Explore the legacy of the master’s leading ladies in “Hitchcock’s Heroines”

Whether played by Grace Kelly, Doris Day, or Ingrid Bergman, the heroine of an Alfred Hitchcock picture is always the same: stylish, regal, and elegant.
Explore the legacy of Alfred Hitchcock’s leading ladies—their iconic roles, unforgettable costumes, and timeless style in Hitchcock’s Heroines (Insight Editions, $29.99).

Author Caroline Young chronicles six decades of glamorous style, exploring the fashion legacy of these amazing women. Meticulously researched and beautifully illustrated with studio pictures, film stills and original drawings of the costume designs, each chapter focuses on a specific actress, revealing insights into a fascinating period of movie history.
This deluxe book pays tribute to the women of Hitchcock’s era, who were considered some of the fashion icons of their time and inspired styles that continue to be celebrated and imitated today. These leading ladies broke barriers, made history, and transfixed audiences around the world.

Elizabeth White shares her expertise about overcoming financial struggles in her book

Elizabeth White was once a woman in trouble. Despite her highly educated background and wealth of executive experience, she found herself out of work and out of money. She was in her 50s. White was not alone: After a personal essay went viral, she found herself the unlikely spokesperson for Baby Boomers everywhere who were facing unexpected financial hardship with no retirement to fall back on. She learned and then shared her practical knowledge and her emotional fortitude with those in similar positions.

America is at a crossroads, and elder poverty is a serious issue, with the highest rates since the Great Depression. 40% of older workers and their spouses will be downwardly mobile, falling into poverty (or near-poverty) in old age. And even good news, such as the number of jobs held by older workers has increased by 6.6 million over the last decade, is only part of the truth. In fact over half of those jobs—52 percent or over 3.4 million—paid full-time workers less than $15,000 a year. Women and especially women of color are the worst off. This crisis not only effects Baby Boomers though: Millennials don’t have retirement savings either as they face down education debt, flat wages, uncertain work, plus escalating costs in housing and healthcare.

White self-published her book 55, Underemployed, and Faking NormalSimon & Schuster has now published the book under their imprint.A perfect way to bring her message to a larger audience. This is an important issue and White brings hard data and a comforting shoulder.

Read it!

Afraid of the dark? No? You will be scared shitless by “The Dark”

The Dark, the biggest hit of 2018 for Dark Sky Films, is now the horror DVD of the new year. On the outskirts of a small town lies Devil’s Den, a mysterious tract of woods where many have entered but no one has ever left. The local legend is that the spirit of a girl who was horrifically murdered there haunts (and hunts in) this dense forest, brutally slaying anyone who dares to step into her terrain.

When a young man with a dark past crosses her path, a series of events are set in motion that may lead to redemption for two tragically tortured souls. Part gothic fairytale and part chilling horror, director Justin P. Lange’s debut feature balances rich imagery with a brutal and bloody story of unlikely kindred spirits who must defend themselves against the villainous powers of the “normal” world.

Starring rising actors Nadia Alexander and Toby Nichols, The Dark has been called “an ingenious reworking of the zombie genre” by Film InquiryHorror Society praised it as “one of the best horror films of the year: 10 out of 10.”

A sneak peek into the action-thriller “Backtrace”

The lone surviving thief of a violent armored-car robbery is sprung from a high-security facility and administered an experimental drug in the action-thriller Backtrace, arriving on Blu-ray (plus Digital), DVD and Digital on February 19 from Lionsgate. This film is currently available On Demand. 

Starring Ryan Guzman, Sylvester Stallone and Matthew Modine, the Backtrace Blu-ray and DVD includes the featurette “Making Backtrace” and cast/crew interviews.

“Jamestown” follows the lives of three women who make the journey of a lifetime for a new life in 17th century America

PBS Distribution kicks the new year into high gear with the highly-anticipated release of Jamestown Season 1 & 2 on DVD on January 29.  From the producers of Downton Abbey, this exciting and dramatic series follows the lives of three courageous, dynamic women who decide to leave their dark pasts behind in England, and make the journey of a lifetime across the ocean for a new life in 17th century America.

In Season 1 viewers are taken back to 1619 Jamestown, Virginia. For 12 years, it has been populated only by men, but the settlement is shaken up when the first women, including Alice (played Sophie Rundle), Verity (Niamh Walsh) and Jocelyn (Naomi Battrick), land in this breathtaking wilderness. The settlement is on the brink of change summoned by the arrival of a new governor who brings new laws that cause power struggles not only within the town, but also with the native inhabitants, the Pamunkey. While love triangles, bitter rivalries, and fierce competition cause conflict for the residents, ultimately, they are bound together by their resolute will to survive and thrive in their new lives.

Season 2 brings viewers back to Jamestown where Alice, Verity, and Jocelyn are continuing their lives. The colony is thriving and tobacco plantations are starting to provide the wealth they promised. As births, deaths, and broken marriages start to compound, the settlers find themselves again in the midst of new adventures, as a kidnapping, new rivalries, and a traitor threaten to disrupt the peace. New romantic connections are made, desires repressed, and even the purest of loves will be tested. The power of politics will impact the entire community, as the battle for supremacy continues.

Hayden Christensen and Harvey Keitel star in the chilling sci-fi thriller, “The Last Man”

Lionsgate is ready to open the gate to a world of nifty new DVDs. Sometimes that world is a bit, well, disturbed.

In this chilling dystopian sci-fi thriller, Hayden Christensen plays Kurt, a vet suffering from PTSD who comes home to an unholy, unruly land. The world is bad, no question—but local street prophet Noe (Harvey Keitel) says it’ll get even worse when a catastrophic storm strikes.

As Kurt heeds Noe’s advice and readies for the apocalypse, he meets sultry Jessica, who also begins to believe. Even as the planet falls apart, Kurt finds his life finally coming together.

Until . . .

Can this fine family survive a solar disaster? Unlock the answer in “After Darkness”

A new year. New DVDs that demand to be seen. Now up: Hope begins at the end of the world in After Darkness, available on DVD, Digital and On Demand on 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 (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.

A taut thriller directed by Batan Silva.

FRONTLINE explores two important issues on two important PBS programs

PBS Distribution has released two important FRONTLINE programs on DVD.

FRONTLINE: The Pension Gamble
America’s public pension is in a multi-trillion-dollar hole but who’s to blame? Marcela Gaviria, Martin Smith and Nick Verbitsky go inside the volatile fight over pensions playing out today in Kentucky. The trio investigates the role of state governments and Wall Street in driving America’s public pensions in debt. The documentary presents the Blue Grass state’s crisis and how, as the legislative session drew to a close in March of 2018, State Republicans tried a last-minute move to pass a new bill that addressed the failing public pension systems. That move then led to a public outcry.

FRONTLINE examines how Kentucky’s once thriving pension system is now one of the worst in the nation. The program expands upon broader consequences for teachers, police, firefighters and other public employees everywhere.

FRONTLINE: The Facebook DilemmaIn this new program, FRONTLINE conducts a year-long investigation into the social media platform and takes a look at the genesis of Facebook, which was to create a more open and connected world. However, the company has failed to protect millions of users’ data and has fallen prey to the proliferation of “fake news” and disinformation. These mounting crises beg the question: Is Facebook more harmful than helpful?

FRONTLINE: The Facebook Dilemma uncovers that as the social media giant grew, there were few limits on what content was being posted – and the company allocated insufficient resources to enforcing its guidelines – leaving that in the hands of the public.

Using dozens of original interviews and rare footage, the program shows how Facebook faced claims of misuse while becoming an unprecedented global player. It shows the company’s role sowing division worldwide and the challenges facing the social media platform. The documentary also finds that multiple warnings about the platform’s negative impact on privacy and democracy were eclipsed by the company’s relentless pursuit of growth – and its users’ data.

No mystery about one of the new year’s best new DVDs: “Frankie Drake Mysteries”

A new year. And new and important DVDs to tell you about.

The first season of the exciting 11-part female-driven crime mystery series Frankie Drake Mysteries has just been released by PBS Distribution. Set against a backdrop of social change, radical politics and jazz music, the series featuring the fearless, adventurous and astute Frankie Drake who defies expectations, is immersed in both the real Toronto of the ’20s and the world of mystery and suspense conjured by creators Carol Hay and Michelle Ricci.

Starring Lauren Lee Smith, the series follow’s Toronto’s only female private detective in the ’20s as she takes on the cases the police don’t want or can’t handle. Her gender is her biggest advantage – who would ever think a woman could be a detective? She has a knack for solving cases but she’s no cop – her brand of justice doesn’t always follow the law.

Along with her partner Trudy (played by Chantel Riley), Frankie and the Drake Detective Agency take on cases of all shapes and sizes. From airplanes and booze running to American G-men, Communists and union busters, Frankie’s fearless sense of adventure gets her into all kinds of trouble, but she always manages to find her way out. In a time of change and hopefulness, Frankie is a woman ahead of everyone. She’s a new detective for a new world.

But is the world ready for her?

 

PETRUCELLI PICKS: 2018 GIFT GUIDE: BEGIN A NEW CHAPTER FOR THE YOUNG (AND YOUNG-AT-HEART) WITH THESE CHILDREN’S BOOK

School is starting in the forest, but Chester Raccoon does not want to go. To help ease Chester’s fears, Mrs. Raccoon shares a family secret called the Kissing Hand to give him the reassurance of her love any time his world feels a little scary.

Audrey Penn’s The Kissing Hand 25th Anniversary Family Edition (Tanglewood Publishing , $19.99, tanglewoodbooks.com) has found its way into the hearts of teachers, librarians, parents, and children around the world, especially during times of separation like starting school, entering daycare, or going to camp.

Celebrate the special Kissing Hand anniversary with Chester and his mother in this limited edition family keepsake with a dedication page, Letters to Chester booklet download and, of course, heart stickers.


After witnessing an act of domestic terrorism while training on his bike, Jake is found near death, with a serious head injury and unable to remember the plane crash or the aftermath that landed him in the hospital.Nobody believes Jake. Except the terrorists

A terrorist leader’s teenage daughter, Betsy, is sent to kill Jake and eliminate him as a possible witness. When Jake’s mother blames his head injury for his tales of attempted murder, he has to rely on his girlfriend, Laurissa, to help him escape the killers and the law enforcement agents convinced that Jake himself had a role in the crash.

In Surface Tension (Tanglewood Publishing, $17.99), Mike Mullin, author of the Ashfall series, delivers a gripping story with memorable characters and all-too-real scenarios.


Sibling 1 throws blenders and plays guitar. Sibling 2 is allergic to everything and is into magic. Sibling 3 is a varsity swimmer with a group of female fans.  The only thing they have in common is their biological father, and the only thing they can agree on is that they all want to meet him.806: A Novel Hardcover

Welcome to 806: A Novel (Tanglewood Publishing, $16.99). With the help of a broken-down, “borrowed” Jeep, KT, Jesse, and Gabe make their way across the country evading police, trying their luck on the slots, and meeting a life-changing pig, all to track down Donor 806, their father. Any hope of success requires smarts, luck, and ingenuity. Good thing they have each other…even if they don’t see it that way.

The book is written by Cynthia Weil, one of musicdom’s most famous and honored songwriters. We will never lose our lovin’ feeling for her!


Hello There, Do You Still Know Me? (Prospecta Press, $9.99, LaurieArnoldBooks.com), Laurie B. Arnold’s sequel to the popular kids novel, Hello There, We’ve Been Waiting For You!, Madison McGee and her best friends are visiting her old neighbor Rosalie Claire in Costa Rica. Their dreams of lazy summer beach days end quickly when Madison’s wacky grandmother, Florida, shows up on their doorstep dangerously ill with a mysterious ailment. Hello There, Do You Still Know Me? by [Arnold, Laurie B.]When the MegaPix 6000 shows up again, Madison and her friends have to figure out a way to turn the magic TV into a time machine so they can save Florida. Once the intrepid trio hurtles into the past, a dizzying adventure unfolds, filled with heart-filled, unexpected consequences. More news: Coming Spring 2019, the final book in this charming and magical kids’ trilogy.


The weasel and boy are back! Space travel was a breeze compared to their latest challenge: obedience school. But can a weasel be trained? Find out what happens when wild animals go to school, just like kids. Salvo Lavis & James Munn’s Wild Wild Weasel (Spitball Studio, $15.95, WorldOfTheWeasel.com) is a follow-up to Once Upon a Weasel and the second book in the World of the Weasel series.

World of the Weasel presents picture books about a young boy and his pet weasel who injects excitement into the boy’s quiet life and helps stimulate his imagination. Filled with rich illustrations for younger kids and great vocabulary words for budding readers, our books are ideal for kids 4-10 and the adults who read with them.

 

Petrucelli Picks the best in books, music and film . . . and then some