Anatomy of a Murder
Otto Preminger’s excellent 1959 courtroom drama – about a guy who says he temporarily lost it when he killed the guy who raped his wife – makes its Blu-ray debut on this set packed with the usual scholarly Criterion extras. James Stewart plays the humble attorney defending the husband, a dude with a jealous streak as long as his temper is short. Ben Gazzara, who recently died, was never better.
(Twentieth Century Fox)
Billy Wilder’s 1960 classic is one of the best romantic comedies ever made. But beware: It looks nothing like the typical Katherine Heigl movie. Jack Lemmon lends his apartment to his bosses, who use it for mid-afternoon nookie. He then falls for Shirley MacLaine, who’s screwing around with Lemmon’s boss. Best extra on this new Blu-ray is historical commentary by a movie geek.
Carolina Chocolate Drops: Leaving Eden
Two things differentiate this trio of old-school string-band musicians from their peers: 1) they’re black 2) they don’t just mimic 1940s music on their new album; they pay tribute to it by updating it for the 21st century. They have a blast bridging songs that are 70 years old with originals that sound like they’re just as informed by hip-hop as they are by traditional folk.
Kevin Gordon: Gloryland
This Nashville singer-songwriter holds a day job at a folk-art gallery. His music contains the same rich characters and colors you’d find in the artwork – there’s more to it than meets the eye. The 11-song album journeys down Southern back roads, stopping just long enough to get to know the locals. Best is the 10-minute “Colfax/Step in Time,” which manages to work in both a high-school marching band and the Ku Klux Klan.
This reboot of the sci-fi shooter (for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC) looks great in HD, especially the future-world scenery. The story – corporations implant chips into people’s brains, and, surprise, there’s a group out there that opposes it – isn’t quite a breakthrough. But there are some cool gameplay tweaks among the bloodshed, like the ability to hack into enemies and slow down time.