What is a “Petrucelli Pick?”
It is, in the opinion of the quirky nationally-known media whore, something you need to watch, read, listen to, own. Sometimes it’s a place you need to visit. It’s a must. Instant Petrucelli Picks include everything Dame Shirley CD ever recorded.
This week’s Petrucelli’s Picks (and they are several!):
The biggest (read: hottest) DVD news for March is Entertainment One’s newly-restored classics from Italian Neorealist genius Luchino Visconi.
A screenstruck mother, convinced that her daughter’s star potential is her ticket to a better life, invests everything into the dream that she will be discovered at an open casting. Available for the first time ever on DVD, the highly acclaimed drama stars Oscar winner Anna Magnani and Walter Chiari. This Italian language classic earned a Best Actress Award for Magnani from the Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists. Brava!
La Terra Trema (1948)
A New York Times Critic’s Pick when it ran theatrically in 1965 and the winner of the International Award for Best Film at the Venice Film Festival, La Terra Trema is a haunting film which uses the early neorealism format developed by Roberto Rossellini and Vittorio De Sica to trace the doom and disintegration of one Sicilian fishing family. Presenting a wrenching study of one family’s struggle to find happiness, the Italian language gem features a cast and coastal village of non-professional Sicilians, whose lives undergo dramatic changes when they plot to overthrow the greedy wholesalers depriving them of a decent living. Still, against the odds, they enjoy love, laughter and friendship within their close-knit community in this re-mastered must-see from a legendary auteur at the height of his powers.
We heard through the grapevine that we needed to check out the myriad of nifty releases from Grapevine Video. Yes, the silent and sound flicks are public domain yet still tough to find; there’s a sense of importance here, perhaps because of the unique marriage of titles in double-feature sets (think Sunset Murder Case/Murder on the High Seas), perhaps of the artwork used for packaging, perhaps because of the couresty and knowledge and knowledge of the two-man staff.
New to Grapevine’s silent collection: The Lucky Devil, a full throttle comedy about a young man who wins a fancy sports car and gets into trouble on the road. The film stars Richard Dix and Esther Ralston; the wonderful score is by David Knudtson.
Looking for drama? The Woman in the Suitcase stars Enid Bennett as a loving daughter who finds a picture of a strange woman in her father’s suitcase and soon finds herself tracking the woman and her unfaithful father. The Blasphemer is a real rarity and is surprisingly well produced by the Catholic Art Association. George Howard stars as a man full of pride who abandons his faith and values and who is soon to be crushed by fate.
New to Grapevine’s silent collection: The musical Calendar Girl, starring Jane Frazee and William Marshall, and the exciting crime double-feature Double Cross/Roar of the Press. Western fans we want to lasso the Big Boy Williams double-feature, featuring Cowboy Holiday and The Law of 45s.
We highly suggest a visit to grapevinevideo.com.
Leave it to A+E Networks Home Entertainment to remind us that one percent of the white noise seen on our televisions is actually background radiation from the Big Bang. Uncover this, and many more stunning revelations with The History of the World in Two Hours, a CGI-driven History special that tells the epic 14 billion year history of our world, utilizing an entirely new way of looking at the history of the Universe, the planet Earth and humankind.
A fast-paced journey from the beginning of time to the present day, this eye-opening documentary stops off to explore key turning points in the history of the earth, as well as extraordinary connections between the distant past and our daily lives Drawing upon the emerging academic field of Big History, traditional barriers between the sciences and history have been broken down to show how astrophysics, chemistry, biology, palaeontology, anthropology, and all eras of history can actually unite into a single narrative. From the formation of the earth and the emergence of life, to the advance of man and the growth of civilization, this is an incredible rapid-fire view of our unforgettable story—from zero to 14 billion years in 120 minutes.
She’s the pro wrestling phenomenon with the cover girl looks. Now Trish Stratus —recognized as one of the top sports entertainment athletes in the world through her achievements as a seven-time WWE Women’s Champion—brings her breathtaking beauty and power to the screen in her film debut, Bounty Hunters (MPI Home Video).
A group of down-on-their-luck bounty hunters, led by Jules Taylor (Stratus), hit the jackpot one night when they pick up an informant with $100,000 on his head. But their world is turned upside down when a mob boss and his impressive associate Ruby offer them a million dollars in exchange for the informant.
When Jules and her partners refuse “the offer you can’t refuse,” the Mafia unleashes a trio of assassins on them who use all their power to bring the bounty hunters down and to get their man–dead or alive.
In the course of the nonstop action, Stratus puts her amazing wrestling moves to good use, battling a bail dodger in a gym and, most memorably, getting into it with Ruby in an ambulance–a mighty display of flying legs, one woman outfitted in a nurse’s uniform, the other in a hospital gown.