‘Tales’ needs little translation
Wild Tales Sony, $30.99; Blu-ray, $34.99 Available on VOD Tuesday.
Damián Szifrón’s funny, stylish foreign language film Oscar nominee is the kind of movie that could turn foreign film skeptics into fans. Szifrón writes and directs a sextet of short stories, connected by the theme of temporary madness and unified by the movie’s willingness to present everyday life as an especially nerve-racking “Twilight Zone” episode. Although every vignette begins with ordinary frustrations — like road rage or parking tickets — the tension builds and the filmmaking gets more expressive as the characters turn irrational and violent. “Wild Tales” isn’t that profound, but for a depiction of human behavior at its most extreme, ithas an unusual panache. The DVD and Blu-ray add featurettes.
The Wrecking Crew! Magnolia, $26.98; Blu-ray, $29.98
Like “Standing in the Shadows of Motown” and “20 Feet from Stardom,” Danny Tedesco’s documentary is an informative, inspiring look at the musicians who worked in virtual anonymity to help shape popular music. The film returns to the Los Angeles pop and rock scenes of the 1960s, when a group of savvy, versatile, collaborative session players rounded out the musical visions of everyone from Phil Spector to Brian Wilson. As the son of one of those sidemen, Tedesco knew who to talk to and what to ask and gets into both the musicians’ workaholic lifestyle and how they came up with riffs and fills that are among the era’s most memorable. The result is a meaningful reflection on an art at one of its key transition-points. The DVD and Blu-ray add deleted scenes.
Andre Gregory& Wallace Shawn: 3Films Criterion, $99.95; Blu-ray, $99.95
The odd partnership of New York avant-garde theater mainstays Wallace Shawn and Andre Gregory was first introduced to moviegoers in 1981’s “My Dinner with Andre,” where they turned a fictionalized version of their own lives into a filmed conversation as polished and potent as a great play. Shawn, Gregory and their “Dinner” director Louis Malle re-teamed for 1994’s “Vanya on 42nd Street,” an Anton Chekhov adaptation that the actors rehearsed with friends in a crumbling old theater for years before they put it on screen. And then last year they worked with director Jonathan Demme in a fancy New York club to do a modernized take on Henrik Ibsen, “A Master Builder.” Criterion’s box set of all three films includes new and vintage documentaries and interviews, making it an unexpectedly generous package of Gregory and Shawn’s collaborations and a document of the work of two artists with one foot in the classics and the other in experimentation for experimentation’s sake.
Welcome to Me Millennium, $19.99; Blu-ray, $24.99
Since leaving “Saturday Night Live,” Kristen Wiig hasn’t really followed up on her blockbuster 2011 comedy “Bridesmaids,” instead choosing to do bit parts in larger movies and leads in
eccentric indies. “Welcome to Me” is another of the latter. Wiig stars as a lottery winner with mental and emotional disorders who uses her jackpot to finance a television show where she talks about her life and her obsessions, to the consternation of her friends, family and lovers. It’s an edgy performance in an admirably dark but distractingly quirky film, written by Eliot Laurence and directed by Shira Piven.
Beyond The Reach Lionsgate, $19.98; Blu-ray, $24.99
Chappie Sony, $30.99; Blu-ray, $34.99 Available on VOD Tuesday.
The Lazarus Effect 20th Century Fox, $29.98; Bluray, $39.99 Available on VOD Tuesday.
The Newsroom The Complete Third Season
HBO,$39.98; Blu-ray, $49.99
Run All-Night Warner Bros., $28.98; Blu-ray, $44.95 Available on VOD Tuesday.
Unfinished Business 20th Century Fox, $29.98; Bluray, $39.99
RICARDO DARIN in the funny, stylish “Wild Tales,” a foreign language film Oscar nominee.
UNHERALDED MUSICIANS Carol Kaye and Bill Pitman in Danny Tedesco’s “TheWrecking Crew!”