A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
Kino Lorber, $24.95; Blu-ray, $34.95
A true original, writer-director Ana Lily Amirpour's bizarre and partly metaphorical vampire movie is set in a fictional Iranian town called Bad City, where criminals and degenerates reign. Amirpour adapts her own graphic novel (illustrated by Michael DeWeese) and plays around with all manner of pulp imagery, from horror to westerns to noir. But this film isn't really one for genre fans. It's a slow, moody piece that uses vampire mythology as a way to explore feminine empowerment in a repressive culture. Kino's Blu-ray set is suitably loaded with extras for such a one-of-a-kind picture, piling on deleted scenes, an Amirpour interview, a making-of documentary and a booklet containing a portion of the comic book.
20th Century Fox, $22.98; Blu-ray, $29.99
When Jennifer Aniston's performance in "Cake" started popping up in awards races last year, even some fanatical movie buffs asked, "Wait, what's 'Cake?'" The answer? It's one of the best showcases for Aniston's skill at playing thorny-yet-sympathetic heroines. As a woman dealing with chronic pain and psychic dismay after a disfiguring accident, Aniston is at first amusingly acerbic and then heartbreaking as she begins to reach out to someone else who's hurting: the husband (Sam Worthington) of a recent suicide (Anna Kendrick) from her therapy group. The movie as a whole isn't appreciably different from any other earnest indie dramedy about broken people, but it's nice that it exists if only because it might lead to better roles for Aniston. The DVD and Blu-ray include a couple of brief, fluffy featurettes.
Fortitude: Season 1
PBS, $39.99; Blu-ray, $44.99
The glut of quality cable dramas got more crowded this year when Pivot started airing the British series "Fortitude," starring Stanley Tucci as a Scotland Yard detective who arrives at an Arctic mining community just after a local scientist has been killed. Fans of "True Detective" and "Broadchurch" should appreciate the combination of arty atmosphere, local color and strong performances (including typically excellent turns by Michael Gambon, Richard Dormer and Christopher Eccleston). For those who don't have Pivot — or who didn't know this show existed until it had been airing for a while — the complete 11-episode first season is now on DVD and Blu-ray, just a few weeks after the finale aired, with 30 minutes of cast interviews as a bonus.
Eclipse Series 42: Silent Ozu — Three Crime Dramas
Yasujiro Ozu's quiet, carefully observed post-WWII melodramas are so steeped in Japanese culture that it took a little while for Western audiences to catch up to them. But before the war, Ozu worked in a variety of genres, many of which aped Hollywood movies. Criterion's Eclipse imprint collects three from Ozu's silent era into one inexpensive, extras-free box set. "Silent Ozu — Three Crime Dramas" contains two from 1930 (the sly "Walk Cheerfully" and the desperate "That Night's Wife") and one from 1933 (the rich character study "Dragnet Girl"), all of which reimagine the standard gangster saga as tales of well-meaning people in over their heads.
Escape from New York: Collector's Edition
Scream Factory Blu-ray, $29.93
Starz/Anchor Bay, $22.98; Blu-ray, $26.99
Anchor Bay, $22.98
20th Century Fox, $29.98; Blu-ray, $39.99