One of the quintessential entries in modern queer cinema, My Beautiful Laundrette — with Daniel Day Lewis playing gay to boot! — gets a juicy new Criterion Collection release this week, heading up a lean but solid line-up.
Now for the details…
($35.99 Blu-ray, $26.99 DVD; Criterion Collection)
British director Stephen Frears is a true cinematic chameleon – his works include con artist classic The Grifters, The Queen with Helen Mirren, and 2013’s Philomena — who is also behind two of the ’80s best LGBT films. This 1985 dramedy, based on an Oscar-nominated screenplay by Hanif Kureishi, sees a young Pakistani-British Londoner, Omar, fall for a former, punky schoolmate played by Daniel Day-Lewis while they attempt to turn a decrepit laundromat into a sudsy success. Besides the sexy sight of a peroxide blonde Day-Lewis getting busy with co-star Gordon Warnecke, this one touches on some serious social issues and the immigrant experience. Hopefully Criterion will eventually deliver us Frears’ other LGBT standout, 1987’s Joe Orton biopic, Prick Up Your Ears (starring Gary Oldman and Alfred Molina). Extras include a new conversation with director Frears and interviews with the writer and producers.
($39.99 Blu-ray, $29.99 DVD; Paramount)
This hysterical, genius mockumentary from Flight of the Conchords creators Taika Waititi and Jermaine Clement follows a household of vampires living in modern day New Zealand. Clever, at times bloody, with some nifty special effects, this really does pump some new, wickedly funny blood — especially when the all-male household becomes enamored with a local human guy, into the genre. Extras include deleted scenes, making-of footage, interviews, and the half-hour short film that inspired the feature.
($29.99 Blu-ray, $17.99 DVD; Radioactive Cactus)
In this 2014 rom-com from prolific gay indie director Jeff London, a single gay man’s impending 50th birthday sets off a bout of midlife crisis. Fortunately, fate also has a 35-year-old romantic twist for him in store. Inspired by the real-life relationship story of London and his boyfriend/co-writer James Steven Handshoe, this is sweet stuff indeed, and a reminder that sometimes life doesn’t kick into gear until after 49! Blu-ray extras include bloopers, extended takes and a commentary.
Here Is Your Life (Criterion)