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!):
Remembering 9/11(Inception Media Group )
Prepare for a powerfully moving documentary and commemoration that pays dignified honor to the tenth anniversary of the world’s deadliest act of terrorism. Remembering 9/11 goes beyond the historical facts, exploring the background of the perpetrators and of the U.S. government’s response, and amidst the debris rise stories of courage and survival. This gripping program is seen through the eyes of those at Ground Zero who witnessed firsthand the chaos, tragedy and suffering of rescue workers, survivors and of the victims’ families, as well as from the perspective of the evil architect who committed the unthinkable, justifying his horrific acts through his own distorted faith and beliefs.
Citizen Jane(Green Apple Entertainment)
Here’s an adrenaline-fueled, real-life crime mystery that tells the gripping tale of Jane Alexander, who went on to found the activist group Citizens Against Homicide, which supports families looking for justice. Alexander (portrayed quite nicely by former Brat Packer queen Ally Sheedy) lives an enviable life in San Francisco with handsome, charismatic Tom O’Donnell (Sean Patrick Flanery). But Jane’s idyllic life is shattered when her beloved, elderly aunt is brutally murdered. Embarking on an epic, 13-year journey to track down the killer, Jane–with the support of a dear friend–stuns authorities with her shrewd tenacity, ultimately bringing her aunt’s killer to justice.
Dear Uncle Adolf: The Germans and Their Fuhrer (First Run Features)
This is powerful stuff. You’ve been warned. The personal private letters written by the German people to Adolf Hitler provide the most intimate details of the Third Reich. A treasure of more than 100,000 such letters was recently found, hidden in a secret Russian archive. The uncensored letters, which include declarations of loyalty, love letters and occasional words of protest, reveal the true feelings of the German people.
As one man wrote in April 1932, a day after elections made the Hitler an unstoppable force: “We only want Adolf Hitler as leader, as dictator. We National Socialists want to see a ban on all newspapers that inject poison into our Fuehrer, to see Jews classified as what they are. We will give our blood to Adolf Hitler! Take an iron hand and fulfill your program with a dictatorial will. Do not negotiate but act!”
Women who wrote particularly ardent letters were monitored by the Gestapo as Hitler feared that his cult of personality could lead to a destabilization of home life in the Reich. As his power became absolute, so the tempo of the letters increased. Like a seismograph, they reflect the changing mood in Nazi Germany, and the highs and lows of the German spirit, from 1932 to 1945. Wow.
The Eternal Road: Kurt Weill and the Jewish Response to Hitler’s Germany (Kultur)
This enlightening program tells the little-known story of Kurt Weill, Max Reinhardt and Meyer Weisgal’s operatic Jewish response to Hitler’s Germany. It chronicles the fascinating history of the creation and production of the opera, The Eternal Road, during the time when Nazi persecution of the Jews was spreading across Europe in the late 1930s. It is a story about an artistic quest to create an opera that reflected the plight of the Jews in the final days leading up to the Holocaust. Brilliant!
Father of Invention (Anchor Bay Entertainment)
Need a few laughs? Think of this comedy, starring Kevin Spacey and Heather Graham, as quite inventive. Spacey plays Robert Axle, eccentric inventorturned ego-driven infomercial guru. You can’t flip channels without seeing the latest Axle “fabrication” being touted. But when one of his inventions–the “Ab-Clicker”–maims thousands of customers, a class-action lawsuit lands him in jail for next 10 years. When he gets out of prison. Axle is ready to redeem his name and (hopefully) rebuild his billion-dollar empire. Wonder why Suzanne Somers thinks?
Strike (Kino Classics)
This, the first feature film by Sergei Eisenstein (the director of classic silent Battleship Potemkin),is a visual tour-de-force that employs dynamic editing and experimental camerawork to dramatize the saga of a bitterly-fought factory strike in 1903. Often compared to Citizen Kane in terms of audacious directorial debuts, Strike embodies the revolutionary spirit of the Soviet people of the 1920s, cresting the waves of artistic and political idealism. Both the Blu-ray and DVD versions of the title will come with Eisestein’s Glumov’s Diary, an experimental 1923 short film made for his stage production of Alexander Ostrovsky’s Enough Stupidity in Every Wise Man), as well as the documentary Eisenstein and The Revolutionary Spirit, a 2008 documentary featuringfilm historian Natacha Laurent who places Eisenstein’s work in the context of the Communist Revolution and Soviet filmmaking.
Robin of Sherwood, Set 1 (Acorn Media)
Broadcast on PBS and Showtime as Robin Hood, the superb ensemble cast features Michael Praed as Robin of Loxley, Ray Winstone as Will Scarlet and Nickolas Grace as the Sheriff of Nottingham. This lavishly produced 1980s British TV series combines elements of history, myth and magic with a healthy dose of action and was shot entirely on location throughout England’s countryside. The definitive retelling of the Robin Hood legend makes its Blu-ray debut with more than eight hours of extras. Errol who?
Jackie Mason: One Angry Man (Kultur)
A seriously silly spoof! Modeled after the stage and screen production Twelve Angry Men, One Angry Man is the court-room dramedy starring everyone’s favorite curmudgeon. Weeks before the premier of Mason’s latest Broadway show, he has been called to jury duty. Just like everyone else, he is reluctant to serve; naturally, he employs the talents of his lawyer, Raoul Felder, to help relieve him of his civic duty. During the selection process, Jackie is questioned by the prosecution and the defense. Jackie is so offended by the defense’s questions, he talks his way right onto the jury. The jury is set: people from all walks of life: the Arabic foreman, an Italian sleaze-ball, a gay gossip columnist, a transvestite, a country music singer, a 9/11 rescue worker, a self-hating Jew, a psychologist, a feminist, a model, a teacher and, of course, Jackie Mason.
On trial for murdering a decorated police veteran is Yusef, an Arabic teenager. The judge instructs the jury not to hurry their decision and also not to be harassed by Jackie. The jury is ushered into their deliberating room where they begin their process.
Inside the jury room Jackie creates utter chaos and takes it upon himself to convince the otherwise “not guilty” leaning jury that Yusef is guilty. The characters share stories with one another about their lives and experiences, tempers flare, emotions run rampant and Jackie realizes he may have made a mistake.
Einstein: The Man Behind the Genius (Kultur)
This unique one-man show stars Steve Polinsky who portrays the great Einstein. This dramatic production presents Einstein’s life, and the ideals, conflicts, humor and compassion of the man who revolutionized our view of the universe. Especially fascinating is the revelations into Einstein’s private life. We discover in him a man of humor, deep moral commitment, and involvement in the political issues of his time, a contagious enthusiasm for life and a never-ending wonder about the world around him. He is fascinated by everything around him-in a cup of tea the swirling leaves suggest to him aspects of the nature of the universe. A photo reminds him of the pain he suffered when he separated from his first wife. The warmth of his feelings towards people is matched by the outrage he feels toward the rise of fascism which forced him to leave his native Germany. Arriving in America, Einstein often speaks out passionately about the dangers of nuclear power. He talks of the honor he felt being offered the presidency of Israel, and he imagines a conversation with Sir Isaac Newton.
The Road to World War II (Questar)
This classic series follows the events that sparked the greatest conflict of the century, capturing the drama, the excitement and the ideological juxtapositions of these crucial years. Former CBS News correspondent and commentator Eric Sevareid, one of the world’s most respected figures in journalism, presents this extraordinary series featuring stunning original newsreels, soundtracks, and rare archival footage.
While America enjoyed itself in the Roaring Twenties, the world was changing. It was the era of Lucky Lindy, bootleg, Babe Ruth, Valentino and assembly-line Fords. It was also the time of market collapse, Klan meetings, demagogues abroad, Red Scares at home and bread lines. The best of times, the worst of times, and the times in which the United States reluctantly moved center stage. The Road to World War II is an innovative 16-part series that examines this crucial time as it progressed from the Armistice in 1918 to the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Tour the globe and revisit all the crucial sites from the U.S., Japan, Russia and Europe. See and hear Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt like never before.
The Far Pavilions (Acorn Media)
Remember seeing it on HBO? This epic romance follows a classic tale of forbidden love, set against the spectacular sweep of battle, treachery and intrigue in British India. Based on M.M. Kaye’s bestselling novel, this dazzling adaptation captured the imaginations of critics and viewers alike with its evocative intrigue and lavish production values. The pitch-perfect production includes performances by Ben Cross, Amy Irving, Omar Sharif, Christopher Lee, Rupert Everett and John Gielgud.