New to Theaters:
Scream (2022) (**) The fifth installment in the venerable franchise-and first without the guiding hand of the first four films, director Wes Craven-is easily the least of the batch. Screenwriters James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick attempt to bridge the gaps between the previous entries in this latest installment as a new killer stalks the daughter of one of the characters from the original film. It’s as trite as it sounds and complete with plot contrivances galore (the reason for one major character’s demise, in particular, really makes little to no sense). The results are ho-hum at best with attempts at humor falling flat more often than they succeed. Yawn would be a more appropriate title for this installment as it turns out.
New to Disc:
A Hard Day’s Night (1964) The celebrated film debut of The Beatles gets a director approved 4K upgrade in a new set that retains the previously issued extras. Among them are include multiple documentaries, commentary, short film, trailer and booklet.
Time (2020) Garrett Bradley’s acclaimed documentary film makes its Blu Ray debut in this new edition which includes new interviews and a short film.
Song of the Thin Man (1947) The sixth and final entry in the Thin Man series is being issued on Blu Ray this week. Extras include a short film, a cartoon and the film’s trailer.
Shock (1979) Italian horror maestro Mario Bava’s final film, a tale of possession coinciding with a family’s move back into the wife’s childhood home and billed as Beyond the Door II in America, makes its Blu Ray debut in this new edition which includes new interviews, commentaries, trailer, booklet and featurettes.
Red Angel (1966) A war nurse in 1939 Japan finds herself concerned with the plight of a morphine addicted patient in filmmaker Yasuzo Masumura’s acclaimed antiwar film. Extras include commentary, new intro and trailers.
Cohen Media Group:
Expresso Bongo (1959) Laurence Harvey is a talent agent attempting to make a star out of Cliff Richard in this musical satire from director Val Guest.
Billions: Season Five (2020-2021) The latest 12 episodes from the acclaimed Showtime series are being issued in a new four-disc set. No extras.
The Toolbox Murders (1978) Cameron Mitchell is an apartment handyman dispatching the ‘bad’ tenants of his complex with the tools of his trade in this favorite among some horror fans although its charms elude this writer. Extras in the new 4K edition include new commentary, video essay, featurettes and interviews along with archival material.
Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy (2020) The director of this Oscar season’s celebrated, Drive My Car, helmed this film dealing with both a love triangle and a failed seduction, among other things. Extras include a director interview.
Joy Womack: The White Swan (2021) is a documentary portrait of the first American to graduate from the Bolshoi Ballet Academy. Extras include interviews and featurette.