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On DVD This Week: The Martian, Mr. Robot Season One, and More

by | January 11, 2016 | Comments

After a successful night in Hollywood, a couple of multiple Golden Globe-winning titles headline the new home video releases this week: Ridley Scott’s sci-fi survival tale The Martian and USA’s hacker drama Mr. Robot. After that, we’ve also got a few horror flicks, some indie dramas, a poignant documentary, and more. Read on for details and the rest of the list:


The Martian (2015) 91%

While investigating the surface of Mars, astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is caught up in a violent storm and presumed dead by his departing crewmates. Utilizing whatever he has on hand, Mark must attempt to survive until NASA can figure out a way to bring him home. The release comes with a wealth of extras, including several making-of featurettes, a number of fictional companion pieces to complement the film’s narrative, a gag reel, and more.

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The Look of Silence (2015) 96%

This Certified Fresh documentary about the survivors of the Indonesian killings of 1965-66 is a companion piece to the Oscar-nominated The Act of Killing. No special features are listed yet, but the film has been nominated for multiple awards this season.

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The Stanford Prison Experiment (2015) 83%

Billy Crudup and Ezra Miller star in this Certified Fresh drama based on the famous psychological study, in which Stanford University students were asked to play either prison guards or inmates, and the situation quickly devolved into chaos. Following a DVD release back in November, the film is now also available on Blu-ray.

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Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015) 56%

This animated sequel follows Dracula (voiced by Adam Sandler) as he attempts to coax the vampire out of his half-human grandson, just as his human-hating father Vlad (Mel Brooks) shows up and causes trouble. Bonus features include a music video, two commentary tracks, deleted scenes, character profiles, a sing-along, and more. It’s also available in 3D.

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Irrational Man (2015) 46%

The latest Woody Allen dramedy stars Emma Stone and Joaquin Phoenix in a story about a philosophy professor who devises a murder plot to help a student in need. Extras include a photo gallery and a segment on the film’s Los Angeles premiere.

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Sinister 2 (2015) 14%

In this follow-up to the 2012 horror film, an abused woman who moves to an isolated farmhouse with her sons, only to find the demon Bughuul’s haunted Super 8 films waiting for her there. Special features include a making-of doc, a commentary track, deleted scenes, and extended versions of the Super 8 films in the movie.

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Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension (2015) 15%

This sixth (and purportedly final) entry in the Paranormal Activity franchise focuses on a new family, whose eight-year-old daughter begins communicating with a supernatural being as strange occurrences take place around their home. No information about special features is available.

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Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (1991) 62%

Based on his own play of the same name, Tom Stoppard’s irreverent comedy stars Gary Oldman and Tim Roth in the tale of Hamlet as told by the two outrageous titular characters. This 25th Anniversary Blu-ray includes a new interview with Stoppard, as well as others with Oldman, Roth, and co-star Richard Dreyfuss.

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Mr. Robot: Season 1 (2015) 98%

USA’s suspenseful Certified Fresh drama about a paranoid, drug-addicted hacker who gets pulled into a mind-bending conspiracy won a Golden Globe for Best Television Series and for Best Supporting Actor (Christian Slater). The season one set comes with deleted scenes, a gag reel, and a making-of featurette.

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Sherlock: The Abominable Bride (2015 Christmas Special) (2016) 61%

Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman reprised their roles as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson for this BBC holiday special, which transported the duo to Victorian England on the trail of a murderous woman who was thought to be dead by suicide. Extras include a making-of doc, a handful of looks at scene creation, a production diary, and more.

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Bitter Rice (Riso amaro) (1949) 100%

And lastly, the first of two Criterion Collection releases is Giuseppe De Santis’s socially conscious melodrama about a small-time criminal who plans to rob a Po Valley rice field of its crop with the help of his girlfriend and one of the harvesters. Bonus features include a documentary about De Santis, and an interview with screenwriter Carlo Lizzani.

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Der Amerikanische Freund (The American Friend) (1977) 91%

The second offering from Criterion is Wim Wenders’s 1977 noir, adapted from the Patricia Highsmith novel Ripley’s Game, about an American art dealer (Dennis Hopper) who forms an unlikely bond with the German (Bruno Ganz) he’s attempting to get revenge on. Special features include a commentary track with Wenders and Hopper, new interviews, deleted scenes, and more.

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  • Vits/Vicente Torres

    THE MARTIAN – 8/10; HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2 – 3/10; SINISTER 2 – 1/10; PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 5 – 4/10

    I thought MR. ROBOT’s 1st season was just OK. Definitely not deserving of the 2 Golden Globes it won.

    I’ll watch THE STANFORD PRISON EXPERIMENT and maybe IRRATIONAL MAN.

    • Karl Lanthanimos

      the martian 8/10 and s01 of mr. robot being just ok. yeah right. go back to your cave

      • Vits/Vicente Torres

        What did you dislike about THE MARTIAN?

        • Karl Lanthanimos

          was that even a movie? more like an advertisement of NASA. come on dude so many people dying everyday and you think china would really give a damn about some jackass astronaut.there was not a single quiet moment where watney was contemplating about his life but instead a series of hammy dialogues. it was a major disappointment from scott though i am optimistic about prometheus 2.

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