Saturday, November 28, 2015

New on Amazon Prime: December 2015

Available Dec. 1
Something’s Gotta Give
River of No Return
The Details
Available Dec. 9
Meet Me in Montenegro

Available Dec. 11
Transparent, season 2
Available Dec. 12
Tumble Leaf, season 2
Available Dec. 15
Cutie and the Boxer

Available Dec. 19
Available Dec. 26
The Gambler
Available Dec. 27
Stick Man

Available Dec. 30
Mozart in the Jungle, season 2
Black Beauty
Curly Sue
Free Willy

Friday, November 27, 2015

New on Netflix Streaming: December 2015

#DeathToSelfie (2014)
Sermons offers Christian solutions for finding peace in a world where people compare their unfiltered lives to others edited to appear perfect.
30 for 30: Chasing Tyson (2015)
This film follows boxer Evander Holyfeld’s journey to take on the controversial Mike Tyson and the aftermath of their unforgettable first match.
50 Shades of THEY: Season 1
Delving deep into various aspects of relationships, Pastor Ed Young discusses how the choices we make affect the quality of our human connections.
A Christmas Star (2015)
Born under the Christmas Star, Noelle says she can perform miracles. When trouble comes to town, it’s up to Noelle to prove herself and save the day.
A Genius Leaves the Hood: The Unauthorized Story of Jay Z (2014)
Follow Jay-Z outside the recording studio to discover how shrewd business sense and insistence on doing things his own way has made him a true mogul.
Amnesiac (2015)
A man awakes in bed unable to recall who he is — the victim of a car accident and resulting coma. The woman helping him recover is supposedly his wife, but when care turns to torture and his bed becomes a prison, the truth might prove deadly.
Broadchurch: Season 2
After a young boy is murdered in the small seaside town of Broadchurch, local detectives Ellie Miller and Alec Hardy are assigned the mysterious case.

CBGB (2013)
Renewing the legend of one of New York’s most storied nightclubs, this raucous drama features the punk and rock legends who made CBGB famous.
Christmas Wedding Baby (2014)
As she prepares to marry her workaholic fiancé, bride-to-be Andrea discovers her wedding-photographer ex-boyfriend was hired to capture the nuptials.
The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury (2004)
Riddick has been abducted and is being held aboard a spaceship by money-hungry bounty hunters, who must deal with Riddick’s overwhelming wrath.
Cradle 2 the Grave (2003)
When a gang leader pulls off a diamond heist with his crew, a cop turned criminal responds by kidnapping his daughter and holding her for ransom.
Darkman (1990)
After a brilliant scientist is almost killed by gangsters in a massive explosion, he becomes Darkman, an impossibly strong, tormented antihero.
Detectorists: Season 1
Two quirky friends share a passion for metal detecting and a dream of unearthing Saxon treasure that they’re certain is buried in a local farm field.
After many mistakes and adventures, comedian Brent Morin admits that he wants to be in love, but is nowhere near ready for a relationship.

Jenny’s Wedding (2015)
When Jenny plans to marry her girlfriend, she decides it’s time that her family, who doesn’t know that she’s a lesbian, finally learns the truth.
Las mágicas historias de Plim Plim: Season 1
Plim Plim the clown shares magical stories that teach kids the importance of helping those in need, making friends and taking care of Earth.
Ray (2004)
In this biopic, Jamie Foxx portrays rhythm and blues legend Ray Charles, who rose from obscurity and overcame his struggles to become world famous.
Real Rob: Season 1 (2015) — NETFLIX EXCLUSIVE
Go inside the world of comedian and actor Rob Schneider in this comedy series that follows the ups and downs of his career and family life.
See You In Valhalla (2015)
After her brother’s odd death, a young woman reunites with her quirky family, then must navigate her way through the minefields of her troubled past.
Sensitive Skin: Season 1
Empty-nesters Al (Denis Lawson) and Davina Jackson (Joanna Lumley) have a wonderful life: They love their jobs, both still look great at 60, and they’re ready for a fun new phase of their existence. But things don’t go as swimmingly as they expect in this BBC television series. They find themselves dealing with professional issues, extramarital temptations and their 30-year-old son Orlando’s (James Lance) enduring case of arrested development.
Starting Over: Season 1
Andy Stanley hosts this series that examines common mistakes made in marriages, careers and personal lives, and how to break the cycle of failure. .

Stir of Echoes (1999)
After being hypnotized, a man begins having visions of a horrible crime and learns that the girl in his visions disappeared from his neighborhood.
Stir of Echoes: The Homecoming (2007)
Rob Lowe stars in this spooky drama about a National Guard captain who returns from Iraq to find himself haunted by visions of the civilians he accidentally killed during his tour of duty in the war-torn nation. Losing his grip on his family as well as his sanity, the beleaguered veteran enlists the help of a psychic to silence the spirits — but it turns out the seer is as sick as the vet, who now realizes he must resort to drastic measures.
That Touch of Mink (1962)
Small-town girl Cathy moves to New York and falls for ladies’ man Philip. But she’s looking for a lifetime commitment, and he just wants to have fun.
Tyke: Elephant Outlaw — NETFLIX EXCLUSIVE
This is the gripping and emotionally charged story of Tyke, a circus elephant who went on a rampage in Honolulu in 1994, killed her trainer in front of thousands of spectators and died in a hail of gunfire.
Winning Life’s Battles: Season 1
Christian teachings advise about how God can help believes tackle their fears and problems and defend themselves against the devil.
Stations of the Cross (2014)
Though her family is already devoutly Catholic, 14-year-old Maria wants to be a saint, subjecting herself to the physical pains suffered by Christ.

Tangerine (2015)
Fresh out of a stint in jail, transgender prostitute Sin-Dee and her pal Alexandra hit the crazy streets of LA to get revenge on her fickle pimp.
Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine (2015)
Bringing the modern legacy of hostility toward gays into sharp and searing focus, the uniquely cruel murder of Matthew Shepard in 1998 had a stunning effect on the American public. This poignant documentary recounts his brief life and grisly death.
A Very Murray Christmas (2015)– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Bill Murray rounds up an all-star cast for an evening of music, comedy, and good cheer in this homage to classic holiday variety shows.
Comedy Bang! Bang!: Season 4 – more episodes
Scott Aukerman brings his popular podcast Comedy Bang! Bang! to television, along with his co-host and bandleader, Reggie Watts.
A Case of You (2013)
Nursing a secret crush on a cute coffee barista, a lowly writer sets out to become the man she desires — by studying her Facebook profile.
Dinosaur 13 (2014)
Documentarian Todd Miller chronicles the legal battles that followed the historic 1990 discovery of the first complete Tyrannosaurus rex.
Inside Man: Season 3
Acclaimed documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock hosts this CNN original series that provides an insider’s view of diverse sectors of American life.
Vampire Academy (2014)
At St. Vladimir’s Academy, Rose Hathaway learns to navigate life as a dhampir, a half-human vampire, and prepares to become a leader of the Moroi.
One & Two (2015)
A brother and sister use teleportation to escape their troubled home life and authoritarian father, who keeps them sequestered from the world outside.

Phoenix (2014)
Unrecognized to her husband after reconstructive facial surgery, a concentration camp survivor resolves to find out if he betrayed her to the Nazis.
Xenia (2014)
A gay teen and his brother head out on a wild journey to find the Greek father they recently learned about, hoping they can secure Greek citizenship.
Phineas and Ferb: Season 4
Phineas and Ferb invent, scheme and stay one step ahead of their bratty sister. Meanwhile, their pet platypus plots against evil Dr. Doofenshmirtz.
Trailer Park Boys: Drunk, High And Unemployed Live In Austin (2015) — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Ricky, Julian and Bubbles bring their trailer park humor out onto the stage for a night of bravado, schemes and an intoxicated acting demo.
The Adventures of Puss in Boots: Season 2 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
The world’s greatest feline fighter, lover and milk connoisseur takes on daring adventures in exotic locations in this family-friendly comedy series.
The Ridiculous 6 (2015) — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
When his long-lost outlaw father returns, Tommy “White Knife” Stockburn goes on an adventure-filled journey across the Old West with his five brothers.
The Da Vinci Code (2006)
When the curator of the Louvre is killed, a Harvard professor and a cryptographer must untangle a web of deceit involving works of Leonardo da Vinci.
Drown (2014)
When a surging champion is dethroned by a newcomer, a booze-fueled night brings waves of jealousy, homophobia, unrequited lust and shocking tragedy.
Hart of Dixie: Season 4
Fast-talking city girl Zoe Hart winds up patching up the locals of a tiny town in the Deep South when she inherits a medical practice in Alabama.
High Profits: Season 1
A young, business-minded Colorado couple attempts to create an empire with a visionary plan unlike any other to legally franchise marijuana.

Time Out of Mind (2014)
A homeless man struggling to survive in New York and reconnect with his estranged daughter is aided by a sympathetic friend he makes in a shelter.
Fresh Dressed (2015)
Though it sprang from the depth of black culture, hip-hop fashion has spread to the masses and taken on a whole new meaning.
Helix: Season 2
While investigating a possible outbreak at an Arctic research facility, scientists discover a new virus that could wipe out every human on the planet.
F is for Family: Season 1 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Follow the Murphy family back to the 1970s, a time when you could smack your kid, smoke inside and bring a gun to the airport. From comic Bill Burr.
Glitter Force: Season 1 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Five preteen girls learn they’re a legendary superhero squad known as the Glitter Force. Their mission? To defend Earth from evil fairytale villains.
Making A Murderer: Season 1 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Filmed over 10 years, this real-life thriller follows a DNA exoneree who, while exposing police corruption, becomes a suspect in a grisly new crime.
Mike Epps: Don’t Take It Personal — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Mike Epps wastes no time bringing his unapologetic and raunchy swagger to a howling live audience at the historic Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles.

chloe and theo (2015)
An Inuit travels from the Arctic to New York to warn leaders about global warming. Once there, he meets a quirky homeless girl who offers to help him.
Leo the Lion (2013)
Eschewing the carnivorous ways of his fellow lions, maverick Leo follows a vegetarian diet — causing the other lions to shun him.
Magic Snowflake (2013)
Young Nicolas agrees to do Santa’s work for one year. But the stress of the job threatens the boy’s sense of joy — and Christmas itself.
Santa’s Apprentice (2010)
Santa doesn’t want to retire, but rules are rules and he must train someone to replace him. The lucky winner, to be chosen from among millions of children, must be named Nicholas, be an orphan and have a pure heart. On the other side of the planet, there is a little boy who is a perfect match, but his lack of self- confidence and fear of heights make him a poor contestant. Will Santa agree to step down, and help his apprentice take his place?
El Señor de los Cielos: Season 3
Only Aurelio Casillas can fill Pablo Escobar’s shoes and become Mexico’s biggest drug trafficker of the ‘90s.
Queen of Earth (2015)
Numb from a series of sad events, Catherine seeks refuge at the lake house of an old friend, but the women soon find their bond cracking under stress.
Invisible Sister (2015)
When she tries to impress a science teacher with an ambitious experiment, a teen renders her sister invisible, forcing her to impersonate sibling.

Dawn of the Croods: Season 1 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
The world’s first family is back, funnier than ever and taking the prehistoric Croodaceous era by storm in this all-new family sitcom!
Black Mirror “White Christmas” Episode
This sci-fi anthology series in the vein of “The Twilight Zone” reflects on the darker side of technology and human nature.
Maron: Season 3
Marc Maron stars as Marc Maron, who interviews fellow comedians for his popular podcast, only to reveal more about his own neuroses and relationships.
My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Season 5
Journey to the enchanted land of Equestria, where unicorn Twilight Sparkle and her pals have adventures and learn valuable lessons about friendship.
Parenthood: Season 6
Four grown siblings juggle parenthood, relationships, careers and more as they cope with life’s ups and downs in this drama set in Berkeley, Calif.
Battle Creek: Season 1
A polished FBI agent must team up with a cynical cop when he’s dispatched to Battle Creek, Michigan, to set up an office at the local precinct.
Manhattan Romance (2014)
A filmmaker working on a documentary about love in modern Manhattan becomes personally entangled in the romantic lives of his subjects.
Violetta: Season 3
Violetta is a teen who returns from her time in Europe to her native Argentina, where she finds love and discovers her musical talents.

Nurse Jackie: Seasons 1-7
A flawed but dedicated ER nurse works in a New York City hospital and relies on pain meds to get through exhausting days in this Emmy-winning show.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Setsuko Hara: 1920 - 2015

The great Setsuko Hara, director Yasujirô Ozu’s favorite leading lady, passed away today at the age of 95. In her honor, here is a repost of our review of Criterion's release of Tokyo Story from 2013.

Yasujirô Ozu’s Tokyo Story from 1953, now available in a superbly packaged Blu-ray edition from Criterion, is a film that subtly captures the dynamics of family life in ways that feel stunningly real. There are moments here of such immediacy and personal truth that it seems impossible for Tokyo Story to be a relic of a bygone age and culture. Yet, due to Ozu’s masterful - one could say otherworldly - powers of observation, this sixty year old glimpse into the unremarkable lives of the Hirayama family presents the human condition with a universality that still rings true in 2013.

Tokyo Story is the final installment of what film scholars call The Noriko Trilogy; three films Ozu made shortly after WWII that feature a female character named Noriko, played by the charismatic Setsuko Hara. However, the films are not narratively continuous and, in fact, Noriko is a different woman, with different circumstances and conflicts, in each picture. Yet the films are tied together by similar themes of quaint family traditions versus the forces of modernity that seek to undo those traditions. The people of Japan may have been traumatized by atom bombs, but in Ozu’s delicate vision, the corporate world and early forms of feminism have wrought the most enduring changes to his nation’s social fabric.

In Tokyo Story, we meet Shukishi and Tomi Hirayama (Chishû Ryû and Chieko Higashiyama), a long married couple in their sixties who live a quiet life in the small town of Onomichi. As the film opens, the pair are packing for a long train journey to Tokyo, where they will visit their adult children, who are now busy with careers and families of their own. This expository sequence, which Ozu plays largely for subtle laughs, is complete with a nosy neighbor and a good natured squabble over a missing cushion. But in between the giggles, Ozu manages to establish the Hirayama’s family history and, more importantly, their outsized expectations for this trip. Those expectations are rooted in societal traditions of generational reverence, but those traditions are fading rapidly as Japan’s younger generation rushes to catch up with the Twentieth Century.

Once in Tokyo, the elder Hirayamas get passed from son Koichi (Sô Yamamura), a doctor, to daughter Shige (Haruko Sugimura), a beauty salon owner, and back again in a game of musical guest rooms. Koichi and Shige have precious few moments to spare for their parents and their visits feature long, restless silences and brief, disinterested conversations. Shige even ships Mom and Pop off to a seaside resort for a few days, but the constant noise of swinging singles in full party mode makes it a hellish stay for the reserved Hirayamas. Once back in Tokyo and again left to his own devices, Shukishi meets up with some old drinking buddies and experiences the sweet oblivion of too much sake, much to the comical alarm of Shige, who leaves her father to sleep it off in a barber’s chair.

Up to this point, Tokyo Story could be considered a gentle, rather modest comedic look at manners and mores in contemporary Japan. However Ozu has much more profound messaging in store. When the Hirayamas visit Noriko (Setsuko Hara), wife of their son Shoji who went missing in the war and is presumed dead, they find a kindred spirit who understands the unspoken purpose of their journey. Throughout the film, Ozu has used Tomi’s brief, bittersweet mutterings as a foreshadow of Tokyo Story’s tragic and transformative final act. The rapid spinning away of one’s time on earth, especially as that time grows ever shorter, is brought from subtext to full blown narrative catalyst, and ultimately all the characters are called to account for their actions. As the Hirayama family reunites for one of life’s most challenging yet inevitable passages, Ozu creates rhythms and moments of such touching clarity Tokyo Story is transported into the rarified realm of the unforgettable.

Experts generally consider Tokyo Story is be Yasujirô Ozu’s overall best film - a task akin to picking out the most beautiful gem in bag of diamonds - and Criterion’s wonderful Blu-ray will augment that reputation. It is a film this reviewer has enjoyed several times over the years, with each screening bringing new and profound facets to the surface. The extraordinary chemistry among Ozu, Chishû Ryû and Setsuko Hara - also found in Late Spring (1949) and Early Summer (1951) - reaches its zenith here, delivering an impassioned plea for remembrance and respect. Tokyo Story is really humanity’s story, and a stinging indictment of the myopic selfishness common to all members of the family of man.

Monday, November 23, 2015

TCM for December 2015

TCM celebrates this holiday month with a wide variety of film festivals to suit all tastes. With everything from Ma and Pa Kettle to Eric Rohmer in the mix, they'll be no airing of grievances this Festivus!  My picks below. All times Eastern. Full schedule Here.

1 Tuesday

The great Percy Kilbride and Marjorie Main in Ma and Pa Kettle.
8:00 PM
On the verge of eviction, the hillbilly family wins a slogan contest and moves into an automated home.
BW-76 mins,

9:30 PM
The hillbilly farmers win a contest and take off for New York City.
BW-79 mins,

11:00 PM
The hillbilly farmers take off in search of uranium.
BW-81 mins,

12:30 AM
The Ozark farmers try to clean up their act to help their son win a college scholarship.
BW-80 mins,

2 Wednesday

5:30 PM
A beautiful young woman stands trial for poisoning her lover.
BW-115 mins, CC,

Sinatra does it his way in this TV special from 1965.

8:00 PM
Frank Sinatra performs many of his classics for a TV audience.
C-52 mins,

4 Friday

12:30 AM
A newlywed couple's honeymoon is disrupted by their friends' marital problems.
BW-111 mins, CC,

5 Saturday
5:45 AM
A juvenile court judge investigates the tragedy of marijuana addiction in this short film.
C-10 mins,

6 Sunday

2:00 AM
A liberal Japanese family pays for its opposition to World War II.
BW-81 mins,

3:30 AM
A schoolteacher struggles to imbue her students with a positive view of the world and their place in it, despite the fact that she knows of the oncoming war.
BW-156 mins,

7 Monday 

6:30 PM
Gregg Toland takes the director's chair for December 7th.

After the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, the U.S. fights to survive the early days of World War II.
BW-82 mins,

11:45 PM
When her mother tries to end her closest friendship, a high school girl plots her murder.
C-99 mins,

12 Saturday

4:45 AM
In this short documentary, police officers are trained in the assistance and management of mentally ill and confused persons.
BW-32 mins,

4:45 AM
In this short film, a drug dealer seduces a high-school student into drug addiction.
C-29 mins,

13 Sunday

2:30 AM
A young boy comes of age at Christmas in rural Quebec.
C-105 mins, Letterbox Format

17 Thursday

An early version of the iPhone in Babes in Toyland.
10:00 PM
The town miser plots to force Mary Quite Contrary to marry him.
C-106 mins,

12:00 AM
A government researcher fights to survive when he's marooned in the Canadian wilderness.
C-105 mins, CC, Letterbox Format

2:00 AM
Walt Disney's photographers capture the wildlife of the Arctic.
Dir: James Algar Cast:  Winston Hibler ,
C-72 mins,

3:30 AM
Donald and Goofy are trappers in Antarctica with different approaches.
C-8 mins,

19 Saturday

2:00 AM
In search of his missing wife, a man uncovers a deadly motive for her behavior.
C-127 mins,

4:15 AM
To escape a war between men and women, a young girl moves into a fantasy world.
BW-100 mins, Letterbox Format

20 Sunday

A Rohmer mini festival on the 20th

2:30 AM
A young man is snowed in with his best friend's amorous mistress.
BW-106 mins,

4:30 AM
A self-absorbed young man fights his attraction to a woman notorious for collecting men.
C-82 mins,

21 Monday

11:30 PM
A young photographer fights to build her career while coping with her best friend's marriage.
C-88 mins, CC,

1:30 AM
A young working woman in New York vies with her flighty roommate for a doctor's heart.
C-113 mins,

3:30 AM

DeNiro is electric in Mean Streets.

A small-time hood must choose from among love, friendship and the chance to rise within the mob.
C-112 mins, CC, Letterbox Format

22 Tuesday

6:00 AM
A quarrelsome couple discovers their marriage isn't legal.
BW-95 mins, CC,

7:45 AM
Newly arrived in Australia, a man discovers his childhood love is now an alcoholic.
C-117 mins, CC,

9:45 AM
An acting student goes undercover to prove a singing star killed her husband.
BW-110 mins, CC,

11:45 AM
A man's joking suggestion that he and a chance acquaintance trade murders turns deadly.
BW-101 mins, CC,

1:30 PM
A straying husband frames his wife for the murder of the man he'd hired to kill her.
C-105 mins, CC,

3:30 PM
A musician is mistaken for a vicious thief, with devastating results.
BW-105 mins, CC,

5:30 PM
An advertising man is mistaken for a spy, triggering a deadly cross-country chase.
C-136 mins, CC,

27 Sunday

10:00 AM

Recover from Christmas with classic Sci-Fi on the 27th.

An alien demands that Earth's leaders choose between peace and destruction.
BW-92 mins, CC,

5:30 PM
England's Henry II and his estranged queen battle over the choice of an heir.
C-134 mins, CC, Letterbox Format

2:45 AM
A widowed actress and her children suffer hardships when she mistakenly marries a conservative church leader.
C-189 mins, Letterbox Format

29 Tuesday

6:30 AM
A giant octopus attacks San Francisco.
BW-79 mins, CC, Letterbox Format

8:00 AM
A crashed spaceship unleashes a rapidly growing monster from Venus.
BW-83 mins, CC, Letterbox Format

9:45 AM
Cowboys discover a lost world populated by dinosaurs.
C-95 mins, Letterbox Format

11:30 AM
A rebellious caveman leaves his tribe in search of a better life.
C-100 mins, CC,

Chicken riding is a popular sport on Mysterious Island.
1:15 PM
Escaped Civil War POWs end up on an island populated by giant animals.
C-101 mins, CC, Letterbox Format

3:00 PM
Space invaders attack the nation's capital.
BW-84 mins, CC, Letterbox Format

4:30 PM
Sinbad hunts for a roc's egg to save his love from an evil sorcerer.
C-88 mins, CC,

31 Thursday

8:15 AM
While running a hotel in Florida, three clowns get caught up in the search for stolen jewels.
BW-93 mins,

Say goodbye to 2015 with a Marx Brothers festival on New Years Eve.
10:00 AM
A group of zanies tries to save a pretty girl's sanitarium.
BW-109 mins, CC,

12:00 PM
Three zanies turn an operatic performance into chaos in their efforts to promote their protege's romance with the leading lady.
BW-91 mins, CC,

2:00 PM
Three zanies try to recover a stolen painting during a madcap house party.
BW-97 mins, CC,

4:00 PM
Four stowaways get mixed up with gangsters while running riot on an ocean liner.
BW-78 mins, CC,

5:30 PM
In an effort to beef up his school's football team, a college president mistakenly recruits two loonies.
BW-67 mins, CC,

6:45 PM
When he's named dictator of Freedonia, a con artist declares war on the neighboring kingdom.
BW-69 mins, CC,