By ANGELA DAWSON
Front Row Features
A Girl Missing
One of the finest Japanese directors to emerge in the last decade, Kôji Fukada has earned renown for crafting suspenseful dramas. Following 2016’s “Harmonium,” which captured Cannes’ prestigious Un Certain Regard Jury Prize, he returns with “A Girl Missing,” arriving on DVD/Digital Tuesday Nov. 17, from Film Movement.
In this tense portrait of a woman caught up in a spiral of defamation, Ichiko (Mariko Tsutsui) is a private home nurse who has worked for the elderly matriarch of the Oisho family for years. Unexpectedly, her quiet, routine life is shattered after one of the Oisho’s teenage daughters is kidnapped. When it is revealed that the kidnapper is none other than Ichiko’s nephew, her life begins to unravel.
Nominated for a Golden Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival and a Gold Hugo at the Chicago International Film Festival, this slow-burn crime thriller starring Mariko Tsutsui and Mikako Ichikawa was an Official Selection at the Toronto International Film Festival and the New York Film Festival.
Bonus features include a making-of featurette and the bonus short film “Love Comes Later,” directed by Indian-American filmmaker Sonejuhi Sinha.
The DVD/Digital of “A Girl Missing” is available for a suggested retail price (SRP) of $24.95. It is in Japanese with English subtitles.
“Blindfire,” arrives on Digital and VOD Friday Nov. 20, from Kandoo Films. It also can be seen now in select theaters and virtual cinemas.
In this racially charged film, starring Brian Geraghty (“Chicago PD,” “The Hurt Locker”), Sharon Leal (“Dream Girls,” “Council of Dads”), Bethany Joy Lenz (“One Tree Hill,” “Dexter”), Edwina Findley Dickerson (“Fear The Walking Dead,” “The Wire”), Jim Beaver (“Deadwood,” “Supernatural”) and Chiké Okonkwo (“The Birth of a Nation,” “Being Mary Jane”), along with Wayne Brady (“Whose Line Is It Anyway,” “Let’s Make a Deal”), explores the aftermath of a tragedy involving a white cop who is accused of wrongfully shooting and killing a black man. “Blindfire” is written and directed by Michael Nell (“Skin in The Game,” “Hospitality”).
Inspired by actual events, the film follows Will Bishop (Geraghty), a white cop who responds to a violent hostage call and kills the black man (Okonkwo) in his own home. After Bishop learns of the victim’s innocence and is suddenly facing repercussions for his actions, he is forced to confront extremely difficult conversations with his partner (Leal), as well as the family of the victim, and must examine his own accountability while attempting to find the person who he feels is actually responsible for the tragic chain of events. The compelling drama echoes much of the conversation taking place in society today and offers a unique exploration of this timely issue from both sides.
The Broken Hearts Gallery
“The Broken Hearts Gallery” arrives Tuesday Nov. 17 on Blu-ray and DVD, from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
“The Broken Hearts Gallery” follows Lucy (Geraldine Viswanathan), a twenty-something art gallery assistant living in New York City, who also happens to be an emotional hoarder. She’s saved a souvenir from every relationship she’s been in. After she gets dumped by her latest boyfriend, Lucy is inspired to create The Broken Heart Gallery, a pop-up space for the items love has left behind. Word of the gallery spreads, encouraging a movement and a fresh start for all the romantics out there, including Lucy herself.
The Blu-ray and DVD include bonus features including a hilarious gag reel and a behind-the scenes vignettes look at the making of the film. “The Broken Hearts Gallery” also is available now on Digital.
The Chronicles of Melanie
An agonizing account of the greatest tragedy ever to befall Latvia, “The Chronicles of Melanie,” arrives on Tuesday Nov. 17, from Corinth Films.
Based on the memoirs of Melānija Vanaga, “Suddenly a Criminal: 16 Years in Siberia,” is a terrifying account of the mass deportation of residents of Soviet-occupied Latvia that occurred as Stalin tightened his grip on power.
On the morning of June 15, 1941, over 17,000 people from Latvia found themselves torn from their family homes and forcibly relocated under suspicion of “collaborating with the enemy.” This mass deportation saw husbands and wives separated and made to toil in Siberia for starvation rations. Separated at gunpoint from her husband Aleksandrs, the prominent editor of a Latvian newspaper and a natural target of the Soviet purge, Melanie (Sabine Timoteo) and her son, Andres, faced a three-week ordeal aboard a cattle car to a remote and foreign Tiukhtet village during which a diet of scraps of bread, dirty water and no bathrooms were just the beginnings of a long and brutal exile that tested even those of the strongest constitution.
This powerful but grueling film from director Viestur Kairish, was the Latvian submission for Best International Film at the 90th Academy Awards. It reveals the true magnitude of the human spirit and the will to survive in the face of unimaginable tragedy.
The DVD/Digital will be available for $24.95 (SRP).
“Dreamland” arrives on Premium VOD and Digital, Tuesday Nov. 17, from Paramount Home Entertainment.
Academy Award nominee Margot Robbie (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”) stars in this love story set amidst America’s struggle during The Great Depression. Eugene Evans (Finn Cole, “Peaky Blinders”) dreams of escaping his small Texas town when he discovers a wounded, fugitive bank robber (Robbie). Torn between claiming the bounty for her capture and his growing attraction to the seductive criminal, Eugene must make a decision that will forever affect the lives of everyone he’s ever loved. Travis Fimmel (“Warcraft”), Kerry Condon (“Avengers: Infinity War”), Darby Camp (“Big Little Lies”), and Lola Kirke (“American Made”) also star.
Hero on the Front
Omnibus Entertainment and Greenfield Media will release World War I drama “Hero on the Front” Tuesday Nov. 17.
The year was 1918. Aníbal Milhais was one of 75,000 Portuguese soldiers sent to Flanders in defense of the Western Front. During the Battle of La Lys, when his beleaguered unit was forced into retreat, Milhais ignored superior orders and stood his ground in the trenches. Before him, two German divisions advanced across no-man’s-land. Behind him, his battalion of the Portuguese Expeditionary Corps and a Scottish regiment, having been decimated by a massive preparatory artillery barrage. Armed only with his Lewis light machine gun named “Luisinha,” Milhais single-handedly fought off successive waves of attack Germans, saving the lives of countless Allied troops. Twenty-five years later, still haunted by the memories of war, Milhais recalls the stories that led to his fame as the soldier “worth a million men” and “Hero on the Front” is his incredible true story.
Directed by Gonçalo Galvão Teles and Jorge Paixao da Costa, this lavish period war drama captured five prestigious Portuguese Academy Awards (the “Sophia”): Best Screenplay, Best Special Effects, Best Art Direction, Best Film Editing and Best Sound.
The DVD/Digital will be available for $14.98 (SRP).
“Summerland” arrives on Blu-ray and DVD Tuesday Nov. 17.
Alice (Gemma Arterton) is a reclusive writer, resigned to a solitary life on the seaside cliffs of Southern England while World War II rages across the channel. When she opens her front door one day to find she’s to adopt a young London evacuee named Frank, she’s resistant. It’s not long, however, before the two realize they have more in common in their pasts than Alice had assumed. Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Tom Courtenay also star in this intensely emotional story of love’s endurance in trying times.
“Summerland” will be available on Blu-ray for $29.98 (SRP) and on DVD for $24.98 (SRP).
You’re Looking at Me Like I Live Here and I Don’t
Indiepix Films offers an unforgettable first-person account of Alzheimer’s Disease through the eyes of a septuagenarian in a special 10th anniversary edition of the acclaimed documentary “You’re Looking at Me Like I Live Here and I Don’t,” available on DVD/Digital Tuesday Nov. 17.
In Danville, California, Lee Gorewitz, a feisty, opinionated elderly woman, wanders on a soul-searching odyssey through her Alzheimer’s & Dementia care unit. Confined by the limits of her physical boundaries, she scavenges for reminders of her life in the outside world. Yet her search is for more than a word, or a memory, or a familiar face. It is a quest for understanding.
A total immersion into the fragmented day-to-day experience of an illness medicine still doesn’t entirely understand, “You’re Looking at Me Like I Live Here and I Don’t,” from director Scott Kirschenbaum, is the first Alzheimer’s documentary filmed exclusively in an Alzheimer’s & Dementia care unit, and the first told from the perspective of someone suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
Widowed, cloistered, and slowly undone by her inability to think or speak clearly, Lee has every reason to succumb to the expectations of her conditions. Instead, she defies despondency. When she breaks down, she rebuilds. When she loses words, she summons emotions. And, despite the small defeats of her efforts, she remains an exceptional and resilient soul.
The film reveals her penetrating reminiscences and charismatic vitality, challenging our preconceptions of illness and aging. Here is the journey of a woman who will not let us forget her—even as she struggles to remember herself.
This special 10th Anniversary Edition release also includes a bonus documentary film from Kirschenbaum, “Jumor: A Journey Through Jewish Humor,” about the role of humor in Jewish nursing homes across the country.
The “You’re Looking at Me Like I Live Here and I Don’t” DVD/Digital will be available for $24.95 (SRP).
The highly-rated Acorn TV Original Scottish family drama “The Nest” starring Martin Compston (“Line of Duty”), Sophie Rundle (“Bodyguard”) and Mirren Mack (“Sex Education”) debuts on DVD Tuesday Nov. 17.
This riveting drama from BAFTA and RTS award-winning writer Nicole Taylor (“Three Girls,” “Wild Rose”) explores the consequences of a pact between a wealthy Scottish couple and a troubled teenage girl, which changes all of their lives forever. The couple has one last chance to have a child, but what is the real cost of getting what they want?
The five-episode “The Nest” was BBC One’s highest-rated new drama of 2020 in March and was one of the most-viewed TV series on BBC iPlayer this past spring.
Now featured in a two-disc DVD set, with a 31-minute behind-the-scenes featurette, “The Nest” will be available for $39.99 on Amazon.com. “The Nest” also is available to stream on Acorn TV.
Saturday Night Live: The Early Years
Time Life invites home audiences to front row seats for the most hilarious episodes from “Saturday Night Live’s” first five seasons featuring the original cast. The box set will be available Tuesday Nov. 17.
On October 11, 1975, “Saturday Night Live,” a topical comedy sketch show, debuted on NBC. Created by Canadian comedy writer Lorne Michaels, it would go on to become a renowned launch pad for generational talent and unforgettable characters and become the longest-running, highest-rated show on late-night television.
The first five years of “Saturday Night Live” were arguably the best, and featured some of the most beloved cast members of all time, including Chevy Chase, John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Garrett Morris, Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, Jane Curtin and Laraine Newman. They set the stage for some of the most hilarious live television comedy American audiences had ever seen.
Now the best of the original cast is available unlike ever before. To commemorate this landmark show after 45 years, the TV DVD specialists at Time Life have brought together the very best episodes from the first five seasons with “Saturday Night Live: The Early Years,” a hilarity-packed 12-disc collector’s DVD set featuring the Not Ready for Prime Time Players iconic characters, legendary guest hosts like George Carlin, Lily Tomlin, Steve Martin and Richard Pryor.
The box set includes 33 complete episodes featuring all-time classic characters including The Coneheads, John Belushi’s samurai, Emily Litella, The Blues Brothers and others, incredible musical acts, rare behind-the-scenes footage, a 28-page collector’s book, a bonus DVD and more.
Front Row Features is giving away a digital copy of the riveting film “Blindfire” to five lucky readers. To enter the contest, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org by Nov. 23 for your chance to win. Good luck!