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On DVD This Week: Straight Outta Compton, Everest, and More

by | January 18, 2016 | Comments

This week on home video, we’ve got an acclaimed hip-hop biopic, a thrilling mountain trek, an inspirational sports story, and an underseen indie. After that, we’ve also got a poorly received teen musical, a solid music documentary, and a couple of choice selections from Criterion. Read on for details:


The Diary Of A Teenage Girl (2015) 95%

This Certified Fresh coming-of-age drama, based on Phoebe Gloeckner’s graphic novel of the same name, stars Bel Powley as a sexually curious 15-year-old in 1976 who begins an affair with her mother’s boyfriend. Bonus features include deleted scenes, a making-of featurette, and an LA Film Festival Q&A with Powley, co-star Alexander Skarsgard, and director Marielle Heller.

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Straight Outta Compton (2015) 89%

This Certified Fresh biopic charts the formation, rise, and eventual breakup of one of the most influential 1990s hip-hop groups, N.W.A. — along with all the tension and drama that surrounded them. Special features include interviews with the remaining real-life members of the group about its influence and its music, filming on location in Compton, deleted scenes, and more.

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Everest (2015) 72%

Jake Gyllenhaal and Jason Clarke star in this based-on-true-events survival thriller, which focuses on two expedition groups who simultaneously attempted to summit Mount Everest in 1996, with tragic results. Extras include a making-of doc, a look at cast preparations, interviews with people connected to the expeditions, and more.

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All Things Must Pass: The Rise and Fall of Tower Records (2015) 94%

Colin Hanks directed this documentary, which is exactly what its title suggests: a look at the history of the iconic Tower Records chain. Bonus features include additional interviews and some deleted scenes.

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Woodlawn (2015) 73%

Sean Astin and Jon Voight star in this faith-based inspirational drama, about a real-life football team that came together in the midst of racial tensions in Alabama in 1973. No information on special features is available.

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Jem and the Holograms (2015) 22%

Inspired by the 1980s cartoon of the same name, this truly outrageous musical film follows an unlikely YouTube star who agrees to a record deal in order to help keep her aunt’s house from being auctioned off. Extras include a gag reel, a music video, a look at the big screen adaptation process, and a commentary track.

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12 Monkeys: Season 1 (2015) 60%

Based on Terry Gilliam’s mindbending time travel film of the same name, 12 Monkeys follows a man from the post-apocalyptic future who travels to 2015 in order to stop the plague that would eventually wipe out humanity. The season one set includes deleted scenes from four of the episodes, a gag reel, cast auditions and more.

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Gilda (1946) 90%

And finally, two choices from the Criterion Collection, beginning with Charles Vidor’s noir starring Rita Hayworth in one of her most iconic roles as the titular wife of a wealthy casino owner whose new employee is her old flame. It’s also that movie all the prisoners were giddy about in The Shawshank Redemption. Special features include 2010 interviews with Martin Scorsese and Baz Luhrmann talking about the film, an audio commentary by film critic Richard Schickel, and more.

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Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) 92%

Last up, we have the Coen brothers’ most recent effort, 2013’s Inside Llewyn Davis, starring Oscar Isaac and Carey Mulligan in a modest dark comedy about a struggling 1960s singer-songwriter trying desperately to sign a record deal. Extras include conversations between the Coens and Guillermo del Toro and T-Bone Burnett, a feature-length concert doc celebrating the music of the film, a short film by Dan Drasin, and more.

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  • Vits/Vicente Torres

    EVEREST – 6/10; INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS – 9/10

    I’ll watch THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL, STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON and GILDA. Oh, and maybe JEM & THE HOLOGRAMS out of morbid curiosity.

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