There’s a lot on offer this week in home entertainment, from 3D spectacle to an AIDS-themed period piece to a pair of upbeat VOD premieres!
300: Rise of an Empire, billed as a “sidequel” rather than a sequel, lays on the eye candy 3D-thick, while a gay dancer navigates HIV panic during the 1980s in Test (above).
A trio of punky girls start a band (and get awesome tomboy haircuts) in We Are The Best! and a frustrated lesbian filmmaker tries her hand at remaking a classic in Who’s Afraid of Vagina Wolf?
($44.95 3D Blu-ray, $35.99 Blu-ray, $28.98 DVD; Warner)
This 3D “sidequel” to 300 features even more insane slo-mo, special effects and gore-laden action and hot beefcake as we focus on the Greeks who also fought against invading Persian man-god Xerxes and his vengeful navy commander, Artemesia (Eva Green). Double-feature it with 300 and a bonus binge of Game of Thrones! Extras include five featurettes covering special effects, the real history that inspired 300, and the film’s strong female characters.
($24.95 DVD; Wolfe)
In 1985 San Francisco, a young dancer struggles to find an onstage role in his company, flirts with a charismatic yet slutty established member of the troupe, while freaking out about AIDS – for which a test is finally available. Writer/director Chris Mason Johnson’s follow up to 2009’s The New Twenty draws upon his own experience as a ballet dancer with Frankfurt Ballet and White Oak Dance Project (with Baryshnikov!), while tapping into a time when AIDS was still mysterious and phantom-like with a soundtrack featuring incredible ’80s tunes both familiar and obscure. Extras include a deleted scene and a video for the Kickstarter campaign.
Anna, a 40-year-old underachieving filmmaker, decides to mount a remake/reinvention of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Cue chaos! With the always amazing Guinevere Turner as Penelope, Anna’s best pal, a role for which she snagged Outfest’s Best Actress prize.
Lukas Moodysson, director of the landmark Swedish teen lesbian film Show Me Love and delicious queer-inclusive dramedy about commune life, Together, returns with a delightful, upbeat 1982-set film — based on his wife’s semi-autobiographical graphic novel, Never Goodnight — about a trio of rebellious 13-year-old girls who form a punk band. Awesome and fun stuff, with some hardcore tomboy realness to boot!
The Apple Tree
Straight With a Twist