The Wolf of Wall Street
Paramount, $29.98; Blu-ray, $39.99
Available on VOD beginning March 25
Audacious, hilarious, disgusting and exhausting, Martin Scorsese's latest isn't the kind of movie one would expect a director in his 70s to make — let alone the kind of movie that would pull down more than $350 million worldwide — but that's why this is one of the many great films from last year likely to be talked about for decades. Turning his attention from criminals with guns to criminals with cellphones, Scorsese tells the mostly true story of Jordan Belfort (played by Leonardo DiCaprio, who also co-produced), a born salesman who made billions in the 1990s selling junk stocks to gullible investors. Scorsese and screenwriter Terence Winter spend three hours depicting the filthy rich getting filthier, and it is a lot to take in — maybe too much. But it's a brilliant mix of vicarious thrills and playboy-shaming, held together by DiCaprio's career-best performance. The DVD and Blu-ray add a featurette.
The Great Beauty
Criterion, $24.95; Blu-ray, $39.95
Paolo Sorrentino just won the foreign language film Oscar for this 21st century "La Dolce Vita," starring Toni Servillo as a Roman writer who ambles through a life of art openings and orgies, making withering comments. Flashy and bombastic, the film reflects a modern Rome where money, notoriety and political power are all the same. In a rare hopeful note, though, Sorrentino's hero keeps yearning for a life-changing aesthetic experience. This is a visually pleasurable movie about one man's faith in the meaning of pleasure. Criterion's DVD and Blu-ray come with deleted scenes and interviews.
Sony Blu-ray, $35.99
Available on VOD beginning Tuesday
Asghar Farhadi follows up his Oscar-winning domestic melodrama "A Separation" with another tale of divorce that turns pride and hurt feelings into the stuff of Hitchcockian suspense. "The Artist's" Bérénice Bejo stars as a Parisian mother divorcing an Iranian man (Ali Mosaffa) so she can be with her married Arab lover (Tahar Rahim). As with "A Separation," "The Past" hinges on mistakes and misunderstandings that exacerbate an already tense situation, as all of these characters selfishly and passive-aggressively try to manipulate one another. "The Past" is further proof that Farhadi is one of the premier cinematic dramatists today. He provides a commentary track to the DVD/Blu-ray combo-pack, which also contains a pair of featurettes.
Key & Peele: Seasons One & Two
Paramount Blu-ray, $24.99
The Comedy Central sketch series is more a cult favorite than a household name, but that's changing with each new episode and each new bit that gets digital love. Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele spoof popular culture and race relations in slickly produced sketches, sporting a sense of humor that's incisive but never off-putting. Key and Peele are more amused than livid about the state of the world, and their confident wit carries them far. A new Blu-ray set combines seasons 1 and 2 into a single package, tacking on outtakes, commentaries and a live performance.
Walt Disney, $29.99; Blu-ray, $32.99