DVD Tuesday: Yojimbo, Guardian & More!
- Xoanon @ 12:03 PST
Angel Face: Otto Preminger, who showed how to mix a beautiful woman with murder in the landmark Laura, directs this tale of a passion gone haywire. Frank's a regular guy with a steady girl and a dream of owning his own garage when he crosses paths with Diane. She wants him. Or does she want a fall guy to blame when Diane's stepmother plunges off a high cliff and leaves her fortune to Diane? Alibis, betrayals, courtroom thrills and the fire of a woman too dangerous to trust and too alluring to resist make Angel Face a film-noir classic.
Apocalypse and the Beauty Queen: Apocalypse and the Beauty Queen is a hip, sexy, thriller with a strong protagonist, a horrifying tyrant, and a series of disturbing twist that build into a shocker of an ending. Amber, the main character is a mixture of beauty queen and revolutionary. After being told she was ugly through childhood, her self loathing became confused once she conquered the competitive world of fashion modeling. Being rejected by the same fashion industry that loved her just a few years earlier (she was in her late 20's), she returns to her small rural hometown. Suddenly the world ends, and Amber finds she has the charisma and strength to help rebuild her corner of the world in her own way.
Beyond Reality-1st Season: Two university parapsychologists investigate reports of ghosts, out-of-body experiences, telekinesis and other unexplained phenomena that occur in ordinary people's lives.
Bounty Hunters-1st Season: No description available
Brokeback Mountain - 2-Disc Collector's Edition: Brokeback Mountain is a sweeping epic that explores the lives of two young men, a ranch hand and a rodeo cowboy, who meet in the summer of 1963 and unexpectedly forge a lifelong connection. The complications, joys and heartbreak they experience provide a testament to the endurance and power of love. Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal deliver emotionally charged, remarkably moving performances in "a movie that is destined to become one of the great classics of our time" (Clay Smith, The Insider).
Cocaine Cowboys: In the 1980s, ruthless Colombian cocaine barons invaded Miami with a brand of violence unseen in this country since Prohibition-era Chicago - and it put the city on the map. "Cocaine Cowboys" is the true story of how Miami became the drug, murder and cash capital of the United States, told by the people who made it all happen.
Criterion Coll: Sanjuro: Akira Kurosawa's sequel to Yojimbo is more lighthearted and less cynical, a rousing adventure with Toshir' Mifune reprising his role as the scruffy mercenary who becomes an unlikely big brother to a troupe of nine naive samurai. Shuffling into a secret meeting where the proud young men discuss the graft choking their clan, Mifune's Sanjuro scratches his scraggly beard and distractedly rubs his neck like some common peasant while giving them advice on appearances and truths: "People aren't what they seem," he warns the dubious lads. "Be careful." Naturally they aren't, and Sanjuro grudgingly adopts the well-meaning but hopelessly ill-equipped heroes, giving the starry-eyed youths a series of lessons in real-world honor and respect while saving their skins from reckless attacks and impulsive plans. It isn't the subtlest of Kurosawa's films--the repetitious lessons and speeches delivered to the thickheaded samurai are rather obvious--but it's one of his most entertaining. Mifune, gruffly at ease with the boys, is hilariously discomforted in the presence of a cultured lady, who sees through his shaggy exterior and imparts a little wisdom of her own. Mifune bounds into action in a number of impressive sword fights--wonderfully choreographed lightning-quick battles in which Mifune leaps all over the widescreen image--but an increasing sense of waste, of futility, hangs over the action scenes, culminating in a tense but meaningless duel of honor. The accompanying trailer on the DVD features brief behind-the-scenes glimpses of Kurosawa directing Mifune through an action sequence.
Criterion Coll: Yojimbo: The incomparable Toshiro Mifune stars in Akira Kurosawa’s visually stunning and darkly comic Yojimbo. To rid a terror-stricken village of corruption, wily masterless samurai Sanjuro turns a range war between two evil clans to his own advantage. Remade twice, by Sergio Leone (A Fistful of Dollars) and Walter Hill (Last Man Standing), this exhilarating genre-twister remains one of the most influential and entertaining films ever produced. Criterion is proud to present this Kurosawa favorite in a new, high-definition digital transfer.
Don't Knock the Rock & Rock Around the Clock: Don’t Knock The Rock spotlights rock music in its infancy and features some of the genre’s true originals. DJ Freed is credited with inventing the term, "rock n’ roll," and Haley was a durable star for over a decade, selling 22 million copies of his hit, "Rock Around the Clock," and helping to establish rock music once and for all. Little Richard had his first bonafide hit, "Tutti Frutti," while making this film, and the film shows this self proclaimed architect of rock and roll at the beginning of his storied career. Rock Around The Clock, is a title based on Bill Haley & His Comets’ enormous hit from 1954. In this film, also produced by Sam Katzman and directed by Fred Sears, Haley and friends get to demo their singing chops, singing a string of hits, including the title song.
Don't Knock the Twist & Twist Around the Clock: Twist Around The Clock and Don’t Knock The Twist, both starring Chubby Checker and filmed in the early 1960s, when the Twist was the world’s biggest dance craze, causing whole clubs to be built to accommodate the dance and its many frenzied fans. Both films feature a whole lot of twistin’ combined with decent plots and Twist Around The Clock serves as a showcase for Dion and two of his hit songs, "Runaround Sue" and "The Wanderer."
Fiddler on the Roof: Film version of the stage musical, based on the stories of Sholom Aleichem. Tevye the Milkman is a Jewish peasant in pre-Revolutionary Russia, coping with the day-to-day problems of 'shtetl' life, his Jewish traditions, his family (wife and daughters), and state-sanctioned pogroms.
Films of Kenneth Anger Vol 1: Cinematic magician, legendary provocateur, author of the infamous HOLLYWOOD BABYLON books and creator of some of the most striking and beautiful works in the history of film, Kenneth Anger is a singular figure in post-war American culture. A major influence on everything from the films of Martin Scorsese, Rainer Werner Fassbinder and David Lynch to the pop art of Andy Warhol to MTV, Anger's work serves as a talisman of universal symbols and personal obsessions, combining myth, artifice and ritual to render cinema with the power of spell or incantation. Covering the first half of Anger's career, from his landmark debut FIREWORKS in 1947 to his epic bacchanalia INAGURATION OF THE PLEASURE DOME, Fantoma is very proud to present the long-awaited first volume of films by this revolutionary and groundbreaking maverick, painstakingly restored and presented on DVD for the first time. Contains the films: Fireworks (1947) Puce Moment (1949) Rabbit's Moon (1950, the rarely seen original 16 minute version) Eaux d'Artifice (1953) Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome (1954)
The Good Guys and the Bad Guys: Marshal Flagg, an aging lawman about to be retired, hears that his old nemesis, the outlaw McKaye, is back in the area and planning a robbery. Riding out to hunt down McKaye, Flagg is captured by McKaye's gang and finds out that McKaye is no longer the leader of the gang, but is considered just an aging relic by the new leader, a youngster named Waco. Waco orders Mackaye to shoot Flagg, and when Mackaye refuses Waco abandons both of them. Flagg then takes Mackaye back to town only to find out that he has been "retired", and when he sees how clueless and incompetent the new marshal and the city fathers are, he persuades Mackaye that it is up to the two of them to stop Waco and his gang from ravaging the town.
The Guardian: The US Coast Guard version of "Top Gun" with a little "An Officer and A Gentleman" thrown in: an aging USCG rescue swimmer's team is killed in a horrific rescue mission. Immediately prior to this terrible event, his wife also announced that she cannot take anymore. His first love is always the rescue mission. This leaves him an obviously emotional wreck. His commender gives him a choice - quit or take a position as an instructor at the USCG training facility in Louisiana. Reluctantly he takes the position. Moving into the school, he immediately increases the 18 week curriculum that routinely fails half of the people that attend. Here he meets a young man with unlimited potential, but with some secret that seems to hold him back as a team player. Delving into his past, links are found that make him a psychic twin to the older man. Thrown into the midst of the story is a romance with a local girl. Rescue missions punctuate the beginning and end of the story with the training sessions the center of the film.
Heat Guy J: Complete: They needed a hero. . . So they built HEAT GUY J Android J was secretly built by the government as a special agent to combat crime in the oceanic city-nation of Judoh. While J initially appears to be human, the illusion quickly disappears in clouds of scorching steam when he fights. Together with his partner, Daisuke Aurora, the most dangerous criminals will soon find themselves on the run... from the underground legend known as the Heat Guy! From the director and staff that created the Escaflowne Movie comes a brand-new, action oriented cop drama!
Home from the Hill: Captain Wade Hunnicutt is the wealthiest and most powerful citizen in his Texan town; he is also a notorious womanizer, which has turned his wife Hannah against him. She has brought up their son Theron to be dependent upon her; but as he reaches adulthood, Hunnicutt insists on taking over his upbringing, initiating him in hunting and other masculine pursuits, under the watchful eye of Rafe, Hunnicutt's loyal employee. But Theron's new lifestyle leads him into a love-affair with a local girl, and thence to his learning things about his parents that were previously hidden from him.
Invincible Iron Man: Past and present collide in this epic adventure that reveals the origin of Iron Man. While raising the ruins of a long buried Chinese kingdom, billionaire inventor Tony Stark digs up far more than he bargained for. He unleashes an age-old prophecy that foretells the resurrection of the Mandarin, the emperor of China's darkest and most violent dynasty. In order to confront the destructive force, Tony creates an armored suit infused with high-tech weaponry. To stop the evil that he himself has raised form the earth, Tony must become his greatest invention everâ€"Iron Man! The newly born champion must travel to the four corners of the earth to battle the Mandarin's henchmen, the Elementalsâ€"four magical warriors who harness the power of the elementsâ€"earth, water, wind, and fireâ€"with deadly chemistry. But is the Iron Knight, as he his known in the prophecy, strong enough to defy fate and turn back the malevolent forces hell-bent on earth's destruction?
Jesus Camp: The feverish spectacle of a summer camp for evangelical Christian kids is the focus of Jesus Camp, a fascinating if sometimes alarming documentary. (Shortly after its release, the movie gained a new notoriety when Ted Haggard, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, who appears near the end of the film, resigned his post amid a male prostitute's allegations of drug use and sexual misconduct.) For most of the film, we follow a charismatic teacher, Becky Fischer, as she trains young soldiers in "God's Army" at a camp in North Dakota. Some of the kids emerge as likable and bright, and eager to continue their work as pint-sized preachers; elsewhere, the visions of children speaking in tongues and falling to the floor in ecstasy are more troubling. Even more arresting is the vision of a generation of children home-schooled to believe that the Bible is science, or Fischer's certainty that America's flawed system of democracy will someday be replaced by a theocracy. (In one scene, a cardboard cut-out of George W. Bush is presented to the children, who react by laying their hands on the figure as though in a religious procession.) Filmmakers Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady maintain neutrality about all this, maybe too much so (they throw in some interviews with radio host Mike Papantonio to provide a liberal-Christian viewpoint) and one would like to know more about the grown-ups presented here. Power broker Haggard is the creepiest person in the film, an insincere smooth talker whose advice to one of the young would-be campgoers comes across as entirely cynical. Time will tell whether the film's Christian soldiers will be marching onward.
Marvel Animated Features Gift Set: This January, Marvel Studios and Lionsgate present a must have for all comic fans as the first-ever Marvel Animated Features Gift Set arrives on DVD. Featuring the first three titles released in their collaborative animation deal, Ultimate Avengers: The Movie, Ultimate Avengers 2 and The Invincible Iron Man, this collectible gift set will include an exclusive Iron Man 'Marvel Icons' bust (while supplies last). The Marvel Animated Features DVD series has been enormously successful. The first two titles, Ultimate Avengers: The Movie and Ultimate Avengers 2 have combined to sell more than 1.5 million units to date. In the upcoming origin story feature, The Invincible Iron Man, billionaire inventor Tony Stark raises a long-buried city in China and awakens an unspeakable evil that only the armor-clad Iron Man can destroy in a battle of modern technology versus eastern mythology.
Monsters And Madmen - Criterion Collection: Launching us from a grave past to a space-age future, these two thrilling double features, from producers Richard and Alex Gordon, spin classic tales of hair-raising homicidal mania and intrepid, death-defying exploration. Featuring The Haunted Strangler, Corridors of Blood, The Atomic Submarine, and First Man Into Space.
The Puffy Chair: Josh Sagers drives cross-country on a mission to deliver his father's birthday gift - a giant purple LazyBoy.
Robert Mitchum - The Signature Collection: Includes: Angel Face (1952), Macao (1952), The Sundowners (1960), Home from the Hill (1960), The Good Guys and the Bad Guys (1969), The Yakuza (1974).
Saw III: Jigsaw has disappeared. With his new apprentice Amanda (Shawnee Smith), the puppet-master behind the cruel, intricate games that have terrified a community and baffled police has once again eluded capture and vanished. While city detectives scramble to locate him, Doctor Lynn Denlon (Bahar Soomekh) and Jeff (Angus Macfadyen) are unaware that they are about to become the latest pawns on his vicious chessboard.
Sherrybaby: A disturbing film about a recovering drug addict trying to regain control of her life, Sherrybaby succinctly depicts what can happen when want and desire aren't offset by control. In this bleak indie film, Sherry Swanson (Maggie Gyllenhaal, Stranger Than Fiction, Secretary) has just been released from a three-year stint in prison. Dressed in her inappropriate uniform of a halter top and oh-so-high platform heels, she goes to brother's house to see her 5-year-old daughter, Lexie (Ryan Simpkins). Sherry is determined to be a mother to her child, but without a home, job, or any other form of stability, she grows frustrated and jealous of her brother and sister-in-law's roles in Lexie's life. Tall and willowy, Gyllenhaal brings a sad desperation and simmering sexuality to the role. Sherry's middle-class childhood was a blur of sex and drugs, and she seems incapable of breaking out of that destructive trap. While the script by first-time feature film director Laurie Collyer isn't wholly original, the picture moves at a good pace, giving insight as to why Sherry's resigned to using sex to get what she wants. While the family secret doesn't come as a complete surprise, it is somewhat perplexing that no one addresses it. Ultimately, it's Gyllenhaal who makes you care about a character that most people would've given up on.
Solty Rei Starter Set: Amidst the brutal, damaged outskirsts of Dome Shell City, there's only one rule: every man for himself! In this future dystopia, humanity has seriously lost its way. Even worse, a freak atmospheric phenomenon called the Electrotsumi hs killed an maimed more than 100,000 people. Roy Levant, a tormented ex-cop turned bounty hunter, unwillingly becomes entangled with Solty, a mysterious android. The two are hurled into a web of violence and intrigue. Starter Set comes packaged in collectible art box.
Solty Rei, Vol. 1: Amidst the brutal, damaged outskirsts of Dome Shell City, there's only one rule: every man for himself! In this future dystopia, humanity has seriously lost its way. Even worse, a freak atmospheric phenomenon called the Electrotsumi hs killed an maimed more than 100,000 people. Roy Levant, a tormented ex-cop turned bounty hunter, unwillingly becomes entangled with Solty, a mysterious android. The two are hurled into a web of violence and intrigue.
The Sundowners: In the Australian Outback, the Carmody family--Paddy, Ida and their teenage son Sean--are sheep drovers, always on the move. Ida and Sean want to settle down and buy a farm. Paddy wants to keep moving. A sheep-shearing contest, the birth of a child, drinking, gambling and a race horse will all have a part in the final decision.
This Film Not Yet Rated: Kirby Dick's provocative film investigates the secretive and inconsistent process by which the Motion Picture Association of America rates films. Dick questions whether certain studios get preferential treatment, exposes the discrepancies in how the MPAA views sex and violence, and reveals the association's efforts to control culture.
Walker Texas Ranger: Complete Second Season: Texas Ranger Corell Walker, one of the last old-fashioned heroes in the West, is a protective friend but a relentless foe who will stop at nothing to bring a criminal to justice.
Waltons: Complete Fourth Season: It's 1936: Hitler and Mussolini threaten the world, King Edward gives up the English throne for love, Gangbusters is on the radio, a movie crew hires John-Boy as a scriptwriter, Mary Ellen applies to nursing school, Jim-Bob discovers a shocking fact about his birth and a fire drives the Waltons from their home. Events large and small, far off and near touch the lives of all 11 Waltons, from Grandpa down to little Elizabeth. They bring tests, tears and triumphs...and bring the closely knit Waltons even closer together.
Yakuza: From Academy Award-winning director Sidney Pollack ("The Firm," "Absence of Malice") comes this suspenseful adventure about a Harry Kilmer (Oscar-nominee Robert Mitchum, "Cape Fear"), an American man determined to rescue his employer's kidnapped daughter from the Japanese mafia in Kyoto. Written by Paul Schrader ("Taxi Driver," "Raging Bull") and Acadamy Award-winner Robert Towne ("Chinatown," "Tequila Sunrise"). "Dazzling displays of swordplay," praises Newsweek, while Rex Reed proclaims this "an exciting, riveting, totally original motion picture."
Yojimbo & Sanjuro - Two Films By Akira Kurosawa - Criterion Collection: Includes: Yojimbo the Bodyguard & Sanjuro
Black Rain (HD DVD): Director Ridley Scott, who created two of Hollywood’s most impactful and stylish thrillers, Alien and Blade Runner, hits the mark again with Black Rain. Academy Award-winner Michael Douglas (Fatal Attraction, Wall Street) and Andy Garcia (Internal Affairs, The Untouchables) play New York cops, whose job to escort a vicious assassin back to his native Japan leads the two Americans into Osaka’s exotic underworld and straight into the center of a raging, brutal "Yakuza" gangland battle.
25th Anniversary Live in Amsterdam (HD DVD): No description available
Brokeback Mountain (HD DVD): Brokeback Mountain is a sweeping epic that explores the lives of two young men, a ranch hand and a rodeo cowboy, who meet in the summer of 1963 and unexpectedly forge a lifelong connection. The complications, joys and heartbreak they experience provide a testament to the endurance and power of love. Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal deliver emotionally charged, remarkably moving performances in "a movie that is destined to become one of the great classics of our time" (Clay Smith, The Insider).
Live at Montreux 2005 (HD DVD): No description available
Alien vs Predator (Blu-Ray): "It may be our planet, but it's their war!" The deadliest creatures from the scariest sci-fi movies ever made face off for the first time on film. The incredible adventure begins when the discovery of an ancient pyramid buried in Antarctica sends a team of scientists and adventurers to the frozen continent. There, they make an even more terrifying discovery: two alien races engaged in the ultimate battle. Whoever wins...we lose.
Black Rain special collector's edition (Blu-Ray): Director Ridley Scott, who created two of Hollywood’s most impactful and stylish thrillers, Alien and Blade Runner, hits the mark again with Black Rain. Academy Award-winner Michael Douglas (Fatal Attraction, Wall Street) and Andy Garcia (Internal Affairs, The Untouchables) play New York cops, whose job to escort a vicious assassin back to his native Japan leads the two Americans into Osaka’s exotic underworld and straight into the center of a raging, brutal "Yakuza" gangland battle.
Casanova (Blu-Ray): Embrace the sexy, scandalously funny adventure Casanova on Blu-ray Disc®. Starring Heath Ledger, the film Leonard Maltin calls "a rare delight" is a lusty feast for the senses in this rousing high definition format. After a lifetime of women falling head over heels for him, the legendary ladies' man (Ledger) falls hopelessly in love with the one woman who wants nothing to do with him (Sienna Miller)! Witness the beauty of 18th century Venice amidst a whirlwind of comic chaos in astonishing 1080p, and thrill to the clash of swords and the beating of hearts with 5.1 48 kHz, 16-bit uncompressed audio. See, hear and feel the passion with Blu-ray™ High Definition.
Courage Under Fire (Blu-Ray): When Lt. Colonel Nathaniel Serling (Denzel Washington) is asked to review the posthumous candidacy of the first woman (Meg Ryan) to receive a medal of honor, he finds himself plunged into an apparent cover-up surrounding the actions that led to her death. As he struggles to uncover the truth, he also finds himself forced to confront his own tormenting demons. Matt Damon co-stars in this powerful and provocative drama.
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Blu-Ray): Everyone has bad mornings. You wake up late, you stub your toe, you burn the toast...but for a man named Arthur Dent, this goes far beyond a bad day. When he learns that a friend of his is actually an alien with advanced knowledge of Earth's impending destruction, he is transported off the Earth seconds before it is exploded to make way for a new hyperspace motorway. And as if that's not enough, throw in being wanted by the police, Earth II, an insane electronic encyclopedia, no tea whatsoever, a chronically depressed robot and the search for the meaning of life, and you've got the greatest adventure off Earth.
Manchurian Candidate (Blu-Ray): Academy Award® winners Denzel Washington and Meryl Streep, along with Golden Globe and Emmy nominee Liev Schreiber, mesmerize a whole new generation of audiences in Academy Award® winner Jonathan Demme’s "The Manchurian Candidate." As the entire nation watches the presidential campaign hurtle towards Election Day, one soldier races to uncover the conspiracy behind it - a conspiracy that seeks to destroy democracy itself.
Men of Honor (Blu-Ray): One of those rare films that grabs you by the gut and never lets go, Men of Honor was inspired by the life of Carl Brasher (Cuba Gooding Jr.), an African American who dared to dream of becoming a U.S. Navy Master Diver. Despite a bigoted training officer (Robert DeNiro) and a tragic shipboard accident, Carl never gives up and achieves the impossible in an incredible finish that will leave you cheering.
Saw 3 (Blu-Ray): Jigsaw has disappeared. With his new apprentice Amanda (Shawnee Smith), the puppet-master behind the cruel, intricate games that have terrified a community and baffled police has once again eluded capture and vanished. While city detectives scramble to locate him, Doctor Lynn Denlon (Bahar Soomekh) and Jeff (Angus Macfadyen) are unaware that they are about to become the latest pawns on his vicious chessboard.
We Were Soldiers (Blu-Ray): The year is 1965 and America is at War with North Vietnam. Commanding the air cavalry is Lt. Col. Hal Moore (Gibson), a born leader committed to his troops. His target: the La Drang Valley, called "The Valley of Death." As Moore prepares for one of the most violent battles in U.S. history, he delivers a stirring promise to his soldiers and their families: "I will leave no man behind…dead or alive. We will all come home together."
Guardian (Blu-Ray): The US Coast Guard version of "Top Gun" with a little "An Officer and A Gentleman" thrown in: an aging USCG rescue swimmer's team is killed in a horrific rescue mission. Immediately prior to this terrible event, his wife also announced that she cannot take anymore. His first love is always the rescue mission. This leaves him an obviously emotional wreck. His commender gives him a choice - quit or take a position as an instructor at the USCG training facility in Louisiana. Reluctantly he takes the position. Moving into the school, he immediately increases the 18 week curriculum that routinely fails half of the people that attend. Here he meets a young man with unlimited potential, but with some secret that seems to hold him back as a team player. Delving into his past, links are found that make him a psychic twin to the older man. Thrown into the midst of the story is a romance with a local girl. Rescue missions punctuate the beginning and end of the story with the training sessions the center of the film.