Welcome to this week in home video!
Pick of the Week
Tin Cup [Warner Archive]
What is it? A has-been gets a second chance at life and love.
Why see it? Golf is a boring ass sport to watch, and that’s just one of the reasons why there aren’t very many movies about it. Even if there were, though, Ron Shelton’s absolute masterpiece of a sports underdog tale would remain the best. Yeah I said it! Kevin Costner stars as a golfer who can never quite play things safe, and it works for him — finally — en route to an epic US Open appearance and a relationship with Rene Russo. This flick has one of the best endings in the sub-genre.
The Golem [Kino Classics]
What is it? A silent classic.
Why see it? Whether viewed as an inspiration for Frankenstein or on its own importance as Jewish lore and genre, The Golem is a memorable watch from the early days of horror cinema. The title creation is an imposing figure making for some stunning sequences set against fascinating and impressive backdrops. Kino’s new Blu restores the film beautifully, and the inclusion of three score options offers up three varying interpretations with Lukasz Poleszak’s being the most eclectic and energetic. The alternate US version of the film is also included.
[Extras: New 4K restoration, three scores, commentary, featurette, US release version]
Sixteen Candles [Arrow Video]
What is it? A teen’s birthday brings love and laughter.
Why see it? John Hughes’ comedy classic is seen as some to be problematic in numerous ways, and there are definitely beats that don’t land as well to today’s eyes and ears including Long Duck Dong and some inappropriate sexual shenanigans. Still, the heart and personality shine through delivering laughs and sweet observations about teens, family, and first loves. Arrow seems like an odd home for the release, but it’s a terrific disc all the same.
[Extras: New 4K scan, original and extended versions, interviews, featurettes]
Time Limit [KL Studio Classics]
What is it? A military inquiry into treason reveals something far worse.
Why see it? Fans of A Few Good Men need to seek out this late 50s drama immediately as it hits some similarly powerful beats with its story of a former POW accused of treason. Richard Widmark plays a Colonel tasked with determining if a court martial is needed for a supposed traitor, but his interrogation results in some surprisingly raw and insightful truths about military code and conduct.Richard Basehart and a young Rip Torn both add to the charismatic and intense result.
[Extras: New 2K master]
Action of the Tiger [Warner Archive]
What is it? A mercenary takes a risky job into Albania.
Why see it? This late 60s adventure surprises with some unexpected nudity, but that’s the extent of the risks it takes with its fairly standard adventure tale. Van Johnson plays the bland tough guy who’s shown up by both Martine Carol as the mysterious blond who hires him and Sean Connery in an early supporting turn as a drunk and horny sailor. It’s by the numbers fare.
Cattle Annie & Little Britches [KL Studio Classics]
What is it? Two teenage girls join up with a legendary band of outlaws.
Why see it? Burt Lancaster, John Savage, and Rod Steiger are the billed stars here, but the title characters are played by a very young Amanda Plummer and even younger Diane Lane. It’s a playful western more intent on character and fun than on dramatic thrills, but it’s an engaging watch due in large part to that cast.
[Extras: New 2K master, interview]
Criminal Minds – The Final Season
What is it? The 15th and final season of this long-running CBS series.
Why see it? CBS is home to numerous procedurals, but the fun of this one has always been in the focus on twisted criminals. It never reached Hannibal levels of insanity or visual creativity, obviously, but it finds entertainment within its network limits. This final season continues that trend, but for fans, the bigger pull might be its attention given to the various main characters who see their own stories brought to conclusions or comfortable places.
[Extras: Featurettes, deleted scenes]
What is it? A bodyguard protects two bodies.
Why see it? Look, if your movie lists Dr. Drew Pinsky above the title I’m going to assume that’s a bad sign, and sadly this minor action film confirms that fear. It’s less about being bad than being bland and predictable as the action underwhelms and the story feels endlessly obvious. CG blood, questionably choreographed fights, and a misplaced sense of humor don’t help. Billy Zane and Danny Trejo have small supporting roles meaning the bulk of the film is spent with Ed Morrone who means well if nothing else.
Jenny [KL Studio Classics]
What is it? A pregnant woman meets Alan Alda.
Why see it? Alan Alda was a known talent before this film, but it is Marlo Thomas’ feature debut as the title character. There’s humor to be found in this offbeat couple’s meeting and early time together, but the film is a drama at its core as their arrangement — he finds a wife to prevent him from being drafted, and she finds a husband to help with an impending baby — leads to love and the risk of heartbreak.
[Extras: New 2K master, commentary]
What is it? A defense attorney takes a challenging case.
Why see it? This drama was lost amid the sea of prestige releases last year, but it’s a solid film with heart and a strong cast. Michael B. Jordan plays the idealistic lawyer who finds help from Brie Larson in his defense of Jamie Foxx’s death row inmate. It’s an emotionally thrilling drama, and while the story and structure are fairly familiar the film finds its power in its performances.
[Extras: Featurettes, deleted scenes]
Raiga: God of the Monsters
What is it? A big reptilian monster exits the sea to trample humans.
Why see it? Godzilla remains the king of the big monsters, and while he’s seen his share of cash grabs they at least tend to rely on heart and creativity. This indie stab in the same vein stumbles due to poor CG and other effects that underwhelm, but the writing, direction, and performances are equally iffy. Story wise the beats are familiar despite some attempts at ramping up the camp, but the end result is a misfire.
Song of Norway [KL Studio Classics]
What is it? A musical based on the life of a famed Norwegian composer!
Why see it? You don’t need to already know the work of Edvard Grieg to appreciate the music and grand experience of this 1970 musical as it’s a burst of color and sound that never stops for over two hours. The singing is kind of there, but the fun is in the dance numbers that see some athletic men and the women who love them. (Seriously, the women’s choreography is squat and consists mostly of hair flips.) The Norwegian locales are beautiful too.
[Extras: New 2K master, commentary]
V: The Final Battle [Warner Archive]
What is it? The war with the reptilian Visitors continues.
Why see it? The original V miniseries remains an all-timer as creator Kenneth Johnson imbued his sci-fi tale with allegory, drama, and a building sense of suspense. The followup lacks his touch but still delivers as a fun, goofy romp complete with action and puppet monsters. Things do get stretched out a bit across its three-night structure, but it’s rarely dull. Plus, Michael Ironside’s arrival adds a jolt of energy and attitude that along with the alien baby shocker pushes this into being solid genre entertainment.
Also out this week:
Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter [Scream Factory], Underwater, The Wind [Arrow Video]