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Recommended Discs & Deals of the Week: ‘City Lights,’ ‘Frances Ha,’ ‘Nosferatu,’ ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ & More

Written by on November 12, 2013 

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. If we were provided screener copies, we’ll have our own write-up, but if that’s not the case, one can find official descriptions from the distributors. Check out our rundown below and return every Tuesday for the best 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.

Blackfish (Gabriela Cowperthwaite)

A powerful documentary going behind the scenes to expose the truth about SeaWorld’s dirty little secret, Gabriela Cowperthwaite’sBlackfish shows the consequence of hubristic action. Centered on the death of Orca trainer Dawn Brancheau, the film delves all the way back to the 70s to explain the extensive history of whale captivity and its horrific conditions leading to Tilikum earning the name Killer Whale. Everyone interviewed has extensive first-hand knowledge of the industry and/or Tilikum himself to paint a picture of just how dangerous mankind’s ego can become when bottom-line is king and the people in its control are too young and naive to realize what’s happening. One of the scariest films of the year, we’re shown the tragic result of our yearning to control nature. – Jared M. (full review)

City Lights (Charlie Chaplin)

City Lights, the most cherished film by Charlie Chaplin, is also his ultimate Little Tramp chronicle. The writer-director-star achieved new levels of grace, in both physical comedy and dramatic poignancy, with this silent tale of a lovable vagrant falling for a young blind woman who sells flowers on the street (a magical Virginia Cherrill) and mistakes him for a millionaire. Though this Depression-era smash was made after the advent of sound, Chaplin remained steadfast in his love for the expressive beauty of the pre-talkie form. The result was the epitome of his art and the crowning achievement of silent comedy. – Criterion.com

Frances Ha (Noah Baumbach)

Mild, existing vestiges of its star’s “mumblecore” origins and its director’s acidic social preening are ultimately rejected in Frances Ha, a film that shows itself to have more kinship with the likes of Woody Allen’s Manhattan. (The black and white cinematography set amidst New York City being a bracingly obvious touchstone.) In its spirit, an alternately loose-limbed and tight-wired current runs through the Noah BaumbachGreta Gerwig picture, thanks to an inextricable bond between image, script, and performance: the camera casts a patient glance on people in apartments, subways, bars, and restaurants, capturing the casual doling out of personal revelations which, set over a brisk 80-or-so minutes, accumulate into the portrait of human beings that is often painful but, somehow, always an undiluted pleasure. – Nick N.

Nosferatu (F. W. Murnau)

A cornerstone of the horror film, F. W. Murnau‘s Noseferatu: A Symphony of Horror is resurrected in an HD edition mastered from the acclaimed 35mm restoration by the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung. Backed by an orchestral performance of Hans Erdmann’s 1922 score, this edition offers unprecedented visual clarity and historical faithfulness to the original release version. An unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Nosferatu remains to many viewers the most unsettling vampire film ever made, and its bald, spidery vampire, personified by the diabolical Max Schreck, continues to spawn imitations in the realm of contemporary cinema.

Rent: Akira: 25th Anniversary Edition, Barbara, Prince Avalanche

Recommended Deals of the Weeks

(Note: new additions are in red)

2001: A Space Odyssey (Blu-Ray) – $8.49

Alfred Hitchcock: The Essentials Collection (Rear Window, Vertigo, North by Northwest, Psycho and The Birds) (Blu-ray) – $39.99

The American (Blu-ray) – $6.25

Blow (Blu-ray) – 67.98

Blue Valentine (Blu-ray) – $8.79

Cape Fear (Blu-ray) – $8.99

Children of Men (Blu-ray) – $9.98

Cool Hand Luke (Blu-ray) – $8.49

Contact (Blu-ray) – $6.49

Dark City (Blu-ray) – $8.49

Eyes Wide Shut (Blu-ray) – $8.49

Fantastic Mr. Fox (Blu-ray) – $11.99

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (Blu-ray) – $6.98

Goodfellas (Blu-ray) – $8.63

Halloween (Blu-ray) – $9.87

Hugo (Blu-ray) – $9.49

Inception (Blu-ray) – $9.27

Mean Streets (Blu-ray) – $6.98

Memento (Blu-ray) – $9.98

Moneyball (Blu-ray) – $8.86

Once Upon a Time in the West (Blu-ray) – $8.99

No Country For Old Men (Blu-ray) – $6.99

Side Effects (Blu-ray) – $12.49

Slumdog Millionaire (Blu-ray) – $8.98

Source Code (Blu-ray) – $7.88

Terminator 2: Judgement Day (Blu-ray) – $7.79

There Will Be Blood (Blu-ray) – $9.49

The Truman Show (Blu-ray) – $8.99

Wanderlust (Blu-ray) – $6.95

Winter’s Bone (Blu-ray) – $6.99

Zodiac (Blu-ray) – $9.49

What are you picking up this week?

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