Amy Adams in 'Arrival,' directed by Denis Villeneuve

‘Arrival’ – First contact on VOD and Blu-ray/DVD

Arrival (2016) is the most cerebral of first contact films, a science fiction drama about communicating across cultures and across species and even across time without a common language, while failing to communicate within our own world. It is a film that looks out beyond our galaxy and inward to our own souls, to challenge […]

Blu-ray round-up: Boxes of ‘The Man Who Fell to Earth’ and ‘Hellraiser,’ anniversary editions of ‘Jerry Maguire’ and ‘Dirty Dancing,’ and more

I try to keep up on the most interesting releases on Blu-ray and DVD but I don’t have the time to cover everything in the detail it deserves. Here are some of the special editions and stand-out releases that have come out over the past few weeks. The Man Who Fell To Earth (Lionsgate, Blu-ray), […]

Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga in the Oscar-nominated drama "Loving." from filmmaker Jeff Nichols

‘Loving’ – The couple behind the history on VOD and Blu-ray/DVD

Loving (2016), Jeff Nichols’s portrait of Richard and Mildred Loving, does more than put a face to a landmark Supreme Court decision. Their 1958 marriage was a crime in the state of Virginia because Richard (played by Joel Edgerton with a terse determination) was a white man and Mildred (Ruth Negga, vulnerable yet hopeful) was […]

Carroll Baker and Ralph Meeker in the film by Jack Garfein

Blu-ray: ‘Something Wild’ – a 1962 rediscovery on Criterion

Not to be confused with the Jonathan Demme screwball comedy/thriller by the same name, the 1962 Something Wild (Criterion, Blu-ray, DVD) is an unusually frank and sensitive drama about a teenage girl recovering from rape. The film opens on the assault, a non-explicit scene that communicates both the violence of the rape and the terrible […]

Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell in the film by Howard Hawks

Blu-ray: ‘His Girl Friday’ vs. ‘The Front Page’ on Criterion

His Girl Friday (Criterion, Blu-ray, DVD) should really be listed as a double feature, for the “bonus” movie—a new edition of the original screen version of The Front Page, adapted from the snappy, cynical, double-barrel Broadway hit by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur—is not just a home video debut but a major discovery. The Front […]

Directed by Rémi Chayé

‘Long Way North’ – Animated odyssey on Amazon Prime and Blu-ray/DVD

Long Way North (Shout! Factory) is a gorgeous French-Danish animated feature about a 15-year-old girl from an aristocratic family in 1880s Saint Petersburg who flees her palatial home for the far north to search for the lost ship of her explorer grandfather Oloukine. He disappeared in his attempt to conquer the North Pole in the […]

David Oyelowo and Madina Nalwanga in Disney's "Queen of Katwe."

‘Queen of Katwe’ – Inspiring true story on VOD and Blu-ray/DVD

Queen of Katwe (2016) tells the true story of Phiona Mutesi, a poor, uneducated girl in Uganda who sells corn on the street of her impoverished slum until an encounter with chess offers her the possibility of something more. Newcomer Madina Nalwanga plays Phiona, the nine-year-old daughter of single mother Nakku Harriet (Lupita Nyong’o), taking […]

Matt Damon is 'The Martian' in the science fiction drama directed by Ridley Scott

‘The Martian’ on Blu-ray and DVD

The Martian (2015), winner of two Golden Globe Awards and nominated for seven Academy Awards (including Best Picture and Best Actor for Matt Damon), is the rare science fiction drama that is actually built on applied physics and engineering and organic chemistry and where survival depends on creative problem solving and teamwork across millions of miles. […]