'Wild Tales' is a funny and stylish foreign film

Damián Szifrón's funny, stylish Oscar nominee could turn foreign film skeptics into fans

Wild Tales

Sony, $30.99; Blu-ray, $34.99

Available on VOD Tuesday.

Damián Szifrón's funny, stylish foreign language film Oscar nominee is the kind of movie that could turn foreign film skeptics into fans. Szifrón writes and directs a sextet of short stories, connected by the theme of temporary madness and unified by the movie's willingness to present everyday life as an especially nerve-racking "Twilight Zone" episode. Although every vignette begins with ordinary frustrations — like road rage or parking tickets — the tension builds and the filmmaking gets more expressive as the characters turn irrational and violent. "Wild Tales" isn't that profound, but for a depiction of human behavior at its most extreme, it has an unusual panache. The DVD and Blu-ray add featurettes.

The Wrecking Crew!

Magnolia, $26.98; Blu-ray, $29.98

Like "Standing in the Shadows of Motown" and "20 Feet from Stardom," Denny Tedesco's documentary is an informative, inspiring look at the musicians who worked in virtual anonymity to help shape popular music. The film returns to the Los Angeles pop and rock scenes of the 1960s, when a group of savvy, versatile, collaborative session players rounded out the musical visions of everyone from Phil Spector to Brian Wilson. As the son of one of those sidemen, Tedesco knew who to talk to and what to ask and gets into both the musicians' workaholic lifestyle and how they came up with riffs and fills that are among the era's most memorable. The result is a meaningful reflection on an artat one of its key transition-points. The DVD and Blu-ray add deleted scenes.


"The Wrecking Crew": A review of the documentary "The Wrecking Crew" on DVD in the New Releases article in the June 14 Calendar section misspelled filmmaker Denny Tedesco's first name as Danny. —

Andre Gregory & Wallace Shawn: 3 Films

Criterion, $99.95; Blu-ray, $99.95

The odd partnership of New York avant-garde theater mainstays Wallace Shawn and Andre Gregory was first introduced to moviegoers in 1981's "My Dinner with Andre," where they turned a fictionalized version of their own lives into a filmed conversation as polished and potent as a great play. Shawn, Gregory and their "Dinner" director Louis Malle re-teamed for 1994's "Vanya on 42nd Street," an Anton Chekhov adaptation that the actors rehearsed with friends in a crumbling old theater for years before they put it on screen. And then last year they worked with director Jonathan Demme in a fancy New York club to do a modernized take on Henrik Ibsen, "A Master Builder." Criterion's box set of all three films includes new and vintage documentaries and interviews, making it an unexpectedly generous package of Gregory and Shawn's collaborations and a document of the work of two artists with one foot in the classics and the other in experimentation for experimentation's sake.

Welcome to Me

Millennium, $19.99; Blu-ray, $24.99

Since leaving "Saturday Night Live," Kristen Wiig hasn't really followed up on her blockbuster 2011 comedy "Bridesmaids," instead choosing to do bit parts in larger movies and leads in eccentric indies. "Welcome to Me" is another of the latter. Wiig stars as a lottery winner with mental and emotional disorders, who uses her jackpot to finance a television show where she talks about her life and her obsessions, to the consternation of her friends, family and lovers. It's an edgy performance in an admirably dark but distractingly quirky film, written by Eliot Laurence and directed by Shira Piven.


Beyond The Reach

Lionsgate, $19.98; Blu-ray, $24.99


Sony, $30.99; Blu-ray, $34.99

Available on VOD Tuesday.

The Lazarus Effect

20th Century Fox, $29.98; Blu-ray, $39.99

Available on VOD Tuesday.

The Newsroom: The Complete Third Season

HBO, $39.98; Blu-ray, $49.99

Run All Night

Warner Bros., $28.98; Blu-ray, $44.95

Available on VOD Tuesday.

Unfinished Business

20th Century Fox, $29.98; Blu-ray, $39.99

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times