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New on DVD: ‘American Fiction’ is sharp critique

By Tribune News Service
Published: June 14, 2024, 5:52am

The winner of this year’s Oscar for best adapted screenplay tops the DVD releases for the week of June 18.

“American Fiction”: An African American writer (Jeffrey Wright) struggles in the publishing industry and ends up writing a book about Black stereotypes under a pen name that becomes a hit.

“Former journalist and Emmy winning TV writer Cord Jefferson’s directorial debut ‘American Fiction’ is a social satire that wields a deceptively sharp shiv, not a cleaving broadsword, as it surgically slices through the many hypocrisies of the culture industry at large,” writes Tribune News Service critic Katie Walsh in her review. “In adapting Percival Everett’s 2001 novel ‘Erasure,’ Jefferson assigns himself and his film the double-edged task of both critiquing popular representations of African American life, while simultaneously serving a representation that is otherwise lacking. It’s a lot to juggle, but he pulls it off, thanks to a wildly talented cast, and plenty of good humor.”

Also new on DVD

“Nowhere Special”: A 30-something father with a terminal diagnosis tries to find the ideal family for his young son in this heart-wrenching drama.

“Call the Midwife: Season Thirteen”: The long-running British series about nuns helping deliver babies in London’s impoverished East End in the 1950-60s delivers its 13th season.

“LaRoy, Texas”: Crime comedy in which a man contemplating suicide is mistaken for an assassin and decides to accept the assignment. Starring Steve Zahn, John Magaro and Dylan Baker.

“NCIS: Sydney — Season One”: The fifth member of the “NCIS” family, the first set outside the U.S., joins the franchise from Down Under.

“Romance with a Twist”: Hallmark Channel movie about a woman who gets a second chance to pursue her passion as a dancer after settling down to manage the family business.

“The Present”: After a boy discovers an enchanted heirloom that lets him time travel, he and his siblings set out to stop their parents from separating in this family film.

“Chinatown”: Roman Polanski’s 1974 classic featuring Jack Nicholson as a private detective in 1930s L.A. is available on 4K Ultra HD for the first time in this limited-edition release marking the film’s 50th anniversary.

“Bound”: The Wachowskis’ ‘90s crime thriller starring Jennifer Tilly, Gina Gershon and Joe Pantoliano joins the Criterion Collection.

“Victims of Sin”: Also joining the Criterion ranks is this 1951 Mexican drama about a nightclub dancer who decides to raise an abandoned baby.

Digital HD

“The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare”: From director Guy Ritchie, this World War II film is based on a true story of an early British special ops team who undertake a mission to prevent German U-boats from cutting off England.

“Scream Therapy”: Horror comedy in which a mental health getaway is derailed by an incel cult.