DVD: “Insidious: Chapter 2,” “Tierra Madre,” & Holiday Gift Picks!


Now that you’re flush with holiday gift certificates for home entertainment, and/or feel like some self-giving is in order, we have a round-up of goodies that you might have missed this year, from queer indies to deluxe collected series, as well as a brand new title for good measure.

Horror sequel Insidious 2 delivers some ghostly jolts, while suspenseful sci-fi TV series Orphan Black deals with clones.

All things AbFab are collected in the extras-loaded box set Absolutely Fabulous: Absolutely All Of It, while a handful of important foreign films from years past make up Martin Scorsese’s World Film Project. Finally, indie sleeper drama Tierra Madre chronicles the life of a Mexican lesbian.


Insidious: Chapter 2

($40.99 Blu-ray, $30.99 DVD; Sony)

Taking place soon after the events of James Wan’s deliciously jolt-y Insidious, this sequel sees a family deal with creepy-assed spirits and demons from a netherworld known as The Further. Can a pair of hipster paranormal experts help out this haunted family? Lots of scares, a queer ghost, and wry tweaks to the haunted house genre add up to a fun second chapter. Blu-ray extras include a handful of behind the scenes featurettes and a trio of webisodes that serve as a prequel.


Tierra Madre

($19.95 DVD; Anderson Digital)

The real life story of Aidee Gonzalez, a lesbian who worked as a stripper in a Mexican border town while raising children with her partner, Rosalba, is reenacted by Aidee herself and a cast of non-actors in director Dylan Verrechia’s utterly engaging drama-documentary fusion. A vivid, intimate glimpse into a place and life – shot for $2,000 over ten days in 2009, during a period of turmoil around its Tecate and Tijuana locations — and winner of multiple LGBT film festival awards when it played the circuit in 2010, this is a home video sleeper pick of the year.


Absolutely Fabulous: Absolutely All Of It

($158.72 DVD; BBC Home Entertainment)

This whopping box set should keep AbFab addicts and newbies occupied until the movie comes out in 2015. Seriously. Housed in a faux iguana skin clutch bag and clocking in at 1,244 minutes, it features all things AbFab, from a freshly remastered version of the series to specials to the Mirrorball pilot, plus oodles of brand new extras: producer Jon Plowman’s hysterical and revealing history of AbFab, the AbFab 2012 Comic Relief Special, Saunders and Lumley carrying the Olympic Torch, and hours more. Sweety.


Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project

($124.95 Blu-ray; Criterion Collection)

Initiated in 2007 by the acclaimed director and cineaste, the WCP preserves and presents international films that would otherwise go unseen by US audiences. This first set includes beautifully restored features from India, Turkey, Senegal, South Korea, and Morocco, ranging in year from 1936 to 1981. Melodrama Dry Summer, about a tobacco farmer who resorts to a diabolical and cruel plan to crush his fellow farmers, is a highlight. Of course, there’s a wealth of extras: Scorsese’s introductions to the films, interviews with the filmmakers, a visual essay, and more.

Orphan Black: Season One

($34.98 Blu-ray, $29.98 DVD; BBC Home Entertainment)

A big cult hit on BBC America and scheduled to begin its second season in April, this sci-fi tinged series follows Sarah, a hot mess who discovers she has a lookalike and decides to take the woman’s identity. However, she soon finds this may be a clone, there’s more than one, and someone appears to be murdering them… Fun, addictive stuff, and a perfect binge-watch, since waiting a week for each episode to air really sucked. Extras include an interview with star Tatiana Maslany, a set tour, a featurette, and “Insider Vignettes.”