HOME VIDEO PICKS

2/14/12

Pick of the Week

Take Shelter (Sony Classics) — If you haven’t seen Hammer To Nail’s number one film of 2011, you better fix that right now, for Take Shelter is a modern American masterpiece. Jeff Nichols’ fusion of everyday, real world concerns with a classical approach to storytelling and cinema does more than just distinguish him from the rest of his peers. While he displayed a confidence and control in his pitch-perfect debut feature Shotgun Stories, Take Shelter finds Nichols working on an altogether more accomplished level. In light of Hurricane Irene—to name just one recent natural calamity—and the continually shrinking economy, this film couldn’t be timelier. As if the devastating emotional impact weren’t enough, the actual production means with which this Hollywood-ready production was made truly boggles the mind. Adam Stone’s typically excellent wide-screen 35mm cinematography, David Wingo’s foreboding orchestral soundtrack, the CGI work by visual effects giants Colin and Greg Strause, the assured performances from outright movie stars Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain (as well as highest-bar supporting actors like Shea Whigham, Kathy Baker, and this year’s Silver Nail winner Longstreet), all make Take Shelter more than just Spirit Awards ready. They make it Oscar worthy. Read the full HTN Review. Available on DVD and Blu-ray.

Highly Recommended

How To Die in Oregon (New Video) — Make sure you have a new box of tissues handy before pressing play on Peter Richardson’s Sundance winner. Even thinking about it makes me start to cry. Available on DVD.

The Interrupters (Frontline/PBS) — Steve James and Alex Kotlowitz’s phenomenal documentary about a group of citizens in Chicago who have banded together to stop the violence from the inside-out was last year’s The Wire. A very deserving winner of multiple awards at the Cinema Eye Honors—including Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Feature FilmmakingThe Interrupters is cinema at its most engaging, vital, and inspiring. Available on DVD and Blu-ray.

Recommended

Woody Allen: A Documentary (Docurama) — Available on DVD.

Tiny Furniture (Criterion) — Available on DVD and Blu-ray.

Elevate (Docurama) — Available on DVD.

New/Old to DVD/Blu-ray

Three Outlaw Samurai (Criterion) — There’s a certain ironic nostalgia that comes with watching Hideo Gosha’s 1964 film, not least because on some level the eponymous samurai seem as aware as we are that their efforts will ultimately amount to little. Read Michael Nordine’s full HTN review. Available on DVD and Blu-ray.

Have Not Seen Yet But Really/Kinda/Sorta/Maybe Wanna

Tales From The Golden Age (Zeitgeist Films) — Available on DVD.

Summer Holiday (Zeitgeist Films) — Previously known as Boogie. Available on DVD.

Robert Frank: The Complete Film Works Volume 4 (Steidl) — Available on DVD.

Robert Frank: The Complete Film Works Volume 5 (Steidl) — Available on DVD.

Robert Frank: The Complete Film Works Volume 6 (Steidl) — Available on DVD.

Simon (Warner Archive) — Available on DVD.

The Rum Diary (Sony) — Available on DVD, Blu-ray, and at Amazon Instant.

Paranormal Activity 3 (Paramount) — Available on DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo in DVD Packaging, Blu-ray/DVD Combo in Blu-ray Packaging, and at Amazon Instant.

Urbanized (New Video) — Available on DVD, Blu-ray, and at Amazon Instant.

Elite Squad: The Enemy Within (New Video) — Available on DVD and Blu-ray.

Wainy Days: Seasons 1-4 (The Collective) — Available on DVD.

Modus Operandi (Lorber Films) — Available on DVD.

My Kingdom (New Video) — Available on DVD.

Mozart’s Sister (Music Box Films) — Available on DVD and Blu-ray.

Wild Card of the Week

All Things Fall Apart (Image Entertainment) — Seriously, watch this trailer if you haven’t already. Available on DVD and Blu-ray.

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