This week we’re starting to see some of 2012′s movies hit DVD and Blu-ray, and still some of 2011′s best (and want-to-be bests). The best of the lot is the original TV miniseries version of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, with Alec Guiness playing the role that gave Gary Oldman an Oscar nomination. It’s not a great week for Blu-ray, but as always, there’s at least some stuff to grab.

New:

  • Contraband: Mark Wahlberg is up against a wall here, folks. His family drags him back into the smuggling business,  and he’s got to deal with Giovani Ribisi in over-acting mode. Though I like Wahlberg as a performer, this is a very  modest film that features a great cast that includes Ben Foster, Kate Beckinsale, Lukas Haas, J.K. Simmons, Diego Luna, and David O’Hara.
  • Pariah: Pariah follows a young black lesbian struggling with her identity in a culture that doesn’t necessary accept her for what she is. I heard very mixed things about the movie. which may have to do with this material feeling very familiar to those who lived through 90′s independent cinema.

Classics:

  • 1900: Bernardo Bertolucci’s misfire is a fascinating failure that offers great sequences, and a mess of a narrative. The film stars Robert De Niro and Gerard Depardieu as a rich man and a poor man going through the  communist revolution. There’s a great performance by Donald Sutherland as the bad guy and there’s lots to admire – even if the film never becomes the epic it was intended to be.
  • Camelot: 45th Anniversary Edition: One of the big 60′s musicals that was considered a box office flop, it’s weird to see what films become classics because people like them, and which become “classics” because of marketing.
  • Killer Nun: How do you not want to see this film based on the title alone?
  • Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: For those who liked the recent filmed version of John Le Carre’s classic spy novel,  the British TV version is also excellent, and points out how amazing the film adaptation is. Alec Guiness leads a good cast in the story of a great secret agent who was laid off, but brought back to find out which one of his old  associates is a spy. It’s definitely stuck in TV movie mode (it’s not fair to call it slow, but it’s visually unimaginative), but if you like the novel, it’s a must-see.

What are you picking up this week?