It’s a week of sleepers and alternative standouts in our home entertainment round-up.
An elderly Sherlock Holmes goes back into action, a clique of sassy L.A. transgender gals go on a mission (Tangerine, above), Puerto Rican transgender individuals share their stories in a documentary, and a gay man tries to return to his small town country-rocker life after prison.
Now for the trailers and details!
($24.99 Blu-ray, $19.98 DVD; Lionsgate)
Over the past decade, pop culture has been Sherlock Holmes cray-cray between the Guy Ritchie films, the Benedict Cumberbatch U.K. series (soon to return with a movie event) and CBS’s Elementary. Re-treaming with his Gods And Monsters star Ian McKellen, director Bill Condon imagines a 93-year-old, retired Holmes grappling with his fading memory, from which he must recover a critical clue from a 30-year-0ld case. Weaving together the present and two sets of flashbacks, this is an elegantly acted and directed character-driven chamber piece as opposed to a twist-filled mystery. Good show, old chaps. Extras include a pair of brief featurettes.
($29.98 Blu-ray, $26.98 DVD; Magnolia)
Famously shot on an iPhone, this raucous Sundance hit revolves around a pair of sassy Los Angeles transgender prostitutes. The plot: gal pals Sin-Dee Rella and Alexandra (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez & Mya Taylor), on the night of the former’s release from prison, embark on a quest through Hollywood to track down her boyfriend/pimp, who apparently is hooked up with a cisgender girl. Zany and ingenious, with some outrageously funny sequences, not to mention groundbreaking in director Sean Baker’s refreshingly matter-of-fact depictions of transgender characters portrayed by real-life transgender actresses, this one’s a must. Extras include four featurettes on the film’s making.
($27.99 DVD; Strand)
Nine colorful members of Puerto Rico’s transgender and non-binary community are the subject of directors Dan Sickles and Antonio Santini’s lauded documentary. Subjects range from Queen Bee Ho and Alberic Pradoc, who perform as drag queens, to RuPaul Drag Race Season 6 contestant April Carrion, to glamorous transgender spokesperson Ivana Fred, to female-to-male Paxx Moll. Their experiences transitioning, and in some cases, deciding to stay in some grey area as far as their gender identity, prove enlightening and varied indeed.
($24.99 DVD; Breaking Glass Pictures)
Writer/director Ken Roht also stars in his debut feature as Jimmy Poole, a country rocker whose boozy antics led him to a three-year stint in the clink. Once released, he returns to his partner of 20 years, Ty, and adult son, Mark, who is now fronting Jimmy’s band. From there, it’s an uphill battle to reestablish his family life — which includes a connection with his son’s mother, Lacy — while concealing a secret he fears could unravel everything. Strong performances, excellent music, and a small town setting distinguish this one from the rest of the pack. Extras include a commentary and bonus footage.