By Harley Lond - 12/18/19 at 09:33 AM CT
FROM THE BIG SCREEN:
"Downton Abbey," the long-awaited big screen porting of the amazingly popular PBS series; "Abominable," an aninated family film about three teenagers who must help a Yeti return to his family; "Ad Astra," a sci-fi actioner starring Brad Pitt as an astronaut who undertakes a mission across an unforgiving solar system to uncover the truth about his missing father; and "Rambo: Last Blood," in which Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) must confront his past and unearth his ruthless combat skills to exact revenge in a final mission of vengeance.
THIS WEEK'S BEST BET:
"Universal Horror Collection: Volume 3" features four tales of terror from the archives of Universal Pictures, the true home of classic horror. This collection includes such horror stars as Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Vincent Price, Lon Chaney Jr. and Basil Rathbone. A ruthless king rises to power with the help of his mad and murderous executioner in "Tower of London." A mad scientist transforms a carnival performer into a murderous monster in "Man Made Monster." In "The Black Cat," a group of greedy heirs find themselves stuck in a creepy mansion where, one by one, people turn up dead. What started out as a treasure-making scheme ends up deadly for a group of people stuck in a haunted castle with a killer known as “the Phantom” in "Horror Island." On Blu-ray from Scream Factory.
BUZZIN' THE 'B'S:
"Gags the Clown" (2018), starring Lauren Ashley Carter, Tracey Perez, Evan Gamble and Aaron Christensen, is inspired by the viral media frenzy and worldwide phenomenon of "clown roaming." A small city in Wisconsin is terrorized by a mysterious clown who roams the streets late at night with nothing more than a handful of black balloons. The local news stations scramble to break the story on who he is and what he wants while a group of high schoolers see the clown’s arrival as an excuse to create a little trouble themselves. The police try to maintain order in a city that has gone clown crazy and a conservative podcast host vows to put a stop to the clown known as Gags while broadcasting his “clown hunt” on social media for the world to see. On DVD, Blu-ray from Doppelgänger Releasing/Bloody Disgusting ... "Avenging Angelo / Shade (Sylvester Stallone Double Feature)" includes Avenging Angelo (2002): Action superstar Sylvester Stallone stars as Frankie Delano, a tough as nails bodyguard, protecting a mafia kingpin's (Anthony Quinn) daughter (Madeleine Stowe) from being the next hit. Shade (2003): The hand is quicker than the eye in L.A.'s underground gambling scene, hustlers get hustled and fortunes ride on every deal. Three small-time grifters devise a plan to beat the ultimate card mechanic - The Dean (Sylvester Stallone). But a seat at the Dean's table doesn't come cheap. From MVD Marquee Collection ... "Beverly Hills Cop 3-Movie Collection 4K Ultra HD" includes "Beverly Hills Cop," "Beverly Hills Cop II" and "Beverly Hills Cop III," newly remastered. Celebrating its 35th anniversary, the action-comedy Classic "Beverly Hills Cop" follows the one-and-only Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy), a street-smart cop from Detroit. Tracking down his best friend's killer in Beverly Hills, Axel smashes through the local barriers in a hilarious, high-speed pursuit of justice. Formats: 4K Ultra HD. A 3-Movie Blu-ray Collection will be available January 14, 2020. From Paramount ... In "Crypsis" (2019), starring Paul Anthony Rogers, Michael Armata, Anthony Hoang, Jordan Mitchell-Love and Eddie Nason, a group of friends make a bet to survive on an island. Unbeknownst to them, a mysterious old creature begins hunting them throughout the night. What began as an innocent bet quickly turns into a fight for survival and, as night falls, this becomes a fight to the death that no one had anticipated.From Uncork'd Entertainment ... "Silver Bullet" (1985) arrives in a Blu-ray Collector's Edition. In this adaptation of Stephen King's novelette, "Cycle of the Werewolf," a peaceful town is suddenly terrorized by a maniacal killer. The townsfolk think a madman is on the loose, but a wheelchair-bound 13-year-old (Haim) knows the truth ... a werewolf is on the hunt. With the help of his Uncle Red (Busey), young Marty Coslaw sets out to stop the half-man/half-beast before he sinks his teeth into another innocent victim. Stars Gary Busey, Everett McGill and Corey Haim. From Scream Factory ... In "Famine" (2011), starring Karyn Halpin, Nathan Durec and Glenn Hoffmann, two years after a high-school prank that nearly killed popular teacher Mr. Balszack during the school's annual famine, the graduating class of Sloppy Secondary try to forget the incident and decide to hold a 24-hour famine in hopes of making it an annual event again. It isn't long before students and staff start turning up dead at the hands of a killer masquerading as the school's mascot. On DVD, Blu-ray from Unearthed Films ... "Acceleration" (2019), starring Sean Patrick Flanery, Dolph Lundgren, Chuck Liddell, Natalie Burn, Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson and Danny Trejo, follows skilled getaway driver Rhona (Burn) across Los Angeles on her one-night quest to complete a list of five dangerous assignments to save her kidnapped son from her former boss, the ruthless crime lord Vladik (Lundgren). The tic-tock of the clock goes by faster and faster as Rhona struggles to deal with the violent and depraved delinquents she must eliminate to save her son's life. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Cinedigm ... On Halloween night in 2015, Patrick "Trick" Weaver massacred his classmates at a costume party in "Trick" (2019), starring Omar Epps, Ellen Adair, Kristina Reyes, Jamie Kennedy and Tom Atkins. After being arrested, he managed to escape police custody, but not before being shot five times by Detective Mike Denver (Epps). Everyone believes Trick must be dead, but when a masked killer reappears the following Halloween, and every Halloween after that, they realize the nightmare is not over. With Trick wreaking havoc and killing innocent people in increasingly terrifying ways, Denver will stop at nothing to finish what he started and bring the carnage to an end. On DVD, Blu-ray, from RLJE Films ... "A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints" (2006), starring Robert Downey Jr., Shia LaBeouf, Dianne Wiest and Channing Tatum, is a coming-of-age drama that captures the mid-1980s in the toughest neighborhood of Astoria, Queens. Dito (Downey), called home after 15 years because his father (Chazz Palminteri) is ill, encounters old friends -- the ones he lost, the ones he left behind, the ones he can't help but remember. These are Dito's saints. An honest account of a bittersweet return to a neighborhood where relationships can never be what they once were, Dito's story is about to come to terms with a father's rage and a father's love. On DVD, Blu-ray, from MVD Marquee Collection ... "Arise from Darkness" (2016), starring Zachary Laoutides, Mónica Esmeralda León, Samuel Younan and Mark Galilea Mendoza, is based on the early events of psychic Lazaro Ruben Torres, clinically declared dead five times. In the process of trying to reconnect with his daughter, Lazaro discovers the man who killed her. From Indiecan Pictures.
ON THE INDIE FRONT:
When Gallagher, a wealthy and eccentric New York playboy prone to mischief dies unexpectedly, his closest socialite friends -- Dickie, Wolf, Judy, and Judy's fiancé, Ted -- are summoned to the late aristocrat's country home for a viewing of his video will in "A Feast of Man" (2017) Laurence Joseph Bond, Jesse Rudoy, Chris Shields, Katey Parker, Frank Mosley. Only things don't go quite as Wolf, the executor of the estate, had planned -- Gallagher's posthumous wish is to put his dearly beloved to the test: Each one will become a millionaire overnight if they can unanimously agree to consume his dead body and the group has until the end of the weekend to reach a decision. From Indiepix Films.
FOR THE FAMILY:
"Overcomer" (2018), starring Alex Kendrick, Ben Davies, Priscilla C. Shirer, Shari Rigby, Elizabeth Becka, Holly A. Morris and Kendrick Cross, is an inspirational family-friendly sports drama. Life changes overnight for coach John Harrison (Kendrick) after he loses his basketball team and is challenged by the school’s principal, Olivia (Shirer), to coach a new sport he doesn’t know or like. As John questions his own worth, he dares to help the least likely runner take on the biggest race of the year. Filled with a mix of faith, humor and heart. On DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo, from Sony ... In "Bernie the Dolphin 2" (2019), starring Lola Sultan, Logan Allen, Kevin Sorbo and Patrick Muldoon, Kevin and Holly are thrilled that their dolphin friend Bernie has come back to the harbor. But so has their old enemy Winston, who’s just gotten out of prison. As the kids have fun with playful dolphin Rascal and sassy parrot Mango, Winston is forced by his old partner to help kidnap the talented Bernie. Can Kevin and Holly uncover the scheme and save their splashy friend before it’s too late? From Lionsgate.
"Where's My Roy Cohn?" (2019): Roy Cohn personified the dark arts of American politics, turning empty vessels into dangerous demagogues - from Joseph McCarthy to his final project, Donald J. Trump. This thriller-like exposé connects the dots, revealing how a deeply troubled master manipulator shaped our current American nightmare. Documentary unearths the origins of a seditious manipulator's ascent, revealing how an enigmatic and disturbed man shaped our current political world. This shocking film exposes Roy Cohn's malign influence and contextualizes him as a modern Machiavelli, tracing his rise to national prominence -- first as prosecutor of the Rosenberg’s, then as handmaiden to Joseph McCarthy, and, finally, mentoring the ascent of Donald Trump. From director Matt Tyrnauer ("Studio 54," "Valentino: The Last Emperor") comes this fascinating look at the man who personified the dark arts of 20th-century politics. From Sony ... "Barbara Rubin and the Exploding NY Underground" (2018): Made when she was just 18 years old, Barbara Rubin's art-porn masterpiece "Christmas On Earth" (1963-65) shocked NYC's experimental film scene and inspired NYC's thriving underground. For the next four years her filmmaking and irrepressible energy helped shatter artistic and sexist boundaries. A mythical "Zelig" of the sixties, she introduced Andy Warhol to the Velvet Underground and Bob Dylan to the Kabbalah. But beyond shaping the spirit of the sixties, Barbara was seeking the deeper meaning of life. After retiring to a farm with Allen Ginsberg, she shocked everyone by converting to Hasidic Judaism, marrying and moving to France to live an anonymous life. Tragically, she died in 1980 after giving birth to her fifth child. For years, Jonas Mekas treasured all of Barbara's letters and films and cherished her memory. Working with Mekas' footage, the film takes us inside the world and mind of Barbara Rubin; a woman who truly believed that film could change the world. Critics have christened her The American Rimbaud, for the poetry of her work, the trajectory of her life, and her legacy. This bold, enthusiastic documentary details the unsung yet important role played by Rubin in the 1960s artistic counterculture and provides an evocative portrait of a vibrant and mysterious artist. From Juno Films ... "Monochrome: Black White & Blue" (2018): Director Jon Brewer ("B.B. King: The Life of Riley") lovingly defragments the history of not only blues music but also the plight of the people in America's deep south, bringing the story of blues to life through powerful interviews, live musical performances and sweeping landscapes. Featuring a remarkable list of renowned artists and luminaries such as Morgan Freeman, Chuck Berry, Bill Wyman, B.B. King, Jake Bugg, Carlos Santana, Ronnie Wood Eric Clapton, Robert Cray and many more. From America's deep South, to Detroit and New York this captivating and enlightening documentary special traces the evolution of blues through pivotal moments in American history. From MVD Visual ... "Basho, Robbie - Voice of the Eagle: The Enigma of Robbie Basho" (2015): A feature-length documentary on the extraordinary life and visionary music of the American guitarist, singer and mystic Robbie Basho. Before his bizarre accidental death at the hands of a chiropractor, Robbie Basho was sure that his compositions would not outlast him. Orphaned during infancy, diagnosed with synaesthesia (a union of the senses that caused him to interpret sound as color) and claiming to be the reincarnation of a 17th century poet -- the Baltimore-born, Berkeley-based guitarist and singer's musical output was equally as outlandish as his persona. In his brief and troubled life he laid the foundations for radical changes to the musical landscape of America during the 1960s and '70s but reaped little more than a sparse (if fervent) following during his lifetime. Featuring interviews with Basho's former students, contemporaries and few close friends (including Pete Townshend, William Ackerman, Henry Kaiser and Country Joe McDonald), the documentary integrates new information and anecdotes on Basho with previously uncovered archive material and photography of the landscapes and natural phenomena that informed his work. From MVD Visual.
FROM TV TO DISC:
"Bonanza: The Official Tenth Season" (1968-69) contains all 30 episodes in two volumes. Volume One is a four-disc set with all 16 episodes, Volume Two is a four-disk set with 14 episodes, digitally remastered and restored from original 35mm film material. "Bonanza" was one of the longest running westerns in the history of television and follows the fictional story of Ben Cartwright (Lome Greene) and his three sons, Adam (Pernell Roberts), Ross (Dan Blocker), and Little Joe (Michael Landon) as they defend their thousand-acre ranch, known as the Ponderosa, from threatening outsiders. In the 10th season, Hoss is in line for a hanging when he is accused of murdering a wealthy man, while Ben Cartwright is put in charge of a vicious criminal with no help from the City of Virginia. Dangers continue to face the Cartwrights in the lawless west as they fight to keep justice and peace in the community. The jam packed tenth season includes guest stars Yaphet Kotto, John Marley, Tom Bosley, Slim Pickens, Jack Kruschen and many more. From CBS/Paramount ... "Fuller House: The Complete Fourth Season" (2018) is a two-disc set with all 13 episodes. The continuation of the 1990s ABC series "Full House" in which eldest daughter D.J. Tanner (Candace Cameron Bure) is now a veterinarian and recently widowed mother trying to raise three boys on her own. She's joined by her sister Stephanie (Jodie Sweetin) and best friend Kimmy Gibbler (Andrea Barber) and Kimmy’s teenage daughter Ramona (Soni Bringas), who move in to lend their support and help raise D.J.’s kids. Additional members from the Full House original cast make guest appearances throughout the series. From Warner.
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