July 17, 2014 at 2:19 PM

Video Library New Releases

Week of Friday July 18th 2014

By Casey St. Charnez

Media Rare

Casey St. Charnez has been video editor for Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide since 1986 and buyer for Lisa Harris' Video Library since 1981. He likes Lisa, cats, crosswords, and the Metropolitan Opera, probably in that order.


Even more New Mysteries on DVD:
Case Histories (2014-Scots) Jason Isaccs. From the novels by Kate Atkinson (available at the SFe Public Library). Season 3, 3 episodes (“Started Early, Took My Dog,” “Nobody’s Darling,” “Jackson and the Women”), 3 discs.

Detective Inspector Irene Huss (2010-Sweden) From the novels by Helene Tursten (most available at the SFe Public Library). Series 1, 3 individual cases “The Torso,” “The Horse Figurine,” “The Fire Dance”), 3 discs.

Fabio Montale (2001-French) Alain Delon. From the novels by Jean-Claude Izzo (some available at the SFe Public Library). One series, 3 individual cases (“Total Kheops,” “Chuormo,” “Solea”), 3 discs.

New DVD:
Ball of Fire (1941) B&W-111min. D: Howard Hawks. Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck, Gene Krupa. True comedy classic about a burlesque queen hiding out from her gangster boyfriend in a house of eccentric scholars. Swing variation on “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” from a clever script by Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett. Highly recommended.

Bethlehem (2013-Israel) C-99min. D: Yuval Adler. Teenage informant working for Israeli intelligence has an older brother who’s a notorious terrorist. But is he really doing the job or is he just a tool? Very realistic, shot on location, and acted largely by non-professionals. [NR]

Face of Love, The (2014) C-92min. D: Arie Posin. Annette Bening, Ed Harris, Robin Williams. Five years after being widowed, a woman, still deeply grieving, spots a man who seems to be the doppelganger of her late husband. She pursues him, in a romantic but lightly creepy variation on Vertigo. [PG-13]

M Word, The (2014) C-111min. D,CoSc: Henry Jaglom. Tanna Frederick, Michael Imperioli, Corey Feldman, Frances Fisher, Gregory Harrison, Simon O. Jaglom, Zach Norman, Michael Emil, Ron Vignone (also CoSc). Comedy about a kids’ TV host at a struggling indie TV channel in L.A., facing iffy job expectancy when the new no-nonsense station owner takes over and starts slashing jobs. Only one thing can save the day: the M word. [R]

Night in Old Mexico, A (2014-Mexico) C-104min. D: Emilio Aragón. Robert Duvall, Jeremy Irvine, Angie Cepeda. Crusty old Texas rancher (Duvall, of course), who has just lost his property meets up with his grandson for an eventful trip across the border. Exactly what you expect, which is a good thing. Written by Bill Wittliff (Lonesome Dove). [NR]

Rio 2 (2014) C-101min. D: Carlos Saldanha. The rare blue macaws Blu and Jewel from Rio (2011) have a family now, but decide to leave the big city and join a search for others like themselves on the Amazon. Brilliantly hued, with super music from bossa nova bad boy Sergio Mendes. Voices: Anne Hathaway, Jesse Eisenberg, Bruno Mars, will.i.am.  [G]

Under the Skin (2013-US-Ebgland-Switzerland) C-108min. D: Jonathan Glazer. Scarlett Johansson. A mysterious woman, often naked, lures men to their doom. They just can’t help themselves. She can’t help it either. She’s from outer space. You know how that is. From the 2000 sci-fi novel by Michel Faber (available at the SFe Public Library). [R]

New Blu-ray:
Rio 2 (2014)

New TV:
Hell on Wheels (2014-AMC) Season 3, 10 episodes, 3 discs.

Orphan Black (2014-BBC) Season 2, 10 episodes, 3 discs.

Suits (2014-USA Network) Season 3, 16 episodes, 4 discs.