This Week in Blu-ray / DVD Releases: Nightcrawler, Rosewater, Z Nation

Last Updated on August 2, 2021

This week: Up to no good with Jake Gyllenhaal and Nightcrawler, Steve Carell starts his Disney phase, and Criterion gives the eerie ’70s classic Don’t Look Now the royal treatment.

► First-time director Dan Gilroy gets a career performance out of Jake Gyllenhaal in NIGHTCRAWLER as the Patrick Bateman of newshounds. He plays a freelance cameraman who shoots the aftermaths of crime scenes and isn’t shy to move bodies to get a better shot. When he records some gunmen leaving the scene of a murder, the police demand the footage. He has a better idea: Stage a confrontation between the killers and the cops. Sharp thriller went unappreciated at the box office, but nabbed Gilroy an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay. Our very own Chris Bumbray also has a sweet quote in the back of the Canadian Blu-Ray cover.

► If it wasn’t for ‘Foxcatcher,’ I’d be worried Steve Carell has already entered the safe family comedy phase of his career with ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY (holy shit, is that annoying to type out). Predictable Disney hijinx based on a 1972 kiddie book finds an 11-year-old boy (Ed Oxenbould) who makes a wish on his birthday that his family experience his typically crappy day. Cue belly laughs, followed by ‘lessons learned.’ You know what was a bad day for this movie? Opening up against ‘Gone Girl.’

► Jon Stewart makes his directorial debut with ROSEWATER, and he left the jokes back home. This is the true story of Iranian-Canadian journalist Mazier Nahari, who was detained in Iran in 2009 for 118 days because of his coverage of the presidential elections there. Bahari appeared on Stewart’s show shortly after he was released. Gael Garcia Bernal plays him.

► You don’t get to be as big as ‘The Walking Dead’ without a few obvious rip-offs along the way. So here’s SyFy’s Z NATION – a more campy, less intelligent version of the FX dynamo, but not without its charms. After the undead take over, a group of survivors attempt to bring the last person known to be immune to a research lab across the country. Of course, absolutely nothing goes right. But you know what this show has that the other one doesn’t? Zombie bears.

► The Criterion Collection delivers gold this week with a special edition of 1973’s DON’T LOOK NOW, an arthouse horror classic from director Nicholas Roeg which no one knew what to make of at the time. It has since grown in stature to become one of the most influential horror films ever. Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie are a grieving couple who take a job in Venice after the drowning death of their daughter. There they continually spot a child in the same red coat their daughter wore the day she died. Through some jarring flashbacks and fast forwards, the film builds an almost unbearable sense of dread, and it was remarkable to see a horror film deal with grief so authentically. Blu-ray includes a 2002 short documentary on the film and a new interview with editor Graeme Clifford and writer Bobbie O’Steen.

► It has its fans, I realize, but NURSE JACKIE has been a mediocre waste of Edie Falco for way too long. After teasing us with its premise that first season, it resorted to ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ with drugs and swearing. Even Falco’s greatness can’t erase the fact she should be in a better show than this one, which has monopolized her for six years. The good news? Season 7 is the last one. Edie, you can’t put those scrubs away soon enough.

► If you haven’t heard yet, it’s ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ week. Which means rip-offs like BOUND are getting in while the gettin’ is good. The upside? Charisma Carpenter’s boobs might distract you from how ridiculous this softcore stinkbomb is. She’s the daughter of a real estate tycoon whose company is sinking while she plays bondage games with her boy toy (Bryce Draper).

► With a new movie coming in November, and the strip celebrating its 65th anniversary, it’s going to be a big year for Peanuts. To get things rolling, Paramount is re-releasing some of the lesser-known specials and movies, including 1977’s RACE FOR YOUR LIFE, CHARLIE BROWN. The third full-length Peanuts movie, and first after the death of composer Vince Guaraldi, it sends the gang to summer camp where they compete in a river rafting race. Hits all the same beats as the TV specials, but the padded length (76 minutes here) tends to make all the ‘Good Grief’s a bit tiresome.

Also out this week:





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