This week on DVD/Blu-ray: Kathryn Bigelow’s stunning follow-up to “The Hurt Locker”; one of the lewdest comedies of last year; Jacques Audiard’s moving follow-up to his Oscar-nominated 2009 crime drama “A Prophet”; Terrence Malick’s first feature; and a film that affords Parker Posey her best role in years.
#1. “Zero Dark Thirty”
Following “The Hurt Locker,” Kathryn Bigelow is back with her best film
yet, a harrowing and ultimately solemn study of one woman’s obsessive
mission to hunt down Osama bin Laden. Bigelow, re-teaming with her “Hurt
Locker” screenwriter Mark Boal, isn’t out to prove that torture works
despite what many want you believe — they’re in it to relay the
enormous amount of effort that went into the manhunt, and the toll it
took on those involved. Nominated for five Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actress.
Extras: The making-of doc “No Small Feat”; a video tour of the film’s rebuilt compound; a featurette that shows the cast training with authentic SEAL gear; and an in-depth look at the role of Maya, titled “Targeting Jessica Chastain.”
Those that saw “Bachelorette” at Sundance or during its theatrical release will be quick to tell you, playwright Leslye Headland’s feature film debut is a hard-R comedy. The raucous, fast-paced and hilariously foul-mouthed dramedy follows a
gang of old girlfriends who come together and screw everything up at
their friend Becky’s wedding. The cast is led by a terrifying Kirsten Dunst as Regan, the sadistic
and insecure maid of honor from hell, Lizzy Caplan as Gena, a coke-head
party girl who has to confront the ex-boyfriend who she says ruined her
life, and a scene-stealing Isla Fisher as Katie, a ditzy and troubled
perpetual retail slave. The ladies are ably supported by a male cast
that includes Adam Scott, James Marsden and Hayes McArthur.
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Extras: A bloopers reel; a behind-the-scenes doc; and audio commentary by Headland.
#3. “Rust and Bone”
In “Rust and Bone,” Jacques Audiard’s moving follow-up to his Oscar-nominated 2009 crime drama “A Prophet,” Marion Cotillard plays an orca trainer at Marineland, who,
after losing her legs in a freak accident at the aquarium, finds herself
cared for by a stranger (“Bullhead” breakout Matthias Schoenaerts) she
had met at a nightclub before the horrific incident.
Extras: Audio commentary by Audiard; a in-depth 60-minute making-of doc; a visual effects breakdown by the French studio Mikros Image; some red carpet footage; and the theatrical trailer.
#4. “Badlands (Criterion Collection”
Terrence Malick’s staggering feature film debut “Badlands” lands on Blu-ray for the first time via The Criterion Collection, weeks before his latest, “To the Wonder,” opens theatrically in North America (it already opened in Europe). The film — an impressionistic take on the notorious Charles Starkweather killing spree of the late 1950s, starring Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek — was the first to introduce the many elements that would earn Malick his passionate followers (and dissenters): his use of voice-over, his approach of character over narrative, and his masterful visual poetry.
Extras: “Making ‘Badlands,'” a new documentary featuring Sheen,
Spacek and art director Jack Fisk; new interviews with associate editor
Billy Weber and executive producer Edward Pressman; “Charles
Starkweather,” a 1993 episode of the television program American
Justice, about the real-life story on which the film was loosely based;
trailer; plus a booklet featuring an essay by filmmaker Michael
#5. “Price Check”
Parker Posey, ever the quirky misfit, revisits familiar territory in
her new comedy, “Price Check.” Posey, who recently played a badly
unhinged bookstore clerk on a string of “Louie” episodes, appears here
as Susan Felders, a manic but somehow charming supermarket executive who
bursts into the life of middle manager Pete Cozy (Eric Mabius) with
decidedly mixed results. Like other indie comedies of recent years —
“Greenberg,” “Win Win” — “Price Check” portrays a kind of middle-class
American life that is frequently difficult, lonely, and, often enough,