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 ! This week’s home video selection includes Jackie Chan’s Gorgeous, The Fisher King in 4K, and more. Check out our picks below.
Pick of the Week
Gorgeous [88 Films]
What is it? A girl from the sticks finds love in the big city.
Why see it? When it comes to Jackie Chan films from the 90s, few get dismissed as easily and inexplicably as this 1999 effort. Sure, it’s a romantic comedy at heart, but we still get just enough action to keep things exciting. That action comes courtesy of a side plot and a pair of face-offs between Chan and the great, late Brad Allan, and in keeping with the film’s tone, they’re fights that feel more playful and respectful than deadly. The rom-com angle that takes up the bulk still works, though, thanks to charming turns from Chan and the always reliable Shu Qi. It’s a fish out of water, unlikely love situation, and it’s cute.
[Extras: Hong Kong cut and international cut, featurettes, music videos, commentaries]
The Fisher King [4K UHD, Criterion Collection]
What is it? A disgraced disc jockey befriends a strange homeless man, and magic follows.
Why see it? Terry Gilliam’s filmography is filled with off-kilter fare, but the one element that doesn’t always make the cut is emotion. This early 90s effort succeeds beautifully on that front thanks in no small part to Robin Williams’ performance as a homeless man searching for the Holy Grail. From that setup Gilliam delivers a tale of friendship, empathy, and the power of imagination. The real-world elements here are unfortunately as timeless as ever and add even more power to the film’s ultimate and lasting effect. Criterion’s new disc ports over their previous extras, but it’s the 4K UHD that makes it worth a double dip as the movie has never looked better or sharper. Colors, shadows, and details draw viewers into the world like never before, and it’s a gloriously triumphant and affecting time.
[Extras: New 4K restoration, commentary, interviews, video essay]
Flashdance [4K UHD]
What is it? A welder turned exotic dancer dreams of something more.
Why see it? I know what you’re thinking — isn’t being a welder turned exotic dancer enough for anyone? Most people, sure, but Alex (Jennifer Beals) has aspirations. Adrian Lyne’s blockbuster hit (it’s true!) is powered by a sexy energy and some toe-tapping music courtesy of Irene Cara and the iconic “Maniac,” and while it’s ultimately a simple tale of ambition, confidence, and love it’s no less an effective one. Michael Nouri plays the love interest, not ideal as Alex is supposed to be eighteen-years-old but whatever, and it’s ultimately a movie that just appeals to simpler, primal desires.
Man on the Train [KL Studio Classics]
What is it? A stranger and an eccentric local bond over troubled pasts and the immediate future.
Why see it? There’s an argument to be made that too many films these days feel obligated to spell out every last detail for audiences so as not to leave them lost, confused, or forced to think for themselves. This early 00s tale from France eschews that line of thought and instead delivers a film built on character, atmosphere, and dramatic interpretation. Johnny Hallyday is a crook, new to town with plans to rob a bank. Jean Rochefort is a tired old man feasting on regret. They meet, they talk, and both men begin to think about what could have been. Both leads are fantastic and evoke their respective humanities with cracked faces and troubled eyes. The ending will either leave you full or leave you wanting.
They Came to Cordura [KL Studio Classics]
What is it? An Army officer in search of heroes is saddled with a group of cowards and assholes instead.
Why see it? Gary Cooper had his time in the sun as a younger star ruling Hollywood, but his twilight years saw some memorable turns as well. Case in point is this late 50s tale of perception and reality. Cooper is the low-ranking officer tasked with escorting a group of soldiers deemed heroes to avoid an upcoming battle, but as their journey goes sideways each man’s truth comes clear. Suspenseful and just thrilling enough, this is an entertaining tale built with a backbone of integrity that affords it affecting thrills and real heart.
Hell Is for Heroes [KL Studio Classics]
What is it? A World War II tale of heroism.
Why see it? Steve McQueen headlines this 1962 effort that follows an army squad tasked with holding off a large contingent of German soldiers. They fight when necessary, but the goal is survival which requires some trickery and smart-thinking. Director Don Siegel is almost always a reliable filmmaker, and he crafts a solid tale here that builds to a thrilling battle built on heroism and sacrifice. It never breaks the mold, but it’s a good watch.
[Extras: New 4K scan, commentary]
The Mississippi Gambler [KL Studio Classics]
What is it? A gambler, a Southern belle, and a decades-long romance.
Why see it? Tyrone Power and Piper Laurie headline this Technicolor romantic adventure that really pops via this new remaster from Kino. The film follows a man’s long-form pursuit of love as he grows from minor gambler to casino owner, and while romance is the priority the movie finds time for slight adventures and sticky situations. It’s a fine way to pass time as the pair have real chemistry and the antics entertain well enough.
[Extras: New 2K master, commentary]
Moment to Moment
What is it? An affair leads to something even more devious.
Why see it? The writer behind Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo is also behind this melodramatic thriller that leans more towards the former than the latter. That’s not a bad thing as the melodrama is meaty and atmospheric in its execution. Jean Seberg is a wealthy wife to a traveling husband, and when he’s away she can’t help but play. Her latest conquest turns up with amnesia, but it’s far from convenient as it’s her husband who’s tasked with curing the poor sap. The thrills may be slight, but they’re effective against the high drama.
[Extras: New 2K master, commentary]
The Truth About Spring [KL Studio Classics]
What is it? Hayley Mills stars with her real-life dad!
Why see it? Hayley Mills’ teen years saw her star in numerous lightweight films for family audiences, and this fits the bill even if it’s a bit lesser known. John Mills plays her dad, and that curiosity is probably the film’s most interesting aspect. On its own merits the movie is a trifle pairing minor adventure with an equally slight romance. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that! Not every movie has to be an earth-shattering or heavy watch. Still, don’t go in expecting anything much, and you’ll be rewarded with a pleasant time for all ages.
Also out this week:
House of 1000 Corpses, Infinity Pool, Living, One Fine Morning, Up Down Fragile
Related Topics: Home Video