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Recommended Discs & Deals of the Week: ‘Only Lovers Left Alive,’ ‘Y Tu Mamá También,’ ‘Shame’ and More

Written by on August 19, 2014 

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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.

Only Lovers Left Alive (Jim Jarmusch)

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From its opening, woozy camera swirls and, even, the genre-satisfying final shot, Jim Jarmusch’s vampire film is unlike any you’ve ever seen, mostly because it can’t be bothered to take too deep an interest in the subject. Instead of human-hunting or castle-scouring, he asks us to spend a bit of time with two mouthpieces of his own snobby, cranky, ultimately affable personality as they… talk art. That’s the extent of it, event-wise, but there’s too much else to dismiss, most notably the trenchant commentary on why people are attracted to these sorts of things in the first place and why, unfortunately, it might not make us as happy as we feel. Yet, for all its elucidating on that point, few films from 2014 offer as much pleasure as Only Lovers Left Alive. – Nick N.

Manakamana (Stephanie Spray, Pacho Velez)

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While it’ll easily end up being one of the lowest-grossing features on this list, the latest work from the Harvard Sensory Ethnography Lab is also one of the most powerful, transformative experiences one is bound to experience this year. Taking a different approach than Sweetgrass and Leviathan, Manakamana places us as a passenger on twelve separate trips to and from the titular sacred temple in Nepal. While some may consider it an endurance test, I found it to be a warm, vulnerable exploration of humanity, stripping down barriers which even the vast majority of documentaries can’t help but produce. – Jordan R.

Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (Pedro Almodóvar)

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Pedro Almodóvar’s colorful and controversial tribute to the pleasures and perils of Stockholm syndrome, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! is a rambunctious dark comedy starring Antonio Banderas as an unbalanced but alluring ex-mental-patient and Victoria Abril as the B-movie and former porn star he takes prisoner in the hopes of convincing her to marry him. A highly unconventional romance that came on the spike heels of Almodóvar’s international sensation Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, this is a splashy, sexy central work in the career of one of the world’s most beloved and provocative auteurs, radiantly shot by the director’s great cinematographer, José Luis Alcaine. – Criterion.com

Y Tu Mamá También (Alfonso Cuarón)

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Before he took us to space or ventured in to the (hopefully not) near future, Alfonso Cuarón provided a stripped-down road trip dramedy that remains one of his best works. Y Tu Mamá También, released in 2001, follows Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna on a sensual, funny journey with Maribel Verdúa across Mexico. It’s the sort of project we hope Cuarón will one day return to and now it’s available through The Criterion Collection. Along with a restored transfer, the disc also includes interviews with the cast and crew, Slavoj Žižek, an on-set documentary and a short film from Alfonso’s brother, Carlos Cuarón. – Jordan R.

Rent:

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Recommended Deals of the Week

(Note: new additions are in red)

The American (Blu-ray) – $6.00

Amelie (Blu-ray) – $6.94

The Big Lebowski (Blu-ray) – $9.96

The Cabin in the Woods (Blu-ray) – $7.90

Casino (Blu-ray) – $9.68

The Counselor (Director’s Cut Blu-ray) – $9.99

Drag Me To Hell (Blu-ray) – $8.49

The Double (Blu-ray) – $12.26

Gangs of New York (Blu-ray) – $7.88

Goodfellas (Blu-ray) – $9.04

Gone Baby Gone (Blu-ray) – $6.00

The Grey (Blu-ray) – $7.50

Hanna (Blu-ray) – $7.88

Heat (Blu-ray) – $8.48

High Plains Drifter (Blu-ray) – $9.96

Hot Fuzz (Blu-ray) – $7.28

Hugo (Blu-ray) – $8.49

Indiana Jones & the Raiders of the Lost Ark (Blu-ray) – $9.99

Inside Llewyn Davis (Blu-ray) – $9.99

Jackie Brown (Blu-ray) – $5.00

Killing Them Softly (Blu-ray) – $9.92

Knocked Up (Blu-ray) – $7.50

Looper (Blu-ray) – $9.50

Lost In Translation (Blu-ray) – $9.68

Office Space (Blu-ray) – $9.99

Pain & Gain (Blu-ray) – $7.99

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Blu-ray) – $9.99

The Place Beyond the Pines (Blu-ray) – $7.99

Public Enemies (Blu-ray) – $7.50

Pulp Fiction (Blu-ray) – $7.00

Reality Bites (Blu-ray) – $9.96

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (Blu-ray) – $10.99

Seven (Blu-ray) – $6.86

Shame (Blu-ray) – $7.99

Shutter Island (Blu-ray) – $7.99

The Spectacular Now (Blu-ray) – $12.74

Spring Breakers (Blu-ray) – $9.96

Stoker (Blu-ray) – $9.98

There Will Be Blood (Blu-ray) – $9.49

Vanilla Sky (Blu-ray) – $8.64

Zero Dark Thirty (Blu-ray) – $9.99

What are you picking up this week?


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