It's pretty slim pickings for the post-Easter week.
There is the new Upstairs Downstairs, which wrapped Sunday on PBS. In the style of Planet Earth and Life is the BBC's eight-part Human Planet, which weaves together some 80 stories of survival in nature.
Criterion is releasing new editions of films by two noted maverick/ mainstream filmmakers. Brian De Palma's Blow Out with John Travolta is a clever conspiracy thriller; and Terry Gilliam's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a trippy version of the late Hunter S. Thompson's wild ride, starring Johnny Depp and Benicio del Toro. And speaking of trippy, there are Blu-ray versions of Alejandro Jodorowsky's surreal The Holy Mountain and El Topo.
Because there's a dearth of new releases, let's talk about a DVD that came out last week:
Peter Weir's The Way Back is the type of story Hollywood hardly tells anymore. Based on true events, it's about a band of prisoners who fled a Soviet gulag in 1940 and walked through many hardships to freedom.
Surviving on precious little, the group doggedly pushed through terrible conditions of heat and cold and over the rugged terrain of mountains and deserts while avoiding captors and predators.
It boasts a strong cast, with Ed Harris, Jim Sturgess, Saoirse Ronan and Colin Farrell. Perhaps a little too mild-mannered at times, The Way Back is nevertheless a compelling tale and beautifully filmed.
The Way Back retails for $27.97 or $29.97 Blu-ray.