A couple of the fall’s more interesting movies hit DVD and Blu-ray this week, which means it’s going to be easy to play catch up with some of the films that may have slipped by during their theatrical runs. There are also some good classic titles this week, and a box set of a franchise that just turned twenty five.

New:

  • The Awakening: Rebecca Hall stars in the ghost thriller, and I like her as an actress, so I’ll probably check this film out at some point, even though it tanked domestically.
  • Downton Abbey: Season 3: The good thing for Downton Abbey fans is that the DVD and Blu-ray releases of the series follow quickly after their PBS airings. Partly because the show aired months ago in England, it’s nice to get these sets just as the latest season has ended. Has the show jumped the shark? Perhaps.
  • Hotel Transylvania: The big winner of the three horror-themed animated films of the year was Hotel, which may have done so because it got Adam Sandler and friends to do the voices, or because people really like its director Genndy Tartakovsky. Or perhaps because it was the one that had the least frightening elements. You never can tell.
  • Paranormal Activity 4: Though the movie tanked at the box office, they’re still going to keep making these films. That’s because they’re usually done for less than five million and always turn a profit. At this point the formula is set and the jump scares are delivered.
  • Seven Psychopaths: Colin Farrell and Sam Rockwell lead this ensemble comedy from In Bruges writer/director Martin McDonagh. I’m kicking myself for missing this in theaters, but it seems like the sort of film that plays just as well on the small screen. Here’s a new trailer for the release:

 

Classics:

  • Die Hard: 25th Anniversary Blu-ray Collection: There’s a bonus disc of additional content, but otherwise this is a collection of the previous Blu-ray releases, so there’s no reason to upgrade unless you want some new extras. Still, John McClane.
  • The Duellists: Though a case can be made that Ridley Scott’s best film is Alien or Blade Runner (or Gladiator, or Black Hawk Down, or the director’s cut of Kingdom of Heaven), his first film is also one of his best films, and definitely worth tracking down.
  • That Obscure Object of Desire: Late stage Luis Bunuel is still Bunuel, and this film – though not his best – is an engaging absurdist tale of a man who marries a woman who reveals herself to be an idealized beauty and also someone less spectacular. It’s a sharp delicious work.
  • White Zombie: Of historical value for being the first Zombie movie, Bela Lugosi leads the cheapy horror thriller that is fascinating, albeit incredibly dated. Great atmosphere and a strong lead performance have made it an enduring horror classic.

What are you picking up this week?