New to Theaters:
Compartment Number 6 (2021) (**) In this Cannes award winner from last year, a woman exits a relationship. Then, while on a train ride to see rock paintings, the woman develops another relationship with a sexually agreesive alcoholic with whom she’s forced to board. He disappears and reappears seemingly at will and then, improbably, she begins to have romantic feelings for the man. One’s enjoyment of this film hinges on the viewer’s ability to buy into the unlikely coupling at the film’s center and a willingness to spend nearly two hours with a drunken lout as the male protagonist. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to accomplish either feat and was simply left wondering what I missed those others seem to have found in this highly acclaimed film.
New to Disc:
The Godfather Trilogy (1972-1990) To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the release of the first Godfather film, Paramount has given all of the films a 4K upgrade in a five-disc set that bests even the impressive previous Blu Ray set. Extras include several new featurettes as well archival bonus features and three cuts of the third film. Highly recommended.
Dexter: New Blood (2021) After laying low for ten years, the serial killer, Dexter (Michael C. Hall), is back in a new season now being issued in a four-disc set and also including a 30-minute featurette.
Back Street (1941) Charles Boyer and Margaret Sullivan are lovers who are married but not to each other in this first adaptation of the classic Fannie Hurst tearjerker. Extras include new commentary and trailer.
Eastern Promises (2007) David Cronenberg directed this effective tale of a midwife (Naomi Watts) tangling with Russian mobsters now being issued for the first time in 4K. Extras include multiple featurettes.
Also available this week from Kino is Blue Skies (1946) and Now and Forever (1934).
Flight of the Phoenix (1966) James Stewart is a veteran pilot doing his best to keep the passengers alive after a crash in the desert in this well-regarded action-adventure yarn. Extras include interviews and the film’s trailer.
Come Drink With Me (1966) King Hu directed this action yarn, one of the earliest examples of the martial arts film, in which a swordsman is tasked with rescuing the governor’s son. Extras include commentaries and interviews.
To Sleep So as to Dream (1986) An actress is trapped in the reel of a forgotten silent film in this fantasy film from Kaizo Hayashi. Extras include featurettes, interviews and commentary.
Captains of the Clouds (1942) James Cagney is an eager pilot getting his chance to contribute to the war effort in this WWII actioner directed by Michael Curtiz. Extras include a cartoon and newsreels.
Two Hong Kong action films from the legendary Shaw Brothers Studios, Shaolin Mantis (1978) and Monkey Kung Fu (1979), are being issued on Blu Ray for the first time by the company this week. Extras include commentaries, interviews, booklets and trailers. They are sold separately in attractive slipcase editions.