We here at Substream love to give you our fresh takes on the best new theatrical and VOD releases, but what if you love something enough to want to own a physical copy? This is our rundown of this week’s best new releases on DVD and Blu-ray, so that you know what films to add to your home video library.
Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising
Now that Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly Radner (Rose Byrne) have a second baby on the way, they are ready to make the final move into adulthood: the suburbs. But just as they thought they’d reclaimed the neighborhood and were safe to sell, they learn that the new occupants next door are a sorority even more out of control than Teddy (Zac Efron) and his brothers ever dreamed of being. Tired of their school’s sexist, restrictive system, the unorthodox ladies of Kappa Nu have decided to start a house where they can do whatever the hell they want. When Shelby (Chloë Grace Moretz) and her sisters, Beth (Kiersey Clemons) and Nora (Beanie Feldstein), find the perfect place just off campus, they won’t let the fact that it’s located on a quiet street stand in their way of parties as epic as the guys throw. Forced to turn to the one ex-neighbor with the skills to bring down the new Greeks next door, the Radners—alongside best friends Jimmy (Ike Barinholtz) and Paula (Carla Gallo)—bring in charismatic Teddy as their secret weapon. If he can infiltrate the sorority and charm his way through it, the thirty-somethings will shutter the Kappas’ home. But if they think that their neighbors are going down without a fight, they have severely underestimated the power of youthful ingenuity and straight-up crazy.
Free State of Jones
Set during the Civil War, Free State of Jones tells the story of defiant Southern farmer, Newt Knight, and his extraordinary armed rebellion against the Confederacy. Banding together with other small farmers and local slaves, Knight launched an uprising that led Jones County, Mississippi to secede from the Confederacy, creating a Free State of Jones. Knight continued his struggle into Reconstruction, distinguishing him as a compelling, if controversial, figure of defiance long beyond the War.
Hagit, a young woman with mild mental deficiency, works in a toilet-paper factory. She lives with her mother Sarah, a divorcée who gave up her life for her daughter. Hagit strives for independence, and Sarah is torn between her desire to protect her, and her own will to live. When a relationship develops between her and the son of the factory owner, Hagit hides it from her mother. The announcement of the closing of the factory shakes Hagit and Sarah’s life and jeopardizes Hagit’s love story.
NEW TO THE CRITERION COLLECTION: This razor-sharp modern film noir, the first film by Joel and Ethan Coen, introduced the brothers’ inimitable black humor and eccentric sense of character, a sensibility that has helped shape the course of contemporary American cinema. Deep in the heart of Texas, a sleazy bar owner suspects his wife of having an affair and hires a private detective to confirm his suspicions—only to have the crosshairs turned back on himself. Playfully shot by Barry Sonnenfeld and featuring a haunting score by Carter Burwell and a cunning performance by Frances McDormand, Blood Simple was a career-launching film for this ensemble and the first articulation of the precision of style that has defined the Coens’ work ever since.
NEW TO THE CRITERION COLLECTION: The first of the horror films producer Val Lewton made for RKO Pictures redefined the genre by leaving its most frightening terrors to its audience’s imagination. Simone Simon stars as a Serbian émigré in Manhattan who believes that, because of an ancient curse, any physical intimacy with the man she loves (Kent Smith) will turn her into a feline predator. Lewton, a consummate producer-auteur who oversaw every aspect of his projects, found an ideal director in Jacques Tourneur, a chiaroscuro stylist adept at keeping viewers off-kilter with startling compositions and psychological innuendo. Together, they eschewed the canned effects of earlier monster movies in favor of shocking with subtle shadows and creative audio cues. One of the studio’s most successful movies of the 1940s, Cat People raised the creature feature to new heights of sophistication and mystery.