We are entering that time of year when new DVD and Blu-Ray releases become increasingly slim. Most of the Fall/Winter 2012 Oscar contenders have already been released and the few good movies from the beginning of 2013 are still a couple of weeks away. Luckily we have the Criterion Collection to keep those of us who stay home to watch movies sated.
Here are the top 5 new releases this week:
Top 5 New Releases
5) Late Bloomers (2012)
With William Hurt and Isabella Rossellini leading the cast, this film was on many people’s radar at the beginning of last year. Then it played at a few festivals before opening in a very limited release and pretty much got forgotten. It tells the story of a couple whose relationship becomes strained as they face their increasing age. The reviews were middling, but it might be worth checking out if you’re a fan of both Hurt and Rossellini.
4) Cary Grant Film Collection
Cary Grant has been in some of the greatest films ever, working with directors from Hitchcock to Hawks, and he is undeniably one of the most talented movie stars in history. This new collection would easily be the number one release of the week if it included his most well-known films like North by Northwest or His Girl Friday. Instead this highlights some of his lesser known work from periods spanning his entire career. The films included are Lowell Sherman’s Born to Be Bad (1934), Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s People Will Talk (1951), Howard Hawks’ Monkey Business (1952), Leo McCarey’s An Affair to Remember (1957), and Stanley Donen’s Kiss Them for Me (1957).
3) Gate of Hell (1953)
The Criterion Collection brings the winner of the 1953 Best Foreign Film Oscar to DVD and Blu-Ray this week. Teinosuke Kinugasa’s Gate of Hell tells the story of a 12th Century Japanese samurai who tries to win the love of a Lord’s soon-to-be wife. The release is relatively light for a Criterion release with no commentary track or documentaries, but there is an essay by film historian Stephen Prince. The main benefit of this release is it will inspire more people to see this hard to find film.
2) In Another Country (2012)
Korean director Sang-soo Hong made his English language debut with this film which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival last year. The film went pretty unnoticed in the U.S., but it got some excellent reviews when it played at festivals last year. The film stars Isabelle Huppert as a French tourist to Korea who finds herself in a love triangle. With attention turning to this year’s Cannes Film Festival, it might be a great time to catch up with one of last year’s hits.
1) Naked Lunch (1991)
Once again the Criterion Collection comes through by releasing an underseen film from the 1990s to be enjoyed by the masses. David Cronenberg’s Naked Lunch is the hallucinatory adaptation of William S. Burrough’s novel that follows a drug addict who navigates a world of secret cults and talking insects. Along with the high definition transfer of the film, the release includes audio commentary by Cronenberg and star of the film Peter Weller, a documentary about the making of the film, photo gallery by poet Allen Ginsberg, and of course an essay.
Other New Releases
If you’re someone who missed Hyde Park on Hudson in theatres, then you did not miss much, but you can catch up on some over-acting and uneven tones with the DVD and Blu-Ray release. Die-hard fans of the Fast and the Furious films will delight in the re-release each of them is getting on Blu-Ray. Here’s the perfect opportunity to get caught up on the plot elements before the sixth film in the franchise hits theatres this Summer. The Jet Li film The Sorcerer and the White Snake has been out in China for over two years and it received a limited release in the U.S. a little over a year ago and is just now coming to DVD and Blu-Ray.
Streaming Pick of the Week
Available on Netflix Watch Instant.
With his latest film The Angels’ Share poised to hit a limited number of screens this weekend, now is a great time to catch up with director Ken Loach’s film Kes. This was one of Loach’s first films and remains one of his best regarded. It tells the story of a young boy with a troubled home life who finds solace in training a pet falcon. It is ranked the 7th best British film of all-time by the British Film Institute, so there is another reason to catch up with it.
What new movies are you going to watch this week?