What an animated lot we have this week in home entertainment: Pixar/Disney’s latest 3D fairy-tale opus, Brave, sees a courageous princess dodge an arranged marriage and go all Katniss with a bow and arrow. In The Doctor’s Wife (above), director Jonathan Duffy documents what happens to him and his physician hubby when they move to a tiny town in Australia. Plus: More fang-banging in the low-budget Vampires: Brighter in Darkness, an overprivileged couple get downsized in The Queen of Versailles, and Italian filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Trilogy of Life gets the box-set treatment from Criterion.
($49.99 3D Blu-Ray, $39.99 Blu-ray; Buena Vista)
In this Pixar fairy tale, Merida, a Scottish princess with a talent for archery, defies convention and a witch’s curse to come into her own. Pixar serves up some incredible animation—with incorporating some astonishing new technology and 3D effects—and even gives our heroine a possible queer reading. Extras include a bevy of featurettes, audio commentary, extended scenes, an alternate opening and the Oscar-nominated short ” La Luna” that preceded the film’s theatrical release.
The Doctor’s Wife
($24.99 DVD, Guest House Films)
This charming documentary tracks Aussie gay couple Jonathan and Vincent as they move to rural Mundubberaso in Queensland so Vincent can set up his doctor’s practice. The pair embark on their journey sure they would find their new home some horridly homophobic backwood—and that filmmaker Jonathan would have nothing to do—the two instead discover their new home is something altogether different. It’s a heartwarming, upbeat peek into a corner of the world you probably haven’t seen before.
Trilogy of Life
($79.95 Blu-Ray, Criterion Collection)
Legendary queer filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini is most notorious for his lurid adaptation of the Marquis de Sade’s Salo: The 120 Days of Sodom. But Criterion chose one of Pasolini’s more upbeat (though still subversive) projects to rework—adaptations of vignettes from Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales and the folk tales of One Thousand and One Nights, and Boccaccio’s The Decameron. This is classic foreign-film craziness of the highest order, and the gorgeous, digitally restored set includes a trove of extras including four documentaries, deleted scenes from Arabian Nights, interviews, and essays.
Vampires: Brighter in Darkness
($24.99 DVD, Ariztical Entertainment)
A lovelorn gay Brit on the rebound gets set up on a blind date by his sister, but the Romeo she’s found is actually a vampire. Things actually seem promising with this 1,500-year-old hottie until the boys are forced to battle a horde of evil bloodsuckers. This low-budget, gay-horror schlockfest should keep True Blood fans satiated until the next season begins.
The Queen of Versailles
($29.98 Blu-Ray, $26.98 DVD, Magnolia Home Entertainment)
When billionaire couple David and Jackie Siegel got slammed by the 2008 financial crisis, their plans to build a 90,000-square-foot replica of Versailles in Southern Florida was derailed. Lauren Greenfield, who began documenting the couple before the bottom fell out on their dream (and they were forced to shop at Wal-Mart !) delivers one of the year’s best docs, engrossing for both its subjects’ shocking hubris and surprising likeability. Extras include deleted scenes.
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