VOD is all the rage right now, and for good reason (check out our September list HERE).
But while it’s gratifying to know that you can watch pretty much
anything with the simple click of a button, there’s something comforting
about tearing into a DVD/Blu-ray case and popping the disc into your
player. That, and not even a VOD film in HD can rival the clarity a
Blu-ray disc offers. To keep you up to date with the current goings-on
in the home video marketplace, here are this week’s new releases worth your time
One of the more prominent documentary releases this year, Rodney
Ascher’s “Room 237” enthralled last year on the festival circuit with
its in-depth dissection of Stanley Kubrick’s classic, “The Shining.” The
film covers plenty of nerd conspiracy theory ground, alluding to Native
American genocide metaphors and Holocaust allegories, before delving
into all sorts of minutiae.
Extras: Commentary; a panel discussion from the first annual Stanley Film Festival; 11 deleted scenes; the making of the music featurette; Mondo Poster design discussion with artist Aled Lewis; the trailer; and alternate trailers.
“Fill the Void”
Rama Burshtein’s debut feature has the distinction of being the only film
ever shot by a haredi Orthodox woman about Tel Aviv’s Hasidic community.
The Hebrew-language story follows an engaged Orthodox teenager who is
pushed to marry her brother-in-law when her sister dies in childbirth.
Extras: Commentary with the director, and a writer’s block Q&A with the filmmaker.
Less than a year after the theatrical release of indie horror anthology
“V/H/S” comes a second installment, “V/H/S/2.” This sequel to the 2012
film has for its framing story two private investigators who also find
themselves stumbling onto a collection of disturbing VHS tapes in
connection with a student who has gone missing. The contents of the
tapes feature everything from aliens to ghosts to zombies, upping the
quota of grisliness and outrageousness that was exhibited in the first
installment. A total of seven directors have contributed to “V/H/S/2,”
including Eduardo Sanchez, director of “The Blair Witch
Extras: Behind the scenes photo galleries; theatrical trailers; filmmaker commentary; and multiple featurettes that delve into the making of each short.
“Dear Mom Love Cher”
The doc chronicles Cher’s mother, Georgia Holt’s, life story as well as delving into other
aspects of Cher’s fascinating family history, featuring in-depth
interviews with Holt, her daughters Cher and Georganne LaPiere Bartylak,
and grandchildren Chaz Bono and Elijah Blue Allman. Born in rural
Arkansas, Holt went on to pursue a career in Hollywood as a singer and
actress, enduring a plethora of setbacks and triumphs both personally
Extras: A birthday video from Cher to her mother.
“Hannibal: Season One”
In NBC’s acclaimed “Silence of the Lambs” prequel series, Hugh Dancy plays Special Agent Will Graham, who’s able to get inside the
minds of the killers he chases using his splendid unstable imagination,
while Mads Mikkelsen is Dr. Hannibal Lecter, the acclaimed forensic
psychiatrist brought in to treat and help Will, his own murderous habits
not yet discovered.
Extras: Audio commentaries on select episodes; a number of featurettes; gag reel; deleted scenes; and pilot episode storyboards.
“Call Me Kuchu”
Specifically focused around LGBT people and activists in Uganda, “Call
Me Kuchu” (gay and transgendered citizens are called “kuchus”) centers
around the life and tragic death of David Kato, a veteran activist who
spent years fighting against his country’s insanely homophobic society. Among other terrifying things, an anti-homosexuality bill proposing
death for HIV-positive gay men is introduced and Kato is one of the few
brave enough to try and stop it.
Extras: 4 deleted scenes and a Q&A with the filmmakers.
“In the House”
Starring Fabrice Luchini as a frustrated, unappreciated
schoolteacher and Kristin Scott Thomas as his wife, Francois Ozon’s latest follows Luchini’s character as he is
increasingly obsessed with a pupil’s voyeuristic essays focusing on a
classmate’s perfect family. While he sees that the envious, fantasy
fulfilling papers are potentially unethical and dangerous, he continues
to prompt the teen because of the strength of his writing. As you can
see in the unsettling, suspenseful trailer, the boy (Ernst Umhauer)
takes things a little too far.