Coolest extra: “Metamorphosis: A Three-Part Series” featurette (DVD); “Ten Years in the Making” featurette with Natalie Portman and Darren Aronofsky (Blu-ray)
Complex says: Let’s get the obvious perk of owning Black Swan on DVD and/or Blu-ray out of the way: Dudes can watch Mila Kunis go down on Natalie Portman over and over again in one of the hottest (yet credible) girl-on-girl scenes ever, most likely with their bedroom doors closed and socks in hand. Hey, we’re not judging—we’ve had this sexy psychological freakshow on bootleg DVD for months. The verdict: Both ladies are look hot even when you're squinting at them through choppy picture quality.
Black Swan is worth every penny spent on the legit home disc version, though. The great thing about director Darren Aronofsky’s fifth, and arguably best, film is that it’s hard to look away even when two of the game’s hottest young actresses aren’t swapping spit. Aronofsky’s follow-up to 2008’s equally excellent The Wrestler modernizes the female paranoia of classic psychodrama’s such as Roman Polanski’s Repulsion in a ballet setting, sending Portman through the ringer as a mentally screwed dancer striving for perfection.
At home, it’s easier to dissect the little nuances that make Black Swan so bugged. The way Aronofsky uses mirrors to distort reality. How shadows blur the faces of Kunis and Portman to make Portman’s ballerina character’s loss of identity palpable. The subtle manner in which the wings of Kunis’ hot back tattoo flap during the sex scene. Black Swan is that special kind of movie that actually gets better with each subsequent viewing.
The special features available on the discs show just how grueling the shoot was for Portman, who deservedly won Best Actress at last month’s Academy Awards ceremony. Those who’ve stepped their home entertainment systems up to Blu-ray can hear all about Aronofsky’s 10-year process of trying to get Black Swan made with Portman always in tow to lead.
And, yes, we’ll answer the question we know is on every guy’s mind: No, there isn’t a supplement dedicated to the erotic ins and outs of Hollywood’s hottest chick makeout session since Denise Richards and Neve Campbell got wet and wild in 1998’s Wild Things. Fortunately, the movie as a whole is exceptional.
Buy it now: Black Swan
Coolest extra: Two original storybook opening sequences (DVD); “Untangled: The Making of a Fairy Tale” featurette (Blu-ray)
Complex says: Tangled couldn’t arrive on home video soon enough. As funny as it is magical and entertaining, the latest Disney sure shot was tons of fun to watch in theaters; unfortunately, seeing it alone as a grown man amongst pre-teen girls resulted in many a “Who’s that creepy dude all by himself?” glares from concerned mothers.
But, hey, what can we say—it’s a really good movie! Why should little kids have all the fairy tale fun?
This whimsical romp may be an update of the classic Rapunzel yarn, but Tangled feels like the old animated song-and-dance musicals of Walt Disney’s past, the kind of elegant cartoons that ran the show before Pixar brought the medium into an all-new era of greatness.
Yet, not all guys can sing “Under the Sea” verbatim. Perky musical numbers are an acquired taste, unless we’re talking about burlesque shows in Las Vegas—the Pussycat Dolls should be every man’s bag. Tangled’s directing pair of Nathan Greno and Byron Howard keep the guys’ needs in mind, though in the confines of a G-rating. There are rousing sword fights, snappy one-liners, and a ball-breaking horse, Maximus, that’s like Shrek’s Donkey minus Eddie Murphy’s tiresome jive talk.
Whether you have a daughter, niece, or a kid sister, the little girl in your life will probably request your presence for a living room Tangled screening in the near future. You’ll be glad she did.
Buy it now: Tangled
Mad Men: Season Four
Coolest extra: “How to Succeed in Business Draper Style” featurette (DVD/Blu-ray)
Complex says: When examining him on a surface level, who wouldn’t want to be Mad Men’s Don Draper (Jon Hamm)? He’s a supreme being within the 1960s New York City advertising world, women both classy and trashy want to rip off his fashionable suits, and damn every word that comes out his mouth sounds cool.
Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner doesn’t want you to envy Draper, however; as he drives home throughout the multiple Emmy-winning show’s powerful fourth season, Weiner wants guys to empathize with a guy who’s really as vulnerable and prone to mistakes as the next skirt-chaser.
Hamm storms through Season Four with his best 13-episode run since the AMC hit’s 2007 premiere. Having lost his wife and kids in a nasty divorce, Draper hides his loneliness from both co-workers and himself by sleeping with secretaries, the first of which quits after Big Don hits her with cold “morning after” indifference.
Season Four gains a lot of mileage out of Don’s sexual irresponsibility, yet it’s also a showcase for Elizabeth Moss’ Peggy Olson, Draper’s top copywriter who’s experiencing romantic issues of her own. In “The Suitcase,” the season’s best episode, an inebriated and shattered Don trades wits with Peggy; penned by Weiner himself, it’s a shining example of how well written and acted is on a routine basis.
Despite his many faults, Hamm’s multifaceted screen persona is still a male hero of sorts, which is why the special feature “How to Succeed in Business Draper Style” is worth a look. Real-world CEOs and executive coaches piece together a 10-point guide to corporate excellence using specific Mad Men scenes. Hopefully “How to Bag Gorgeous Employees Without Losing Your Job Draper Style” is in the works for Season Five’s DVD/Blu-ray pack.