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.
On July 24, Shout! Factory will release Gravity Falls: The Complete Series (DVD: 7 discs, $59.98; Blu-ray: 7 discs, $99.99), featuring all 40 episodes of Disney’s hit Emmy Award-winning 2012-16 series, available for the first time in a complete series box set. Created by Alex Hirsch and inspired by his real-life adventures with a sibling, the series follows twin brother and sister Dipper and Mabel Pines as they spend summer with their great uncle Grunkle Stan in the mysterious town of Gravity Falls, OR. Featuring the voices of Hirsch, Jason Ritter, Kristen Schaal, and Linda Cardellini, celebrity guest stars include Mark Hamill, J.K. Simmons, Will Forte, Nick Offerman, Chelsea Peretti, and Nathan Fillion. While also offered in a six-disc retail edition, the collector’s edition box sets will include an additional disc with new bonus features.
Coming from deep within computer programming culture, Internet trolls are pissed off and using the click-bait obsessed mass media to propel their movement into the mainstream, including influencing presidential elections and manipulating journalists. Directed by George Russell, Troll Inc. (DVD: $19.99), slated for release on May 22 from Virgil Films, was made possible due to attorney access to DOJ documents via the Freedom of Information Act. This timely documentary features interviews with prosecuted whistleblower and notorious Internet troll Andrew Auernheimer and his legion of cultural saboteurs, who are attempting to overthrow civilization one meme at a time.
MPI Media Group is releasing Doris Day: A Sentimental Journey (DVD: $14.98) on April 17. Celebrating one of Hollywood’s biggest and most beloved stars, Doris Day (born 1922) began her legendary career as a big band singer in the 1940s, made her motion picture debut in 1948, and became box-office magic for the next two decades in musicals, comedies, and dramas such as Calamity Jane, The Man Who Knew Too Much, The Pajama Game, Please Don’t Eat the Daisies, The Thrill of It All, and three iconic romantic comedies with Rock Hudson, including her Oscar-nominated Pillow Talk. In the late 1960s, Day moved to television with her top 10 sitcom The Doris Day Show, followed by music specials in the 1970s and “Doris Day’s Best Friends” in the 1980s. Since retiring from show business, Day has devoted herself to her first love with the Doris Day Animal Foundation. Detailing her dramatic life story and career with a combination of rare footage and archival materials from Day’s own collection, A Sentimental Journey features famous friends and admirers including Betty White, Clint Eastwood, and film critics Roger Ebert and Molly Haskell.
On April 17, IFC Entertainment will release the English and German true crime documentary Killing for Love (DVD: $24.98). On March 30, 1985, Lynchburg, VA, couple Derek and Nancy Haysom were discovered brutally murdered at their home. The arrest and conviction of the couple’s daughter Elizabeth (a scholarship student at the University of Virginia), and her boyfriend Jens Söring (the brilliant son of a German diplomat), set off a media frenzy, becoming the first trial of its kind to be nationally televised. But what if the justice system got it all wrong? Directed by Marcus Vetter and Karin Steinberger and featuring the voices of Daniel Brühl and Imogen Poots, Killing for Love untangles the web of romantic obsession and betrayal that may have led an innocent man to make the ultimate sacrifice.
Kino Lorber is proud to announce that the acclaimed 1988 PBS series Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth with Bill Moyers is for the first time available digitally, premiering March 20 on all major digital services including iTunes, Amazon, Vimeo, and on Kino Lorber’s own Alive Mind Cinema website and www.PowerOfMyth.net. A home media edition of the series, with expanded special features, is planned for release later this year. Originally broadcast less than a year after Joseph Campbell’s passing, the six-part, six-hour program features a conversation between mythologist Joseph Campbell and journalist Bill Moyers, discussing the importance of myths and storytelling, and the impact they have on our lives. Each segment focuses on a different aspect of the mythologies, characters, and themes central to world cultures and religions. Individual episodes include “The Hero’s Adventure,” “The Message of the Myth,” “The First Storytellers,” “Sacrifice and Bliss,” “Love and the Goddess,” and “Masks of Eternity.”
Cohen Media Group will release Merchant-Ivory Productions’ breakthrough film Shakespeare Wallah (DVD: $25.99, Blu-ray: $30.99) on April 3. One of the first Merchant-Ivory productions, this sumptuous black-and-white/English and Hindi 1965 drama established the tone for so many of the collaborations to come from producer Ismail Merchant and director James Ivory: a deft, multilayered screenplay by their frequent collaborator Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, luminous cinematography, a wry sense of humor, and a cast of characters rich in their very human complexity. Here, the true story of British actor-manager Geoffrey Kendal and his family of traveling theatrical players is used as a fascinating lens into the ever-evolving relationship between Great Britain and India. Shakespeare Wallah follows Tony Buckingham (Geoffrey Kendal) and his wife (Laura Liddell) as part of a troupe who travel through 1960s post-colonial India staging Shakespeare’s plays. But the Buckinghams come to realize to their dismay that classic English theater is falling out of favor in a changing country where the public has become more excited by the explosion of vibrant Bollywood films, while the Buckinghams’ daughter Lizzie (Felicity Kendal) becomes involved in a love triangle. With music by the great Indian filmmaker Satyajit Ray and memorable performances by cinema icons Shashi Kapoor and Madhur Jaffrey, this 2K digital restoration—completed in conjunction with the British Film Institute’s Unlocking Film Heritage program—includes bonus materials such as a conversation with filmmakers Merchant and Ivory as well as Kapoor and Felicity Kendal.