This week Brad Anderson’s (“The Machinist”) latest creeps onto DVD/Blu-ray, a French classic thriller gets the Criterion treatment, a terrifying one-shot wonder hits VOD and a bunch of Pakistani slackers grow up the hard way.
Top DVD/Blu-ray Pick for This Week:
Title: “Vanishing on 7th Street”
Director: Brad Anderson
The Deal: Brad Anderson’s (“The Machinist,” “Session 9”) latest finds him keeping things dark. A post-apocalyptic horror film steeped in gloom and doom, “Vanishing on 7th Street” opens with a mysterious global blackout that causes most of the world’s population to simply vanish. In Detroit, a small group of survivors (Hayden Christensen, Thandie Newton, John Leguizamo and newcomer Jacob Latimore) band together in the dark to stay alive, unsure of where to turn.
Extras: Alternate endings; a making of featurette; a photo gallery; and the film’s theatrical trailer.
Also Worth Checking Out on Blu-ray:
Synopses courtesy distributor.
Director: Henri-Georges Clouzot
The Deal: Before “Psycho,” “Peeping Tom,” and “Repulsion,” there was “Diabolique.” This thriller from Henri‑Georges Clouzot, which shocked audiences in Europe and the U.S., is the story of two women—the fragile wife and the willful mistress of the sadistic headmaster of a boys’ boarding school—who hatch a daring revenge plot. With its unprecedented narrative twists and terrifying images, Diabolique is a heart-grabbing benchmark in horror filmmaking, featuring outstanding performances by Simone Signoret, Véra Clouzot, and Paul Meurisse.
Extras: New digital restoration (with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition); selected-scene commentary by French-film scholar Kelley Conway; new video introduction by Serge Bromberg, codirector of Henri-Georges Clouzot’s “Inferno;” new video interview with novelist and film critic Kim Newman; original theatrical trailer; plus a booklet featuring an essay by film critic Terrence Rafferty.
Top VOD Pick for This Week
Director: Hammad Khan
The Deal: The shot-on-the-fly comedy depicts the lives of a group of privileged teenagers living out a dull post-grad existence in Islamabad, Pakistan, a place described in the film as “a deadbeat town if you’re young and have dreams.” They drive around town, hit up restaurants, see familiar faces they’ve grown weary of, hook up and talk of one day doing something with their lives. Think “Reality Bites,” Pakistani style. The film’s ‘90s slacker vibe is achieved through a fun soundtrack that features a slew of tracks from Pakistani indie rock acts, title cards that cue the characters, and an appropriately slack narration from the lazy protagonist. With “Slackistan,” first-time filmmaker Hammad Khan has made an entertaining and by turns hilarious first feature that bodes well for his future, but not for the future of Pakistan’s rich youth.
Where to Find: Time Warner Cable On Demand
Also Worth Checking Out on VOD:
All synopses courtesy distributors.
Title: “The Silent House”
Director: Gustavo Hernández
The Deal: Based on a true story that happened in the late 40’s in a small village in Uruguay. Filmed in one single continuous shot of 78 minutes, “La Casa Muda” focuses on Laura, who, second by second, intends to leave a house which hides an obscure secret. Filmed with a digital camera in one single shot. Also claims to be the first feature completely shot with the digital camera Canon Mark II.
Where to Find: IFC On Demand
Title: “Alberta Hunter: My Castle’s Rockin”
Director: Stuart A. Goldman
The Deal: This award-winning one-hour biography traces the life story of the legendary singer/songwriter Alberta Hunter. After 40 years of show business success beginning in the 1920s, Alberta became a nurse. Twenty years later, when they thought she was 70, she was forced to retire. Still vibrant, she returned to singing to enjoy one of the most acclaimed comebacks ever… at 82. Produced and directed by Stuart A. Goldman. Narrated by Billy Taylor.
Where to Find: SnagFilms