A wild whirlwind of a mess, without any coherence, without even a guiding principle.
3 NEW TO NETFLIX
8 NEW TO BLU-RAY/DVD
At its best, James Wan's "Aquaman" is a live-action cartoon, complete with armies astride seahorses and sharks. It has a fantastic cast, including great supporting work from Nicole Kidman, Patrick Wilson, and Willem Dafoe. It's refreshingly goofy from a company (DC) that too often takes itself way too seriously. Really, the only problem with "Aquaman" is one common to the genre: bloat. There's no reason for this movie to be 2.5-hours long, and you can feel its charm washing away as the length sets in. My kids were excited for about an hour and it almost felt more like an obligation to finish it. I recommend watching it in installments. And focus on the fun stuff.
Going Deep Into the World of Aquaman
James Wan: World Builder
The Dark Depths of Black Manta
Heroines of Atlantis
Kingdoms of the Seven Seas
Creating Undersea Creatures
A Match Made in Atlantis
Scene Study Breakdowns
Exclusive Sneak Peek of Shazam!
An acknowledged classic of Poverty Row, Edward G. Ulmer's 1945 noir is as pitch black as the genre comes. Restored recently after years of people watching degraded copies, "Detour" has probably never looked this good. As expert Noah Isenberg explains in an excellent special feature, "Detour" was made for almost no money in roughly a week, depending on who you believe. It's a stunning piece of work, containing one of the best femme fatale performances of all time from Ann Savage. Ulmer and Savage's take on the role is instantly mesmerizing. Gone are the typically glamorous looks of the femme, replaced by grit and sweat and dirt. Savage's character feels threatening in such a perfect way that we know the minute our protagonist crosses paths with her, he's doomed.
New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
Edgar G. Ulmer: The Man Off-Screen, a 2004 documentary featuring interviews with actor Ann Savage and filmmakers Roger Corman, Joe Dante, and Wim Wenders
New interview with film scholar Noah Isenberg, author of Edgar G. Ulmer: A Filmmaker at the Margins
New program about the restoration
Janus Films rerelease trailer
PLUS: An essay by critic and poet Robert Polito
"I Wanna Hold Your Hand" (Criterion)
Robert Zemeckis has been working with American nostalgia since his first film, 1978's "I Wanna Hold Your Hand," now available on a bonus-packed Criterion release. The film itself is a sweet comedy about not just Beatlemania but those years in which one had the time and energy to commit their lives to something like a band. A cousin of "American Graffiti," this ensemble piece is about a bunch of teenagers trying to get to "The Ed Sullivan Show" on the night that The Beatles would make TV and music history. It's a light-hearted comedy that doesn't hit every mark but is also truly hard to dislike. And it's particularly interesting as a stepping stone in the careers of both Zemeckis and Spielberg, who get together with Bob Gale for a fantastic special feature on this release about the making of the film.
New 4K digital restoration, approved by director Robert Zemeckis and cowriter Bob Gale, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
New conversation among Zemeckis, Gale, and executive producer Steven Spielberg
New interview with actors Nancy Allen and Marc McClure
Audio commentary from 2004 featuring Zemeckis and Gale
The Lift (1972) and A Field of Honor (1973), two early short films by Zemeckis
Trailer and radio spots
PLUS: An essay by critic Scott Tobias
This might be the final great film of 2018 to be released on Blu-ray. There are some interesting films that came out the final few weeks of last year still to hit the market ("The Mule," "Bumblebee," others) but this is the last essential movie, one that you really need to see before you can close the book and move on to 2019. Barry Jenkins' adaptation of James Baldwin's book has been written about so many times since its TIFF debut, on this site alone, that there's not much I could possibly add to the conversation. Read my TIFF review. Read Odie's brilliant 4-star review. Read about it in our ten best. Read my interviews with Barry Jenkins and the stars of the film, KiKi Layne and Stephan James. I hold this movie very close to my heart and will for the rest of my life. It's gorgeous, riveting filmmaking and a true must-own on Blu-ray, especially given it has a commentary track by Jenkins himself.
Featurette: If Beale Street Could Talk: Poetry in Motion
Audio Commentary by Barry Jenkins
Everyone involved in this movie should give Emily Blunt a gift. Her prodigious charm is really the fuel that keeps this film moving (with no offense to Ben Whishaw and Emily Mortimer, who are always good). Blunt gets the film over its several dull passages, although even she can't save original songs that sound fine in the film but that I dare anyone to hum a section of outside of it. Like so many of the Disney live-action films, there's a magic missing here - the magic that allows a movie to live on in imagination when you're done watching it. This one is better than some (I'm still angry about "Alice in Wonderland" and "Beauty and the Beast") but that's mostly just because those movies didn't have a performer as charismatic and committed as Emily Blunt. For the record, my five-year-old STRONGLY disagrees. He loves this movie. But even he can't sing a song from it.
Deleted Song — "The Anthropomorphic Zoo"
The Practically Perfect Making of "Mary Poppins Returns"
Seeing Things From a Different Point of View": The Musical Numbers of "Mary Poppins Returns"
Back to Cherry Tree Lane: Dick Van Dyke Returns
Practically Perfect Bloopers
Play Movie in Sing-Along Mode
Satoshi Kon is an interesting enigma in that his name isn't as much of a household one as Hayao Miyazaki or Brad Bird but those who do know his work absolutely adore him. Kon's ambitious, visually breathtaking style is arguably never more brilliantly realized than in this 1999 masterpiece FINALLY getting a Blu-ray release for its 20th anniversary. That it took this long for a movie that so many people love to even get an HD release is telling in terms of how Kon's reputation doesn't seem to be at the level he deserves.
BRAND NEW REMASTER OF THE FILM
NEW Lectures by Satoshi Kon featurette
NEW Into The Blue featurette - New Interviews
Original SD Version of Feature (Japanese mono Dolby Digital 2.0 with English subtitles)
Angel of Your Heart Recording Sessions
Angel of Your Heart Full English Version
Theatrical Trailers and TV Spots—includes new trailers from US and UK re-releases
Cast and Crew Interviews
"Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse"
For months, it felt like Disney's "Incredibles 2" was the runaway favorite to take the Oscar for Best Animated Film. Who could have guessed that an animated superhero movie, which is usually the genre of straight-to-DVD fare, could be good enough to topple the highest grossing animated film of all time? Make no mistake -- this is no ordinary superhero movie. This is no ordinary animated movie. It may only be a few months old, but it feels like a classic already, a movie that I know I'll see at least a dozen times over the course of my lifetime. It gets richer and feels more ambitious each time I see it. This is a very strong edition of the HECG and I hope you got a nice refund from the IRS because this one is a must-own too. It also comes with some fantastic special features, including a cut of the film that includes several scenes that never got past the sketch phase re-cut into the movie.
We Are Spider-Man
Spider-Verse: A New Dimension
The Ultimate Comics Cast
A Tribute to Stan Lee & Steve Ditko
The Spider-Verse Super-Fan Easter Egg Challenge
Designing Cinematic Comics Characters
Heroes & Hams
Alternate Universe Mode: In this all-new viewing experience, discover alternate scenes, plotlines, characters, and more with the filmmakers as your guide.
"Sunflower" by Post Malone and Swae Lee
"Familia" by Nicki Minaj & Anuel AA (feat. Bantu)
All-New Original Short "Spider-Ham: Caught In a Ham"
I'll admit to not remembering having heard of Barbara Loden's "Wanda" until the Criterion edition showed up in my mailbox. It's a stunning movie, a bleak de-glamorization of the criminal life. A blue-collar woman named Wanda can barely make ends meet and has her kids taken away in a divorce. She basically stumbles into the life of a petty criminal, and the two form a strange, mesmerizing Bonnie and Clyde duo. He's abusive. She seems constantly uncertain, almost as if she could just wander off the face of the Earth. It's Loden's only film and it's a fascinating piece of work, almost akin to Cassavetes in its dirty, sweaty, naturalistic style. It's a shame Loden never got to make another movie, but I love that this one is getting appraised again a half-century after it was produced.
New 2K digital restoration by the UCLA Film & Television Archive, The Film Foundation, and Gucci, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
I Am Wanda, an hour-long documentary by Katja Raganelli featuring an interview with director Barbara Loden filmed in 1980
Audio recording of Loden speaking to students at the American Film Institute in 1971
Segment from a 1971 episode of The Dick Cavett Show featuring Loden
The Frontier Experience (1975), a short educational film about a pioneer woman’s struggle to survive, directed by and starring Loden
PLUS: An essay by film critic Amy Taubin
The 2020 Oscar nominations.
A review of Netflix's Dracula, from the creators of Sherlock.
A review of the new Netflix crime docuseries about former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez.
A collection of the reviews given our highest possible grade in 2019.