Blow Out (Criterion) Brian De Palma’s greatest Hitchcock homage, with a dash of Antonioni thrown in for good measure. John Travolta gives one of his best turns as a sound-effects engineer who unwittingly records a political assassination, then finds himself hunted by a ruthless hitman (John Lithgow, a memorably creepy psycho) after saving the life of the kindly, albeit dim-witted call girl (Nancy Allen, excellent) who was with the deceased. Terrific blend of suspense and very black humor, perhaps De Palma’s finest hour as an auteur. Beautifully shot by Vilmos Zsigmond. Also available on Blu-ray disc. Bonuses: Interviews with De Palma, Allen, cameraman Garrett Brown; Photo gallery; De Palma’s 1967 feature Murder a la Mod; Trailer. Widescreen. Dolby and DTS-hd 2.0 surround.
Kes (Criterion) Ken Loach’s landmark 1970 film is both a heart-rending portrait of adolescence, and a pointed socio-political commentary on life in the North of England.