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DISCussion: New on DVD and Blu-ray (2.3.15)

"New on DVD and Blu-ray this week!"

New on DVD this week are some great films from 2014 including David Mackenzie’s incredible Starred Up, Justin Simien’s riotously-poignant Dear White People and Alexander Payne’s new-to-Blu-ray, About Schmidt. Slightly edging out the competition, and one of the most surprising hits of 2014, John Wick has been given the title of Recommendation of the Week.

New Release:
John Wick – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant)
Starred Up – (DVD and Instant)
Dear White People – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant)
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant)
Dracula Untold – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant)
Hector and the Search for Happiness – (DVD and Instant)
Ouija – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant)

Re-Release:
About Schmidt (2002) – (Blu-ray)
Every Man for Himself (1980) – (Criterion Blu-ray)

 

New on DVD

John Wick – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant) *Recommendation of the Week*
Directed by Chad Stahelski and David Leitch (uncredited)
Written by Derek Kolstad (screenplay)
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen

John Wick (Reeves) is a man on the edge. When his wife dies, she leaves him a dog to help with his grieving. A group of men break into his house, kill the dog, and send Wick back to his dark past as a hit man. Hellbent on revenge, Wick dispatches killer after killer on his way to the top. A fresh take on the “assassin” genre, John Wick was a surprising highlight of 2014.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 83% (Very Good)
Metacritic: 67 (Good)
IMDB: 7.2 (Very Good)
Entertainment Fuse: 8.5/10 (Read our review)

DISC DETAILS

Special Features:
Commentary with directors Chad Stahelski and David Leitch; “Don’t F#ck with John Wick” featurette profiling the fight scenes; “Calling in the Cavalry” featurette regarding what went into getting John Wick produced/made; “Destiny of a Collective” featurette about the relationship between Chad Stahelski and David Leitch; “Assassin’s Creed” featurette about the motto taken by the assassins in the film; “The Red Circle” featurette that goes behind-the-scenes of the climactic fight; and “NYC Noir” featurette of the New York City setting for John Wick

Amazon: $19.99 (Blu-ray); $14.96 (DVD); $4.99/$12.99 (Instant Rent/ Buy)

Score (DVDTalk.com): Content: 4 stars(out of 5); Video: 4.5 stars; Audio: 4.5 stars; Extras: 3 stars; Replay: 4 stars. Highly Recommended.

 

New on DVD

Starred Up – (DVD and Instant)
Directed by David Mackenzie
Written by Jonathan Asser
Starring: Jack O’Connell, Ben Mendelsohn, Rupert Friend

When a violent juvenile offender, Eric (O’Connell), gets “starred up” to an adult prison, he is forced to confront his past and future. Unable to turn off his masculine aggression, Eric is offered a spot in the prison’s therapy group. Progress is slow but promising, until Eric’s inmate father threatens to derail everything. Powerful performances from O’Connell, Mendelsohn, and Friend define Starred Up‘s character-study framework, introducing the audience to a world so startlingly-animalistic, it must be experienced to be believed.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 99% (Superb)
Metacritic: 81 (Excellent)
IMDB: 7.4 (Very Good)
Entertainment Fuse: 8/10 (Read our review)

DISC DETAILS

Amazon: $9.99 (DVD); $3.99/$9.99 [Free on Prime Instant] (Instant Rent/ Buy)

 

New on DVD

Dear White People – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant)
Directed and written by Justin Simien
Starring: Tessa Thompson, Tyler James Williams, Kyle Gallner

An exploration of race in the not-so “Post-Racial” America, Dear White People follows the lives of four black students at an (very white) ivy league college. Commenting on race relations in contemporary culture, Justin Simien breaks down barriers and confronts his audience with powerful truths, while telling familiar, yet relatable stories of personal identity.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 92% (Excellent)
Metacritic: 79 (Very Good)
IMDB: 6.3 (Good)

DISC DETAILS

Special Features: Commentary with Justin Simien and members of the cast; Audio commentary with just Simien exploring the film’s motivations, Simien’s vision and his process; “The Making of Dear White People”; Music video by Caught a Ghost; Deleted scenes; Outtakes; “The More You Know (about Black People)” PSA parodies; “Racism Insurance” spoof infomercial; “DVRSE” spoof advertisement; “Winchester U Diversity” spoof ad for the fake college profiled in the film

Amazon: $14.99 (Blu-ray); $11.96 (DVD); $4.99/$12.99 (Instant Rent/ Buy)

Score (DVDTalk.com): Content: 3.5 stars(out of 5); Video: 4.5 stars; Audio: 4 stars; Extras: 4 stars; Replay: 2 stars. Recommended.

 

New on DVD

The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant)
Directed and written by Ned Benson
Starring: Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Viola Davis

Envisioned as a three-part love story, told from three perspectives, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby is the edited-for-theaters version of the “trilogy.” Following the formation and dissolution of the relationship between Conor Ludlow (McAvoy) and Eleanor Rigby (Chastain), Benson’s film seeks to merge the perspectives he presents in Him and Her (the first two in the series), with mixed effect. Some story elements fall flat while a charming McAvoy, and glowing Chastain deliver heartfelt performances.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 62% (Fresh)
Metacritic: 57 (Okay)
IMDB: 6.6 (Good)
Entertainment Fuse: 7.5/10 (Read our review)

DISC DETAILS

Amazon: $24.99 (Blu-ray); $14.99 (DVD); $3.99/$9.99 (Instant Rent/ Buy)

 

New on DVD

Dracula Untold – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant)
Directed by Gary Shore
Written by Matt Sazama, Burk Sharpless, and Bram Stoker (characters)
Starring: Luke Evans, Dominic Cooper, Sarah Gadon

Dracula’s improbable origin story. When Vlad Tepes must defend his Transylvanian kingdom from Turk warlords, he is forced to turn to a dark and horrible power that unleashes a destructive force far beyond what he ever imagined.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 22% (Awful)
Metacritic: 40 (Bad)
IMDB: 6.3 (Good)

DISC DETAILS

Amazon: $19.99 (Blu-ray); $16.98 (DVD); $4.99/$14.99 (Instant Rent/ Buy)

 

New on DVD

Hector and the Search for Happiness – (DVD and Instant)
Directed by Peter Chelsom
Written by Maria von Heland (screenplay), Peter Chelsom (screenplay), Tinker Lindsay (screenplay), and François Lelord (novel, Le voyage d’Hector ou la recherche de bonheur)
Starring: Simon Pegg, Rosamund Pike, Tracy Ann Oberman

A psychiatrist (Pegg) finds himself stuck in a rut, and decides to search the globe for the key to happiness.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 35% (Very Bad)
Metacritic: 29 (Worse than Dracula Untold)
IMDB: 6.8 (Good)

DISC DETAILS

Amazon: $14.96 (DVD); $3.99/$14.99 (Instant Rent/ Buy)

 

New on DVD

Ouija – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant)
Directed by Stiles White
Written by Juliet Snowden (screenplay) and Stiles White (screenplay)
Starring: Olivia Cooke, Ana Coto, Daren Kagasoff

A gaggle of teenagers unlock a terrible evil when they play with a haunted Ouija board. I’ll bet a bunch of them die.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 7% (There’s nothing more to be said)
Metacritic: 38 (very bad)
IMDB: 4.4 (again, very bad)

DISC DETAILS

Amazon: $22.95 (Blu-ray); $16.99 (DVD); $4.99/$14.99 (Instant Rent/ Buy)

New on DVD

About Schmidt (2002) – (Blu-ray)
Directed by Alexander Payne
Written by Louis Begley (novel), Alexander Payne (screenplay), and Jim Taylor (screenplay)
Starring: Jack Nicholson, Hope Davis, Dermot Mulroney

Warren Schmidt’s quiet and unassuming life is put to the test when he is confronted with retirement. Coupled with his estranged daughter’s upcoming wedding, Schmidt deeply reconsiders his life, his marriage, and his relationship with his daughter.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 85% (Very Good)
Metacritic: 85 (Excellent)
IMDB: 7.2 (Very Good)

DISC DETAILS

Amazon: $8.69 (Blu-ray)

 

New on DVD

Every Man for Himself (1980) – (Criterion Blu-ray)
Directed Jean-Luc Godard
Written by Anne-Marie Miéville (scenario) and Jean-Claude Carrière (scenario)
Starring: Isabelle Huppert, Jacques Dutronc, Nathalie Baye

Prolific New-Wave director, Jean-Luc Godard’s exploration of sexual relationships in contemporary culture. His “second first film,” Every Man for Himself was Godard’s return to commercial cinema with a brilliant script written by Anne-Marie Miéville and Jean-Claude Carrière, featuring stellar performances by Isabelle Huppert, Jacques Dutronc and Nathalie Baye.

IMDB: 7.0 (Very Good)

DISC DETAILS

Special Features: New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray; Scénario de “Sauve qui peut (la vie)” (1979), a short video created by director Jean-Luc Godard to secure financing for Every Man for Himself; New video essay by critic Colin MacCabe; New interviews with actor Isabelle Huppert and producer Marin Karmitz; Archival interviews with actor Nathalie Baye, cinematographers Renato Berta and William Lubtchansky, and composer Gabriel Yared; Two back-to-back 1980 appearances by Godard on The Dick Cavett Show; Godard 1980, a short film by Jon Jost, Donald Ranvaud, and Peter Wollen, featuring Godard; Trailer; New English subtitle translation; PLUS: An essay by critic Amy Taubin

Amazon: $27.59 (Criterion Blu-ray)

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