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Why 'Singin' in the Rain' Tops Indiewire's 5 DVD/Blu-ray Picks This Week

Photo of Nigel M Smith By Nigel M Smith | Indiewire July 17, 2012 at 9:54AM

On DVD/Blu-ray this week: Once of the most beloved classics of cinema, on Blu-ray for the first time; Jennifer Westfeldt's hilarious and insightful directorial debut; Abel Ferrara's most acclaimed film in years; the latest from feel-good auteur Lasse Hallstrom; and a heady trip back to the Beat generation.

#3. "4:44 Last Days on Earth"

Bad-boy filmmaker Abel Ferrara ("Bad Lieutenant") returns to the New York streets for the first time in a decade with "4:44 Last Days on Earth." Like "Melancholia," the film imagines the end of the world as we know it -- and if you thought Lars von Trier's vision was understated, just wait till you see Ferrara's. Willem Dafoe stars alongside the director's real-life girlfriend Shanyn Leigh as a couple who spend their final hours hanging around their roomy loft in the Lower East Side. "Likely Ferrara's most personal work," Eric Kohn wrote in his review of the film, "it's also ironically the most life-affirming in a career defined by anger and grime. Ferrara has gone soft without selling out."

Extras: Unfortunately, a trailer is all you’ll find.

#4. "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen"

In the latest feel-good dramedy from Lasse Hallstrom (“Chocolat”), “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen,” Emily Blunt plays Harriet, assistant to a sheik who wants to bring salmon fishing to the desert. To make the sheik's dreams become a reality, Harriet is paired with Britain’s leading fisheries expert, Fred (Ewan McGregor). Complications ensue when Fred, a married man, falls for Harriet. The two leads make for a charming and dynamic pair (it's a wonder that this marks their first time onscreen together), but a hilarious Kristin Scott Thomas steals the film as as the prime minister's press secretary.

Go HERE for our interview with Blunt, and HERE to view some extras included on the DVD/Blu-ray.

Extras: “The Making of Salmon Fishing In the Yemen” featurette that runs a little over 13 minutes with interviews and behind-the-scenes clips; and a three-minute conversation with Paul Torday, author of the book the film is based off.

#5. "The Beat Hotel"

Take a trip back in time via "The Beat Hotel," Alex Govenar's feature documentary that tracks the evolution of the infamous Beat Hotel, the epicenter of Beat writing, that produced some of the most important works of the Beat generation. Run by Madame Rachou, the hotel attracted the likes of Allen Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky, Gregory Corso, William Burroughs and Ian Somerville, all of whom left their mark on the institution.

Extras: Two short films (“Harold Chapman on His Photography” and “The Dreamachine”); Elliot Rudie drawings; and a deleted scene featuring William S. Burroughs and Ian Sommerville.

This article is related to: Small Screens

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