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Bad Day at Black Rock on DVD

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Tarnation.  

Bad Day at Black Rock
The best, and least dated, film in Warner’s new “Controversial Classics” series (others include Fury, A Face in the Crowd, and the odd Americanization of Emily), this dark 1955 drama stars Spencer Tracy as a decorated WWII vet who uncovers a vicious hate crime. The stark setting and clenched severity of Tracy’s performance are almost unbearable, and brilliant. $19.97; NR.

Steve McQueen Gift Set
The best, and least dated, of three new McQueen boxed sets, this one includes one of his best films (The Magnificent Seven), one of his worst (Junior Bonner), and another of his worst (The Thomas Crown Affair), in which he nevertheless looks his dapper best. $49.96; NR.

The Fearless Freaks: The Flaming Lips
An obsessive documentary for the band’s obsessed fans. $19.98; NR.

Seinfeld Season 4
This set catches Teri Hatcher’s brief cameo as Jerry’s girlfriend. $49.95; NR.

Kinsey
Bill Condon’s biopic, including trailers, a gag reel, and an “interactive sex feature.” $27.98; R.

Team America: World Police Uncensored
Another sextra feature: unedited puppet sex. $29.95; NR.

The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou
An overblown Criterion edition of Wes Anderson’s overblown Bill Murray paean. $32.99; R.

The Sea Inside
As a poetic paraplegic, Javier Bardem gives a stunning performance by committing a venal acting sin: acting from the neck up. $27.95; R.

Treasures from American Film Archives
A reissue of the indispensable rarities collection. $69.95; NR.

Our Pick
Jonathan Caouette’s marvelous auto-documentary Tarnation, a hit on the festival circuit and a sold-out success at downtown theaters, is a landmark feature: a confessional film that, by rights, should be utterly indulgent, but is, in fact, an utterly accomplished, surprising success. Famously filmed for zilch and edited on an Apple, Caouette tells the story of his Texas youth and wounded mother (who received a frightening amount of shock therapy) and builds toward a moving New York ending. Extras: director commentary; two unreleased tracks; others. $29.98; NR.


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