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Recommended Discs & Deals: ‘Being There,’ ‘Fire at Sea,’ ‘Multiple Maniacs,’ and More

Written by on March 21, 2017 


Every week we dive into the cream of the crop when it comes to home releases, including Blu-ray and DVDs, as well as recommended deals of the week. Check out our rundown below and return every Tuesday for the best (or most interesting) films one can take home. Note that if you’re looking to support the site, every purchase you make through the links below helps us and is greatly appreciated.

Being There (Hal Ashby)


On paper, there’s an implausibility to the central conceit of Being There that could have resulted in a four-quadrant studio comedy forgotten soon after its release. However, with Hal Ashby’s delicate touch — bringing Jerzy Kosiński and Robert C. Jones‘ adaptation to life — and Peter Sellers‘ innocent deadpan delivery, this 1979 film is a carefully observed look at how those we interact with can offer an introspective mirror into our own lives. “There’s so much left to do,” says Melvyn Douglas‘ character on his death bed, a key scene which brings us to a spiritual door left open by the fantastic ending. (In the special features, one can see the more conventional alternate ending, too, as well as a discussion of it in a newly produced documentary.) Considering the film’s protagonist is a media-obsessed simpleton who, by the film’s end, is in talks to become the next potential President, many who revisit the film thanks to Criterion’s new release, will no doubt draw political allegories to our present day. Putting aside these obvious correlations, Being There works best as a profound look at humanity and one’s own daily performance in life. – Jordan R.

Fire at Sea (Gianfranco Rosi)


Over the course of the European refugee crisis, the name Lampedusa became so fraught with political agenda one could easily forget it’s an actual place with inhabitants and their everyday worries, a destination millions died trying to reach from across the Mediterranean Sea. The genius of this deeply affecting documentary, then, is how it never breaks into the blame game but simply restores, with disarming, enchanting poise, the human aspects of a tragedy happening right under our eyes. In this time of hyperbole and judgment, hearing what a child with a slingshot has to say and having the stories of the nameless and displaced told through their silent faces prove to be riveting, essential viewing. – Zhuo-Ning Su

Multiple Maniacs (John Waters)


John Waters’ gloriously grotesque second feature is replete with all manner of depravity, from robbery to murder to one of cinema’s most memorably blasphemous moments. Made on a shoestring budget in Waters’ native Baltimore, with the filmmaker taking on nearly every technical task, this gleeful mockery of the peace-and-love ethos of its era features the Cavalcade of Perversion, a traveling show mounted by a troupe of misfits whose shocking proclivities are topped only by those of their leader: the glammer-than-glam, larger-than-life Divine, out for blood after discovering her lover’s affair. Starring members of Waters’ beloved regular cast, the Dreamlanders (including David Lochary, Mary Vivian Pearce, Mink Stole, Susan Lowe, Edith Massey, George Figgs, and Cookie Mueller), Multiple Maniacs is an anarchic masterwork from an artist who has doggedly tested the limits of good taste for decades. – Criterion.com

Also Arriving This Week

Assassin’s Creed (review)
Evolution (review)
Live by Night (review)
Miss Sloane (review)
Tower (review)

Recommended Deals of the Week

10 Cloverfield Lane (Blu-ray) – $10.16

99 Homes (Blu-ray) – $7.99

Ali (Blu-ray) – $9.99

The American (Blu-ray) – $9.47

Amelie (Blu-ray) – $8.03

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (Blu-ray) – $8.68

The Assassin (Blu-ray) – $9.58

The Babadook (Blu-ray) – $7.88

Beginners (Blu-ray) – $7.42

The Beguiled (Blu-ray) – $7.75

Blackhat (Blu-ray) – $9.96

Bone Tomahawk (Blu-ray) – $9.73

Carrie (Blu-ray) – $8.57

Casino (Blu-ray) – $9.63

Chi-Raq (Blu-ray) – $11.99

Citizenfour (Blu-ray) – $7.99

Cosmopolis (Blu-ray) – $7.96

The Deep Blue Sea (Blu-ray) – $9.99

The Deer Hunter (Blu-ray) – $9.96

Force Majeure (Blu-ray) – $8.79

Frailty (Blu-ray) – $5.00

Godzilla (Blu-ray) – $9.05

Glengarry Glen Ross (Blu-ray) – $6.09

Gone Girl (Blu-ray) – $8.16

Greenberg (Blu-ray) – $6.20

Green Room (Blu-ray) – $10.48

Haywire (Blu-ray) – $5.50

Heat (Blu-ray) – $9.96

Hot Fuzz (Blu-ray) – $5.99

Holy Motors (Blu-ray) – $9.33

The Informant! (Blu-ray) – $7.19

Inglorious Basterds (Blu-ray) – $7.99

Inherent Vice (Blu-ray) – $10.66

In the Loop ( Blu-ray) – $8.99

It Follows (Blu-ray) – $7.88

Jane Eyre (Blu-ray) – $8.06

Jaws (Blu-ray) – $7.88

Killing Them Softly (Blu-ray) – $4.75

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (Blu-ray) – $9.99

Knight of Cups (Blu-ray) – $9.99

Kubo and the Two Strings (Blu-ray) – $11.99

Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter (Blu-ray) – $9.89

The Lobster (Blu-ray) – $9.99

Lost In Translation (Blu-ray) – $9.99

Magic Mike XXL (Blu-ray) – $8.99

Magnolia (Blu-ray) – $9.99

Manchester by the Sea (Blu-ray) – $12.99

The Man Who Wasn’t There (Blu-ray) – $9.49

Martha Marcy May Marlene (Blu-ray) – $7.49

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (Blu-ray) – $5.96

Michael Clayton (Blu-ray) – $8.96

Never Let Me Go (Blu-ray) – $10.04

No Country For Old Men (Blu-ray) – $4.96

Persepolis (Blu-ray) – $6.50

The Piano (Blu-ray) – $7.99

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (Blu-ray) – $10.99

Pulp Fiction (Blu-ray) – $8.85

The Raid: Redemption (Blu-ray) – $7.99

Saint Laurent (Blu-ray) – $7.47

The Searchers / Wild Bunch / How the West Was Won (Blu-ray) – $10.46

Sex, Lies, and Videotape (Blu-ray) – $8.29

Short Term 12 (Blu-ray) – $9.89

Shutter Island (Blu-ray) – $9.98

A Serious Man (Blu-ray) – $7.68

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (Blu-ray) – $9.31

Somewhere (Blu-ray) – $6.50

Spartacus (Blu-ray)  – $7.73

Spotlight (Blu-ray) – $9.99

Sunshine (Blu-ray) – $8.36

Swiss Army Man (Blu-ray) – $11.71

Taxi Driver: 40th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray) – $8.71

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (Blu-ray) – $9.69

There Will Be Blood (Blu-ray) – $8.49

The Third Man (Blu-ray) – $9.87

Tinker Sailor Soldier Spy (Blu-ray) – $6.99

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (Blu-ray) – $7.99

Waltz With Bashir (Blu-ray) – $6.99

Where the Wild Things Are (Blu-ray) – $7.88

Whiplash (Blu-ray) – $9.99

The White Ribbon (Blu-ray) – $9.60

The Witch (Blu-ray) – $9.99

The Wolf of Wall Street (Blu-ray) – $9.99

Zero Dark Thirty (Blu-ray) – $7.88

See all Blu-ray deals.

What are you picking up this week?

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