New on DVD/Blu-ray: Mel Brooks’s 1968 ‘The Producers’; Goro Miyazaki Adapts a Diana Wynne Jones Novel

Ten new and classic films now available on DVD and Blu-ray.

The Bad News Bears. 102 min. Michael Ritchie, Paramount. 1976. Blu-ray UPC 032429353719. Rated: PG-13. COMEDY
Boozy ex–minor league ballplayer Morris Buttermaker (Walter Matthau) coaches a losing Little League team and recruits a couple of ringers (Tatum O’Neal, Jackie Earle Haley) to help his players start winning, in this classic underdog tale. New to HD.

Earwig and the Witch. 82 min. Goro Miyazaki, Shout Factory. 2020. DVD UPC 826663215618. $19.99; Blu-ray/DVD UPC 826663216189. $32.99. Rated: PG. ANIMATION
The second adaptation of a Diana Wynne Jones novel bears little resemblance to Hayao Miyazaki’s hand-drawn Howl’s Moving Castle, but Miyazaki’s son carries on the family tradition with this CGI tale of an orphan whose mother had magical powers.

Fukushima 50. 121 min. In Japanese w/English subtitles / English dubbed. Setsurô Wakamatsu, MPI. 2020. DVD UPC 030306716893. $24.98; Blu-ray UPC 030306224596. $29.98. DRAMA
An earthquake triggers a huge tsunami that kills thousands of people in Japan while also threatening to unleash a wider catastrophe: the meltdown of a nuclear reactor. Based on true events, this dramatization focuses on heroic radiation containment efforts.

The Furies. b/w. 109+ min. Anthony Mann, Criterion. 1950. Blu-ray UPC 715515257619. $39.99. WESTERN
A widowed rancher (Walter Huston) in 1870s New Mexico goes to battle with his headstrong daughter (Barbara Stanwyck) over her choice in men and the ownership of his land in this melodramatic oater with obvious Freudian overtones. New to HD.

Hemingway: A Film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. 360 min. PBS. 2021. DVD UPC 841887044967. $39.99; Blu-ray UPC 841887044974. $49.99. DOCUMENTARY
The life and work of the towering American writer gets the epic treatment, combining biography with excerpts from Hemingway’s fiction, nonfiction, and correspondence in this three-part series told by literary scholars and other celebrated writers.

Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on The Exorcist. 104 min. Alexandre O. Philippe, RLJ Entertainment. 2019. Blu-ray UPC 014381133660. $28.96. DOCUMENTARY
From the director of 78/52: Hitchcock’s Shower Scene and Memory: The Origins of Alien comes another feature-length analysis of a classic genre film—this time focusing on Billy Friedkin’s filmmaking process and the role of faith in his life.

The Producers. 88 min. Mel Brooks, Kino Lorber. 1968. DVD UPC 738329242336. $14.99; Blu-ray UPC 738329242343. $29.99. Rated: PG. COMEDY
Setting out to make a Broadway flop in order to fleece his little old lady investors, a down-at-the-heels producer (Zero Mostel) follows the advice of his accountant (Gene Wilder) and comes up with Springtime for Hitler in this classic comedy.

Rams. 119 min. Jeremy Sims, Samuel Goldwyn Films. 2020. DVD UPC 850028052013. $19.99. Rated: PG-13. DRAMEDY
In a more upbeat remake of the darkly humorous Icelandic original, two estranged sheep-raising brothers (Sam Neill, Michael Caton) farming Down Under are forced to face their long feud when deadly disease strikes a most prized animal.

September 30, 1955. 101 min. James Bridges, Scorpion Releasing, dist. by Kino Lorber. 1977. Blu-ray UPC 738329251963. Rated: PG. DRAMA
Richard Thomas (The Waltons) stars as “Jimmy J,” a big fan of Hollywood star James Dean, who has just been killed in a car crash. A group of Dean’s avid fans assembles for a booze-inspired remembrance that’s mostly revealing of the participants.

Shadow in the Cloud. 83 min. Roseanne Liang, Vertical Entertainment. 2020. DVD UPC 031398325604. $14.99; Blu-ray UPC 031398325628. $29.99. Rated: R. HORROR
An unlikely woman pilot (Chloë Grace Moretz) joins an all-male New Zealand air force bomber crew carrying confidential cargo in World War II. She fosters a paranoia only exacerbated by an evil force threatening their mission along with Japanese fighters.

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