Musician David Crosby’s highs and lows are explored in a fascinating documentary
New on Blu-ray
“David Crosby: Remember My Name” (Sony Pictures Classics DVD, $25.99; Blu-ray, $24.99; also available on VOD)
Veteran rocker and hippie icon David Crosby has often been painted as a tragicomic figure, known as much for his drug abuse and his combative attitude as his songs. A.J. Eaton’s documentary “David Crosby: Remember My Name” aims to correct that by enhancing viewers’ appreciation of one of the 20th century’s most adventurous and plugged-in musicians. The film doesn’t shy away from the singer’s biggest scandals. Interviewer Cameron Crowe asks about all the infamous fights and arrests; and Crosby answers with disarming honesty and self-reflection. But this absorbing and tuneful doc is more about the exploratory pop era that produced the Byrds and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and about how the intensity of creation can affect the way great artists live their lives.
[Special features: Extended interviews and deleted scenes]
“Dolemite Is My Name” (available 10/25 on Netflix)
The late comedian Rudy Ray Moore has been an inspiration to standup comics and hip-hop artists alike; and now his life story has inspired Eddie Murphy’s best performance in years. Directed by Craig Brewer and co-written by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, “Dolemite Is My Name” follows Moore’s DIY showbiz adventures in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, when he overcame years of struggle in the entertainment business and found a large audience for his X-rated comedy albums and his low-budget action-comedy movies. Hilarious and oddly touching — and anchored by Murphy at his warmest and liveliest — this film is a real treat.
TV set of the week
“Veronica Mars (2019): The Complete First Season” (Warner Bros. DVD, $24.98; Blu-ray, $24.99; also available on VOD)
Though it’s being sold as the “first season,” the most recent Hulu iteration of the hip detective series “Veronica Mars” is actually the fourth go-round, after three years on network TV in the mid-2000s (plus a 2013 reboot movie). Season 4 is also the best run of “Veronica Mars” since that first season, getting back to the show’s roots as an intricate, character-driven procedural, with something to say about the social inequity in a ritzy Southern California beachfront community. In the latest storyline, the witty but emotionally troubled private eye Veronica (Kristen Bell) investigates a string of spring break bombings, in a case that brings back most of the franchise’s major characters for a smart and challenging mystery.
[Special features: A Comic-Con panel]
From the archives
“When We Were Kings” (Criterion DVD, $29.95; Blu-ray, $39.95)
When documentarian Leon Gast went to Zaire in 1974 to document both an R&B music festival and a Muhammad Ali/George Foreman title fight, he had no idea the match would become the epic now known as “the Rumble in the Jungle” — or that it would take over 20 years for him to get the money to finish the film. But the extra time ended up serving Gast well. The Oscar-winning “When We Were Kings” combines some phenomenal boxing and concert footage with reflections by erudite commentators like Norman Mailer, George Plimpton and Spike Lee, who help explain what Ali and Foreman meant to the culture and what made this event so surprising and dramatic.
[Special features: New and vintage interviews, and a feature-length concert film]
Three more to see
“Bloodline” (Universal DVD, $19.98; Blu-ray, $22.98; also available on VOD); “The Lion King (2019)” (Walt Disney DVD/Blu-ray, $24.99; also available on VOD); “Wonder Woman: Bloodlines” (Warner Bros. DVD/Blu-ray, $24.98; also available on VOD)
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