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Disc and That: Upcoming and recent DVDs
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2014-09-30

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—Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Season One ( already out; $29.99 ): Andy Samberg ( formerly of SNL ) won a Golden Globe Award for his lead role in this Fox comedy, which I have to say is one of the funnier shows on television. Set in the fictional 99th Precinct of the New York City Police Department in Brooklyn, the single-camera series follows a precinct team of detectives and a newly appointed captain ( who happens to be gay, and kudos to Andre Braugher for his portrayal ).

—Corpus Christi: Playing with Redemption ( Oct. 14; $24.99 ): Breaking Glass Pictures is releasing this documentary that focuses on Terrence McNally's controversial off-Broadway play Corpus Christi, which imagines Jesus as a gay man living in Corpus Christi, Texas. ( The play originally opened at the Manhattan Theatre Club in 1998 to intense protest and bomb threats. )

—Floating Skyscrapers ( already out; $24.99 ): The second film from Polish filmmaker Tomasz Wasilewski, this movie centers on a bisexual love triangle and a man who refuses to choose. The plot is as follows: Strong and disciplined champion swimmer Kuba, who's dating girlfriend Sylwie, encounters emotional turmoil when he meets the handsome Mikal.

—The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden ( already out; $24.95 ): Courtesy of Zeitgeist Films, this movie features voice performances by Oscar® winner Cate Blanchett ( Blue Jasmine ), Diane Kruger, Connie Nielsen, Sebastian Koch, Thomas Kretschmann, Gustaf Skarsgard and Josh Radnor. the movie is a documentary portrait of a 1930s murder mystery that takes place on the famous archipelago. Special features include deleted scenes, a Telluride Film Festival directors Q&A and the original theatrical trailer.

—Hercules ( Nov. 4; $39.99 ): Based on Radical Comics' "Hercules" by Steve Moore, this action film is a "revisionist" take on the classic myth—which means you should REALLY be prepared for a version that doesn't necessarily adhere to the Greek myth. Dwayne Johnson stars as the title character and leads an ensemble cast including Golden Globe winner Ian McShane, Rufus Sewell, Joseph Fiennes, Peter Mullan and Academy Award nominee John Hurt. ( By the way, there's also a Blu-ray 3D combo pack available. )

—I'm a Porn Star ( already out; $24.99 ): Produced by Charlie David, this documentary is eye-opening in more ways than one: You get what the movie cheekily calls an "oral history of gay pornography," and profiles of four actors yields many surprises—such as Colby Jansen, who is married to trans porn actress Gia Darling.

—Magic in the Moonlight ( Dec. 16 ): Those who love romance may appreciate this movie, which is set in the 1920s against the beautiful and opulent Cote d'Azur in the south of France, and stars Colin Firth as an Englishman and master magician who helps expose a swindler, played by Emma Stone. The cast is first-rate, with Firth, Stone, Marcia Gay Harden and Oscar nominee Jacki Weaver.

—Man at Bath ( already out; $24.95 ): Now-former porn star Francois Sagat stars in this 2010 film ( also known as Homme au bain ) from director Christophe Honore. Sagat stars as Emmanuel, a gay hustler living in France with his lover Omar. After splitting, they each discover new adventures—Emmanuel in France, and Omar in Manhattan. And to answer your question, yes, there is some full-frontal action happening.

—Miss Marple: Volume One ( Oct. 28; $39.98 ): In celebration of the 30th anniversary of Miss Marple, BBC Home Entertainment will be releasing Miss Marple: Volume One for the first time ever on Blu-ray. ( Trivia: Joan Hickson was one of the oldest actresses to take a lead role in a major television series when she was cast as Agatha Christie's soft-spoken, sharp-eared sleuth at the age of 78 in 1984. ) Bonus features include "A Very British Murder, Part 1," the first episode of a three-part series documenting the British national obsession with murder mysteries.

—Newhart: The Complete Fourth Season ( just released; $29.93 ): Comedy legend Bob Newhart is back as Dick Loudon in this latest collection of the Emmy-nominated sitcom classic courtesy of Shout! Factory. In this season ( which originally aired on CBS from 1985-86 ), life at the Stratford Inn gets even more eccentric for Dick and his wife Joanna ( Mary Frann ), as well as for friends George ( Tom Poston ), Stephanie ( Julia Duffy ) and Michael ( Peter Scolari ).

—Penny Dreadful: Season One ( Oct. 21; $48.99 ): One of this writer's favorite series, this Showtime offering will be out on Blu-Ray and DVD. From three-time Oscar nominee John Logan and Oscar winner Sam Mendes, Penny Dreadful can basically be described as a "frightening psychosexual drama." Hunky Josh Hartnett, Timothy Dalton and Eva Green star—and Hartnett has a couple scenes that gay fans will certainly appreciate. Among the special features is "Prostitution and Sex in Victorian Times."

—Sex Tape ( Oct. 14; $19.96 ): Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel star in this comedy about a couple who, in an effort to reignite their love life, record the title feature. However, the tape has accidentally been uploaded to "the cloud"—and they spend an adventurous night trying to delete the movie. Bonus features include all-new featurettes as well as the "Line-O-Rama," exposing ( no pun intended ) the audience to different takes during some of the film's funniest moments.

—Silent Witness: Season One and Silent Witness: Season Seventeen ( Oct. 21; $34.98 ): Before such U.S. shows as CSI took viewers into the lab, British series Silent Witness did the same. BBC Home Entertainment is bringing the popular long-running procedural drama to DVD for the first time in North America, with more seasons to be released in the coming months. The plot centers on a team of forensic pathologists as they use their scientific expertise to unravel clues in mysterious and suspicious deaths.

—Steven Spielberg Director's Collection ( Oct. 14 ): It's safe to say that the vast majority of people ( at least in this country ) have seen a Spielberg movie. Spanning over 40 years, Steven's career began as a teenager when he made his way onto the Universal backlot and befriended studio executives. This collection ( on Blu-ray and DVD ) showcases a selection of the Academy Award winner's movies filmed for Universal, including his very first TV feature, Duel, and his first theatrical release, The Sugarland Express. There are also movies such as 1941, Always, Jaws, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial and Jurassic Park.

—Transformers: Age of Extinction ( just released; $39.99 ): Michael Bay is back with another Transformers movie that's filled with tons of action. It is the fourth installment of the live-action Transformers film series and stars Mark Wahlberg in the lead role. "Age" takes place five years after Transformers: Dark of the Moon, after the Decepticon invasion of Chicago.

—Tru Love ( Nov. 4 ): A love story about the intersecting lives of three women, this award-winning romantic drama debuts across all digital platforms ( including iTunes and WolfeOnDemand ) beginning Oct. 7, before making its DVD debut Nov. 4 from Wolfe Video. The acclaimed lesbian romance follows Tru, a 37-year-old bed-hopping lesbian who becomes unexpectedly smitten with Alice, an elegant 60-year-old who has come to town to visit her daughter. Bonus materials include deleted scenes and the 15-minute short film Stormcloud.

—Welcome Back, Kotter: The Complete Series ( already out; $129.99 ): One of the shows that's synonymous with the '70s, Shout! Factory will release the classic sitcom, available for the first time as a complete series on DVD. Nominated for four Primetime Emmy Awards, the 16-disc box set contains all 95 episodes from the series, as well as bonus features including original screen tests and the featurette "Only a Few Degrees from a Sweathog." See John Travolta before he became a huge movie star.

—The Wolf of Wall Street ( already out; $39.99 ): Martin Scorsese directs this Oscar-nominated ( and expletive-filled ) story of New York stockbroker Jordan Belfort ( Leonardo DiCaprio ) as he goes from penny stocks and righteousness to IPOs and a life of corruption in the late 1980s. The cast also includes Academy Award nominee Jonah Hill, Matthew McConaughey, Kyle Chandler, Rob Reiner, Jean Dujardin and Margot Robbie.

—X-Men: Days of Future Past ( Oct. 14; $39.99 ): Directed by the openly gay Bryan Singer, it is the seventh ( ! ) installment of the X-Men film series, acting basically as a sequel to both 2006's X-Men: The Last Stand and 2011's X-Men: First Class. This film—which features a plethora of superheroes and supervillains from two time periods—stars Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Halle Berry, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Nicholas Hoult, Shawn Ashmore, Peter Dinklage, Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, among others.

Prices are for DVDs, unless otherwise stated.

—By Andrew Davis

( Andrew@WindyCityMediaGroup.com )


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