New digital and streaming release highlights for week of May 16-22, 2022
I hope you all had an enjoyable weekend. Mine spilt over into Monday and I've been rushing to catch up ever since. This week's digital offerings include Jared Leto in "Morbius," which felt more like an early-2000s film than something contemporary; Karen Gillian in the enjoyably odd Sundance clone thriller/horror/comedy "Dual," as well as the acclaimed animated film "Poupelle of Chimney Town."
Physical release highlights include "Belle," "Beverly Hill's Cop II" in 4K, and the classic John Ford western "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance." I'll be tracking down a copy of Juzo Itami's "The Funeral."
Descriptions provided by the distributors.
Digital and Streaming
- Morbius - One of the most compelling and conflicted characters in Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters comes to the big screen as Oscar winner Jared Leto transforms into the enigmatic antihero Michael Morbius. Dangerously ill with a rare blood disorder and determined to save others suffering his same fate, Dr. Morbius attempts a desperate gamble. While at first it seems to be a radical success, a darkness inside him is unleashed. Will good override evil – or will Morbius succumb to his mysterious new urges? (Blu-ray/DVD available June 14, 2022)
- Death Valley - When a secret experiment goes horribly wrong, bioengineer Dr. Chloe (Kristen Kaster) becomes trapped inside a secret underground facility. With only 24 hours before a fatal decontamination protocol destroys the entire lab, Chloe deploys an emergency distress signal before a terrifying creature (Matthew Ninaber) of unknown origin can consume what’s left of her. Written and directed by Matthew Ninaber (Psycho Goreman). (Also available on Blu-ray and DVD)
- Dual - Upon receiving a terminal diagnosis, Sarah (Karen Gillan) opts for a cloning procedure to ease her loss on her friends and family. When she makes a sudden and miraculous recovery, her attempts to have her clone decommissioned fail and lead to a court-mandated duel to the death. Now she has one year to train her body and mind for the fight of her life. (Available on DVD and Blu-ray July 19, 2022)
- Great Freedom - In postwar Germany, Hans is imprisoned again and again for being homosexual. The one steady relationship in his life becomes his long time cell mate, Viktor, a convicted murderer. What starts in revulsion grows to something called love.
- Poupelle of Chimney Town - Poupelle of Chimney Town is the story of young Lubicchi living among the thick smoke from the chimneys of his isolated town, yearning to see the “stars” — to know the truth — his father always told him about. One Halloween night he meets Poupelle, a man made of garbage, and together they look to the sky as their adventure begins. Spectacularly beautiful, filled with inspiring performances and splendid music and sound effects, Poupelle of Chimney Town brings laughter, tears, and joy. (Available on DVD and Blu-ray May 31, 2022)
- Torn Hearts - Set in Nashville's Country Music Scene, TORN HEARTS, follows two rising artists (Alexxis Lemire & Abby Quinn) whose visit to their idol, Harper Dutch (Golden-Globe winner Katey Sagal) turns into a twisted series of mental and physical torment.
- Girls Nite Out - A host of familiar genre faces including Hal Holbrook (Creepshow), Rutanya Alda (Amityville II: The Possession), Julia Montgomery (The Kindred) and Lauren-Marie Taylor (Friday the 13th Part 2) rounds out the cast of this gloriously mean-spirited slice from the slasher golden age. Girls Nite Out is a decidedly singular slasher flick which comes on like a frenetic cross between Animal House and Friday the 13th – veering from jovial frat antics to jarringly disturbing scenes of the killer shrieking obscenities as he slices up his victims. On this nite out, no one is coming home! (Also available on Blu-ray and DVD)
Blu-ray and DVD
- Belle - Suzu is a shy, everyday high school student living in a rural village. For years, she has only been a shadow of herself. But when she enters “U”, a massive virtual world, she escapes into the online persona of Belle, a gorgeous and globally-beloved singer. One day, her concert is interrupted by a monstrous creature chased by vigilantes. As their hunt escalates, Suzu embarks on an emotional and epic quest to uncover the identity of this mysterious “beast” and to discover her true self in a world where you can be anyone.
- Infinite - or Evan McCauley (Mark Wahlberg), skills he has never learned and memories of places he has never visited haunt his daily life. Self-medicated and on the brink of a mental breakdown, a secret group that call themselves "Infinites" come to his rescue, revealing to him that his memories are real - but they are from multiple past lives. The Infinites bring Evan into their extraordinary world, where a gifted few are given the ability to be reborn with their memories and knowledge accumulated over centuries. With critical secrets buried in his past, Evan must work with the Infinites to unlock the answers in his memories in a race against time to save humanity from one of their own (Chiwetel Ejiofor) who seeks to destroy it.
- Licorice Pizza - The story of Alana Kane and Gary Valentine growing up, running around and falling in love in the San Fernando Valley, 1973. Written and Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, the film tracks the treacherous navigation of first love.
- Succession: The Complete Third Season - Succession explores themes of power and family dynamics through the eyes of patriarch Logan Roy (Brian Cox) and his four grown children, Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Siobhan (Sarah Snook), Roman (Kieran Culkin) and Connor (Alan Ruck). Season three finds Logan in a perilous position, scrambling to secure familial, political, and financial alliances after he was ambushed by his rebellious son Kendall. After Kendall’s impulsive decision to expose the company’s sprawling scandal, the family is left to each contemplate their own future. Tensions rise as a bitter corporate battle threatens to turn into a family civil war, with the Roy family navigating the looming questions of who will take over in a post-Logan world.
- Beverly Hills Cop II 4K UHD - Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy) is back where he doesn't belong, this time going "deep, deep, deep undercover" to stop a gang of international munitions smugglers. Also returning are Judge Reinhold and John Ashton as Murphy's crime-busting sidekicks, ready to unleash blazing gunfire alongside rapid-fire gags.
- Top Secret - Popular and dashing American singer Nick Rivers (Val Kilmer) travels to East Germany to perform in a music festival. When he loses his heart to the gorgeous Hillary Flammond (Lucy Gutteridge), he finds himself caught up in an underground resistance movement. Rivers joins forces with Agent Cedric (Omar Sharif) and Flammond to attempt the rescue of her father, Dr. Paul (Michael Gough), from the Germans, who have captured the scientist in hopes of coercing him into building a new naval mine.
- The Funeral - In the wake of her father’s sudden passing, a successful actor (writer-director Juzo Itami's wife and frequent collaborator, Nobuko Miyamoto) and her lascivious husband (Tsutomu Yamazaki) leave Tokyo and return to her family home to oversee a traditional funeral. Over the course of three days of mourning that bring illicit escapades in the woods, a surprisingly materialistic priest (Chishu Ryu), and cinema’s most epic sandwich handoff, the tensions between public propriety and private hypocrisy are laid bare.
- Outside the Law - From award winning writer-director Rachid Bouchareb (Days of Glory) comes the story of three brothers who fight for Algeria’s independence from France after World War II. After losing their family home in Algeria, three brothers are scattered across the globe. Messaoud joins the French army fighting in Indochina; Abdelkader becomes a leader of the Algerian independence movement; Said moves to Paris to make his fortune in the shady clubs and boxing halls of Pigalle. Gradually, their interconnecting destinies reunite them in the French capital, where freedom is a battle to be fought and won.
- Two Men in Town - Forest Whitaker stars as William Garnett, an ex-con starting life over as a recently converted Muslim. With the help of his determined parole officer (Brenda Blethyn), he gets a job, meets an interesting woman, and keeps his head down. But the town sheriff, Bill Agati (Harvey Keitel), can’t leave him alone since Garnett was responsible for killing his deputy. As Agati puts pressure on him, and his old partners in crime hassle him, Garnett slowly starts to unravel. When his former life catches up with him, Garnett has to make peace with his past and face the future head on, with a gun.
- The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance - Four-time Academy Award-winning* director John Ford brought together an all-star cast for what is considered by many critics to be a quintessential—and yet pioneering—Western late in his storied career. Starring James Stewart and John Wayne (together for the first time), alongside Vera Miles, Lee Marvin, John Carradine and Lee Van Cleef, THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE tells the engrossing story of a senator (Stewart), his old friend (Wayne), and a despicable outlaw called Liberty Valance (Marvin).