Advertisement

Oscar-winning 'Revenant' should stand test of time

Oscar-winning 'Revenant' should stand test of time
Leonardo DiCaprio plays a guide out for revenge in "The Revenant," for which he won an Oscar. (Kimberley French / 20th Century Fox)

The Revenant

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

Advertisement

Available on VOD April 19

"The Revenant" fell just short of winning best picture, but Alejandro G. Iñárritu's raw frontier adventure did take home the Oscars for director and lead actor — and it should stand the test of time. Leonardo DiCaprio gives an intensely physical, mostly silent performance, playing a skilled scout who's betrayed and left for dead by a greedy fur-trapper (played by Tom Hardy) after a brutal bear attack. Cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki — who won his third consecutive Oscar for this film — reimagines the look of the American western, relying more on skewed angles and tight framing than breathtaking vistas. The results are sometimes too overwrought and heavy-handed for such a simple survivalist tale, but more often Iñárritu and company create something startlingly realistic, allowing the audience to think and feel along with the hero as he fights for his life in the wilderness. The DVD and Blu-ray contain a documentary about the making of the film.

Veep: The Complete Fourth Season

Silicon Valley: The Complete Second Season

HBO, $26.95; Blu-ray, $34.98

The recent "peak TV" era has seen a boom in high-quality dramas, but HBO's back-to-back sitcom block of "Veep" and "Silicon Valley" makes the case that television comedy is also thriving. Both series are due to start new seasons soon, but there's still time to catch up on last year's phenomenal run of episodes. While "Veep" has been telling a twisty, disturbingly believable story about a former vice president (played by the multi-Emmy-winning Julia Louis-Dreyfus) juggling a campaign and multiple scandals, "Silicon Valley" has followed the struggles of a small, independent software company in an industry filled with litigious opportunists. These shows are hilariously vulgar, sharply written, masterfully acted and all-too-honest about the way the American government and economy really work. The "Veep" fourth season set also features deleted scenes, and the "Silicon Valley" second season collection has deleted scenes, commentary tracks and a behind-the-scenes look.

And Then There Were None

Acorn, $34.99; Blu-ray, $34.99

Agatha Christie's most popular novel has been adapted to the stage and screen many times, but rarely as keenly as in the most recent BBC version. In the new "And Then There Were None," an all-star cast of British and Australian actors — including Sam Neill, Noah Taylor, Miranda Richardson, Charles Dance and Douglas Booth — play party guests on a remote island where their darkest secrets are exposed just before they're killed off, one by one. An ingeniously plotted story, "And Then There Were None" is a whodunit where the number of suspects diminishes as the number of victims increases. It's also a nifty survey of English life in the late 1930s, and the awful things that people think they can get away with when no one is watching them. The DVD and Blu-ray include over an hour's worth of in-depth featurettes.

A Whit Stillman Trilogy: Metropolitan, Barcelona, The Last Days of Disco

Criterion, $79.95; Blu-ray, $79.95

Unprolific writer-director Whit Stillman has a new movie coming out soon: a charming Jane Austen adaptation called "Love & Friendship." That makes this the perfect time for the Criterion Collection to release a box set of his first three films, all of which came out in the 1990s. The 1994 comedy "Barcelona" joins the earlier Criterion releases of 1990's "Metropolitan" and 1998's "The Last Days of Disco" to form a lovely triptych of stories documenting the romantic and career aspirations of well-meaning, well-to-do young folks. Filmmakers like Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach owe a lot to Stillman's dryly witty, ever-earnest explorations of how income, religious faith and social pressure continue to guide people's decisions from generation to generation. The set adds commentary tracks, interviews, deleted scenes and an insightful video essay about the trilogy.

And…

Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon

Advertisement

Magnolia, $26.97; Blu-ray, $29.97

Fifty Shades of Black

Universal, $29.98; Blu-ray, $34.98

Available on VOD April 19

Ip Man 3

Well Go USA, $24.98; Blu-ray, $29.98

Love

Alchemy Blu-ray, $29.99

Misconduct

Lionsgate, $19.98; Blu-ray, $24.99

Norm of the North

Lionsgate, $29.95; Blu-ray, $34.99

Available on VOD April 19

The Lady in the Van

Sony, $26.99; Blu-ray, $34.99

Available on VOD April 19

What Lola Wants

Starz/Anchor Bay Blu-ray, $26.99

Advertisement
Advertisement