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Patrick Redmond

DVD reviews: Cloistered and chilly

Profile image for By Boo Allen
By Boo Allen
Haluk Bilginer plays a former actor who owns a remote hotel in Turkey in “Winter Sleep.”
Haluk Bilginer plays a former actor who owns a remote hotel in Turkey in “Winter Sleep.”
LEFT:  The Beatles’ landmark 1964 appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” is, naturally, part of “The Best of the Ed Sullivan Show.” Sullivan, center, stands with, from left, Ringo Starr, George Harrison, John Lennon and Paul McCartney, during a rehearsal.Anonymous
LEFT: The Beatles’ landmark 1964 appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” is, naturally, part of “The Best of the Ed Sullivan Show.” Sullivan, center, stands with, from left, Ringo Starr, George Harrison, John Lennon and Paul McCartney, during a rehearsal.
Anonymous

This week, we begin in Turkey:

In this languorous Turkish film, last year’s winner of the Cannes Film Festival’s prestigious Palme d’Or Award, director Nuri Bilge Ceylan takes his time telling the story of Aydin (Haluk Bilginer), a former actor who has taken his career savings to purchase a remote hotel.

There, he lives with his sister, Necla (Demet Akbag), and his wife, Nihal (Melisa Sozen). Necla has recently divorced and now spends her time doing little but picking fights with her brother. The much younger Nihal also struggles to find meaning in a life cloistered on a snowy mountain with little company besides a quarrelsome husband.

Meanwhile, other community events play out, such as Aydin, and then Nihal, trying to play peacemaker with the penurious tenant of one of his rentals.

But mostly, director Ceylan dutifully chronicles the threesome’s endless fights, fascinating exchanges that nevertheless restrict the movie to repetitive interior scenes that often overlook the picturesque mountainous region. The chilly climes and the piquant personal dialogue give the film a faint Bergman-esque quality.

 

The Drownsman —  Sometimes a horror movie is as stupid as only a horror movie can be.

For example, take this vapid horror flick, please. Momentarily overlooking its embarrassing script, amateurish cast and chintzy production, its basic premise surpasses the idiocy of even vampires and werewolves.

A young woman, Madison (Michelle Mylett), develops a fear of water when she has an otherworldly vision of being drowned by some now-we-see him, now-we-don’t monster, the so-called Drownsman.

Her fear disrupts her life so badly, friends try an intervention. After that, the mean old supernatural killer-stalker-monster, whatever, tracks down the friends, presumably just to let them know he’s real.

The lame special effects draw laughs while never conjuring frights. Overall, just dumb, dumb, dumb.

Not rated, 86 minutes.

 

Now, for the week’s TV arrivals:

The Best of the Ed Sullivan Show This collection includes some of the highlights from one of television’s most popular, longest running variety programs.

From 1948 to 1971, Ed Sullivan’s Sunday night show dominated the airwaves as he presented the biggest names in entertainment giving musical, comedy and sketch performances.

Included here are appearances from Elvis Presley, the Rolling Stones, George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Joan Rivers, Carol Burnett, Barbra Streisand and, in an appearance that helped catapult them to universal fame, the Beatles.

Many other mortals also appeared, and appear here, from Johnny Mathis to Milton Berle. Sullivan also gave debut TV appearances to such pioneers as Jack Benny, Hank Williams Jr., Harry Belafonte, and even Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis.

Not rated, about 7 hours, 24 minutes. On six discs.

DVD extras: Separate interviews with Ed Sullivan and his wife Sylvia, Milton Berle, Phyllis Diller, Joan Rivers, Flip Wilson and many others.

 

Broadchurch: Season Two The first season of Great Britain’s most popular TV series was later remade into an inferior version for American television, Gracepoint.

Now, all eight episodes of the original series’ second season arrives.

The first season ended with the discovery that the season’s sought-after child killer turned out to be Joe Miller (Matthew Gravelle) — the husband of investigating officer Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman). The second season begins with Joe claiming innocence and setting up his season-long trial, while Ellie and her cantankerous partner, detective Alex Hardy (David Tennant), work to convict Joe. They also do double duty clearing up an unsolved double-murder that plagued Hardy during the first season.

The cast expands to include these newcomers, with Charlotte Rampling and Marianne Jean-Baptiste playing the combative prosecutor and defense attorney.

Not rated, 8 hours. On three discs.

DVD extras: A minute “making of” featurette, “behind the scenes” featurettes, deleted scenes, cast and crew interviews.

 

The Midnight Special This three-disc set includes performances from the groundbreaking 1970s TV show of the title name.

During the decade, some of the biggest names in entertainment performed, many of them seen here. The set features appearances from comedians such as Joan Rivers, Billy Crystal, Richard Pryor, Steve Martin, George Carlin and others.

Among the musical acts were Van Morrison, Etta James, Carlos Santana, Steely Dan, Jim Croce, Glen Campbell, Natalie Cole, Aretha Franklin, Barry Manilow, Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, Donna Summer and many others.

Not rated, 274 minutes.

DVD extras: The 29 minutes of bonus materials include interviews with George Benson and David Steinberg, as well as a featurette on creator Burt Sugarman.

 

Also available on DVD and streaming: Champs, Still Alice, These Final Hours, Tip Top, Tracers and Two Men in Town.