DVDs and streaming for Oct. 13 by Boo Allen
This week, we begin tomorrow:
Two-time Oscar winner Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Ratatouille) directs this convoluted science fiction fantasy about a one-time boy inventor who takes a perilous journey to a place he has long dreamed of, Tomorrowland. Frank Walker (George Clooney as the adult, Thomas Robinson as the child) visits the New York World’s Fair in 1964 and leaves with a magic pin that sets the narrative rolling. Later, in current day, teen Casey (Britt Robertson) finds Walker’s pin and learns of its magic powers to transform and transport. Along comes mysterious young Athena (Raffey Cassidy) who sets them both off on a journey through futuristic worlds filled with unimaginable discoveries. Director Bird uses an army of special effects and computer imaging to keep his sprawling narrative rolling along.
Rated PG, 130 minutes.
Extras: eight deleted scenes, an eight minute featurette on the casting, a seven minute “making of” featurette, six minutes on the musical scoring, five minutes of outtakes from the original “World of Tomorrow” Science Hour, an animated short, three entries in Brad Bird’s production diaries, a vintage commercial, four Easter eggs, and more.
Murder My Sweet (****)
On Demand Warner Archive dips into their RKO Pictures library to give a Blu-ray release to one of the earliest, and still one of the best, examples of wartime (1944) film noir. Soon-to-be-blacklisted Edward Dmytryk directed this dark, gritty mystery based on a Raymond Chandler novel, with screenplay by John Paxton. Former song-and-dance man Dick Powell went against type as Philip Marlowe, one of the many who have played the iconic detective. Marlowe is hired by an intimidating, recently released ex-convict, Moose Malloy (played by intimidating Mike Mazurki), to find his, Moose’s, ex-girlfriend. From there, Marlowe finds himself ensnared in a double and triple cross involving a jade necklace and two archetypal femme fatales (Claire Trevor, Anne Shirley). The new Blu-ray captures Harry Wild’s glossy and evocative black and white photography.
Not rated, 95 minutes.
Al Pacino stars as the title Manglehorn, a spiteful single man who regrets his loneliness but then sabotages his few chances for intimacy. In the rambling character study, Manglehorn is a locksmith, but otherwise an angry man who tries but often fails to hide his anger. He lives alone with his cat, and even when he socializes with his son (Chris Messina) or the only woman (Holly Hunter) who shows any interest in him, the results are disastrous. Director David Gordon Green keeps the atmosphere grim and humorless, but he also makes the drama seem authentic, using non-professional actors, an often lyrical voice-over, and drab settings to draw his discomforting yet touching portrait of this lonely soul.
Rated PG-13, 97 minutes.
Call Me Lucky (***)
Bobcat Goldthwait directed this documentary that examines his friend and mentor Barry Crimmins. In the 1970s and 1980s, Crimmins first became known as a stand-up comic with an edge. Goldthwait probes Crimmins’ childhood abuse that might have shaped his personality. Various latter-day comics claim Crimmins as an influence, including interviewees David Cross, Marc Maron, Patton Oswalt, Margaret Cho and others. Crimmins eventually steered his emotions into a crusade against Internet child pornography.
Not rated, 105 minutes.
Extras: commentary with Goldthwait and Crimmins.
Disney brings to Blu-ray and digital HD this animated 1992 favorite featuring the manic voicings of Robin Williams as the genie-in-the-lamp. Scott Weinger voices Aladdin and Linda Larkin is Jasmine, and together, the cast performs the Oscar-winning music of Alan Menken, with lyrics from Howard Ashman and Tim Rice.
Rated G, 91 minutes
Extras: This new edition includes all the supplements from the original DVD release along with specific genie outtakes featuring Williams, a “Genie 101” featurette with Scott Weinger, an interview with directors John Musker and Ron Clements, a featurette with Darren Criss examining how “Aladdin” transformed from an animated film into a Broadway show, and more.
And, finally, from this week’s TV arrivals:
The Leftovers—season one
The startling premise behind this HBO series created by Damon Lindelof originates with Tom Perrotta’s titular source novel. The ten episodes of the series, now on two discs, appealed to a surprisingly wide audience, with its primary theme of abandonment and the subsequent exploration of loss. Justin Theroux stars as Kevin Garvey, the town sheriff of Mapleton, New York who is just as surprised and clueless as everyone else when one day a random two percent of the world’s population vanishes with no trace. Destroyed families come together, abandoned spouses commit suicide, and yet no one has answers except for cults, shysters and con-men. With a town simmering, Garvey must juggle his own family problems, specifically a wife (Amy Brenneman) who has left him to join a cult, the Guilty Remnants, that seems to do little more than smoke a lot and wear white. Christopher Eccleston plays a local Episcopal minister trying to cope with his own doubt while still assuaging his flock. The series conjures and sustains eerie atmospherics along with a discomforting unease.
Not rated, 558 minutes.
Extras: commentary, a comprehensive, 29 minute “making of” featurette, a nine minute segment on the series’ cult, the Guilty Remnants, a 15 minute interview with Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta, and a four minute look ahead at the upcoming season two.
The Don Rickles TV Specials—volume one
Included on a single disc are two uncut, 1970s TV specials hosted by Don Rickles. The various personalities who appear to perform sketches with Rickles include Harvey Korman, Bob Newhart, Carroll O’Connor, Don Adams, Anne Meara, Johnny Carson, Robert Goulet and others.
Not rated, 110 minutes.
Extras: a new introduction from Rickles, and a featurette on Rickles winning an award presented by Jimmy Kimmel.
Mad Men—the final season, part two
One of the most praised and rewarded TV dramas finally comes to a close in these seven episodes on two discs. Without giving away the mostly satisfying ending, the season itself sees Don Draper (recent Emmy winner Jon Hamm) having a brief fling with a waitress before hitting the road and trying to “find himself,” Joan (Christina Hendricks) feuding with her new bosses before finding love and a surprising new career, Peggy (Elizabeth Moss) feeling unsure about her future, Pete (Vincent Kartheiser) landing an unexpected new opportunity, and Betty (January Jones) suffering the cruelest fate of all. The fourth episode, “Time and Life,” written by Emmy nominees creator Matthew Weiner and writer-producer Erin Levy, daughter of Fran Spelling Levy (Bryan Adams, ’64) and novelist and TV writer Lawrence Levy, best crystallizes the ambivalence felt by virtually all the characters.
Not rated, 352 minutes.
Extras: commentaries, a 30 minute “Unmarried Professional Women” featurette, 26 minutes on the “Generation Boom,” and three minute featurettes on Laurel Canyon and “Earth Day,” and more. Lionsgate is also releasing a complete limited edition, gift set “Mad Men” collection of all seven seasons.
Also on DVD and streaming: Dope, The Gallows, The Little Death.