New on DVD and Blu-Ray

This is a straight-up excellent week for home video, no qualifiers needed (well, other than to mention that this a week where Twilight Time, ugh, releases The Birth of a Nation, ugggghhhhh). New titles are surprisingly solid, including Lionsgate releasing the minor but still enjoyable Aardman adventure Early Man, Sony releasing the Oscar-winning A Fantastic Woman (although I have yet to hear a single nice word about that from any trans critics), and Warner releasing the refreshingly well-made comedy Game Night. Plus, there’s Amazon giving the people what they’ve been demanding, a Blu-Ray of Todd Haynes’ latest, Wonderstruck. And the boutiques have some great new titles out, including Cinema Guild’s release of Hong Sang-soo’s seventeenth film this month, On the Beach at Night Alone, Criterion’s dual releases of Cristian Mungiu’s Beyond the Hills and Graduation, and Arrow giving Abdellatif Kechiche’s Black Venus its American home-video debut. And catalog titles are even better! Also from Criterion is the Blu-Ray rerelease of Paul Schrader’s Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters, just in time to make for a depressing double-feature with Schrader’s latest, First Reformed. Warner has remastered The Matrix in 4K, just in time to prepare for the series finale of Sense8 (although I doubt that was part of their rationale). Even Twilight Time, besides that one film, does well for itself this week, releasing Walter Hill’s Geronimo: An American Legend and Paul Mazursky’s Next Stop, Greenwich Village. The one disappointment this week is Kino’s release of A Fistful of Dollars, which comes blessed with a 4K restoration that’s coated in piss-yellow (many other restorations from one restoration studio have the same problem, which makes you wonder if the artist behind Piss Christ got really into film preservation). And while Eastwood is on the brain…

Everything this week, no matter how good, pales to the baby soda. The 15:17 to Paris continues Clint Eastwood’s obsession with real heroes, except this time the heroes play themselves and they give Eastwood even less material to work with than Sully did. So his true story about real-life heroism is also a European travelogue that punished even hardcore Eastwood auteurists, with the central incident (the stopping of a terrorist hijacking of a train) taking up about ten minutes of a 90 minute runtime. But I’m still fascinated enough by this movie’s inexplicable existence to want to see it, so bad reviews, shut the heck up.

The 15:17 to Paris (Warner)
Beyond the Hills (Criterion)
The Birth of a Nation (Twilight Time)
Black Venus (Arrow)
Death Smiles on a Murderer (Arrow)
Early Man (Lionsgate)
A Fantastic Woman (Sony)
A Fistful of Dollars (Kino)
Game Night (Warner)
Geronimo: An American Legend (Twilight Time)
Graduation (Criterion)
Holes (Disney)
I Kill Giants (Image)
The Matrix 4K (Warner)
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (Criterion)
Next Stop, Greenwich Village (Twilight Time)
On the Beach at Night Alone (Cinema Guild)
Red Sparrow (Fox)
Wonderstruck (Amazon)