Beauty and the Beast (Criterion)
We have nothing against the Disney musical, but Jean Cocteau’s 1946 version is the definitive Beauty and the Beast. It’s also one of the greatest fantasy movies you’ll ever see. It makes its Blu-ray debut in a disc loaded with extras, like an insightful documentary, scholarly commentary, and a Phillip Glass opera based on the film. The movie itself looks even more opulent, with the wonderful sets – especially the Beast’s castle, part playground, part prison – opening up in fairy-tale splendor. It’s a magical work filled with sumptuous, surreal imagery that goes way beyond singing dinnerware.
How do you make an overrated ’80s comedy even worse? Redo it with Russell Brand. This dismal remake of the 1981 Dudley Moore movie about a rich drunken womanizer who gets his shit together so he can inherit a fortune has very few laughs. It also has one of the most unlikable stars in recent years.
Doctor Who: Series 6, Part 1 (BBC America)
Don’t worry if you’ve never seen an episode of this long-running British sci-fi series. Actors and stories are swapped so often, it’s easy to just drop in. The latest season is a perfect starting point. This two-disc set includes the first seven episodes – smart, funny, and stuffed with cool monsters.
Limitless (Twentieth Century Fox)
Bradley Cooper (who does smarmy so well we’re starting to think that he’s a dick in real life) plays a writer who gets his hands on an illegal drug that makes him super-smart, not just a super-smartass. It’s an occasionally entertaining but just as often disorienting thriller, with Robert De Niro in another of his Robert De Niro roles.