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New Releases for the week of August 3rd

The first week of August brings to our shelves classic Hollywood musicals, lots of anime, foreign films, Blu-ray movies, one video game & much more. Here's the list; remember that a * means it's also on the shiny Blu-ray disc. THE GHOST WRITER*—Ewan McGregor goes to write the memoir of a former British Prime Minister (Pierce Brosnan) and ends up in a bit of a pickle in Roman Polanski's latest. It also stars Olivia "Miss Cross" Williams, Tom Wilkinson, and Kim Cattrall. KICK-ASS*—A self-made teenage super hero + a sprite tween weapons expert + Nicolas Cage's warbled Adam West impression = the comic-book based action/comedy Kick-Ass. DIARY OF A WIMPY KID--Chloe Moretz (the sprite tween assassin mentioned above) also stars in the live action adaptation of Jeff Kinney's popular kids' series about awkward middle schooler Greg Heffley and his attempt to survive the evils of middle school. A PROPHET—Jacques Audiard (The Beat That My Heart Skipped)'s Oscar nominated drama about a convict who rises to power in the prison's mob culture. AFTER.LIFE—Christina Ricci died in a car accident and has some unfinished business before she runs towards the light. An undertaker (Liam Neeson) helps her sort it out in this supernatural thriller co-starring Justin Long and Josh "Dan Rydell" Charles. ELVIS ON TOUR*—Follow The King's on his15 cities/15 nights 1972 tour and witness the origins of "Elvis has left the building!" HENSON'S PLACE: THE MAN BEHIND THE MUPPETS—Learn all about the life & work a genius in this 1984 documentary, which includes looks at the then-new Dark Crystal and Fraggle Rock. DUNGEON MASTERS—We not sure how many experience points you get for watching this documentary. SWEETGRASS—A beautiful portrait of the last of the cowboys and the American West. PIRANHA* & HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP*—Two more greats from the Roger Corman Cult Classics collection. STEPHEN FRY: IN AMERICA—Stephen Fry cruises the States in a black London taxi cab. MAX HEADROOM: THE COMPLETE SERIES—Grab a pen, turn to page 415 of your Scarecrow Movie Guide and cross this one off the list of "TV Series We Wish Were on DVD". The set has all 14 uncut episodes, lots of extras and a sweet lenticular cover. New Coke sold separately. LIFE DURING WARTIME—If you missed Todd Solondz's kinda-sorta update of Happiness at this year's SIFF, we now have it on a PAL Code 2 import DVD. ANIME NEW RELEASES Brighter Than The Dawning Blue: Complete Collection Corda D'Oro: Primo Passo Collection Evangelion: 2.22 You Can (Not) Advance Eyeshield 21—Volume 2 Gin Tama—Part 2 Golgo 13: Collection 1 Hell Girl: Two Mirrors Collection Naruto Shippuden: Box Set 3 Papillion Rose: Complete Collection FAMILY NEW RELEASES Missing Lynx NEW VIDEO GAMES Blazblue: Continuum Shift (PS3 & XBOX) NEW BLU-RAY: FORMAT OF THE FUTURE Breakfast Club (25th Anniversary Edition!) Bull Durham Escape from New York Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind James and the Giant Peach Kalifornia (Rated & Unrated versions) Road to Perdition NEW TV ON DVD Days That Shook The World: Season 3 E2 Design: Seasons 1 & 3 Lytton's Diary: Complete Collection Sweeney: Series 2 Heroes: Season 4* NEW IMPORTS & FOREIGN FILMS Ashes to Ashes: Series 3 (UK, 2009)(PAL Code 2)—" Ashes to Ashes follows on from the hugely successful BBC series Life On Mars, and sees the return of the self styled 'Sheriff of Manchester' DCI Gene Hunt (Philip Glenister). Whereas Life On Mars was a throwback to the crime-fighting style of the 1970's, Ashes to Ashes takes you back to 'the decade that taste forgot', the 1980's. The story continues, only this time around its 1983. DI Alex Drake is ultimately determined to find out the truth about Gene Hunt and the hidden secrets of the world she inhabits. The third and final series also marks the arrival of Scotland Yard's DCI Jim Keats. Sent to watchfully observe the team's performance, his presence leads to some unexpected revelations on past happenings. Prepare to be captivated by easily, the darkest of all three series." Los Borgia (Spain, 2006)—"Juan, Cesar and Jofré, the three sons of Rodrigo Borgia, are headed to Vatican City where it is being held the papal conclave to choose a new Pope. Upon arrival, they will be informed that his father has been elected 'Pontiff' with the name of Alejandro VI. The new Holy Father dreams with expanding the Vatican territories in all possible ways. Meanwhile between brothers a great rivalry erupts, as the family enemies are waiting for any opportunity to stop the dominance of The Borgia's in Rome." Cargo (Switzerland, 2009)(PAL Code 2)—"A woman traveling through deep space discovers a secret with deadly implications in this Swiss sci-fi drama." The Duel (Hong Kong, 1971)—"True fans of old school kung fu action take notice at the mention of the "Iron Triangle," the legendary filmmaking team of director Chang Cheh (The Five Venoms) and leading men David Chiang and Ti Lung (A Better Tomorrow). In The Duel, these three heroes of Hong Kong cinema have created a classic where there are no battles - only massacres." Ladies Night (Mexico, 2003)—"A romantic comedy about two girls who find love in the most unexpected places in modern-days. Lourdes (France, 2009)(PAL Code 2)—"Jessica Hausner's (Lovely Rita, Hotel) third feature tells the story of a pilgrimage to Lourdes. Among the pilgrims are sufferers of various illnesses as well as others in good health. They undertake the journey in hope of finding spiritual comfort or bodily cure. Sylvie Testud (La Vie en Rose) takes the central role of Christine, a multiple sclerosis sufferer and religious skeptic, who travels more for companionship than in hope of a miracle. But as the trip develops, her lack of faith is tested with the hope of a new life, whilst, around her, the affectations and jealousies of the assorted entourage of religious officials and fellow sufferers are being exposed." Margot (UK, 2009)—"Margot examines the glamorous and turbulent life of Britain's first international ballet superstar. At the age of 40, Dame Margot Fonteyn (Anne-Marie Duff - The Virgin Queen; Shameless) was seemingly at her creative peak and under mounting pressure to retire gracefully. Her unexpected pairing with young Russian émigré Rudolph Nureyev (Michiel Huisman - The Young Victoria, De Co-assistant) caused a worldwide sensation. Whilst Margot's marriage to Panamanian diplomat Roberto de Arias (Con O'Neill - Telstar, Criminal Justice) was put under immense strain, her passionate and vibrant relationship with Nureyev created one of the most enduring and celebrated ballet partnerships of all time. This is a timeless drama about love, passion and performance also starring Lindsay Duncan, Derek Jacobi and Penelope Wilton. No Greater Love (2009)(PAL Code 2)—"Director Michael Whyte's No Greater Love allows viewers an unprecedented insight into the lives of the nuns of the Most Holy Trinity monastery, in London's Notting Hill. The observational film documents a year in the cloistered world, in which silence is maintained throughout the day and the modern trappings of television and radio are prohibited. 1234 (UK, 2008)(PAL Code 2)—"1234 tells the story of bespectacled Stevie, who endures a job he despises alongside and call center colleague/drummer extraordinaire Neil. When they persuade the ambitious Billy and talented Emily to start a new band, the possibility they might be onto something good presents itself. With a demo to tout, they set off down the well-trodden path of record companies and gig venues in hopes of conquering the British indie music scene." Peter Serafinowicz Show (UK, 2008)(PAL Code 2)—"Enter the weird and wonderful world of the insanely versatile comedian Peter Serafinowicz, in this, his very own BAFTA Nominated sketch show. Taking on a range of real-life celebrity impersonations plus a whole host of fictional characters, the skits range from gentle parody to the downright surreal. But what else would you expect from the co-creator and star of the cult classic Open University/Tomorrow's World spoof, Look Around You (2002-2005). So sit back, switch your brain to 'silly', and let Terry Wogan, the Beatles, Michael-6, Kennedy St. King, and Darth Vader take you to your happy place. Shaolin Prince (Hong Kong, 1982)—"Shaolin Prince tells the story of twin brothers marked for death by an iron-fingered villain who covets the throne on which they were born to sit. Starring Ti Lung (A Better Tomorrow, The Legend of Drunken Master) and written by the legendary Jing Wong (Naked Killer, God of Gamblers), this Shaw Brothers' masterpiece introduced audiences to the 18 Buda attack, a fire-fisted assassin, holy fools with deadly moves, badass brothers bent on revenge, and a magic sword with the power to exorcise your demons!" Take an Easy Ride (UK, 1974)(PAL)—"The first ever DVD release of this notorious and explicit faux 'Public Information film' about the dangers of hitch-hiking. Directed by Kenneth Rowles. Brand new transfer from the original negatives. Bonus features include a 30 TV pilot called Go Girl, from the same director plus a 20-minute interview with the director, booklet notes and trailers." Tired of Kissing Frogs (Mexico, 2006)—"Martha, a young designer needs to change her luck in love. After discovering her boyfriend cheating on her, she makes a decision: if men can be womanizers , she can be a manizer. Martha joins an internet dating service called Tired of Kissing Frogs and soon is playing the field with zest across Mexico City s hippest nightspots. But when Martha finally meets Prince Charming, she has to choose: freedom, or the chance to make a fairy tale love come true?" Towards Zero (France, 2007)—"A dazzling mix of shocking family drama, picturesque seaside landscapes and three generations of brilliant French actresses - the luminous Chiara Mastroianni, sexy ingénue Laura Smet and grand dame Danielle Darrieux - Towards Zero (L'Heure zero) is a smart, smoldering and thrilling update of one of Agatha Christie's most enduring works." The Unpolished (Germany, 2006)(PAL Code 2)—" On the road in with drifter mother Lily (Pascale Schiller) while dad Axel (Birol Ünel) is serving time for slinging dope, 13-year-old Stevie (Céci Chuh) expects that the trio will head back to Portugal when her father gets out from behind bars. When it's subsequently announced that they will instead be staying in Germany and living in the home of her recently deceased grandfather, Stevie does her best to make due despite the constant presence of lazy layabout Ingmar (Georg Friedrich) and promiscuous Louise (Joana Preiss) -- who have come to stay with the family indefinitely. As Stevie begins to recognize just how harshly her chaotic home life seems to contrast the lives of her relatively "normal" peers, she begins to construct an elaborate web of tall tales in a desperate effort to fit in." ERROL FLYNN ADVENTURES--Available individually for rent, box set also for sale Desperate Journey (1942, directed by Raoul Walsh Edge of Darkness (1943, directed by Lewis Milestone) Northern Pursuit (1943, directed by Raoul Walsh) Objective, Burma! (1941, directed by Raoul Walsh) Uncertain Glory (1944, directed by Raoul Walsh) NEW FROM THE WARNER ARCHIVE Are You Listening? (1932)—"William Haines, two years removed from being Tinseltown's top male star, plays Grimes in a melodrama noted for its glimpses of live radio production and for a Depression-era ethos that includes peroxide cuties eager to land a job, a sugar daddy or both." Devil's Doorway (1949)—"Shoshone tribesman and Civil War hero Lance Poole (Robert Taylor) returns home with a Congressional Medal of Honor on his chest and a saddlebag full of dreams about prospering as a cattleman on his family's land. But American Indians have no citizenship, no property rights. The courts, despite the efforts of Lance's attorney (Paula Raymond), offer no remedy. Lance and his people must fight to keep their land." Excuse My Dust (1951)—" There's nothing more volatile than an idea in small-town 1895 America, especially for eager inventor Joe Belden. He's making a horseless carriage that runs on an explosive cleaning fluid called gasoline - a "gas-o-mobile." Why, it's enough to make John Q. Citizen flip his straw boater! Red Skelton portrays Joe, taking the wheel in a Technicolor® musical comedy that has him wooing the daughter (Sally Forrest) of the man most threatened by Joe's invention: the local livery master (William Demarest)." Fast Life (1932)—"There's only one thing faster than wiseacre Sandy Norton's motor mouth - his swell new speedboat! Brash, high-spirited William Haines takes the helm in a snappy action-comedy about an ex-sailor with a nifty boat-engine design who talks his way into a job with a millionaire shipbuilder, constructs his dream speedboat on the millionaire's dime and in his spare time, wins the love of his boss's daughter." Girl Said No (1930)—" The story follows a brash young man (William Haines) out to make his fortune. His means: sell a passel of 7% bonds. His mark: wealthy Hettie Brown (Marie Dressler). His method: ply the old biddy with booze until she signs on the dotted line. The result: a fall-down-funny (literally) comedy sequence." Half-Breed (1952)—"Robert Young portrays fair-minded Dan Craig, whose arrival in Arizona Territory's San Remo puts him at odds with conspirators eager to ignite an Apache uprising and thereby lay claim to gold-rich reservation land. Jack Buetel (Billy the Kid in The Outlaw) plays the title role in this lively powder keg of a movie filmed in part amid the craggy red spires of Sedona." If You Knew Susie (1948)—"Everyone who's anyone in Brookford can claim ancestors who were heroes of the Revolutionary War. Everyone that is, except ex-entertainers Sam and Susie Parker. But then the Parkers find a letter from George Washington that acknowledges the heroism of a long-ago Parker patriarch and says essentially this to him and his heirs: IOU $7-BILLION." Lovely To Look At (1952)—"This season in Paris, Red is all the rage! Red Skelton headlines a joyful Technicolor® remake of Roberta as a New York producer who inherits a failing Parisian fashion house. His partners are Howard Keel and Gower Champion and the lovelies they look at are Kathyrn Grayson, Ann Miller and Marge Champion. Which means the zippy story (everyone falls in love with everyone else as they scramble to save the salon) is in masterful hands." Two Sisters from Boston (1946)—"Kathryn Grayson and June Allyson are Two Sisters from Boston in a sprightly musical set in glamorous, gas-lit New York and featuring young Peter Lawford for a touch of romance." Wild North (1952)—"Canadian officer Pedley slaps the cuffs on an accused murderer, mountain man Jules Vincent. The captive offers no resistance. Mother Nature will. As the Mountie and his dog team mush onward to take Vincent to justice, an avalanche, a marauding wolf pack, temperatures of -38° and more perils await them. Survival depends on the man who knows the mountains and ravines best - Pedley's prisoner." NEW DOCUMENTARIES & OTHER NON-FICTION FARE All God's Children—"Through the eyes of three families, All God's Children tells the personal story of the first boarding school for children of Christian missionaries to be investigated for abuse at the hands of the parents' missionary colleagues. In this documentary film, the survivors and parents share their journey of seeking justice, redemption and healing." Birth of Big Air (ESPN's 30 for 30 series)—"In 1985, at the tender age of 13, Mat Hoffman entered into the BMX circuit as an amateur, and by 16, he had risen to the professional level. Throughout his storied career, Hoffman has ignored conventional limitations; instead focusing his efforts on the purity of the sport and the pursuit of 'what's next.' His motivations stem purely from his own ambitions, and even without endorsements, cameras, fame, and fans, Hoffman would still would be working to push the boundaries of gravity. Academy Award nominee Spike Jonze and extreme sport fanatic Johnny Knoxville, along with director Jeff Tremaine, showcase the inner workings and exploits of the man who gave birth to 'Big Air.'" Harbortown Bobber—"From the directors of the award-winning motorcycle movies Choppertown: the Sinners and Brittown comes a new motorcycle fabrication documentary. Two years in the making, The Harbortown Bobber follows the ground-up build of Scott DiLalla's '69 bobber as various back yard masters put their hands on it creating a unique custom motorcycle and telling their own personal stories as they work. Harp Dreams: Inside The International Harp Competition—"Harp Dreams is an entertaining, poignant, and beautifully musical glimpse into what it takes to become a world-class musician. The film tells the story of 31 of the best young harpists in the world who, in 2007, gathered for 15 days at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music to compete in the triennial USA International Harp Competition, considered by many to be one of the most prestigious and demanding music competitions in the world." Unforgettable: The Korean War—"Korean War veterans recount their memories of America in the late 1940s and early 1950s, when young men from all over the country were being shipped off to defend South Korea against the advancing Red Army in the north. Unforgettable: The Korean War recalls the un-won war that never ended ... no one even wanted to call it a war: it was the Korean conflict or a police action. Finally, it was called the Forgotten War." ...AND MORE MOVIES Blood Done Sign My Name—"Nate Parker (The Great Debaters) stars with Golden Globe-winner Rick Schroder (TV's 24) in this electrifying true story as told in the award-winning book by Timothy Tyson. When a black Vietnam War vet is murdered by whites in small-town North Carolina, it sparks a firestorm of violent protest. Amid the rising chaos, a local teacher (Parker) and newly arrived preacher (Schroder) will risk everything to see justice done and change the brutal legacy of the past." The Contract (1988)—"The British intelligence office calls a former operative back into service to help the Soviets' leading missile designer escape to the West. In this riveting Cold War drama, the action heats up when family loyalties prove as important as politics. Starring Kevin McNally (Pirates of the Caribbean), Bernard Hepton (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy), and James Faulkner (The Bank Job)." Cross My Heart (1987)—"Share the misery of a disastrous night out in Cross My Heart, a frank and funny look at romantic facades and sexual mores in the confusing world of the '80s. It's the third date for David (Martin Short), who's so desperate to impress Kathy (Annette O'Toole) that he borrows his friend's new car, gets the keys to a posh apartment and tells her he's received a promotion when he's actually been fired. Kathy has her secrets too, specifically an addiction to nicotine and a seven-year-old daughter. As the date grinds on, they go from one misadventure to another until both wind up back at "his" place where things go from bed to worse. It's a touching, comic story about why relationships fail and how sometimes, against all odds, they succeed." Daim Duab—"After doing a stint in prison, Fong is released with two things in mind. His first mission is to find his ex-girlfriend and one true love Pa Ying, and second to put a knife in each and every one of his frenemies that had anything to do with him going to jail. When he goes home, he discovers that his girl has moved on and found another man. Even worse, she is caught up in a dark underworld of secrets and drugs. As Fong and Pa Ying's worlds collapse, his obsession with fulfilling both of his missions grows. Can anything stop him? If he can't have her, then no one can." Great Waldo Pepper—"Robert Redford stars as The Great Waldo Pepper a young pilot back from World War I barnstorming his way across the Midwest. Taking on rival after rival Waldo meets his match in Axel (Bo Svenson) an air-show promoter. Together with acrobatic Mary Beth (Susan Saradon) they take air showmanship to great heights. Eventually landing in Hollywood as a stunt pilot Waldo finally meets up with the legendary German pilot Ernst Kessler (Bo Brundin) leading to a climatic airborne fight to the finish. Directed by George Roy Hill (The Sting) The Great Waldo Pepper is a high-flying adventure that showcases the pioneering days of aviation." Greek Tycoon—"She was the most famous woman in the world. He was a peasant, a pirate, a shark. The Greek Tycoon is the story of their fiery romance. Anthony Quinn portrays Theo Tomasis - the world's richest and most flamboyant shipping magnate, a man who seemingly has everything he could want - who reaches out and captures his final prize: lovely, expensive, legendary Liz Cassidy (Jacqueline Bisset), widow of a President of the United States. This lavishly mounted drama which focuses on the international jet set's continual struggle for love and power was filmed in Corfu, Athens, London, New York and Washington, D.C. against backdrops and breathtaking beauty and luxury." Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn—"Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn is the science fiction battle of the ages with giant cyclopes and intergalactic magicians in this futuristic adventure set on the desert planet of Lemuria. A miner and his daughter Dhyana (Kelly Preston) fall prey to the evil dictator Jared-Syn's reign of terror. Dogen (Jeffrey Byron), the brave peacekeeping ranger, must save Dhyana and the rest of her planet from the forces of Jared-Syn (Mike Preston), his son, Baal (R. David Smith) and the hideous cyclopean warlord, Hurok (Richard Moll). If Dogen does not find Dhyana in time, she will be sacrificed to Jared-Syn's strange life-giving crystal. Take a space-age journey into the farthest reaches of the imagination with dazzling special effects and a story that will excite fantasy fans of all ages." 'Night Mother—"Sissy Spacek and Anne Bancroft star in 'Night Mother, a taut, emotional study about a mother's attempt to stop her distraught daughter from committing suicide. Adapted from the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by author Marsha Norman, the moving production casts Spacek as epileptic with a failed marriage and a delinquent son who decides to take control the only way she can - by taking her own life. Bancroft, as the widowed mother with whom she lives, is oblivious to her daughter's depression until she becomes frightfully aware of her plans. The give-and-take between Spacek and Bancroft makes for a searing family drama which brings to the surface all the love, resentment and understanding that exists between every parent and child." Kim Novak: Film Collection—The five film set has Picnic, Jeanne Eagels, Middle Of The Night, Bell, Book and Candle & Pal Joey. On Line (2002)—"An award-winning new film directed by Jed Weintrob! The regular customers on the erotic web site Intercon-X break the boundaries of their streaming video fantasy lives. Set and shot in New York City, ON_LINE uses state-of-the-art digital technology, split screens and streaming Webcam video to tell this highly charged sexual tale of searching for love on the Internet." The Internet? They have that on computers now? Open House (2010)—"A couple on the verge of a nasty divorce attempt to sell their empty love nest and move on with their lives, separately. After a successful open house, they are horrified to discover, days later, that a potential buyer didn't leave their home. While Alice is being held captive in the basement, the unannounced houseguest moves in upstairs. She senses her capture is being kept a rebellious secret. She knows her only way out, if she can only get out alive." Patterns Trilogy + Other Short Stories—"Jamie Travis's darkly ironic and stunningly designed comedies have established him as a filmmaker with a distinctive cinematic vision. An international festival favorite since his award-winning 2003 short Why the Anderson Children Didn't Come to Dinner, the young Canadian auteur often compared to David Lynch, Todd Solondz, Peter Greenaway and Wes Anderson is a talent to keep an eye on."