The big release this week is The Dark Knight Rises, but there’s something for everyone this week, from hidden gems, to stone cold masterpieces. Animated films, great directors delivering minor classics, to indie films no one cared about, and ones that could be Oscar spoilers. Like we said, it’s a good week for DVD and Blu-ray.

New:

  • Beasts of the Southern Wild: This is the big Sundance film of the year, and it did well in limited release, and has some Oscar buzz going for its lead female performance. Which means it’s time to play catch up, if you haven’t seen it already.
  • Bones Brigade: An Autobiography: Following the success of Dogtown and Z-Boys, director Stacy Peralta has returned to the company he founded to chart the rise of his skateboarding empire and the star it launched (Tony Hawk). I can’t wait to see this.
  • Butter: This indie quirk-fest was barely released theatrically, even though it features Olivia Wilde, Hugh Jackman and Jennifer Garner. Perhaps it was too precious as it tells the story of a butter carving contest that inspires cheating, violence and animus.
  • The Dark Knight Rises: The summer’s biggest event turned out to be trumped by The Avengers, but perhaps at home those who left the theater a little disappointed might find more to like in the comforts of their own home. There are those who love it, but it seems the passion for the movie dissipated shortly after release.
  • Eastbound & Down: The Complete Third Season, The Simpsons: The Fifteenth Season, Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season 2: The Star Trek sets are coming fast and furious now, so we should see all seven seasons before the end of 2013 – or perhaps near the beginning of 2014. That’s not bad considering that The Simpsons is still slowly doling out each season, with four more still yet unreleased for home video. I guess that’s four years away at this point. Maybe sooner. Eastbound and Down also hits, and though the third season treaded some water, it was still pretty funny.
  • Hope Springs: The movie where Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones learn to have sex again! Who doesn’t want to see that?
  • The Odd Life of Timothy Green: Hey, it’s a Jennifer Garner double feature! Disney’s attempt at doing a family friendly movie in the 21st century was mostly met with mild indifference, but perhaps it will find a great audience on home video.
  • Silent Night: A remake of the video classic Silent Night, Deadly Night, this film just hit theaters, and will likely do better at home as a holiday picture about a killer Santa.  
  • V/H/S: An omnibus horror film with some of the indie kids most popular names (Ti West, Joe Swanberg, etc.), it was popular enough to spawn a sequel, even though – like most collections of shorts – it’s hit and miss.

Classics:

  • Brazil, Purple Noon: The Criterion collection unleashes one of its most requested Blu-ray upgrades this week with Terry Gilliam’s Brazil. And for those who’ve only see The Talented Mr. Ripley, it’s great to see Alain Delon take on the same role as Matt Damon in Purple Noon, which is a tremendously stylish adaptation of the Patricia Highsmith novel.
  • Catch Me If You Can – As Steven Spielberg has made a number of masterpieces, it’s easy to see why this one has fallen through the cracks. But – working with Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks – this is one of his better pictures, though it suffers (as many of his later films do) from going on just a little too long.
  • eXistenZ  - David Cronenberg’s homage to himself is still a delightfully strange film about virtual reality that was upstaged by The Matrix when it was released. It’s still a really good comedy, and with a lot of fun Cronenbergian details.
  • Finding Nemo, Up – 3DFinding Nemo is the last Pixar film to hit Blu-ray, and it’s one of their best, so that’s cause for celebration, while Up gets a 3D release. It seems like only the Brad Bird films haven’t been retrofitted for 3D at this point, so perhaps those will come next year.
  • Les Miserables (1998) – I guess it’s time to bone up on the earlier version. This was an Oscar picture that wasn’t.  
  • Francis Ford Coppola: 5-Film Collection –This only offers one film that wasn’t previously on Blu-ray (One from the Heart), but if you’re a fan of the director, it might be worth getting for that, even if it doesn’t include all the supplements of the previous release of Apocalypse Now.  

What are you picking up this week?