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Home Entertainment Guide: February 2022

10 NEW TO NETFLIX

"The Addams Family"
"Anaconda"
"Caddyshack"
"The Dark Knight"
"The Devil's Advocate"
"Donnie Brasco"
"The Exorcist"
"The Hangover"
"The Other Guys"
"Warrior"

10 NEW TO HBO MAX

"Antlers"
"Contagion"
"Crazy Stupid Love"
"Donnie Darko"
"The Exorcism of Emily Rose"
"Identifying Features"
"The Iron Giant"
"Nightmare Alley"
"Rango"
"The Untouchables"

14 NEW TO BLU-RAY/DVD

"Dick Johnson is Dead" (Criterion)

The deal between Netflix and Criterion has brought them to one of their more unusual documentaries, a form-breaking, personal exploration of life and death. The phenomenal non-fiction filmmaker Kirsten Johnson ("Cameraperson") turned her focus away from the people she's met around the world to arguably the closest person to her, Dick Johnson, her father. As his dementia is worsening, Dick agrees to film outrageous scenarios about how he could die. The premise is silly, but it leads to conversations about what matters in life and pulls down a bit of the serious curtain around death in a way that's captivating and moving. The Criterion release includes several interesting exclusive features including a new commentary with Johnson, along with several other featurettes. The movie may be on Netflix, but this is one of those Criterion releases for subscribers looking to learn a little more about the making of a great film.

Buy it here

Special Features
New 2K digital master, approved by director Kirsten Johnson, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
New audio commentary featuring Johnson, cowriter and editor Nels Bangerter, and documentary sound recordist Judy Karp
New conversation among Johnson and her fellow producers Katy Chevigny and Marilyn Ness and coproducer Maureen A. Ryan
New interview with sound designer Pete Horner
New program featuring Johnson in conversation with Bangerter and filmmakers Mike Mills, Michael Moore, Joshua Oppenheimer, and Laura Poitras
Trailer
English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
English descriptive audio
PLUS: An essay by author So Mayer


"Encanto"

The saga of Disney's "Encanto" could end up being one of the most game-changing industry stories of the early 2020s. The film was doing reasonably well with critics and audiences, but certainly wasn't setting the world on fire when it was released in late 2021. And then Disney made a big move and dropped it on Disney+ on Christmas Day. Families looking for something to do who would have normally gone to theaters gathered around their Smart TVs. And "Encanto" became one of the biggest modern Disney movies. Before you knew it, the songs were appearing everywhere, especially in the kid-driven sections of YouTube, which propelled the soundtrack and film in equal measure. The movie is a fun family adventure that will now spawn a franchise, and that wouldn't have happened without a streaming strategy. While anyone can (and apparently is) watching "Encanto" on Disney+, the DVD/Blu-ray comes with some cool special features, including deleted scenes, a sing along feature, and the short that played with the film in theaters.

Buy it here 

Special Features
Sing Along with the Movie – Sing along with your favorite songs with on-screen lyrics as you watch the movie.
Familia Lo Es Todo – Members of the Disney Animation "Familia" cultural trust share real-life experiences in this exploration of the lovable Madrigal family members. We learn what inspired each character, and about how the artists' designs bring realism to their personalities.
Discover Colombia – The filmmaking team discusses how the multiple cultures, biodiversity and vibrant colors of Colombia are expressed in Encanto. They describe how satisfying it was to fully celebrate this beautiful country and support the theme of magical realism.
A Journey Through Music – The filmmakers invite us to discover how each character came to be represented musically. We follow the creation of Encanto's Colombian-inspired music, featuring Lin-Manuel Miranda's songs and Germaine Franco's score, from concept to final recording.
Let's Talk About Bruno – Learn how the song "We Don't Talk About Bruno," with its intriguing undertones, was created. Discover the extensive collaboration between Lin-Manuel Miranda, choreographer Jamal Sims, the voice cast and animators in bringing it to the screen.
Our Casita – La Casa Madrigal is alive with magic, and its emotional state is affected by other family members. From its colorful doors to its fine stonework, the magical house was designed using principles of Colombian tradition.
Outtakes – From the thrill of "nailing" a take in the presence of an entertainment industry icon to the hilarity of losing a wrestling match with tongue-twisting dialogue, join the cast for some good-natured fun from behind the microphone.
Journey to Colombia – With the help of the Colombian Cultural Trust, a dedicated team of consultants, the filmmakers of Encanto embark on a journey of discovery to learn more about Colombia and how best to reflect the country's cultures and environments on the big screen.
An Introduction to Far From the Tree – Writer and director Natalie Nourigat introduces the Walt Disney Animation Studios short film Far From the Tree.
Far From the Tree – Parenting is hard, especially when curiosity tugs at a young raccoon whose parent tries to keep them both safe. In the Walt Disney Animation Studios short Far From the Tree, this youngster learns to live with an open heart… even as danger lurks.
Deleted Scenes
Song Selection – Jump to your favorite musical moments, with on-screen lyrics.


"Eternals"

Chloé Zhao's epic entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe was one of the more divisive superhero movies of the last decade. Consequently, it got kind of lost at the end of 2021, when more people were talking about "Hawkeye" and "Spider-Man: No Way Home." And so it feels like a lot of people haven't even seen this ensemble piece about a band of immortal aliens trying to protect Earth. Even its drop on Disney+ happened with a whimper. Is Blu-ray and DVD the place where it finds its fan base? I have a feeling it will. Say what you will about "Eternals," it doesn't feel like all the other MCU movies, and we have too few blockbusters, especially in the world of superheroes, that have their own voice. The Blu-ray is a little slight for Disney/Marvel, indicating their relative lack of confidence in it finding a fan base, but it does include several features that Disney+ subscribers can't access, including a commentary track, deleted scenes, and a gag reel.

Buy it here 

Special Features
Audio Commentary – View the film with audio commentary by Chloé Zhao, Stephane Ceretti, Mårten Larsson
Immortalized – Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe launches into the cosmos with the Eternals. In this behind-the-scenes documentary, dive deep into the reasons why Marvel wanted to immortalize these superheroes for the MCU.
Walks of Life – Eternals unveils Marvel's biggest and most diverse lineup of Super Heroes in one film. Hear reactions from the cast on being involved in the film and the instant sense of camaraderie that was felt on the day they all joined each other in their costumes.
Gag Reel – Watch some of the hilarious mishaps of the charming cast and crew.
Deleted Scenes


"F/X" & "F/X 2"

Man, I loved "F/X" when I was a teenager. Most people like to point to "problematic" movies when they bring out the old "you couldn't make that movie" today canard, but I feel like this is definitely a flick that doesn't happen in 2022. Not because it's problematic, but because it centers two middle-aged men in a world of practical effects, actual stunts, and deductive reasoning. Robert Mandel directed this 1986 action flick starring Bryan Brown as a special effects genius who is hired to stage a murder for someone about to enter Witness Protection. Of course, things get complicated after that, bringing in an NYPD officer, played by the great Brian Dennehy. The fact that it was successful enough to produce a sequel, which is also included on the Kino Lorber release, is somewhat amazing. And both films even produced a spinoff series that ran in the late '90s. It's time for a reboot!

Buy it here 

Special Features
On-camera interview with F/X Director Robert Mandel
The Making of F/X and F/X 2 Featurettes
F/X and F/X2 Theatrical Trailers
O-Card Slipcase


"House of Gucci"

Lady Gaga and Jared Leto fans were furious that the Academy ignored this drama from the great Ridley Scott, but I think Oscar wasn't sure how to read this inconsistent epic. To me, it's a fascinating piece of work, both good and bad. There are elements and performances that really click, but the overall cohesion of the piece is fascinatingly off. It often feels like Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons, Adam Driver, Gaga, and Leto are acting in quite literally different movies. Driver is doing serious drama, Gaga is doing something closer to camp, and Pacino is half-asleep. And then there's Leto, just going all out in a way that's undeniably captivating, even if you hate it. I think "House of Gucci" will get a bit of a reappraisal over the years. And I also have a strange feeling that this is another project we'll see Scott recut in a year or two, as he so often does. Take the chance to watch this version while you can.

Buy it here 

Special Features
The Rise of the House of Gucci – Go behind the scenes to discover how Ridley Scott's vision of this astonishing story fell into place.
The Lady of the House – An up-close look at Lady Gaga's performance as Patrizia Reggiani and how her powerhouse charisma and unwavering dedication breathe life into this complex character.
Styling House of Gucci – A deep dive into the visual delights of the film, from aesthetics to attitude.


"The Hurt Locker"

Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to ever win the Oscar for Best Director for helming this riveting study of a bomb disposal technician during the Iraq War and the trauma he carries home with him. Jeremy Renner does career-best work here, but it's a film that really belongs to Bigelow, who proves how deftly she can put together character drama and intense action. The movie has been available for years but this is a 4K release for collectors that includes not just a fantastic video and audio transfer but one of the coolest steelbook designs I've ever seen. It's exclusively at Best Buy, which has become an interesting outlet for rare steelbooks, recognizing that physical media is going the way of collectors and appealing to that base.

Buy it here

Special Features
Audio Commentary with director Kathryn Bigelow & writer Mark Boal
Behind-the-Scenes Footage
Image Gallery


"Invasion of the Body Snatchers"

Horror and sci-fi don't get much better than this 1978 Philip Kaufman remake of the 1956 film of the same name. However, Kaufman and writer W.D. Richter didn't just remake the classic tale of pod people, they made it completely their own, telling a tale of paranoia and conspiracy that's a commentary on when it was released as well. So incredibly effective in terms of building suspense, this version is the one that stars Donald Sutherland as a health inspector who stumbles on the fact that people are being taken over by aliens. Co-starring Brooke Adams, Veronica Cartwright, Jeff Goldblum, and Leonard Nimoy, this is a must-own for any serious genre collector and the newest release by Kino Lorber is a beauty. 

Buy it here 

Special Features
Audio Commentary by Director Philip Kaufman
Audio Commentary by Author/Film Historian Steve Haberman
Star-Crossed in the Invasion: Interview with Actress Brooke Adams (9:06)
Re-Creating the Invasion: Interview with Screenwriter W.D. Richter (15:43)
Scoring the Invasion: Interview with Composer Denny Zeitlin (15:34)
Leading the Invasion: Interview with actor Art Hindle (25:04)
Writing the Pod: Interview with Jack Finney Expert Jack Seabrook (11:14)
Re-Visitors from Outer Space, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Pod - Featurette (16:14)
Practical Magic: The Special Effects Pod - Featurette (4:38)
The Man Behind the Scream: The Sound Effects Pod - Featurette (12:47)
The Invasion Will Be Televised: The Cinematography Pod - Featurette (5:24)
Promotional materials


"Last Night in Soho"

Edgar Wright's long-awaited follow-up to "Baby Driver" became one of the most divisive films of 2021. The craft here is undeniable, and that's often enough for me, someone who values the fact that film is a visual medium above merely storytelling. However, even the great costume design and razor-sharp editing here collapse under the mistakes of the final act, which really takes a lot of the themes of the film that have come before and completely dismantles them. Having said that, I know that the film has a lot of diehard fans who will be very satisfied by the Blu-ray release, which amplifies the movie's visual and sound design strengths while also presenting some very informative special features about how it was all put together. 

Buy it here

Special Features
MEET ELOISE – An in-depth look at the character of Eloise and the challenges that star Thomasin McKenzie faced while bringing her to life.
DREAMING OF SANDIE – A closer look at the characters of Sandie and Jack and why Anya Taylor-Joy and Matt Smith were the perfect actors to embody the essence of the time period.
SMOKE AND MIRRORS – The cast and crew break down how lighting, makeup, special effects, and creative camerawork came together to create a collision between the present day and 1960's time periods.
ON THE STREETS OF SOHO – The cast and crew discuss the importance of shooting on location in Soho and the complexity of transforming the city streets back in time.
TIME TRAVELLING – A look into how the music, costume design, and production design of the film work together to immerse the audience into the world of 1960's Soho.
DELETED SCENES
ANIMATICS
HAIR & MAKEUP TESTS
LIGHTING & VFX TESTS
WIDE ANGLE WITNESS CAM
ACTON TOWN HALL STEADICAM REHEARSAL
"DOWNTOWN" MUSIC VIDEO
TRAILERS
FEATURE COMMENTARY WITH DIRECTOR/CO-WRITER EDGAR WRIGHT, EDITOR PAUL MACHLISS AND COMPOSER STEVE PRICE
FEATURE COMMENTARY WITH DIRECTOR/CO-WRITER EDGAR WRIGHT AND CO-WRITER KRISTY WILSON-CAIRNS


"Love Affair" (Criterion)

Most film fans have probably seen Leo McCarey's 1939 classic but this is one of those Criterion releases with a collection of special features that cast the movie in a new light. First, there's an interview with the brilliant Farran Smith Nehme about the history of the film. There's no one better when it comes to unpacking classic movie production stories. There's also an interview about the restoration here, but what's really impressive is the archival material from around the film's release, including two radio adaptations with the stars of the film (and William Powell) and two short films by McCarey I don't believe have been available on physical media before. This film's legacy was supplanted a bit by 1957's "An Affair to Remember" (also directed by McCarey, starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr) but it deserves a bit of a reappraisal with this great release.

Buy it here 

Special Features
New 4K digital restoration by The Museum of Modern Art and Lobster Films, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
New interview with film critic Farran Smith Nehme about the movie’s complicated production history
New interview with Serge Bromberg, founder of Lobster Films, about the restoration
Two radio adaptations, featuring actors Irene Dunne, William Powell, and Charles Boyer
Two short films by Leo McCarey starring silent comedian Charley Chase: Looking for Sally (1925) and Mighty Like a Moose (1926)
English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
PLUS: An essay by author Megan McGurk


"Miller's Crossing" (Criterion)

As of this writing, Film Twitter is kind of losing its mind over the revelation that this version of Joel & Ethan Coen's 1990 masterpiece has been altered from the previously available, losing just under two minutes of running time, including the line "Jesus, Tom." Let's put that aside for a minute (other than to say that I believe all physical media for collectors should also include the original cut) and discuss the film itself, one of the best dramas from two of the best American filmmakers in history. For their third film, Joel and Ethan Coen dug into a power struggle between rival gangs, and the man, Tom Reagan (Gabriel Byrne), who was caught in the middle. It's a gorgeous, mesmerizing study of power and betrayal that laid the foundation for great Coen work to come. And the Criterion release is a beauty, including new conversations about the film and a new 2K digital restoration, along with an essay by our very own Glenn Kenny. I wish it was a 4K release (and that it had the theatrical cut), but this is still a must-own for anyone with a Criterion Collection.

Buy it here 

Special Features
2K digital restoration, approved by director of photography Barry Sonnenfeld and filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen, with new 5.1 surround soundtrack mix, presented in DTS-HD Master Audio
New conversation between author Megan Abbott and the Coens about film noir and hard-boiled crime fiction
New interview with actors Gabriel Byrne and John Turturro, moderated by Abbott
Interviews from 1990 with Byrne, Turturro, and actors Marcia Gay Harden and Jon Polito
New interviews with Sonnenfeld, composer Carter Burwell, music editor Todd Kasow, and production designer Dennis Gassner
English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
PLUS: An essay by film critic Glenn Kenny


"The Piano" (Criterion)

Jane Campion made history last week when she became the first woman ever nominated for Best Director more than once. (It's amazing that it took until 2022 for that to happen.) Her second nod was for "The Power of the Dog," which looks very likely to win Campion her first Oscar for directing. Her previous nomination came almost three decades ago for the incredible "The Piano," now available in 4K from the Criterion Collection with a transfer approved by Campion and her cinematographer Stuart Dryburgh. The transfer allows fans to see the film with a richness of color and depth that they've never been able to before, and Criterion has imported a ton of special features, including interviews, featurettes, and more. 2022 is starting with an incredible number of Criterion releases that could be called "must-own" but this may be tops on that list.  

Buy it here 

Special Features
New, restored 4K digital transfer, supervised and approved by director Jane Campion and director of photography Stuart Dryburgh, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack
In the 4K UHD edition: 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 Campion and producer Jan Chapman
New conversation between Campion and film critic Amy Taubin
New interviews with Dryburgh, production designer Andrew McAlpine, and Maori adviser Waihoroi Shortland
Interview with actor Holly Hunter on working with Campion
“The Piano” at 25, a program featuring a conversation between Campion and Chapman
Interview with composer Michael Nyman
Excerpts from an interview with costume designer Janet Patterson
Inside “The Piano,” a featurette including interviews with Hunter and actors Harvey Keitel and Sam Neill
Water Diary, a 2006 short film by Campion
Trailer
New English subtitle translation and English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
PLUS: An essay by critic Carmen Gray


"Saint Maud"

Not enough people have seen "Saint Maud." Those who have know what's up. One of the best horror movies of the new decade, Rose Glass' drama stars Morfydd Clark as Maud, a hospice nurse who becomes obsessed with one of her patients (Jennifer Ehle), believing that only she can save her soul. How far will someone go into religious obsession if they believe they are the only path for salvation? Clark is fearless here and Glass lands her ending in a way that's simply unforgettable. Originally released overseas in 2019, it had a limited release in the States in early 2021 before landing on a few streaming services, but it feels like this one still needs to find its base. Maybe the long-delayed physical release will finally make that happen.

Buy it here 

Special Features
Audio Commentary with Writer-Director Rose Glass
A Higher Calling: The Rapture of Saint Maud


"Wayne's World"

Little has made me feel older than the realization that we are in the 30th anniversary year of "Wayne's World," a film that turned two idiots with a public access show into household names. So immensely quotable that lines from it are all over the anniversary edition steelbook now available, "Wayne's World" had an underrated impact on the comedy landscape of the 1990s. Mike Myers and Dana Carvey found joy in these characters but in a way that never felt like it was looking down on them. If anything, it celebrated fandom, friendship, and creative passion. And it's still incredibly funny because of that gleeful approach to the joy of youth. 

Buy it here 

Special Features
Director's Commentary
Extreme Close-Up
Theatrical Trailer


"Written on the Wind" (Criterion)

Douglas Sirk is too often used as a comparison for melodramatic trash. Yes, Sirk made melodramas. But his craftsmanship often gets lost in the memories of his soapy plots. Take this gem, one of Sirk's best, a vehicle for Rock Hudson, Lauren Bacall, Robert Stack, and Dorothy Malone to really be the movie stars they were meant to be. An adaptation of the 1946 novel of the same name, Sirk's film is the tale of a Texas oil dynasty family and the wreckage they leave in their wake. A massive success that even won an Oscar for Malone, this would become one of Sirk's most successful movies. The Criterion release is a little thin compared to some of the others in this month's column but it does include a new interview about the film and its genre, along with archival material from the era. 

Buy it here 

Special Features
On the Blu-ray: New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
On the DVD: Widescreen digital transfer, enhanced for 16x9 televisions
Acting for Douglas Sirk, a 2008 documentary featuring archival interviews with Sirk; actors Rock Hudson, Robert Stack, and Dorothy Malone; and producer Albert Zugsmith (Blu-ray only)
New interview with film scholar Patricia White about the film and melodrama (Blu-ray only)
Trailer
Trailer for All That Heaven Allows (DVD only)
The Melodrama Archive: An annotated filmography of director Douglas Sirk with hundreds of behind-the-scenes and production photos, plus vintage lobby cards (DVD only)
English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
PLUS: An essay by filmmaker and critic Blair McClendon (Blu-ray only); an essay by film theorist Laura Mulvey (DVD only)

Brian Tallerico

Brian Tallerico is the 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 Rolling Stone, and the President of the Chicago Film Critics Association.

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