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Home Entertainment Guide: April 2023

10 NEW TO NETFLIX

"American Hustle"
"The Bourne Identity"
"Holy Spider"
"How to Train Your Dragon"
"Inception"
"Inside Man"
"The Last Stand"
"The Mustang"
"Psycho"
"The Raid"

10 NEW TO HBO MAX

"Across the Universe"
"Blazing Saddles"
"Contact"
"Coraline"
"The Exorcist"
"The Goonies"
"Office Space"
"The Shining"
"Twister"
"Unforgiven"

6 NEW TO BLU-RAY/DVD

Note: Criterion has also just released Steve McQueen's "Small Axe" films in a box set that will be reviewed individually next week.

"The Fisher King" (Criterion)

I was recently honored to be on the podcast "A Very Good Year," wherein a guest picks a year and their five favorite films from it. (Listen here.) I went with 1991 and tried to unpack the films that shaped the taste of a 16-year-old version of me. "The Fisher King" was an easy pick. Terry Gilliam took the brilliant script by Richard LaGravenese and made it his own, blending his dark sense of humor with a story of redemption and trauma. It contains some of the best performances of its era, including an all-timer from Jeff Bridges. And the new Criterion edition includes a 4K restoration approved by Gilliam, along with the spectacular previously available special features, including an audio commentary, multiple interviews, deleted scenes, and more. 

Buy it here 

Special Features
New 4K digital restoration, approved by director Terry Gilliam, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack
One 4K UHD disc of the film presented in Dolby Vision HDR and one Blu-ray with the film and special features
Audio commentary featuring Gilliam
Interviews with Gilliam, producer Lynda Obst, screenwriter Richard LaGravenese, and actors Jeff Bridges, Amanda Plummer, and Mercedes Ruehl
Interviews with artists Keith Greco and Vincent Jefferds on the creation of the film’s Red Knight
Interview from 2006 with actor Robin Williams
Video essay featuring Bridges’s on-set photographs
Footage from 1991 of Bridges training as a radio personality with acting coach Stephen W. Bridgewater
Deleted scenes, with audio commentary by Gilliam
Costume tests
Trailers
English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
PLUS: An essay by critic Bilge Ebiri


"House of 1,000 Corpses"

It's hard to believe it's been two decades since Rob Zombie's feature debut, now released in a standard special edition and a steelbook one available only at Best Buy. When Zombie dropped his '70s-inspired gore-stravaganza, it was like a curiosity. Most rock stars don't transition smoothly to other forms, so it wasn't clear if Rob's efforts were a hobby or a new career. Of course, we know now that it's the latter, as the divisive auteur is still making movies 20 years later. That gives this release a fun bit of historical importance as it's easier now to see how Zombie was stretching his muscles with this release and how it would be reflected in future works like "The Devil's Rejects" and "The Lords of Salem" (still his two best, IMO). The steelbook is particularly wicked with excellent cover art that you can see above.

Buy it here

Special Features
DISC ONE
Director Commentary
Making-of Featurette
Casting Footage
Rehearsal Footage
Cast and Crew Interviews
Theatrical Trailer
DISC TWO
NEW Bonus Disc of Never-Before-Seen Special Features from Rob Zombie
Cast & Director Interviews
Behind The Scenes
Includes 5 On-Set BTS Segments
Dr. Satan Test
Professor Test
Electronic Press Kit
Teaser Trailer


"Living"

For a lot of people, a remake of something as sacred as Akira Kurosawa's "Ikiru" was nothing short of blasphemy. That's a shame because Oliver Hermanus' Oscar-nominated film stands alongside that masterpiece as its own solid, character-driven drama. It helps to have a screenplay by the incredible Kazuo Ishiguro ("The Remains of the Day") and career-best work from Bill Nighy as a 1950s London bureaucrat who discovers his days are numbered. What does it do to a man to know that his time is about to be up? Nighy captures the truth of his character without succumbing to the potential melodrama of it all. Despite the Oscar attention, it feels like most people haven't seen "Living." You should correct that. (And Sony should have given it a richer Blu-ray release, honestly.)

Buy it here 

Special Features
A Life Semi-lived - Featurette


"Missing"

Co-writers Aneesh Chaganty and Sev Ohanian came up with the story for "Missing," making it something of a sequel to their hit "Searching." Once again, it's a mystery that unfolds on screens, but the roles are cleverly reversed here, turning it into a story of a child searching for a parent instead of the inverse. There are a few too many twists that clutter the film's second half, but star Storm Reid holds it together believably as a daughter who learns that she may not have known anything about her mother. It's a smart performance in a new semi-franchise of movies that's more promising than most.

Buy it here 

Special Features
Deleted Scenes
Hunting for the MISSING Easter Eggs
Behind-The-Scenes Featurettes:
Storm Reid and the Challenge of MISSING
Misdirects, Online Crimes and the Social Media Mystery
The Screens that Rule Our Lives
Filmmaker Commentary


"The Seventh Seal" (Criterion)

The Criterion Ingmar Bergman box set is one of the best, but those are all standard Blu-rays, which means serious Bergman fans are going to be tempted to buy the standalone 4K versions that start with 1957's "The Seventh Seal," one of the most influential films ever made. The tale of a medieval knight and his encounter with the literal form of death is one of Bergman's most beloved motion pictures. It's a perfect fit for 4K, which allows a richer appreciation of Gunnar Fischer's striking black-and-white cinematography. Beyond the 4K restoration, Criterion includes the previously available special features, including an excellent doc called "Bergman Island" and a smart commentary from Bergman expert Peter Cowie.

Buy it here 

Special Features
4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
One 4K UHD disc of the film and one Blu-ray with the film and special features
Introduction from 2003 by director Ingmar Bergman
Audio commentary and video afterword by Bergman expert Peter Cowie
Bergman Island (2006), a feature-length documentary on Bergman by Marie Nyreröd
Audio interview from 1998 with actor Max von Sydow
Tribute to Bergman from 1989 by filmmaker Woody Allen
Bergman 101, a selected video filmography tracing Bergman’s career, narrated by Cowie
Trailer
Optional English-dubbed soundtrack
PLUS: An essay by critic Gary Giddins


"Triangle of Sadness" (Criterion)

Ruben Östlund's Palme d'Or-winner was a surprising tenth nominee for Best Picture at the Oscars this year. Academy voters were drawn to the social satire of how a disaster doesn't just eliminate the rules between different classes but invert them. I'm still about as mixed on the film as I was in my theatrical review, falling between its hardcore fans and vocal detractors. I find everything Östlund does interesting, even if he hasn't matched the brilliance of his earlier "Force Majeure." The Criterion edition of this divisive satire includes a new interview and two programs about the making of the film. But it's relatively slight, given the extensive supplemental material Criterion usually provides.

Buy it here 

Special Features
New 4K digital master, approved by director Ruben Östlund, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack
One 4K UHD disc of the film and one Blu-ray with the film and special features
New interview with Östlund and filmmaker and actor Johan Jonason
Two new programs: one about the film’s special effects and one about a challenging day on set
Deleted scenes
Trailer
English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
PLUS: An essay by film critic A. S. Hamrah

Brian Tallerico

Brian Tallerico is the Managing Editor of RogerEbert.com, and also covers television, film, Blu-ray, and video games. He is also a writer for Vulture, The Playlist, The New York Times, and GQ, and the President of the Chicago Film Critics Association.

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