With so many movies hitting VOD, streaming services, Blu-ray, and DVD, it’s hard to know what to watch next. New On Home Video offers a bi-weekly guide to what’s worth seeking out, with an emphasis on what’s really worth watching, from recent theatrical releases to classics and long-lost gems.
Carrie (Scream Factory)
A classic that’s been overdue for a fresh coat of paint, Brian De Palma’s 1976 adaptation of Stephen King’s Carrie gets the deluxe treatment with this new edition, taken from the film’s original negative. Carrie‘s an undeniable classic, and Scream Factory has gone all out for this edition, which includes everything from new interviews with many members of the cast to a look at the doomed Carrie: The Musical. At heart a story of bullying and the ways in which repression get alchemized into violence, it remains both frightening and timely.
If there’s a consensus start date for the current golden age of television it’s January 10, 1999, when HBO aired the first episode of The Sopranos. But roll back the clock a decade and you’ll find one of the medium’s most extraordinary achievements, the 10-part series Dekalog. Directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski for Polish television in 1989, Dekalog consists of 10 hour-long films, each tied — sometimes loosely, sometimes obviously — to one of the 10 Commandments. The installments range from the somber to the harrowing to the hopeful, all united by Kiesklowski’s lyrical filmmaking and his ability to show the persistence of eternal verities in the cinderblock-dominated streets of Poland at the end of the Cold War.
Kieslowksi was about to enter the highest-profile phase of his career, with The Double Life of Veronique and the Three Colors trilogy just ahead of him prior to his retirement in 1994 and his 1996 death at the age of 54. Long unseen outside of Europe, Dekalog‘s late arrival in the U.S. at the end of the ’90s confirmed it as a work made to stand next to those masterpieces. This Criterion edition improves on all previous home video releases, presenting beautifully remastered prints of the film alongside extensive interviews with those involved in the films and A Short Film About Killing and A Short Film About Love, feature length expansions of the fifth and sixth entries. This is as essential as it gets.
The Shallows (Columbia)
Or if you just want to watch Blake Lively fight a shark check out The Shallows, a pretty great, economical thriller directed by Jaume Collett-Serra (Non-Stop). Stuck within sight of the beach, Lively’s character has to use her ingenuity and survival skills to avoid being eaten while dealing with a life-threatening leg wound and other factors. If you missed this in the middle of all the summer blockbuster behemoths, now’s a good time to catch up.