New on Blu-ray
“Crazy Rich Asians” (Warner Bros. DVD/Blu-ray combo, $35.99; 4K, $44.99; also available on VOD)
The phenomenally successful big-screen version of Kevin Kwan’s best-selling novel “Crazy Rich Asians” stars Constance Wu as a university professor who meets her boyfriend’s relatives at a wedding in Singapore and finally understands just how wealthy he really is. Directed by Jon M. Chu, this sprawling, episodic rom-com features an accomplished Asian and Asian-American cast and draws most of its humor and conflict from their culture clashes. The specific cultural details peppered throughout the film give it a different flavor from most domestic comedies, but the overall focus remains on the pressures of family expectations — a theme just about anyone can relate to.
[Special features: A commentary track, deleted scenes and a featurette]
“Agatha Raisin and the Wizard of Evesham” (available 11/19, on Acorn TV)
The subscription streaming service Acorn TV ventures into original programming with the movie “Agatha Raisin and the Wizard of Evesham,” an extension of a popular British comedy-mystery series. Ashley Jensen returns as the high-powered public relations expert who seeks a quiet life in rural England but keeps stumbling across murders. (She’s like a U.K. Jessica Fletcher, writing press releases instead of novels.) In the new film — the first of three that Acorn will release — the heroine has a brush with romance with a suave hairdresser, who inevitably turns up dead. As always, the hilarious Jensen makes Agatha unlike any other TV detective: at once fashionable, adorably bumbling and unapologetically amorous.
TV set of the week
“TVTV: Video Revolutionaries” (First Run DVD, $24.95)
Some of the most exciting television of the mid-’70s was produced by Top Value Television, a collective of guerrilla artists, journalists and hustlers who took lightweight portable video cameras into the places where the networks couldn’t or wouldn’t go. Paul Goldsmith’s documentary “TVTV: Video Revolutionaries” tells the story of how the group went from being an upstart media outlet at the 1972 political conventions to finding a home at PBS and later NBC for the intimate documentaries they made about everything from Oscar night to the Super Bowl to Bob Dylan. The anecdotes are fun — if a bit haphazardly assembled — but the real value here is the copious footage of TVTV productions, as immediate and provocative as ever.
[Special features: None]
From the archives
“Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers” (Kino DVD, $79.95; Blu-ray, $99.95)
One of this year’s most essential archival box sets, the long-gestating “Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers” is a necessary corrective to nearly a century of cinema studies and canon-building focused on men. In the era before the Hollywood studio system took over the American movie business, there were pockets of the industry scattered about, where women like Alice Guy-Blaché, Grace Canard, Lois Weber and Mabel Normand worked in front of and behind the cameras to tell stories that were visually dynamic and emotionally rich. This six-disc collection contains over 50 silent-era short films and fragments (and even more on the Blu-ray edition), plus a few full-length features, covering a range of styles and subjects from a perspective too often overlooked in history classes.
[Special features: Commentary tracks on select films, plus interviews and bonus footage]
Three more to see