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DISCussion: New on DVD and Blu-ray (4.21.15)

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

While there are not too many new releases this week, we have a plethora of fantastic re-releases. From John Carpenter’s thrilling Escape From New York, to Jean Renoir’s visually resplendent The River, all the way down the cinematic “drain” to the cult classic The Toxic Avenger, these older films are the stars of the show. Unable to pass up such a unique vision, and what may be one of the great recent directorial debuts, we have chosen Ana Lily Amirpour’s bizarrely captivating A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night as our Recommendation of the Week.

New Release
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant)
Cake – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant)
Taken 3 – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant)

Re-Release
The River (1951) – (Criterion Blu-ray)
Escape from New York (1981) – (Collector’s EditionBlu-ray)
The Toxic Avenger (1984) – (Blu-ray)
Eclipse Series 42: Silent Ozu – Three Crime Dramas – (Criterion DVD box set)

 

New on DVD

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant) *Recommendation of the Week*
Directed and written by Ana Lily Amirpour
Starring: Sheila Vant, Arash Marandi, Marshall Manesh

A clash of the genres, Amirpour’s debut finds its influence in everything from pulp comics to Spaghetti Westerns. Focused more on mood than narrative, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, centers around an Iranian ghost town, Bad Town, that has become the focus of a lonely female vampire.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 95% (Excellent)
Metacritic: 81 (Excellent)
IMDB: 7.1 (Very Good)
Entertainment Fuse: 7.5/10

DISC DETAILS

Amazon: $22.99 (Blu-ray); $17.89 (DVD); $3.99/$8.99 (Instant Rent/ Buy)

 

New on DVD

Cake – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant)
Directed by Daniel Barnz
Written by Patrick Tobin (screenplay)
Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Adriana Barraza, Anna Kendrick

Jennifer Aniston delivers the performance a career as Claire Simmons, a woman obsessed with the suicide of a fellow member of her pain support group. Diving into the details of the case, Claire must deal with her own demons as she uncovers Nina’s (Kendrick) secrets.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 49% (Bad)
Metacritic: 49 (Bad)
IMDB: 6.5 (Good)
Entertainment Fuse: 7/10

DISC DETAILS

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

 

New on DVD

Taken 3 – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant)
Directed by Oliver Megaton
Written by Luc Besson (written by and characters) and Robert Mark Kamen (written by and characters)
Starring: Liam Neeson, Forest Whitaker, Maggie Grace

Bryan Mills rides again. While nobody gets taken in the third Taken entry, Mills still gets to kick plenty of ass. When he is accused of murdering his wife, Mills goes on the run from the Police, FBI, CIA (read: a preposterous smattering of law enforcement agencies), until he can bring the real killers to justice.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 9% (I did not forget a digit)
Metacritic: 26 (Quite Terrible)
IMDB: 6.1 (Good, somehow)
Entertainment Fuse: 5.9/10 (Read our review)

DISC DETAILS

Amazon: $19.94 (Blu-ray); $14.94 (DVD); $4.99/$14.99 (Instant Rent/ Buy)

 

Re-Release:

New on DVD

The River (1951) – (Criterion Blu-ray)
Directed by Jean Renoir
Written by Rumer Godden (novel and screenplay) and Jean Renoir (screenplay)
Starring: Patricia Waters, Nora Swinburne, Esmond Knight

Cinematic master, Jean Renoir tries his hand at color, and succeeds in spectacular fashion. Effortlessly capturing the vibrancy of colonial India, Renoir focuses his lens on a group of young girls as they become women in a foreign country. A stunning achievement for the aging auteur, The River might not be counted as one of Renoir’s best, but it is undoubtedly a masterpiece.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 86% (Very Good at 18 Reviews)
IMDB: 7.6 (Very Good)
Entertainment Fuse: 9.5/10

DISC DETAILS

Special Features: High-definition digital transfer from the 2004 restoration by the Film Foundation, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray; Introduction to the film from 1962 by director Jean Renoir; Around the River, a 2008 documentary by Arnaud Mandagaran about the making of the film; Interview with filmmaker Martin Scorsese from 2004; Audio interview with producer Ken McEldowney from 2000; Jean Renoir: A Passage Through India, a new video essay by film writer Paul Ryan; Trailer; PLUS: An essay by film scholar Ian Christie and notes on the film by Renoir

Amazon: $22.99 (Criterion Blu-ray)

 

New on DVD

Escape from New York (1981) – (Collector’s Edition Blu-ray)
Directed by John Carpenter
Written by John Carpenter and Nick Castle
Starring: Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine

In a dystopian future (1997), Manhattan island has been transformed into a maximum security prison. After the president’s airplane is shot down over the “prison,” new inmate, Snake Plissken (an awesome name, for an awesome Kurt Russell), is tasked with delivering the president and his cargo to safety.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 84% (Very Good)
IMDB: 7.2 (Very Good)
Entertainment Fuse: 8/10

DISC DETAILS
Special Features: NEW 2K High Definition scan of the inter-positive, struck from the original negative; NEW Audio Commentary with actress Adrienne Barbeau and directory of photography Dean Cundey; Audio Commentary with director John Carpenter and actor Kurt Russell; Audio Commentary by producer Debra Hill and production designer Joe Alves; NEW Big Challenges in Little Manhattan: The Visual Effects of Escape from New York, NEW Scoring the Escape: A Discussion with composer Alan Howarth; NEW On Set with John Carpenter: The Images of ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK with photographer Kim Gottlieb-Walker; NEW I Am Taylor: an interview with actor Joe Unger; NEW My Night on the Set: an interview with filmmaker David DeCoteau; Deleted Scene: The Original Opening Bank Robbery Sequence; Return to Escape from New York Featurette; Theatrical Trailers; Photo Galleries – Behind-the-Scenes, Posters and Lobby Cards

Amazon: $18.99 (Collector’s Edition Blu-ray)

 

New on DVD

The Toxic Avenger (1984) – (Blu-ray) *April 22nd
Directed by Michael Herz and Lloyd Kaufman (as Samuel Weil)
Written by Lloyd Kaufman (story and additional material), Joe Ritter (screenplay), Gay Partington Terry (additional material), and Stuart Strutin (additional material)
Starring: Andree Maranda, Mitch Cohen, Jennifer Babtist

Classic 80s horror schlock reached new heights with this 1984 cult hit. A janitor inadvertently falls into a vat of toxic sludge, and becomes Tromaville’s newest hero, The Toxic Avenger.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 65% (Fresh at 11 reviews)
IMDB: 6.2 (Good)
Entertainment Fuse: 7/10

DISC DETAILS

Special Features: Behind The Scenes And Production Slideshow; Interviews With: Jennifer Babtist, Robert Prichard, Mitch Cohen, Dan Snow, Gary Schneider And Michael Herz; Director’s Commentary; Cast Commentary; Mark Torgl’s Special Video; NEW Cast Commentary with Dan Snow, Robert Prichard, and Gary Schneider; Collectible Toxic Green Case

Amazon: $14.39 (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)

 

New on DVD

Eclipse Series 42: Silent Ozu – Three Crime Dramas – (Criterion DVD box set)
Walk Cheerfully (1930)
That Night’s Wife (1930)
Dragnet Girl (1933)

A wonderful collection of early Yasujiro Ozu crime dramas. Ozu forges a style all his own while taking cues from German Expressionism and American pre-noir crime melodramas.

IMDB: 6.6 / 7.1 / 7.2 (Good – Very Good)

DISC DETAILS

Amazon: $34.99 (Criterion DVD box set)

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