Whatever your opinion of Julian Assange — data-terrorist, free-speech-evangelist, or somewhere in between — it's time to forget everything you thought you knew. We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks ($7) takes an unbiased look at the man responsible for the greatest disclosure of state secrets in the history of the world. In a documentary that plays out like a political thriller, Academy Award-winning director Alex Gibney follows Assange's progression from infamous Australian hacker, to the public face of WikiLeaks, to his self-imposed hermitage in the British Ecuadorean consulate.
Looking for a racing movie to whet your appetite before the upcoming stretch of big races? Forget garbage like Driven and skip straight to Le Mans ($17). Hailed by some as the greatest racing flick of all time, it stars Steve McQueen and Siegfried Rauch, was filmed during the 1970 24 Hours of Le Mans, and tells a story that goes beyond the track to show the toll the risky, high-stakes profession can take on a person physically and emotionally. Also, it's easy to watch, because there's no chance of Kyle Busch winning.
When we last saw friend-of-Uncrate Zane Lamprey, he was wrapping up season three of Drinking Made Easy. Unfortunately, that show is no more — but that doesn't mean Lamprey's days of drinking on camera are over. Chug ($25 and up) is a new, crowd-funded show that aims to send Zane aboard a train to different drinking destinations, learning about the culture, and getting to know the locals in the process. The initial goal will fund six episodes — one every week for six weeks — and if the ultimate goal is reached, they'll make a full twelve. As fans of both Drinking Made Easy and his prior show Three Sheets, we'll gladly drink to that.
We'll admit: we've never seen any of the films included in the Matt Helm Collection ($18). And that's pretty surprising, given our love of the Rat Pack, the fact that there are four of them — The Silencers, Murderers Row, The Ambushers, and The Wrecking Crew — and the fact that a ton of famous faces from the past like Karl Malden, Ann Margaret, Elke Sommer, and Sharon Tate appear. But really, all you need to know is that you're paying less than $5 a film for Dean Martin-as-a-spy fun — think Austin Powers + James Bond + your friendly neighborhood drunk + the coolest guy you know — and that's more than enough for us. [via]
Tarantino has borrowed from Spaghetti Westerns often enough that it was high time he made his own — and Django Unchained ($25) is the result. Winner of two Oscars — the second Original Screenplay trophy for QT, and the second Supporting Actor award for Christoph Waltz — this nearly three-hour tale takes a look at slavery through the lens of pre-Civil War America, with Jamie Foxx in the titular role, and supported by Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio as an infamous plantation owner, Kerry Washington as his lost wife, and Samuel L. Jackson (of course) as a house slave. Expect lots of action, lots of dialogue, and gratuitous use of the N-word — but most of all, expect to be entertained.
Celebrate of one of Bruce Lee's most beloved films with this Enter the Dragon: 40th Anniversary ($35) Blu-ray release. Making its second appearance on Blu-ray, this collectors edition features new cover artwork, three new featurettes, commentary form producer Paul Heller, and a re-mastered video and soundtrack that will hopefully have this classic looking and sounding better than ever.
Normally when a well-known series arrives in a special Blu-ray package, true fans already own all of the films — but that's not the case with the Mad Max Trilogy ($35). This long-awaited post-apocalyptic set includes the original Mad Max, Mad Max Road Warrior, and — making its debut on Blu-ray — the Tina Turner-packing Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. Other details, such as potential bonus features and audio formats, are scarce, but word is that it will arrive in premium tin packaging, so at least that's something.
When we first brought you news of National Lampoon's Vacation on Blu-ray, it was with a heavy heart, knowing that the Amazon reviews said the soundtrack was in mono, the picture sucked, the cover art "looked stupid," and generally "pathetic". We're hoping that the National Lampoon's Vacation: 30th Anniversary ($16) release will fix all of that. If nothing else, you'll get new bonus content like the A&E special, "Inside Story: National Lampoon's Vacation". And let's face it — if you're thinking about buying it and have held off this long, you might as well take the plunge.
Unbeknownst to most common folk, many of rock's greatest albums came from a not-so-glamorous part of the San Fernando Valley. Sound City ($10-$13) is dedicated to the studio of the same name, and the rare sound board held within — sound featured on albums by Tom Petty, Nirvana, Fleetwood Mac, Rage Against the Machine, Neil Young, and many more. Directed by Dave Grohl, this full-length documentary features interviews and performances by some of the rockers who held court there, and is a must-watch for true music lovers.
And here you thought just watching the killing of Bin Laden was exciting. Zero Dark Thirty ($30) takes you through the entire ordeal, from the inception of the idea to the execution in a room in Pakistan. While we could watch Jessica Chastain torture our own mothers for hours on end, the payoff of the real-time mission at the end was nothing short of amazing. The fact that it's directed by Titanically big director James Cameron's ex-wife probably doesn't matter. But the fact that she won Best Director for The Hurt Locker probably does.
Sure, season 3 isn't over yet — in fact, the second half just got started. But that doesn't mean it's too early to start thinking about adding it to your collection. The Walking Dead Season 3 Limited Edition Set ($TBA) is the premiere way to do so. The set includes a replica of The Governor's walker head aquariums, which can actually be filled with water, light up, and include five heads that can be arranged in any order you choose. Oh, and it'll also include every episode from season 3, and probably even some bonus content. Probably.
And here you thought HBO was the only place to find compelling, expletive-heavy dramas. As the first original Netflix series, House of Cards ($8/month) is receiving a lot of hype — but deservedly so. Based on a novel by Michael Dobbs and a subsequent BBC miniseries, this political drama stars Kevin Spacey — sporting a sweet, sweet Southern accent — as the most ruthless man in Congress, and Robin Wright as his equally cutthroat wife. Spacey is also an executive producer, as is David Fincher, who directed the first two episodes. What more do you need to know — all 13 episodes from the first season are available now, and you probably already pay for Netflix anyway — so go get to it.