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Joey’s Home Movies For the Week of July 19th – Return to ‘Spiral: From the Book of Saw’


Welcome back to my Home Movies! Today, the latest installment in my favorite horror franchise hits 4K and Blu-ray. Of course, I’m talking about Spiral: From the Book of Saw. What else is hitting shelves this week? Well, not a ton of things to be excited about, but there’s at least a Criterion Collection release. Either way, read on for more…

Joey’s Top Pick


Spiral: From the Book of Saw

I’m a noted Saw fan, so Spiral: From the Book of Saw always had my interest. Saw by way of Chris Rock? Sign me up. Lo and behold, not only was it a really good new installment in the franchise, it does things very differently. I spoke to director Darren Lynn Bousman (here) and cinematographer Jordan Oram (here) about all of that, so be sure to check those Spiral chats out. Plus, I speculated about the future of the Saw/Spiral series here in a Sunday Scaries piece. As you can imagine, I’m very eager to see more. Here is a chunk from my rave review that gets into why I dug it so much:

The Saw franchise has long needed an injection of fresh blood. Even coming from someone who loves the horror films, the last installment, Jigsaw, was proof that things were at an inflection point. The movies were certainly enjoyable, but the initial idea and social commentary had been set aside for a more and more complex mythology. It was always going to take some sort of radical change to keep these flicks going, or else their time would have passed. Enter Chris Rock, who is a fellow fan, and yet was able to pitch a huge departure from what’s come before. The result is something that continues in the world of Saw, but isn’t really a reboot or a sequel. Truly, Spiral: From the Book of Saw (or Spiral, for short) is its own thing. Not only is that an exciting prospect for cinephiles, it results in an incredibly strong motion picture.

Spiral is not just good, it’s downright great. In fact, this is easily one of the best films of 2021, so far. It gives you what you want from this property, to be sure. There’s gore, inventive traps, and a strong twist, but it’s not limited to that. There’s character development, creativity, and a boldness of vision befitting an original work. Threading that needle couldn’t have been easy, but Rock and company were able to pull it off in gloriously bloody fashion.

Also Available This Week

Little Big League

Bordertown: Season Three (TV)

Dream Horse

Gangs of London: Season One (TV)


Jakob’s Wife

Law & Order Special Victims Unit: Season 22 (TV)

Little Big League (first time on Blu-ray)

Shameless: Complete Eleventh Season (TV)

Star Trek Discovery: Season Three (TV)

The Walking Dead: The Complete Tenth Season (TV)

Criterion Corner


La piscine

From The Criterion Collection: “The bright sun of the French Riviera is deceptive in this alluring work of slow-burn suspense from thriller specialist Jacques Deray and legendary screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière. Formerly one of European cinema’s most iconic real-life couples, Alain Delon and Romy Schneider reunited for this film, bringing a palpable erotic chemistry to their performances as the bronzed and beautiful vacationers whose summer holiday on the Côte d’Azur is interrupted by the arrival of an old acquaintance (Maurice Ronet) and his eighteen-year-old daughter (Jane Birkin)—unleashing a gathering wave of sexual tension, jealousy, and sudden violence. A paragon of 1960s modernist cool thanks to effortlessly chic clothes and a loungy Michel Legrand score, La piscine dives deep to reveal sinister undercurrents roiling beneath its seductive surfaces.”

Stay tuned for more next week…


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Written by Joey Magidson

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