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Recommended Discs & Deals: ‘Rumble Fish,’ ‘Tampopo,’ ‘Kaili Blues,’ ‘La La Land,’ and More

Written by on April 25, 2017 

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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. 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.

Anatahan (Josef von Sternberg)

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Josef von Sternberg called Anatahan his best film. Borne from more than a decade’s worth of frustration with the studio system, it was, as the last picture he completed, his stamp on his time as a director. Even then, when released in 1953, it was only released in a butchered format, and, as it often goes in such cases, was subsequently abandoned by popular consciousness. But a few times each year, cinephiles (at least ones in major cities) are treated to big-screen resuscitations of long-neglected works. Now, Anatahan has been restored by Kino Lorber to Sternberg’s uncensored version, and it hits Blu-ray this week. – Dan S. (full review)


Kaili Blues (Bi Gan)

kaili-blues

At its heart, Bi Gan’s Kaili Blues is a meditation on the struggle between traditionalism and modernism. Through the story of one man’s journey through Chinese cities — Kaili to Zhenyuan — Bi focuses on characters who lament the people and ideas that they’ve lost as the world’s changed around them. But this is not just another screed against contemporary life; it finds a cruel beauty and gentle soul in the transition between elemental landscapes and the unfinished, industrialized future. And there’s personal serenity for some of these characters in being able to leave behind their old lives. – Michael S. (full review)


La La Land (Damien Chazelle)

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Damien Chazelle‘s vibrant ode to musicals past, featuring the unstoppable chemistry between stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, has been a shining light for many at the end of a hard year. Exploring the hardships of a creative life, both in paying the bills and fueling the passion, Chazelle pulls from classics (New York, New York comes to mind), while playing with the cynicism of the now. Jazz is dying, film is dying, but, by God, there will be dancing. There will be singing. And there will be wonderfully lensed romantic kisses to composed crescendoes. Maybe we will be all right. – Dan M.


Rumble Fish (Francis Ford Coppola)

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Emerging from the production of The Outsiders, Francis Ford Coppola retained much of the same crew (and some of the same cast) for his back-to-back follow-up Rumble Fish, which follows brothers (Matt Dillon and Mickey Rourke) as they navigate lust, liquor, and longing. After being considered a disappointment amongst audiences and critics, its debut on Criterion is a much-deserved distinction. Featuring a sinewy new 4K restoration in all of its black-and-white glory, Coppola’s atmospheric, often experimental drama may initially catch one off guard with its heightened tone, but it quickly settles into being one of the most impressively emotional films of the director’s career. Highlights amongst the new special features includes an interview with author and co-screenwriter S. E. Hinton, who details her experience in a male-dominated circle of friends, and a fantastic conversation between cinematographer Stephen H. Burum and production designer Dean Tavoularis about the many technological advancements they were a part of. – Jordan R.


Tampopo (Jûzô Itami)

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As the most basic level, Tampopo can be sold as Rocky with ramen, but the eccentric contours of Jûzô Itami‘s 1985 hit make this more than a simple underdog story. Following a pair of truck drivers (including a young Ken Watanabe) who assist a widow in revitalizing her business and creating the perfect bowl of ramen, there’s also cuisine-centered erotism, gangster drama, spaghetti-eating lessons, a death-inducing final meal, and much more. Excelling both as a film about process and a swirling fantasy about culinary ecstasy, Tampopo is one of the best films about food ever made, perhaps even besting another Criterion release, Babette’s Feast. Along with the new mouthwatering 4K restoration, there’s a wealth of new interviews with those involved, as well as a Tony Zhou and Taylor Ramos video essay, and a 1986 documentary on the making of the film narrated by Itami.  – Jordan R.

Also Arriving This Week

Catfight (review)
The Daughter (review)
The Girl with All the Gifts (review)

Recommended Deals of the Week

10 Cloverfield Lane (Blu-ray) – $10.16

Ali (Blu-ray) – $7.99

The American (Blu-ray) – $9.40

Amelie (Blu-ray) – $8.03

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

The Babadook (Blu-ray) – $7.88

Beginners (Blu-ray) – $7.50

The Beguiled (Blu-ray) – $8.00

Blackhat (Blu-ray) – $9.87

Bone Tomahawk (Blu-ray) – $9.01

Carol (Blu-ray) – $9.01

Carrie (Blu-ray) – $8.37

Casino (Blu-ray) – $9.54

Contagion (Blu-ray) – $5.96

Cosmopolis (Blu-ray) – $7.89

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Blu-ray) – $9.55

The Deep Blue Sea (Blu-ray) – $9.99

The Deer Hunter (Blu-ray) – $9.96

Django Unchained (Blu-ray) – $5.99

Force Majeure (Blu-ray) – $8.75

Godzilla (Blu-ray) – $9.70

Glengarry Glen Ross (Blu-ray) – $6.55

Gone Girl (Blu-ray) – $8.78

Greenberg (Blu-ray) – $6.20

Green Room (Blu-ray) – $11.28

Haywire (Blu-ray) – $6.84

Heat: Director’s Definitive Edition (Blu-ray pre-order) – $8.18

Hell or High Water (Blu-ray) – $12.99

The Informant! (Blu-ray) – $8.31

Inglorious Basterds (Blu-ray) – $7.99

Inherent Vice (Blu-ray) – $10.27

In the Loop ( Blu-ray) – $8.94

It Follows (Blu-ray) – $7.88

The Jacques Rivette Collection (Blu-ray pre-order) – $56.29

Jane Eyre (Blu-ray) – $7.50

Jaws (Blu-ray) – $7.88

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

Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow (Blu-ray) – $6.09

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

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) – $9.69

Nightcrawler (Blu-ray) – $9.49

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

Out of Sight (Blu-ray) – $8.99

Paterson (Blu-ray) – $13.82

Persepolis (Blu-ray) – $7.48

The Piano (Blu-ray) – $7.99

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (Blu-ray) – $11.05

Pulp Fiction (Blu-ray) – $9.99

Saint Laurent (Blu-ray) – $7.47

The Searchers / Wild Bunch / How the West Was Won (Blu-ray) – $10.45

Sex, Lies, and Videotape (Blu-ray) – $9.09

Short Term 12 (Blu-ray) – $9.89

A Serious Man (Blu-ray) – $8.13

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (Blu-ray) – $9.22

A Single Man (Blu-ray) – $6.99

Snowpiercer (Blu-ray) – $6.50

Somewhere (Blu-ray) – $6.50

Spartacus (Blu-ray)  – $7.50

Spotlight (Blu-ray) – $9.99

Sunshine (Blu-ray) – $8.36

Taxi Driver: 40th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray) – $9.55

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (Blu-ray) – $6.85

There Will Be Blood (Blu-ray) – $7.53

Tinker Sailor Soldier Spy (Blu-ray) – $8.50

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (Blu-ray) – $8.49

Waltz With Bashir (Blu-ray) – $6.99

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

The White Ribbon (Blu-ray) – $9.31

The Witch (Blu-ray) – $9.99

The Wolf of Wall Street (Blu-ray) – $9.96

Zero Dark Thirty (Blu-ray) – $7.86

See all Blu-ray deals.

What are you picking up this week?


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