Digital Week - February 5th
Blu-rays of the Week
All the Colors of the Dark (Severin)
In this entertaining giallo (the irrepressibly Italian horror/mystery genre), Edwige Fenech gives another impressively scream-laden performance as an unstable young woman dealing with murder, mayhem and madness in gloom-filled London. Director Sergio Martino (Fenech’s then-husband) shows a boisterous eye for dazzlingly bloody set pieces, with some kinky sex scenes thrown in for good measure. The 1972 film looks supremely good on Blu-ray; extras comprise They’re Coming to Get You, the 88-minute alternate U.S. cut; interviews with Martino, screenwriter Ernesto Gastaldi, actor George Hilton and Italian horror expert Antonio Tentori; audio commentary by Martino expert Kat Ellinger; and a CD of composer Bruno Nicolai’s score.
The Guilty (Lionsgate)
This claustrophobic thriller is set in a police station, where an officer relegated to desk duty for a serious infraction finds himself immersed in a potentially dire situation while answering calls: is a father about to kill his wife after leaving their two young children home alone? Director Gustav Möller skillfully ratchets up the tension throughout, aided by an impressively controlled performance by Jakob Cedergren—literally the only actor we see onscreen for the entire 90 minutes—and by Möller’s own clever script, which periodically drops in new information to upend what we think is going on. There’s a first-rate transfer.
John McEnroe—In the Realm of Perfection (Oscilloscope)
Using footage from the 1984 French Open—in which he lost the final in five long sets to Ivan Lendl—director Julien Faraut has made a bizarrely fascinating if ultimately self-indulgent documentary about tennis legend John McEnroe. With valuable footage from multiple cameras shown repeatedly, sometimes in slo-mo or zoomed-in, as narrator Mathieu Amalric drones on, the film’s attempts to equate tennis and cinema fall flat, and McEnroe’s temper tantrums are shown as comic relief instead of as the embarrassment to the sport they truly are. The film looks terrific in hi-def; extras are a director interview and a 1948 short, Facts about Film.
Time Regained (Kimstim/Icarus)
Adapting Proust’s colossal masterpiece In Search of Lost Time is a fool’s errand, and Raul Ruiz—the late Chilean filmmaker of time-shifting and surrealistic touches—comes a cropper with his 1999 version of Proust’s classic. There’s much to admire—the performances are stellar, the editing, camera movements and production design visualize some of what Proust’s gargantuan sentences do on the page—but there’s a feeling of incompleteness, of a highlight reel for something that should be much longer, like a Netflix series instead of the two-plus hours this is. It all looks spectacular on Blu; lone extra is an interview with film critic Bernard Genin.
DVD of the Week
12 Days (Icarus)
Raymond Depardon’s documentaries blend incisive reportage and a personalized point of view that gives his subjects a humane immediacy. 12 Days is an eye-opening glimpse at the messy French mental-health care system, a bureaucracy that still—thanks to the herculean efforts of many —tries to treat the individuals caught up in it fairly. Bonuses come in the form of two more Depardon feature docs: 2012’s France (Les Habitants) and 2016’s Journal de France, both of which display the director’s penchant for traveling on the road to discover how ordinary people live.