New on DVD and Blu-Ray

As Paul Schrader enters the nebulous zone of “late style”, he doubles down on the iconography that’s defined all of his most iconic works. I could argue First Reformed and The Card Counter are the two best movies in the “God’s Lonely Man” template to date, but there’s no such place to make that argument for Master Gardener, which seems often like it should be no better than a Schrader greatest-hits package with none of the fire of his best work. But that’s kind of the point, there’s none of the usual live-wire tension to this Lonely Man because he’s made a nice life for himself and wants it to stick. The premise of this (white-supremacist murderer cleans up into a [see title] and falls for a young Black woman) sounds like one of Schrader’s more inflammatory Facebook posts brought to the screen, but he tells this story with complete sincerity and belief in man’s ability to make radical changes within themselves. It’s almost uncinematic to watch Joel Edgerton in this, knowing from looking into his soulful, sad eyes that he’s not going to self-destruct like all the Travis Bickles before him (the obligatory explosion of violence at the end plays hilariously anti-climactic). This would be a wisp, enlivened mostly by Sigourney Weaver’s grand ham, if not for Edgerton, who unlocks the depths of wounded, hard-fought decency he previously brought to his Jeff Nichols performances. Who knows if someone could turn themselves around like this in real life, all I know is that in this story, I love Master Gardener and only want the best for him.

Borsalino (Arrow)
Double Trouble (Kino)
The First Time (Kino)
God Is a Bullet (Decal)
Harley Quinn: The Complete Third Season (Warner)
Master Gardener (Magnolia)
Matilda 4K (Sony)
Night of the Comet 4K (Shout Factory)
The Princess Bride 4K (Criterion)
Sleepy Hollow 4K (Paramount)
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse 4K (Sony)