From the Big Screen:
“The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “The Lego Movie.” For more information on these and other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.
This Week’s Highlights:
There’s three very collectible films due this week from The Criterion Collection:
“Hearts and Minds” (1974): A startling and courageous film, Peter Davis’s landmark 1974 documentary unflinchingly confronted the United States’ involvement in Vietnam at the height of the foment that surrounded it. Using a wealth of sources — from interviews to newsreels to footage of the conflict and the upheaval it occasioned on the home front — Davis constructs a powerfully affecting picture of the disastrous effects of war. Explosive, persuasive, and wrenching, “Hearts and Minds” is an overwhelming emotional experience and the most important nonfiction film ever made about this devastating period in history … “Picnic at Hanging Rock” (1975): This sensual and striking chronicle of a disappearance and its aftermath put director Peter Weir on the map and helped usher in a new era of Australian cinema. Set at the turn of the 20th century, “Picnic at Hanging Rock” concerns a small group of students from an all-female college and a chaperone, who vanish while on a St. Valentine’s Day outing. Less a mystery than a journey into the mystic, as well as an inquiry into issues of class and sexual repression in Australian society, Weir’s gorgeous, disquieting film is a work of poetic horror whose secrets haunt viewers to this day … “Judex” (1963): This effortlessly cool crime caper, directed by Georges Franju (“Eyes Without a Face”), is a marvel of dexterous plotting and visual invention. Conceived as an homage to Louis Feuillade’s 1916 cult silent serial of the same name, “Judex” kicks off with the mysterious kidnapping of a corrupt banker by a shadowy crime fighter (American magician Channing Pollock) and spins out into a thrillingly complex web of deceptions. Combining stylish sixties modernism with silent-cinema touches and even a few unexpected sci-fi accents, “Judex” is a delightful bit of pulp fiction and a testament to the art of illusion.
From TV to DVD::
Based on the bestselling “Inspector Banks” novels by Peter Robinson, “DCI Banks: Season One” (2013) follows the tenacious Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks (Stephen Tompkinson) and his headstrong partner Annie Cabbott (Andrea Lowe) as they attempt to solve three gruesome crimes in the Yorkshire, England countryside. Two-disc DVD, $34.98 from BBC Home Entertainment … In “Death in Paradise: Season One” (2011), quintessentially British cop Richard Poole (Ben Miller) is a fish out of water when he is sent to the tiny Caribbean island of Saint-Marie to investigate a murder, but his new partner, DS Camille Bordey (Sara Martins) is instinctive, feisty, brilliant and beautiful, the rest of the Saint Marie police force certainly have their own unique way of doing things and — though Poole would never admit it, they make a perfect team — so perfect that his temporary assignment becomes permanent. Two-disc DVD set with eight episodes, $34.98 from BBC Home Entertainment … “The Good Witch’s Gift” (2008) stars Catherine Bell and Chris Potter in the third in the “Good Witch” Hallmark Channel Original Movie franchise. Nightingale (Bell) and sweetheart police chief Jake Russell (Potter)’s plans to wed on Christmas eve is disrupted when a mysterious man from Jake’s past returns to town. From Cinedigm … “House of Cards: The Complete Second Season” (2014) is a four-disc set with 13 episodes; on DVD and Blu-ray from Sony … In “Masterpiece Mystery!: The Escape Artist” (2014), David Tennant stars as a defense lawyer with a perfect record of courtroom wins and a perfect family to go with it — until things go horribly wrong. Co-starring in this legal cliff-hanger are Sophie Okonedo as Tennant’s professional nemesis, Ashley Jensen as the hero’s endearing wife, and Toby Kebbell as an accused murderer who is either a persecuted misfit or a dangerous psychopath. Airs on PBS Sunday nights, June 15 and June 22. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from PBS Distribution … Gripping murder mysteries face two female detectives — Detective Constable Rachel Bailey (Suranne Jones) and her partner Detective Constable Janet Scott (Lesley Sharp) — one motherly, the other emotionally immature — who have varying levels of success applying their eccentric outlooks on life to their police cases and private lives in “Scott & Bailey: Season One” (2011); the highest rated new drama in the UK for 2011. Two-disc DVD with six episodes, $34.98 from BBC Home Entertainment.