New on DVD and Blu-Ray

Two box sets alone make this a big week, Criterion’s of Eric Rohmer’s Four Seasons movies and Sony’s latest lavish 4K grab-bag, where owning Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner in the highest quality yet known to home video is a fair compromise to make for also owning Punch-Drunk Love, His Girl Friday, Starman, and Sleepless in Seattle (Kramer vs. Kramer also being there is a net neutral). There’s also some surprising muscle in new releases, ranging from Jean-Luc Godard’s final filmed work to the biggest and funniest casualty of last year’s widespread rejection of superhero slop. But I want to talk about Priscilla, a movie whose intentional frustrations have sat better with me than I would’ve guessed but one that’s still the most I’ve ever felt outside looking-in watching a Sofia Coppola movie. It’s very obvious as Marie Antoinette restaged in Graceland (with a greatly reduced budget) but Marie was at least allowed plenty of fleeting fun in her gilded prison, while Priscilla mostly lies in wait while Elvis figures out what to do with her. The cycle of Priscilla’s agency (or what little of it could be formed by the time you’re 14) being denied is a sad and repetitive one, with some wounding, brief moments where it becomes clear that this is a child in a cage; I can’t be partying with the love of my life tonight because I have math homework. As both the scrawny yearbook photo of Priscilla and the woman she ends up as, Cailee Spaeny gives a brilliant and indisputable lesson in how it is impossible to mistake a teen girl for an adult woman. I’m not so convinced on the package around Spaeny, which can feel dry and undernourished, especially as it trails off once Elvis has his Comeback Special. Even the guaranteed heart-stopper of a final needledrop doesn’t quite hit like it should. It’s my least favorite Sofia Coppola to date (that isn’t a Bill Murray-centric holiday special), but a previous last-place is now my favorite of hers (Somewhere gang!) so I’ll keep an open mind for revelatory rewatches.

Columbia Classics Collection: Volume 4 4K (Sony)
Eric Rohmer’s Tales of the Four Seasons (Criterion)
Fear Is the Key (Arrow)
Footloose 4K (Paramount)
Godard Cinema / Trailer of a Film That Will Never Exist: Phony Wars (Kino)
Harriet 4K (Universal)
The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes 4K (Lionsgate)
Hypnotic (Relativity)
Let’s Dance (Kino)
Madame DuBarry (Kino)
Man-Eater of Kumaon (Kino)
The Marvels 4K (Disney)
Priscilla (Lionsgate)
The Shaolin Plot (Arrow)
The Stones and Brian Jones (Magnolia)
Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny (Shout Factory)
Ticket to Paradise 4K (Universal)
Twilight (not that one, and not the Paul Newman movie either) (Arbelos)
Willy’s Wonderland 4K (Shout Factory)