DVD Triage: Feb 14, 2012

Trying a slightly different format here, as I come back from a much-longer-than-intended hiatus from this column. I’m sorry about that. Apparently getting married takes up some significant time. Who knew? Anyway. I’m also moving the bulk of this post over to Row Three, with just highlights here. So click here to read the full post, though I will warn you, in the interest of time, I’ve had to cut down the amount of obscure films I include as well as some of the links.

New Release Pick of the Week

Take Shelter
A man starts having premonitions, vision, and dreams of an impending storm and begins going to great lengths to prepare for what he senses is coming. His family is already fragile; will they be able to withstand what his paranoia does to them, or is he perhaps right in his fears? A striking central performance from Michael Shannon grounds this film, both a devastating depiction of depression and a legitimately intense impending doom film. An impressive second film from Jeff Nichols, with yet another solid turn from Chastain.
2011 USA. Director: Jeff Nichols. Starring: Michael Shannon, Jessica Chastain.

Catalog Pick of the Week

All Quiet on the Western Front Collector’s Series
One of the greatest anti-war films ever made, and only showing its age a little bit around the edges. The story of an idealistic German schoolboy who enthusiastically joins the army (along with his classmates) at the beginning of WWI discovers that war is not glory, it’s hell. This collector’s edition includes a brand-new restoration of the film on both DVD and Blu-ray and a 40-page hardcover book with reproductions of rare memorabilia, posters, promo materials, and stills. Special features also include an introduction by Robert Osborne, a rare silent version presented by Library of Congress, and two Universal featurettes.
1930 USA. Director: Lewis Milestone. Starring: Lew Ayres, Louis Wolheim.

Netflix Instant Catchup

On Row Three, I’ve included highlights from the past several weeks, since DVD Triage went on hiatus. Here’s just the top two rows of those. Lots of good stuff.