surviving crew to clear the name of Captain Charles Butler McVay III (who committed suicide in 1967 after being convicted of losing his ship). An excellent documentary narrated by Kyle Chandler is here preserved in a 16:9 transfer with 2.0 stereo audio.

RISE OF THE TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES DVD (93 mins., 2018; Nickelodeon/Paramount): The newest incarnation of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, this brand-new Nickelodeon series goes back to the early days of the comic book heroes, tracing the first adventures of Raph, Leo, Mikey and Donnie. Angular design marks this new production with Paramount’s DVD offering seven episodes of the series with 16:9 transfers and 5.1 sound.

CRAIG OF THE CREEK: ITCH TO EXPLORE DVD (143 mins., 2019; Warner): Season 1, Part 1 release from the Cartoon Network series charts the adventures of Craig, Kelsey and JP, venturing across their own backyard. Episodes: Itch to Explore, You’re It, Jessica Goes Down to the Creek, The Final Book, Too Many Treasures, Wildernessa, Sunday Clothes, Escape From Family Dinner, Monster in the Garden, The Curse, Dog Decider, Bring Out Your Beast and Lost in the Sewer. 16:9 transfers and 2.0 stereo soundtracks round out Warner’s DVD, available March 19th.

NEXT TIME: Kino Lorber’s March madness, including MAD DOG & GLORY and the Hope/Crosby ROAD adventures! Plus Warner Archive checks in with YEAR OF THE DRAGON and WILD ROVERS. Until then, don’t forget to drop in on the official Aisle Seat Message Boards and direct any emails to our email address. Cheers everyone!

 

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Comments (3):Log in or register to post your own comments
GREEN BOOK seems a perfectly decent, unfairly maligned film but like others I was disturbed by an early scene meant to mark the extreme from which Frank journeys to tolerance. After some black tradesmen have a drink in the kitchen, Frank disposes of the glasses -- actually dumps them in the bin. This is so offensive (even by '60s standards) that there's no coming back from it, and one wonders why it was allowed to make it into the film.

Bravo Andy! Best assessment of 'Green Book' and the controversies surrounding it I've read.

This is so offensive

Quite right!

(even by '60s standards)

...aaaaand that's where you lost me.

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