September Blu-ray Releases
Lionsgate: In Love and Friendship (2016) (***), director Whit Stillman (Barcelona) tackles Jane Austen in this period piece about a woman’s desire to find herself and her daughter a suitable husband. Kate Beckinsdale is terrific in the lead. The only bonus is a featurette.
Neon Demon (** ½) (2016) is director Nicholas Winding Refn’s (Drive) controversial tale of murder, mayhem and depravity in the fashion world. Extras include audio commentary and a featurette.
Teenage Mutant: Out of the Shadows (2016) (* ½) Producer Michael Bay has brought the turtles back for another outing that no one really was clamoring for. Fans will dig it, others beware. Extras include deleted scenes, featurettes.
South Park: The Complete 19th Season (2016) (*** overall rating) The celebrated animated series keeps on trucking, this time giving viewers a serialized format for the first time in its history with the show’s arc being built around a socially conscious school principal. Extras include commentaries and deleted scenes.
Sony: Money Monster (2016) (**) Director Jodie Foster and star George Clooney team up in this misfire about a talk show host who’s taken hostage on national TV. Unfortunately, it’s not nearly as subversive or inventive as one might hope. Extras include deleted scenes, featurettes and a music video.
The Meddler (2016) (***) Susan Sarandon is a delight as a mother who can’t seem to cut the apron strings that bind the woman to her grown daughter (Rose Byrne). Extras include audio commentary and a behind the scenes short.
Universal: Neighbors 2 (2016) (* ½) Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne return in this sequel that recycles most of the first film’s best jokes, albeit to a lesser degree. Extras include deleted scenes, gag reel, and featurettes.
Kate Beckinsale in In Love & Friendship
Warcraft (2016) (* ½) is an adaptation of the video game of the same name. Essentially the film is one long CGI feast, complete with uninteresting characters and story. Then again, it is based on a video game. Extras include deleted scenes, gag reel, and featurettes.
Criterion: Dekalog (1988) (*** overall) Utilizing the ten commandments as source material, director Krystof Kieslowski’s Dekalog is basically ten morality plays running around an hour. Each one is leisurely paced but packs quite an emotional wallop. Criterion has done an outstanding job with the transfers in this four-disc box set, which also includes archival interviews, trailers and a beautiful booklet.
Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970) (** ½) is credited as the only film that critic Roger Ebert wrote. Russ Meyer directs the tale of a girl band trying to hit the big time at the tail end of the swinging sixties. Unfortunately, it suffers from an ending that feels at odds with the rest of the film. Extras include commentaries, interviews and a great documentary on Meyer from a British TV show.
Kino Lorber: Grandview USA (1984) (**) features Jamie Lee Curtis, Patrick Swayze and C. Thomas Howell in this tale of the comings and goings in the small town of the film’s title, which eventually entails a romantic triangle between the three aforementioned stars. No extras. Beware!
The Blob (1972) (**) was tagged as ‘the film that J.R. shot’ since Larry Hagman directed it. Basically, it’s a continuation of the 1958 original with a boatload of familiar faces from the early 70s in the cast. Extras include commentary and alternate title.
The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes Smarter Brother (1972) (** ½) was the late Gene Wilder’s first time out as a director. The title pretty much says it all with Wilder also serving in the title role. Gags are hit and miss but it’s worth a look. Extras include commentary and trailers.
Twilight Time, whose releases are limited to a pressing of 3000 units for each of their titles, has issued a new batch of classics. Their product can only be ordered via www.twilighttimemovies.com and www.screenarchives.com. This month’s offerings include: 9 to 5 (1980) (***) features Dolly Parton in her feature film debut, along with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, as the trio plot to get even with their slimy boss (Dabney Coleman). Extras include commentary and score track.
Bobby Deerfield (1977) (**) was the first misfire in the career of Al Pacino, an ill-advised sudser detailing the romance between a professional racer and a terminally ill woman (Marthe Keller). Extras include score track.
Eye of the Needle (1981) (***) is the WW II era tale of a German spy and his relationship with a young woman and her crippled husband. Donald Sutherland and Kate Nelligan star. Extras include score track.
From Noon Till Three (1976) (** ½) features Charles Bronson and real life wife Jill Ireland in this romancer about a woman who is determined to turn her love affair into a book. Extras include score track.
Murphy’s Law (1986) (**) is a typical mid 80s crime film featuring Charles Bronson as the title character who’s trying to even the score with his wife’s killer. Extras include score track.
Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins (1985) (** ½) Fred Ward is the title character in this cult classic, a cop who is killed and gains a new identity as a special agent for the president. Extras include score track and commentary.
Coming in October: The Wailing, The Legend of Tarzan, McCabe and Mrs. Miller, The Purge: Election Year, Ghostbusters, Carrie (remastered), Boyhood (Criterion) and The Thing (1982) (remastered).
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