A ‘DE­CLINE’ OF BOX-SET PRO­POR­TIONS

Los Angeles Times - - SUNDAY CALENDAR - By Noel Mur­ray cal­en­dar@latimes.com

The De­cline of Western Civ­i­liza­tion Col­lec­tion

Shout! Fac­tory, $39.98; Blu-ray, $59.98

Doc­u­men­tary fans and rock ’n’ roll scholars alike have been wait­ing years for Pene­lope Spheeris’ tril­ogy to get a DVD and/or Blu-ray re­lease, and af­ter a lot of wran­gling over rights, Spheeris and Shout! Fac­tory are fi­nally able to present two of the best docs of the 1980s — plus their fas­ci­nat­ing 1998 com­pan­ion piece — as a thought­fully as­sem­bled box set. Bonus in­ter­views and per­for­mances, along with com­men­tary tracks by Spheeris and Foo Fight­ers front­man Dave Grohl, ac­com­pany new 2K trans­fers of 1981’s “De­cline” (about the early Los An­ge­les punk scene of X, the Germs and Black Flag), 1987’s “De­cline II” (about the heavy me­tal su­per­stars and wannabes nur­tured on the Sunset Strip) and “De­cline III” (about the hard­core punk ethos of home­less teens). In ad­di­tion to record­ing pow­er­house bands in their prime, Spheeris also used these films to ex­plore youth cul­ture, the uni­fy­ing power of mu­sic and the vary­ing con­cep­tions of “suc­cess.” Her work here is out­stand­ing, and it’s great to have it avail­able again.

While We’re Young

Lion­s­gate, $19.98; Blu-ray, $24.99 Avail­able now on VOD

For fans of acer­bic writer-di­rec­tor Noah Baum­bach, the good news about his latest com­edy is that it’s bright, funny and ac­ces­si­ble. Ben Stiller plays a pro­cras­ti­nat­ing mid­dle-age doc­u­men­tary film­maker whose life changes dra­mat­i­cally when he and his wife (Naomi Watts) start hang­ing out with a free-spir­ited, fun-lov­ing young hipster cou­ple (played by Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried). Baum­bach gets off a lot of good jokes at the ex­pense of both mil­len­ni­als and Gen-X-ers, and the movie as a whole is a real crowd-pleaser. But it also gets dis­ap­point­ingly preachy down the stretch, show­ing a sour­ness of spirit to­ward the younger gen­er­a­tion that was ab­sent in Baum­bach’s pre­vi­ous film, the won­der­ful “Frances Ha.” The DVD and Blu-ray in­clude six short fea­turettes.

Kumiko, the Trea­sure Hunter

Starz/An­chor Bay; Blu-ray, $34.99 Avail­able now on VOD

Film buffs will want to see David and Nathan Zell­ner’s pic­ture just for its plot, which sees a lonely Ja­panese woman (played by Rinko Kikuchi) trav­el­ing to Min­nesota in search of the suit­case full of money buried in the snow in the Coen broth­ers’ movie “Fargo.” But even be­yond its wholly orig­i­nal premise, the film is re­mark­able, with the Zell­ners tak­ing the ab­stracted, dead­pan style of Jim Jar­musch and Aki Kau­ris­mäki and mak­ing it their own. What starts as an off­beat fish-out-of-wa­ter story be­comes an eerily beau­ti­ful con­tem­pla­tion of how we look for mean­ing in pop cul­ture that we can’t find in our own lives.

Danny Collins

Uni­ver­sal, $29.98; Blu-ray, $34.98 Avail­able on VOD on June 30

Ac­com­plished screen­writer and TV pro­ducer Dan Fo­gel­man makes his fea­ture di­rect­ing de­but with this slight but sweet film star­ring Al Pa­cino as an aged mil­lion­aire rock star who de­cides to over­come a cri­sis of con­fi­dence by re­con­nect­ing with his es­tranged son (played by Bobby Can­navale). The “poor lit­tle rich man” premise is hack­neyed, but Fo­gel­man doesn’t try to over­sell its im­por­tance. And he has such a gift for di­a­logue that this film is a plea­sure to watch even at its most pre­dictable. It helps that Pa­cino gives one of his best per­for­mances in years, play­ing his dandy­ish rocker as a de­cent guy who’s been trapped in the celebrity ma­chine too long. The DVD and Blu-ray come with a pair of pal­try fea­turettes.

And…

Get Hard Warner Bros., $28.98; Blu-ray, $44.95 Avail­able on VOD on Tues­day

The Gun­man Uni­ver­sal, $29.98; Blu-ray, $34.98 Avail­able on VOD on Tues­day

Hard to Be a God

Kino Lorber, $29.95; Blu-ray, $34.95

Shout! Fac­tor y

BILLY ZOOM of X ap­pears in Part 1 of the “De­cline” tril­ogy.

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