This week on DVD/Blu-ray: Abbas Kiarostami’s most accessible film to date; season two of one of Britain’s finest exports; a sci-fi romance starring Ewan McGregor and Eva Green; Ed Burn’s lowest-budget film to date; and a loving tribute of the one and only Carol Channing.
#1. “Certified Copy”
With Abbas Kiarostami’s latest “Like Someone In Love” having just premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, his last film “Certified Copy,” finally makes it way to DVD and Blu-ray courtesy of The Criterion Collection. The romance marks a big departure for the Iranian director; it’s his first film to be shot outside of Iran, and his first to feature an accomplished actress like the incomparable Juliette Binoche. The Tuscany set romantic dramedy pits Binoche and British opera star William Shimell together, as a pair who seemingly meet for the first time during a book conference in which Shimell’s character lectures on the validity of certified copies. Over the course of the film, as the two embark on a day trip along the scenic countryside, questions arise surrounding their history together in a wonderfully obtuse way.
“Possibly the Iranian director’s most accessible work, this elegant, stream-of-consciousness movie takes place almost entirely within the constraints of a single two-person conversation,” wrote Eric Kohn in his review. “Humming along on the rhythm of its central dialogue, ‘Certified Copy’ drags a minimalist romance down the rabbit hole of philosophical revelation.”
Go HERE for our interview with Binoche, done prior to “Certified Copy” opening in theaters.
Extras: The Criterion release offers a documentary about the making of the film, an interview with Kiarostami and “The Report,” a rare 1977 Kiarostami film about a tax collector.
#2. “Sherlock: Season Two”
Fans of BBC’s “Sherlock,” the popular and critically acclaimed modern day take on the iconic British sleuth, have likely already pre-odered the second season of three new feature-length episodes to own. As they can no doubt attest to, this is the type of show that demands more than one viewing — it’s that good. The latest season finds Sherlock Holmes (the dashing and gifted Benedict Cumberbatch) butting heads with his female counterpart Irene Adler and going up against criminal mastermind Jim Moriarty in a fight to the death. Our advice with this set? Stake out four-and-a-half hours in your day before settling down to watch the second seaon, because once you’re in, you’re hooked.
Go HERE for our interview with Cumberbatch, which ran prior to season two premiering in the US.
Extras: Two audio commentary tracks with cast and crew on episodes “A Scandal in Belgravia” and “The Hounds of Baskerville” and a 19-minute making-of featurette.
#3. “Perfect Sense”
The high-concept romance “Perfect Sense,” stars Eva Green and Ewan McGregor as two people — a chef and an epidemiologist — who meet and fall in love just as an epidemic begins to rob the world’s population of their sensory perceptions. The film marks McGregor’s reunion with his “Young Adam” helmer David Mackenzie. Think of “Perfect Sense” as “Blindness” with a love story thrown in for added emotional heft.
“I wanted it to work as a microcosmic examination of the things that make us human – our senses of course, but also our innate capacity for love and hope – and this needed an intimate approach that was more poetic than straight genre,” Mackenzie told Indiewire.
HERE, Mackenzie shares an exclusive scene from the film.
Extras: Cast interviews, a behind-the-scenes featurette and a trailer.
With a shooting budget of $9,000, Ed Burns latest, “Newlyweds,” marks his cheapest directorial outing to date. Working with a three-person crew, Burns had the actors wear their own clothes, do their own hair and makeup and shot without lights for the most part. Lucky for Burns and everyone involved, the film turned out pretty well. Burns’ 10th film, shot in a fast-paced 12 days in New York’s Tribeca neighborhood, tracks a newly wedded couple whose honeymoon period is upended by the arrival of the husband’s wild-child baby sister and the crumbling marriage of the wife’s meddlesome sister.
HERE, Burns shares some tips with aspiring filmmakers that he learned while making “Newlyweds.”
Extras: Deleted scenes and two interviews with Burns about his inspiration behind the film and independent filmmaking.
The title for this Carol Channing documentary couldn’t be more apt — the woman is truly one of a kind. Director Dori Berinstein (“ShowBusiness”) crafts a loving tribute to the 91-year-old Broadway icon in this documentary that’s entertaining for fans and newcomers alike. “The director’s admiration for Channing is evident in the film,” wrote Peter Knegt after seeing the film at the Tribeca Film Festival, “which presents her in an exclusively positive light (though according to everyone featured in the film, this is certainly a rightful depiction) and bookends Channing’s more historical narrative with a heartwarming recent addition to her story: Finding love with her childhood sweetheart Harry Kullijian some 60 years after they parted ways as teenagers. Some of the darker elements of Channing’s life make appearances (her suggestively nasty relationship with publicist Charles Lowe, who she was married to for 42 years, and her battle with ovarian cancer), but overall Berinstein keeps things light.”
Extras: Channing fans will find 15 featurettes featuring deleted scenes and extended interviews.