10 NEW TO NETFLIX
6 NEW TO BLU-RAY/DVD
Richard Stanley returned earlier this year with this acclaimed adaptation of an H.P. Lovecraft short story that features Nicolas Cage doing that Nicolas Cage thing to an upsetting degree. Honestly, I loved almost everything about “Color Out of Space” except Cage, who seems to be leaning into his meme-worthy persona way too much for this material, even adopting a strange accent at times. It’s a shame because there’s a lot to like about this project otherwise, including Stanley’s use of, well, color and space. (Sorry, not sorry.) All in all, it’s a solid rental on a Friday night, but one wonders if it couldn’t have been a modern horror masterpiece if Cage had taken it more seriously.
The Making of COLOR OUT OF SPACE
Todd Haynes’ latest is one of the most underrated movies in years. Yes, people who saw it appreciated it as a “solid drama,” but that actually undersells what Haynes accomplishes in this telling of the true story of an attorney who exposed the fact that DuPont knowingly poisoned entire communities for years. Mark Ruffalo gives a great performance as a man who knows he’s putting his entire career in jeopardy but can’t stop digging for the truth. And Haynes and his team avoid the cliches of this genre, turning it into a true David and Goliath story that makes it clear how far-spread Goliath’s control has become in the modern era.
Uncovering Dark Waters – Featurette
The Cost of Being a Hero – Fetaurette
The Real People – Fetaurette
Disney’s follow-up to one of their most beloved films was considered relatively disappointing at least in critical terms, not even landing a nomination for Best Animated Film, an Oscar that the first movie won. Still, the movie made an absolute fortune, and almost everyone agrees it’s decent, a film that works best in its ambitious examination of our relationship with nature and less as an engaging musical. What’s interesting about the home release is that it’s one of Disney’s most comprehensive and bonus-heavy releases in a long time. Not only does the film play well at home, but fans get a sing-along version, deleted scenes, deleted songs, and even a Weezer video! What more do you want from a family Blu-ray release?
Sing-Along Version of the Movie
Song Selection – Jump to your favorite musical moments, with on-screen lyrics.
The Spirits of “Frozen 2”
Did You Know???
Scoring a Sequel
“Into the Unknown” in 29 Languages – Hear Elsa’s soaring call to adventure in 29 different languages
Music Videos – Weezer and Panic! at the Disco lend their voices to a few of the soaring melodies from “Frozen 2.”
Rian Johnson‘s hit thriller became one of the best box office stories of 2019. It was such a hit that they’ve already announced a sequel and it’s still playing in a lot of theaters. What attracted so many people to “Knives Out”? First, the cast is as charming and wonderful as can be with actors that pretty much everyone loves like Chris Evans and Toni Collette and Michael Shannon. Second, it’s that rare film that feels like it was made by adults for adults, and it turns out, thank God, there’s still a market for that. It’s also going to be huge on DVD and streaming, as it plays wonderfully on repeat viewing, when you can see how perfectly, tightly constructed it is from beginning to end. You’ll also get great special features on the physical releases, including deleted scenes and a commentary from Johnson, one of the smartest men in Hollywood.
Audio Commentary by Writer-Director Rian Johnson, Director of Photography Steve Yedlin, and Actor Noah Segan
In-Theatre Commentary by Rian Johnson
Deleted Scene: “Bicycling Accident” (with Optional Audio Commentary by Rian Johnson)
Deleted Scene: “Don’t Do Anything Rash” (with Optional Audio Commentary by Rian Johnson)
“Making a Murder” Eight-Part Documentary
“Rian Johnson: Planning the Perfect Murder” Featurette
Writer-Director and Cast Q&A
“Meet the Thrombeys” Viral Ads
Melina Matsoukas‘ debut was a controversial film when it was released in November but it feels like the conversation around it came and went too quickly. I expect more people to find this interesting little film with great performances from its two leads on the home market, and the DVD includes a wealth of special features about the making of the movie and a commentary track with Matsoukas and Lena Waithe. Ultimately, I think “Queen & Slim” is more of a promising film than a perfect one—I can’t wait to see Matsoukas does next—but it’s something that everyone should see, an essential 2019 movie that got a little lost in the crowd.
Feature Commentary with Director/Producer Melina Matsoukas and Writer/Producer Lena Waithe
A Deeper Meaning – Daniel Kaluuya, Jodie Turner-Smith and filmmakers discuss the complicated journeys of Queen & Slim and explore the deeper meanings of how far these characters have come from where they began.
Melina & Lena – A behind-the-scenes look at the creative partnership between director/producer
Melina Matsoukas and screenwriter/producer Lena Waithe.
Off The Script – Screenwriter Lena Waithe reads from her original screenplay for Queen & Slim.
On The Run With Queen & Slim – Go behind the scenes with the cast and crew of Queen & Slim as they film in Cleveland and New Orleans.
“Three Fantastic Journeys by Karel Zeman” (Criterion)
The best box set of the year so far is this three-movie gem featuring the boundless creativity of Karel Zeman, a pioneer who changed the way movies are made in a manner that feels like both a throwback to Melies and a precursor to Gilliam. Blending animation with his filmmaking, he made movies that almost defy explanation and take full advantage of the limitless rules of visual storytelling. The films look incredible and I really hope they’re found by a whole new generation of movie lovers. The set also includes a great collection of special features, including short films by Zeman and a doc that details how people like Burton and Gilliam were shaped by Zeman.
New 4K digital restorations of all three films, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks on the Blu-rays
U.S.-release version of Journey to the Beginning of Time from 1960
Alternate English-dubbed soundtrack for Invention for Destruction, and the opening sequence of the 1961 U.S.-release version
New programs with animation filmmaker John Stevenson and special-effects artists Phil Tippett and Jim Aupperle discussing director Karel Zeman and his complex visual trickery
Four early short films by Zeman: A Christmas Dream (1945), A Horseshoe for Luck (1946), Inspiration (1949), and King Lavra (1950)
Film Adventurer: Karel Zeman, a 2015 documentary about the director, featuring filmmakers Tim Burton and Terry Gilliam, illustrator Ludmila Zeman, and others
Short documentaries produced by the Karel Zeman Museum profiling the director and detailing the production and effects of all three films
Restoration demonstrations and an interview with restoration supervisor James Mockoski
New English subtitle translations
PLUS: An essay by film critic Michael Atkinson, along with (for the Blu-ray) deluxe pop-up art