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“Escape Room” and "Destroyer" are also new to Blu-Ray this week.

Anyone who knows actor Andy Griffith from TV reruns of “The Andy Griffith Show” or “Matlock,” put your memories of him as a genteel, dignified southerner out of your head right now. Sure, in Elia Kazan’s 1957 masterpiece “A Face in the Crowd,” which is getting a Criterion Collection release this week, Griffith plays another southerner. This one goes by the name Larry “Lonesome” Rhodes. Much like his TV counterparts, this Griffith character is as southern as mama’s fried chicken with a drawl like sweet molasses who dispenses his folksy, down home country wisdom to anyone within ear shot. Put it this way: This man is so southern that when he’s offered a contract for a radio show, he asks if he’ll be paid in Confederate.

The similarities end there. If characters like Andy Taylor and Ben Matlock are a positive force in grits and gravy southern comfort, then Lonesome Rhodes is their antithesis. He is a negative force if there ever was one. Right off the bat when radio reporter Marcia Jeffries (Patricia Neal) meets Rhodes in an Arkansas jail (put there the previous night for being drunk and disorderly), he’s mean, surly, ill-tempered, and uncooperative. Only the coaxing of a deal with the sheriff to be let go early gets him to agree to play his guitar and sing one of his grassroots country songs, which he seemingly makes up on the fly.

Read moreBlu-Ray Pick of the Week: A Face in the Crowd

“The Kid Who Would Be King” is also new to Blu-Ray this week.

There’s a child-like quality to director M. Night Shyamalan’s movies that make them stand out from the usual polished Hollywood fare. It’s as if he sees the world through the kindest, simplest, most innocent lens possible, only to be completely crushed that the subject matter at hand is so brutal and horrifying. His best movies, which include the two pre-cursors to “Glass,” 2000’s “Unbreakable” and 2016’s “Split,” play off this dissonant dichotomy quite well. While I still think that “Split” was the most effective use of this contrast, which makes sense given its subject matter, “Glass” certainly holds its own.

“Glass” refers to Elijah Price, played by Samuel L. Jackson. Or, as he likes to be called: “First name Mister. Last name Glass.” Those who remember “Unbreakable” will no doubt remember Glass, whose bones are so fragile that the slightest touch causes them to break. This is in sharp contrast to David Dunn (Bruce Willis), who seems to have an indestructible constitution. This quality of Dunn’s comes in handy when battling The Beast, one of the many personalities of James McAvoy’s Kevin character. At one point The Beast grabs Dunn from behind and squeezes his chest. This would have crushed a normal man, but Dunn was able to resist the weight bearing down on him and not succumb.

Read moreBlu-Ray Pick of the Week: Glass

“Holmes & Watson” is also new to Blu-Ray this week. 

The human mind is an incredibly complex yet fragile thing. When confronted with a truly traumatizing event, the mind has protectors in place that help the person cope. Blackout periods as well as auditory and visual hallucinations are some of these coping mechanisms, which are characteristic of Mark Hogancamp (Steve Carell), the assault victim at the center of “Welcome to Marwen.”

After a brutal homophobic beating at the hands of five neo-Nazi thugs (if this wasn’t based on a true story I’d call this very lazy writing), Mark went into a mental retreat. Director Robert Zemeckis very wisely breezes through the background exposition portion of the narrative with flashbacks and a scrapbook to show what Mark went through following the assault. It’s now three years later, and Mark lives alone in a house where he spends most of his day posing and photographing dolls in a fictional World War II scenario.

Read moreBlu-Ray Pick of the Week: Welcome to Marwen

“Bumblebee” and “Vice” are also new to Blu-Ray this week. 

Earl Stone (Clint Eastwood) is a master horticulturalist and a charming man. Father of the year, however, he is not. This is all made abundantly clear in the opening moments of “The Mule,” in which we see that Earl choose to attend a horticulture gathering over his own daughter Iris’ (Alison Eastwood) wedding.

It’s also made clear that the old school Earl isn’t fond of the Internet. When we first see Earl at the horticulture gathering, it’s 2005 and he dismisses a fellow horticulturalist who does business on the Internet. Flash forward to 2017—which the subtitle helpfully points out is 12 years later in case you can’t math that out—and Earl is out of business with a home that is facing foreclosure.

Read moreBlu-Ray Pick of the Week: The Mule
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