New video: ‘Lovesong’ hums along with a real understanding of how women interact

Jena Malone, as Mindy and Riley Keough, as Sarah in “Lovesong.”
(Sundance Institute / Sundance Institute)

New on DVD

“Lovesong” (Strand DVD, $27.99; also available on VOD)

In films like “In Between Days,” “Treeless Mountain” and “For Ellen,” director So Yong Kim has established herself as a skilled poet of the everyday, finding beauty and drama in travel, jobs, relationships, parenthood … life, essentially. “Lovesong” is her most accessible film. Riley Keough and Jena Malone play Sarah and Mindy, two old friends who become sexually intimate over the course of a long road trip with Sarah’s young daughter. The first half covers their dizzying romantic vacation; the second picks up three years later at Mindy’s wedding, where a previously easy friendship suffers from their shared secret. Keough and Malone have a credible chemistry as the two leads, but the story rises and falls on Kim’s understanding of how women interact, and how hard it is for some people to ask for what they really want.

Special features: An interview with director Kim.



“The Commune” (available Friday)

Eclectic Danish auteur Thomas Vinterberg (best known for “The Celebration” and “The Hunt”) makes one of his most personal films with “The Commune,” a vivid slice-of-life about changing cultural mores in 1970s Copenhagen. Ulrich Thomsen and Trine Dyrholm costar as upper middle class intellectuals who inherit a big old house and decide to share it with their free-spirited friends. As the couple explores alternative lifestyles — while still trying to be good parents and successful professionals — Vinterberg and his co-writer Tobias Lindholm work in some of their own impressions of life in Denmark, during a time when people were open to experimenting.

TV set of the week


“Martin Clunes’ Islands of Australia” (Athena DVD, $34.99)

“Doc Martin” star Martin Clunes brings his considerable charms to the three-part travelogue “Islands of Australia,” a follow-up to his similar 2009 docu-series “Islands of Britain.” While the latter looked at the culture, climate and wildlife of the land off the U.K. coast, the sequel spends time in 16 of Oz’s 8,000 isles, exploring the rich diversity in places like Norfolk, Restoration, Tiwi and Maria. Clunes himself is an active participant in the adventure, putting feet on the ground as he learns about Australia’s complicated history.

Special features: None.

From the archives

“Streets of Fire: Collector’s Edition” (Shout! Select Blu-ray, $34.93)

Director Walter Hill had just experienced the biggest hit of his career — the Eddie Murphy vehicle “48 Hours” — when he retreated to his offbeat pulp cinema roots with the rock musical “Streets of Fire.” Michael Paré and Amy Madigan play guns for hire who set out to save a singer played by Diane Lane from an evil biker played by Willem Dafoe. Despite a catchy soundtrack that features the Fixx, the Blasters and Dan Hartman’s massive chart hit “I Can Dream About You,” the film flopped at the box office back in 1984. But home video audiences helped rescue an often clunky but enjoyably unusual B-movie, which in its new 2K transfer looks more than ever like a dime-store paperback cover come to live.

Special features: New and vintage featurettes.

Three more to see


“Resident Evil: The Final Chapter” (Sony DVD, $26.99; Blu-ray, $34.99; also available on VOD); “The Space Between Us” (Universal DVD, $29.98; Blu-ray, $34.98; also available on VOD); “xXx: Return of Xander Cage” (Sony, $29.98; Blu-ray, $39.99; 3D, $44.99; also available on VOD)