Robert Pattinson and Willem DaFoe star in the twisted, surreal ‘Lighthouse’
New on Blu-ray
“The Lighthouse” (Lionsgate DVD, $19.98; Blu-ray, $24.99; also available on VOD) For Robert Eggers’ follow-up to his cult horror film “The Witch,” Robert Pattinson plays an itinerant seaman who takes a job working at a remote New England lighthouse. Willem Dafoe plays the old salt who shows the newcomer the ropes, and then begins to worry about his partner when he starts behaving peculiarly — especially after a raging storm leaves the men cut off from the mainland with dwindling supplies. Shot in stark black-and-white, and peppered with grotesque imagery and surreal interludes, “The Lighthouse” at times resembles a grim psychological suspense film. But for viewers with a sardonic sense of humor, the movie also works a twisted buddy comedy, with Dafoe and Pattinson giving hilariously heightened performances as two drunk loners who gradually get on each other’s nerves.
[Special features: An Eggers commentary track, deleted scenes and a featurette]
“Three Christs” (available 1/10)
Based on a controversial early 1960s psychiatric case study, “Three Christs” stars Peter Dinklage, Walton Goggins and Bradley Whitford as institutionalized paranoid schizophrenics, each of whom believes himself to be Jesus. Richard Gere plays a progressive psychiatrist who thinks group therapy for these men would be a better form of treatment than medication and electro-shock. “Three Christs” has a premise that sounds comic; but the movie is really more of a mix between a medical history play and a spiritual debate. It’s less about the delusions of these patients and more about the presumptions and prejudices of the people trying to treat them.
TV set of the week
“Big Little Lies: The Complete Second Season” (HBO DVD, $29.98; also available on VOD) The second season of HBO’s popular melodrama “Big Little Lies” serves as an extended epilogue to the first, following the same group of California women as they try to get back on track after a shattering homicide investigation. The major addition to the cast in season two is Meryl Streep, playing the murder victim’s mother, who rolls into town determined to make sure the guilty parties suffer some consequences. As with the original run, the central appeal of “Big Little Lies” is its powerful team of actresses — led by Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman and Laura Dern — who are each playing very different characters, all in the process of reassessing their lives.
[Special features: A cast roundtable interview]
From the archives
“Brick” (KL Studio Classics Blu-ray, $29.95) Long before “Looper,” “The Last Jedi” and “Knives Out,” writer-director Rian Johnson made his feature filmmaking debut with “Brick,” a 2005 high school neo-noir that introduced Johnson’s flair for intricate storytelling and snappy dialogue. Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as a moody teenage outcast whose investigation into an ex-girlfriend’s murder has him interrogating peers from various cliques — and learning more about their involvement with the local heroin trade. Influenced as much by David Lynch and Billy Wilder as by John Hughes and Amy Heckerling, “Brick” is notable for how assured it is, and for how committed Johnson and his cast remain throughout to making a retro crime film against the backdrop of a modern California suburb.
[Special features: A cast-and-crew commentary track, plus deleted scenes]
Three more to see
“Chained for Life” (Kino Lorber DVD, $29.95; Blu-ray, $34.95; also available on VOD); “Joker” (Warner Bros. DVD, $28.98; Blu-ray, $35.99; also available on VOD); “Paradise Hills” (Samuel Goldwyn Blu-ray, $24.95; also available on VOD)
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