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NEW ON DVD: Natalie Portman gives Oscar-worthy performance in ‘Jackie’

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STORY BY AMY LONGSDORF
For Digital First Media

In “Jackie,” (2016, Fox, R, $30), the Oscar-nominated Natalie Portman is mesmerizing as the former First Lady who, in the hours and days following the assassination of JFK, questioned her faith, fretted about her future, and became determined to give the slain leader a funeral ceremony as unforgettable as Abraham Lincoln’s.
Not a second seems extraneous in this taut, visual feast of a movie from Chile’s Pablo Larrain (“Neruda”). There’s flashbacks to Jackie’s famous White House tour, a look at her friendship with Bobby Kennedy (Peter Sarsgaard) and a shattering recreation of the events in Dallas. Essential viewing. Extras: featurettes.
Also New To DVD
Always Shine (2016, Oscilloscope, unrated, $25): The stepchild of “Persona” and “Single White Female,” this riveting thriller looks at two besties whose weekend getaway to Big Sur leads to betrayal, jealousy and murder. Mackenzie Davis stars as Anna, a struggling actress who can barely contain her resentment of het buddy Beth (Caitlin FitzGerald) after Beth lands a role in an upcoming slasher film. Even though some of filmmaker Sophia Takal’s avant-garde touches like jump cuts and the jolting score by Michael Montes don’t pan out, “Always Shine” manages to wring an enormous amount of suspense out of the toxic bond of two frenemies. Extras: none.
***
Trespass Against Us (2016, Lionsgate, R, $20): Here’s a lesson in how terrific actors can make a slapdash thriller seem better than it really is. Michael Fassbender stars as an Irish Traveler who is longing to move his family out from under the thumb of his brutal thieving father (Brendan Gleeson). But Gleeson isn’t keen on losing his best earner and sets his son up to take a nasty fall. Director Adam Smith manages to give the chase scenes a good deal of energy while capturing the atmosphere of the Travelers’ makeshift camps. In the end, though, it’s Gleeson and Fassbender who are the best reason to give this flawed, ramshackle movie a watch. Extras: featurettes.
***
Tanna (2016, Lightyear, unrated, $20): Nominated for an Oscar as the Best Foreign Language Feature of 2016, this Australian drama is set on Vantuatu, a South Pacific island populated by traditional tribes. Against the backdrop of verdant green forests and a lava-spitting volcano, the teenage Wawa (Marie Wawa) falls in love with her chief’s grandson Dain (Mungau Dain). But the villagers insist on an arranged marriage for Wawa. While the central star-crossed love story is straight out of “Romeo and Juliet,” it feels surprisingly vital and fresh thanks to the performances of the cast members, all of whom live in the remote village of Yakel. “Tanna” is a one-of-a-kind treat. Extras: feauturettes.
***
Creepy (2016, Icarus, unrated, $30): For his follow-up to film festival favorites “Cure” and “Pulse,” Japan’s Kiyoshi Kurosawa uncorks a serial-killer thriller about one of the most disturbing psychopaths this side of Hannibal Lecter. Set in a quiet suburban neighborhood, “Creepy” revolves around a retired police detective (Hidetoshi Nishijima) lured back into investigating a cold case. At the same time, Nishijima begins to suspect that all is not as it seems with his next-door neighbor (Teruyuki Kagawa). The two parallel plots converge, of course, but in genuinely shocking, unexpected ways. Even though “Creepy” suffers from pacing issues, it gets under your skin while also delivering a meditation on the forces that drive families apart. Extras: none.
***
The Goodbye Girl (1977, Warner Archive, PG, $20): Now on Blu-ray, this winning romance begins when retired dancer Paula (Marsha Mason) is dumped by her no-good actor-boyfriend who not only breaks up with her via a Dear John letter but sublets their apartment out from under her to an actor pal named Elliot (Richard Dreyfuss.) Paula and Elliot agree to make the best of a bad situation and becomes roomies. As you might imagine, the pair, urged on by Paula’s wised-up daughter (Quinn Cummings), fall in love. The beauty of “Goodbye Girl” is that scripter Neil Simon allows the characters to become friends before they jump in the sack. It also helps that Simon stocks the screenplay with delicious zingers and Dreyfuss and Mason manage to make nearly every moment feel beautifully spontaneous. Extras: none.
***
Yours, Mine and Ours (1968, Olive, unrated, $25): Lucille Ball, in one of her best post-“I Love Lucy” vehicles, stars as a widow with eight children who marries Henry Fonda, a widower with ten kids. Director Melville Shavelson deserves a medal for mostly steering clear of any sappiness and focusing instead on the easy chemistry between his leads. This is primarily Lucy’s movie and she shows off her physical comedy gifts to great effect. Extras: none.
***
I Want To Live! (1958, Twilight Time, unrated, $30): A potent argument against capital punishment, this Robert Wise-directed stunner centers on Barbara Graham (Susan Hayward), a small-time thief who’s implicated in a murder and sentenced to death. With its percolating jazz score and noirish cinematography, “I Want To Live!” is dynamic during its first half. After Graham is arrested on trumped-up charges and betrayed by her friends, the film darkens into a docudrama which gazes unflinchingly at the surreal ordinariness of life on death row. Extras: commentary.
***
Colors: Collector’s Edition (1988, Shout Factory, unrated, $28): For its Blu-ray debut, Dennis Hopper’s film is being presented with additional footage from both the international edit and the original home video cut. Still blistering after all these years, “Colors” depicts the uneasy relationship between members of the LAPD and gangbangers from East Los Angeles. Robert Duvall stars as a veteran officer who’s newly teamed up with a hot-shot partner (Sean Penn.) The lack of a cohesive plot makes “Colors” feel episodic but there’s still much to admire including the flavorful performances and an overall sense of urgency which makes many scenes feel ferociously alive. Extras: featurettes.
***
The Twilight Zone: The Complete ‘80s Series (1985-1989, Paramount, unrated, $45): While it can’t top the shivery excellence of the black-and-white series from 1960s, this three-season color remake from the 1980s serves up plenty of scary, thought-provoking treats scripted by the likes of Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, George R.R. Martin and Arthur C. Clarke. There’s a few remakes of earlier “Twilight Zone” episodes including “Dead Man’s Shoes” and “Shadow Play” as well as appearances by Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren and Morgan Freeman. The price is right too. Extras: deleted scenes, featurettes and commentaries.

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