This Week in Blu-ray / DVD Releases: Walking Dead, Citizenfour, Good Wife

This Week: Hard to tell which is scarier – The Walking Dead's fifth season or this year's Best Documentary Oscar winner. Also: The Good Wife is still great, and a couple of cult faves from the '80s..

► Five seasons in, the trend has become obvious with THE WALKING DEAD: Fans bitch and moan about “nothing happening,” go nuts for an episode or two, complain the season finale wasn’t as good as hyped, swear they’re done with the show, then tune in when it returns. Season 5 starts with possibly the show’s greatest episode – Rick and Co. escaping from the cannibal nightmare of Terminus – before settling in for the loooong road to Alexandria, where the serenity of a peaceful, functional community doesn’t last long. The episodes people griped about were actually some of the best character-building arcs of the series, but so long as impatient fans want zombie carnage every episode, they’ll never be satisfied. Is it possible the most popular show on TV might also be the most underrated?

► The naysayers of the Edward Snowden documentary CITIZENFOUR were so paranoid, they campaigned to make it ineligible for the Oscars on the grounds some of its interview footage was in a previous 2013 release. There was also a lawsuit (since dismissed) that the film aided and abetted Snowden’s leaks, and director Laura Poitras edited the film in Germany in case the FBI showed up to swipe her hard drives. Bottom line, a whole lot of people don’t want you to see this movie, which is all the more reason to see it. This year’s Oscar winner for Best Documentary will unnerve you in ways most horror movies can’t.

► I’ve long championed CBS’s THE GOOD WIFE as the best network TV show since ‘Lost,’ and Season 6 once again backed it up. Intelligent writing paired with an increasingly versatile cast. Though not the emotional roundhouse Season 5 was, this one has Alicia (Julianna Margulies) dealing with the ugly politics that come with running for state’s attorney, Cary (Matt Czuchry) going to prison for a forgotten misdeed, and Kalinda (Archie Panjabi) saving everyone’s ass again before leaving for good (the real-life tension between Margulies and Panjabi has hurt the show, however). The seventh and likely final season starts Oct. 4.

► Marion Cotillard nabbed a Best Actress nomination at the Oscars for the Belgian drama TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT, playing a young mother who suffers a nervous breakdown and must take time off of work at her solar-panel factory. In her absence, management has offered employees a large bonus each if they absorb her hours and make her redundant. When she returns, she meets all 16 of her co-workers over the course of a weekend to try and talk them out of it. A big favorite at last year's Cannes, it is flat-out bizarre it didn't get a Best Foreign Film nomination at the Oscars. Criterion special edition includes a new interview with Cotillard and a tour of the film's key locations.

► We should be celebrating a new Cameron Crowe film every few years, not wondering what the hell happened to him. ALOHA continues a trend of forgettable movies over the past decade, which seems inconceivable for the guy who gave us ‘Almost Famous’ and ‘Jerry Maguire.’ Bradley Cooper plays a military contractor who returns to the site of his career highlights, reconnecting with a former flame (Rachel McAdams) while making mushy eyes with the tough Air Force watchdog (Emma Stone) assigned to him. So bland, so frustrating. Crowe is too brilliant to keep making softballs like this. Come back to us, Cam.

► Some movies become cult classics because they just weren't meant for the mainstream. Others, like 1985's THE LAST DRAGON, were mainstream movies which went horribly, hilariously wrong. Produced by Berry Gordy, this inexplicable martial arts musical has a karate student trying to obtain a mystical power called ‘The Glow,' a funky nemesis dubbed 'The Shogun of Harlem,' and a climactic rendition of DeBarge's 'Rhythm of the Night' which nearly had my friend and I in hysterics when we saw it opening weekend (we may have been drunk). Some crap you can't explain. It just goes straight to Cult. Remastered for its 30th anniversary with a retrospective and new interviews with the cast and crew.

► Season 3 of ELEMENTARY – CBS's watered-down version of BBC's 'Sherlock' – finds the contemporary version of the world's greatest detective (Jonny Lee Miller) without his Watson (Lucy Liu) for awhile while digging into cases involving poisoned kids, a severed hand and, uh, dead mathematicians. By the end, his heroin addiction threatens to return, and Watson emerges as his equal. Ratings took a tumble, however, as the show went from #20 to #35.

► Long before 'Scream' or Scary Movie,' the so-stupid-it's-great STUDENT BODIES was the first slasher satire. At the time (1981), it was brushed off as an 'Airplane' rip-off, but its oddball charm and bizarre script found its followers on cable. Still my favorite scene: The killer, known only as 'The Breather,' keeps stepping in gum while trying to sneak up the stairs: “I'd like to kill the kid with the gum!” At least a half dozen other scenes still make me laugh, including his use of a rubber chicken to disguise his voice. Funny shit, finally on blu-ray. Tragically, no extras. The Stick is not happy.

Also out this week:





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