Back in 1976, Network’s themes of reality TV skirting moral and public laws, corporate meddling, and an anything-for-ratings mentality came off like a hyperbolic send-up of how not to run a TV network. How things have changed: 35 years later, Network is not only prescient; it’s downright scary how spot-on it is. After a last-place network’s news anchor (Peter Finch, who died a couple of months before he won an Oscar for his terrific performance) threatens to kill himself on the air, ratings surge. So they give him his own show on which to spout his madman prophecies. This Blu-ray debut includes a documentary about the movie and commentary by director Sidney Lumet.
All the President’s Men (Warner) – The movie that launched thousands of journalism careers finally comes to Blu-ray. Two years after Nixon resigned, this 1976 political thriller (starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman) sorted it out for the masses. Extras include a doc about the real Deep Throat.
Unstoppable (Twentieth Century Fox) – It’s pretty much like Speed, but with a train replacing the bus and Denzel Washington instead of Keanu Reeves. And it’s not bad, as far as runaway vehicle movies starring Oscar winners go. Extras go behind the scenes for the movie’s awesome stunts.
Waiting for “Superman” (Paramount) – This documentary takes a harsh look at our country’s crappy public schools by following the people they affect most: students. It’s not very hopeful, but director David Guggenheim (who made An Inconvenient Truth) puts a little faith in the hands of viewers.