Weinstein/Anchor Bay, $29.98; Blu-ray, $39.99
Available on VOD beginning Tuesday
Typical of Quentin Tarantino, this Deep South "western" is strong stuff, telling the epic story of an escaped slave (played by Jamie Foxx) on a quest for over-the-top bloody revenge on his wife's owner (Leonardo DiCaprio), with the help of a gentlemanly bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz, in a role that won him his second Oscar). Atypical of Tarantino, "Django" stumbles down the stretch, as the filmmaker who usually excels at endings settles into one apocalyptic shootout after another, with numbing results.
Nevertheless, the first two hours of this nearly three-hour film are a humdinger, with Tarantino confronting the prejudice embedded in old Hollywood myth-making in action set pieces and long dialogue scenes that are equal parts comic and pulse-pounding. The performances are exceptional too; not just Waltz's but also that of Samuel L. Jackson as a slave who cruelly controls the plantation, and gets across most of what Tarantino and "Django" mean to say about the insidiousness of racism and the roles it forces people to play. The DVD and Blu-ray add featurettes.
Jackie Chan: Police Story/Police Story 2
Shout! Factory, $12.99; Blu-ray, $19.97
Before martial arts superstar Jackie Chan crossed over to the U.S. market, fans of Hong Kong action movies were already passing around bootlegs and imports of his biggest Asian hits — especially the landmark 1985 cop flick "Police Story," which featured some of the most eye-popping stunts ever captured on film. The new Shout! Factory "Police Story" DVD and Blu-ray sets also contain the 1988 sequel — along with deleted scenes and outtakes — but the real selling point is the spiffy transfer of the original film, which even now is incredibly entertaining. "Police Story" catches an in-his-prime Chan at his funniest and most graceful, as a superstar police sergeant who hangs off the side of buses, dives from shopping mall balconies and uses every available inanimate object as either a weapon or a shield.