By Adam Long
Dirty Dancing (2017) (**) The recent made for TV redo of this beloved 80s milestone is even more ammunition in the argument against remakes. It does add nearly twenty minutes to the original’s running time, though, for what it’s worth. Extras include two featurettes.
Juice (1991) (***) Rapper Tupac Shakur (in his first feature film) and Omar Epps star in this gritty tale of four inner city kids who find themselves on the wrong side of the law. Extras on the 25th Anniversary Edition include director commentary, vintage interviews and three new featurettes.
South Park: The Complete Twentieth Season (2016) (***) takes aim at the election cycle in its latest season, most of which aired during the race for the presidency last fall. Extras include episode commentaries, deleted scenes and Comic Con 2016 Panel Footage.
Shag (1989) (** ½) In the summer of 1963, four teenage girls take a post graduation trip to Myrtle Beach. There they partake in summer romance, parties and lots of dancing. The film’s sizeable charm and atmosphere almost compensate for its lack of plot. Phoebe Cates, Annabeth Gish, Bridget Fonda and Paige Hannah star. No Extras
Money From Home (1953) (** ½) was one of the last of the Jerry Lewis/Dean Martin pairings onscreen. Here the plot involves the mob and fixing a horse race. No Extras
Victims! (1981) (* 1/2) A standard early 80s horror film, shot on tape, featuring four stranded women being stalked by a killer. Nothing really to recommend unless you’re a horror completist. Extras include director commentary, director interview, photo gallery and trailer.
T2: Trainspotting (2017) (*** 1/2) is a terrific sequel to one of the best films of the 90s. Here, that earlier film’s characters deal with the realities of aging, addiction and personal regret. One of this year’s best film. Extras include deleted scenes, director/writer commentary and a making of featurette.
Chips (2017) (* 1/2) A big screen version of the fondly remembered TV series (1977-83) is dreadfully brought to the big screen by star/writer/director, Dax Shepard. Extras include deleted scenes and director interview.
The Lego-Batman Movie (2017) (** ½) The sequel to the super successful, Lego Movie, is an attempt at spoofing The Dark Knight that isn’t nearly as funny as it seems to think it is. Kids of a certain age shouldn’t mind, though. Extras include four animated shorts, deleted scenes and six featurettes.
Blake Edwards Pink Panther Film Collection (1964-1982) (ratings vary but average at *** 1/2) Shout Factory has issued a box set containing all six of the Pink Panther feature films that starred Peter Sellers as Inspector Closeau. The handsomely produced set (a must have for fans) includes The Pink Panther, A Shot in the Dark, Return of the Pink Panther, Pink Panther Strikes Again, Return of the Pink Panther and Trail of the Pink Panther. Extras from previous DVD editions of The Pink Panther are included along with new scans of each film, new interviews, trailers, TV spots and still galleries.
Car Wash (1976) (***) A day in the life of the employees and customers at an LA car wash is the basis for this much beloved (and imitated) cult film. The film captures its time and place (LA of the 1970s) very nicely. Extras include two featurettes, radio spots, trailer and director commentary.
Cheech and Chong’s Next Movie (1980) (** ½) was the second of C and C’s big screen efforts and isn’t nearly as funny as their initial film (Up in Smoke). Still there are enough laughs scattered throughout and the film features the first onscreen appearance of Pee Wee Herman. Extras include new Cheech Marin interview, trailer and radio spots.
Trespass (1993) (***) Two firemen uncover a treasure map and find themselves at the mercy of gangsters when they decide to search for said treasure. Ice Cube, Ice T, William Sadler and the late Bill Paxton star. Extras include five interviews, vintage featurette, deleted scenes and theatrical trailer.
Curse of the Pink Panther (1983) (**) was filmmaker Blake Edwards’ first (unsuccessful) attempt to keep the Panther films alive after the death of its star. Here, Ted Wass is a detective hired to find the missing Closeau. Extras include interview with star Ted Wass and Pink Panther Trailer Gallery.
Son of the Pink Panther (1993) (* 1/2) Blake Edwards made one more attempt to keep the Panther series going which fared about as well as the first attempt. Roberto Benigni stars in the title role. Extras include audio commentary, deleted scenes, making of featurette, extended trailer and Pink Panther trailer gallery.
The Apple (1980) (* 1/2) is one of those films that belongs in the so-bad-it’s terrific category, a tale of two Canadian teens with hopes of winning the Eurovision song contest (yes, you read that right). Extras include original trailer, and audio commentary/on camera interview with star, Catherine Mary Stewart.
Straw Dogs (1971) (*** 1/2) Director Sam Peckinpah’s tale of a pacifistic mathematician (Dustin Hoffman), who’s forced to resort to violence to defend his home, is as powerful as ever thanks to the filmmaker’s forceful direction. Extras include a two documentaries (one on the film, another on Peckinpah), trailer and audio commentary.
Warner Archive (can be ordered online at www.wbshop.com):
The Ballad of Cable Hogue (1970) is the second of this month’s Sam Peckinpah films to be released on Blu, a gentle film about a man (Jason Robards) who opens a business in the middle of the desert, selling water to travelers. The film’s great sense of humor carries it a long way. (***) Extras include audio commentary and a featurette.
Joe Versus the Volcano (1990) (** 1/2) John Patrick Shanley’s followup to his 1987 critical darling, Moonstruck, is an uneven tale of a dying man (Tom Hanks) who decides to accept a challenge to jump into a volcano. It almost works until the final act when things take a left turn and the film never recovers. Meg Ryan shines, however, in three distinctively different roles. Extras include a behind the scenes doc and a music video.
The Gumball Rally (1976) (***) was the precursor to the 1981 film, The Cannonball Run. This one is also about a coast to coast road race. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite have the star power of Cannonball but compensates in its over the top stunts and visual gags. Michael Sarazin and Gary Busey star. No extras.
Twilight Time (limited to 3,000 units each, these can be ordered online at www.screenarchives.com and www.twilighttimemovies.com)
The Quiet American (1952) (** ½) stars Michael Redgrave as a Vietnam based British journalist who tangles with a US aid worker in this adaptation of the beloved Graham Greene novel. Greene’s critical jabs at America are diluted, which is a detriment to one’s overall enjoyment. Extras include isolated music track and original trailer.
Hell and High Water (1954) (** ½) is an indistinguishable cold war, submarine flick starring Richard Widmark as the ship’s commander attempting to head off a nuclear threat. Extras include isolated music track, featurette and original trailer.
Bridge at Remagen (1969) (** ½) Robert Vaughn and Geroge Segal star in this WW II tale involving opposing forces attempting to control the bridge of the film’s title. Directed by John Guillerman (Towering Inferno, King Kong 1976) Extras include isolated music track and original trailer.
The Valachi Papers (1972) (***) casts Charles Bronson as the real life gangster, Joseph Valachi, who did the unthinkable by snitching on his mafia superiors. Extras include partial isolated music track.
Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow/Drunken Master (1978) (** ½ both films) Two of Jackie Chan’s early films are included on the same disc and both offer further evidence as to why Chan recently received an honorary Oscar. Extras include isolated music/effects track and audio commentary.
Coming soon: Lost in America, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex, Tom Sawyer/Huckleberry Finn (double feature), The Billy Jack Collection, Kong: Skull Island, Free Fire.
Peter Sellers & David Niven in The Pink Panther, 1963