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Home Entertainment Guide: March 20, 2020


"The Assignment"
"Silver Linings Playbook"
"Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy"


"Bamboozled" (Criterion)

Spike Lee says in his interview with Ashley Clark on the new Criterion edition of "Bamboozled" that he was interested in Black representation in entertainment in part because it was the 100th anniversary of film and the 50th anniversary of television. It's interesting now to watch the film two decades later and wonder how we've come and how far we have to go. Clark and Lee get into this in one of several great special features on the release, including a 2001 commentary by Spike and a new interview with Savion Glover and Tommy Davidson. The movie itself feels like it's even more urgent now in some ways, a daring satire that no one but Lee could have gotten made then or now. 

Buy it here

Special Features
New 2K digital restoration, supervised by director of photography Ellen Kuras and approved by director Spike Lee, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
Audio commentary from 2001 featuring Lee
New conversation between Lee and film programmer and critic Ashley Clark
New interviews with choreographer and actor Savion Glover, actor Tommy Davidson, and costume designer Ruth E. Carter
On Blackface and the Minstrel Show, a new interview program featuring film and media scholar Racquel Gates
The Making of “Bamboozled” (2001), a documentary featuring Lee; Glover; Davidson; actors Jada Pinkett Smith, Michael Rapaport, and Damon Wayans; and other members of the cast and crew
Deleted scenes, music videos for the Mau Maus’ “Blak Iz Blak” and Gerald Levert’s “Dream with No Love,” and alternate parody commercials created for the film
Poster gallery and trailer
PLUS: An essay by Clark

"A Hidden Life"

Fox buried Terrence Malick's latest masterpiece when it was barely in theaters a few months ago and they're doing it again on the home market. Whether it's a byproduct of the merger with Disney or something else, it's a true shame that more people won't see this incredible film, one that made my top ten of 2019. And it's equally shameful that the release by Fox has absolutely no special features, not even a standard featurette from an EPK. Malick's film feels like something he's been working to for decades now, blending his interest in faith and the natural world with a narrative that's more grounded than he has in a few films. It's a gorgeous, moving piece of work that I am certain will find an audience someday, despite its treatment on its initial release. This is a film that the next generation will be surprised wasn't hailed as a masterpiece from the very beginning. Do whatever you can to see it. (And hope someone like Criterion picks it up and gives it the supplemental material it deserves.)

Buy it here 

Special Features
None ... boo

"Jumanji: The Next Level"

"Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" was an insane hit for Sony, making almost a billion dollars worldwide from 2017 to 2018. It hit all demographics from kids who liked the silly adventure to comedy fans who liked Kevin Hart to action fans drawn to The Rock to a generation that remembered the Robin Williams original. A sequel was inevitable, and the follow-up got mostly the same reviews while making over $300 million domestically. People LOVE these movies. And it's easy to see why. They're escapism that doesn't talk down to its audience. You don't feel stupid watching them, but you can still leave the real world behind. And the ensembles are insanely charismatic. This one brings most of the original players back and adds Awkwafina, Danny DeVito, Danny Glover, and more to a group of people that's hard to dislike. It also helps that the home release is loaded with special features. Trapped inside? See if you can get your hands on this Blu-ray while you still can. 

Buy it here 
Special Features
Gag Reel
"Rhys Darby Wants To Jingle": How do you top Jack Black and Nick Jonas's unforgettable theme song for the first one? Everyone's favorite Non Player Character, Rhys Darby is ready to take it to the next, next level.
"Body Swapping: Snapping Into Character": "In the latest Jumanji adventure, the avatar roles are turned on their heads with new characters and hilarious performances."
"Back Together: Reuniting the Cast": Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan and Jack Black are back and better than ever as they share their excitement to reunite.
"Level Up: Making Jumanji: The Next Level": From breathtaking scenery, wild adventure, new characters and more- go behind the scenes with the cast and crew as they take Jumanji to the Next Level.
"Scene Breakdown: Ostrich Chase": Jump in your dune buggy and go inside the epic ostrich chase scene as the filmmakers and visual effects team breakdown the creation of this memorable scene.
"Scene Breakdown: Mandrill Bridges": Moving rope bridges, giant mandrills and incredible stunt work make the mandrills attack one of the most adrenaline pack parts of this film. In this scene breakdown, see how they pulled it off.
"Awkwafina Cat Burglar": To prepare for her roles as pickpocket, Ming Fleetwood, superstar Awkwafina got a little too method behind the scenes.
"NPC Confessions: Jurgen The Brutal": Being the bad guy isn't all glory. Jurgen The Brutal gets real in this candid confessional.
"Grow Up:" Danny DeVito and Danny Glover help Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart get in touch with their inner grumpy old men.
"Telenovela": Kevin Hart gets lost in translation in this melodramatic promo.
"VFX Pre-Vis: Zeppelin Battle": Compare the detail of the visual effects pre visualization reel and the final picture breakdown of the thrilling Zeppelin battle.
"VFX Pre-Vis: Ostrich Chase": Track the progression from pre-visualization to finished scene in a side by side comparison of the ostrich chase.
AR GAME: The 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD include a collectible map that is fully interactive, employing Augmented Reality to bring Jumanji to life through a smart phone, allowing users to create their own 8-bit Avatar, navigate a series of mini games and much more!

"Richard Jewell"

Clint Eastwood's latest drama was a surprising dud at the box office. What happened? Maybe Eastwood underestimated the backlash to the controversy around the way he fudged the facts on one of his key characters (and underestimated the irony in making a movie about truth that hinges so much on a lie). Maybe people didn't want a movie about #FakeNews in the midst of our current national divide. Maybe it's because "Richard Jewell" sometimes feels at odds with itself. It works well as a character study - every scene in the Jewell home has a compassionate honesty to it - but falls apart when it approaches a true crime story and even more when it comments on journalism. There are performances here that work, but it's a misfire for Eastwood compared to some of his better, recent work. Still, any Eastwood is worth at least a rental, even the ones that don't quite come together. 

Buy it here 

Special Features
The Making of Richard Jewell
The Real Story of Richard Jewell

"Salesman" (Criterion)

This documentary from Charlotte Zwerin and David and Albert Maysles is one of the most influential of all time in the way it finds truth in observation. It doesn't push a narrative or facts. It doesn't have any narration or blatant storytelling. The Maysles recognized that real people could be as interesting as any piece of fiction, and laid groundwork for the best of reality television if you think about it. Their films weren't daring in terms of structure, but they knew when to get out of the way of their subjects and that the honesty of their empathetic filmmaking drive the final product. This movie about bible salesmen may be half a century old, but it conveys human frustration and emotion in ways that remind us we haven't really changed as much as we may think. 

Buy it here 

Special Features
New, restored 4K digital transfer, undertaken by the Academy Film Archive, The Film Foundation, and the George Lucas Family Foundation, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
Audio commentary from 2001 featuring directors Albert Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin
Television interview from 1968 with directors David and Albert Maysles, conducted by critic Jack Krolll
New appreciation of the film by actor Bill Hader (Blu-ray only)
“Globesman,” a 2016 episode of the television series Documentary Now! that parodies the film, starring Hader and Fred Armisen (Blu-ray only)
Audio excerpt from a 2000 episode of NPR’s Weekend Edition profiling James Baker, one of the salesmen featured in the film
Behind-the-scenes photographs (DVD only)
PLUS: An essay by critic Michael Chaiken on the Blu-ray

"Spies in Disguise"

Will Smith plays a spy who turns into a pigeon in a movie that you probably haven't heard of if you don't have kids. Smith is having a lot of fun as one of the most talented superspies in the world who finds himself in the body of a bird after his latest assignment goes totally haywire. The voice work here is enjoyable even if it's the kind of forgettable family entertainment that doesn't really linger into the next day. Still, in the throes of a quarantine in which most schools are closed? You could do a lot worse than this enjoyably disposable entertainment. 

Buy it here 

Special Features
Super Secret Spy Mode
Infiltrating Blue Sky Studios
The Top Secret Guide to Gadgets
"Then There Were Two" Music Video
"Freak of Nature" Music Video
Making the Soundtrack "Then There Were Two"
Making the Soundtrack "Freak of Nature"
"Lunch Break"

"Uncut Gems"

I love movies that get people fighting, and this was one of the most divisive of 2019. Let's be honest. Most movies dissipate from the conversation quickly. It's the ones that we discuss that really feel essential, like they will last into future generations. I'm confident that people will be watching "Uncut Gems" for a long time, although I wish the home release had more extras. Imagine Adam Sandler commenting on making the film. I'm sure he would do a great job. And so much has been written about the Safdies' unique process, why not really dig into that with a commentary and deeper special features than the minor one included here? After all, this is a major movie. 

Buy it here 

Special Features
"Money on the Street: The Making of Uncut Gems" Featurette

Brian Tallerico

Brian Tallerico is the Editor of, and also covers television, film, Blu-ray, and video games. He is also a writer for Vulture, The Playlist, The New York Times, and Rolling Stone, and the President of the Chicago Film Critics Association.

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