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.”

 

Just one listen, and you’ll know why Audra McDonald will “Sing Happy”

There’s a reason Audra McDonald’s new CD is titled Sing Happy (Decca Gold), the live performance of the New York Philharmonic’s 2018 Spring Gala starring the Grammy, Emmy and Tony Award-winner, conducted by Andy Einhorn. Recorded live on May 1 at David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center, the recording represents McDonald’s first collaboration with Decca Gold–as well as her first solo recording with full orchestra.

Sing Happy

Sing Happy features many songs that are either new to McDonald’s repertoire or have never before been recorded by her–such as “I Am What I Am” from La Cage aux Folles,Vanilla Ice Cream” from She Loves Me, and “Children Will Listen” from Into The Woods–and offers a sneak peek at the repertoire she’s performing on her upcoming North American concert tour.

Acclaimed by The New York Times as a “one-of-a-kind musical super-talent,” Audra McDonald has won a record-breaking six Tony Awards, making her the most decorated performer in American theater. The singer and actress was named one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2015 and received a 2015 National Medal of Arts—America’s highest honor for achievement in the arts—from President Barack Obama. McDonald is currently starring in the CBS All Access drama The Good Fight and has a series of concert dates throughout North America on which she’s presenting many of the songs from Sing Happy. In addition to her work on stage and screen, McDonald is noted as a passionate advocate for equal rights, LGBTQ causes, and underprivileged youth.

 

Two great new kids’ books no one will try and weasel out of reading

We refuse to weasel out of such exciting news.
We just learned about the World of the Weasel, a new picture book series about a young boy and his pet weasel who injects excitement into the boy’s quiet life and helps stimulate his imagination.

These are not your grandmother’s picture books. No Dick and Jane.
Filled with rich illustrations for younger kids and great vocabulary words for budding readers, World of the Weasel books are ideal for kids ages 4 through 10 and the adults who read with them. Visually appealing illustrations and amusing Boy and Weasel adventures create an imaginative and engaging story for readers…young and old.
There are two books so far. Once Upon a Weasel is the first book in the  series from authors Salvo Lavis and James Munn and illustrator Dave Leonard.  They are pretty savvy, smart guys, with talent for words and art.
WILD WILD WEASEL cover 1000w
New this year: Wild Wild Weasel. 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.
Find out more @ worldoftheweasel.com

 

PBS Distribution takes a revealing look in “The Amazing Human Body” 

Ever wonder how your body works?

Find out when PBS Distribution releases The Amazing Human Body.  This new series, presented in partnership with the BBC, explores the human body as viewers have never seen it before! Using cutting-edge graphics, the program reveals the surprisingly beautiful biological processes that keep humans alive.

Save the dates: The show is available on Digital September 20 and DVD September 25.

Discover the ingenious ways your body develops, adapts, and endures. How does your brain communicate with your body in order to help you learn new skills? What is the connection between a teenager’s craving for fatty foods and sudden growth spurts? And how does cell regeneration allow an octogenarian to compete in a grueling triathlon and live to tell the tale? Case studies from across the globe showcase the dazzling secret science of the human body.

A child prodigy in Phoenix demonstrates the brain’s ability to prioritize mental development over physical growth, a chilling dip in an icy lake reveals how shivering might just save our lives, and low-level torture in a London laboratory highlights the way our bodies block pain. Witness the fascinating and finely tuned systems that keep your body motoring – and the scientists guessing.

 

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.

Arrow Video shoots straight to the horror heart of Halloween with these fab releases

Forget that summer has slowed down.

Before you trick, Arrow Video brings you treats for Halloween.

A sampling . . .

Arrow Video releases a pivotal work in the career of director Kinji Fukasaku with the release of Street Mobster.
Street Mobster

A street wise punk with untamed anger and a lack of respect for authority gets caught in a bloody street war in hopes of securing turf for the remnants of a gang he once belonged to.

For fans of Italian horror you’ll want to take note as The Cat O’Nine Tails and What Have They Done to Your Daughters? come to Blu-ray.  The former is the middle entry in the “Animal Trilogy” from the maestro Dario Argento, and is the tale of a newspaper reporter and retired, blind journalist that join forces to solve a series of killings connected to a pharmaceutical company’s top-secret projects.

The latter is director Massimo Dallamano’s story of a police investigation into teen suicide that uncovers the dark details behind a teenage prostitution racket. Both films are landmark entries in Italian genre cinema.
Then there’s The Gore Gore Girls, a darkly comedic spatter fest from legendary filmmaker Herschell Gordon Lewis follows a young reporter as she attempts to solve the murder of a Chicago stripper.
Gore Gore Girls, The
The last film Lewis would make before returning 30 years later, it marked the first time he submitted one of his films to the MPAA where it would receive an X rating

Tideland is  a controversial film from visionary director Terry Gilliam that follows a young girl who is left alone in a decrepit country estate where she is forced to live within her own imagination.
Tideland
Responses to this dark fantasy have been divisive across the board, but one thing that can be agreed upon is that you won’t soon forget it.

Dope beats, unfriendly fire and the biggest, nastiest snake you’ve ever seen star in the hiss-terical comedy “Snake Outta Compton”  

Expect the unexpected a mere week before Halloween when Snake Outta Compton arrives on DVD, Digital and On Demand from Lionsgate.

It’s a great day in South Central: Cam and his hip-hop crew are all set to sign a record deal that could change their lives. But their jealous friend Vurkel wrecks their plans when he creates a giant, mutant snake that quickly lays waste to the city of Compton, eating everyone in its path. Soon Cam, Pinball, Neon, and Beez Neez cook up a crazy scheme to stop the monstrous, munching menace: Aided by two corrupt cops, a crazed gangster and a mad scientist, the band has one thing to do before getting the record deal they need–get that motherfuckin’ Snake Outta Compton!
Prepare yourself for dope beats, unfriendly fire, and the biggest, nastiest snake you’ve ever seen in this outrageous hiss-terical comedy.

Want to know a secret? here’s a look at some new books for a new year, from W.W. Norton

Whenever we hear great news, we like to share it. Here, a sampling of the must-read, must-read titles coming from W.W. Norton next year. Why are are telling you so early? So you have save the bucks given to you throughout the holidays and then cash in on them! You’re welcome.

Bluff City: The Secret Life of Photographer Ernest Withers
By Preston Lauterbach (on sale January 15, 2019)
The little-known story of an iconic photographer, Ernest Withers, whose work captured and influenced a critical moment in American history.

book cover

 From his position at the heart of the cultural revolution, Withers took some of the most legendary images of the ’50s and 60s: Martin Luther King Jr. riding a newly integrated bus in Montgomery, Alabama; Emmett Till’s uncle pointing an accusatory finger across the courtroom at his nephew’s killer. From Black Power meetings to raucous Memphis nightclubs where Elvis brushed shoulders with B.B. King, Withers was simultaneously gathering information for the FBI. In this gripping narrative history, Preston Lauterbach examines the complicated political and economic forces that supported Withers’ seeming betrayal of those he witnessed.

Team Human
By Douglas Rushkoff (on sale January 22, 2019)
Our technologies, markets, and institutions often contain an anti-human agenda. Douglas Rushkoff, digital theorist and host of the Team Human podcast, reveals how forces for human connection have turned into ones of isolation and repression: robots taking our jobs, algorithms directing our attention, and social media undermining our democracy.
book cover

But all is not lost. It’s time for Team Human to take a stand, regenerate the social bonds that define us and, together, make a positive impact on this earth.

Good to Go: What the Athlete in All of Us Can Learn from the Strange Science of Recovery
By Christie Aschwanden (on sale February 5, 2019)
An eye-opening, myth-busting exploration of how the human body can best recover and adapt to sports and fitness training.

book cover

In Good to Go, acclaimed FiveThirtyEight science writer Christie Aschwanden takes readers on an entertaining and enlightening tour through the pseudoscience behind the latest sports recovery trends, products and services, providing answers to the fundamental question: Do any of them actually help the body recover and achieve peak performance?

Sounds Like Titanic: A Memoir
By Jessica Hindman (on sale February 12, 2019)
When aspiring violinist Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman lands a job with a professional ensemble, it is a lifelong dream come true. But the ensemble proves to be a sham—when the group “performs,” the microphones are never on. Instead, the music blares from a CD that sounds suspiciously like the Titanic soundtrack.

book cover

With vulnerability, humor, and sharp insight into ambition and gender, Hindman tells a surreal coming-of-age story that perfectly articulates the anxieties and illusions of her generation. As Sounds Like Titanic swells to a crescendo, it gives voice to the failed promises of a nation that takes comfort in false realities.

Greek to Me: Adventures of the Comma Queen
By Mary Norris (on sale April 2, 2019)
The beloved Comma Queen returns with a buoyant and charming book about language, love, and the wine-dark sea. In Greek to Me, Mary Norris delivers another wise and witty paean to the art of expressing oneself clearly and convincingly, this time filtered through her greatest passion: all things Greek.

book cover

 Filled with Norris’s memorable encounters with Greek words, Greek gods, Greek wine—and more than a few Greek waiters—Greek to Me is the Comma Queen’s fresh take on Greece and the exotic yet strangely familiar language that so deeply influences our own.

September’s chapter of sizzling Simon & Schuster must-have, must-read books

John Kerry tells the story of his remarkable American life—from son of a diplomat to decorated Vietnam veteran, five-term United States senator, 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, and Secretary of State for four years—a revealing memoir by a witness to some of the most important events of our recent history. Every Day is Extra ($35) is John Kerry’s candid personal story. A Yale graduate, Kerry enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1966, and served in Vietnam. He returned home highly decorated but disillusioned, and testified powerfully before Congress as a young veteran opposed to the war. Kerry served as a prosecutor in Massachusetts, then as lieutenant governor, and was elected to the Senate in 1984, eventually serving five terms. In 2004 he was the Democratic presidential nominee and came within one state—Ohio—of winning. Kerry returned to the Senate, chaired the important Foreign Relations Committee, and succeeded Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State in 2013. In that position he tried to find peace in the Middle East; dealt with the Syrian civil war while combatting ISIS; and negotiated the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris climate agreement.
Every Day Is ExtraEvery Day is Extra  shows Kerry for the dedicated, witty, and authentic man that he is, and provides forceful testimony for the importance of diplomacy and American leadership to address the increasingly complex challenges of a more globalized world.

 

Best-selling author, Pulitzer Prize winner and “America’s Historian-in-Chief”, Doris Kearns Goodwin has written a fascinating book, Leadership: In Turbulent Times ($30), is a culmination of five decades of work in presidential history.

Combining her signature storytelling with essential lessons from four of our nation’s presidents—Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson—Goodwin shows how they recognized leadership qualities within themselves and were recognized as leaders by other. She explores their unique journeys to as they navigated and grew through adversity, and she analyzes how they emerged to confront the challenges and contours of their times. Are leaders born or made? Where does ambition come from? How does adversity affect the growth of leadership? Does the leader make the times or do the times make the leader? This seminal work provides an accessible and indispensable road map for aspiring and established leaders in every field. In today’s polarized world, these stories of authentic leadership in times of apprehension and fracture take on a singular urgency.

Uproarious, highly anticipated, and yes, totally fake, The Mueller Report: The Leaked Investigation into President Donald Trump and His Inner Circle of Con Men, Circus Clowns, and Children  ($16) shares with the American public the findings of  Mueller’s investigation into the election of asshole known as Alfred Frump, leaked to the Very Biased and Highly Unemployed comedy writer Jason O. Gilbert by an anonymous source known only as “Melania T.”

The Mueller Report: The Leaked Investigation into President Donald Trump and His Inner Circle of Con Men, Circus Clowns, and Children He Named After Himself by [Gilbert, Jason O.]

This is a hoot,  a hilarious inventory of the dirt, grime and Big Mac crumbs that the special counsel has collected on President Trump during his months of investigation. Filled with interview transcripts, intercepted phone calls, incriminating emails, text exchanges, ALL-CAPS TRUMP TWEETS WITH SPELING ERRORS, and more, it whisks readers from the leaky White House to an even leakier Ritz-Carlton hotel room in Moscow, from Donald Trump Jr.’s covert meeting with Russians in Trump Tower to Michael Cohen’s secret sale of a Trump Tower apartment to a shell corporation called Oligarch LLC. And, for the first time, you’ll find out what really happened in that Moscow Ritz-Carlton hotel room between Donald Trump and two well-hydrated Russian escorts. NOT GOOD!

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