For those who don’t know, I’m a defender, as well as an owner still, of physical media. 4K, Blu-ray, DVD, I love it all. Digital has its place, but those discs still have my heart. So, each week I’ll be taking a look at some of the titles coming to Blu-ray and DVD, with special attention paid to the best of the bunch, in order to let you all know what’s available and what’s worth buying. Today, two films in particular stand tall in the crop, though one is in a league of its own. That would be Bad Education, but read on for more!
Joey’s Top Pick
Hugh Jackman and Allison Janney are at their best here in Cory Finley’s drama. Finley takes Mike Makowsky’s well-researched screenplay and allows his cast to give it vibrant life. Jackman and Janney are the heart and soul of the film, but the town of Roslyn itself is a true character here. This allows the audience to be not just invested in the tragic story of Jackman’s Frank Tassone but in the parents and students affected by his criminality. As much as this is a crime drama, it’s a character study as well. Had it come out in theaters or been declared an Oscar-elegible movie, Jackman would have been a lock for a Best Actor nomination. As it stands, it’s an Emmy and Golden Globe player instead, but Bad Education is a must-watch, regardless.
Kelly Reichardt’s latest human drama is another period piece, but one that’s among her most accessible to date. A tale of two men bonding while trying to make their way in Oregon lives and dies on the acting, so it’s absolutely clutch that Orion Lee and especially John Magaro are so good. Their relationship is quiet and understated, but lingers well after the end credits roll. Vintage Reichardt cinematography and direction are on hand, but Magaro certainly leads the charge, making it something her fans will love, but newcomers will appreciate as well.
Also Available This Week
The Alfred Hitchcock Classics Collection (The Birds, Psycho, Rear Window, Vertigo) 4K
The Big Ugly
Bull: Season Four (TV)
Chicago P.D.: Season Seven (TV)
Mr. Mercedes: Season Three (TV)
Supergirl: The Complete Fifth Season (TV)
True History of the Kelly Gang
We Bare Bears: The Movie
Description via Criterion: “As hard-hitting as its title, Brute Force was the first of Jules Dassin’s forays into the crime genre, a prison melodrama that takes a critical look at American society as well. Burt Lancaster is the timeworn Joe Collins, who, along with his fellow inmates, lives under the heavy thumb of the sadistic, power-tripping guard Captain Munsey (a riveting Hume Cronyn). Only Collins’s dreams of escape keep him going, but how can he possibly bust out of Munsey’s chains? Matter-of-fact and ferocious, Brute Force builds to an explosive climax that shows the lengths men will go to when fighting for their freedom.”
The Naked City
Description via Criterion: ““There are eight million stories in the Naked City,” as the narrator immortally states at the close of this breathtakingly vivid film—and this is one of them. Master noir craftsman Jules Dassin and newspaperman-cum-producer Mark Hellinger’s dazzling police procedural, The Naked City, was shot entirely on location in New York. Influenced as much by Italian neorealism as it is by American crime fiction, this double Academy Award winner remains a benchmark for naturalism in noir, living and breathing in the promises and perils of the Big Apple, from its lowest depths to its highest skyscrapers.”