'Gone Girl' a refreshingly adult tale of sex, violence and deceit

'Gone Girl' a refreshingly adult tale of sex, violence and deceit
Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike in "Gone Girl." (Merrick Morton / 20th Century Fox)

Gone Girl

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


Director David Fincher is a smart, serious filmmaker with a surprising knack for turning out enjoyably trashy mainstream entertainment. Fincher's adaptation of Gillian Flynn's clever bestselling mystery digs into his usual themes of dangerous arrogance and unanswerable questions, following a small-town lout (played by Ben Affleck) whose wife (Rosamund Pike) disappears, sparking a high-profile murder investigation. But first and foremost, it's a fine piece of motion picture storytelling, with its at-times-preposterous plot counterbalanced by strong performances from Affleck, Pike and Tyler Perry (as a cynical celebrity lawyer). Fincher's finely shaded visual design and sick sense of humor go a long way toward turning a tawdry story of sex, violence and deceit into something that feels refreshingly adult. The DVD and Blu-ray include a fun, enlightening Fincher commentary track.

Love Is Strange

Sony, $30.99; Blu-ray, $34.99

Writer-director Ira Sachs' tale is a sensitive, relevant update of the old-fashioned generations-in-transition melodrama, akin to "Make Way for Tomorrow" or "Tokyo Story." Alfred Molina and John Lithgow play longtime romantic partners whose lives are upended when they suddenly can't afford their New York apartment anymore. Forced to live apart, they find themselves out of sync with the friends and relatives who take them in, and they gradually come to realize that they're too old to be the center of other people's lives. It's a beautiful film that defies expectation, avoiding contrivance while explaining how it feels to be old and in the way. Lithgow, Molina and Sachs provide a commentary track to the DVD and Blu-ray, which also have a pair of featurettes.

Bird People

MPI/IFC, $24.98

The offbeat drama stars Josh Charles as a businessman who goes through a spiritual crisis at a Paris hotel and Anaïs Demoustier as the maid who flits around the edges of his story, watching from a distance. Writer-director Pascale Ferran and her cowriter, Guillaume Bréaud, divide the film into two pieces, spending the first half with the businessman as he impulsively dismantles his life and the second with the maid as she daydreams, snoops and avoids work. "Bird People" is a kind of tone poem about restlessness and dissatisfaction, exploring how the rich and the working class alike feel the same urge to stare out the window and wish they were anywhere else.

Middle of Nowhere

Lionsgate, $26.98

"Selma" has been drawing Oscar chatter for its director, Ava DuVernay, whose previous major accomplishment was winning a director prize at the Sundance film festival in 2012 for her second feature. After a modest art-house release two years ago, "Middle of Nowhere" is finally coming to DVD. "Selma" supporters will see that DuVernay is no fluke. The film stars Emayatzy Corinealdi as a smart young Los Angeles woman who puts her personal dreams and ambitions aside to support her imprisoned husband but then has her head turned by a kindly bus driver (played by "Selma" star David Oyelowo). The small, artfully drawn relationship drama — with lovely Bradford Young cinematography — is the kind of film that gives American independent cinema a good name. The disc adds a charmingly chummy DuVernay-Corinealdi commentary track.


Boardwalk Empire: The Complete Fifth Season

HBO, $59.99; Blu-ray, $79.98

Finding Fela


Kino Lorber, $29.95; Blu-ray, $34.95

Jimi: All Is by My Side

Xlrator, $20.99; Blu-ray, $24.99

Available on VOD on Tuesday


Kino Lorber, $24.95; Blu-ray, $29.95

Men, Women & Children

Paramount, $29.99; Blu-ray, $39.99

A Walk Among the Tombstones

Universal, $29.98; Blu-ray, $34.98

Available on VOD on Tuesday


Strand, $27.99; Blu-ray, $32.99