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On DVD This Week: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Silence, Planet Earth II, and More

by | March 27, 2017 | Comments

This week, we have the latest addition to the Harry Potter-verse, an Oscar-nominated Scorsese drama, a visually spectacular nature series, and a bunch of other Certified Fresh options, from a foreign potboiler to a coming-of-age tale to a thriller based on true events. Read on for the full list!


Planet Earth II: Miniseries (2017) 100%

David Attenborough returns to narrate this second installment of the groundbreaking nature series, ten years in the making, which depicts rarely seen animals and animal behaviors in far-flung locations across the world. Available in 4K Ultra HD, the series set only comes with the behind-the-scenes “Diaries” that come at the end of each episode.

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The Handmaiden (Ah-ga-ssi) (2016) 95%

Park Chan-wook’s period drama based on the Sarah Waters novel Fingersmith follows a young thief who is assigned to be the handmaiden for a wealthy Japanese aristocrat, with secret plans to defraud her of her fortune. There is currently no information on special features.

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20th Century Women (2017) 88%

Annette Bening, Greta Gerwig, and Elle Fanning star in Mike Mills’ semi-autobiographical Oscar-nominated drama about a bohemian single mother who raises her teenage son with the help of the eccentric tenants living in her house. Bonus features include a commentary with Mills and featurettes on the cast and the making of the film.

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A Monster Calls (2017) 87%

Lewis MacDougall, Felicity Jones, and Sigourney Weaver star in J.A. Bayona’s adaptation of a YA novel about a boy who encounters a monstrous talking tree (voiced by Liam Neeson) outside his bedroom window when his mother falls gravely ill. Extras include commentary tracks in both English (with writer Patrick Ness) and Spanish (with Bayona) and two making-of featurettes.

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Silence (2017) 85%

Martin Scorsese directs this adaptation of of a 1966 Shūsaku Endō novel about two Jesuit priests (Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver) who are sent to Japan amid anti-Christian sentiments to locate a missing member of their order. It comes with just one extra, a 24-minute look at various aspects of the film, from Scorsese’s adaptation process to the performances to the setting, among others.

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Patriots Day (2017) 80%

Mark Wahlberg, J.K. Simmons, and John Goodman star in Peter Berg’s dramatization of the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing and the people who helped secure the scene and bring the suspects to justice. Extras include interviews with the real-life people on whom the film is based, interviews with Berg and the cast, and a segment featuring the cast meeting their real-life counterparts.

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016) 73%

Eddie Redmayne and Katherine Waterston star in this spinoff of the Harry Potter series about wizard Newt Scamander’s efforts to recapture mythical creatures let loose in 1920s New York as a greater threat looms on the horizon. There are a ton of short featurettes covering the characters, creatures, and design of the film, as well as over 14 minutes of deleted scenes and interviews with the cast, director David Yates, and J.K. Rowling.

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Why Him? (2016) 40%

Bryan Cranston and James Franco star in this comedy about an overprotective father who panics when he learns his daughter is set to be engaged to her boyfriend, a well-intentioned but often tactless and oblivious tech billionaire. Bonus features include featurettes on various characters, an image gallery, and a gag reel and deleted scenes, plus more.

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Blow-Up (1966) 86%

– Criterion Collection

Lastly, from Criterion, we have this influential masterpiece from Michelangelo Antonioni, starring David Hemmings and Vanessa Redgrave in a psychological thriller about a photographer haunted by the possibility he may have inadvertently captured a murder on film. The newly restored 4K release comes with a 2016 documentary on the making of the film, new pieces about Antonioni’s artistic approach, archival interviews, and more.

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