Home Movies: Something Old, Something New

A couple recent big-screen releases and a couple of 1930s classics hit DVD & Blu-ray

A couple of films that played recently in Portland made their DVD & Blu-ray debuts recently, as did a couple of decades-old curiosities worth seeking out.


“Midnight Special”: Director Jeff Nichols (“Take Shelter”), making his first studio movie, crafted a 70s-style sci-fi road movie that’s a cross between “Escape to Witch Mountain” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” Nichols’ regular star, Michael Shannon, gives a great performance as a father trying to keep his paranormally gifted young son out of the hands of the government and the cult that raised him. Joel Edgerton co-stars as Shannon’s buddy and partner in justified crime, with Kirsten Dunst, Sam Shepard, and Adam Driver along as well. “Midnight Special” is a near-perfect example of the kind of original, popular, smart, entertaining films that Hollywood used to churn out regularly in the 1970s, but rarely manages to do these days. Here’s my review from April, when it opened at Cinema 21.


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