Tuesday, March 20, 2007

This Just In: DVD Releases

Apparently it's Italy day at Netflix. Many of the films released today on DVD are from our friends in Italy.

The Passion of Joshua the Jew (2005) - Italy
Born in Spain in 1492 at the time all Jews and Muslims were ordered out of the country, Joshua (Leonardo Cesare Abude) is declared the next messiah by an elder (photo above). Eventually settling in Italy with his family, Joshua grows into a man and becomes fascinated with Catholicism, much to the dismay of local religious leaders. Pasquale Scimeca's religious drama exploring the nature of prejudice and intolerance also stars Anna Bonaiuto and Toni Bertorelli.Director: Pasquale Scimeca.

'Tis Pity She's a Whore (1971) Addio, Fratello Crudele - Italy
When she becomes pregnant from an incestuous affair with her brother Giovanni (Oliver Tobias), Annabella (Charlotte Rampling) quickly marries unsuspecting aristocrat Soranzo (Fabio Testi) in this adaptation of John Ford's 1633 play. But when Soranzo learns the truth, his reaction turns violent. From Italian director Giuseppe Patroni Griffi, this lushly produced tale of forbidden passion also stars Antonio Falsi, Rik Battaglia and Angela Luce.

Cinema, Aspirins and Vultures (2005) Cinema, Aspirinas e Urubus
To distance himself from Adolf Hitler and a war he philosophically opposes, a young German (Peter Ketnath) moves halfway around the world to Brazil, where he meets a hitchhiker (João Miguel) with his own motivations to keep moving. Together, they drive across the country making pit stops in various villages to sell the locals a "miracle" drug. Marcelo Gomes directs this multilingual Cannes Film Festival selection.

Manhattan Gigolo (1986) - Italy
A trip to New York City leads to a racy three-person tryst, a sex tape and big trouble for Johnny (Gianni Dei) in this spicy drama, which also stars former CNN anchor and "NYPD Blue" actress Andrea Thompson. Johnny's wild ride begins when he learns his actor friend Rudy (Aris Iliopulos) is actually a gigolo. The friends engage in a threesome with Leslie (Thompson), but things really heat up when Johnny finds out the encounter was videotaped. Director: Amasi Damiani.

Street War (1976) - Italy
After being dismissed for use of excessive force, former cop Murri (Maurizio Merli) soon finds himself back on the job as the only man who can stop a brutal crime spree. When a mob boss escapes from prison and re-forms his gang, Murri is called on to organize a crackerjack team
to put an end to the gang's reign of terror. Fueled by vengeance, Murri stops at nothing to finish off the boss once and for all. Cyril Cusack and James Mason also star. Director: Giuseppe Rosati.