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Recommended Discs & Deals of the Week: ‘Under the Skin,’ ‘Pickpocket,’ ‘Scanners,’ and More

Written by on July 15, 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.

Pickpocket (Robert Bresson)

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Receiving Criterion’s Dual Format upgrade today is the Bresson classic Pickpocket. Easily amongst my favorite features from the director, this deceivingly simple, emotionally striking tale of a criminal in Paris is perhaps Bresson at his most effective, crafting some of the most thrilling sequences in his career. Featuring an introduction by Paul Schrader (which one can see part of here), a documentary on the actors, film scholar James Quandt‘s feature-length commentary, and much more, it’s an essential title from Criterion. – Jordan R.

Scanners (David Cronenberg)

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This is not the first Cronenberg film you’d expect to join Criterion’s ranks — its less-prescient than Videodrome, lacks the high-society focus of Dead Ringers, and certainly has fewer literary connections than Naked Lunch — but Scanners deserves a quality Blu-ray release all the same. The writer-director’s conspiracy-driven, head-exploding thriller has aged awfully well, the now-antiquated patience in its pacing and composition lulling us into a relaxed state — or as relaxed as a film of this sort can actually leave us — before its spectacular climax. As usual, a fine audio-video upgrade is complemented by numerous special features, the most significant of which may be an HD upgrade of Cronenberg’s difficult-but-fascinating feature debut, Stereo. – Nick N.

Under the Skin (Jonathan Glazer)

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Featuring one of Scarlett Johansson‘s most commanding performances in years, Jonathan Glazer‘s sci-fi drama Under the Skin makes its way to Blu-ray this week. While I don’t consider it the flat-out masterpiece some have been heralding, its lead performance and assertive visual and aural landscape is well worth seeking out, with those aspects holding up on the Blu-ray. As for special features, there’s no feature-length commentary to be had, but a 43-minute behind-the-scenes documentary is of interest. Going through various aspects of production (casting, VFX, score, script, technical approach, etc.), one of the most intriguing sections deals with the poster surprisingly fast poster design, resulting in one of the best one-sheets of the year. – Jordan R.

Recommended Deals of the Week

(Note: new additions are in red)

Adventureland (Blu-ray) – $5.00

The American (Blu-ray) – $6.00

Amelie (Blu-ray) – $6.94

Beyond the Black Rainbow (Blu-ray) – $10.49

The Big Lebowski (Blu-ray) – $9.96

Bronson (Blu-ray) – $9.49

The Cabin in the Woods (Blu-ray) – $7.88

Casino (Blu-ray) – $9.68

City of God (Blu-ray) – $7.88

Drag Me To Hell (Blu-ray) – $7.50

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Blu-ray) – $9.99

Goodfellas (Blu-ray) – $5.99

Gone Baby Gone (Blu-ray) – $6.00

The Grey (Blu-ray) – $7.50

Hanna (Blu-ray) – $9.49

Heat (Blu-ray) – $6.88

High Plains Drifter (Blu-ray) – $9.96

Hot Fuzz (Blu-ray) – $7.00

Hugo (Blu-ray) – $8.49

Jackie Brown (Blu-ray) – $5.00

Jane Eyre (Blu-ray) – $9.99

Killing Them Softly (Blu-ray) – $9.88

Knocked Up (Blu-ray) – $7.50

Looper (Blu-ray) – $9.99

Lost In Translation (Blu-ray) – $9.68

The Master (Blu-ray) – $9.92

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (Blu-ray) – $9.99

Nebraska (Blu-ray) – $9.96

No Country For Old Men (Blu-ray) – $5.00

Not Fade Away (Blu-ray) – $9.99

Office Space (Blu-ray) – $9.99

Pain & Gain (Blu-ray) – $8.39

Public Enemies (Blu-ray) – $7.50

Pulp Fiction (Blu-ray) – $7.88

Reality Bites (Blu-ray) – $9.96

Seven (Blu-ray) – $7.50

Shutter Island (Blu-ray) – $7.99

Source Code (Blu-ray) – $7.88

Spring Breakers (Blu-ray) – $9.96

The Steve McQueen Collection (Blu-ray) – $19.99

There Will Be Blood (Blu-ray) – $9.49

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (Blu-ray) – $12.49

The Wolf of Wall Street (Blu-ray) – $11.99

The Wolverine (Blu-ray) – $9.99

What are you picking up this week?


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