The following article was written by my friend and colleague Alonso Duralde. You can learn more about him HERE.

What’s New on DVD/Blu/4K in April: Mean Girls, Basket Case, Nancy Savoca, Lars von Trier, and More!


Mean Girls (2024) and Mean Girls (2004) (both Paramount Home Entertainment): Audiences who were teenagers when the original Mean Girls was in theaters now have the 2024 musical version to share with their own children, and so goes the circle of life. The success of the latest iteration of this teen tale — buoyed by memorable performances from Auli’i Cravalho and Jaquel Spivey – has prompted a 20th-anniversary 4K release of the original, which just goes to show you that remakes don’t obliterate their predecessors.

Also available:

The Beekeeper (Warner Bros. Discovery): Jason Statham does his Jason Statham thing, and woe betide the enemies of Jason Statham.

The Book of Clarence (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment): Lakeith Stanfield stars in this audacious take on the venerable Hollywood Bible epic, mixing savvy and historically-accurate updating with old-school spectacle (and intertitle typefaces).

Drive-Away Dolls (Universal Pictures Home Entertainment): Audiences were split on this lesbian road-trip crime comedy, but more LGBTQ+ representation among big-studio releases is always a good thing.

Finestkind (Paramount Home Entertainment): Ben Foster, Tommy Lee Jones, and Jenna Ortega star in this crime drama from writer-director Brian Helgeland.

Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths – Part Two (DC/WB): It’s the middle chapter of DC’s animated trilogy, based on the series that changed comics forever (until they changed back).

Lisa Frankenstein (Universal Pictures Home Entertainment): Diablo Cody wrote this take on 1980s teen comedies, with Kathryn Newton starring as the Goth girl who accidentally brings tortured composer Cole Sprouse back to life.

Madame Web (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment): Better than its reputation, this superhero tale (intended to kick off a sub-franchise that will probably never happen) offers a delightfully deadpan performance from Dakota Johnson as a paramedic-turned-unwilling-soothsayer.

Motley Crue: The End – Live in Los Angeles(Mercury Studios): The band’s 2015 farewell concert gets its very first 4K release.

Night Swim (Universal Pictures Home Entertainment): It’s a backyard pool that kills people, and Wyatt Russell almost entirely sells the idea of being possessed by a water feature.

Ordinary Angels (Lionsgate): Hilary Swank and Alan Ritchson (Reacher, The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare) star in this faith-based docudrama co-written by Meg Tilly and Kelly Fremon Craig (Are You There, God? It’s Me Margaret).


18 ½ (MVD Visual): Dan Mirvish’s festival hit comedy-thriller about Watergate (and a certain missing segment of audiotape) features a great indie ensemble, including Willa Fitzgerald (MTV’s Scream), John Magaro, Vondie Curtis-Hall, and Richard Kind, with the voice of Bruce Campbell as Richard Nixon. Extras on the DVD include a commentary track featuring Mirvish and screenwriter Daniel Moya, as well as a recreation of the legendary 18 and a half minutes from the Watergate tapes, performed by Jon Cryer, Ted Raimi, and Campbell.

Also available:

Monolith (Well Go USA Entertainment): A journalist seeks to salvage her career by digging into a conspiracy theory, only to find herself getting too close to uncomfortable personal truths.

What Rhymes with Reason (Virgil Films): A group of teens grappling with their own personal issues sets out into the wilderness to find a legendary hidden landmark.


Monster (Well Go USA Entertainment): Hirokazu Kore-eda (Shoplifters) is one of this generation’s most humane filmmakers, deeply empathetic and understanding of a variety of his characters coping with a range of circumstances. That compassion extends to the leads of his delightful new film, two young boys who retreat from the world and create their own rules of friendship and care. In a world that so often tries to put young people in a box and control what they read and how they should think about themselves or their lives, this film is a beautiful reminder of what can develop when we follow our hearts and our own personal compass.

Also available:

Agonie (IndiePix): Two men are the prime suspects in a grisly murder in this provocative character study.

Fallen Leaves (Mubi): Aki Kaurismaki’s laconic love story is a charming examination of low-key romance.

The Invisible Fight (Kino Lorber): “Estonian kung fu comedy” is probably a phrase most film fans never thought they’d see, but that’s precisely what this acclaimed festival hit manages to be.

Karaoke (Greenwich Entertainment): A married couple becomes obsessed with their new neighbor and his karaoke parties in this Israeli comedy-drama.

The Promised Land (Magnolia Home Entertainment): Mads Mikkelsen stars as an 18th-century Danish war hero who sets out to create community in a bleak area of the countryside, despite resistance from the local power broker.

Skin Deep (Kino Lorber): The body-swap story takes on a whole new dimension in this tale of an unhappy couple attending a most unusual retreat.

Spare Keys (Icarus Films Home Video): “Rohmer-esque” is always a selling point for comedies, and that’s what critics call this charming tale of two teenagers who find themselves sharing a summer house as they hide out from their families.

Yuni (Film Movement): An Indonesian teenager dares to plot the course of her own life after turning down an arranged marriage and facing limited options after graduation in this acclaimed coming-of-age tale.


Four Daughters (Kino Lorber): This Oscar-nominated, Spirit Award–winning documentary from Kaouther Ben Hania explores the radicalization of a Tunisian woman’s two oldest daughters by mixing recreations (performed by professional actors) mixed with family interviews. It’s an audacious take on non-fiction filmmaking and an in-depth exploration of the relationship between mothers and daughters.

Also available:

Lost Angel: The Genius of Judee Sill (Greenwich Entertainment): Folk legend Judee Sill had a fast rise to the top before her tragic death at a young age, but her impact on music lives on, as attested to by Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Browne, David Geffen, and other industry icons interviewed here.

Mad Props (Virgil Films): Are movie props art? Tom Biolchini thinks so, and he travels the world to make his case.

Underdog (First Run Features): A portrait of Vermont dairy farmer Doug Butler and his resilience in carrying on a family farm while pursuing his passionate avocation of training sled dogs.


Basket Case (Arrow Video): Frank Henenlotter’s 1982 creature-feature is both an archetypal grindhouse movie and a transcendent one, and thanks to Arrow Video, it’s now available in 4K. A nerdy guy carrying a big wicker basket makes his way through New York City, taking revenge on the cruel medical professionals who separated him from his conjoined twin, and the results are hilarious and horrifying, with Henenlotter’s camera capturing a grimy, sleazy Fun City in the years before it was gentrified. Even if eccentric, low-budget horror isn’t your usual genre of choice, give this cult classic a shot.

Also available:

Baby Assassins 2 (Well Go USA Entertainment): The titular teen assassins get laid off from their agency, which only makes them the targets of every other hired killer around.

Bluebeard (KL Studio Classics): Edgar G. Ulmer directs John Carradine as the legendary lady-killer.

Cathy’s Curse (Severin): A little girl is possessed by the spirit of her aunt who died 30 years earlier, and all Hell breaks loose. Features 4K restorations of the director’s cut and the R-rated theatrical version.

The Coffee Table (Cinephobia Releasing): A control-freak allows her husband to pick out their coffee table. Chaos ensues.

Death Squad (Mondo Macabro): First US release of this legendarily sleazy and violent French crime drama.

Phantasmagoria (Redemption): An American journalist investigates strange doings in a small town in this wild blend of Euro-horror and surrealism.

Rambo: First Blood and Rambo: Last Blood (both Lionsgate): It’s the alpha and omega of Sylvester Stallone’s Vietnam-vet franchise, both available in exclusive Wal-mart steelbook editions.

Red: 2-Film Collection (Lionsgate): Steelbook releases of the first franchise (but not the last) to ask, “Hey, what if we armed Dame Helen Mirren?”

Road to Ruin (Kino Classics/Something Weird): Vintage parents-beware exploitation, presented here in both the 1934 talkie and 1928 silent versions.

The Roundup: No Way Out (Capelight): Don Lee stars in this smash sequel to the South Korean action hit.

Special Silencers (Mondo Macabro): Martial arts meet black magic in this Indonesian epic about a corrupt cop and pills that turn people into trees. You heard me.

Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey (Scream Factory): Public domain has brought us to this.


True Love (KL Studio Classics) and Dogfight (The Criterion Collection) and Household Saints (Milestone Film & Video): Director Nancy Savoca crafted three extraordinary indie films in four years (1989-1993), and whether by design or by coincidence, they’re all getting prestigious Blu-ray releases this month. Her debut feature True Love stars then-newcomers Annabella Sciorra and Ron Eldard as a bride and groom who are perhaps not ready to take this big step. River Phoenix and Lili Taylor are heartbreaking in Dogfight as, respectively, a Vietnam-bound GI and the “ugly” girl he cruelly picks up but then comes to love over a night together. And Household Saints makes a long-awaited DVD/Blu-ray debut; Taylor stars as the beatific young daughter of perplexed parents Tracey Ullman and Vincent D’Onofrio. Whether you’re a fan of Savoca’s wryly intelligent and moving work, or you’re encountering her for the first time, this troika of releases is a banquet for movie lovers.

Also available:

Cutthroat Island (Lionsgate): A legendary box-office disaster, this pirate tale – starring a swashbuckling Geena Davis – has a cult following, and they’ll be thrilled to know that Renny Harlin’s adventure saga is now available in a 4K steelbook.

The Departed (Warner Bros. Discovery): Scorsese’s Oscar movie makes its 4K debut.

High Noon (KL Studio Classics): A new 4K release of the classic Gary Cooper–Grace Kelly Western.

I Am Cuba (The Criterion Collection): This beloved anthology of tales set in pre-revolutionary Cuba gets the Criterion treatment.

Jeanne Moreau, Filmmaker (Carlotta US): A celebration of the legendary actress’ work behind the camera, including her cinema documentaries Lumièreand Lillian Gish as well as her narrative feature, The Adolescent.

The Looters (KL Studio Classics): A Rocky Mountain plane crash, a rescue expedition, and a cache of cash lead to excitement and double-crosses.

The Minus Man (KL Studio Classics): It’s Owen Wilson as a serial killer (and also Owen Wilson in that moment he was dating Sheryl Crow, who appears in a smaller role) in this drama written and directed by Hampton Fancher (the subject of Michael Almereyda’s 2017 documentary Escapes).

Misunderstood (Radiance): This 1968 Italian drama about a widower who doesn’t tell his son about his mother’s death was later remade as a Gene Hackman movie of the same name; the original stars Anthony Quayle, and this new Blu-ray features a 2K restoration and several new extras.

Nostalghia (Kino Classics): The Andrei Tarkovsky gets its 4K release in North America.

The Ocean’s Trilogy (Warner Bros. Discovery): Opinions vary on how this franchise fared following the first film – I think 12 deserves more credit than it usually gets – but now all three Steven Soderbergh heists comedies are available in 4K.

Peter Falk 4-Film Comedy Collection (Mill Creek Entertainment): A mixed bag of comedies featuring the Columbo star, including The Cheap Detective, Big Trouble, Happy New Year, and Luv.

Réjeanne Padovani (Canadian International Pictures): More than a decade before his international breakthrough with The Decline of the American Empire, Denys Arcand made a name for himself in Canadian cinema with this gripping political thriller.

The Scarface Mob (Arrow Video): Robert Stack made his first appearance as legendary G-man Eliot Ness in what was intended to be the pilot for The Untouchables but instead made its way into theaters.

The Shape of Night (Radiance): Noboru Nakamura’s 1964 drama follows a young woman forced into prostitution by her violent mobster boyfriend.

Starting Over (KL Studio Classics): After The Mary Tyler Moore Show and before Terms of Endearment, James L. Brooks adapted Dan Wakefield’s novel into this sharp and sweet post-divorce rom-com for director Alan J. Pakula, providing a platform for great performances by Burt Reynolds, Jill Clayburgh, and Candice Bergen. (The actresses both got Oscar nominations; Reynolds deserved one, too.)

Steel Magnolias (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment): If, say, one were thinking about giving their mom a 4K home-video setup as a Mother’s Day present, this beloved comic tearjerker would make an appropriate intro disc.

Submarine Command (KL Studio Classics): The dawn of the Korean War summons post-traumatic stress in sub captain William Holden as he recalls his WWII experiences.

Thunder in the East (KL Studio Classics): Alan Ladd runs guns and falls for Deborah Kerr in 1947 India.

The Tin Star (Arrow Video): Henry Fonda mentors greenhorn sheriff Anthony Perkins in Anthony Mann’s classic Western.

Tormented (Film Masters Special Edition): The Bert I. Gordon thriller gets a 4K restoration on a new Blu-ray that includes the hilarious Mystery Science Theater 3000 version of the film.

Werckmeister Harmonies (The Criterion Collection): The creepiest circus this side of Something Wicked This Way Comes arrives in a Hungarian town during the Communist era, and everyone starts getting more violent in this slow-burn thriller co-directed by Béla Tarr.

You Never Can Tell (KL Studio Classics): It’s Oh, Heavenly Dog in reverse, as a German shepherd is reincarnated as Dick Powell so he can solve the hound’s murder and clear the name of an heiress falsely accused of it.


Lars von Trier’s The Kingdom Trilogy (Mubi): In the US, we had David Lynch and Twin Peaks, and in Denmark, there was Lars von Trier and The Kingdom, an eerie series set in a mysterious hospital. Blending horror and humor, the three-season series skillfully combines the nightmarish and the absurd, and it remains one of global television’s landmark events. This new box set includes a documentary, commentaries, and more.

Also available:

An American Family: 50th Anniversary Edition(PBS): Reality TV starts with this PBS series, which documented the daily lives of California’s Loud family, with divorce and coming-out among the many dramatic moments along the way. 

Andor: The Complete First Season / The Falcon and the Winter Soldier: The Complete First Season/ Moon Knight: The Complete First Season / Obi-Wan Kenobi: The Complete Series (all Disney+): While many streamers waver in their commitment to making their series available on physical media, these four Disney+ titles all get handsome steelbook editions and plenty of extras.

Doom Patrol: The Complete Series (DC/WB): Bid farewell to this singularly eccentric superhero series with a box set you’ll want as part of your library; the DCEU rarely gets this weird.

Wednesday: Season 1 (Warner Bros. Discovery): Tim Burton’s acclaimed take on The Addams Familyimages daughter Wednesday (Jenna Ortega) as both a psychic and a sleuth.

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May 2024