Category Archives: DVDs

“I Am Not a Witch” is a striking satire about witchcraft in contemporary Zambia

And the winner is . . .
The U.K.’s official submission for Best Foreign Film for this year’s Academy Awards is I Am Not a Witch.  The movie,  now on DVD from Film Movement, from the Zambian-born Welsh director Rungano Nyoni, is a striking satire about witchcraft in contemporary Zambia.
Quite good.

When nine-year-old Shula is accused of witchcraft, she is exiled to a witch camp run by Mr. Banda, a corrupt and inept government official. Tied to the ground by a white ribbon, Shula is told that she will turn into a goat if she tries to escape. As the only child witch, Shula quickly becomes a local star and the adults around her exploit her supposed powers for financial gain. Soon she is forced to make a difficult decision – whether to resign herself to life on the camp, or take a risk for freedom.
At times moving, often funny and occasionally surreal, I Am Not a Witch offers spellbinding storytelling with flashes of anarchic humor, showcasing Nyoni as the birth of a significant new screen voice. Festival audiences and juries also agreed, bestowing more than 20 nominations on the film, including the AFI Fest Audience Award and a BIFA nod for “Best British Independent Film”.

“A.I. Rising” is a mind-blowing, visually sumptuous space journey that takes viewers deep inside their souls.

On a lonely mission to Alpha Centauri, Sebastian is teamed up with Nimani 1345, a female cyborg designed to fulfill his every need. At first thrilled to be able to control her, Sebastian grows tired of having his desires fulfilled so easily. Longing for human intimacy, Sebastian alters Nimani’s programmed responses, but in doing so he risks the mission’s security—and his own life. This mind-blowing, visually sumptuous space journey will take you both beyond the stars and deep inside your soul.
Drop image here
Welcome to A.I. Rising, arriving on DVD, Digita, and On Demand March 12 from Lionsgate. Porn actress Stoya, Sebastian Cavazza, and Maruša Majer star. 
The DVD includes deleted scenes, an interview with Stoya, and the featurettes Behind the Scenes of A.I. Rising and A.I. Rising: About the Movie.

Have no reservations about checking into a Copenhagen hotel, “Room 304”

Sex! Betrayal! Corruption! Such facts of life unravel in a Copenhagen hotel, where nine disparate lives intersect by chance or fate.

A hotel manager peers into the abyss of his empty life, leading to devastating consequences for himself, his wife and his mistress.

A Spanish stewardess reaches out for intimacy and finds it in a most unexpected way.

A reserved concierge is forced out of his shell by a shocking event, and an Albanian refugee gets a chance to avenge his wife, but ends up discovering something surprising instead.

An Official Selection in Competition at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, Room 304 (Film Movement), director Birgitte Staermose’s debut feature, will make home audiences think twice before booking a hotel room again.

The graveyard shift in a morgue: A series of bizarre, violent events caused by an evil entity in one of the corpses! Welcome “The Possession of Hannah Grace”

Some say death is the end, but we say death is only the beginning in the heart-pounding horror thriller The Possession of Hannah Grace, debuting on Digital February 19 and on Blu-ray and DVD February 26 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
Shay Mitchell stars as a cop just out of rehab, who takes the graveyard shift in a city hospital morgue where she faces a series of bizarre, violent events caused by an evil entity in one of the corpses. The flick also stars Grey Damon, Kirby Johnson, Louis Herthum and Stana Katic.

The Possession of Hannah Grace Digital, Blu-ray and DVD releases come loaded with bonus content, including a deleted scene and two behind-the-scenes featurettes. Take a deep dive with the killer cast and get to know the film’s characters a little better.  In An Autopsy of Hannah, go behind the scenes with head makeup artist Adrien Morot and uncover the transformation process, learning Adrien’s vision for the character, tricks for nailing the look, and what it took to get into the creepy mindset of Hannah Grace. Slashes and gashes and cuts, oh my! Finally, it must get lonely spending night after night alone in a morgue—see how Megan (played by Shay Mitchell) keeps herself entertained during the long shifts in Megan’s Diaries.

A Trio of Must-See NOVA Programs, Now on DVD

Three new Nova programs, now on DVD, from PBS Distribution, all must-see viewing.

Nova: Thai Cave Rescue
In this program viewers will follow the dramatic rescue of the 12 boys and their soccer coach from the Tham Luang Cave in Thailand, where they had been trapped for 18 days. This program  features interviews with key people that were involved in the search and rescue and explains how the team became trapped in the cave.

After multiple failed attempts to find the boys and their coach, an international team of rescuers was called upon to find them and ultimately bring them to safety. Nova: Thai Cave Rescue is a stunning example of innovation, teamwork and human endurance in one of the most hostile environments on earth–a flooded cave.

Nova: Last B-24
Seventy-four years ago, an American B-24 Liberator bomber known as the Tulsamerican fell from the sky and disappeared beneath the waves of the Adriatic Sea. Seven crew members survived the crash and were rescued, three men were never found.

Seven decades later, the bomber was discovered by amateur divers, nearly 135 feet beneath the water’s surface at the bottom of the Adriatic Sea. A specialized group within the Pentagon, The U.S. Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) was alerted and quickly formed a specialized expedition team. Viewers join the Croatian Navy and some of the world’s leading underwater archaeologists as they investigate the wreckage and try to find remains of the lost crew members. Later the team of archaeologists joins a team of forensics experts as they work to identify the remains that are recovered from the wreck.

Nova: Operation Bridge Rescue
The Blenheim Covered Bridge in New York State is an icon of 19th century American engineering. Built in 1855, it was the longest single span covered bridge in the world, but in 2011 the bridge was destroyed by Hurricane Irene. The program follows a team of elite bridge builders and engineers as they faithfully reproduce the intricate timber structure under immense pressure—spring floods are coming and threaten to destroy the worksite.

Viewers then travel to China to witness traditional craftsmen restoring thousand-year-old covered bridges, all based on their ingenious frameworks of woven timber beams. These ancient bridges are the heart of their communities and allow for trade and worship in other villages, but typhoons are destroying these bridges as well. Viewers discover how Chinese artisans are keeping traditional skills alive to ensure the bridges survival.

Having “Tea With the Dames” is a Wonderful Adventure, times four

There is nothing like a dame. Make that four dames.

What happens when four legends of British stage and screen get together? Dame Maggie Smith, Dame Judi Dench, Dame Eileen Atkins and Dame Joan Plowright are among the most celebrated actresses of our time, with scores of iconic performances, decades of wisdom, and innumerable Oscars, Tonys, Emmys and BAFTAs between them. They are also longtime friends who here invite you to join them for a weekend in the country as they catch up with one another, reminisce, and share their candid, delightfully irreverent thoughts on everything from art to aging to love to a life lived in the spotlight.

Bursting with devilish wit and whip-smart insights, Tea With the Dames is a remarkable opportunity to spend time in the company of four all-time greats, up close and unfiltered. The IFC Films theatrical release was directed by BAFTA award winner Roger Michell. We aren’t the only one who loves the flick; Matt Fagerholm, writing at RogerEbert.com, gushes that  said the film “delivers more laughs than any mainstream comedy I’ve seen in 2018.”

Tim Daly, Natalia Dyer and Kyra Sedgwick highlight the sci-fi thriller “After Darkness”

What happens when it turns dark?

Hope begins at the end of the world in After Darkness, available on DVD, Digital, and On Demand January 15 from Lionsgate.

Natalia Dyer and Kyra Sedgwick highlight this sci-fi thriller about a family’s fight to survive a solar disaster. As skies darken and hopes grow dim, the Beatys try to stay sane in a lavish home with every possible comfort . . .  except sunshine.

Raymond (portrayed by Tim Daly) plans to have his family transported to a secure underground bunker. But as he makes a gruesome discovery, the greatest threat to the Beatys’ survival may be near—or inside—their home.

PBS Distribution releases two exceptional “Nature” programs

When Nature comes a-calling, we go a-watching. PBS Distribution has released two new programs on DVD and digital from Nature. Both are must-sees!

Nature: A Squirrel’s Guide to Success
The squirrel family is one of the most widespread on Earth. There are almost 300 species of squirrel, those that can glide through the air, outwit rattlesnakes, and survive the coldest temperatures of any mammal. In this new eye-opening program viewers learn about the extraordinary abilities and secrets to success of these nut lovers. Some of the species featured include: the fox squirrel which can remember the location of 9,000 nuts, the gray squirrel whose jumps are the basis for new designs in robotics, and the Arctic ground squirrel, who, to survive the frigid winters of Alaska, hibernates by dropping its heart rate, breathing and body temperature.

Every two to three weeks the squirrel will shiver to warm itself. Viewers also see the world through the eyes of an orphaned red squirrel named Billy, as he grows up and develops all the skills he needs to be released back into the wild.

Nature: Dogs in the Land of Lions
Filmed over two-years, this program takes viewers into the heart of an African wild dog family, led by a mother called Puzzles. When her mate, Jigsaw is suddenly killed by lions, (the wild dogs’ ultimate enemy) she is suddenly left to raise two generations of pups on her own and without the help of a pack. In this deeply intimate portrayal of motherhood, viewers witness the loyalty and selflessness that sets wild dogs apart from other large, social carnivores.

Wild dogs have a willingness to sacrifice almost anything for their pack, a behavior wired into their DNA. As Puzzles’s young litter grows up, the pups provide some light-hearted moments while discovering the world around them, including new creatures, such as elephants, giraffes, and impala. Hopefully they will have the chance to encounter a hyena, their favorite form of entertainment – hounding and hazing hyenas whenever they get the chance. A year after Jigsaw’s passing, Puzzles and her young crew get a chance for revenge on the lions. Deciding to steal a fresh carcass that a few lions are feasting on, the pack stands their ground and enjoy a rare victory against their greatest enemy.

Working Out with Jane Fonda is still getting obese America in shape

She obviously has done something right.
Jane Fonda is 81 years old and looks 55. Plastic surgery? Probably, but her doctor is really really good . . . not like the work done on Lily and Dolly, whose doctors worked way beyond 9 to 5.
Yet much of Fonda’s great looks and shape are the result of decades of working out, feeling the burn, sweating to the oldies. She was the first Big Name to make exercise tapes (remember those?), and now, Lightyear Entertainment, in partnership with Fonda, Inc., has released those workouts on DVD, released in the U.S. and Canada through MVD Distribution.

“Who knew that this many years later people would still be doing The Workout, but they are!,” coos Fonda.”
Arnie Holland, President of Lightyear, adds, “The five DVDs we released in 2015 and the Boxed Set have been selling extraordinarily well and steadily for the past three years. We are delighted that Jane Fonda and Warner Bros. have agreed to allow us to release more of these programs, which changed the face of the home video business when originally released. They set unheard of sales records, dominated the sell-through charts for more than a decade, and changed American culture.”

Vivian Howard’s “Final Harvest” is a mighty tasty treat

Even the closing of an era can be awfully tasty. In The Final Harvest (PBS Distribution), the series finale of A Chef’s Life, host and best-selling author Vivian Howard prepares a farewell feast of epic proportions. After five seasons of the Emmy and Peabody-winning series, only a handful of dishes remain on Vivian’s bucket list. She tackles them all with the help of some friends along the way in this spectacular series finale.

The Final Harvest features some of the show’s most beloved personalities along with a series-worth of memorable flashbacks. Vivian’s parents, Mrs. Scarlett and Mr. John, share intimate moments and reveal how Vivian’s success has changed their family, and most importantly, made them proud. Vivian’s husband Ben reveals an unexpected tenderness when describing the impact of the series on his family and community. A fitting sign-off to the series, friends new and old take a seat at A Chef’s Life final harvest table, bringing to a close this extended love letter to eastern North Carolina.

The series, like no other, takes viewers on a heartwarming and compelling journey to meet unsung farmers, home cooks, and chefs, and simultaneously elevates quintessential Southern dishes to new modern classics.