It’s a good release week for geeks, with both Super and Paul on DVD (among other things listed under “more” because I don’t really care that much about them), and a pretty crappy release week otherwise. There are some good Instant Watches, I’ll grant that. Relatedly, Netflix’s newest annoyance seems to be not providing good API data on upcoming Instant Watch releases to InstantWatcher (which I rely on to get the upcoming stuff), so the Instant Watches are likely to be more “this is what came out over the past week” instead of “here’s what’s coming out next week.” And that may remain true for the foreseeable future.
New Release Picks of the Week
Real-people-turned-superhero stories are beginning to glut the market, but there’s room for this one, a rather extreme satire that carries the idea out to its absurd conclusion.
2011 USA. Director: James Gunn. Starring: Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Liv Tyler, Kevin Bacon.
Amazon DVD | Amazon Blu-ray | Netflix
I avoided this thanks to the extremely dumb-looking trailer, but it got decent reviews, and I do like Pegg and Frost a lot – though I expect better with Edgar Wright.
2011 USA. Director: Greg Mottola. Starring: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Seth Rogen, Jason Bateman, Kristin Wiig, Sigourney Weaver.
Amazon DVD | Amazon Blu-ray | Netflix (9/6)
Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff
Jack Cardiff is one of the greatest cinematographers in film history, especially known for his Technicolor work with Powell & Pressburger and later in Hollywood. I’m excited to check this out. Streaming now.
2011 USA, dir Craig McCall, stars Jack Cardiff, Martin Scorsese.
Amazon DVD | Amazon Blu-ray | Netflix
OTHER NEW RELEASES
Jumping the Broom (2011 USA, dir Salim Akil, stars Angela Bassett, Paula Patton; Blu-ray/Netflix)
Mars Needs Moms (2011 USA, dir Simon Wells, stars Joan Cusack, Seth Green; Blu-ray/Netflix)
Your Highness (2011 USA, dir David Gordon Green, stars Danny McBride, James Franco; Blu-ray/Netflix)
Tactical Force (2011 USA, dir Adamo P. Cultraro, stars Steve Austin, Michael Jai White; Blu-ray/Netflix)
Blu-ray Pick of the Week
The Battle of Algiers Criterion
Blurring the lines with documentary, this ultra-realistic and multi-faceted view of the Algerian War is really compelling and deserves every bit of its critical reputation; Criterion is giving it a Blu-ray upgrade.
1965 Italy/Algeria. Director: Gillo Pontecorvo. Starring: Brahim Haggiag, Jean Martin.
Amazon Blu-ray | Amazon DVD | Netflix (DVD only)
OTHER BLU-RAY RELEASES
Dazed and Confused (1993 USA, dir Richard Linklater, stars Jason London, Rory Cochran; Netflix)
Dead Man (1996 USA, dir Jim Jarmusch, stars Johnny Depp, Gabriel Byrne; DVD/Netflix)
Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982 USA, dir Amy Heckerling, stars Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh; DVD/Netflix)
Classic / Older Pick of the Week
The Fox and the Hound and The Fox and the Hound II
Disney’s doing a two-fer re-release with this one, the original Fox and the Hound film plus its direct-to-video sequel. In any case, the whole thing is coming to Blu-ray at the same time, so there’s that.
1981 USA. Director: Ted Berman & Richard Rich. Starring: Mickey Rooney, Kurt Russell, Pearl Bailey.
Amazon DVD | Amazon Blu-ray | Netflix (2)
Television Pick of the Week
Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Season 1
Not a whole lot to choose from in TV this week, so I’ll say give this animated entry into the Star Wars Extended Universe a look. Can’t be worse than the prequel trilogy, right?
2008 USA, creator George Lucas, stars Matt Lanter, James Arnold Taylor.
Amazon DVD | Netflix)
Doctor Who: The Sun Makers (1977 UK, dir Pennant Roberts, stars Tom Baker, Louise Jameson; Netflix)
Doctor Who: Paradise Towers (1987 UK, dir Nicholas Mallett, stars Sylvester McCoy, Bonnie Langford; Netflix)
Instant Watch Picks of the Week
I already mentioned how awesome this movie is when it came out on DVD a week or two ago. Now you have no excuse. Go watch it!
2010 Japan. Director: Takashi Miike. Starring: Kôji Yakusho, Takayuki Yamada, Yûsuke Iseya.
Hobo With a Shotgun
I sadly missed this Grindhouse-fake-trailer-turned-real-feature in theatres, but I’m dying to check it out. Maybe over the weekend.
2011 USA. Director: Jason Eisener. Starring: Rutger Hauer, Pasha Ebrahimi.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
One of the greatest revisionist westerns ever made, as legendary Butch and Sundance try to escape the posse that’s chasing them right into South America.
1969 USA. Director: George Roy Hill. Starring: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Katherine Ross.
For my money, a better film than Suspiria; certainly a more interesting story upon which to hang its set pieces.
1975 Italy. Director: Dario Argento. Starring: David Hemmings, Daria Nicolodi.
One of my favorite of all Shakespeare adaptations, a very gritty and dark version of the play, but still with the feel and cadence of Shakespeare intact.
1989 UK. Director: Kenneth Branagh. Starring: Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thompson, Derek Jacobi, Brian Blessed.
Famous both as the film that almost bankrupted 20th Century Fox and the production where Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton first met, both things that have overshadowed the film itself. Which I haven’t seen.
1963 USA. Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz. Starring: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Rex Harrison.
Director Jim Mickle guested on the Row Three Cinecast last week, chatting about his new release Stakeland; hearing him talk a bit about this, his earlier feature, definitely made me interested in checking it out.
2006 USA. Director: Jim Mickle. Starring: Kim Blair, Bo Corre.
To my mind this parody of Star Wars runs a little too close to scene-for-scene joke-making to be as brilliant as some of Brooks’ other films, but it definitely has its hilarious moments.
1987 USA. Director: Mel Brooks. Starring: Bill Pullman, John Candy, Rick Moranis, Daphne Zuniga.
The Pit and the Pendulum
Corman and Price worked on a number of Edgar Allen Poe adaptations in the early sixties, including this one, bringing a solid B-level sense of the macabre to them.
1961 USA. Director: Roger Corman. Starring: Vincent Price, John Kerr.
De Sica is probably better-known for Neorealist classic Bicycle Thieves now, but Shoeshine is an even earlier Neorealist entry from the director, and was, in fact, the first recipient of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film.
1946 Italy. Director: Vittorio De Sica. Starring: Franco Interlenghi, Rinaldo Smordoni.
OTHER INSTANT WATCHES
3000 Miles to Graceland (2001 USA, dir Demian Lichtenstein, stars Kurt Russell, Kevin Costner)
Airport (1970 USA, dir George Seaton, stars Burt Lancaster, Dean Martin)
Airport 1975 (1974 USA, dir Jack Smight, stars Charlton Heston, Karen Black)
Airport ’77 (1977 USA, dir Jerry Jameson, stars Jack Lemmon, James Stewart)
Amreeka (2009 USA, dir Cherien Dabis, stars Nisreen Faour, Melkar Muallem)
Annie Oakley (1935 USA, dir George Stevens, stars Barbara Stanwyck, Preston Foster)
Body of Evidence (1993 USA, dir Uli Edel, stars Madonna, Willem Dafoe)
Changing Times (2004 France, dir André Téchiné, stars Catherine Denueve, Gérard Depardieu)
Cheaper by the Dozen (1950 USA, dir Walter Lang, stars Clifton Webb, Myrna Loy)
Clay Pigeons (1998 USA, dir David Dobkin, stars Janeane Garofalo, Joaquin Phoneix)
Comedy of Power (2006 USA, dir Claude Chabrol, stars Isabele Huppert, Jean-François Balmer)
Die Hard 2: Die Harder (1990 USA, dir Renny Harlin, stars Bruce Willis, William Sader)
The Dirty Dozen (1967 USA, dir Robert Aldrich. Starring: Lee Marvin, John Cassavetes)
Don’t Be a Meance to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood (1996 USA, dir Paris Barclay, stars Shawn & Marlon Wayans)
Fallen (1998 USA, dir Gregory Hoblit, stars Denzel Washington, John Goodman)
The Game of Death (1978 Hong Kong, dir Robert Clouse, stars Bruce Lee, Colleen Camp)
I Clowns (1970 Italy, dir Federico Fellini, stars Federico Fellini, Riccardo Billi)
I Love You Phillip Morris (2009 USA, dir Glenn Ficarra & John Requa, stars Jim Carrey, Ewan McGregor)
Inferno (1980 Italy, dir Dario Argento, stars Irene Miracle, Leigh McCloskey)
Jackie Chan’s Project A (1983 Hong Kong, dir Jackie Chan, stars Jackie Chan)
Lethal Weapon (1987 USA, dir Richard Donner, stars Mel Gibson, Danny Glover)
Lethal Weapon 2 (1989 USA, dir Richard Donner, stars Mel Gibson, Danny Glover)
Little Black Book (2004 USA, dir Nick Hurran, stars Brittany Murphy, Holly Hunter)
Little Man Tate (1991 USA, dir Jodie Foster, stars Jodie Foster, Dianne Wiest)
Lord of Illusions (1995 USA, dir Clive Barker, stars Scott Bakula, Famke Janssen)
Love is a Many-Splendored Thing (1955 USA, dir Henry King, stars Jennifer Jones, William Holden)
A Man Called Peter (1955 USA, dir Henry Koster, stars Richard Todd, Jean Peters)
Misery (1990 USA, dir Rob Reiner, stars James Caan, Kathy Bates)
Mississippi Burning (1988 USA, dir Alan Parker, stars Gene Hackman, Willem Dafoe)
Monkey Business (1952 USA, dir Howard Hawks, stars Cary Grant, Ginger Rogers)
Point of No Return (1993 USA, dir John Badham, stars Bridget Fonda, Gabriel Byrne)
The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970 USA, dir Billy Wilder, stars Robert Stephens, Colin Blakely)
Rain Man (1988 USA, dir Robert Benton, stars Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise)
Spy Kids (2001 USA, dir Robert Rodriguez, stars Antonio Banderas, Carla Gugino)
Sukiyaki Western Django (2007 Japan, dir Takashi Miike, stars Hideaki Ito, Quentin Tarantino)
Tales from Earthsea (2006 Japan, dir Goro Miyazaki, stars Matt Levin, Timothy Dalton)
Ulee’s Gold (1997 USA, dir Victor Nunez, stars Peter FOnda, Christine Dunford)
Videodrome (1983 Canada, dir David Cronenberg, stars James Woods, Deborah Harry)
We’re Not Married (1952 USA, dir Edmund Goulding, stars Ginger Rogers, Marilyn Monroe)
Instant Watch Expiring Picks
Italian for Beginners (2000 USA, dir Lone Scherfig, stars Anders W. Berthelsen, Peter Gantzler) [8/11]
Spartacus: Blood and Sand (2010 USA, creator Steven S. DeKnight, stars John Hannah) [8/12]
Babe: Pig in the City (1998 USA, dir George Miller, stars James Cromwell, Elizabeth Daily) [8/15]
The Crucible (1996 USA, dir Nicholas Hytner, stars Daniel Day-Lewis, Winona Ryder) [8/15]
Frida (2002 USA, dir Julie Taymor, stars Salma Hayek, Alfred Molina) [8/15]
I Am Trying to Break Your Heart: A Film About Wilco (2002 USA, dir Sam Jones) [8/15]
The Crazies (1973 USA, dir George A. Romero, stars Will MacMillan, Lane Carroll) [8/16]
Mondo Cane (1962 Italy, dir Gualtiero Jacopetti) [8/16]
Porky’s II (1982 USA, dir Bob Clark, stars Dan Monahan, Wyatt Knight) [8/16]
The Shape of Things to Come (1979 USA, dir George McCowan, stars Jack Palance, Barry Morse) [8/16]
Shinobi No Mono (1962 Japan, dir Katsuhiko Kobayashi, stars Raizô Ichikawa, Yûnosuke Itô) [8/16]
The Stendhal Syndrome (1996 Italy, dir Dario Argento, stars Asia Argento, Thomas Kretschmann) [8/16]
John Q (2002 USA, dir Nick Cassavetes, stars Denzel Washington, Ray Liotta) [8/17]
12:08 East of Bucharest (2007 Romania, dir Corneliu Porumboiu, stars Ion Sapdaru) [8/18]
Absurdistan (2008 Germany, dir Veit Helmer, stars Kristyna Malérová, Max Mauff) [8/18]
The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (2006 Romania, dir Cristi Puiu, stars Ion Fiscuteanu) [8/18]
Camelot: Season 1 (2011 USA, creator Michael hirst, Chris Chibnall, stars Eva Green) [8/19]
Chan is Missing (1982 USA, dir Wayne Wang, stars Wood Moy, Marc Hayaski) [8/21]
Dim Sum: A Little Bit of Heart (1985 USA, dir Wayne Wang, stars Kim Chew, Laureen Chew) [8/21]
See all expiring titles.
- Amazon links use my affiliate account, and will kick a small percentage of your purchase back to me. You pay the same price you would anyway.
- Not all new releases are available on Netflix immediately. Some studio films have a 30-day release window before Netflix can rent them, and some smaller releases are not picked up by Netflix immediately. Add them to your “saved” queue if you’re interested; that tells Netflix there is demand for the disc.
- Not all new Blu-ray releases are available on Netflix – Netflix usually buys both DVD and Blu-ray editions of new releases, but if a DVD has already been released, they don’t always get the Blu-ray when it comes out later.
- Instant Watch releases are not always 100% accurate – often the data from the API is not fully accurate until the actual day of release. I always check on release day to make sure things actually do hit Instant Watch, but for things that come out later than Tuesday when I publish this post, I won’t be able to tell.
- Instant Watch expirations are not always 100% accurate – sometimes they don’t expire after all, sometimes things expire with little advance warning. I always check to make sure the data is accurate to the best of my knowledge when I publish the post, but things could still change, especially since I’m giving expiration warnings up to two weeks in advance.
- I rely on Box Office Mojo and InstantWatcher for the majority of the data for these posts, so thank you to them for the work they do.