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Pick of the Week

Killer Joe (Lionsgate) — As I get older with each passing year, I’ve begun to process the world—and, by extension, cinema—in a different light. While I’m not turning into an outright prude, I am becoming much less tolerant of art and entertainment that takes a condescending and contemptible attitude towards humanity. On an ethical, theoretical level, there’s no denying that the way to best appreciate and enjoy a movie like Killer Joe is to look down upon and get a hilarious kick out of all the underprivileged, uneducated, bad-decision-making redneck idiocy on display. Shocking violence and rampant stupidity? No thanks. But not so fast. In the case of William Friedkin’s second feature film collaboration with playwright/screenwriter Tracy Letts (the first was Bug), the complicated-to-swallow truth is that it is so well acted and spins into such outlandish directions that ethics be damned. As much as I want to say that I don’t approve of Killer Joe, I can’t do that. This movie is one seriously gonzo romp. Read my HTN review, then buy the Unrated Director’s Cut on DVD and Blu-ray.


Sleepwalk With Me (MPI Home Video) — Read A Conversation With Mike Birbiglia and Jacob Jaffke. Available on DVD, Blu-ray, and at Amazon Instant.

Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet (Kino Lorber) — The tragedy and triumph of Jason Becker’s life is the subject of a new documentary by first-time filmmaker Jesse Vile. Jason Becker: Not Yet Dead is as head banging as it is heart wrenching. The film is remarkable, accomplishing what many music docs strive for and frequently fail to achieve—namely, it reaches beyond the immediate fans and touches anyone who is willing to watch and, especially, listen. Its power lies in its simplicity and sincerity: Becker’s is a great, naturally compelling life, and Vile skillfully captures both the human and musical sides of his story. Read Cullen Gallagher’s HTN review. Available on DVD.

Gandu (Artsploitation Films) — Inspired by both the visual energy of Gaspar Noe and the sexual energy of Lars von Trier’s The Idiots, Gandu displays a visual and aural energy that is rarely seen in indie film. Read Mike S. Ryan’s HTN review. Available on DVD.

New/Old to DVD/Blu-ray

Our Beloved Month of August (Cinema Guild) — Available on DVD.

Sokurov: Early Masterworks (Cinema Guild) — Includes the films Whispering Pages, Stone, Save and Protect. Available in a Blu-ray/DVD mish-mash package.

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

Arbitrage (Lionsgate) — Available on DVD, Blu-ray, and at Amazon Instant.

Premium Rush (Sony) — Available on DVD + UltraViolet Digital Copy, Blu-ray + UltraViolet Digital Copy, and at Amazon Instant.

Pitch Perfect (Universal) — Available on DVD, 2-Disc Combo Pack: Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet, and at Amazon Instant.

Red Hook Summer (Image Entertainment) — Available on DVD, Blu-ray, and at Amazon Instant.

The Well-Digger’s Daughter (Kino Lorber) — Available on DVD and Blu-ray.

Trouble With The Curve (Warner) — Available on DVD + Ultraviolet Digital Copy, Blu-ray + UltraViolet Digital Copy, Blu-ray + DVD + Ultraviolet Digital Copy Combo Pack, and at Amazon Instant.

The Words (Sony) — Available on DVD and Blu-ray.

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Michael Tully is an award-winning writer/director whose films have garnered widespread critical acclaim, his projects having premiered at some of the most renowned film festivals across the globe. He is also the former (and founding) editor of this site. In 2006, Michael's first feature, COCAINE ANGEL, chronicling a tragic week in the life of a young drug addict, world premiered at the International Film Festival Rotterdam. The film immediately solidified the director as one of Filmmaker Magazine’s "25 New Faces of Independent Film,” a reputation that was reinforced a year later when his follow-up feature, SILVER JEW, a documentary capturing the late David Berman's rare musical performances in Tel Aviv, world-premiered at SXSW and landed distribution with cult indie-music label Drag City. In 2011, Michael wrote, directed, and starred in his third feature, SEPTIEN, which debuted at the 27th annual Sundance Film Festival before being acquired by IFC Films' Sundance Selects banner. A few years later, in 2014, Michael returned to Sundance with the world premiere of his fourth feature, PING PONG SUMMER, an ‘80s set coming-of-age tale that was quickly picked up for theatrical distribution by Gravitas Ventures. In 2018, Michael wrote and directed the dread-inducing genre film DON'T LEAVE HOME, which has been described as "Get Out with Catholic guilt in the Irish countryside" (IndieWire). The film premiered at SXSW and was subsequently acquired by Cranked Up Films and Shudder.

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