Category Archives: Movies

“Operation Finale” follows the astonishing true story of an Israeli intelligence agent

Follow the astonishing true story of an Israeli intelligence agent who brought Hitler’s deadliest lieutenant to justice in the intense and gripping film, Operation Finale, arrives on Digital on November 20, and on Blu-ray combo pack, DVD and On Demand on December 4 from Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

Brimming with incredible performances from Golden Globe winner Oscar Isaac and Academy Award winner Ben Kingsley, Operation Finale is also backed by an amazing supporting cast including Mélanie Laurent, Lior Roz, Nick Kroll, Haley Lu Richardson, Joe Alwyn, Pepe Rapazote and Greta Scacchi .

The film follows the gripping true story of the 1960 covert mission of legendary Israeli intelligence agent Peter Malkin (portrayed by Isaac) as his secret mission leads him to infiltrate Argentina and capture Adolf Eichmann (Kingsley), the Nazi officer who masterminded the plans that sent millions of innocent Jews to their deaths in concentration camps during World War II, and bring him to justice. Oscar Isaac is also a producer, alongside Brian Kavanaugh-Jones and Fred Berger under their Automatik company and Jason Spire’s Inspire Entertainment.

Operation Finale on Blu-ray and DVD also come with a special bonus featurette that takes viewers deep into the remarkable covert operation that rewrote history.

Vincent Cassel is stunning in Cohen Media Group’s “Gauguin: Voyage to Tahiti”

In 1891, painter Paul Gauguin is already well-known in Parisian artistic circles, but he’s tired of the so-called civilized world and its political, moral and artistic conventions. Leaving his wife and children behind, he ventures alone to the other end of the world— Tahiti—consumed with a yearning for original purity, and ready to sacrifice everything for his quest.
Impoverished and alone, Gauguin pushes deep into the Tahitian jungle, where he meets the native Polynesians and, most importantly, the young Tehura, who will become his muse and inspire his most iconic works of art. During his two-year stay the artist will experience and health problems and existential crises – but with the beautiful girl to carry him through.

Welcome to Cohen Media Group’s Blu-ray and DVD Gauguin: Voyage to Tahiti.

Vincent Cassel, one of modern world cinema’s leading stars,  gives a career performance as Gauguin, remarkably conveying the interior life of a great painter who has given up everything for his art. Co-starring with him are Tuheï Adams, in a striking cinema debut as Tehura, and multiple César Award nominee Malik Zidi(Water Drops on Burning Rocks).
Cohen Media Group’s Blu-ray and DVD of Gauguin: Voyage to Tahiti include the featurettes Vincent Cassel is Gauguin and Life and Painting of Gauguin, among other extras.

“God Knows Where I Am” is a disturbing, deeply profound gems

We love when we get a cinematic clutch on great (and usual) flicks. Witness God Knows Where I Am (Juno Films), the story of Linda Bishop, a well-educated New Hampshire mother who suffered from severe bipolar disorder with psychosis, who was intermittently incarcerated and homeless, inevitably being committed for three years to a state psychiatric facility. Successfully fighting her sister’s protective attempts to be named her legal guardian, Linda was able to refuse treatment and medication, and eventually procured an early, unconditional release, despite the lack of post release planning.

Upon her release, she wandered 10 miles down the road from the hospital, broke into an abandoned farmhouse and lived off of rainwater and apples picked from a nearby orchard for the next four months, through one of the coldest winters on record. Unable to leave the house, she became its prisoner, and remained there, a prisoner of her own mind, eventually starving to death.
Her body was discovered several months later and with it a diary that Linda kept documenting her journey. The diary is poignant, beautiful, funny, spiritual, and deeply disturbing. In tackling the subject matter, the filmmakers began from a social justice perspective but their focus quickly shifted to a more intimate and artistic exploration.
How does one depict the interior landscape of a person who is imprisoned by the mind? How does one build empathy for a person who is no longer alive? The story is told from a variety of perspectives, including her own, through recollection and first person narrative.
God Knows Where I Am is both a study of systemic failure and also a testament to the artistic and independent spirit of Linda Bishop. In a state known for its motto of “Live Free or Die”, Linda wanted to live free but given her mental illness, this proved to be a fatal decision. The film poses many provocative questions including the issue of civil liberties of the mentally ill–if one’s mind is not free, how can one truly exercise free will?

Vincent Lindon brings the life and loves of great sculptor “Rodin” to life

Paris, 1880. The 40-year-old sculptor Auguste Rodin finally receives his first state commission, The Gates of Hell, which will include The Kiss and The Thinker, two of his most famous creations. Constantly working, he shares his life with his lifelong partner, Rose,  and his mistress, young Camille Claudel, the gifted student who becomes his assistant and a talented sculptor in her own right during a decade of passion, mutual admiration and creative collaboration.
Following their painful breakup, Rodin continues to work relentlessly while facing both the rejection and enthusiasm provoked by the sensuality and originality of his sculptures. Rodin’s statue of Balzac, long in the making and rejected during his lifetime, will become the starting point of modern sculpture.

Cohen Media Group will release the 2017 Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or nominee Rodin on Blu-ray, DVD and digital platforms on October 2.  The biographical drama, starring Vincent Lindon as the great sculptor, is the latest from Jacques Doillon, the multiple award-winning director of Ponette, La Drôlesse and dozens of other films that have made him one of the most esteemed European auteurs of the last 40 years.

Bonus features on the Blu-ray and DVD include the featurette Sculpting Rodin.

Shout! Factory to release “The Sound of Music Live”

Doe a deer.

Those three words instantly bring the Rodgers & Hammerstein’s beloved classic The Sound of Music comes to mind.

And this November, Shout! brings The Sound of Music Live, the ambitious, live-broadcast production from BAFTA-nominated director Coky Giedroyc, to DVD and Blu-ray.   Save the date: The discs will arrive on November 6, just in time for the holidays.

The musical, celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2019, has become a favorite of families the world over with such perennially classic and unforgettable songs as “The Sound of Music,” “Edelweiss,” “Sixteen Going on Seventeen,” and “My Favorite Things”. The Sound of Music Live, destined to become a new family chestnut, brings this beloved and timeless story to lavish life with a cinematically staged production featuring three soundstages and more than150 period costumes, all stunningly shot with 17 cameras.
In the new production, Kara Tointon delivers a “mesmerizing performance and incredible vocal talents” as Maria, the tomboyish nun who reluctantly becomes the governess for seven children living in the shadow of their stern widower father (played by Julian Ovenden). Along with her required duties, Maria brings love, music and excitement back into the children’s lives . . . and also eventually begins to have an effect on their father. But just when things are looking up, the rise of Nazism and the looming threat of war darkens their future.
Supported by Katherine Kelly as Baroness Elsa Schraeder and Alexander Armstrong as Max Detweiler, The Sound of Music Live-— which also features “How Can Love Survive” a song not in the original movie but part of the stage show since 1959—is an enchanting experience that will remain with audiences long after the last curtain call.

A sampling of St. Martin’s Press new releases . . actors, rock ‘n roll, cake and the biggest liar since Nixon

Fear not.
There’s another great book  about Adolph Frump: Mr. Trump’s Wild Ride: The Thrills, Chills, Screams, and Occasional Blackout of an Extraordinary Presidency($28.99). CBS News Chief White House Correspondent Major Garrett  shares his unique insider’s perspective in this authoritative and entertaining account of the most important and wide-reaching events of the asshole’s first year in office. Mr. Trump's Wild Ride: The Thrills, Chills, Screams, and Occasional Blackouts of an Extraordinary PresidencyAs Entertainment Weekly wrote in a preview of the book, “CBS News’ Major Garrett is a more careful journalist than Fire and Fury author Michael Wolff, but the conceit of his book—the first year in the Trump White House—is similar enough to have us plenty intrigued.”


Just because we can’t stand him doesn’t mean William Shatner shouldn’t have even more attention paid to him. After a brief health scare in 2016, the veteran actor offers one piece of advice to live a long and good life: Don’t die.
Live Long And . . .: What I Learned Along the WayIn Live Long And…: What I Learned Along the Way, he uses a combination of pithy humor and thoughtful vulnerability to reflect on his unique and fascinating life. Booklist says, ” . . . fans will enjoy Shatner’s musings on his passions and adventures.”


Just how much does Jeff Bridges like his friend, Gary Busey’s, new book? “Get to know Gary Busey, who once told me he was an angel in an earth suit. Indeed he is, giving us messages he’s received from on high, messages that inspire and support us in living a beautiful fulfilled life. Get to know my dear friend Gary Busey, read Buseyisms.”
Professional actor and semi-professional wildman Busey has done more things in his life, ranging from the impressive to the insane, than most people have done in ten lifetimes, and he’s still going.

Through it all, Busey has kept a positive outlook, even as he’s endured more extreme highs and lows then one would think possible. He’s rubbed elbows with cinema legends, partied with the rich and famous, and even toured with a hit band. It’s all in Buseyisms: Gary Busey’s Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth ($24.99), along with some sage words from a real character.


Regarded as one of the greatest drummers of all time, Kenney Jones has seen it all, played with everyone, and partied with all of them. He’s enjoyed the highs, battled the lows, and emerged in one piece.
Let the Good Times Roll: My Life in Small Faces, Faces, and The WhoLet the Good times Roll ($29.99) is the long-awaited memoir of the legendary drummer’s life and times in the bands Small Faces, Faces and The Who. Jones has penned a breathtaking immersion into music past that leaves readers feeling as if they lived it too.SS moving memoir from one of ESPN’s top football reporters, Kirkus Rviews says that Adam Schefter’s The Man I Never Met “is affecting not only for the story it tells of how the author learned to honor his wife’s husband as ‘the fifth member of [his] family,’ but also for how it shows a man growing into a mature understanding of the true meaning of love and sacrifice.” The Man I Never Met: A Memoir|
Super Bowl-winning coach and author Tony Dungy calls  “a story every American should read” and New York Times bestselling author Mitch Albom hails this memoir as, “A fresh and triumphant take on the aftermath of 9/11.”


The duo behind Delicious Poke Cakes and Delicious Dump Cakes is back with another book of quick and easy desserts. Delicious Bundt Cakes: More Than 100 New Recipes for Timeless Favorites
In Delicious Bundt Cakes, ($19.99), Roxanne Wyss and Kathy Moore unlock the secret of the Bundt cake. The book features more than 100 recipe—made completely from scratch, as well as recipes based on boxed cake mixes—and color photos throughout, along with all the hints and tips you’ll need to make a spectacular Bundt cake every time.  Chocolate Peanut Butter Tunnel Bundt Cake anyone?

Shout Select reissues “City Slickers” on Blu-ray. Hop aboard!

Looking to hitch on something Slick . . . other than grace? How about City Slickers, the uproarious 1991 buddy comedy,starring  Billy Crystal, Bruno Kirby, Daniel Stern and Jack Palance, The slick flick is being reissued by Shout Select on a treasure-laden Blu-ray featuring a new 4K scan, audio commentary from director Rob Underwood, Crystal and Stern, oodles of specially-created featurettes and deleted scenes. The film is released October 16; order from shoutfactory.com and receive a free 18-inch by 24-inch rolled poster featuring brand new artwork.
This insightful, delightful comedy about cowboys, careers and midlife crises stars Crystal as 39-year-old New Yorker Mitch Robbins, who’s tired of his job and bored with his life. So he and his two best friends (Kirby and Stern) trade their briefcases for saddlebags and set out to find freedom and adventure herding cattle under the wide New Mexico sky. But what they discover instead is scorching sun, sore backsides . . . and more about themselves and each other than they ever thought possible.  Aside from the trio of fish-out-of-water urbanites, City Slickers also stars the inimitable Jack Palance, who won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his role as leathery trail boss, Curly.

Arrow shoots some nifty DVDs right into fervid film fans’ hearts

Fall into autumn with a wonderful selection of DVDs from Arrow.

The hot, hot summer heat is finally starting to come to a close with the cool, crisp days of autumn right around the corner. To help you deal with the seasonal shift and welcome in the colors of fall, Arrow is giving viewers seven new films to keep you nice and cozy.

The slate begins with a couple of new entries from Arrow Academy starting with Tomu Uchida’s Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji.

Bloody Spear At Mount Fuji

This road adventure set during the Edo period is equal parts comedic and dramatic. A samurai and his two servants go on an epic journey is this hidden gem finally getting out to a wider audience.

From the Far East to the far west we shift with the release of the Peter Fonda directed western, The Hired Hand. Initially disregarded by critics and audiences, the film experienced a bit of a renaissance in 2001 thanks to a release from the Sundance Channel and is now considered a western classic. The film stars Fonda alongside Warren Oates.

The Arrow Video side brings out the reds of the season with two new horror titles starting with a brand new 4K restoration of Dario Argento’s horror masterpiece Deep Red. Long regarding as one of the greatest Italian horror films of all time, this edition comes fully loaded with bonus features to cure your Argento fever. Joining Deep Red is the extremely bizarre horror entry, The Baby. This strange look at an eccentric family and the social worker assigned to deal with them is sure to leave an impression. This release of the film includes a new retrospective from film professor Rebekah McKendry.

If you’re looking for a different brand of cult, Arrow has you covered with Horrors of Malformed Men and The Pyjama Girl Case. The former is a Japanese horror film from 1969 about a medical student that is perfectly sane but somehow ends up in an asylum. This classic is praised for its stylistic approach that lands all over the map.

Pyjama Girl Case, TheThe latter comes from director Flavio Mogherini and is the only giallo to take place in Australia. Following the true story of an unsolved Australian murder about a young girl that turned up dead on the beach in distinctive pajamas, this haunting giallo is sure to send a chill up your spine.

Arrow brings September to a close with Fred Zinnemann’s classic, The Day of the Jackal. Based on a novel written by Frederick Forsyth, this political thriller was nominated for 6 BAFTA awards, winning for best editing, and earn an Oscar nod.

Day Of The Jackal, The

The Day of the Jackal received a 4-star review from legendary critic Roger Ebert, who wrote that the film is “not just a suspense classic, but a beautifully executed example of filmmaking.”

 

Stars keep shining all-year with the delicious “Hollywood Beach Beauties: Sea Sirens, Sun Goddesses, and Summer Style” 

Summer may be winding down, but nothing still sizzling is the delicious and sexy Hollywood Beach Beauties: Sea Sirens, Sun Goddesses, and Summer Style 1930-1970 (Dey Street Books, $30).

Renowned independent curator and photographic preservationist David Wills commemorates the golden age of Hollywood and beloved starlets of the past with a book that must be in every film fan’s library.

Joan Crawford on Waikiki Beach, Hawaii, 1949

With more than 100 vibrant color photographs this book commemorates both the allure and joy of the coastline as well as the women of the stage and silver screen who spent time there. Inside the book, you will find candid and stylish photographs of movie star greats such as Elizabeth Taylor, Rita Hayworth, Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Brigitte Bardot, Sharon Tate, Edy Williams, Linda Christian, Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford and Nancy Sinatra.

We don’t always remember these icons from this carefree and sun-soaked perspective, and this book is the perfect keepsake for those who love the beach, old Hollywood, summer fashion, and glamour.

Don Graham takes a “Giant” and riveting look into the film that takes a wide-angle look of America

As I was doing research for my new book, Judy Garland Slept Here (to be published in September 2019 by Running Press), I read a most fascinating book which I dug into earlier: Giant: Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, James Dean, Edna Ferber, and the Making of a Legendary American Film (St. Martin’s Press; $27.99). Don Graham takes a larger-than-life narrative of the making of the classic film based on Edna Ferber’s controversial novel. Taking a wide-angle view of America—and Texas—in the Eisenhower era, Graham reveals how the film and its production mark the rise of America as a superpower, the ascent of Hollywood celebrity, and the flowering of Texas culture as mythology.

Featuring James Dean, Rock Hudson, and Elizabeth Taylor, Giant dramatizes a family saga against the background of the oil industry and its impact upon ranching culture—think Spindletop Hill in Beaumont, Texas and the fabled King Ranch in South Texas.

Isolating his star cast in the wilds of West Texas in the summer of 1955, director George Stevens brought together a volatile mix of egos, anxieties, sexual tensions and talent. Stevens certainly had his hands full with Hudson’s latent insecurities, Taylor’s high diva-dom, and Dean’s rebellious antics. Yet he coaxed performances out of them that made cinematic history, winning Stevens the Academy Award for Best Director and garnering nine other nominations, including a nomination for Best Actor for James Dean, who died before the film was finished.

In this compelling and impeccably researched narrative history of the making of the film, Graham chronicles the stories of Stevens, whose trauma from witnessing the horrors of World War II intensified his ambition to make films that would tell the story of America; of Edna Ferber, a considerable literary celebrity who meets her match in the imposing Robert Kleberg, proprietor of the vast King Ranch; and of Glenn McCarthy, the Errol Flynn lookalike who became the most famous wildcatter in Texas history and the builder of Houston’s grand Shamrock Hotel.

Drawing on archival sources, Graham’s book is a comprehensive depiction of the film’s production, showing readers how reality became fiction and fiction became cinema.