New on DVD and Blu-Ray

I thought it might be fun to vent about Poor Things here, but that’s much of what I’ve been doing in the 24 hours before I wrote this and it hasn’t helped at all. It sucks, I hate it, it looks and sounds disgusting from beginning to end, and I’m still a little pissed at the people who wrote off Barbie as Feminism 101 (not unreasonably, but…) but had no such qualms about what this passes off as daring commentary on the female consciousness. I’ll still see Yorgos Lanthimos’s next movie (probably coming out in time to torment next year’s awards season) for a few reasons, like that I’m an idiot, Yorgos’ Killing of a Sacred Deer writing partner is returning for it, I’m always a sucker for a single-director anthology movie, and I’m hopeful Margaret Qualley will get a lot more to do in it. Maybe that last one could also be filed under “I’m an idiot”.

Anyway, how about a good movie that got goose-egged at the Oscars? Not that I had any expectations about the Academy vibing with Ferrari, yet another shaggy, closed-off late-Michael Mann movie about “professionalism” always equalling death and despair. As one would expect from a top contender for the best actor alive, Adam Driver is a perfect Mann man, stubborn and details-obsessed and unable to see outside the tunnel vision of his perfectionism. More unusually for Mann, Penelope Cruz comes close to blowing Driver off-screen as “the wife”, an unstoppable force pitted against Ferrari’s immovable object. Their domestic drama is brutal but it’s nothing compared to Mann’s vision of car-racing, the evil at the heart of Ferrari’s operation that he can safely sequester himself away from (he has no such place to hide from his personal torments). The use of digital is a lot sleeker and more classical than Mann has become famous for, until the cameras get strapped into Ferrari’s death-mobiles and the world suddenly becomes a very scary, jittery place. Ferrari’s “pep talks” demand that his racers accept death and be willing to spread that death to their opponents, and the logical endpoint of that philosophy creates last year’s most shocking and gruesome movie moment. If Ferrari is unlikely to be anybody’s favorite variation on Mann’s themes, it shows that he can still push his style to places nobody will be prepared for.

Also out is Anyone But You, the surprise hit that proves there’s still no better way to coronate new movie stars than a serviceable rom-com from the mind of Will Gluck, the essential Nan Goldin documentary All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, and the new Color Purple which I hear manages to be less gay than the one made in 1985. This week should also be a celebratory one with the long-awaited 4Ks of James Cameron’s The Abyss and True Lies, previously only available on non-anamorphic DVDs (Aliens is also out but it’s never been in any danger of languishing in bad quality). But unfortunately Cameron’s digital brain-poisoning has led him to scrub these movies of their filmic texture, not just with aggressive noise reduction but with AI upscaling tools. Abyss doesn’t look too bad and it’s no contest between it and that old-ass DVD, but the screenshots I’ve seen of True Lies look like an all-wax figure remake.

The Abyss 4K (Disney)
Aliens 4K (Disney)
All That Money Can Buy (a.k.a. The Devil and Daniel Webster) (Criterion)
All the Beauty and the Bloodshed (Criterion)
Anyone But You (Sony)
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom 4K (Warner)
The Color Purple 4K (Warner)
Ferrari (Decal)
I.S.S. (Decal)
Looney Tunes Collector’s Choice: Volume 3 (Warner Archive Collection)
Poor Things (Disney)
The President’s Analyst (Kino)
Quigley Down Under 4K (Shout Factory)
Rick and Morty: Season 7 (Warner)
Stephen King’s The Shining (Shout Factory)
True Lies 4K (Disney)
Wish 4K (Disney)