A Fall From Grace
In short, it’s nuts.
10 NEW TO NETFLIX
6 NEW TO BLU-RAY/DVD
When "The Favourite" marched its way through awards season, earning a Best Picture nomination and even an Oscar for its star, I wondered if its fans would go back and check out early work by Yorgos Lanthimos. I find him fascinating, in large part because I'm never quite sure how I'm going to respond to one of his works. His most popular films - "The Favourite" and "The Lobster" - are less effective for me than "Killing of a Sacred Deer" or this double feature of early works now on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber. In fact, I would argue that "Dogtooth" remains his most memorable and best film so far. Its dark deconstruction of the perceptions of family and normalcy feels even more powerful today, a decade after it won the Prix Un Certain Regard at Cannes. Since then, Lanthimos has become one of the most talked about filmmakers of the last decade. Check out these two to see why, and form your own opinion about his best and worst work.
Special Features - "Dogtooth"
Audio commentary with stars Angeliki Papoulia and Christos Passalis
Yorgos Lanthimos in conversation with Kent Jones (courtesy of Film at Lincoln Center)
Interview with Yorgos Lanthimos
There are SO many versions of "Apocalypse Now" on Blu-ray that you're probably rolling your eyes at the existence of another one, but I have to say that this 4K edition feels truly definitive. First off, it contains every version of the movie, including the 1979 original, the "Redux" version, and the recently released "Final Cut" version. Beyond that, it includes the film in the best technical quality it has ever seen, including a phenomenal audio track that transports you into Coppola's dark vision more than I even remember experiencing it in the theater. Finally, this edition has more special features than nearly any release I've seen this year, including archival and new material, along with the entire documentary feature "Hearts of Darkness," an excellent feature about the troubled production. You can spend not just hours but days with this box set. And you should.
Audio Commentary by Director Francis Ford Coppola
An Interview with John Milius
A Conversation with Martin Sheen and Francis Ford Coppola
"Fred Roos: Casting Apocalypse" Featurette
The Mercury Theatre on the Air: Heart of Darkness – November 6, 1938
"The Hollow Men" Featurette
Monkey Sampan "Lost Scene"
"Destruction of the Kurtz Compound" End Credits (with Non-Optional Audio Commentary by Francis Ford Coppola)
"The Birth of 5.1 Sound" Featurette
"Ghost Helicopter Flyover" Sound Effects Demonstration
"The Synthesizer Soundtrack" Article by Bob Moog
"A Million Feet of Film: The Editing of Apocalypse Now" Featurette
"Heard Any Good Movies Lately? The Sound Design of Apocalypse Now" Featurette
"The Final Mix" Featurette
"2001 Cannes Film Festival: Francis Ford Coppola" Featurette
"PBR Streetgang" Featurette
"The Color Palette of Apocalypse Now" Featurette
NEW: Tribeca Film Festival Q&A with Francis Ford Coppola and Steven Soderbergh
NEW: Never-Before-Seen B-Roll Footage
"Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse" (with Optional Audio Commentary by Francis and Eleanor Coppola)
John Milius Script Excerpt with Francis Coppola Notes (Still Gallery)
Mary Ellen Mark Photography
1979 Teaser Trailer
1979 Theatrical Trailer
1979 Radio Spots
1979 Theatrical Program
Lobby Card and Press Kit Photos
Apocalypse Now Redux Trailer
Joe Talbot's deeply personal feature film with friend and star Jimmie Fails is one of the most beloved works of the year, and I think incredibly high expectations somewhat diminished my own personal returns. It's a movie I admire and that you should definitely see, but that I don't adore as much as some of my colleagues. What I do love about it is its blend of the personal and the poetic in the story of a black man trying to regain control of a home in a gentrifying neighborhood in his favorite city in the world. It has moments of true beauty, and enough can't be said about Jonathan Majors brilliant supporting performance. And I'll admit it's a movie that has lingered in my memory to such a degree that I expect I'll watch it again before the end of the year.
Audio Commentary with Writer-Director Joe Talbot
“Ode to the City: Finding The Last Black Man in San Francisco” Featurette
This column is generally reserved for releases I can recommend as a purchase or at least a rental, but sometimes we make exceptions. Make no mistake, Tate Taylor's "Ma" is a bad movie. It's depressing in how little it actually has to say and contains some downright bad filmmaking. And yet there's something in Octavia Spencer's performance that makes me want to throw it in this week's column. She's at a stage in her career when she can do pretty much anything she wants, and she's choosing to appear as a sociopath in a B-movie. It's a bad flick, but it would be absolute garbage without what she brings to it. Maybe check it out just to see a great actress doing some seriously heavy lifting.
Creating Sue Ann
Party at Ma's
It's time for a small confession: I love musicals. I grew up watching "Singin' in the Rain" and "On the Town," and I adore "Moulin Rouge!" So the fact that Dexter Fletcher eschews traditional biopic beats to turn the life of Elton John into an actual musical gets it major points before anything else is taken into consideration. When "Rocketman" bursts into song, it's a wonderful film, but the flights of cinematic fancy do make the more traditional dramatic scenes even less effective. Despite the excellence of Taron Egerton's performance, I didn't really feel like I knew much more about John than I did before I watched it. I did want to listen to Elton John music immediately, however.
Extended Musical Numbers:
Deleted and Extended Scenes:
It's Going to Be a Wild Ride: Creative Vision
Becoming Elton John: Taron's Transformation
Larger Than Life: Production Design & Costuming
Full Tilt: Staging the Musical Numbers
Music Reimagined: The Studio Sessions - Behind the scenes in the recording studio with Taron & Elton
ROCKETMAN Lyric Companion: Sing-Along with Select Songs (English only)
ROCKETMAN Jukebox: Jump Straight to the Music
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.