Home Entertainment Guide: April 30, 2020

5 NEW TO NETFLIX

"The Artist"
"Catfish"
"Despicable Me"
"Django Unchained"
"Hail, Caesar!"

7 NEW TO BLU-RAY/DVD

"The Assistant"

Kitty Green's devastating drama is a study in quiet and even mundanity. We've seen so many overheated stories of workplace melodrama, but few that have understood how simply powerful men and those who look the other way can enable toxic cultures. Julia Garner ("Ozark") is phenomenal as the new assistant to a Harvey Weinstein type who we never actually see, but whose presence is felt in every scene. This is the best #MeToo drama to date, a film that keenly and exaasperatingly understands its subject matter in ways we haven't really seen before. 

Buy it here 

Special Features
-DVD Only and no special features 

"Bad Boys For Life"

It's kind of funny to talk about box office in an era of closed theaters worrying about never reopening, but this film is one of the true hits of 2020. It played well to multiple demographics, and proved these characters still had a lot of life in them (there are plans for a fourth installment and it won't be anywhere near as long between sequels this time). Is the third "Bad Boys" film any good? That's relative. In today's climate when we're all a little desperate for something escapist and showy, it totally gets the job done. Just the scenes of crowded Miami streets feel like a fantasy film. It's a bit too long and I never cared an ounce about the plot, but Smith and Lawrence rekindle an easy chemistry that you don't see that often in action films anymore. Long live the buddy action comedy!

Buy it here 

Special Features
Extended & Alternate Scenes (Including an Alternate Ending)
Outtakes & Bloopers
Ride or Die: Making Bad Boys for Life
Partners in Crime: Behind-the-Scenes
It's About Time: Go through 25 years of Bad Boys history with Producer Jerry Bruckheimer, the cast and crew
Easter Eggs: Directors Adil and Billal take us on a tour of a few of the Easter eggs and callbacks to earlier Bad Boys films

"The Cremator" (Criterion)

Juraj Herz's surreal commentary on the human condition against the backdrop of the Holocaust was banned for decades, only really getting an international release after the fall of Communism in Czechoslovakia in 1989. Rudolf Hrušínský is riveting as the title character, a man who has convinced himself that he is basically doing God's work, returning people to dust more quickly than they would if they were buried. Herz's style is fascinating, following his protagonist through a first act that relies a lot on deeply philosophical conversations about the human condition before the film transitions into a dark commentary on its propensity for evil. The Criterion edition should bring a film that's still not too widely known to a bigger audience. 

Buy it here 

Special Features
New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
High-definition digital transfer of The Junk Shop, director Juraj Herz’s 1965 debut short film
Short documentary from 2011 featuring Herz visiting filming locations and recalling the production of The Cremator
New interview with film programmer Irena Kovarova about the style of the film
Documentary from 2017 about composer Zdeněk Liška featuring Herz, filmmakers Jan Švankmajer and the Quay Brothers, and others
Interview with actor Rudolf Hrušínský from 1993
Trailer
New English subtitle translation
PLUS: An essay by film scholar Jonathan Owen

"Destry Rides Again" (Criterion)

What a charming and perfect movie this is, featuring Jimmy Stewart and Marlene Dietrich in wonderful performances. I hadn't seen this in decades and don't think I appreciated its easygoing charm and nuance the first time I saw it. George Marshall finds the perfect rhythm for his Western about an unexpected new Deputy, played by Stewart in one of his most charming roles. It's much more gorgeous film than I remembered, amplified by Criterion's new 4K digital restoration. The Criterion edition also includes new special features alongside some fantastic archival ones, including a radio adaptation of the film featuring Stewart himself. 

Buy it here 

Special Features
New 4K digital restoration by Universal Pictures in collaboration with The Film Foundation, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
New interview with critic Imogen Sara Smith
New interview with Donald Dewey, author of James Stewart: A Biography
Illustrated audio excerpts from a 1973 oral-history interview with director George Marshall conducted by the American Film Institute
Lux Radio Theatre adaptation of the film from 1945, featuring actors James Stewart and Joan Blondell
PLUS: An essay by critic Farran Smith Nehme

"The Gentlemen"

It feels almost like Guy Ritchie rushed this into production to prove he wasn't just going to be a Disney director after the success of "Aladdin" and that his bread and butter was, is, and always will be tough-talking British guys with guns and attitudes. Falling somewhere in the middle of his criminal oeuvre (not as good as the early ones like "Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels" but not as bad as "Revolver"), "The Gentlemen" is a drug empire story that's really just a platform for a bunch of fun character actors to spit Ritchie's tough dialogue. Some make out better than others, particularly Colin Farrell and Hugh Grant. Again, we're in weird times in which I may have been harder on this movie in an era when I could leave my house, but it filled an escapist need in 2020 that we're all feeling. 

Buy it here 

Special Features
Best Gentlemanly Quips - Featurette
Glossary of Cannabis - Featurette
Behind the Scenes of The Gentlemen - Featurette
Photo Gallery

"The Grand Budapest Hotel" (Criterion)

One of the biggest Criterion releases of the year is Wes Anderson's Oscar winner, a film that really took the critical darling director to another level of esteem, earning him his first Best Picture nomination. The first thing one notices about this release is the gorgeous packaging, which doesn't just recreate the poster art but devises something creative and new. Of course, it's also nice to get a new audio commentary track and new interviews with the cast and crew, but I have to point out the real gem here: two video essays from our very own Matt Zoller Seitz. If you're one of those many people who bought one of Matt's books about Wes Anderson, you owe it to yourself to round out that experience with this release. 

Buy it here 

Special Features
2K digital transfer, supervised by director Wes Anderson, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
New audio commentary featuring Anderson, filmmaker Roman Coppola, critic Kent Jones, and actor Jeff Goldblum
Selected-scene storyboard animatics
“The Making of ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel,’” a new documentary about the film
New interviews with the cast and crew
Video essays from 2015 and 2020 by critic Matt Zoller Seitz and film scholar David Bordwell
Behind-the-scenes, special-effects, and test footage
Trailer
PLUS: A 2014 essay by critic Richard Brody and a collectible poster, along with (on the Blu-ray) excerpts from an additional 2014 piece by Brody, an 1880 essay on European hotel portiers by Mark Twain, and other ephemera

"Me and You and Everyone We Know" (Criterion)

I was always a bit more mixed on Miranda July's darling indie than some of my colleagues, but I always admired how much Roger Ebert LOVED this movie. He went as far as to name it the 5th best film of the entire 2010s. I'll let him take this one: "Imagine Christine and Richard as they walk down the street. Still strangers she suggests that the block they are walking down is their lives. And now, she says, they're halfway down the street and halfway through their lives. Before long they will be at the end. It's impossible to suggest how poetic this scene is; when it's over, you think, that was a perfect scene, and no other scene can ever be like it. And we are all on the sidewalk. July's film fits no genre, fulfills no expectations, creates its own rules, and seeks only to share a strange, lovable mind with us."

Buy it here

Special Features
High-definition digital master, approved by director Miranda July, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
New documentary featuring a conversation between July and filmmaker Lena Dunham about July’s artistic beginnings and the development of her debut feature
Open to the World, a new documentary about the 2017 interfaith charity shop and participatory artwork July created in collaboration with Artangel
July Interviews July: Deauville, 2005, a discovery from July’s archives, newly edited
Footage from the 2003 Sundance Directors Lab, where July workshopped the film, with commentary by July
The Amateurist (1998) and Nest of Tens (2000), short films by July
Four films from July’s Joanie 4 Jackie video chain letter, and a documentary about the project
Deleted scenes
Trailer
PLUS: Essays by artist Sara Magenheimer and novelist Lauren Groff

Brian Tallerico

Brian Tallerico is the Editor of RogerEbert.com, and also covers television, film, Blu-ray, and video games. He is also the Editor of Magill's Cinema Annual, a writer for The New York Times, Vulture, The AV Club, and Rolling Stone, and the President of the Chicago Film Critics Association.

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