This Week in Blu-ray / DVD Releases: Snowden, The Dressmaker, Versailles

Last Updated on July 31, 2021

This Week: Oliver Stone goes old school with Snowden, the epic debauchery of Versailles, and Kate Winslet isn't to be messed with in The Dressmaker.
(On a side note, after seven-and-a-half years, this is my final Blu-ray/DVD Release column for JoBlo. I've loved writing it and being part of this community. Take care, everyone.)

► Oliver Stone gets back to familiar territory with SNOWDEN, certainly a spiritual cousin to ‘JFK’ 25 years ago. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays the low level CIA employee who exposed the National Security Agency’s illegal surveillance activity, branding him both a hero and traitor. Melissa Leo and Shailene Woodley co-star, along with Nicolas Cage in his least embarrassing movie in years. Extras include deleted scenes and a Snowden Q&A.

► Despite being a huge hit in Australia, where it’s the 11th biggest film of all time, it took nearly a year for Jocelyn Moorhouse’s revenge comedy THE DRESSMAKER to open in North America. And while it didn’t do much, it had everyone raving over Kate Winslet again. She stars as an ace dressmaker who returns to the outback town she was exiled from as a child when she was blamed for the death of a schoolboy. She wins the townspeople over by making them extravagant dresses while slowly digging into the mystery of what actually happened that day. It doesn’t end well. Liam Hemsworth and Judy Davis co-star.

► If you watch ‘Game of Thrones’ and think to yourself “This show needs more gore and soft-core porn,” than proceed straight to VERSAILLES. The pre-French Revolution drama was so racy, it lost 650,000 viewers over the course of its first episode on the BBC in June. George Blagden of ‘Vikings’ plays Louis XIV, who thwarts an uprising by moving his court from Paris to his father’s old stomping grounds in Versailles. There he intends to humble his courtiers and bring power back to the throne. And have lots of sex. So much sex. One of the most expensive series in French history, and already the most notorious.

► Andrea Arnold’s looooong road movie AMERICAN HONEY earned Shia LaBeouf some of his best praise in years. He’s part of a posse selling magazine subscriptions by day and blowing off steam at night, who catches the eye of a miserable Oklahoma teen (Sasha Lane) desperate to escape her life. Won the Cannes Film Festival’s Jury Prize this year – the third time for Arnold.

► After the big shootout to end Season 3, law firm ‘fixer’ Ray (Liev Schreiber) intends to check himself before he wrecks himself to start RAY DONOVAN’s fourth season. Take a guess how long that lasts. A troubled boxer and an art dealer with ties to the Russian mob soon start all new trouble. The dependable hit for Showtime will be back for a fifth season. Extras include character profiles on Ray and Mickey Donovan.

► Horror maestro Ti West goes…er, west for IN A VALLEY OF VIOLENCE, which has Ethan Hawke as a drifter who starts a fight with the wrong man in the wrong town. Turns out it’s the son of the Marshall (John Travolta), and their little tiff threatens to consume the whole town. Good reception but not many theatres. Extras include a behind the scenes look.

► There was a time a crime drama with Nicolas Cage and Willem Dafoe, directed by Paul Schrader, would earn more than a quick glance on a list of new blu-ray releases. Alas, that time isn’t 2016. Which just doesn’t seem right, but I guess that’s the way we roll now. In DOG EAT DOG, Cage and Dafoe join Christopher Matthew Cook as ex-cons hired by a mob boss to kidnap a baby. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie where that plan is a roaring success, so of course they soon have the mob and cops on their ass. Some of Schrader’s twisted humor helps lighten the load.

► For you kids who weren’t there for the ‘70s, let me enlighten you: People went nuts for Bigfoot. Books. Movies. Mass sightings. He even fought the Six Million Dollar Man. It just got weird. Made in 1972, the utterly ridiculous THE BEAST AND THE VIXENS has the hairy bastard kidnap a couple of Russ Myer beauties (Uschi Digard and Sharon Kelly) and imprison them in his cave. At the same time, some thugs terrorize a group of hippies. You had to be there. Comes with the R-Rated and Unrated version, along with the bonus feature flick ‘Hollywood Babylon.’

Also out this week:





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