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New Releases for December 21st

The last batch of New Releases before Christmas has action, humor, art, conspiracies, classics, and plenty of drama. Here's the list--remember, a * means it is also available on Blu-ray. SALT *—Angelina Jolie plays a CIA agent on the run after being exposed as a Russian spy. She's clearly a badass, but is she really so bad? EASY A—Don't write this off as a silly teen sex comedy. It's got brains and the added charm of Patricia Clarkson & Stanley Tucci. WALL STREET: MONEY NEVER SLEEPS *—While the original Oliver Stone movie hardly needed a sequel, it is interesting to see how Gordon Gekko fits in to today's uber-greedy culture. Shia LaBeouf is along representing the next generation of aspiring billionaires. SOUL KITCHEN—Director Fatih Akin's (Edge of Heaven, Head-On) latest film is a charming comedy about friends, family, and delicious food. STEP UP 3 *—There's probably a plot in there somewhere, but it's the moves that really matter. CAPRICA: SEASON 1.5—The last episodes of the Battlestar Galactica prequel chronicling the creation of the Cylons. DEVIL—Five people are trapped in an elevator. One of them may or may not be THE DEVIL! When M. Night Shyamalan's the producer, anything can happen! FAMILY GUY: IT'S A TRAP!—The Griffin clan takes on Return of the Jedi in their latest Star Wars homage/spoof. There's also a new set of their entire Star Wars spoof trilogy available. It's cleverly named Laugh It Up, Fuzzball and is on sale here for $27.95 on DVD and $31.95 on the hi-def Blu-ray. FUTURAMA: VOLUME 5--Fry, Bender, Leela & crew return from the depths of cancellation for more humorous interstellar adventures. SCREAMING MEN—This documentary follows a unique choir who travel the world screaming national anthems and taking pictures of the audience. Must be seen to be believed... RITA HAYWORTH COLLECTION—A new five film set, including several new to DVD: Cover Girl (co-starring Gene Kelly), Tonight and Every Night, Salome, Miss Sadie Thompson, and Gilda. It includes introductions by Patricia Clarkson, Baz Luhrmann, & Martin Scorsese. You can read more about this collection over on former Scarecrow employee/film critic Sean Axmaker's blog. FAMILY NEW RELEASES 16 Wishes Thomas & Friends: Team Up with Thomas NEW BLU-RAY Orlando (Special Edition) NEW TV ON DVD Delocated: Season 1 Nurse Jackie: Season 2 Red vs. Blue: The Recollection: Seasons 6, 7 & 8 Wagon Train: Season 2, Part 1 Wagon Train: Season 2, Part 2 NEW IMPORTS & FOREIGN FILMS Artists Under The Big Top: Perplexed (1968)—Germany Ava & Gabriel: A Love Story/Papa's Song (1990)—Netherlands Big Mess (1970)—Germany The Horde (2009)—France Skirt Day (2009)—France Viva Castro! (1993)—Russia Willi Tobler and the Decline of the 6th Fleet (1972)—Germany Youth of Chopin (1952)—Poland Map The Sounds of Tokyo (2009)—A new romantic thriller from Spanish director Isabel Coixet, starring Sergi Lopez and Rinko Kikuchi. WARNING: This trailer contain nudity and is NSFW: White Material (2009)(PAL Code 2)—Claire Denis co-wrote and directs this political drama starring Isabelle Huppert. NEW WARNER ARCHIVES/SONY COLUMBIA CLASSICS Americathon (1979)— "In 1998 the world's oil supply is exhausted. The U.S. Treasury is empty and in deep debt to a billionaire businessman (Chief Dan George) who'll foreclose on the nation in 30 days. The solution: a telethon to save Uncle Sam from bankruptcy. And with this way-out-there premise as a launching pad, Americathon explodes into comic outer space. Written by Firesign Theatre veterans Phil Proctor and Peter Bergman, this wickedly funny - and 30 years later, outrageously timely - escapade stars Harvey Korman as an ego-tripping emcee, Fred Willard as a scheming White House aide and John Ritter as a mellow fellow of a President." Blame It On The Night (1985)—"Rock'n'roll star Chris Dalton (Nick Mancuso) finds himself unexpectedly taking on fatherhood. The object of his sudden attention is 13-year-old Job (Byron Thames), who, according to the recently deceased woman who gave birth to him, is Chris's son. Chris has paid for the boy's support all of these years, but has ignored him until now. Chris has taken Job out of the military school the boy loves and makes him tour with Chris and his band, thinking, incorrectly, that anybody would rather tour with the stars than do anything else. Over a short period of time father and son slowly get to know one another, and though it is not easy, find a mutual admiration and respect for one another." City Streets (1938)—"In a working class neighborhood in New York, immigrant shopkeeper Joe Carmine (Leo Carrillo, The Cisco Kid and If You Could Only Cook) becomes the guardian to newly-orphaned Winnie (Edith Fellows, Pennies from Heaven and She Married Her Boss). Joe struggles to keep home and business afloat, while trying to find a doctor who can cure the condition that causes Winnie to be wheelchair-bound, with help from the neighbors, including Mrs. Devlin (Mary Gordon) and her son Tommy (Our Gang's Tommy Bond). The stresses of the situation soon press in on Joe and Winnie's little world." Crash Landing (1958)—"Nancy Davis (aka Mrs. Ronald Reagan) made her last feature film appearance in this gripping Sam Katzman production. As a trans-Atlantic flight bound for New York develops engine trouble, flashbacks reveal what brought the passengers and crew to this fateful moment. (Relax — they don't land on a weird island with smoke monsters.)" Criminal Lawyer (1951)—"A rule-bending, hard-drinking but brilliant (and very successful) attorney, played by Pat O'Brien, yearns for the quieter life of a judgeship, but high-profile cases keep coming his way — including a murder rap against his own bodyguard (Mike Mazurki). A gallery of beloved Hollywood character actors enliven this smart, exciting melodrama, including Jane Wyatt, Carl Benton Reid, Jerome Cowan, and directed by Seymour Friedman." The Cyclops (1956)—"Lovely Susan Winter organizes an expedition deep into the wilds of Mexico. She hopes to find her aviator fiancé, lost after his plane crashed. Instead she and her three male companions find behemoth bugs, giant battling lizards, mountains practically glowing with uranium, and a 25-foot-tall human beast with a single eye, a melted-cheese-sandwich face and a very scary attitude. If you like nifty '50s horror, The Cyclops is the kind of over-the-top frightfest that'll have you spilling your popcorn."
Deadly Affair (1966)—"Director Sidney Lumet tackles this cold war spy thriller based on a novel by master of the genre, John Le Carré. James Mason plays British secret agent Charles Dobbs, who's puzzled by the sudden suicide of a man he's recently investigated. The suicide seems contrary to his own findings, and Dobbs questions the recent widow (Simone Signoret) in an effort to understand the man's state of mind. When the Foreign Office tells Dobbs to drop the inquiry, he persists, even enlisting a retired investigator when he turns up further disturbing evidence. All of this takes place while Dobbs is dealing with the news that his frequently unfaithful wife (Harriet Andersson) has been carrying on an affair with his friend and protégé (Maximilian Schell)." Family Reunion (1981)—"The formidable Bette Davis stars as the matriarch of the Winfield family, whose ties have become strained over the years as the result of a family falling-out. When she discovers her nephew is trying to sell his share of the family land, Aunt Elizabeth decides it's time to right the situation and reunite the disparate family members around the same goal: preserving the family homestead, and reconnecting the generations despite their differences." Forbidden Trail (1932)—"Tom Devlin (Buck Jones) is a cowhand who gets himself in plenty of trouble when he comes to the aid of the pretty newspaper editor played by Barbara Weeks. Fighting against the crooked Cash Karger (Wallis Clark), Devlin chases down cattle rustlers, and eventually gets himself accused of arson and murder." The Guilt of Janet Ames (1947)—"Rosalind Russell stars in this complex psychological drama about a woman whose husband is killed in World War II while saving the lives of five comrades. She sets out for some sort of revenge, but when she is struck by a truck and paralyzed, a boozy reporter (Melvyn Douglas) thinks she can walk again and uses psychology to help her. But what she also doesn't know is — he's one of the five men on her list!"
The Man Who Turned To Stone (1957)—"When a new psychiatrist (William Hudson, Attack of the 50 Foot Woman) is hired at a women's reform school/prison, he and social worker Carol Adams (Charlotte Austin) begin to puzzle over some recent suspicious deaths among the young inmates. The prison warden (Ann Doran) and doctor (Victor Jory) seem to be behind a centuries-old evil plot to steal the life force of young women to extend their own unnaturally immortal lives. A bizarre and diabolical sci-fi premise has an extremely creepy crew exploiting the bodies of their young charges, but as always, the more flesh the scientists consume, the more they need!" No Sex Please-We're British (1973)—"When a pornographic bookshop opens in a small town, some of the residents are up in arms, and local banker (Arthur Lowe, The Ruling Class) wants the shop out of business. But a simple numerical mix-up has the "adult literature" delivered to the wrong address — and newlywed bank clerk (Ronnie Corbett, Fierce Creatures) has to figure out how to dispose of the package. As subsequent deliveries of pornography swell from a trickle to a flood, they trigger a series of madcap situations."
Pygmy Island (1950)—"Following the success of his role as Tarzan, Johnny Weissmuller starred in a series of films as Jungle Jim, a character first depicted in a comic strip by Alex Raymond and Don Moore. Weissmuller played a hunter with a deep knowledge of the native people of the area, its land and animals. Most often, Jim faced off against evil and greedy scientists who were attempting to exploit the region, its people or resources for profit. In Pygmy Island, Jim aids in the search for a female scientist (Ann Savage) lost in the jungle. After helping to locate and rescue her, Jim and the scientist work with the local pygmies to defend a crop of plants from evil agents with evil intentions that would threaten world peace, and US national security." NEW DOCUMENTARIES & NON-FICTION FARE African Leaders: Amilcar Cabral/Frantz Fanon—"In this two-DVD set, two African leaders who defied colonialism are profiled and given their places in history. Amilcar Cabral: An icon of Africa, Amilcar Cabral was the founder of the African Party for Independence of Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde (PAIGC) who led the Liberation Movement against Portugal for those countries. Using rare archival footage, director Ana Lucia Ramos Lisboa accurately chronicles both the personal and public Cabral. Franz Fanton: His Life, His Struggle, His Work: Frantz Fanon, a psychiatrist, philosopher, and political leader, became a spokesman for the Algerian revolution against French colonialism. Author of Black Skin, White Masks, he documented the effects of colonialism and racism on the people of colonized countries. Director Cheikh Djemai uncovered scores of Fanon's former associates and interviewed them for this important documentary." Agenda: Grinding America Down—"When Idaho Legislator Curtis Bowers wrote a 'letter to the editor' about the drastic changes in America's culture, it became the feature story on the evening news, people protested at the Capitol, and for weeks the local newspapers were filled with responses. He realized then... he'd hit on something. Ask almost anyone and you'll hear, 'Communism is dead! The Berlin Wall came down.' Thought the word communism isn't used anymore, this film will show the ideas behind it are alive and well. Join Bowers for a fascinating look at the people and groups that have successfully targeted America's morality and freedom in their effort to grind America down." Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement—"In the closeted 1960s, two young women met and fell in love — and so began the extraordinary tale of Edie and Thea, whose engagement to each other would span more than forty years..." Ghost Bird—"Set in a murky swamp full of birders, scientists and reporters, Ghost Bird explores the limits of certainty, the seductive power of hope, and how one phantom woodpecker changed a Southern town forever. This thrilling eco-noir investigates the strange but true story of a small town in Arkansas overrun by a nation of birders all in search of the Holy Grail with wings - the Ivory-billed woodpecker..." Guest of Cindy Sherman—"Paul H-O became a fixture of the New York art scene in the 1990s with his public access show GalleryBeat. Armed with a video camera, he attended art gallery openings, amusing some with his candid, witty assessments of their work, but also winning many fans. Among the latter was Cindy Sherman, the press-shy artist who is internationally acknowledged as one of the world's most gifted and significant visual talents. Cindy invites Paul to her studio for a series of exclusive interviews and through these videotaped encounters, he gains unprecedented insight into her artistic process and a romantic relationship blossoms. Their initial bliss ends when Paul finds himself wracked with anxiety about his own personality becoming subsumed by his role as Cindy's guest at the celebrity-studded openings and dinners she regularly attends." David Icke: Beyond The Cutting Edge—"Since his extraordinary awakening in the early 1990s, David Icke has been on a journey around the world and within himself, to find the BIG answers to the BIG questions: Who are we? Where are we? What are we doing here? Who really controls this world - how and why? In this seven-hour presentation David addresses all of these questions and connects the dots between them to reveal a picture of life on earth that is truly beyond the cutting edge. Nowhere in the world will you see a presentation like this one, which connects the dots that form the tapestry of knowledge that can set us free from our collective enslavement by the hidden powers behind governments, banking institutions, big business, the media, and all the other agencies of manipulation and control." David Icke: Live at the Oxford Union Debating Society—'Big Brother's not coming...HE'S HERE!" Injury Slight Please Advise...--"This film re-enacts the true account of ace fighter pilot Charles O'Sullivan, shot down in the jungles of New Guinea during World War II. O'Sullivan survived thirty days in the jungle, encountered a native tribe while seeking help, and was forced to fight his way out of their village when they attacked him in an attempt to steal his blood! He was then hunted through the jungle as he made his escape from their territory. Sully found a friendly Australian outpost and was ultimately able to return home... This unique documentary takes you on a journey through the Pacific War into the jungles of New Guinea, reliving one soldier's harrowing and ultimately heroic experience during World War II." June 17th, 1994 (ESPN 30 for 30 series)—"Do you remember where you were on June 17, 1994? Thanks to a wide array of unrelated, coast-to-coast occurrences, this Friday has come to be known for its firsts, lasts, triumphs and tragedy. Arnold Palmer played his last round at a U.S. Open, in Oakmont, Pa., the FIFA World Cup kicked off in Chicago, the Rangers celebrated on Broadway, Patrick Ewing desperately pursued a long evasive championship in the Garden and Donald Fehr stared down the baseball owners. And yet, all of that was a prelude to O.J. Simpson leading America on a slow speed chase in a white Ford Bronco around Los Angeles. Oscar-nominated and Peabody Award-winning director Brett Morgen artistically weaves these moments and others to create a unique and reflective look at a day that no sports fan could forget."
Sallie House: Gateway to the Paranormal—"In 1906 a legend was born in Atchison, Kansas in what is now known as the Sallie House. A young girl died in excruciating pain on the operating table and now forever haunts this accursed and evil dwelling. Join internationally renowned psychic Robbie Thomas and EVP specialist, Michael Esposito as they embark upon the most haunted house in America." Science of The Deep—"Enter the deep frontier on a quest for knowledge with a brave group of marine scientists. Travel along treacherous waters, using cutting edge science and technology, in this three-part series investigating underwater exploration. In the episode 'Aquarius - Living Beneath the Sea,' you get to experience life under the sea in Aquarius, an 81-ton steel inner space station. You follow a team of aquanauts through an entire undersea mission onboard this underwater habitat and research lab while examining coral reef dynamics and the effect of global warming. And in 'Mid-Water Mysteries,' you explore the many fascinating creatures and mysteries found in the ocean at mid-water depths with scientists aboard several oceanographic research vessels. Examine the impact of predatory jellies on the fishing industry, the secrets of bioluminescence and new underwater exploration technology. Finally, in 'The Hostile Deep,' plunge into the abyssal depths of our ocean's floor to investigate the cutting edge of deep-sea science. Follow research submersibles and ROV's in search of superheated hydrothermal vents, and dive deep to uncover mysterious cold seep vents." ...AND MORE MOVIES Ages of Man—"Performing Shakespeare's legendary monologues and sonnets, John Gielgud (Becket, The Elephant Man, Gandhi), one of the most accomplished actors of all time, presents his acclaimed one-man tour de force, in this unforgettable live broadcast."
Confession (2005)—"In a small Catholic boarding school an unspeakable act has been committed. When High School student, Luther Scott, confesses to Father Michael Kelly, Kelly is bound silent to the particulars of a grisly murder. Now, framed guilty by the desperate teen, Father Kelly must decide to keep his silence or throw away everything the priesthood holds sacred." It stars Star Trek's Chris Pine. Cotter (1973)—"A drama in which a Native American rodeo clown feels responsible for a cowboy's death and returns home to pull his life back together. However, he discovers that even more trouble is in store when he becomes a suspect in a murder investigation..." It stars Don Murray, Carol Lynley, and Rip Torn. Helena From The Wedding—"Newlyweds Alex (Lee Tergesen) and Alice (Melanie Lynskey) are hosting a New Year's Eve party for their closest friends at a remote cabin in the mountains. But when the other couples arrive in various states of discord, their hopes for a relaxing weekend are quickly thrown out the window." Left/Right—"Daniel Ray Morton is a small-town have-not who has grown up to be a conspicuous big-city socialite. But after a human resource audit reveals an overstated educational background, Ray loses his job, his gaudy paycheck and in turn his identity. In an attempt to salvage his career and self-worth, Ray returns home to feebly check the boxes on his embellished resume. While there, Ray comes to find out that his obituary, not his resume, will be the true measure of his worth." Love Island (1950)—"A flyer falls in love with a beautiful native girl on a South Seas Island." The flyer is Paul Valentine, the native girl is Eva Gabor.
Red-Haired Alibi (1932)—"A young country girl comes to the big city only to be taken in by a gangster." That young country girl is played by Shirley Temple. The DVD also includes the film Stolen Jools (1931). Rivers Wash Over Me—"After his mother dies, Sequan, a sensitive teenager from Brooklyn, moves in with relatives living in a small town plagued with secrets hidden deep within its lush, rural Alabama terrain. Sequan finds refuge in a friendship with a troubled girl who astutely hones in on his true sexuality and introduces him to her younger brother, who has a lot in common with Sequan." Turning Green—"16-year-old James Powers finds himself lost after his mother dies and he is forced to live with his three Irish aunts. Displaced and distressed, he longs to come back to America. One lucky weekend, desperate for cash after learning the ropes with bookies, gamblers and crooks, James starts a wildly successful business of selling illegal magazines on the black market. Tough, street smart and with cash in his pocket, he must now decide where home really is..." It stars Timothy Hutton, Alessandro Nivola, and Colm "Chief O'Brien" Meaney. Vampire Circus"A little girl is brutally slain by a vampire in a tiny 19th century Austrian village. Seeking revenge, the townspeople invade the foreboding castle of Count Mitterhaus and kill him for the crime. As the Count dies, he curses the villagers and vows that their children will all die so that he may someday return to life. Fifteen years later, as the village is ravaged by the plague, a traveling circus comes to town and distracts the villagers from their current hardships. Little do they know that their troubles are only beginning! The circus is actually a troupe of shape-shifting vampires and, as the local children start disappearing, they realize the prophecy of the long dead Count is coming true."