Home Theater: ‘The Sandlot’ and ‘Sky’ are some of the latest editions on streaming services and Blu-ray
Tales of crime and punishment are the main attractions this week among new Blu-rays and streaming titles.
Sky: A riveting tale of transformation, this drama pivots on a sullen French tourist (Diane Kruger) named Romy who is trapped in an unhappy marriage. After dumping her husband in a roadside motel in rural California, Romy embarks on a life-changing journey through the desert, crossing paths with strangers (Norman Reedus, Lena Dunham, Joshua Jackson) who impact her life in big and small ways. The secret of “Sky’s” emotional pull is Kruger, who’s never been better. As with the movie itself, she has a scrappy integrity that keeps you watching. On DVD, Amazon, iTunes, Google, Vudu
King Georges: On the menu of this tasty documentary is a portrait of one of the world’s most temperamental chefs. Set over the course of three years beginning in 2010 as Philadelphia’s Le Bec-Fin restaurant begins to flounder, the film centers on chef Georges Perrier as he tries and fails to keep the restaurant open. Filmmaker Erika Frankel provides a bit of history on Perrier and his establishment but most of the footage features the chef losing his famous temper. On Hulu
Crime Wave: 50 Movie Collection: Talk about a great deal! Fifty film noirs from Hollywood’s Golden Age are packaged together for $30. Scranton’s Lizabeth Scott lends her distinctive brand of steam heat to two of the best titles: “The Strange Love of Martha Ivers” (1946) with Barbara Stanwyck and Kirk Douglas; and the even-better “Too Late For Tears” (1949), in which the NEPA native plays a femme fatale capable of out-scheming a boatload of desperados. On DVD.
A Walk Among The Tombstones: Leaving HBO Now at the end of August, this solemn crime thriller, based on Lawrence Block’s bestselling novel, centers on Matthew Scudder (Liam Neeson), a disgraced-cop-turned-unlicensed private eye who agrees to help a drug trafficker (“Downton Abbey’s” Dan Stevens) hunt down the men who kidnapped and murdered his wife.
We Monsters: The recently divorced Paul (Mehdi Nebbou) and Christine (Ulrike C. Tscharre) go to desperate lengths to protect their teenage daughter (Janina Fautz) from an arrest after she confesses to killing her best friend. But, as the parents quickly discover in this crackerjack thriller from Germany’s Sebastian Ko, one lie only leads to many others. Despite a too-abrupt ending, “We Monsters” knows how to build tension and tighten it. On DVD, Amazon, iTunes, Google, Vudu.
Donald Trump’s The Art of the Deal: The Movie: The Funny or Die website produced this satirical, 50-minute adaptation of Donald Trump’s 1987 book starring Johnny Depp as the ever-boastful mogul. But, oddly enough, the short was quickly pulled from Funny Or Die and is now showing exclusively on Netflix. Watch for cameos by Ron Howard, Henry Winkler and “Room’s” Jacob Tremblay.
Women He’s Undressed: Any one with even a passing interest in the Golden Age of Hollywood should snap up this doc about the late costume designer Orry-Kelly, a three-time Oscar winner who created the outfits for such classics as “Dark Victory,” “Casablanca,” and “Some Like It Hot.” Not only does director Gillian Armstrong (“High Tide”) brilliantly break down the particulars of Kelly’s stunning designs but she also delves deep into Kelly’s romance with a then-struggling Cary Grant. Jane Fonda and Angela Lansbury fill in the blanks of Kelly’s brilliant career. On DVD, Amazon, iTunes, Google, Vudu.
The Sandlot: It’s 1962 and fifth-grader Scotty Smalls (Tom Guiry) has just moved to Florida with his folks (Karen Allen, Denis Leary) when he’s recruited by some neighborhood kids for their ragtag baseball team. Every day, the pals head off to a dilapidated sandlot where they spend hours just playing the game. Writer/director David Mickey Evans, a Wilkes-Barre native, avoids many of the pitfalls of sports movies with his vibrant screenplay and breezy direction. On Netflix.
The Affair: Season Two: The reverberations of a secret summer liaison between Noah (Dominic West) and Alison (Ruth Wilson) are still being felt in this intriguing Showtime series which constantly shifts perspectives between Noah and Alison as well as their spurned spouses Helen (Maura Tierney) and Cole (Joshua Jackson). Every episode seems stocked with double-crosses, complex family ties, vengeance and romance. On DVD, Amazon, iTunes, Google, Vudu.
Hiroshima Mon Amour: The remarkable debut feature by Alain Resnais is set over the course of a few days in 1950s Hiroshima as a French actress (Emmanuelle Riva) and a Japanese architect (Eiji Okada) engage in a brief affair. As she prepares to leave Japan, she shares a story about a German soldier she loved during World War II. Stylistically daring and emotionally potent, “Hiroshima” interweaves past and present, personal suffering and public anguish. It’s also one of the most powerful anti-war films ever made. On Blu-ray.
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