Sorry, What to Watch took a turkey day break as last week was really light on new product worth mentioning. This week? Pretty much the same but we don’t want you to miss us too badly. Here’s five recent Blu-ray, DVD, and streaming releases that may have caught your attention on new release shelves lately, ranked in the order we’d add them to our holiday wish list.
CHICAGO – Ricky Jay is a fascinating character. He went from a staple of late night TV on shows like “Dinah Shore” and “The Tonight Show” to a notable collaborator with David Mamet, co-starring in most of his films, to an author and performer on Broadway. The man is one of the true living masters of his chosen art form – magic. As one might imagine, getting behind the curtain of this particular wizard proves difficult for “Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay” but the film about him remains an entertaining bio-doc regardless of the fact that the bio portion really only stays within its subject’s profession.
CHICAGO – Very few films from 1963 have the timelessness of Akira Kurosawa’s perfect thriller “High and Low,” a daring piece of tension-building work that takes place almost entirely in one room and in real-time. With people like Martin Scorsese, Mike Nichols, and David Mamet circling a potential remake for years, it’s no wonder the film was chosen for the Blu-ray upgrade this month by Criterion. It’s a classic from one of the form’s best directors.
CHICAGO – I am an unabashed defender of nearly everything that David Mamet has ever made and the arrival of another one of his films under the Criterion banner makes for a special occasion in this critic’s household. The new release of Mamet’s “Homicide” (1991) is a must-own for fans of one of the most important playwrights of the last fifty years and an underrated filmmaker as well.
CHICAGO – Chiwetel Ejiofor (pronounced choo-ih-tell edge-o-for) has been a stalwart film actor ever since his dramatic debut in Steven Spielberg’s “Amistad”. Since then, he has been a go-to character actor for directors as diverse as Spike Lee, Woody Allen and Stephen Frears.