Features and Columns · Movies

The Intimate Collision of Art and Artist Finds a Home With Our Pick of the Week

Plus 9 More New Releases to Watch This Week on Blu-ray/DVD!
Discs La Belle
By  · Published on May 8th, 2018

Plus 9 More New Releases to Watch This Week on Blu-ray/DVD!

Welcome to this week in home video! Click the title to buy a Blu-ray/DVD from Amazon and help support FSR in the process!

Pick of the Week

La Belle Noiseuse

La Belle NoiseuseWhat is it? An artist and his muse collaborate and listen.

Why see it? Few films give themselves over to an idea as thoroughly as Jacques Rivette’s highly acclaimed character drama from 1991. The main thread here is the relationship between a painter and the young woman who promises to reignite his talent, and their time together features more silence and artistry than actual dialogue. There’s a beauty to it, both physical and meditative, and the film finds power in long stretches given over to the artist’s sketching and fussing while the lovely Emmanuelle Beart shifts poses and reacts to his demands. The end result, as with all art, is left to the eye of the beholder, but the journey and process to its creation is undeniably impressive.

[Blu-ray/DVD extras: Commentary, interviews]

The Best

The House That Dripped Blood [Scream Factory]

The House That Dripped BloodWhat is it? A house sees a series of inhabitants meet grisly ends.

Why see it? You really can’t go wrong with Robert Bloch, and while Psycho will always be the film most associated with his name his words are responsible for many more films and TV episodes. Asylum, Torture Garden, and others all show a grim wit, and this 1971 effort brings more of the same to the screen. Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Ingrid Pitt, and more are along for the ride too delivering creepy imagery and blackly comic laughs. Scream Factory’s new Blu-ray features a typically terrific commentary by Troy Howarth too, and fans of the film, the talents involved, or the genre itself will want to give it a listen.

[Blu-ray/DVD extras: Commentary]

Saving Private Ryan – 4K UltraHD

Saving Private RyanWhat is it? An eight-man unit in World War II is tasked with ensuring another soldier makes it home.

Why see it? Stephen Spielberg deserves his accolades as one of the best living directors, not because he’s infallible — he’s not — but because his great films are numerous and, well, great. This WWII epic suffers slightly from its whiny coda, but that’s only a couple minutes in a film filled with over two hours of brilliance. Tom Hanks leads a memorable cast against a story that engages and set-pieces that leave nerves shattered, and as phenomenal as the film has always appeared this new 4K presentation is bonkers beautiful. Crank the volume and feel the sand, blood, and bone on your face during that opening beach scene, and then buckle up for all that follows.

[4K UltraHD/Blu-ray extras: Featurettes]

Seven [KL Studio Classics]

SevenWhat is it? A team of seven mercenaries is tasked with taking out seven crime bosses simultaneously.

Why see it? Andy Sidaris’ career is filled with films focused on action and boobs — sometimes in the same scene — and this late 70s effort shows him doing what he does best. It’s a blast due in part to the sheer ludicrous and elaborate nature of the planned assassinations which include hang gliders, blow-up dolls, and overly complicated ruses. The other big plus here is seeing character actor William Smith not only take a lead role but also get a shot at being the (anti)hero as opposed to his usual villain. Kino Lorber’s release features an interview with Sidaris which is good stuff, but you’ll want to check out the commentary by Steve Mitchell too.

[Blu-ray/DVD extras: Commentary, interview]

Source Code – 4K UltraHD

Source CodeWhat is it? A man is given multiple opportunities to stop an upcoming terrorist attack.

Why see it? Duncan Jones’ follow-up to his fantastic Moon is a slightly more traditional sci-fi tale, but it manages a solid balance of action/suspense and heart. Jake Gyllenhaal headlines this Groundhog Day-style thriller, and he’s supported by Vera Farmiga, Michelle Monaghan, and Jeffrey Wright. The film is both suspenseful and affecting in the journey our hero takes, and the action sequences are delivered with solid effects and pacing. It’s also worth noting that this is the first film in the growing cinematic universe of movies where Farmiga fucks up some guy’s day on a train which continued with The Commuter. The new 4K presentation looks fantastic, and in a rare move they’ve also included a 4K-only featurette offering some more interesting details.

[4K UltraHD/Blu-ray extras: Commentary, featurettes]

The Rest

Feast of July [KL Studio Classics]

Feast Of JulyWhat is it? A young woman finds romance and trouble while looking into her past.

Why see it? Merchant Ivory productions are never less than sumptuous feasts for the eyes, and this mid 90s entry is no different. (And this time they acknowledge as much by putting “feast” in the title!) Embeth Davidtz takes the lead as a woman pursuing her past until realizing the value in her present, and there’s real beauty here along with a heavy dollop of sadness, grief, and utterly depressing outcomes. Still, the grey of it all is pretty in its own way.

[Blu-ray/DVD extras: Commentary]

Fifty Shades Freed

Fifty Shades FreedWhat is it? A woman marries a man who constantly wants to control her.

Why see it? The third and final film in this ludicrous trilogy is every bit as dumb and insulting as the ones that preceded it, but T&A fans will still appreciate it’s very attractive visuals. To each their own of course, but it’s difficult to support Anastasia’s choices when it comes to men — and the issue isn’t the S&M, it’s Christian’s viewing of her as a possession he should be allowed to control. The “plot” is every bit as silly involving violent threats, abduction, and a wacko upset about being in foster care, but its target audience — Twilight fan fiction fans — will lap it up.

[Blu-ray/DVD extras: Interviews, music video, deleted scenes, featurette]


ParadoxWhat is it? A Chinese teen goes missing in Thailand, and her father won’t rest until he finds her.

Why see it? The third film in the thematically connected SPL franchise is the lesser of the bunch, but the action still delivers more often than not thanks to some kick-ass shenanigans from Tony┬ábut Jaa, Wu Yue, and Chris Collins. Unfortunately, too much of the action is given over to lead Louis Koo who’s a fine actor but a zero when it comes to fighting skills. He’s just so stiff, and the main storyline follows suit with some generic take on organ harvesting. The earlier SPL films managed emotion and story along with a steady stream of delirious action, but his time we have to settle for a fair amount of the latter.

[Blu-ray/DVD extras: Making of]

Roommates [KL Studio Classics]

RoommatesWhat is it? A cranky old man is forced to move in with his grandson, and hilarity ensues.

Why see it? Okay fine, hilarity is a bit of a stretch, but there are some laughs to be found here thanks in large part to Peter Falk’s turn as the elderly newcomer into his grandson’s one-room apartment. Rather than be a laugh out loud kind of comedy, though, the film is content being a warm and amusing tale of family, generations, and the need for personal relationships. DB Sweeney plays the grandson, and the actor also recorded a commentary for the release.

[Blu-ray/DVD extras: Commentary]

Special Delivery [KL Studio Classics]

Special DeliveryWhat is it? A bank robber is forced to stick around in the hopes of retrieving his bounty.

Why see it? This thriller is worth watching for a cast that includes Bo Svenson, Cybill Shepherd, Jeff Goldblum (basically reprising his Death Wish role), and Tom Atkins, but it’s oddly low-key throughout. Blame the PG-rating maybe, but the thrills feel softer than would be ideal leaving plenty of downtime for characters to chatter about things that don’t really help the narrative or depth. The relationship between our romantic leads feels rushed and forced, and the action underwhelms. As mentioned, it’s worth it for the charming personalities of the cast, but don’t expect a lost classic.

[Blu-ray/DVD extras: Commentary]

Also out this week:

Batman Ninja, Blood and Glory, Caged Fury [Scream Factory], Dear White People – Season One, Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals [Severin Films], Manifesto, Moonrise [Criterion], Violence In a Women’s Prison [Severin Films]

Related Topics:

Rob Hunter has been writing for Film School Rejects since before you were born, which is weird seeing as he's so damn young. He's our Chief Film Critic and Associate Editor and lists 'Broadcast News' as his favorite film of all time. Feel free to say hi if you see him on Twitter @FakeRobHunter.