We are now entering the time of year that tends to bring two kinds of DVD and Blu-Ray releases: over-priced editions of Summer movies that did well at the Box Office being sold to parents as stocking stuffers and highly anticipated Criterion releases that will be filling up every cinephile’s Christmas list. This week we see a little of both and not much else in the way of new releases. Take a look and start keeping a tally of the movies you would like Santa to bring you this year:
Top 5 New Releases This Week
5) Monsters University (2013)
Neither Duncan or I were particularly fond of Pixar’s latest sequel, but the options this week are so limited, that it finds its way into the top 5. If you have kids and are looking for a monster movie that won’t give them nightmares, this is one of the only options, although I highly recommend you revisit the clever 2003 original Monsters, Inc. instead. As expected, this release comes in about five different editions.
4) Byzantium (2013)
This Neil Jordan thriller about feminist vampires flew under the radar when it was released early in 2013, probably because the vampire genre is so saturated that even good films get buried (couldn’t resist that pun). Also, it’s hard to differentiate Byzantium from the similarly titled Elysiums, Oblivions, and other generic science fiction films that populated this Summer’s box office. Neil Jordan’s film has few fans and might be worth a look as a rental.
3) Beauty and the Devil (1950)
Director René Clément is best known for his post-WWII fantastical dramas and this one fits the mold. Beauty and the Devil is a retelling of the Faust legend wherein an alchemist makes a deal with the devil in exchange for youth, riches, and fame. It sounds fascinating and would be worthy to check out for film fan, whether or not you consider yourself a Clément completist.
2) Tabu (2012)
Duncan saw and reviewed Tabu last year at the New York Film Festival and sung its praises the entire year up until it landed at number two on his top ten list. This was much to the chagrin of the other Film Misery writers who have had to wait until now to have access to it (it was in Minneapolis for only about two nights playing at an art museum). Now we can finally see what Duncan was gushing about with the film’s DVD and Blu-Ray release almost a year after it played at NYFF 2012.
1) La Notte (1961)
I’m a fan of Michelangelo Antonioni, but I never caught up with the follow-up to his game changing L’Avventura. Now, thanks to the fine folks at the Criterion Collection, I have no excuse. This release includes a new transfer, new interviews, and a new essay from Richard Brody.
Other New Releases
Razzie Award frontrunner R.I.P.D. hits shelves today so that people can not see it in a whole new format. I’m actually a little curious about it just to see if it’s ever explained why Jeff Bridges is playing Rooster Cogburn. Christmas comes early to DVD and Blu-Ray sellers with a bunch of new Holiday collections, most of which look terrible. Also, for some reason a special edition of Santa Claus Conquers the Martians is out on DVD and Blu-Ray.
Streaming Pick of the Week
In Bruges (2008)
Streaming on Netflix.
One of the most endlessly quotable movies of the past decade is now available to stream on Netflix. Martin McDonagh’s In Bruges features career best performances from Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson with equally enjoyable efforts from Ralph Fiennes and Peter Dinklage. “If I grew up on a farm, and was retarded, Bruges might impress me, but I didn’t so it doesn’t.”
What new movies will you be renting or streaming this week?