A Simple Tragedy Is the Focus of Our Home Video Pick of the Week

Plus 2 more new releases to watch at home this week on 4K UHD, Blu-ray, and DVD!
The Coffee Table

Streaming might be the future, but physical media is still the present. It’s also awesome, depending on the title, the label, and the release, so each week we take a look at the new Blu-rays and DVDs making their way into the world. Welcome to this week in Home Video for April 16th, 2024! This week’s home video selection includes Paul Schrader’s Affliction, and more. Check out our picks below.

Pick of the Week

The Coffee Table

What is it? A new family sees a furniture purchase spin towards tragedy.

Why see it? Fair warning right up front on this one as the inciting incident here is as grim and dark as they come. I absolutely love it, but that speaks as much to me as the film, and watching what the film does next is every bit as grueling, entertaining, and anxiety-fueled. This Spanish tale — variously described by viewers as horror, drama, and comedy — offers up a deliciously dark look at human behaviors and relationships, specifically in regard to how we respond to the unspeakable. It’s a small film unfolding mostly in an apartment, but it’s so ridiculously tense that even the Safdie brothers would have a hard time watching. Highly recommended for my fellow sickos.

[Extras: None]

The Best

Affliction [Shout Select]

What is it? A man comes to terms with the violence he may have inherited from his father.

Why see it? Paul Schrader’s films are almost all about men who are struggling — emotionally, romantically, with their own demons, with their grief — and this late 90s effort is no different. A terrific Nick Nolte is a small town cop investigating a possible murder, but it’s his own past and present that haunt his every breath. Abused as a child by his own father, a father who now lives with him (and is played by the always great James Coburn), he’s a man quick to lift a fist, and it’s a habit that might just be the end of him. Willem Dafoe is along for the ride, and the entirety is a suspenseful character piece about how the past shapes not just our own future but others’ as well.

[Extras: None]

The Rest

The Invisible Fight

What is it? A man searches for his own truth and martial arts skills to boot.

Why see it? You’d be hard-pressed to find a film that opens better than this one — only to spoil it with nearly everything that follows. A trio of leather-clad Chinese bandits, one sporting a boom box blaring Blue Oyster Cult, descend from the sky, run through the tree tops Crouching Tiger style, and then lay waste to a bunch of Soviet soldiers guarding the border. It is fucking amazing. And the laborious hundred minutes that follow can’t touch it as we instead follow the surviving guard on his journey of self discovery that is never as visually interesting or entertaining as that opening.

[Extras: None]

Also out this week:

The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die, Mister Sleep, The Peasants, Taxi, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan: The Complete Series, Werckmeister Harmonies [4K UHD, Criterion]

Rob Hunter: 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.