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‘Appointment With Danger,’ ‘Pride’ and ‘The Trip to Italy’ Are the Best New Blu-ray/DVD Releases of…

By  · Published on December 23rd, 2014

‘Appointment With Danger,’ ‘Pride’ and ‘The Trip to Italy’ Are the Best New Blu-ray/DVD Releases of the Week

Welcome back to This Week In Discs!

If you see something you like, click on the title to buy it from Amazon.

Hurry Sundown

Henry Warren (Michael Caine) is a landowner on the brink of making a big deal, but there are still two plots of land he needs to acquire. One belongs to a white relative’s family, and the other belongs to a black family whose lineage traces back to time spent as slaves to Mrs. Warren’s (Jane Fonda) relatives. Those times have passed, but 1940’s Georgia isn’t that much more enlightened, and as Warren’s efforts conflict with those of two families struggling to make the most of their homes and farmland racial tensions and civil expectations are tested.

Director Otto Preminger’s all-star look at Southern relations leans heavily towards melodrama at times, but it works well all the same. The cast ‐ which also includes Faye Dunaway, John Phillip Law, Diahann Carroll, Burgess Meredith and George Kennedy ‐ do fine work conveying the ignorance and humanity of the time and the people. At over two hours the film takes its time with the characters allowing them to settle in and establish their relationships to each other before culminating in an entertaining court scene and a powerfully exciting finale. Is it a little bit simplistic? Maybe, but that doesn’t lessen the intent or effect.

[Blu-ray/DVD extras: None]

Appointment With Danger

When a postal inspector is murdered by unknown assailants a fellow USPS agent (Alan Ladd) is assigned to the case. His investigation leads to a witness who happens to be a nun, the discovery of a plan to rob a million dollar delivery in the near future and an undercover assignment into the murderers’ lair.

Director Lewis Allen (The Uninvited) delivers an exciting and suspenseful slice of film noir that shifts things up a bit by having its lead female be a penguin. It works well though as the removal of a love interest doesn’t reduce the effect of a woman in danger at the hands of dastardly men in fedoras. The main narrative follows Ladd’s undercover work investigating the gang ‐ including Dragnet’s Jack Webb and Harry Morgan ‐ and there are some tense moments throughout. The third act isn’t short on action either, but even before the gunplay kicks in the character work and tension keep our focus tightly wound.

[Blu-ray/DVD extras: None]

Intruders: Season One

Jack Whelan’s wife Amy (Mira Sorvino) is acting a bit weird. She’s entering into odd trances, speaking in a foreign tongue and disappearing without a trace, but as Jack looks into the matter he discovers something far bigger than the strange behavior of one woman. A secret society exists of people who’ve defeated death with the ability to “jump” bodies, and it’s a secret they’ll kill to protect and maintain.

This BBC America production comes from creator Glen Morgan (The X-Files) and does a fantastic job of slowly, methodically rolling out its mystery and characters. We jump between different story threads, each offering a different part of the bigger story, and as the truth comes into the focus the action and suspense ramps up alongside it. It’s the kind of show that could easily lose its way come the second season by drowning in a need for more and more revelations (hello Orphan Black), but for now it holds attention through sharp writing and an exciting style.

[Blu-ray/DVD extras: None]


England in the mid-eighties saw a series of battles between those in power and those doing the work, and a large percentage of the nation’s blue-collar workforce is on strike. One such group is the country’s miner union, and as the weeks march on their cause wears down until they receive a supportive boost from an unlikely source ‐ a Gay and Lesbian group from London. The visitors are used to harassment and offer insight into standing their ground and earning support, but prejudice threatens to undermine all of their efforts.

There’s an obvious nature to this based-on-a-true-story crowd-pleaser, but just because we can see the intention doesn’t make the effect an less. Performances are strong, playful and heartfelt across the board, and the dramatic turns are powerfully appealing. It’s not a dry affair either as it’s filled with solid laughs and invigorating musical bits ‐ it’s not a musical, but there are some rousing sing-alongs. It’s genuinely affecting too.

[Blu-ray/DVD extras: Deleted scenes, featurette]

The Trip to Italy

Steve Coogan (Steve Coogan) and Rob Brydon (Rob Brydon) found success on an improvisational road trip through England where they ate food and sparred with improvisations, and now they’re at it again! They’re in Italy this time, and the new locale is paired with even better-looking food and even more improvisation.

Coogan and Brydon play mildly fictionalized versions of themselves ‐ basically the more personal parts of the narrative are fiction while their general interactions are them being them ‐ and they do a typical sequel move here by mirroring the drama from the first film. There it was Coogan who had family troubles haunting the trip, but here it’s Brydon who faces some fanciful relationship dramas. That thread works just as well here, but it’s the laughs we’re here for and thankfully the film delivers once again. Well, the Michael Caine bits are getting moldy, but the rest is rapid-fire winners.

[Blu-ray/DVD extras: Deleted scenes]

Continuum: Season Three

Kiera’s (Rachel Nichols) quest to return to the future continues to face obstacles from enemies and so-called friends alike, and every time she feels she’s growing closer to a reunion with her family something happens to keep her here in the present. This continues to be one of the most enjoyable Syfy series of the past few years thanks in many ways to its majority present-day setting. The cast helps too with Nichols in particular showing both heart and a physical presence that makes her skill at ass-kickery believable. It’s a fun show with smart twists ‐ nothing too heavy or incredible, but enough to make for a solidly entertaining series.

[Blu-ray/DVD extras: Commentaries, webisodes, behind the scenes]

Dominion: Season One

A quarter century after angels descended from Heaven and attacked mankind what remains of our species survives in walled cities awaiting the much prophesied arrival of “the Chosen One.” And then he arrives, and all hell breaks loose once again. This Syfy channel show is a bit reminiscent of the movie Legion and certainly has its fair share of striking images, but the main story and its numerous characters are just so damn bland. They never capture or hold our interest leaving us instead with little more than some cool visuals and ideas.

[Blu-ray/DVD extras: Deleted scenes, gag reel, extended episode]

The Good Lie

A quartet of Sudanese children escape their war-torn country by walking hundreds of miles and ending up in a refugee camp. More than a decade later they’re granted asylum into America, and the four are faced with new challenges in their quest for sustainable happiness and lives. It helps that they have Reese Witherspoon in their corner. There’s also a harrowing river crossing early in the film as the kids are on the run from soldiers that serves to put a very dramatic point on the situation. This true tale manages to be inspiring and heartwarming without feeling overly saccharine, and there are plenty of sweet moments throughout to keep viewers smiling and occasionally misty-eyed.

[Blu-ray/DVD extras: Featurette, deleted scenes]

Rope of Sand

The exotically-named Mike Davis (Burt Lancaster) returns to the African continent in search of the diamonds he stole and buried there two years prior, but his planned reunion with the gems is stymied and interrupted by local officials and schemers (including Claude Rains and Peter Lorre). This late ’40s noir offers some attractive exteriors and late thrills, but it’s something of a convoluted slog making it through. Part of the problem is the roster of character ‐ well-acted as they are ‐ who never quite hold the interest.

[Blu-ray/DVD extras: None]


A popular ghost-hunting show heads to an abandoned mental hospital reportedly haunted by the ghost of a murderous patient who died half a century ago, but things go poorly for all involved. Mostly for the viewers. It’s found footage, but while that used to be code for “shitty” this past year has proven that the format can sometimes surprise. Unfortunately this is a callback to format’s worst traits ‐ boring filler, obnoxious character, lame jump scares and more ‐ and there’s absolutely nothing here worth recommending.

[DVD extras: None]


Tony Banks (Jackie Gleason) is an ex-hitman and current family man, but his retirement takes a sharp left turn when his old mob boss (Groucho Marx) tasks him with one more job. One early murder aside this is a goofy, occasionally surreal and psychedelic comedy that doesn’t quite work. The highlight is found in the number of recognizable faces here including Carol Channing, Frankie Avalon, Mickey Rooney, John Phillip Law, Peter Lawford ‐ there’s even something of a Batman villain reunion going on with appearances by Burgess Meredith, Frank Gorshin and Cesar Romero. The cast and a handful of solid gags keep it from dragging, but it’s more madcap free-for-all than comedy gem.

[Blu-ray/DVD extras: None]


Young-gyu (Chang Jung-lim) was once a heavy-hitter in the organ trafficking game, but after a tragedy involving his team he decides to move into the decidedly less dangerous business of narcotics and stolen goods. When he discovers the woman he loves has a special need ‐ involving an organ transplant, obviously ‐ he’s forced back into the game with deadly consequences. This Korean thriller features a surprisingly grim and gruff performance from Chang, but maybe that’s because I’m only used to him in the goofy Sex is Zero comedies. There are some good thrills and action sequences too, but nothing that stands out as above average.

[Blu-ray/DVD extras: None]

Also out this week, but I haven’t seen the movie/TV show and/or review material was unavailable:

1,000 Times Good Night
7 Assassins
Dark City
Such Good Friends
Two-Bit Waltz
Union Station

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Rob Hunter has been writing for Film School Rejects since before you were born, which is weird seeing as he's so damn young. He's our Chief Film Critic and Associate Editor and lists 'Broadcast News' as his favorite film of all time. Feel free to say hi if you see him on Twitter @FakeRobHunter.