12-years-a-slave-8-10-17-13It’s like they knew! This week’s new DVD and Blu-ray releases is bringing best picture winner 12 Years a Slave to shelves fresh off its win. Whether that means a better special edition is released in a couple months is unknown, but seems likely.

New:

  • 12 Years A Slave: Steve McQueen’s powerful portrait of a free man, Solomon Northrup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) who is shipped off to the South is one of cinema’s best depictions of slavery, and a harrowing study of survival. Basically, it earned those wins, and is definitely one of the best films of last year.
  • The Grandmaster: Wong Kar-Wai’s latest movie didn’t become the crossover hit that was hoped for, but it’s still a fascinating and beautiful movie (even if I’d rank it as one of the director’s lesser works).
  • Oldboy: Spike Lee directed the remake of the Chan-wook Park movie starring Josh Brolin and Elizabeth Olsen, and public interest and reviews turned it into one of the biggest bombs of 2013. It’s not that bad, though. It’s just hard to argue it’s worth watching if you have access to the original.
  • The Venture Bros.: The Fifth Season: This cult show has a super loyal following and a pretty deep mythology after five seasons, so I’m sure fans will buy this to study the details they may have missed on first pass.

Classics:

  • The Agony and the Ecstasy, Garden State: Garden State was a phenomenon when it was released ten years ago, and then the backlash kicked in and kicked in hard. Perhaps now it’s settled into where it should be: a perfectly fine though formulaic romantic comedy. Where The Agony and the Ecstasy is a lavish widescreen movie by Carol Reed. No real connections there between these Fox titles.
  • An American Tail, Big Fat Liar, Far and Away, Fried Green Tomatoes, Harry and the Hendersons, Intolerable Cruelty, A Simple Wish, Somewhere in Time: Universal’s on a catalog dump, and there’s some quality in here as Somewhere in Time is loved as Christopher Reeve’s best non-Superman film, while the Coens directed Cruelty, and it’s not their worst film (though it’s close).
  • Boiler Room, Hairspray: Perhaps because of The Wolf of Wall Street, Boiler Room is hitting Blu-ray this week, as it’s based around the same story. And as Hairspray is easily John Waters most accessible movie, it’s a little surprising this didn’t hit Blu-ray sooner.
  • The Visitor: For those who like their cult movies drugged up, ripped off, and dubbed, have I got a movie for you.

 What are you picking up this week?