Four feature films are making their home video debuts today, so if you didn’t see them while they were in theaters (those that saw theatrical runs, anyway), now you can pick them up, or rent them in various home video formats.
First, the Essence Atkins/Marlon Wayans found-footage spoof A Haunted House, directed by Mike Tiddes from a script penned by Wayans and Rick Alvarez.
Cedric The Entertainer co-stars.
It grossed an impressive $40 million on a $2.5 million budget, and a sequel has been announced.
Second, The Central Park Five, the documentary from award-winning filmmaker Ken Burns, co-directed with his daughter Sarah Burns, and his son-in-law David McMahon. It tells the story of the five black and Latino teenagers from Harlem who were wrongly convicted of raping a white woman in New York City’s Central Park in 1989. The film chronicles the Central Park Jogger case from the perspective of these five teenagers whose lives were upended by this miscarriage of justice, and who are still very much fighting for justice of their own.
The film most recently made its TV broadcast premiere on PBS.
Third, Andrea Arnold’s adaptation of the classic novel by Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights.
Our interest in the film was sparked when we heard that Arnold decided her Heathcliff would be played by James Howson, a young black actor, and the first black actor to have the opportunity to play Heathcliff in a feature film.
Arnold based her casting on Bronte’s description of Heathcliff as “dark-skinned gypsy in aspect” and “a little Lascar.”
And finally, Forest Whitaker and Common co-star in the indie crime drama, Pawn, alongside Michael Chiklis and Ray Liotta.
The film, directed by first-timer David A. Armstrong, tells the story of a hostage situation gone terribly wrong, and is produced by Chiklis’ production company Extravaganza Films.
Pawn, the only film on this list that wasn’t released in theaters, is being released on home video by Anchor Bay Films.
That’s it for this week… I can recommend the first 3 films, because I saw them all; however, I’m not familiar with Pawn enough to give it a thumbs up. But I’ll eventually check it out now that it’s available.