Here are some of the best recent home video releases:
This streamlined adaptation of the legendary, oft-remade tale won't make anyone forget the 1959 classic, but manages to tell the story -- of the prince sold into slavery who strives for redemption -- with a sure hand. Jack Huston stars in the title role, and Toby Kebbell plays his treacherous adopted brother. Morgan Freeman also makes a stark impression as a slave master who opens the way for Ben-Hur to fight his way back into Roman society. Extras in the Blu-ray/digital copy combo pack include a featurette on the story's legacy, music videos, deleted and extended scenes and a look inside the epic chariot race sequence.
The Exterminating Angel (Criterion)
Legendary director Luis Buñuel's 1962 film is an absurdist classic about a group of high-society types who gather for a meal but find themselves unable to leave. The biting satire mocks upper-class customs and frvolity. A gorgeous Criterion restoration makes the black-and-white film look stunning on Blu-ray. Extras include a tribute booklet with an essay by film historian Marsha Kinder and a vintage interview with the filmmaker, as well as a 2008 retrospective documentary and interviews with cast members.
Italian great Federico Fellini writes his cinematic 1972 love letter to Italy, donning his impressionistic perspective to take a snapshot of the city through a mix of documentary techniques and artistic exaggeration. While not Fellini's most cohesive or beautiful film, there is plenty of heart in it and many touches that show Fellini's mastery. Extras include a knockout restoration, deleted scenes, a commentary track by a Fellini historian, an interview with Fellini intimate Valerio Magrelli and a tribute booklet with an essay by David Forgacs.
Southside With You
Relative unknowns Parker Sawyers and Tika Sumpter play Barack Obama and Michelle Robinson as they go out on their first date in 1989. The film works not only as a charming romance, but an insightful look into the origins of the future world leaders. It helps that the leads nail the look and speaking patterns of their subjects. Writer/director Richard Tanne tells his story with considerable charm and resonance. The lone notable extra in the Blu-ray/digital copy combo is Tanne's commentary.
This effort to expand the DC universe introduces several notorious villains who form a team to take down a common threat. While the story isn't coherent, the action and dialogue manage to make it a true crowd pleaser, with the likes of Will Smith, Jared Leto and Margot Robbie taking turns stealing scenes. The 4K transfer manages to transfer the thrills from the silver screen to your home theater in stunning detail. For my full review, click here. Extras in the 4K/Blu-ray combo pack include a gag reel, a look at the special effects that make up the battle scenes, a featurette on the disturbing Joker-Harley Quinn relationship and character breakdowns.
Studios provided review screeners.