By Harley Lond - 07/24/12 at 04:01 AM CT
The summer just got hotter this week, with three fine movies coming to the fore for your delightful perusal, led off by the very hot "The Deep Blue Sea," which stars Rachel Weisz as a free-spirited post-World War II Englishwoman stuck in a passionless marriage to an older, upper-class judge. She meets and has an heated affair with a troubled former Royal Air Force pilot, an affair that throws her life into a state of turmoil: She becomes stuck between the stability of marriage on one side and a reckless, wild, erotic romance on the other. Sizzle. An adaptation of the ground-breaking 1952 stage drama by Terence Rattigan ("The Winslow Boy," "The Browning Version"), one of England's most popular 20th century playwrights. Co-stars Tom Hiddleston, Simon Russell Beale and Ann Mitchell.
"Footnote" is the tale of a great rivalry between a father and son: Two eccentric Israeli professors who have dedicated their lives to their work in Talmudic Studies. The father is a stubborn purist who fears the establishment and has never been recognized for his work; his son is an up-and-coming star who appears to feed on accolades, endlessly seeking recognition. Then one day, the tables turn: The father learns that he is to be awarded the Israel Prize, the most valuable honor for scholarship in the country, setting off repercussions in their relationship. In Hebrew with English subtitles. Academy Award-nominee for Best Foreign-language film.
"Jiro Dreams of Sushi": Eighty-five year-old Jiro Ono is considered by many to be the world's greatest sushi chef, despite the fact that he only has a 10-seat, sushi-only restaurant located in a Tokyo subway station. This documentary brings viewers to Ono's Sukiyabashi Jiro, the first restaurant of its kind to be awarded a prestigious 3-star Michelin review.
Also this week: "Silent House" is a horror film about a young woman trapped inside her family's secluded lake house, where she's faced with ominous events in and around the house. Its main claim to fame: It was filmed in a single uninterrupted shot. Stars Elizabeth Olsen, Adam Trese, Eric Sheffer Stevens and Julia Taylor Ross.
The folks at The Criterion Collection have an impressive set of films from a filmmaker making movies against all odds -- during the German occupation of France: "Eclipse Series 34: Jean Gremillon During the Occupation." Though little known outside of France, Jean Gremillon is a consummate filmmaker from his country's golden age. A classically trained violinist who discovered cinema as a young man when his orchestra was hired to accompany silent movies, he went on to make almost 50 films - which ranged from documentaries to avant-garde works to melodramas with major stars - in a career that started in the mid-1920s and didn't end until the late 1950s. Three of his richest films came during a dire period in French history: "Remorques," starring Jean Gabin, was begun in 1939 but finished and released after Germany invaded France, and "Lumiere d'ete" and "Le ciel est a vous" were produced during the occupation. These are character-driven dramas that reveal either a society on the precipice of doom or people breaking free of societal limitations; humane, entertaining, and technically brilliant, they show Gremillon to be one of cinema's true hidden masters. The three-DVD box set sells for $44.95. Read more here.
And you can add two Blu-ray debuts to your collection -- if you like the slow-moving, talky screen work of director Whit Stillman: "Metropolitan" (1990), considered one of the great American independent films of the 1990s, starring Carolyn Farina, Edward Clements, Chris Eigeman and Taylor Nichols; and "The Last Days of Disco" (1998), starring Kate Beckinsale, Chloe Sevigny, Chris Eigeman, Mackenzie Astin, Matt Keeslar, Robert Sean Leonard and Jennifer Beals; both loaded with nifty extras from The Criterion Collection.
From TV to Video:
"Boss: Season One" (2011) is a three-disc set with eight episodes, $39.97 from Lionsgate ... "Childrens Hospital: The Complete Third Season" (2011) is a two-disc set with 14 episodes, $24.98 from Warners ... Kevin Whately returns for a fifth season as Inspector Lewis in "Inspector Lewis 5," in which he and his young partner, DS Hathaway (Laurence Fox), continue to solve cases in the seemingly perfect academic haven of Oxford. Two-disc set with four mysteries from PBS Distribution ... "Masterpiece Mystery!: Endeavour" is a prequel to the "Inspector Morse" series. Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the UK premiere of "Inspector Morse" in 1987, "Endeavour" turns back the clock to 1965 to tell the story of the making of the legendary detective, who was played by John Thaw in 33 episodes. From PBS Distribution ... "Sliders: The First Season" (1995) is a three-disc set with nine episodes, from Universal ... "Sliders: The Second Season" (1996) is a four-disc set with 13 episodes, from Universal ... "Touched By an Angel: The Fifth Season" (1998-99) is a seven-disc set with 26 episodes, $57.99 from CBS/Paramount ... "Treasure Island" (2011) stars Eddie Izzard, Elijah Wood, Donald Sutherland, Toby Regbo, Rupert Penry-Jones and Daniel Mays in a SyFy miniseries redo of the classic tale, from Sonar Entertainment and Vivendi Entertainment ... "Untouchables: The Fourth Season, Vol. 1" and "Untouchables: The Fourth Season, Vol. 2" (1962-63) are four-disc sets with 15 episodes, $42.99 each from CBS/Paramount.
Buzzin' the 'B's:
When a high-class escort is murdered, her protector stops at nothing to find her killer, leaving a bloody trail in his path to uncover the truth and avenge the death of the woman he loved in "Girl From the Naked Eye" (2012), starring Jason Yee, Samantha Streets, Ron Yuan, Dominique Swain and Sasha Grey, from Arch Stone ... "Age of the Dragons" (2011), starring Danny Glover, Vinnie Jones, Corey Sevier, Larry Bagby, Kepa Kruse, Sofia Pernas and Dave Morgan, is an adaptation of Herman Melville's classic novel "Moby Dick." Set in a medieval realm where Captain Ahab and crew hunt dragons for the vitriol that powers their world, Ishmael, a charismatic harpooner, and his friend, Queequeg, join the quest. Ahab's obsession to seek revenge on a great "White Dragon" that slaughtered his family when he was young and left his body scarred and mauled, drives the crew deeper into the heart of darkness. From ARC Entertainment ... A Secret Service Agent is held captive in the trunk of a car and endures mental and physical torture as terrorists attempt to extract information for their plot against the President of the United States in "Brake" (2012), starring Stephen Dorff, Chyler Leigh, JR Bourne and Tom Berenger, from IFC ... A young man is taken on a murder-fueled ride by a mysterious stranger that transforms a weak-willed, disillusioned husband and father into a desperate hero willing to go to any length to protect his family in "Meeting Evil" (2012), starring Samuel L. Jackson, Luke Wilson and Leslie Bibb, from Sony ... "The Monitor" (2011)) is the latest dark thriller from Sweden. After escaping an abusive husband, Anna and her 8-year-old son move to a secret location in a giant apartment building. Terrified that her ex-husband will find them, she buys a baby monitor to keep in her son's room at all times. But strange noises echo in the baby monitor from elsewhere in the building. When she thinks she hears the sounds of another child being hurt, she relives the nightmare she recently escaped and must figure out what's real and what isn't before she loses her sanity and her child. Stars Noomi Rapace, Kristoffer Joner and Henrik Rafaelsen. From Lionsgate ... A decent but troubled young man is sent to a psychiatric institution for the criminally insane and soon finds himself in a fight for his life battling ghosts inside his head and very real enemies all around him in "On the Inside" (2011), starring Nick Stahl, Olivia Wilde and Dash Mihok, from Anchor Bay ... A hippie-yogi, personal growth guru helps save a couple's marriage when the wife appears on a reality TV show in "The Love Guide" (2011), starring Christy Scott Cashman, Jay Harrington, Michael Panes and Parker Posey. From Green Apple Entertainment.
The stand-out foreign offering this week: "My Way" (2011 -- South Korea), starring Jang Dong-Gun, Joe Odagiri and Fan Bingbing. After emerging as bitter rivals and enemies as young marathon Olympic runners, Korean native Kim Jun-shik and Japanese aristocrat Tatsuo Hasegawa both find themselves in the Japanese army, fighting the Chinese and Soviets in a bloody battle. Jun-shik is there under duress, while Tatsuo is a powerful colonel. After both are taken prisoner by the Soviets, and forced to fight the Nazis, the two eventually rely on each other for survival, making it to Germany, where they are in turn separated and forced to fight for the Nazis. They meet again at Normandy Beach, both unlikely survivors, bonded together by history as they struggle to survive one more terrible battle as the Allies arrive on D-Day. Korea's most expensive feature to date -- and inspired by a true story. From Well Go USA.
Check out other new July 24 DVD releases at OnVideo.
And please check out our first eBook, "The Hollywood Guide to Marilyn Monroe" at Amazon's Kindle store.