Two words: Chris Pratt. Marvel’s massive sci-fi hit Guardians of the Galaxy heads up this week’s home entertainment offerings, which includes several queer titles — like Best Day Ever (above) — and a Criterion edition of Todd Haynes’ incredible 1995 drama starring Julianne Moore, Safe.
($39.99 3D Blu-ray, $29.99 DVD; Disney)
Chris Pratt stars as Peter Quill, aka Star Lord, a snarky Han Solo-esque human who runs around outer space in search of treasures. Circumstances lead to his teaming up with a ragtag group of non-humans including a talking, genetically modified racoon and giant tree creature that only says “I Am Groot.” Director James Gunn’s take on Marvel comics’ obscure sci-fi series is fun like you’d never expect with surprising emotional punches, fantastic action and effects, an amazing retro pop/rock soundtrack, and nonstop humor and snark. Honestly, this one seemed destined for being a bomb, but it works like you’d never expect… and Pratt is in amazing form in every sense. A must! Extras include a pair of featurettes, deleted and extended scenes, a gag reel, and 2-minute tease of the next Avengers film.
($39.95 Blu-ray, $29.99 DVD; Criterion Collection)
Julianne Moore turns in one of her most powerful, memorable performances — the upcoming Still Alice, in which she portrays an Alzheimer’s-struck academic, is sure to garner her at least an Oscar nomination — in Todd Haynes’ 1995 drama about a California housewife who suffers from a mysterious illness. Is pollution and chemicals in the environment taking a toll? Or something deeper? Unnerving, underrated and underseen. This 4k digital restoration by Criterion Collection, for which we should be thankful, is the best the film has ever looked, and extras include a commentary with Moore, Haynes, and producer Christine Vachon, new conversations with Vachon about her longtime producing relationship with Haynes, and between Haynes and Moore, plus Haynes’ rarely seen first short film, 1978’s The Suicide.
($24.99 DVD; Guest House Films)
In his latest feature, prolific gay indie director Rob Williams (Make The Yuletide Day, Role/Play) tackles the murder mystery genre. A gay P.I., Jim Noble, has just moved into a Tampa loft when a neighbor, singer Justin Jaymes, turns up dead. Which fellow neighbor may hold the key to this dastardly deed? Extras include talent interviews, a commentary, and two Tom Goss music videos.
($24.99 DVD; Breaking Glass Pictures)
This moving Mexican import is comprised of four stories about gay males grappling with love, from an 11-year-old boy to an elderly professor. Extras include a gag reel, interviews, festival footage, and a bonus short film.
($19.99 DVD; Radioactive Cactus Entertainment)
Co-writers Jeff London and James Steven Handshoe drew on their own lives in creating this drama about a gay man, David, experiencing a mid-life crisis as he turns 50. While life has dealt a few bad hands – including a boyfriend who figures maybe it’s best to break up, you know, now – fate may have a few upsides in store… Extras include bloopers, extended takes and a commentary.
168 Dollars To Freedom