This is a big week for home video, but I think it’s obvious to see that one title stands tall above the rest, at least the eyes of several users here. That would be the complete series of The Shield, given a 4K restoration that cleans it up within the limitations of its 16mm source material. There’s also plenty of new supplements, including new interviews with cast, crew, and TV critics alike. As an added bonus, the discs aren’t packaged in a Wendy’s bag like they might as well have been in the last complete series set.
This week also sees the release of what I’m now realizing might be The Shield‘s negative image, Dan Fogelman’s Life Itself. The Shield presents itself as a tough, no-nonsense show, but behind its hardened exterior is a surprising deposit of empathy for cops and criminals alike. Life Itself, meanwhile, presents itself as an open-hearted, emotional epic, when it is in fact the work of an asshole who hates humanity and gleefully inflicts horrific tragedies onto his characters. Tragedy on The Shield is based on characters’ actions, tragedy in Life Itself is because the characters had the bad luck of appearing in this movie.
Anyway, there’s a lot more stuff out this week, including another high-profile fall bellyflop, The Predator. At the very least, Shane Black has the excuse of his movie getting cut to ribbons that Fogelman doesn’t, but the whole thing sounds like the exact point when Shane Black glibness curdles into unpleasant nastiness. By all accounts, Venom, this week’s big new release, should’ve been that level of disaster, but it apparently ended up reaching transcendence instead because Tom Hardy is nothing if not a committed madman. Paul Feig is neither a madman nor the most committed of directors, but his A Simple Favor is said to be a fine, trashy comedy-thriller with a genuinely terrific Blake Lively performance at its center. I’m just going to give up on segues for the rest, which include Shout Factory special editions of Starman and The Jerk, Judd’s Apatow’s four-and-a-half-hour Garry Shandling documentary, the delayed 4K Blu-Ray of 2001, and a reissue of Marwencol in time for whatever the fuck Robert Zemeckis is doing with it.
2001: A Space Odyssey (Warner)
Assassination Nation (Universal)
The Blue Knight (Warner Archive Collection)
Dracula: Prince of Darkness (Shout Factory)
Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas (Sony)
Fahrenheit 11/9 (Universal)
Horror of Dracula (Warner Archive Collection)
The House with a Clock in Its Walls (Universal)
The Jerk (Shout Factory)
Life Itself (Lionsgate)
Marwencol (Cinema Guild)
Murder by Death (Shout Factory)
The Predator (Fox)
Sawdust and Tinsel (Criterion)
Schindler’s List (Universal)
The Sea Hawk (Warner Archive Collection)
The Shield: The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
A Simple Favor (Lionsgate)
Starman (Shout Factory)
The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling (HBO)