Cool stuff on DVD this week: 'Released' and more
05:00 AM, Nov 05, 2013
Just in time for our holiday shopping, the DVD releases are really piling up! A few of today’s best:
Release o’ the week: Released: The Human Rights Concerts 1986-1998. Amnesty International presents this lovely six-disc set of highlights from the all-star concerts featuring Bruce Springsteen, U2, Peter Gabriel, Sting and so many more musical legends including the late Lou Reed. My personal favorite is the 1986 concert, in which we can see the crowd go as nuts for Howard Jones as they do for Bono. Miles Davis takes the stage to play four songs, and The Police bring the house down with a set that includes Message in a Bottle, King of Pain, Every Breath You Take and Roxanne. There aren’t a lot of bad performances in the bunch; heck, I danced as much to The Hooters as I did to Sledgehammer.
- Clear History. Larry David and Jon Hamm star in this HBO movie, which I found pretty close to comedy perfection.
- As I Lay Dying. James Franco directs the adaptation of Faulkner’s classic. It’s not a breezy film and it’s often confusing, but I appreciate his ambition and technique, which includes the frequent use of split screens.
- Computer Chess. Andrew Bujalski’s indie about an ’80s chess tournament is nicely stylized (or is it “anti-stylized”?), although the story moves at a very leisurely pace.
- Girl Most Likely. Kristen Wiig stars in this light comedy about a woman who must move in with her mother, played by Annette Bening.
- Lovelace. Amanda Seyfried takes on this porn-laden biopic.
- Mad Men: Season Six. Though critics delivered mixed reviews, I really enjoyed this season, which took admirable risks (i.e. the speed episode) and really allowed Hamm to shine.
- Absolutely Fabulous: Absolutely All of It! Darling, you can’t have enough Patsy and Edina in your life.
- Doctor Who: The Complete Series 1-7. This new gift set offers plenty of TARDIS time.
- Saved by the Bell: The Complete Collection and Beverly Hills, 90210: The Complete Series. Feelin’ kinda ’90s? I offered a preview of the former release last week.
- Weeds: The Complete Collection. Nancy Botwin wants to make you feel good. See a preview here.
Also out: White House Down, Parkland, Under the Dome, Broken, The Fitzgerald Family Christmas, Grown Ups 2, Magic City: The Complete Second Season, Renoir, Twilight Forever: The Complete Saga, Awkward: Season 3, Part 1, Keeping Up Appearances: Collectors Edition, Naked City: The Complete Series
Blu-ray highlight: Thirtieth anniversary editions of A Christmas Story and The Right Stuff are out in the format, along with The Complete James Dean Collection. An extended edition of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey also is available.
Related news: A recent movie I really enjoyed, Don Jon, pops up on DVD Dec. 31.
Next week: Behold the epic Man of Steel.