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New on DVD & Blu-Ray: The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Only Lovers Left Alive, and More

Plenty of new choices in movies and TV to watch at home this week.

by | August 19, 2014 | Comments

Although most of the available titles are either indie films or TV series, we have a slew of new releases on home video this week, beginning with the Spider-Man sequel, Jim Jarmusch’s moody vampire flick, and the latest film of the Hammer revival. Then, we’ve also got a new film written and directed by John Turturro, John Sayles’ indie thriller, and Alejandro Jodorowsky’s return to the big screen. On TV, we’ve got new seasons of Boardwalk Empire, The Good Wife, Parks and Recreation, and the miniseries adaptation of Rosemary’s Baby, among others. Read on for details:

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

51%

If 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man rebooted the franchise in surprisingly successful fashion, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 left a lot of audiences wondering if director Marc Webb and co. had maybe bitten off more than they could chew. Andrew Garfield reprises his role as Peter Parker, who continues to struggle with the mystery of his parents’ sudden disappearance, even as a new villain — the misunderstood Electro (Jamie Foxx) — threatens to take out his frustrations on the city. Peter’s old friend Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) returns to his father’s deathbed, only to learn he suffers from a degenerative disease he thinks only Spider-Man’s blood can cure, and Spidey now has two problems to worry about, in addition to his on-again, off-again relationship to Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone). Sound like a lot to wrap into one feature film? Critics certainly thought so, citing the film’s unfocused narrative and excessive story arcs and characters en route to a 53 percent Tomatometer. It’s not all bad, though, especially if you’re a Spidey fan looking forward to future installments. If you pick up the Blu-ray, you’ll get almost two hours of featurettes, deleted and alternate scenes, and a music video by Alicia Keys.

Only Lovers Left Alive

86%

Don’t let the fact that this is a “vampire movie” fool you; the stars of Only Lovers Left Alive don’t sparkle in the sun or fiend for fairy blood. Longtime indie darling Jim Jarmusch brings his trademark dry wit and smoky cool to Tangier and Detroit, where lonely vamp Adam (Tom Hiddleston) lives as a successful but reclusive musician. Just as he’s set to give up on the world around him, his wife Eve (Tilda Swinton) calls him from Tangier; the two reunite and spend a short blissful time together before Eve’s sister Ava (Mia Wasikowska) shows up and throws things into disorder. Hiddleston and Swinton are such commanding presences on screen that critics said their performances alone were worth the price of admission; thankfully, that’s not all there is to like about the film, as long as you don’t mind Jarmusch’s pacing and emphasis on mood. The home release includes a behind-the-scenes piece following Jarmusch as he made the film, some deleted and extended scenes, and a music video by Yasmine Hamdan.

The Quiet Ones

37%

The legendary Hammer Films continues its foray into contemporary horror with The Quiet Ones, loosely based on true events, about a college professor (Jared Harris) who attempts to draw out a potentially malevolent entity from a troubled young girl named Jane (Olivia Cooke). As the professor and his research assistants whisk Jane away to a remote abandoned house for their studies, her supernatural outbursts increase in potency, putting all involved at great risk. At 35 percent on the Tomatometer, The Quiet Ones is so far the lowest rated film of the Hammer revival, as critics found it did little to distinguish itself from its far better predecessors. Disc contains a commentary track, two featurettes, deleted scenes, and a gag reel.

Also available this week:

  • Manakamana (100 percent), a documentary focusing on the passengers inside a cable car leading up to the Manakamana Temple in the mountains of Nepal.
  • The Certified Fresh The Dance of Reality (93 percent), Alejandro Jodorowsky’s imaginative, heartfelt meditation on his childhood in Chile.
  • Toy Story of Terror! (90 percent), the 22-minute Halloween special that finds Woody, Buzz, and Jessie on the hunt for Mr. Potato Head when he’s lost during a road trip.
  • John Sayles’ Go For sisters (72 percent), starring Lisa Gay Hamilton and Edward James Olmos in a thriller about two old friends on opposite sides of the law who team up to track down one’s missing brother.
  • Ti West’s The Sacrament (63 percent), starring Swanberg and Amy Seimetz in a horror thriller about two journalists who investigate a cultish utopian society in search of their friend’s missing sister.
  • John Turturro’s Fading Gigolo (54 percent) starring Turturro and Woody Allen in a comedy about two aging men who become pimp and gigolo in order to help one of them out of financial difficulty.
  • The Certified Fresh fifth season of CBS drama The Good Wife (100 percent) is available on DVD.
  • Season six of NBC’s hit comedy Parks and Recreation (100 percent) is available on DVD.
  • With its fifth and final season set to premiere in September, the Certified Fresh fourth season of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire (97 percent) is available on Blu-ray.
  • Season five of NBC sitcom Parenthood (90 percent) is available on DVD.
  • The second season of Mindy Kaling’s FOX comedy The Mindy Project (87 percent) is available on DVD.
  • Season three of ABC drama Once Upon a Time (71 percent) is available on DVD and Blu-ray.
  • The NBC miniseries adaptation of Rosemary’s Baby (31 percent) is available on DVD and Blu-ray.
  • The complete series of classic sitcom Three’s Company is newly available on DVD.
  • And lastly, two Spanish-language releases from the Criterion Collection: Alfonso Cuarón’s Y Tu Mamá También (91 percent) and Pedro Almodóvar’s Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (72 percent).