shopping guide

Vulture Recommends: If You Still Buy DVDs, You Should Buy These

Not everything can be streamed! Crazy as it seems, there are still many people out there who buy, rent, and collect movies and TV shows on DVD and Blu-ray. And Vulture is here for them. Here’s a baker’s dozen discs that you might want to check out.

Friends With Kids
Jennifer Westfeldt’s marvelous ensemble comedy is the “best breeder film in years,” according to David Edelstein. And you can’t beat that cast, which includes Jon Hamm, Kristen Wiig, Chris O’Dowd, and Maya Rudolph, among other luminaries. (Buy it here.)

Down by Law
Criterion brings us a polished incarnation of Jim Jarmusch’s 1986 black-and-white study of American loners and outcasts — prepping us, we assume, for his forthcoming adaption of Dave Wallis’s vampire novel, which is currently being filmed. (Buy it here.)

Singin’ in the Rain: 60th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition
You know there’s a lot more to Singin’ in the Rain than the scene where a giddy Gene Kelly spins around those lampposts, right? This jumbo box set is proof: It covers pretty much everything related to the film and comes with documentaries, commentary tracks — and an umbrella (really). (Buy it here.)

The Turin Horse
The great Béla Tarr claims that he’s “retired,” so this could very well be his final work — and if you’re a fan of his deliberate and meditative approach, see it now. (Buy it here.)

Despite the title, it’s not really about aliens at all; rather, it’s a kind of bedroom farce in which the ostensible presence of otherworldly beings serves to heighten the sense of mistrust. (Buy it here.)

Criterion releases seem to augur other debuts or auspicious events, and given the recent double dosage of Whit Stillman — The Last Days of Disco also just came out on Blu-ray — we can deduce that a Damsels in Distress DVD is in our near future. (September, actually.) (Buy it here.)

This father-son rivalry between two Talmudic scholars is a family drama posing as a quirky comedy — but that’s not a bad thing. (Buy it here.)

The Deep Blue Sea
Terence Davies adapts Terence Ratigan’s play with generous heapings of unfiltered emotion. It’s the best kind of “old-fashioned” melodrama. (Buy it here.)

Jiro Dreams of Sushi
This low-key portrait of octogenarian sushi master Jiro Ono and his unassuming yet world-famous restaurant works best when it focuses on his meditative perfectionism. And the film does offer a pretty engaging and satisfying look at the art of sushi-making, like when it takes us to the fish market in search of the fattiest tuna. (Buy it here.)

Total Recall: Mind-Bending Edition Blu-ray
The Total Recall remake is due in theaters this Friday, and sadly, Arnie’s not in it. (Colin Farrell’s taking over the role.) Supplement your viewing with the original, which is crammed with your usual assortment of behind-the-scenes docs and commentary tracks. (Buy it here.)

Le Havre
Kaurismäki’s latest is stylistically a lot like his previous films, treading a fine line between deadpan humor and sensitive character detail. But we never seem to get sick of his approach. (Buy it here.)

Last Days Here
This uncomfortably intimate look at the lead singer of metal band Pentagram as he prepares to leave his parents’ basement and make a comeback could serves as the lone corrective to the myth of the rock-and-roll lifestyle. (Buy it here.)

Grand Illusion
Jean Renoir’s antiwar masterpiece, set among prisoners of war during World War I, never dates. (Buy it here.)

Vulture Recs: If You Still Buy DVDs, Buy These