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Bombastic, tense '1917' emerges on home video

Hot on Home Video
Posted: 7:55 AM, Mar 24, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-27 15:16:55-04
"1917" was released on home video March 24. Photo courtesy Universal Pictures.

Here are this week's hottest home video releases. Find them on disc, or streaming services such as iTunes, Vudu, Amazon and Google Play.

1917

Filmmaker Sam Mendes turns in a tour de force vision of the hellish nightmare that was World War I. Boasting stunning effects and an innovative camera style that makes the film appear to have been shot in a single take -- as though a guardian angel is following the protagonist -- the film is a gorgeous and enthralling experience that stands as one of the best films of 2019. Extras include an interview with Mendes, filmmaker commentary and a slew of background featurettes.

BAMBOOZLED

Spike Lee's blistering satire of the entertainment industry's systemic exploitation of black performers continues to hold up as uncomfortably valid. Damon Wayans, Savion Glover, Jada Pinkett Smith, Michael Rapaport and Mos Def make up the cast. Criterion gave the film a fresh 2K digital transfer, providing a visual and audio boost. Lee's commentary, cast interviews, Lee's 2001 commentary and deleted scenes make up the extras.

THE CALL OF THE WILD

Released earlier than expected digitally due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Jack London adaptation features Harrison Ford, Karen Gillan, Dan Stevens, Omar Sy and some questionable dog CGI. Although the story is emotional and profound, the awkward visual effects are distracting. Still, the opportunity to watch the family-friendly movie at home so soon after theatrical release feels like a treat.

THE GRUDGE

Half a sequel and half a franchise reboot, this tepid and dull take on the horror franchise fails to satisfy fans. Andrea Riseborough, Demian Bichir, John Cho and Betty Gilpin star in the dark tale of hapless people dealing with a death curse. For my full review, click here. Extras include deleted and extended scenes, a background featurette, Easter eggs and alternate ending.

Studios provided review screeners.

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