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New on DVD and Blu-ray Week of November 8-14

View Harley Lond's Profile

By Harley Lond - 11/08/16 at 01:30 AM CT

FROM THE BIG SCREEN:
"Indignation" is filmic storytelling at its best. It doesn't hurt that the film is based on a 2008 novel of the same name by Phillip Roth ("Goodbye, Columbus"), or that the director and screenwriter is James Schamus, who wrote the screenplays for "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," "The Ice Storm," "Eat Drink Man Woman" and "The Wedding Banquet." "Indignation" takes place in 1951, as Marcus Messner (Logan Lerman), a brilliant, idealistic, working-class Jewish boy from Newark, New Jersey, travels on scholarship to a small, conservative college in Ohio, photo for Indignation thus exempting him from being drafted into the Korean War. But once there, Marcus has to deal with anti-Semitism and sexual repression; he develops a growing infatuation with his beautiful classmate Olivia Hutton (Sarah Gadon), and he clashes with the college's imposing Dean, Hawes Caudwell (Tracy Letts). Despite all that, Marcus rises above the oppression of the bleak time -- until his mother's decision to divorce his father triggers off a series of events that shapes and alters everyone's lives forever. This movie is cinematic perfection -- the directing, dialogue, acting, production design, music and cinematography are top notch. And the centerpiece of the film -- a lengthy conversation between Marcus and the Dean -- is a masterpiece of dialogue and pacing. All in all, Indignation is one of the best films of the year. Extras include two all-too-short behind-the-scenes featurettes. From Lionsgate.

Also due this week: "Sausage Party", a raunchy animated film about food items that occupy the shelves at the local supermarket: Frank (Seth Rogen) the sausage, Brenda (Kristen Wiig) the hot dog bun, Teresa Taco and Sammy Bagel Jr. (Edward Norton), all who can’t wait to go home with a happy customer. But their world comes crashing down as poor Frank learns the horrifying truth that he will eventually become a meal. After warning his pals about their similar fate, the panicked perishables devise a plan to escape from their human enemies. Extras include several behind-the-scenes featurettes. From Sony.

THIS WEEK'S BEST BETS:


It's hard to believe that it's been 40 years since "Taxi Driver" (1976) -- one of the greatest films of all time -- hit the big screen and stunned audiences and critics alike. For his anniversary, Sony has given the film a 4K restoration and packaged it in a two-disc Blu-ray set. Robert De Niro stars in Martin Scorsese's unforgettable tale of a psychotic New York cabbie driven to violence by loneliness and desperation. The acclaimed cast also includes Jodie Foster, Albert Brooks, Harvey Keitel, Peter Boyle and Cybill Shepherd. photo for Taxi Driver Extras include Disc One: a new 40-Minute "Taxi Driver" Q&A featuring Scorsese, De Niro, Foster and many more. Recorded live at the Beacon Theatre in New York City at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival; original 1986 commentary with Scorsese and writer Paul Schrader recorded by The Criterion Collection; commentaries by Schrader and by Professor Robert Kolker; "Martin Scorsese on Taxi Driver"; "Producing Taxi Driver"; "God's Lonely Man" "Taxi Driver Stories"; "Travis' New York"; "Travis' New York Locations"; theatrical trailer. Disc Two: Making-of documentary, storyboard to film comparisons with Martin Scorsese introduction, animated photo galleries ... Marking TV star Daphne Zuniga's debut in a leading role, "The Initiation" (1984), co-starring Vera Miles and Clu Gulager, ranks amongst the finest of the college-based stalk-and-slash flicks -- now finally restored in High-Definition. photo for The Initiation Kelly's new sorority has a special initiation ritual in store for her -- an after-hours break-in of her father's department store. But what begins as a night of harmless college fun turns sour when, once inside the enormous mall, Kelly and her fellow pledges find themselves locked in for the night ... with a deadly intruder stalking the corridors. Arriving in 1984, "The Initiation" might have been late to the slasher party, but, alongside the likes of "The House on Sorority Row" and "The Mutilator," it remains one of the stronger entries to emerge in the latter photo for Lone Wolf and Cub days of the slice-and-dice boom. Brand new 2K restoration from the original camera negative with uncompressed PCM Mono Audio. On Blu-ray from Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment ... Based on the best-selling manga series, the six intensely kinetic "Lone Wolf and Cub" films (1972-72) elevated chanbara to bloody, new heights. The shogun's executioner, Itto Ogami (Tomisaburo Wakayama), takes to wandering the countryside as an assassin -- along with his infant son Daigoro (Akihiro Tomikawa) and an infinitely weaponized perambulator -- helping those he encounters while seeking vengeance for his murdered wife. Delivering stylish thrills and a body count that defies belief, Lone Wolf and Cub is beloved for its brilliantly choreographed and unbelievably violent action sequences as well as for its tender depiction of the bonds between parent and child. On DVD, Blu-ray, in a new 2K digital restorations (of all six films), with uncompressed monaural soundtracks on the Blu-rays. From The Criterion Collection.

BUZZIN' THE 'B'S:


In "Halloweed" (2016), starring Simon Rex, Shannon Brown, Jim O'Heir, Michelle Mueller, Jayson Bernard, Ray Wise, Jason Mewes, Deje Dee, Lester Speight, Danny Trejoand Tom Sizemore, Trent Modine and his goof-ball step brother Joey try to escape the infamy that comes from having a serial killer, The Candy Corn Killer, for a father (Sizemore). photo for Kickboxer: VengeanceSeeking a new start, they find refuge in the small town of Mooseheart. It doesn't take long before the besmirched family name catches up to them. Joey, a free spirited stoner, and Trent, a love sick pessimist, look like the main suspects after a string of murders, similar to a rash of killings 20 years earlier, coincidentally begins just as they arrive in town. It is a race against time because a slash-happy killer clown on the loose and the bodies begin piling up. From Screen Media Films ... When a ruthless and undefeated fighter brutally ends a modern-day warrior's life in a no-holds-barred match in Thailand, his brother devotes himself to training with a master in a quest for redemption ... and revenge in "Kickboxer: Vengeance" (2016), starring David Bautista, Gina Carano, Cain Velasquez, Fabricio Werdum, Sara Malakul Lane, Alain Moussi, Georges St-Pierre and Jean-Claude Van Damme. On DVD, Blu-ray from RLJ Entertainment ... "Morris From America (2016), starring Craig Robinson, Markees Christmas and Lina Keller, is a coming-of-age comedy with a unique spin that centers on Morris Gentry (Christmas) a 13-year-old who has just relocated with his single father, Curtis (Robinson) to Heidelberg, Germany. Morris, who fancies himself the next Notorious B.I.G., is a complete fish-out-of-water -- a budding hip-hop star in an EDM world. To complicate matters further, Morris quickly falls hard for his cool, rebellious, 15-year-old classmate Katrin. Morris sets out photo for Morris From America against all odds to take the hip-hop world by storm and win the girl of his dreams. On DVD, Blu-ray from Lionsgate ... "Band of Robbers" (2015), starring Kyle Gallner, Adam Nee, Matthew Gray Gubler and Melissa Benoist, is a modern-day adventure that imagines Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn as grown men, still searching for the hidden treasure that has eluded them since childhood. From Filmrise/MVD Visual ... Betsy Rue, Daniel Emery Taylor, Constance Medrano. Five years after the brutal events that befell Skye and Beth inside Old Saint Leopold's Hospital in "The Hospital" -- in which a group of young people are terrorized by a psychopathic, necrophiliac serial rapist -- the two survivors continue to pick up the shattered pieces of their lives in "The Hospital 2" (2016). With news of the past violent events resurfacing in the press and media, the two ladies face dealing with those ugly memories all over again. From ITN Distribution/MVD Visual.

ON THE INDIE FRONT:


photo for Boonville Redemption "Boonville Redemption" (2016), starring Emily Hoffman, Pat Boone, Edward Asner, Diane Ladd, and Richard Tyson is a faith-based Western set in 1906. Thirteen-year-old Melinda is unhappy with the hand that life has dealt her. Born out of wedlock and scorned by many, Melinda desperately wants to know what happened to her real father, but no one will tell her. Determined to do all within her power to find her father, Melinda's bravery compels some of the townspeople to reveal the dark secrets that they have kept to themselves for years. From Engine 15/MVD Visual.

FOR THE FAMILY:


photo for Snowtime! "Snowtime!" (2016) is an animated family film with the voices of Ross Lynch, Sandra Oh, Angela Galuppo, Lucinda Davis, Sonja Ball, Don Shepherd, Jenna Wheeler, Heidi Lynne Weeks, Elisabeth MacRae and Holly Gauthier, and features songs by Celine Dion, Simple Plan, Walk Off The Earth, Marie-Mai and Groenland. To amuse themselves during the winter school break, the kids in a small village decide to have a massive snowball fight. Luke and Sophie, both 11 years old, become the leaders of the opposing sides. Sophie and her cohorts defend an elaborate snow fort against the assault of Luke's horde. Whichever side occupies the fort at the end of the winter break, wins! But what starts out as pure youthful fun and enthusiasm deteriorates into a more serious conflict. Can joy and peace be restored, or will the kids' friendships fall in a flurry of ice and snow? On DVD, 3D Blu-ray/Blu-ray/DVD Combo, from Shout! Factory Kids.

FROM TV TO DVD:


In "Capital" (2015) a street’s residents one day all receive an anonymous postcard through their front doors bearing a simple message: “We want what you have.” Who is behind the anonymous hate campaign? And what do they want? As the mystery of the postcards deepens, interweaving stories reveal lives filled with love and loss, fear and greed, photo for capital fortune and envy, and at its heart, family and home. Based on John Lanchester’s best-selling novel, the series stars Toby Jones, Gemma Jones and Rachael Stirling. From Acorn Media ... AMC's "The Making of the Mob: Chicago"(2016) is an eight-episode miniseries with an immersive blend of dramatic scenes, archival footage, visual effects and exclusive interviews, that documents the emergence of organized crime in Middle America through the rise and fall of iconic gangster Al Capone. From Capone's early days in New York running the streets with Lucky Luciano and Bugsy Siegel, to his prolonged war with the Irish gangs of Chicago and his final battles with Eliot Ness and law enforcement, the series tells the true and full story of the Chicago underworld. From Anchor Bay Entertainment ... "TURN: Washington's Spies – The Complete Third Season" (2016) is a three-disc set with all 10 episodes of AMC's critically acclaimed Revolutionary War drama. Jamie Bell stars as Abraham Woodhull, a farmer living in British-occupied Long Island during the Revolutionary War, who bands together with a disparate group of childhood friends to form the Culper Ring – America's first spy ring. This season builds toward one of the most notorious moments in American history -- the treasonous defection of Benedict Arnold. From Anchor Bay.

Check out other November 8-14 DVD/Blu-ray releases and reviews at OnVideo.

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