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Kristen Stewart Finds Grief, Gucci, and Ghosts In ‘Personal Shopper’

Plus 11 More New Releases to Watch This Week on Blu-ray/DVD!
By  · Published on October 25th, 2017

Plus 11 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

Personal Shopper [Criterion Collection]

What is it? A young woman grieving the death of her twin brother looks for spiritual signs of his continued presence.

Why see it? Kristen Stewart’s previous collaboration (Clouds of Sils Maria) with writer/director Olivier Assayas earned the pair well-deserved accolades, but their latest ups the ante across the board with an unusual mystery, a dark sense of wonder, and another sterling performance. Part ghost story, part tale of loss, the film explores the difference between what we want and what we need in the wake of someone’s death. Stewart’s character wants to believe, and that desire becomes a creative force all its own. Criterion’s disc is light on extras, but even a bare-bones release would be worth owning for Stewart’s performance.

[Blu-ray/DVD extras: 2K transfer, interview, Cannes press conference]


The Best

Blood Feast [Arrow Video]

What is it? His meat can’t be beat.

Why see it? Herschell Gordon Lewis’ filmography is filled with goofy wonders, but one of his most infamous is also known as the first “splatter” movie. It’s a bloody romp, but the bonus film here is even better as it’s less silly and tackles themes currently in the news including powerful men taking sexual advantage of women. It’s black & white and known as a “roughie” but delivers some sleazy thrills alongside its cautionary tale. Both are good entertainment, but the release is elevated through Arrow’s efforts to clean up both features while also loading the disc with tons of satisfying extras.

[Blu-ray/DVD extras: HGL’s 1963 feature Scum of the Earth, commentaries, introductions, interviews, short film, outtakes, reversible sleeve]

The Indian Runner [KL Studio Classics]

What is it? A man welcomes his estranged brother back into his life, and the kindness comes with consequences.

Why see it? Sean Penn’s directorial debut is a touching and humane drama about two men raised in the same household yet who wind up on wholly different paths. David Morse and Viggo Mortensen give powerful turns, and supporting players including Patricia Arquette, Valeria Golina, and the legendary Charles Bronson bring grounded humanity to the “good brother/bad brother” drama. It’s a quiet film that lets its characters speak without a need for grand movie-like beats, and while it’s no The Pledge it’s still one worth seeking out. Kino’s new making-off features interviews with Penn, Morse, and Mortensen, and in addition to featuring some fantastic insight and anecdotes it also appears that Penn is a wee bit drunk. It’s good stuff.

[Blu-ray/DVD extras: Making of]

The Old Dark House

What is it? Bad weather forces a couple off the road and into a creepy old house.

Why see it? Director James Whale may be best known for Frankenstein, but his filmography has more than a few gems including this terrific little thriller about strangers colliding in a creepy house populated by even creepier occupants. Boris Karloff, Melvyn Douglas, and Charles Laughton all headline in varying degrees, and they bring thrills and laughs as the night moves forward with shocks, surprises, and maybe a little bit of murder. It’s a fun movie, and Whale plays well with shadows and expectations.

[Blu-ray/DVD extras: Interview, featurette, commentaries]

War for the Planet of the Apes

What is it? Humans continue their war against the newly intelligent apes.

Why see it? Matt Reeves follows up his Dawn of the Planet of the Apes with the war we all knew was coming, and both the action and the emotion land well. It follows some very familiar narrative beats and never quite finds a fresh voice, but it remains a wonder thanks to effects work that stuns through scenes both emotional and exciting. The behind the scenes featurettes are actually every bit as thrilling as they show how they achieved what amounts to magic on the special effects front. It’s a fine capper to a strong trilogy.

[Blu-ray/DVD extras: Commentary, deleted scenes, featurettes]

Warrior [4K UltraHD]

What is it? Two men enter the same MMA contest for a much-needed purse, and the fact that they’re estranged brothers only makes them that much more competitive.

Why see it? I’m not sure this one gets the absolute love it absolutely deserves, but this new 4K release is another chance to correct that. Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton are both terrific as men with their heart and mind firmly in the fights, and it’s a unique battle in that viewers are left cheering for both men simultaneously. We want both to win, and our heart aches in the process. Director Gavin O’Connor crafts a compelling tale, and while the family drama captivates the time in the ring electrifies. The 4K brings the action into sharp focus delivering fights that send sweat, blood, and tears flying off the screen.

[4K UltraHD/Blu-ray extras: Featurettes, gag reel, deleted scene, commentary]


The Rest

Annabelle: Creation

What is it? Everyone has an origin story, even an evil doll

Why see it? I’m a fan of both Conjuring movies, and to a lesser extent I even enjoy Annabelle. I also like David Sandberg’s Lights Out. This prequel (directed by Sandberg) falls short, though, with scares that feel forced and very, very loud in place of actual creepiness. There are a two beats that work — one involving a scarecrow and one that I assume is inspired by Mario Bava’s Shock — but the rest are just noise. Performances are fine, and stay through the end for a very short stinger for The Nun.

[Blu-ray/DVD extras: Featurette, short films, deleted scenes, commentary]

Bushwick

What is it? A young woman exits a subway and into a war zone.

Why see it? The film takes place in New Jersey and is about a war that erupts as Texas secedes from the US. Why would Texans be fighting in NJ in order to separate from the rest of the country? No clue. Are they also picking fights in every other state? No idea. At best this feels like a premise for a PC game, but as a movie that sticks us with Brittany Snow for its entirety it’s far less exciting. Dave Bautista is along for the ride, but he’s stuck in a serious role that unwisely relies on sentimentality over personality. It’s more than a little surprising that it comes from the same filmmakers who made the terrifically fun Cooties.

[Blu-ray/DVD extras: Making of]

Dave Made a Maze

What is it? A living room cardboard maze is revealed to be much bigger and much more dangerous on the inside.

Why see it? The concept here is pretty genius, and it’s a good argument for stories that embrace their absurdity. It’s literally a cardboard creation, an elaborate one, but still a simple little fort, but its Tardis-like interior is a wonderfully creative environment with fun designs, deadly traps, and a playful sense of menace. It’s a comedy, and is frequently funny, but it takes the premise seriously enough to add scenes of suspense into the mix. There’s also a fun subtext regarding relationship responsibilities and expectations.

[Blu-ray/DVD extras: Featurette, commentary, deleted scenes]

The Emoji Movie

What is it? Imagine a world where emoji “characters” were as much fun as Legos.

Why see it? It’s not recommended that you do. The film is very much built on the style of The Lego Movie as the inner world of your devices is revealed to be a thriving metropolis of one-note character types. It’s aimed at kids, and it’s hard to know if they’ll appreciate the humor, but the laughs definitely don’t come for the rest of us. The jokes go out of their way to reference tech lingo and apps, but they all forget to be funny in the process.

[Blu-ray/DVD extras: Short film, featurettes, music video]

The Good Catholic

What is it? A young priest struggles on his path.

Why see it? Religious figures — priests, nuns, etc. — aren’t typically featured in films outside of kindly supporting characters and unholy diddlers, so it’s nice to see a film focused on them as the otherwise regular people they are. Zachary Spicer takes the lead role here and does good work, but it’s the two side actors who elevate the film’s charms and insight. Danny Glover and John C. McGinley are both eminently watchable, even as they’re espousing the good word.

[Blu-ray/DVD extras: None]

Night Angel [KL Studio Classics]

What is it? A biblical evil named Lilith is reborn in the modern world where she proceeds to suck the life out of those around her.

Why see it? More than any other decade, 80s horror films hold a certain promise that what’s about to unfold will be filled with gore, nudity, and nuttiness, and that’s enough to make a blind watch worth the risk. It pays off with this late 80s flick — it’s very much an 80s movie — as we get creature effects, bloody violence, and lots of saucy bits. It’s no lost classic, but it’s a fun enough riff on the siren theme, and director Dominique Othenin-Girard gives the fleshy carnage a colorful, stylish look. The interview with fx legend Steve Johnson is well worth a watch too. (He always is.)

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

Night School [Warner Archive]

What is it? A killer is stalking and beheading young women in search of a higher education.

Why see it? There’s a certain sleaze factor to this slasher, but it remains a fun watch thanks to a dash of style and a slight whodunit aspect complete with compelling red herrings. Rachel Ward stars (in her debut!) as a suspect’s girlfriend and a possible next victim, and she makes a strong case for her career that followed. The story gets into some weird cultural plot lines by way of explaining the slaughter, and it’s goofy, but it’s at least an attempt at reaching beyond the usual slasher setups.

[Blu-ray extras: None]


Also out this week:

The Barn, An Inconvenient Sequel, Mind Blown, Where’s the Money

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.