The following article was written by my friend and colleague Alonso Duralde. You can learn more about him HERE.



Monkey Man (Universal Pictures Home Entertainment): Dev Patel’s stunning directorial debut almost didn’t get seen at all by audiences when original distributor Netflix got antsy about some of the action movie’s political themes, but thankfully Jordan Peele and Universal swooped in to bring this exciting saga to theaters and, now, to physical media. Patel stars as an underground fight-club brawler who goes to work in a high-class brothel as part of a long game of revenge, which unfolds thrillingly and brutally.

Also available:

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire (Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment): One of the better Legendary monster movies sees the legendary kaiju icons fighting side by side in an underground kingdom.

The Hunger Games: 5-Film Collection (Lionsgate): A new addition to the franchise (The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes) means, of course, a new box set.

Kung Fu Panda 4 (Universal Pictures Home Entertainment): Jack Black is back with new moves and old friends in this animated sequel.

The Long Game (Universal Pictures Home Entertainment): Jay Hernandez and Cheech Marin star in this based-on-a-true-story tale of Mexican-American caddies in the 1950s who created their own golf course.

Love Lies Bleeding (A24): Kristen Stewart and Katy O’Brian star in a saga of murder and steroids that’s one of the year’s hottest LGBTQ+ films (with one of the year’s most talked-about endings).

Mars Express (GKIDS/Shout Factory): This French animated sci-fi thriller follows a detective and her android sidekick as they set out to solve a murder on Mars in the 23rd century.

The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare(Lionsgate): It’s the latest from Guy Ritchie, so expect plenty of nattily-dressed gents blowing things up and flirting with each other.

The Old Oak (Zeitgeist Films): If this drama winds up being the final film from Ken Loach, as the legendary director has said, he’s going out on a high note with this moving tale of embittered, unemployed Brits and a community of Syrian refugees who come to town.

Wicked Little Letters (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment): Olivia Colman and Jessie Buckley are 1950s neighbors whose feud erupts in a series of profane poison-pen letters in this comedy based loosely on true events.


Big Boys (Dark Star Pictures): Writer-director Corey Sherman’s award-winning debut follows young adolescent Jamie (the extraordinary Isaac Krasner) – the kind of kid who’s way more into The Barefoot Contessa than sports – on a camping trip, where the presence of his cousin’s handsome and husky new boyfriend sends the younger man into a spiral of self-discovery. A hilarious and empathetic coming-of-age tale, Big Boys is a sweet and occasionally discomfiting evocation of a first queer crush.

Also available:

Edge of Everything (Lightyear): Fourteen-year-old Abby finds her life turned upside down following the death of her mother in this award-winner from writer-directors Sophia Sabella and Pablo Feldman.

Lost Soulz (Kino Lorber): A young rapper sets off on a life-changing road trip through Texas with a group of musicians that will forever change his life and will force him to confront the guilt that haunts him.

The Mattachine Family (Giant Pictures): When their foster child is reunited with his birth mother, two queer dads explore the possibilities of their future and explore the idea of what family really means. The standout cast includes Nico Tortorella, Juan Pablo Di Pace, Heather Matarazzo, and Hacks’ Carl Clemons-Hopkins.

Nowhere Special (Cohen Media Group): A terminally ill blue-collar worker struggles to find a new home for the 4-year-old son he has raised on his own.

Roll with It (Shout Studios): A widowed mom enters a karaoke contest to save her family home in this faith-based comedy.


The First Slam Dunk (GKIDS/Shout Studios): While most of the anime titles that find a foothold in America deal with fantasy or science-fiction, Japanese animated films (and the comics they’re based on) cover a broad range of subjects. This import hit might be the first sports-themed anime to get a major US release, and this new Blu-ray release of the basketball drama includes an interview with Takehiko Inoue as well as commentary from the English-dub actors.

Also available: 

Digimon Adventure 02: The Beginning (Shout Studios/Toei Animation): The popular TV series celebrates its 25th anniversary with a feature-length adventure.

Don’t Look at Me That Way (IndiePix): Uisenma Borcha’s 2015 directorial debut focuses on a tempestuous relationship between two women, a breakthrough for Mongolian cinema.

Io Capitano (Cohen Media Group): Matteo Garrone’s lyrical and harrowing drama follows two teenagers on a perilous trek from Senegal to Italy as they search for a better life.

The Sales Girl (Film Movement): A college girl take a temp gig as cashier at a sex shop, setting her off on an unexpected journey of discovery in this insightful sex comedy from Mongolian auteur Janchivdorj Sengedorj.

Toni (Distrib Films): Camille Cottin (Call My Agent!, A Haunting in Venice) stars as a single mom and former one-hit wonder who begins to contemplate what her life might be after her kids grow up and move out.


Remembering Gene Wilder (Kino Lorber): This loving tribute to the star of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and Young Frankenstein benefits not only from the recollections of friends, co-stars, and critics (including Mel Brooks, Carol Kane, and Ben Mankiewicz) but also from the voice of Wilder himself, who recorded an audiobook of his memoirs, providing first-person perspective and warmly recalled anecdotes. Some of the filmmaker’s choices lean toward the pragmatic – there’s quite a bit of discussion about The Frisco Kid, more because of available interviewees than because of that movie’s importance to Wilder’s filmography – but it’s a lovely valentine to a singular screen icon.

Also available:

Copa 71 (Greenwich Entertainment): The legendary and hidden-from-history 1971 Women’s Soccer World Cup lives again in this celebratory documentary.

Ennio (Music Box Films): Director Giuseppe Tornatore (Cinema Paradiso) pays tribute to his longtime friend and collaborator, the legendary film composer Ennio Morricone.

Hidden Master: The Legacy of George Platt Lynes(Greenwich Entertainment): A celebration of the legendary queer artist who made his living photographing celebrities but who earned his place in the pantheon with his brilliant series of male nudes.

In the Company of Kings (Virgil Films): An admirer of the sweet science talks to legendary boxers, including Larry Holmes and the Spinks brothers, about their lives inside and out of the ring.

Meeting the Beatles in India (Unobstructed View): The culture-shaking connection between the Fab Four and the Maharishi Mahesh Yoga is recalled by David Lynch and Pattie Boyd, among others.

Orlando: My Political Biography (Janus Contemporaries): This groundbreaking queer film from Paul B. Preciado uses Virginia Woolf’s writings as a radical manifesto and coming-out text for contemporary trans people.


Immaculate (Decal/Neon): The trappings and traditions of Catholicism are catnip for horror filmmakers – see: pretty much any exorcism movie – but this movie gets more mileage out of religion and its underpinnings than many of its less-daring contemporaries. Sydney Sweeney stars as a devout young novitiate sent to a gloomy Gothic convent where nuns literally go to die, only to find herself trapped in terrifying circumstances. It’s an audacious thriller, not for the faint of heart.

Also available:

Blind War (Well Go USA Entertainment): A police captain, retired after a siege left him blinded, must go back into action when his daughter is kidnapped in this Chinese martial-arts saga.

Common Law Wife & Jennie, Wife/Child(Something Weird/Film Masters): Two remastered hicksploitation classics, on a new Blu-ray that features commentary from TCM’s Ben Cheaves and TCM Underground co-author Millie De Chirico.

Das Komabrutalle Duell (Massacre Video): This film’s director claimed it began the sub-genre known as “party splatter,” so put your poncho on if you’re gonna be in the splash zone.

Death Machine (KL Studio Classics): In the future year of 2003 – this 1994 film was an early effort from Stephen Norrington, who would go on to direct Bladeand The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen – the female CEO of an arms manufacturer must shut down the ultimate killer robot.

Hunt Her, Kill Her (Massacre Video): This controversial action tale of one woman’s vengeance comes to Blu-ray with extras that include a commentary track from lead Natalie Terrazzino alongside the film’s co-directors.

Nude for Satan (Redemption): I mean, you read this title, and you are in or you are out. This 1974 Italian erotic Gothic thriller bars no holds.


Bound and Querelle (both The Criterion Collection): Celebrate Pride month with two influential queer classics. The Wachowskis’ directorial debut Boundgets a new 4K restoration (making its big-screen premiere June 26 in Los Angeles), and it’s a reminder that this 1996 heist thriller still fires on all cylinders, from the extraordinary craftsmanship on display – Lana and Lily had a flair for audacious camera moves well before The Matrix) to the scorching chemistry between Gina Gershon and Jennifer Tilly. Moving from alpha to omega, Querelle was the final film in the short but packed career of Rainer Werner Fassbinder, who directed 40 features in 13 years. This fast-and-loose adaptation of the Jean Genet story is a trippy
and erotic fantasia, starring Brad Davis as a sailor who drives everyone around him into a sexual frenzy.

Also available:

American Gigolo (Arrow Video): This turning point in mainstream cinema’s objectification of the male body makes its 4K debut.

Anna Boleyn (Kino Classics): Another early silent classic from Ernst Lubitsch, this historical drama stars Henny Porten in the title role, opposite a voracious Emil Jannings as Henry VIII.

Bad Lieutenant (KL Studio Classics): Harvey Keitel’s intensely troubled cop remains fascinating decades later, with Abel Ferrara’s disturbing crime drama making its 4K debut.

The Chase (KL Studio Classics): This Blu-ray of Arthur Ripley’s vintage noir tale – starring Robert Cummings as a former GI wrongfully accused of murder – features a commentary track by auteur Guy Maddin.

Chinatown (Paramount Home Entertainment): Celebrate the 50th anniversary of this neo-noir masterpiece with a 4K reissue and a bonus disc featuring the Jack Nicholson–directed sequel The Two Jakes on Blu-ray.

Dance Me Outside (Unobstructed View): Adam Beach and Michael Greyeyes star in Bruce McDonald’s beloved comedy set among Ontario’s First Nation community.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (The Criterion Collection): Terry Gilliam and Johnny Depp give Hunter S. Thompson’s writings the weirdness they deserve; first-time 4K release.

Film Noir: The Dark Side of Cinema XIX (KL Studio Classics) This latest collection of noir classics features films — Dark City; No Man of Her Own; Beware, My Lovely – directed by William Dieterle, Mitchell Leisen, and Harry Horner, respectively.

Glory (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment): For the Civil War and/or Denzel Washington buff, now released as a 4K steelbook.

The Hour Before the Dawn (KL Studio Classics): A Nazi spy (Veronica Lake) exploits the pacificism of a British conscientious objector (Franchot Tone) in this W. Somerset Maugham adaptation.

The Karate Kid (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment): Now you can wax on, wax off, and sweep the leg in 4K.

La Femme Nikita (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment): Luc Besson’s tale of a slinky assassin (Anne Parillaud) inspired a remake, a TV series, and countless knockoffs, and now it’s available as a 4K steelbook.

Macbeth (KL Studio Classics): Two of the ongoing threads of Orson Welles’ genius were his facility at adapting Shakespeare and his ability to get the most out of a limited budget, and both of those attributes are brilliantly on display here.

Matinee (Shout Studios): Joe Dante’s effervescent salute to William Castle and other cinematic hucksters makes its 4K debut.

Mouthpiece / When Night Is Falling / White Room(all Kino Lorber): Kino Lorber follows its recent reissue of queer Canadian auteur Patricia Rozema’s I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing with three more of her essential films.

Mute Witness (Arrow Video): This delightfully bone-chilling thriller, set on a Moscow movie set, makes its 4K debut.

The North Star / Armored Attack! (KL Studio Classics): A fascinating look at the power of editing: Lewis Milestone’s The North Star was designed to celebrate the Soviet Union’s contributions to the Allied efforts of WWII; when such sentiments became verboten, the film was re-edited to remove positive references to the USSR and was turned into the anti-Communist Armored Attack! This Blu-ray features both versions.

Purple Rain (Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment): Prince’s groundbreaking big-screen debut gets its first 4K release.

Pursued (KL Studio Classics): Robert Mitchum and Teresa Wright star in the Raoul Walsh saga that Martin Scorsese called “the first Western noir.”

Saigon (KL Studio Classics): Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake co-starred for the final time in this WWII thriller about a pilot and secretary whose plane, loaded with contraband cargo, is forced to land in Vietnam.

South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut and Team America: World Police (both Paramount Home Entertainment): Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s audacious animated features – turning 25 and 20 this year, respectively – make their 4K debuts.

Sympathy for the Underdog (Radiance): Director Kinji Fusasaku’s string of acclaimed 1970s yakuza thrillers kicks off with his look at a former gang leader seeking out new turf after a decade behind bars.

Victims of Sin (The Criterion Collection): Crime drama, maternal melodrama, and mambo musical bump up against each other in this 1951 Mexican classic, featured in a gorgeous restoration; extras include a discussion with acclaimed cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto about the work of the film’s director of photography, Carlos Figueroa.


The Underground Railroad (The Criterion Collection): Barry Jenkins followed up his exceptional work on Moonlight and If Beale Street Could Talk with this adaptation of Colson Whitehead’s novel. A radical blend of unflinching naturalism and magical realism, this miniseries represents one of the most provocative examinations of the horrors of slavery and its ongoing repercussions throughout the American experience.

Also available:

Battle Kaiju Series 03: Ultraman vs. Gomora (Mill Creek Entertainment): Over 16 episodes and a feature film, all featured here, Ultraman battles one of his deadliest foes.

Dexter’s Laboratory: The Complete Series (Cartoon Network/WBD): The pint-sized mad scientist stars in this delightfully daffy series, captured in this beautiful new box set.

Manifest: The Complete Series (Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment): This thrilling series won’t cure your fear of flying, but the mystery will keep you compelled over its multi-season narrative arc.

Welcome Back, Kotter: The Complete Series(Warner Bros, Discovery Home Entertainment): The Sweathogs seem downright quaint next to, say, the kids from Euphoria, but this beloved 1970s sitcom maintains its charm all these decades later.

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July 2024