There’s nothing blockbustery this week. But if you’re a fan of the art house scene you’re getting films from Joseph Kahn and Whit Stillman, and a new Criterion release. Classic-wise, there’s one of the best films ever made, a collection of one of movie’s greatest icons, and a re-release of a film that was just remade.


Damsels in Distress: The return of Whit Stillman to the big screen after a fifteen year absence is enough to elicit some rejoicing, but his return was met with little enthusiasm. I loved the film, and he got a great performance out of Greta Gerwig in this loopy homage to screwball comedies.

Detention: Joseph Kahn’s return to the big screen after Torque was self-financed and barely released. It does star Josh Hutcherson from The Hunger Games, so it’s got that to help save it from complete obscurity. The film evoked a love or hate response from critics, but it’s definitely the work of an artist.

Hatfields & McCoys: This was a very popular miniseries on television, and anything that pits Kevin Costner against Bill Paxton is going to be at least a little entertaining. I didn’t see it, heard it suffered from TV-Movie-itis, but that’s a cast.

Le Havre: Criterion and Janus film released this Aki Kaurismäki theatrically, and I didn’t get around to it, but the director has done good work in the past, and I will eventually check it out. It’s supposedly light hearted and funny. Time to add it to the Que.


Body and Soul, Force of Evil: Two films starring John Garfield make for a great introduction to film noir. Abraham Polonsky wrote and directed Force, and it was highly championed by Martin Scorsese, who was right – it’s a singular work. Body was written by Polonski, and is the more conventional of the two, but they’d make for a great double feature.

Forever Marilyn: Fox has unleashed their Marilyn Monroe collection on Blu-ray. Monroe is a great icon than film star, she only had a handful of great roles, but this set does include one of them: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, where she’s great alongside Jane Russell. There’s also The Misfits in the collection, which has her opposite Clark Gable, and The Seven Year Itch, a film that is famous, and features the most iconic image of the actress, but a film that is deeply unpleasant to watch.

La Grande Illusion: Jean Renoir is probably the greatest director in the history of cinema, and Orson Welles once called this the greatest film ever made. Originally owned by the Criterion Collection, the film is now being released by Lionsgate as part of their Studio Canal deal. This movie is essential viewing.  

Total Recall: Mind-Bending Edition: We’re already being double-dipped plenty on Blu-ray, but the original release of this film just looked okay, so we’re comfortable with picking up this new edition, which finally includes all the supplements from the previous special editions, and it looks like at least one new interview. And it’s nice to be prepared for the remake, which hits theaters this Friday.

What are you buying this week?