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Home Entertainment Guide: March 2024

10 NEW TO NETFLIX

"The Accountant"
"Alone"
"The Autopsy of Jane Doe"
"Bodies Bodies Bodies"
"Four Daughters"
"Godzilla"
"Pineapple Express"
"Step Brothers"
"To Kill a Tiger"
"Wanderlust"

15 NEW TO BLU-RAY/DVD

"The Abyss"

James Cameron's 1989 blockbuster has been one of the hardest films to find on physical media or streaming for over a generation now. Its long-delayed arrival on 4K technically happened at the end of 2023 with digital releases of this film, accompanied by similar releases for "True Lies" and "Aliens." Now, all three are also on physical media, accompanied by hours of special features. As you may have heard, the digital releases came with controversy, accusations of over-polishing that made the films look too plastic. Sadly, I agree with that assessment of the digital editions, and, while the physical releases seem to be a bit more refined, there's still something off about the visuals here, especially on "Aliens," a movie that needs to be dirty and grainy to work. Still, there's great joy in knowing that a new generation can now discover one of the most underrated films of its era. And, of course, "Aliens" and "True Lies" still rule too.

Buy it here 

Special Features
Deep Dive: A Conversation with James Cameron – An exclusive new sit-down with James Cameron as he revisits the origin of the project and addresses some of the myths behind the production.
The Legacy of The Abyss – Discover the lasting legacy of The Abyss with stories from James Cameron and the crew about how and why the film continues to have an impact on filmmaking today.
ADDITIONAL BONUS FEATURES:
Under Pressure: Making The Abyss – The original documentary about the infamous production of The Abyss, with candid commentary by the actors and crew.
Archives
Deepcore Timelapse – Watch this production timelapse of the Deepcore set being created.
Videomatics Montage – Watch a montage of behind-the-scenes production videomatics.
Montana Bridge Flooding – See behind-the-scenes footage of the Montana bridge flooding.
Engine Room Flooding – See behind-the-scenes footage of the engine room flooding.
Surface Shoot Montage – Watch a behind-the-scenes montage of the surface shoot.
Crane Crash Shoot – Check out behind-the-scenes footage of the crane crashing sequence.
Visual Effects Reel – Watch a reel of visual effects progressions to see how they were developed for the film.
Miniature Rear-Projection – Watch behind-the-scenes footage of how production used rear-projection techniques on miniatures.
Motion Control Timelapse – Watch this production timelapse of the motion control technology being used.
Teaser Trailer
Main Trailer
Reviews Trailer
Still Gallery – Presented here are extras as they appeared in the "Imaging Station" on the Special Edition DVD release of The Abyss, along with the trailers. Since their original presentation has been preserved, resolution and clarity will vary from element to element.

"All That Money Can Buy" (Criterion)

This movie rules. I had seen bits and pieces over the years but didn't have the chance to sit and watch "All That Money Can Buy" aka "The Devil and Daniel Webster" until this Criterion release. It's phenomenal, a fever dream of filmmaking that suffers a bit on the screenwriting level but makes up for it with incredible editing and one of Bernard Herrmann's best scores (for which he won an Oscar). Walter Huston landed an Oscar nomination for playing the Devil himself in a timeless story of a man who sells his soul. One of Criterion's best releases so far this year features a sharp 4K transfer and great special features, including a comparison between an early version of the film, and even radio adaptations with music by Herrmann.

Buy it here 

Special Features
New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
Audio commentary by film historian Bruce Eder and Steven C. Smith, biographer of composer Bernard Herrmann
New restoration demonstration
Reading by actor Alec Baldwin of the short story by Stephen Vincent Benét on which the film is based
Episode of the Criterion Channel series Observations on Film Art about the film’s editing
Comparison of the differences between the July 1941 preview version of the film, Here Is a Man, and the film’s 1943 rerelease as The Devil and Daniel Webster
The Columbia Workshop’s radio adaptations of Benét’s short stories “The Devil and Daniel Webster” and “Daniel Webster and the Sea Serpent,” both featuring music by Herrmann
Trailer
English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
PLUS: An essay by author Tom Piazza and a 1941 article by Benét

"All the Beauty and the Bloodshed" (Criterion)

One of the best documentaries of the 2020s so far, this is about Nan Goldin and her activist art, work that tackles the Sackler family and how they've poisoned this country with opioids. More than a mere bio-doc, Laura Poitras has made a film that channels the spirit of its subject, a movie that's artistic and angry in equal measure. It's a reminder that nothing exists in a vacuum and that artists like Goldin can impact political and social change in this world. It won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, only the second non-fiction film to ever do so. The Criterion release is a little slight in terms of special features, but the movie speaks for itself.

Buy it here 

Special Features
New high-definition digital master, approved by director Laura Poitras and artist Nan Goldin, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack
New interview with Poitras
Two conversations from the 2022 New York Film Festival, one featuring Poitras, Goldin, coproducer and PAIN activist Megan Kapler, PAIN activist Harry Cullen, and lawyer and PAIN member Mike Quinn discussing the making of the film, and the other featuring Goldin on art and activism
Trailer
English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing and English descriptive audio
PLUS: An essay by author and activist Sarah Schulman

"Amelie"

It's been almost 25 years since the world fell in love with Amelie Poulain, the protagonist of Jean-Pierre Jeunet's delightfully whimsical romantic fable. To celebrate the recently released 4K restoration, about which we spoke to Jeunet last month, Sony has released the film in a new steelbook edition with the best video quality available to date. It's accompanied by all of the archival special features, including a commentary by JPJ, and a new a featurette wherein the director looks back at his work. JPJ was a formative artist for me personally when I fell in love with "Delicatessen" and "City of Lost Children" in the '90s. Anything that brings a new spotlight on his wonderful filmmaking is good for the form. Maybe it will get him working again more often.

Buy it here 

Special Features
NEW Jean-Pierre Jeunet Looks Back (Blu-ray Exclusive)
Commentary with Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet
The Look of Amélie
Q&A With the Director
Q&A With the Director and the Cast
An Intimate Chat With Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Fantasies of Audrey Tautou
Cast Auditions
Home Movie: Inside the Making of Amélie
Storyboard Comparisons
The Amélie Scrapbook
Trailer

"Anyone But You"

Who said the rom-com is dead? Glen Powell and Sydney Sweeney proved otherwise with one of the true unexpected box office smashes of late 2023 and early 2024. In part sparked by viral culture that embraced the film, "Anyone But You" has made over $200 million worldwide, making it one of the most successful rom-coms in a generation. Loosely based on Much Ado About Nothing, Will Gluck's film has become a legit phenomenon, the kind of movie that people will watch over and over again on a rainy weekend. It's been available digital for a bit and will almost certainly be an instant #1 when it lands on Netflix on April 23rd, but you can buy the physical Blu-ray to tide you over until then, a release that includes outtakes, featurettes, and deleted scenes. More Glen & Sydney!

Buy it here 

Special Features
He Said She Said
Everyone Down Under
Outtakes & Bloopers
Deleted Scenes
ASMR Pickup Lines
Aussie Snacks

"The Book of Clarence"

Critics like to write about films that mismanage tone in a way that makes me feel like the accusation has lost some of its meaning. And yet the tonal whiplash of Jeymes Samuel's bizarre comedy is undeniable. There are so many beats within this film that feel right, whether it's a smart choice made by LaKeith Stanfield (who I think works here more than most critics) or sharp visual language by the undeniably talented Samuel himself. The script's wild variations in tone are where most of the problems lie, but I feel like maybe this is a project that plays better at home, without the expectation of a theatrical experience. (At least it did for me.) It's neither as bad as I had heard it was or as good as I originally hoped it would be. But it deserved a better fate than its dismal $6 million box office. That number means so few people have seen this film that it's likely to have a bigger audience at home than in theaters. I'm curious to see if its reputation gets resurrected.

Buy it here 

Special Features
Deleted scenes with filmmaker introductions
Audio commentary with Jeymes Samuel and Lakeith Stanfield
Band of Brothers: Meet the Cast
Song of Songs: An Epic Collaboration
The Gospel of Jeymes: On the Set with Jeymes Samuel
Book 4: Making the Film
Gag Reel

"The Color Purple"

This was one of the more shocking casualties of awards season, a film that came in with the kind of energy that predicted critical and box office success. It had a reasonable amount of the former, with critics praising the performances in particular, but audiences seemed uninterested in this adaptation of the Tony Award-winning musical as it hasn't crossed $100 million, which is reportedly what it cost to make. I think "The Color Purple" will eventually find an audience. It has an emotional language that connects with viewers, who could resurrect its legacy on physical media or streaming. As is always the case, the 4K transfer by WB is sharp, but the release is a little light in the special features department for a movie that took so many varied talents to bring together.

Buy it here 

Special Features
Creating The Color Purple
Hell Yes! The Iconic Characters of The Color Purple
In the Flow: Creating The Color Purple's Biggest Musical Moments
A Story for Me: The Legacy of The Color Purple

"Contagion"

The pandemic in 2020 made Steven Soderbergh's 2011 thriller unexpectedly popular again. People shared clips online as if they could unpack how we would respond to the rising death toll and the lockdown of that year. The truth is that there was much more abject stupidity in the American populous than Soderbergh's film could have possibly imagined, but it was a reminder that "Contagion" is an excellent movie, a piece of work that incorporates granular detail about contagious diseases and the international response to them with deeply human storytelling. Warner Brothers has released the film recently in 4K. Let's hope there's not a reason for it to be popular again soon.

Buy it here 

Special Features
4K RESTORATION OF THE FILM*
HDR PRESENTATION OF THE FILM
The Reality of Contagion – Featurette
The Contagion Detectives – Featurette
Contagion – How a Virus Changes the World –Featurette

"Dark Water" (Arrow)

I love Hideo Nakata's "Dark Water." If "Ringu" was the lighter fluid for my love of Asian horror in the 2000s, "Dark Water" (and "A Tale of Two Sisters") was the match. It's such a well-made genre pic, a film that you feel in your bones like non-stop rain that soaks into your being. I was concerned that the Arrow release of a 4K version of the movie would reduce some of that sensation in that this is a movie that needs to be a little dirty and dark to be effective. A bad 4K could diminish its tension. The good news is that didn't happen here as Arrow has given the film a well-calibrated restoration that doesn't drain any of its shocking power. They've imported all of the special features from the last Arrow release too, including an interview with Nakata himself about his unforgettable double feature.

Buy it here 

Special Features
DOLBY VISION/HDR PRESENTATION OF THE FILM
Original lossless 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
Optional English subtitles
Ghosts, Rings and Water - interview with director Hideo Nakata
Family Terrors - interview with author Koji Suzuki
Visualizing Horror - interview with cinematographer Junichiro Hayashi
Archive interviews with actors Hitomi Kuroki & Asami Mizukawa and theme song artist Shikao Suga
Original 'making-of' documentary
Trailers and TV Spots
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Peter Strain
Illustrated collector's booklet featuring writing on the film by David Kalat and Michael Gingold

"The Iron Claw"

The story of the Von Erichs is an American tragedy. One of the most prominent families in the world of wrestling, their legacy is more a chronicle of pain than it is success in the ring. The excellent director Sean Durkin tackles that history in this strong drama, a movie that A24 basically buried at the end of 2023, barely pushing it at all during awards season. Yes, it's kind of a tough sell, but there's a lot to like here, especially in the excellent performances from Holt McCallany, Zac Efron, and Jeremy Allen White. There's almost too much story to tell, leading to a rushed final act, but Durkin is increasingly proving himself one of our best filmmakers, a man with a unique ability to convey the pain under the placid surface of Americana. 

Buy it here 

Special Features
Brotherhood Is Forever: Making Iron Claw - Featurette
Cast and Crew Q&A
Theatrical Trailer

"Lynch/Oz" (Criterion)

David Lynch has never hidden his fascination with "The Wizard of Oz," foregrounding it most of all in "Wild at Heart," of course, but embedding it in everything he's ever made. From the curtains of "Mulholland Dr." to the alternate realities of "Twin Peaks," comparing Lynch's work to "Oz" makes for a fun exercise in Alexandre O. Philippe's film, which is essentially a series of video essays by different voices. A bit too long for its subject, my favorite parts of "Lynch/Oz" are when the film expands to reveal the influence of both Lynch and Oz on the participants like Karyn Kusama, Aaron Moorhead & Justin Benson, and David Lowery. We're all on the Yellow Brick Road together.

Buy it here 

Special Features
Meet the Filmmakers, a new interview with director Alexandre O. Philippe
Trailer
English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing

"Migration"

The company known as Illumination has been somewhat bashed in critical circles. They make films like "Minions" and "The Super Mario Bros. Movie" that make absolute fortunes, but they feel like junk food compared to the work of even modern Pixar. Even fans would admit they're largely disposable children's entertainment, but literally everything they do is a hit. For some reason, I thought their latest, "Migration," might have busted their streak, but, no, it made almost $300 million worldwide. The relatively good news is that this one is on the better end of the Illumination ledger, a movie that's undeniably familiar and meandering but features much stronger visuals than a lot of the company's work and fun voice work by Kumail Nanjiani. Like so many Univeral family films, it's also worth noting that the Blu-ray is PACKED with special features, including new mini-movies.

Buy it here 

Special Features
FLY HARD (MINI-MOVIE) - Chump sheds her tough-as-nails attitude, risking her life to fly through a blizzard and the harrowing streets of New York to return a prized possession to a kind woman from the park.
MOONED (MINI-MOVIE) - Following the events of DESPICABLE ME, Vector and a lost Minion are stranded on the moon, and struggle to get back to Earth.
MIDNIGHT MISSION (MINI-MOVIE) - The Minions will try anything to help Agnes overcome her fear of the dark, even if it involves going into outer space.
MICROPHONE MADNESS - A fun look behind-the-scenes as the cast record some of their silliest lines.
MEET THE CAST - In this series of behind-the-scenes pieces, we learn more about our favorite characters and the legendary comedic voices behind them.
TAKING FLIGHT: THE MAKING OF - MIGRATION is an original script so brand-new characters and locations had to be developed, designed, and animated from scratch! Here, filmmakers and crew break down their process to show us what gives this film an entirely new look and feel.
THE ART OF FLIGHT - Using a series of production phases from storyboards to pre-viz, we peel back the feathers and reveal just what goes in to creating the avian heroes of the film.
THE SOUND OF FLIGHT - Take a closer look at the music of MIGRATION as Composer John Powell walks us through his scoring journey.
HOW TO DRAW
BUILD YOUR OWN POP-UP BOOK - Daddy duck, Mack, likes to tell his two little ducklings some…overly imaginative bedtime stories. In this fun "How To" we'll show you how to create a pop-up book so you can tell your very own bedtime stories!
CALLING ALL BIRDS - They may not have cellphones, but you can call your web-footed friends anytime you want! In this fun How To, we'll teach you how to create and customize your very own set of colorful bird whistles.
BEST NESTS - You don't have to fly south –or anywhere –to find a perfect paradise for your feathered friends. Here we'll teach you how to make the best nest for your pet ducks, or anyone flying by, including a water feeder to keep them hydrated!

"Saint Omer" (Criterion)

Alice Diop's 2022 drama was one of the most acclaimed films of the last few years, a movie that often comes up on lists of the best works of the decade so far. It stars Kayije Kagame as a novelist who is attending the trial of a woman named Laurence Coly, played by Guslagie Malanda. Coly has been accused of murdering her child, allowing it to be swept away by the tide on a beach. Based on the real trial of Fabienne Kabou, "Saint Omer" is not your typical courtroom drama, a film that works in a deeply emotional register. I found some parts of it more manipulative than my colleagues, but it's undeniably a good film, and a very welcome addition to the Criterion Collection, complete with a new interview with Diop and an awesome conversation between the filmmaker and Dee Rees, the director of "Mudbound".

Buy it here 

Special Features
New 2K digital master, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack
New and archival interviews with director Alice Diop
Conversation between Diop and author Hélène Frappat
Conversation between Diop and filmmaker Dee Rees from a 2023 episode of The Director’s Cut – A DGA Podcast
Trailer
New English subtitle translation
PLUS: An essay by critic Jennifer Padjemi

"The Shootist" (Arrow)

Someone asked me the other day what my favorite Westerns were, and I started with "My Darling Clementine," "Stagecoach," and "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance," but it wasn't long before I mentioned "The Shootist," John Wayne's final film and a masterful drama that works both as its own standalone story and an elegy for both a genre and its most famous face. Wayne plays J.B. Brooks, a famous gunfighter who learns he has terminal cancer. The legendary performer is breathtakingly good here, giving one of his best performances opposite an insane supporting cast that includes Lauren Bacall, John Carradine, Harry Morgan, James Stewart, and a young Ron Howard. The Arrow release of "The Shootist" is one of the best physical media editions so far this year. Not only does the film look better than ever with a restoration from the camera negative, but it includes physical collectibles and new interviews and video essays, including a spectacular one by our very own Scout Tafoya called "Contemplating John Wayne: The Death of a Cowboy." 

Buy it here 

Special Features
NEW 2K RESTORATION by Arrow Films from the original 35mm camera negative
Brand new audio commentary by filmmaker and critic Howard S. Berger
The Last Day, a new visual essay by film critic David Cairns
A Man-Making Moment, a new interview with Western author C. Courtney Joyner
Laments of the West, a new appreciation of Elmer Bernstein's score by film historian and composer Neil Brand
Contemplating John Wayne: The Death of a Cowboy, a new visual essay by filmmaker and critic Scout Tafoya
The Shootist: The Legend Lives On, archival featurette
Theatrical trailer
Image gallery
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Juan Esteban Rodríguez
Double-sided fold-out poster featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Juan Esteban Rodríguez
Six postcard-sized lobby card reproductions
Original lossless mono audio
Optional English Subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
Illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing by film critic Philip Kemp

"To Die For" (Criterion)

Any list of the best performances of Nicole Kidman's career that doesn't include Gus Van Sant's "To Die For" is simply incomplete. In fact, this may be her true breakthrough, revealing the complexity she would bring to so many performances in the future. It's hard to believe it's almost been three decades since Kidman played Suzanne Stone in this thriller inspired by the true story of Pamela Smart, who convinced a 15-year-old to murder her husband in 1990. The brilliant Buck Henry wrote a script that seems so far ahead of its time now (it really was an early true crime drama), and stars like Kidman, Joaquin Phoenix, and Matt Dillon knew exactly what to do with it. The Criterion release includes a new 4K restoration overseen by Van Sant himself along with a commentary that includes the director.

Buy it here

Special Features
New 4K digital restoration, approved by director Gus Van Sant and director of photography Eric Alan Edwards, 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 Van Sant, Edwards, and editor Curtiss Clayton
Deleted scenes
Trailer
English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
PLUS: An essay by film critic Jessica Kiang

"Wonka"

How will history judge Timothee Chalamet's "Wonka"? Of course, everyone loves the Gene Wilder version, and most people hate the Johnny Depp version (at least I do). But it feels like there's a lukewarm middle ground on "Wonka" that could make it the forgotten version before long. Or maybe not? Maybe it's a movie that parents put on for the current young generation and it gets passed down like the '70s version. There are truly wonderful moments in Paul King's musical origin story for the character, offset by some clunky character beats and performances. Still, "Wonka" is an incredibly easy rewatch at home. I've already found my youngest just throwing it on on a rainy weekend afternoon. The flavor of this "Wonka" could last.

Buy it here 

Special Features
Unwrapping Wonka: Paul King's Vision
The Whimsical Music of Wonka
Welcome to Wonka Land
Hats Off to Wonka
Wonka's Chocolatier

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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