Nine Great Movies Coming to DVD and Blu-ray in November

Movies Lists DVD and Blu-ray
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Nine Great Movies Coming to DVD and Blu-ray in November

Whether you’re looking for something to add to your DVD library or just something to rent, November has some good movies coming to DVD this month, from action and anime to the latest Steven Soderbergh film. All the movies listed had theatrical releases in 2017, except Aquarius, one of favorite films of 2016 finally coming to DVD and Blu-ray. Two of these movies are also available in 4K UHD.

atomic-blonde.jpg 9. Atomic Blonde
Available on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K: Nov. 14
Director: David Leitch
The moment you’re waiting for in Atomic Blonde, the reason you’re watching in the first place, doesn’t come until more than an hour in. Sure, we’ve seen Charlize Theron’s Lorraine Broughton kick some ass to that point, as we’d expect from John Wick co-director David Leitch, but nothing that rises to the level of audaciousness of that genre-bending cult hit. We’ve sat through a lot of plot and a lot of espionage intrigue that we’ve seen hundreds of times before, and we sure do listen to a lot, a lot, of ’80s music. But the background of the fight scene that finally arrives makes Atomic Blonde worthy of seeing regardless of whether everything that comes before and after it is not particularly relevant; it’s all related to that mostly by-the-numbers plot we were just mostly dismissive of. The 10-minute-long bravura sequence is a sweaty, grunting, exhausting, absolutely exceptional fight scene, one of the most iconic of the last two decades. We’ve seen Charlize Theron be tough before (most famously in Mad Max: Fury Road), but she’s fascinatingly formidable yet vulnerable here. She’s both more perfect and more furious than everybody else but also not impervious to pain. She takes a bunch of hits, and you feel them. It makes her, and every scene she’s in, that much more mesmerizing. Broughton has no superpowers, which makes her victories and persistence all the more impressive. She’s a true warrior. I’m not sure I need to see much of anything else in Atomic Blonde again, from the setting to the supporting characters to even the music. But I’d watch Leitch direct Theron kicking ass for plenty of movies to come. If the world reacts to that stairs sequence the way I think they will, I’ll get the opportunity. —Will Leitch / Full Review

crown-heights-dvd.jpg 8. Crown Heights
Available on DVD: Nov. 21
Director: Matt Ruskin
Some of us have loved him since Short Term 12, many discovered him as Snoop Dogg in Straight Outta Compton, and some didn’t know him until his hilarious, thought-provoking Darius in Donald Glover’s Golden Globe-winning series Atlanta. But Lakeith Stanfield’s massive talent is not a secret any more, and he turns out to be the perfect choice to play real-life Colin Warner, a man wrongfully convicted of murder in Brooklyn. Stanfield’s Colin isn’t a wild-eyed maniac, but neither is he a shrinking wallflower when it comes to proclaiming his innocence. He is, in the final reckoning, a man in full, steadfast and determined, and Stanfield imbues the part with soulful passion. At the end of the film, we see footage of the actual Colin upon his release, and both the tone and content of his first words as a free man are stunningly inspirational. But by then we already know that about him; Stanfield has shown us. —Michael Dunaway

the-villainess.jpg 7. The Villainess
Available on DVD and Blu-ray: Nov. 21
Director: Jung Byung-gil
Action melodrama The Villainess is a masterclass in what to do and what not to do when crafting an action-oriented film around a female lead, more so than its contemporaries and predecessors, from Atomic Blonde to Haywire. Do give the lead a robust, layered backstory. Do not surrender to easy means of conveying said backstory to your audience, lest you sacrifice action. Do respect your protagonist enough to let her get messy and to let her narrative be complex. Don’t mistake “complex” to mean “comically abstruse.” The list goes on. It’s a bloody good time at the movies when it’s satisfying its premise, which unfortunately is not always. The film opens in propulsive fashion, coopting the first person POV lens of Hardcore Henry as Jung’s antiheroine, Sook-hee (played by Min Ye-ji in flashbacks, and Kim Ok-bin in the film’s present), mows down scores of faceless bad guys while on a mission of revenge. The particulars of that mission are kept from us to start with, and revealed over the course of the film as Sook-hee is recruited into South Korea’s intelligence bureau, intent on putting her impressive talents for murderin’ to good use. The Villainess is easy enough to appreciate for its go-for-broke, over-the-top action, for its vibrancy as a work of art, and for its originality: Even if Jung’s influences are easily sniffed out. —Andy Crump / Full Review

lemon.jpg 6. Lemon
Available on DVD: Nov. 21
Director: Janicza Bravo
Lemon is a blistering, 80-minute indictment of and elegy for white man-child protagonists. You know this movie. You’ve seen myriad versions of it staged over, say, the last two decades of pop culture or so, from The 40-Year-Old Virgin to Knocked Up to the majority of Adam Sandler’s oeuvre. But you haven’t seen this movie as staged by Janicza Bravo, an outsider to the self-validating dynamics of the fraternity of white male screw-ups. She’s thus better equipped to provide fresh commentary on that fraternity than any random white male might be. Even better, she’s more talented, too. Her film is an exquisitely wrought portrait of white guy ineptitude disguised as superiority and acumen, though this assumes you equate “exquisite” with wallowing in abject human misery for an hour and a half. In her feature debut, Bravo demonstrates a raw skill behind the lens suggesting a higher ceiling than most of her peers, though her film is no less awkward than anything they’ve made, either. Lemon is a tragicomic ballad of chagrin and stunted masculinity, and yes, it is at times a literal shitshow, a comedy of bodily functions to complement its endless parade of embarrassments. But the sight of Bravo’s co-writer and leading man Brett Gelman fishing a cell phone out of a used toilet doesn’t at all undermine the sophistication and style of her filmmaking. —Andy Crump / Full Review

killing-ground.jpg 5. Killing Ground
Available on DVD and Blu-ray: Nov. 7
Director: Damien Power
The term “slow burn” is most often applied to movies where nothing of note happens for about the first hour, and everything happens in the last ten to twenty minutes. But Damien Power holds our attention throughout Killing Ground. It’s build-up is essential to the pay-off. Really, this isn’t a slow burn at all: It’s a really well-made genre movie, the product of a smart, obviously skilled filmmaker with a good sense of economy. Power treats every beat in the narrative as an opportunity for disquieting his viewers, using a collection of techniques to progressively raise the hairs on our arms, but more importantly he maintains an enduring harmony across multiple plot threads and perspectives without losing either himself or us. The film begins with our designated protagonists, married couple Ian (Ian Meadows) and Sam (Harriet Dyer), and slowly, precisely expands to include two other involved parties. They’re on a camping trip, heading for a waterfall on New Year’s to celebrate, take a load off and maybe even get engaged. As soon as they arrive at their destination, they notice that someone else has beaten them there, setting up their own campsite at the same spot Ian and Sam had in mind.Killing Ground’s grand artistic statement isn’t made until its final image, so just enjoy the film as an exemplary exercise in tension as you wait for Power to suck out your soul. Power hasn’t re-invented the Australian outback thriller, but he has put his personal stamp on it, and in so doing distinguished his works from similar fare, a’la Wolf Creek and Wake in Fright. Killing Ground doesn’t burn slowly. It just burns. —Andy Crump / Full Review

logan-lucky.jpg 4. Logan Lucky
Available on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K: Nov. 28
Director: Steven Soderbergh 
Steven Soderbergh has often been best after he has taken time off to recharge, and the four years of “retirement” after 2013’s Side Effects seem to have sharpened his filmmaking instincts. Logan Lucky has the briskness and sheen of a professional, a man who, after years of restlessness, has become comfortable enough to simply tell a story with confidence, clarity and gusto. You can feel Soderbergh in every frame of this thing, but he’s not foregrounded: He knows he doesn’t have to do that anymore. Soderbergh, for all his greatness, has never had a signature stamp, a theme or a vision that he consistently hits hard every time out. He just wants to make movies that are fun to watch. The Logans of the title are Jimmy (Channing Tatum) and Clyde (Adam Driver). Jimmy’s a West Virginian divorced, doting dad who has just lost his construction job at Charlotte Motor Speedway and decides, in an effort to change his life and to get back at the jerks who canned him, to get together with Clyde, a bartender who lost part of his left arm in Iraq, to rob the Speedway of millions of dollars. The brothers draw up their master plan, which consists of breaking an explosives expert named Joe Bank (played by a loose, undeniably funny Daniel Craig) out of jail, sneaking into the Speedway the same day as the NASCAR Coca-Cola 600 and evading two insistent, suspicious detectives (Hilary Swank and Macon Blair). If you’re thinking this sounds like a redneck Ocean’s 11, well, Soderbergh is way ahead of you: At one point, a newscaster actually calls Jimmy and his gang “Ocean’s 7-11.” Logan Lucky isn’t the best movie Soderbergh has ever made, but it’s pointing him a most fascinating new direction—the auteur as compulsive entertainer. —Will Leitch / Full Review

aquarius.jpg 3. Aquarius
Available on DVD and Blu-ray: Nov. 14
Director: Kleber Mendonça Filho
By the movie’s climax, one woman’s struggle to hold on to her apartment takes on a dramatic weight found in the most ambitious, large-scale epics—yet Filho’s touch couldn’t be lighter. His direction is elegant and restrained, because he has the confidence not to force his effects. He believes in his ideas, and knows they’ll deepen and expand in the viewer’s mind if he just presents them unadorned. Undoubtedly, part of his confidence comes from the gift he got from Braga, who gives the performance of her career. She does the same thing with her voice, face and body that Filho does with his camera, finding economical gestures that express infinite emotions and ideas. I can’t think of many other roles that so fully encapsulate the human condition in all its humor, tragedy, loss, triumph, eroticism, weariness, fear and hope. Clara is one of the great heroines in contemporary cinema, and her story is one that will endure. —Jim Hemphill / Full Review

good-time-poster.jpg 2. Good Time
Available on DVD and Blu-ray: Nov. 21
Directors: Josh and Benny Safdie
The hero of Good Time is one of the canniest individuals in recent cinema, which might seem like an odd thing to say about a scummy lowlife who screws up a bank heist in the film’s opening reels. But don’t underestimate Connie: Several of the people who cross his path make that mistake, and he gets the better of them every time. Connie is played by Robert Pattinson in a performance so locked-in from the first second that it shoots off an electric spark from the actor to the audience: Just sit back, he seems to be telling us. I’ve got this under control. The financially strapped character lives in Queens, unhappy that his mentally challenged brother Nick (Benny Safdie) is cooped up in a facility that, Connie believes, doesn’t do enough to help him. Impulsively, Connie strong-arms Nick into helping him rob a bank. They make off with thousands of dollars, but what they don’t realize is that they live in the real world, not a movie. A paint bomb goes off in their bag, staining the money and the criminals’ clothes. Shaken and trying not to panic, Connie and Nick abandon their getaway car, quickly raising the suspicion of some nearby cops, who chase down Nick. Connie escapes, determined to get his brother out of jail—either through bail money or other means. As Connie, Pattinson is shockingly vital and present, unabashedly throwing himself into any situation. Following their star’s lead, the filmmakers deliver a jet-fueled variation on their usual intricate exploration of New York’s marginalized citizens. Good Time features no shootouts or car chases—there isn’t a single explosion in the whole film. The Safdies and Pattinson don’t need any of that. Like Connie, they thrive on their wits and endless inventiveness—the thrill comes in marveling at how far it can take them. —Tim Grierson / Full Review

your-name.jpg 1. Your Name
Available on DVD and Blu-ray: Nov. 7
Director: Makoto Shinkai
Your Name is another virtuosic turn for Makoto Shinkai, taking the timeworn trope of “star-crossed lovers” of which Shinkai is so fond for and literalizing it in the form of Mitsuha Miyamizu and Taki Tachibana, two Japanese high-schoolers who wake up to find their bodies and minds switched in the weeks leading up to a mysterious celestial event that occurs only once every 1,200 years. Gender and body-swapping are anything but unbroken ground in anime (see: Ranma ½), but Shinkai brings a characteristic tinge of fatalism and hapless comic infrequency to the mix that not only sets the film apart from its campy genre ilk, but distinguishes itself as his most upbeat effort, skewing apart from the more maudlin idiosyncrasies and indulgences which tend to frequently crop up across his body of work. Each of the protagonists is yearning for something. For Mitsuha, raised in the shadow of her overbearing father and burdened by the expectations of her family’s traditions, it’s to leave the sleepy rural mountain town of Itomori and venture out into the liberating excitement of Tokyo. For Taki, a skilled draftsmen and average student living in the city, it’s to seize upon the courage to pursue not only romance but meaning as he matures into adulthood. Through their random transferences, Taki and Mitsuha grow closer to one another and themselves, sharing their most intimate of thoughts and feelings as both their hearts and fates become steadily intertwined in a bid to not only close the gaps of space and time, but also to defy the cruel indifference of fate itself. —Toussaint Egan / Full Review

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