By ANGELA DAWSON
Front Row Features
A Tramway in Jerusalem
Amos Gitai’s humorous and touching “A Tramway in Jerusalem” arrives on Tuesday Sept. 15, from Film Movement.
The Light Rail Red Line of Jerusalem’s tramway connects the city from east to west, from the Palestinian neighborhoods of Shuafat and Beit Hanina to Mount Herzl—a journey that comprises the culturally complex makeup of the city.
There’s a skilled oud player who weaves a spell on two French tourists, two young women—one Palestinian, one Jewish—who bond on the platform, a tired Palestinian worker wrongfully accused of harassment and a group of Hassidic men, chanting a religious chorus together. While traveling across this vibrant city, the small conflicts and reconciliations of everyday life—heard in an impressive array of languages including Hebrew, Arabic, French, Italian, Yiddish, German and Ladino (Judeo-Spanish)— provide a kernel of hope in a society so often divided by political boundaries.
The drama features a talented ensemble cast including Mathieu Amalric (“An Officer and a Spy,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel”) and Hana Laslo (“Nevsu,” “Free Zone”), and hinges on a series of encounters along the line: simple, mundane interactions that reveal the diverse mosaic of humanity that exists in the spiritual center of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
The set includes the bonus short film, “A Letter to a Friend,” also directed by Gitai, which explores the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the reading of texts by Albert Camus and other thinkers and writers.
The DVD/Digital is available for $24.95 (SRP).
The Best of Cher
From Hollywood to Vegas and all around the world, no one has continued to delight us, surprise us, and entertain us like Cher. For the first time ever, all the spectacular highlights of Cher’s remarkable career are together in one complete collection: “The Best of Cher,” available Tuesday Sept. 15, from the classic TV DVD experts at Time Life.
Cher (born Cherilyn Sarkisian) rose to stardom as part of a singing act with then husband Sonny Bono in the 1960s, hitting No. 1 with the single “I Got You Babe” before they starred together on “The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour.” Following a parting of ways, the incredibly talented artist spread her wings, established a chart-topping solo career of her own, starred in her own variety show, and sold out music venues across the globe.
This all-encompassing box set brings together the stunning scope of Cher’s sensational life in the spotlight like never before across two loaded volumes and nine DVDs, as well as a collectible look book featuring Bob Mackie’s original wardrobe sketches.
The five-disc Volume 1 encompasses the era when America’s favorite musical couple parted ways in 1974, effectively ending “The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour,” CBS quickly decided to give Cher her own variety show. Simply titled “Cher,” the new series starring the soon-to-be superstar aired its first episode in February 1975. All 10 episodes of the “Cher” show are available for the first time in over 40 years, with her top-name guests including Charo, Ray Charles, Elton John, The Muppets, Linda Ronstadt, Raquel Welch and others.
Extras in Volume 1 include new interviews with Cher, designer Bob Mackie, comedy icon Lily Tomlin and “Cher’s” executive producer George Schlatter, guest appearances on ‘70s talk shows, a CBS promo for the show and a newly produced featurette, “Cher: Then & Now.”
On the four-disc Volume 2, Cher’s legendary TV specials hit screens as family-friendly, psychedelic, counterculture kaleidoscopes. Whether playing all the parts in “West Side Story,” a roller-skating goddess, the snake in the Garden of Eden, a synchronized secretary, or simply Laverne, no one puts on a show like Cher. Her Vegas shows (and outfits!) were even more spectacular. Both of Cher’s legendary TV specials, “Cher … Special” (1978), and “Cher … and Other Fantasies” (1979) are included in this volume as well as her Las Vegas concerts, live from the Mirage (1991) and MGM Grand (1999), as well as exclusive extras including backstage home movies, rehearsal songs and more; the full-length documentary “Dear Mom, Love Cher,” offering a rare peek into Cher’s fascinating family history; and bonus features including a 2018 appearance on “The Late, Late Show with James Corden.”
The nine-disc, two-volume DVD box set (and extras) is available for $99.95 (SRP).
From the Written Works of Stephen King: 5-Movie Collection
Prepare for terrifying suspense and bone-chilling thrills with “From the Written Works of Stephen King: 5-Movie Collection, arriving on Blu-ray Tuesday Sept. 15, from Paramount Home Entertainment.
Arriving just in time for Halloween, the collection comprises: “Pet Sematary” (1989), “Pet Sematary” (2019), “Stephen King’s The Stand,” “The Dead Zone” and “Stephen King’s Silver Bullet.” (1985)
The original “Pet Sematary” adaptation is based on King’s seller, and directed by Mary Lambert. It stars Fred Gwynne, Dale Midkiff, Denise Crosby and Brad Greenquist. The Blu-ray includes a director’s commentary, a guided tour of the locations led by King, an introduction to the cast and characters, a behind-the-scenes look at the making-of the film, and an interview with Lambert about her memories making the film, and more.
The 2019 adaptation of the book was directed by Dennis Widmyer and Kevin Kolsch and stars Jason Clarke, Amy Seimetz, John Lithgow and Jete Laurence. Extras include a look at the main characters, behind-the-scenes footage, cast interviews, and more.
“Stephen King’s The Stand” is directed by Mick Garris and stars Gary Sinise, Molly Ringwald, Jamey Sheridan, Laura San Giacomo and Rob Low. The Blu-ray includes commentary by King and members of the cast and crew, along with a making-of featurette.
Directed by David Cronenberg, “The Dead Zone,” based on King’s book, stars Brooke Adams, Tom Skerritt, Herbert Lam, Anthony Zerbe, Colleen Dewhurst, Christopher Walken and Martin Sheen.
Celebrating the 35th anniversary since the film’s release, “Steven King’s Silver Bullet,” is based on King’s screenplay based on his novella “Cycle of the Werewolf.” Directed by Dan Attias, the film stars Gary Busey, Everette McGill and Corey Haim.
The treasured and enduring classic “Roman Holiday” debuts on Blu-ray for the first time ever as part of the Paramount Presents line Tuesday Sept. 15, from Paramount Home Entertainment.
The beloved Audrey Hepburn lights up the screen in her first starring role opposite the charismatic Gregory Peck in this funny, beautiful, and intoxicating romantic comedy. Ranked as the No. 4 greatest love story of all time by the American Film Institute, “Roman Holiday” earned 10 Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, and won Best Actress for Hepburn, Best Costume Design for legendary designer Edith Head and Best Writing for Dalton Trumbo.
Director William Wyler’s 1953 fairy tale was one of Hollywood’s first on-location motion pictures and memorably captures the bustling streets and iconic sites of Rome. “Roman Holiday” expresses the exhilaration of joyously breaking free as the lead character escapes her royal obligations against the backdrop of post-war Europe embracing long-awaited peace.
The screenwriter was blacklisted for refusing to cooperate with the House Un-American Activities Committee and his name was not included in the film’s original credits. In 1992, the Board of Governors of the Academy voted to finally credit Trumbo for the “Story Writing” Oscar and his widow received a statuette in 1993. In 2011, the WGA restored Trumbo’s name to the screenwriting credits. This is the first physical home entertainment release to correctly credit Dalton Trumbo with both the screenplay and story by credits both on packaging and the film itself.
The original negative was processed at a local film lab in Rome and was unfortunately badly scratched and damaged. The film had to be pieced back together, but the splices were so weak due to the damage that extensive amounts of tape had to be used to allow the negative to make it through a printing machine. Because of the fragile state of the negative, a Dupe Negative was made and then blown up a few thousandths of an inch to cover all the splice tape that held the original negative together.
In anticipation of this new Blu-ray release, the film was digitally restored using the Dupe Negative and a Fine Grain element to capture the best possible image. Every frame was reviewed, and the film received extensive cleanup to remove thousands of scratches, bits of dirt, and other damage. Because audio elements to properly up-mix to 5.1 do not exist, the original mono track was remastered, and minor anomalies were corrected. The result is a film returned to its original vibrancy and beauty that remains true to director William Wyler’s vision.
The limited-edition Paramount Presents Blu-ray Disc is presented in collectible packaging that includes a foldout image of the film’s theatrical re-release poster, and an interior spread with key movie moments. Newly remastered from a 4K film transfer, the “Roman Holiday” Blu-ray includes a new “Filmmaker Focus” with film historian Leonard Maltin, access to a Digital copy of the film, as well as previously released featurettes on Academy Award-winner Audrey Hepburn, Edith Head’s Oscar-winning costumes, the blacklisting of Dalton Trumbo, and more.
Two Hundred Thousand Dirty
“Two Hundred Thousand Dirty” arrives on DVID and Digital Tuesday Sept. 15, from Corinth Films.
Few things in life are more depressing than being stuck in a hopeless, dead-end job in a decaying urban strip mall. Native to this environment and products of outdated pop culture are Rob (Mark Greenfield) and potty-mouthed Manny (Coolio), the unsuccessful, unrefined and uncouth sales force behind Affordable Mattress, a fly-by-night showroom.
The pair spend their days shifting around unsold inventory, taking smoke breaks, washing windows and hanging with other mall denizens. The store’s irritable manager, Preston (Kenneth McGregor), relieves his endless frustration with verbal abuse bluntly aimed at his miserable employees. Desperate to improve sales, he hires Argentine femme fatale, Isabelle (Rocío Verdejo), who turns out to be just what the enterprise needs to stay afloat, and she quickly makes friends with Manny, Rob and Martin (C. Clayton Blackwell), the dim-witted gift shop employee from next door.
The seemingly charming Isabelle, however, sells not only mattresses but also a scheme to her three new friends, offering them the hope of an exit from a monotonous life they have known for too long: murder her ex-husband, Antonio (Spencer Rowe), and make it look like an accident so that she can collect a $200,000 life insurance payout. Together, they come up with a plan that, when set in motion, would make even Harry and Lloyd from “Dumb and Dumber” proud, and go about accomplishing the task at hand with not an ounce more competence than what goes into their daily routine at Affordable Mattress.
The DVD/Digital is available for @4.95 (SRP).
A House Divided: Season 2
A House Divided: Season 2 debuts on DVD Tuesday Sept. 15.
The return of the hit UMC original series about secrets, lies and family drama that follows the wealthy Sanders clan as they deal with the ongoing consequences of the matriarch’s death, the mistress’ rise to power, and new power struggles for dominance of the family business.
The power drama series stars Demetria McKinney (“Tyler Perry’s House of Payne”), Lawrence Hilton Jacobs (“The Jacksons: An American Dream,” “Welcome Back Kotter”) Paula Jai Parker (“Ray Donovan,” “True Blood”), and Art Evans (“Die Hard 2,” “Fright Night”).
The series follows the direct descendants of Letty Sanders, an enslaved woman who after arriving in Los Angeles in 1821, rose to become the wealthiest Black woman in the newly established city. Centering on present-day members of the Sanders clan, Cameran Sanders Sr. (Hilton-Jacobs) has raised his three children in opulent wealth.
After the sudden passing of his wife amidst a brewing government investigation into the business dealings of the family-owned bank, a new woman, Carissa Walker (McKinney), emerged from the shadows determined to be the Next Mrs. Sanders. As secrets are uncovered and scandals emerge, the Sanders family will be forced to band together for the sake of their survival or risk the ultimate demise of their longstanding legacy.
Recently renewed for a third season and currently in production, “A House Divided: Season 3” is slated to premiere in December. The six-episode two-disc DVD box set will be available for $17.96 (SRP).
Killing Eve: Season 3
“Killing Eve: Season” 3 debuts on Blu-ray and DVD Tuesday Sept. 15, from AMC.
Nominated for eight Primetime Emmys (including Outstanding Drama Series and two nominations for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series), the third season of the award-winning drama continues the story of two women with brutal pasts, addicted to each other but now trying desperately to live their lives without their drug choice.
For Villanelle (Jodie Comer, “The White Princess”), the assassin without a job, Eve (Sandra Oh, “Grey’s Anatomy”). For Eve, the ex-MI6 operative hiding in plain sight, Villanelle will never find her. All seems find until a shocking and personal death sets them on a collision course yet again. The journey back to each other will cost both of them friends, family, and allegiances … and perhaps a share of their souls.
The third season previously aired AMC Networks. All eight episodes of the third season as well as bonus featurettes will be available on Blu-ray for $35.97 (SRP) and on DVD for $34.97 (SRP).