VOD is all the rage right now, and for good reason (check out our November list).
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 the new releases worth your time
“Lovelace,” starring Amanda Seyfried, Peter Sarsgaard, Sharon Stone and Adam Brody, tells the story of porn star-turned feminist activist Linda Boreman (Seyfried). Longing to escape her conservative Catholic upbringing, Linda falls into the arms of her hustler husband Chuck Traynor who exploits and abuses her as she transitions from porn star sensation Linda Lovelace to an anti-pornography feminist activist. While “Lovelace” has met decidedly mixed reviews, it has also received overwhelming praise for its acting and the unforgettably tragic portrayal of its protagonist, Linda Lovelace.
Extras: “Behind Lovelace,” a 14-minute segment of cast and crew members recounting the life of Linda Lovelace and its retelling in “Lovelace” as well some insight into the film’s production process.
From Andrew Bujalski (“Funny Ha Ha” and “Mutual Appreciation”), “Computer Chess” is a quirky comedy about a weekend chess tournament thirty some years ago that places chess software programers on the front lines of a technological battle between the human mind and its creations. “Computer Chess” makes this list because as the late Roger Ebert put it, “Here’s a movie by nerds, for nerds, and about nerds.”
Extras: “Computer Chess” included bonus satirical commentary segments, a crowd funding video, a Sundance Film Festival promo, 4 computer chess reference games, 1969 Sony AVC-3260 video camera tutorial and trailers for the film.
Silent film-era writer-director D. W. Griffith’s 1916 film “Intolerance” follows four parallel storylines from ancient Babylon to biblical Judea to renaissance France and finally 1914 America. In each cultural and civilizational context a tale of intolerance drives the narrative to produce a moral connection throughout history. “Intolerance” is a must watch not just because it is considered a historical masterpiece, but because the racist criticism associated with its equally infamous predecessor “The Birth of a Nation” explains Griffith’s personal investment in the film in attempting to reverse the moral criticisms made of him at the time.
Extras: Features for “Intolerance” include full-length versions of “The Fall of Babylon” “The Mother and the Law” accompanied by scores from the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra, a bonus feature with film historian Kevin Brownlow, essays by Cineaste editor Richard Porton and historian William M. Drew and finally a theatrical re-release trailer.
“Girl Most Likely”
More or less buried upon its theatrical release (but faring well on iTunes), this Kristen Wiig-starrer deserves another look. A quieter character study than what most would expect from the bawdy SNL alum, “Girl Most Likely” follows Wiig’s Imogene as she is assigned to house arrest under the supervision of her kooky mother (Annette Bening), after a faked suicide attempt. Alternately hilarious and heartfelt, the film mines the tragicomedy of a dream deferred, as Imogene, a once-promising playwright, watches it all crumble over a misguided attempt to win back her boyfriend.
Extras: Gag Reel, a making of featurette, some deleted scenes and a short titled “Life in the Human Shell.”
“Mad Men” Season 6
The cultural and award-winning sensation “Mad Men” continues to fascinate and provoke in its sixth, second to last season.
Extras: Six featurettes entitled: “Design of a Decade,” “Recreating an Era,” “Gay Power and Gay Pride!,” “Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out,” and “Summer of Love Archives.”
“As I Lay Dying”
Based on the 1930 classic novel by William Faulkner, James Franco uses a strong directorial stylization to convey the multiple streams of consciousness the novel originally had. Each member of the Bundren family is examined and internally explored as they travel together to bury their mother’s body in the nearby town of Jefferson.
Extras: Behind-the-scenes featurette and cast/crew interviews.
[Editor’s Note: Nigel M. Smith, Ramzi Coster, James Hiler and Sarah Salovaara contributed to this article.]