Never, Rarely, Sometimes, Always
With stunning performances from two completely genuine young leads, this is a movie people will talk about all year.
10 NEW TO NETFLIX
5 NEW TO BLU-RAY/DVD
He's now one of the most famous and divisive directors in Hollywood with hits like "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" and "Knives Out," but I can vividly remember when Rian Johnson made his debut in this 2005 modern noir that premiered at Sundance and instantly set the indie film world on fire. Joseph Gordon-Levitt proved he could do much more than "Third Rock From the Sun" when he played Brendan Frye, investigating the death of his ex-girlfriend Emily (Emilie de Ravin). With heavily stylized dialogue straight of Dashiell Hammett but coming from the mouths of modern L.A. teens, "Brick" was like nothing else in theaters, an instant pronouncement of a major talent who is still subverting genres and expectations. Kino Lorber has remastered the film in gorgeous 4K for a new Blu-ray release that was supervised by Johnson himself and includes a commentary that features the incredible writer/director.
BRAND NEW 4K RESTORATION SUPERVISED BY RIAN JOHNSON
Audio Commentary by Writer/Director Rian Johnson, Actors Nora Zehetner and Noah Segan, Producer Ram Bergman, Production Designer Jodie Tillen and Costume Designer Michele Posch
8 Deleted and Extended Scenes (w/ introduction by Rian Johnson)
The Inside Track: Casting The Roles of Laura and Dode
5.1 Surround and 2.0 Lossless Audio
Optional English Subtitles
"The Girl on the Third Floor"
Travis Stevens' SXSW debut is one of the best horror films of 2019, a wonderful cautionary tale that's also a commentary on toxic masculinity and infidelity. Former wrestler C.M. Punk is excellent as a man who is trying to rehab an old house before he moves in there with his wife. After long days of working on the house, he finds himself enchanted by a beautiful local girl who turns out to have more than a few secrets related to the property he's rehabbing. And it turns out that the man himself could use a rehab job. Gruesome and stylishly effective in ways that are reminiscent of masters of the single-setting horror film like John Carpenter, this is a must-see for horror fans.
Commentary with Writer/Director/Producer Travis Stevens
Before they set the movie world on fire with the Oscar-winning "The Philadelphia Story," Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn first starred together in this 1938 version of Philip Barry's play (and the Criterion edition also includes the 1930 version starring Mary Astor) about a young man swept up by a wealthy heiress only to fall in love with her sister instead. There are some interesting insights in the special features about how and why audiences didn't respond to the Grant/Hepburn version and how it's aged better than some other films of the era. The film is a little slight and rough around the edges, but the star power of Grant and Hepburn comes through, especially in the final act.
New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
Holiday (1930), a previous adaptation of Philip Barry’s play, directed by Edward H. Griffith
New conversation between filmmaker and distributor Michael Schlesinger and film critic Michael Sragow
Audio excerpts from an American Film Institute oral history with director George Cukor, recorded in 1970 and ’71
PLUS: An essay by critic Dana Stevens
One of the most controversial films of the year is already available on the home market after making roughly a trillion dollars worldwide on the way to a likely Oscar for star Joaquin Phoenix. We've already written extensively about the film, and most regulars to this site will know that I consider it to be more hollow than its fans do, but I'm increasingly fascinated by how much this film has become a part of the pop culture foundation and why it's tapped into something urgent for so many people. Even if it's a hollow provocation, it's provoking something in people who keep seeing it again and again. And Phoenix is arguably the best actor of his generation, so I'm fine with him finally getting the recognition he deserves. Perhaps most importantly, it's worth noting that Warner Bros. is one of the best companies out there when it comes to 4K Blu-ray video. "Joker" looks deeper and richer in terms of design than I remember it looking in theaters. Even with my negative feelings about the movie, it's one of the most essential works of the last year. And it's a gorgeous Blu-ray transfer (even if the special features are a little slight).
Joker: Vision & Fury - Featurette
Becoming Joker - Featurette
Please Welcome… Joker! - Featurette
Joker: A Chronicle of Chaos - Featurette
Everyone talks about the creative freedom of Netflix but A24 deserves arguably even more credit for putting their money behind daring, strange projects that other companies would never even touch and getting them to a wide audience. After the success of "The Witch," they gave Robert Eggers complete creative control over his totally cuckoo follow-up, a black-and-white, 4:3 horror movie about two men losing their minds at a remote lighthouse. Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe are phenomenal in a movie that I may not like as much as some of my colleagues but then I'm still incredibly happy exists in the first place. There should be more companies willing to take creative risks on films like "The Lighthouse."
"The Lighthouse: A Dark & Stormy Tale" Featurette
Audio Commentary with Co-Writer & Director Robert Eggers
A TV review of Star Trek: Picard.
This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...
The 2020 Oscar nominations.
A review of Netflix's Dracula, from the creators of Sherlock.