“It: Chapter Two” is also new to Blu-Ray this week.

As I sit here writing this review of Quentin Tarantino’s ninth (out of ten he plans on making before retiring from the director’s chair) movie “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood,” I have the soundtrack to it playing in the background. The music serves as my notes for the movie. I can clearly recall the opening credit sequence as former 1950s television western star Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and friend/stuntman/driver Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) take a drive through the Hollywood Hills in 1969 to the tune of “Treat Her Right” by Roy Head & The Traits. I can likewise recall the fun evening that Roman Polanski (Rafal Zawierucha), his wife Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie), and their friend Jay Sebring (Emile Hirsch) had at the Playboy Mansion while listening to “Son of a Lovin’ Man” by the Buchanan Brothers. Tarantino is one of only two directors (Martin Scorsese being the other one) whose use of pop music is just as important to his movie has the visuals. In “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood,” the visuals and the sound are inextricably linked, including small bits like advertisements for Tanya Tanning Butter and Numero Uno Cologne.

The movie centers around the relationship between Dalton and Booth. This is easily one of the best, most accurate, most fleshed out, true to life male friendships ever committed to film—and I mean actual Kodak film, which Tarantino, ever the purist, uses for shooting. Booth is technically in Dalton’s employ, but he’s more than that—he’s a good friend and companion. Booth has a shady history and is having a hard time getting stunt work because of it. Dalton is a stalwart friend and in a flashback we see how he advocates for Booth to a stunt coordinator (Kurt Russell) on the set of the “Green Hornet” television show. Things look good for Booth until he rubs a braggadocious Bruce Lee (perfectly played by Mike Moh) the wrong way in a highly entertaining and funny scene. Likewise, Booth is more than grateful to Dalton—he genuinely likes him and cares about him and his career. As the narrator of the movie (also Russell) says at one point, these two men regard each other as a little more than a brother and a little less than a wife. That is a strong friendship, which shines through and is an absolute joy to watch.

Read moreBlu-Ray Pick of the Week: Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood

“The Goldfinch” is also new to Blu-Ray this week.

It’s true what they say: The rich don’t live like the rest of us. This is obvious when looking at the lifestyles of those who can afford the best and most premium of what is available in the world. Less obvious is what they do when in private, shuttered from the prying eyes of the masses. Gatherings of the ultra-wealthy have long been rumored to be events full of orgies, sacrifices, and devil worship. The fictional Le Domas family, which made its fortune on games, is one of these families. So it’s not too surprising in “Ready or Not” when a game of Hide and Seek gets bloody.

It does come as a shock to new Le Domas family member Grace (Samara Weaving) though. She marries youngest brother Alex (Mark O'Brien) in a beautiful outdoor ceremony on the family’s estate. Some of his family, like brother Daniel (Adam Brody) and mother Becky (Andie MacDowell) are happy to welcome her into the fold. Others, like father Tony (Henry Czerny) and the scowling Aunt Helene (Nicky Guadagni), either think he could do better or regard her as a gold digger. Still others, like sister Emilie (Melanie Scrofano), her husband Fitch (Kristian Bruun), and Daniel’s wife Charity (Elyse Levesque) are fairly indifferent toward her and are just there because it’s a family gathering.

Read moreBlu-Ray Pick of the Week: Ready or Not

“Angel Has Fallen” is also new to Blu-Ray this week.

In spite of the lack of a question mark at the end of the movie’s title, “Where Did You Go, Bernadette” is a good question. It’s also a good movie, both as a character study of a woman named Bernadette Fox (Cate Blanchett) and the story of this same woman re-discovering her passion after two decades of malaise.

The question of the movie’s title can be applied both mentally and physically as well as personally and professionally. Let’s take a look at her in all four categories:

Read moreBlu-Ray Pick of the Week: Where’d You Go, Bernadette

“Dora and the Lost City of Gold” is also new to Blu-Ray this week.

“The Bad and the Beautiful” from 1952 starring Lana Turner and Kirk Douglas (in one of his most memorable roles) fits in nicely with the de-constructionist Hollywood movies of the time. It comes two years after 1950’s “Sunset Boulevard,” and around the same time as “The Star,” two movies that peel back the veil of glamour around the movie business to show a darker side. “The Bad and the Beautiful” does this as well, showing the chaos, craziness, and considerations that go into making a movie.

The structure of the Oscar-winning screenplay, from writer Charles Schnee and based off a story by George Bradshaw, creates a sense of comfort. At least it does for those versed in the classic three act structure of modern drama. We get a prologue in which we meet all of our main characters: Georgia Lorrison (Turner), a famous actress; Fred Amiel (Barry Sullivan) a talented award-winning director; James Lee Bartlow (Dick Powell), a respected and highly paid writer; and Harry Pebbel (Walter Pidgeon), a penny-pinching executive producer. The only major player missing from the bunch is Jonathan Shields (Douglas), a rich and powerful studio mogul. Shields has fallen on hard times and wants Pebbel to convince the other three to make a movie with him to get him back on track. We then sit back and relax as the story of the director, actress, and writer are all told in flashback, comprising each of the three acts of the screenplay. A final epilogue then ties it all up, albeit in an ambiguous way.

Read moreBlu-Ray Pick of the Week: The Bad and the Beautiful
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