Director Greg Barker (Manhunt: The Inside Story of the Hunt for Bin Laden) looks at President Barack Obama’s last year in office in The Final Year (DVD: $26.98), newly available from Magnolia Home Entertainment. Following key members of the Obama administration throughout 2016 up until the morning of President Trump’s inauguration, the documentary gives viewers a front-row seat as Obama’s foreign policy team, including Secretary of State John Kerry, United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power, Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes, National Security Adviser Susan Rice, and even President Obama himself work to cement the President’s legacy ahead of the 2016 election. Barker accompanies the team during high-stakes negotiations, addresses to the United Nations, on humanitarian research missions, and more as they prepare to hand over the government to a new administration. Bonus features include deleted scenes, and a photo gallery.
This July, the Criterion Collection will pay tribute to one of cinema’s most legendary collaborations with the July 3 release of Dietrich and von Sternberg in Hollywood (DVD or Blu-ray: 6 discs, $124.95 each), a lavish box set featuring six newly restored classics starring the alluring Marlene Dietrich and directed by the visually extravagant Josef von Sternberg: 1930 romantic reverie Morocco, 1931’s espionage thriller Dishonored, pre-Code train-ride adventure Shanghai Express (1932), the 1932 musical melodrama Blonde Venus (also starring Cary Grant), 1934 biopic The Scarlet Empress, and the duo’s final film together, the erotic and passionate Spain Carnival romance The Devil Is a Woman (1935). Slated for July 10 is former minor leaguer Ron Shelton’s 1988 hall-of-fame baseball comedy Bull Durham (DVD: $29.95, Blu-ray: $39.95), starring Kevin Costner as a veteran catcher who mentors a pitching prospect (Tim Robbins) while both players are pursued by a team groupie (Susan Sarandon). Also slated for July 10 is the 4K digital restoration and Blu-ray debut of King Hu’s 1967 martial-arts classic Dragon Inn (DVD: $29.95, Blu-ray: $39.95), and action-packed tale of Ming-dynasty intrigue set after an emperor’s minister of defense is executed and a power-grabbing eunuch sends assassins to trail the victim’s children to a remote point on the northern Chinese border. Slated for July 17 is a 4K digital transfer version of Steven Soderbergh’s disarmingly frank 1989 debut sex, lies, and videotape (DVD: 2 discs, $29.95; Blu-ray: $39.95), focusing on housewife Ann (Andie MacDowell), her lawyer husband, John (Peter Gallagher)—who is sleeping with her sister (Laura San Giacomo)—and John’s old voyeuristic friend Graham (Cannes award-winner James Spader). Also newly available on Blu-ray with a 4K digital restoration on July 24 is Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s otherworldly 1946 Technicolor romance A Matter of Life and Death (DVD: 2 discs, $29.95; Blu-ray: $39.95) centers on a RAF pilot Peter Carter (David Niven) who falls in love with an American radio operator (Kim Hunter) to whom he’s just delivered his dying wishes.
PBS has announced the upcoming release of Frontline: Weinstein (DVD: $24.99), slated for May 29. Harvey Weinstein was once one of the most successful producers in Hollywood, but beneath the glitz and glamour there was a pattern of sexual misconduct going back to the very start of his career. Drawing on exclusive insider accounts, this documentary examines how Weinstein used lawyers and private detectives to help him suppress sexual harassment allegations, shining new light on what those around Weinstein knew about his behavior, and when. Filled with fresh insights from those who worked with Weinstein, those who tried to confront him, and the journalists who ultimately broke the story, Weinstein provides an in-depth look at the long history of allegations against the powerful producer.
Marvel Studios’ Black Panther (DVD: $29.99, Blu-ray: $39.99, 4K: 2 discs, $42.99) has been announced for release on May 15 from Walt Disney Studios. The highly celebrated story of T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), a young African prince who takes on the mantle of king and superhero, has thrilled and inspired generations of moviegoers around the globe. In the acclaimed film, T’Challa returns home to the hidden high-tech African nation of Wakanda to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king, following the death of his father. But when a man named Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) appears, T’Challa’s mettle as leader—and as his alter-ego—is tested when he’s drawn into a formidable conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. The film also stars Lupita Nyong’o, Letitia Wright, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Andy Surkis, Daniel Kaluuya, and Sterling K. Brown, with a musical score by Grammy-nominated composer Ludwig Göransson and a soundtrack curated and produced by Grammy Award-winning global superstar Kendrick Lamar. Dominating the box office charts and emerging as the third biggest movie of all time domestically with over $665 million, exclusive bonus features will include audio commentary from director Ryan Coogler, deleted scenes, outtakes, several making-of featurettes, (which detail the Black Panther’s evolution, the remarkable women of Wakanda, the history of T’Challa’s proud nation, and the cosmic origin and technological applications of vibranium), a roundtable discussion with Black Panther filmmakers and writers, and a featurette tracing the countless connections between heroes, characters, and storylines within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
PBS Distribution has announced the upcoming release of Masterpiece: Little Women (DVD: $24.99, Blu-ray: $34.99), slated for May 22. Set to air on May 13 and May 20, this latest adaptation of the 1868 Louisa May Alcott classic follows the four March sisters on their journey from childhood to adulthood while their father is away at war. Under the guidance of their mother Marmee (Emily Watson), the girls navigate what it means to be a young woman: from gender roles to sibling rivalry, first love, loss, and marriage. Also featuring Angela Lansbury as the cantankerous and wealthy Aunt March, Michael Gambon as benevolent neighbor Mr. Laurence, and Jonah Hauer-King as a charming boy next door, the miniseries stars Maya Hawke as the willful and adventurous Jo; Willa Fitzgerald as the eldest and most virtuous, Meg; Annes Elwy as the shy sister, Beth; and Kathryn Newton as Amy, the youngest of the family. A celebration of family as much as it is a recognition of the challenges of growing up and forging an individual identity, Little Women remains relevant due to the universal themes at its core.