From the Big Screen:
“Interstellar,” “The Imitation Game” and “Wild.” For more information on these and other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.
This Week’s Highlights:
“Cries and Whispers” (1972), the existential wail of a drama from Ingmar Bergman, concerns two sisters, Karin (Ingrid Thulin) and Maria (Liv Ullmann), keeping vigil for a third, Agnes (Harriet Andersson), who is dying of cancer and can find solace only in the arms of a beatific nurse (Kari Sylwan). An intensely felt film that may be Bergman’s most striking formal experiment, “Cries and Whispers” (which won an Oscar for the extraordinary color photography of Sven Nykvist) is a powerful depiction of human behavior in the face of death, positioned on the borders between reality and nightmare, tranquillity and terror. In a new 2K digital restoration on Blu-ray and DVD, with an uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Extras include an introduction by Bergman from 2001; a new interview with actor Harriet Andersson, conducted by film scholar Peter Cowie; behind-the-scenes footage with commentary by Cowie; “Ingmar Bergman: Reflections on Life, Death, and Love With Erland Josephson” (2000), a 52-minute interview with Bergman and his longtime collaborator. From The Criterion Collection … When Sergio Leone turned Lee Van Cleef into a major star with “For a Few Dollars More” and “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” the actor sensibly stayed in Italy to make several more spaghetti westerns, including “Day of Anger” (1967 — Italy), from Leone’s former assistant Tonino Valerii. Giuliano Gemma plays street cleaner Scott Mary, relentlessly bullied by the people of the small town of Clifton. When legendarily ruthless master gunfighter Frank Talby (Van Cleef) rides into town, Scott seizes the opportunity to lift himself out of the gutter, and possibly even surpass Talby’s own skills. On a Blu-ray/DVD Combo from Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment Group.
From TV to DVD:
In “Case Histories Complete Collection” (2011, 2013) , based on the bestselling novels by Kate Atkinson, Jason Isaacs stars as Jackson Brodie, a former Edinburgh cop turned private detective. Tough but good-hearted, Brodie can’t turn a blind eye to injustice and people in need. Although it does little to line his pockets, he finds himself investigating everything from lost cats to missing children and killers on the run. Four-disc set with nine episodes, $59.99 from Acorn Media … In “Lovejoy, Series 5” (1993), based on the novels by Jonathan Gash, Ian McShane stars as Lovejoy, a rascal of an antiques dealer with a heart of gold, who gets involved in all sorts of mysteries and scandals. Four-disc set with 14 episodes, $49.99 from Acorn Media … “Silicon Valley: Season 1” (2014) is a two-disc set with eight episodes. From the offbeat mind of Mike Judge (“Office Space,” “Beavis and Butt-head”), this HBO half-hour comedy takes viewers inside the world of tech start-ups — and the socially awkward underdogs who try to navigate its lucrative potential. Starring a talented ensemble of young comic actors and veterans, “Silicon Valley” charts the rising fortunes of Richard, an introverted computer programmer who lives in a “Hacker Hostel” start-up incubator along with his friends Big Head, Gilfoyle and Dinesh. These social misfits live under the watch of Erlich, a dotcom millionaire who lets them stay in his house for free — as long as he gets a 10 percent stake in their projects. Stuck working part-time at a large tech company called Hooli, Richard’s obscure website, Pied Piper, is going nowhere fast. But when a mid-level Hooli executive named Jared is apprised of the value of the site’s novel compression algorithm, Richard finds himself caught in the middle of an extreme bidding war between Hooli founder Gavin Belson and independent billionaire venture capitalist Peter Gregory. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from HBO …
“VEEP: The Complete Third Season” (2014) is a two-disc set with 10 episodes. Following the whirlwind day-to-day existence of Vice President Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus in her Emmy-winning role), “VEEP” skewers everyday office politics against the backdrop of the second highest office in the land. After the revelation at the end of Season 2 that the president will not run for reelection, Season 3 begins with Selina, eying a promotion, courting Iowa caucus voters at a signing for her new book, “Some New Beginnings.” Soon, Selina and her staff, back in D.C. for a wedding, learn that Secretary of Defense Maddox is resigning — setting Selina up for a possible run in the presidential primaries against Maddox and her nemesis, war-vet Danny Chung. Over the course of the season’s 10 episodes, Selina and her staff will set up an exploratory campaign office in D.C. and travel to Silicon Valley (to raise money) and London (to meet with heads of state), while Amy (Anna Chlumsky) and Dan (Reid Scott) vie to be Selina’s campaign manager. As always, “VEEP” will continue to show that in Washington, even the most banal decisions can have ripple effects, with unexpected and far-reaching consequences.On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from HBO.