A Murderous Jeremy Irons Headlines Our Pick of the Week

Streaming might be the future, but physical media is still the present. It’s also awesome, depending on the title, the label, and the release, so each week we take a look at the new Blu-rays and DVDs making their way into the world. Welcome to this week in Home Video for October 13th, 2020 and our pick of the week, Reversal of Fortune!

This week’s home video selection includes old classics, new movies, a Warner Archive release of Reversal of Fortune, and more. Check out our picks below.

Pick of the Week

Reversal Of FortuneReversal of Fortune [Warner Archive]

What is it? The true-ish story of a possible attempted murder.

Why see it? The Claus and Sunny Von Bulow case captured the attention of the world back in 1980 with its combination of wealth, privilege, and murder, and the film version of it all presents an enormously entertaining look. Director Barbet Schroeder and writer Nicholas Kazan capture the dark truths with an eye for blackly comic humor and grim pathos. Jeremy Irons is fantastic and walks a fine line between human and ice cold manipulator. Glenn Close narrates as the comatose wife, and the film is really just a marvel of tone and content.

[Extras: Commentary by director Barbet Schroeder]

The Best

El CaminoEl Camino [steelbook]

What is it? A Breaking Bad movie?!

Why see it? Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) is on the run in this stand-alone follow-up to Breaking Bad, and fans who dug it on Netflix will want to pick up this release. The extras are plentiful, the film is solid, and writer/director Vince Gilligan’s touch is still evident throughout. His commentary is a solid listen too. The film is a Netflix Original and one of the rare ones to reach Blu-ray, let alone in such a solid release, so fans need to make it a good seller in the hopes that more start flowing.

[Extras: Commentaries, featurette, gag reel, deleted scenes]

MallratsMallrats [Arrow Video]

What is it? Remember malls?

Why see it? Kevin Smith’s follow-up to his indie sensation Clerks is a big ol’ mixed bag, and if you’re not on his wavelength the movie will be a complete bust for you. He never gives up, though, meaning something might land. The cast features plenty of familiar faces from Ben Affleck to Shannen Doherty, and most of the humor barely rises above the crude and crass. It’s an okay movie, but Arrow gives it a fantastic Blu-ray release. Multiple cuts of the film, all restored, are here along with a ton of extras new and old.

[Extras: Theatrical and extended cuts, commentary, interviews, documentary, outtakes]

Sergeant YorkSergeant York [Warner Archive]

What is it? A pacifist becomes a war hero.

Why see it? The concept of patriotism has become so twisted in today’s America that the term has become pointless, but once upon a time it carried real weight. Howard Hawks’ early 40s ode to the idea features a stirring performance by Gary Cooper as a patriot the likes of which we just don’t see these days. It’s a true story — maybe that has something to do with it — and celebrates the idea that some things are more important than the individual even if they’re meaningless without individuals.

[Extras: Commentary, featurette, short film]

The Rest


What is it? A young woman discovers her family line holds some secrets.

Why see it? There’s an interesting story at the heart of this genre effort, but the execution leaves something to be desired. It’s about a family with a dangerous lineage, and when the youngest arrives alongside an oddball cook it all descends into chaos. So far so good, but there’s a distinct lack of energy to the proceedings. The mystery has some merit, but it loses its power with each passing minute as the writing and performances fail to fully engage.

[Extras: None]

Cats & Dogs 3: Paws Unite

What is it? The peace between felines and canines is threatened by evil!

Why see it? For a franchise that started way back in 2001 — seriously, Cats & Dogs is twenty-years-old and made $200 million at the box-office! — it’s surprising that this is only the second sequel. It’s more of the same, albeit on a smaller budget, but if talking animals getting into fun scrapes is your bag then the direct-to-video follow-up manages some harmless fun.

[Extras: Featurettes, gag reel]

The Chalk Garden [KL Studio Classics]

What is it? A troubled young woman finds guidance and support.

Why see it? There’s not a lot of flash to this drama, but it’s a compelling tale all the same thanks in part to strong performances. Hayley Mills plays the teen, and Deborah Kerr plays the woman whose own issues lend a hand toward helping her charge. It’s a character piece about troubled people finding their way, and sumptuous photography adds to the growing warmth.

[Extras: Commentary]

Diabolique / Incognito / The In Crowd

What is it? Three thrillers on one disc!

Why see it? Diabolique is a solid enough update of the the famed tale, and while it brings nothing really new to the story it’s well-crafted. Incognito is one no one remembers, if they even saw it at all, and it’s easy to see why it slipped through the cracks — it’s a minor 90s thriller, and while Jason Patric gets a rare lead role he’s not quite captivating enough to hold it all together. Finally, The In Crowd goes the PG-13 route and is instantly forgettable.

[Extras: None]

The Doorman

What is it? A former Marine says “welcome to the party, pal!”

Why see it? Die Hard riffs are a dime a dozen, still, three decades later, and the latest entry in that specialized subgenre comes from the director of Midnight Meat Train. Ruby Rose stars as the Marine forced to use her skills to save folks from Jean Reno, and while female action stars are plentiful and more than capable, Rose just doesn’t cut it here. She’s constantly dressed in poorly-fitting costumes meant to make her look bigger than she is, and the action is cut to ribbons with editing that makes it less than impressive.

[Extras: Featurette]

Imaginary Crimes / Silent Fall

What is it? Two unrelated 90s films!

Why see it? Imaginary Crimes is a drama starring Harvey Keitel as a family man neglecting his family. It’s a well-acted tale with a rare non-genre performance from Keitel. Silent Fall, meanwhile, is a thriller that pits Richard Dreyfuss against an uncooperative kid with autism. The child isn’t the villain, obviously, but it’s up to the good doctor to crack the code to identify a killer! It’s not great.

[Extras: None]

Requiem for a Dream [4K UaHD]

What is it? Four people spiral

Why see it? This is bleak cinema. Darren Aronofsky’s adaptation of Hubert Selby’s equally bleak novel, and it’s brought to life by some devastating performances from Jennifer Connelly and Ellen Burstyn. The film captures their descent into depression, degradation, and madness due to drug addiction, and it is fairly unrelenting. So much so, that it’s a movie I really can’t see watching all that often (if ever again). It’s not entertaining, obviously, but it’s a powerful watch.

[Extras: Director’s cut, featurettes]


What is it? A man searches for his abducted son.

Why see it? Scott Adkins will always be reason enough to watch an action movie, and he delivers with some fun fights in this otherwise silly tale. He plays a former mercenary who’s forced back into the life after his son is kidnapped with the goal of making him kill a bunch of cartel leaders. Like I said, it’s silly and clumsily directed at times, but if you come for Adkins you’ll be satisfied.

[Extras: None]

S.O.S. Titanic [KL Studio Classics]

What is it? Like you haven’t heard of the Titanic.

Why see it? You know the story, now watch it as god intended with a cast of charismatic actors including Helen Mirren, David Warner, Cloris Leachman, Ian Holm, and more. William Hale’s late 70s film saw both a theatrical and television release with the latter featuring over forty additional minutes. It might lack the spectacle of James Cameron’s version, but it remains a captivating cautionary tale.

[Extras: 4K theatrical, HD TV cut, commentary, featurette]

Test Tube Babies and Guilty Parents

What is it? Exploitation cinema from the 30s and 40s.

Why see it? The two films here are throwbacks to simpler times that manage to find scandal where none would even exist today. First up is a tale of a young couple incapable of having kids who party and work and have a great time before deciding to make babies of the future with test tube science! A girl goes rogue in the second film before being brought back in line by the law, and it’s good fun.

[Extras: Commentary, short film]

Warning from Space [Arrow Video]

What is it? Aliens invade!

Why see it? The first Japanese science fiction film produced in color is an entertaining adventure even as it plays things serious throughout. The interstellar visitors have a unique appearance when they’re not co-opting humans, and the film builds towards a suspenseful end as the Earth nears catastrophe. It may be far from a classic and lack the memorable themes of something like Godzilla, but it’s an engaging watch.

[Extras: Commentary, Japanese and US versions]

Also out this week:

Batman: Death in the Family, Carmilla, Claudine [Criterion Collection], Crescendo, Deepstar Six [Scream Factory], Friday the 13th Collection [Scream Factory], Terror in the Aisles [Scream Factory]

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