PICKS OF THE WEEK: Earth, one of Jim Jarmusch’s most accessible, funniest films makes its debut on Stateside DVD, taking viewers on brief but captivating cab rides in five cities around the globe. Stranger than Paradise gets the Criterion treatment, where it’s paired with the almost-unknown Permanent Vacation.
Ken Loach’s Palme d’Or-winning film is tough-to-watch, powerful account of the Irish Republican movement circa 1920, when a treaty with British occupiers forced idealists to take sides against each other. Cillian Murphy leads the strong ensemble with a raw, emotional performance.
Proto-noir featuring the eccentric set decor of German Expressionism, this 1929 U.S. crime film was once called “by far the best of the gangster films” by a New York Times critic.
The Weinstein Company’s “Dragon Dynasty” series of Asian action films expands with this 2006 title from Korea by Crying Fist director Ryoo Seung-Wan. Full of Tarantino-like moves, the detective story/revenge saga blazes to a climactic David Vs. Goliath battle reminiscent of Kill Bill.
30 Rock, Season 1; The Office, Season 3 (Universal): Two of the today’s most entertainingly screwed-up workplaces arrive on DVD, just in time for catch-up viewings. •