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This Week in Home Video: ‘Interstellar,’ ‘Wild,’ ‘The Imitation Game’

This Week in Home Video: 'Interstellar,' 'Wild,' 'The Imitation Game'

Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar” wound up being one of the most divisive films of last year, with some mocking the film’s clunkiness and goofiness while others (this writer included) were swept up in the director’s space opera about human survival. For the latter, the film is now on Blu-Ray, which comes with a frame from the 70mm print and a shifting aspect ratio feature that preserves the film’s jumps from 2:39 to 1:78. Joining it from Oscar season is Jean-Marc Vallee’s “Wild,” a sturdy tale of self-actualization that features a prickly, largely internal performance from Reese Witherspoon. Less worthy: the Best Picture-nominee “The Imitation Game,” which treats Alan Turing less like a complex person and more like a Funny Asperger’s Bot whose homosexuality is only a factor when it’s dramatically convenient. Nicolas Cage fans, meanwhile, can check out another one of his bad action movies, “Outcast,” and those who didn’t get enough of “Gravity” in the theater can check out Warner Bros.’s “Diamond Luxe” edition, which is just the same movie in new packaging.

Classic movie fans can check out Criterion’s Blu-Ray releases of “Cries and Whispers” and “Hoop Dreams;” the former is one of Ingmar Bergman’s bleakest and best, while Steve James’ documentary is still one of the best films ever made about race, class and the American Dream. Arrow has a new Blu of the spaghetti western “Day of Anger,” starring Lee Van Cleef (as many of these do), while Scorpion has a version of the early American independent film “David and Lisa,” which earned director Frank Perry an Oscar nomination for Best Director. Finally, Olive Films has a boatload of new releases, including Arthur Penn’s adaptation of Arlo Guthrie’s song “Alice’s Restaurant” (which earned Penn a Best Director nomination), the Jane Curtin/Jessica Lange comedy “How to Beat the High Cost of Living,” the Roy Scheider thriller “Night Game,” the Michael Caine-as-Sherlock Holmes comedy “Without a Clue,” and Blake Edwards’ “What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?”

More thoughts from the Criticwire Network:

“Gravity”
Criticwire Average: A-

Eric Kohn, Indiewire

The virtual camera practically never stops moving in several directions, aping the weightlessness afflicting the characters with simultaneously hypnotic and disorienting results. Four years in production, “Gravity” presents an artificial world that could only have made been today, and provides a fantastic showcase of new possibilities. Read more.

“The Imitation Game”
Criticwire Average: B+

Mike D’Angelo, The A.V. Club

The true story of how Turing and many others finally broke the Enigma code is itself so fearsomely complex that no two-hour movie could possibly do it justice. Graham Moore’s screenplay—adapted from Andrew Hodges’ non-fiction book “Alan Turing: The Enigma” —does an impressive job of simplifying, condensing, and distilling what actually happened into a series of accessible “eureka!” moments, and “The Imitation Game” is at its best when it focuses on the collision between cryptography and proto-programming. Read more.

“Interstellar”
Criticwire Average: B

Jason Bailey, Flavorwire

Christopher Nolan’s new film doesn’t have the crispness of “Inception” or the jangly momentum of “The Dark Knight.” It’s his “White Album,” overlong and overwritten, corny, and self-important, and also a great movie–and yes, it can be all of those things at once. Read more.

“Wild”
Criticwire Average: B+

Kate Erbland, Film School Rejects

“Wild” doesn’t aim for high inspiration or fussy performances, and it benefits from staying honest and rich, instead of going for big speeches and bigger set pieces. The production may very well be in the eventual Oscar conversation, but the aim of Vallee’s film and Witherspoon’s particular turn isn’t centered on that, and the result is something natural, raw and satisfying, a breath of fresh air in the increasingly crowded biopic wilderness. Read more.

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