What’s New on DVD/Blu-ray in February: ‘John Wick,’ ‘Framing Agnes,’ ‘Return of Swamp Thing,’ Truffaut and More

Alonso Duralde highlights the month’s major physical-media releases — because on streaming, nothing lasts forever

John Wick

New Release Wall

John Wick” 1 – 3 Stash Book Collection (Lionsgate): As the Keanu Reeves-loving world awaits the March release of “John Wick: Chapter 4,” superfans get an early gift with this box set of the first three films — in which the titular hit man Wick annihilates bad people for good reasons — in 4K Ultra HD. The three individual films arrive in steelbooks emblazoned with details specific to them, which in turn fit into a replica of Wick’s “stash book.” In other words, fans of excessive violence now get to house their preciouses in a cozy little death-house, and that’s adorable.

Also available:

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” (Marvel): After the death of King T’Challa, the grieving citizens of Wakanda — including Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett, who earned an Oscar nod), Shuri, M’Baku and the Dora Milaje — fight to protect it from outside forces.

“Detective Knight: Independence” (Lionsgate): The final chapter of the Bruce Willis–as–Detective James Knight trilogy sees Knight racing against time to stop an unbalanced vigilante.

“Devotion” (Paramount): Jonathan Majors and Glen Powell star in the true story of Jesse Brown, the first Black aviator in U.S. Navy history and his heroism during the Korean War.

“Empire of Light” (20th Century): Olivia Colman and Michael Ward star — but Roger Deakins’ cinematography steals the show — in Sam Mendes’ 80s drama about movie-theater employees and their various life struggles.

“The Fabelmans” (Universal): Steven Spielberg’s Academy Award-nominated autobiographical drama chronicles a young man who wants to be a filmmaker amidst the dissolution of his parents’ marriage.

“House Party” (Warner Bros): This Lebron James–produced remake of the hit 90s Kid ‘n Play teen comedy was a movie Warner Bros. decided to release to theaters even as they shelved “Batgirl.”

“I Wanna Dance With Somebody” (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment): Whitney Houston’s life story, in the very capable hands of director Kasi Lemmons (“Eve’s Bayou”).

“The Inspection” (A24): Powerful autobiographical drama from filmmaker Elegance Bratton about a young gay Black man (Jeremy Pope, who earned a well-deserved Golden Globe nomination) seeking acceptance by joining the Marines in the era of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

“Legion of Super-Heroes” (Warner Bros): Supergirl enters the 31st century to battle an old enemy in this animated feature.

“The Old Way” (Lionsgate): Nicolas Cage stars in his first Western, where he joins forces with his character’s 12-year-old daughter to gun for some outlaws.

“On The Come Up” (Paramount): Sanaa Lathan made her directorial debut with this musical drama about a teenage girl aspiring to hip-hop stardom, featuring Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Mike Epps, Lil Yachty and Method Man.

“Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” (Universal): Antonio Banderas once again gives voice to the beloved feline swashbuckler in this new kid-friendly adventure (and surprise hit).

“Strange World” (Disney): A family of explorers teams up with unusual creatures on an adventure through a fantastical environment full of excitement and danger. Disney barely promoted the film’s theatrical release, but it’s starting to find an audience on home video.

“Violent Night” (Universal): Santa Claus (David Harbour) battles through his own “Die Hard” when terrorists descend on a rich family’s Christmas in this thrilling action-comedy.

New Indie

“There There” (Magnolia): Acclaimed independent filmmaker Andrew Bujalski (“Support the Girls”) shot this comedy-drama during COVID lockdown about, what else, isolation, starring Jason Schwartzman, Lily Taylor and Molly Gordon, among others. Each vignette was shot with individual actors who were then edited together in scenes, with narratives that interconnect as the film plays out. Innovative formally, but also representative of Bujalski’s ability to create realistic human drama from low-key performances.

Also available:

“The Long Dark Trail” (Cleopatra): Two brothers escape their abusive father and embark on a search for their mother — who, it turns out, might be even worse — in this vintage-inspired horror.

“Nana’s Boys” (Breaking Glass): When the power grid goes down, a queer New York man (David J. Cork, “P-Valley”) and his partner (Jared Wayne Gladly) have to take stock of their relationship.

“Northern Shade” (BayView): Christopher Rucinski’s drama concerns an Army vet in search of his missing brother, who’s been recruited by an extremist militia.

New Foreign

“Broker” (Neon): Award-winning Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda (“Shoplifters”) once again explores the connections between members of chosen families in this drama about the selling of orphans outside the legal adoption process, one where a birth mother finds the adoptive family to ensure that her baby has been given a good home. An unexpected extended family arises from this scenario, and the results are tender and humane, hallmarks of Kore-eda’s acclaimed filmmaking.

Also available:

“Adieu Paris” (Icarus): Gerard Depardieu stars in this French comedy about the lives of Parisians in their 70s, and the disruption of a new person breaking into their tight circle.

“Belle and Sebastian: The Adventure Continues” (Film Movement): The sequel to the contemporary reboot of this classic French children’s story about a boy and his highly intelligent dog.

“A Family for 1640 Days” (Icarus): In this French drama, a foster care family that has cared for a six-year-old boy since infancy must come to terms with the child’s father reentering the picture.

“The First Fallen” (Dark Star): Brazilian filmmaker Rodrigo de Oliveira’s debut feature concerns the beginning of AIDS in 80s Brazil.

“Giovanni’s Island” (GKIDS): This 2014 animated historical drama from Mizuho Nishikubo involves children in post-WWII Japan crossing boundaries of friendship and loyalty.

“Hunt” (Magnet): After a high-ranking North Korean official requests asylum, two different units of the same government agency must uncover an embedded spy.

“The King of Laughter” (Film Movement): This turn-of-the-20th century historical drama stars Toni Servillo (“Gomorrah”) as legendary Italian playwright Eduardo Scarpetta.

“Petit Mal” (Dark Star): Colombian filmmaker Ruth Caudeli wrote, directed and stars in this autobiographical drama, a realistic portrayal of a polyamorous lesbian relationship.

“Project Wolf Hunting” (Well Go USA): Cargo ship convicts break out and unleash an even greater terror on board in this Korean thriller.

“Shepherd: The Story of a Hero Dog” (Shout Factory): Based on the novel “The Jewish Dog” by Asher Kravitz, this period drama follows a pet German Shepherd separated from a Jewish family and then used by the SS at a Nazi concentration camp.

New Documentary

“Framing Agnes” (Kino Lorber): In the 1960s, UCLA conducted a study of gender non-conforming people; among the participants was an anonymous transgender woman, given the pseudonym “Agnes,” who was able to use the study to access resources for that era’s version of gender-affirming medical care. This doc from director Chase Joynt (“No Ordinary Man”) explores her legacy and its impact on queer and transgender history through the use of vintage reenactments featuring actors like “Pose” star Angelica Ross. Formally innovative and full of real information in a political atmosphere of frenzied misinformation, “Framing Agnes” takes the past and makes it thrillingly contemporary.

Also available:

“Calendar Girls” (Greenwich): A dance team for women over 60 in Florida gets a fun-loving documentary dedicated to their flashy costumes and unbridled energy.

“Children of the Mist” (Film Movement): In the mountains of northern Vietnam, an indigenous Hmong community — and specifically a 12-year-old girl named Di — grapples with the still-accepted tradition of “bride kidnapping.”

“Concert for George” (Craft Recordings/Abramorama): A 20th anniversary concert celebrating George Harrison featuring Paul McCartney, Tom Petty, Ravi Shankar, Ringo Starr and Jeff Lynne.

“GLOW: The Story of The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling” (AGFA): The fractured story of the wildest 80s wrestling show to hit broadcast television.

“Hitman Hart: Wrestling with Shadows” (Canadian International Pictures): This 1998 doc about famed wrestler Bret “The Hitman” Hart gets a Blu-ray release bursting with special features for super-fans.

“Kentridge & Dumas In Conversation” (Icarus Films Home Video): Director Catherine Meyburgh followed contemporary artists William Kentridge and Marlene Dumas from dinner conversations to studio visits to uncover their art practice and why they do what they do.

“A Life’s Work” (First Run Features): A project 15 years in the making, the film follows four people working on very long-term projects — a researcher, tree farmers, a gospel music archivist, and an architect — and explores what it means to wait for results.

“Ruth Weiss: One More Step West Is the Sea” (IndiePixUnlimited): Explores the life and legacy of pioneering (and enduring) Beat Generation poet Ruth Weiss, who worked into her 90s.

“Salvatore: Shoemaker of Dreams” (Sony Pictures Entertainment): Salvatore Ferragamo’s incident-and-imagination packed life as shoemaker to the stars gets an appropriately lush documentary from Luca Guadagnino.

New Grindhouse

“The Return of Swamp Thing” (Lightyear): She has many achievements, but Heather Locklear’s greatest might be this 1989 romp, which belongs in the B-Movie Hall of Fame. As Abigail Arcane, she has to battle her evil scientist stepfather and some creatures called Un-Men, all with the help of the titular marsh monster. This 4K Blu-ray has all the bells and whistles: commentaries, interviews, promotional material, the works.

Also available:

“.com For Murder” (Arrow): Turn-of-the-millennium horror makes cyberspace a place of terror, and it co-stars Huey Lewis and Roger Daltrey, because of course it does.

“Eugenie… The Story of Her Journey into Perversion” (MVD Entertainment): The classic 1970 sexploitation horror film starring Marie Liljedahl and Christopher Lee makes it 4K Blu-ray debut for collectors of vintage horny cinema.

“Firenado” (October Coast): Scientists create a burning tornado that winds a path of destruction in a film that’s being marketed as a companion to the great “Geostorm.”

Giallo Essentials, White Edition (Arrow): Three classics of insane Italian horror: “The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave,” “The Iguana With the Tongue of Fire,” and “The Suspicious Death of a Minor,” all here and ready  to thrill.

“That Man Bolt” (KL Studio Classics): Fred Williamson stars in this 1973 martial arts action drama, battling his way through a crime syndicate and taking no prisoners.

“Marquis de Sade’s Justine” (MVD Entertainment): Romina Power stars in this bizarre sexploitation shocker — now in 4K — that features Jack Palance, Mercedes McCambridge and Klaus Kinski.

“Nudist Life” (Kino Classics/Something Weird): A wild triple feature of vintage naked exploitation films from the late ’50s and early ’60s: “Nudist Life,” “10 Days in a Nudist Camp” and “Shangri-La” are goofy romps through mid-century unclothedness, along with a handful of even weirder short films on the same nude subject.

“The Retaliators” (Quiver): A pastor seeks revenge for the murder of his daughter in this horror-thriller featuring cameos from Tommy Lee and Five Finger Death Punch.

“The Vagrant” (Arrow): A deranged black comedy, this ’90s cult classic stars Bill Paxton, Colleen Camp and Michael Ironside.

New Classic

François Truffaut Collection / “The Bride Wore Black” / “Mississippi Mermaid” / “The Story of Adele H” (all KL Studio Classics): Here’s a major helping of classics, both major and minor, from legendary French New Wave filmmaker Truffaut. Beginning with a four-film package that includes “The Wild Child,” “Small Change,” “The Man Who Loved Women” and “The Green Room,” KL Studio Classics is also dropping “Bride,” “Mermaid” and “Adele H” as stand-alone titles, spanning part of the prolific director’s output between 1968 (a big year for French culture in general) and 1978 (the year Truffaut appeared in “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”). Here’s your chance to get at least a taste of this extraordinary writer-director’s output.

Also available:

“B’twixt Now and Sunrise” (Lionsgate): Francis Ford Coppola’s 2012 ghost story (previously known simply as “Twixt”) stars Val Kilmer, Elle Fanning and Bruce Dern.

“The Bliss of Mrs. Blossom” (KL Studio Classics)” Married lady Shirley MacLaine takes a lover and keeps him in the attic in this wild late-’60s comedy.

“The Boxtrolls” (Shout Factory): 4K SteelBook edition of the LAIKA stop-motion epic about a human boy raised by odd creatures wearing cardboard cartons. His name is Eggs, of course.

“Bubba Ho-Tep” (Scream Factory): For people who like movies about The King less reverent than Baz Luhrmann’s, Bruce Campbell and Ossie Davis star as nursing home residents — Campbell thinks he’s Elvis — who battle an ancient mummy in this horror-comedy from “Phantasm” director Joe Coscarelli.

“Chicago” (Paramount): The slinky murder musical starring Richard Gere, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Renee Zellweger takes its 20-year bow with a limited Blu-ray SteelBook edition.

“Cinematic Sorceress: The Films of Nina Menkes” (Arbelos): This package collects and restores the award-winning, critically-lauded work of Nina Menkes, a filmmaker who has decades forging her own path through independent cinema. Titles include “The Great Sadness of Zohara,” “Magdalena Viraga” and more.

“Congress Dances” (“Die Kongress tanzt”) (Kino Classics): Lilian Harvey ambushes world leaders with flowers in this 1932 German musical.

“The Crimson Rivers” (KL Studio Classics): Jean Reno is on the hunt for a serial killer in France. Co-stars Vincent Cassel and Mathieu Kassovitz.

“For the Plasma” (Factory 25): Filmmakers Bingham Bryant and Kyle Molzan’s mysterious 2016 indie about surveillance, intuition, friendship and nature gets the Blu-ray release its word-of-mouth praise has earned.

“Hollywood Shuffle” (Criterion Collection): Robert Townsend burst into filmmaking with this wild 1987 satire that takes aim at Black stereotyping in the movies (which also indulging in its own LGBTQ stereotyping).

“The Hunter” (KL Studio Classics): Steve McQueen’s last film is this 1980 true story of bounty hunter Ralph Thorson.

“If I Were King” (KL Studio Classics): Ronald Colman, Frances Dee and Basil Rathbone star in this 1938 Academy Award-nominated romantic adventure set in 15th-century Paris.

“India Song” and “Baxter, Vera Baxter” – Two Films by Marguerite Duras (Criterion Collection): Two stunning, experimental 1970s films from the literary icon–turned-director.

“Kubo and the Two Strings” (Shout Factory): 4K Steelbook edition of this LAIKA stop-motion musical samurai adventure.

“Let’s Hope It’s a Girl” (Raro): This 1986 battle-of-the-sexes comedy stars Liv Ullman and Catherine Deneuve as women taking over a family farm in Tuscany and setting up a matriarchal utopia.

“The Magnificent Seven” (Shout Select): 4K Ultra HD restoration of 1960’s beloved, enduring Western action classic starring Steve McQueen, Yul Brynner and Eli Wallach.

“Marathon Man” (KL Studio Classics): Dustin Hoffman, Roy Scheider, Laurence Olivier and Marthe Keller star in John Schlesinger’s wickedly suspenseful 1976 thriller about the hunt for a Nazi fugitive, now in 4K.

“Marco Polo” (KL Studio Classics): 1962 Technicolor epic about the 13th century explorer and his journey through China.

“Mickey & Minnie: 10 Classic Shorts, Volume 1” (Disney): “Steamboat Willie” and 9 more classic cartoons about the two most famous Mice.

“Millionaires Express” (Arrow): Another frenzied slice of martial arts from the legendary Sammo Hung.

“Raw Wind in Eden” (KL Studio Classics): Legendary swimming star Esther Williams takes square-jawed Jeff Chandler for a dip into romantic drama.

“The Remains of The Day” (Sony): 4K edition of this classic 90s sadness epic, starring Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson as “Downton Abbey”–style servants in love, but keeping it chaste, unrequited and miserable.

“Rocky”: The Knockout Collection (Warner Bros. Home Entertainment): Available for the first time in 4K Ultra HD, the first four films chronicling the life and punching practice of one Rocky Balboa.

“Romeo and Juliet” (Criterion Collection): The newly-controversial 1968 Franco Zeffirelli box-office sensation starring Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting in the Shakespeare classic comes to Criterion with loads of extras.

Sci-Fi From the Vault (Mill Creek): Four ’50s drive-in classics in one package: “20 Million Miles to Earth,” “It Came From Beneath the Sea,” “Creature with the Atom Brain” and “The 30-Foot Bride of Candy Rock.”

“Secret of the Incas” (KL Studio Classics): 1954 Peruvian adventure classic starring Charlton Heston and introducing 50s “exotica” vocalist Yma Sumac.

“The Son of The Stars” (Deaf Crocodile): The restoration of this 1988 Romanian animated space freakout is beautifully odd and ready for a new audience.

“Sorrowful Jones” (KL Studio Classics): Before “I Love Lucy,” Lucille Ball and Bob Hope teamed up for this unexpectedly moving story about parenthood.

“The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” (Dark Sky Films): The all-time classic of shocking, deranged horror comes to a 4K Blu-ray with a huge amount of bonus material on two discs.

Thrillers From the Vault (Mill Creek): A collection of eight B-movie spine-tinglers from the ’30s to the ’50s, including “The Black Room,” “The Return of the Vampire,” “The Boogie Man Will Get You” and “The Devil Commands.”

“Training Day” (Warner Bros. Home Entertainment): 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray of the 2001 Academy Award–winning bad-cop-good-cop drama with Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke.

“Warm Bodies” (Lionsgate): 2013’s surprising zombie rom-com starring Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer comes alive again in 4K and Steelbook packaging.

“The Werewolf of Washington” (Kino Classics): Milton Moses Ginsberg’s blistering political satire stars Dean Stockwell as a presidential aide whose political power grows after he becomes a lycanthrope.

“White Woman” (KL Studio Classics): Charles Laughton and Carole Lombard star in this 1933 pre-Code drama of forbidden love on a Malaysian estate.

“Wild Reeds” (Altered Innocence): Andre Téchiné’s early-’90s period drama set at the end of the French-Algerian war is a classic queer coming-of-age story.

“A Woman Kills” (Radiance): A 1968 French serial killer drama from filmmaker Jean-Denis Bonan, considered lost for decades, resurfaces on this limited edition Blu-ray with lots of bonus material.

“A World Apart” (KL Studio Classics): Barbara Hershey (who won Best Actress at Cannes) and Jeroen Krabbe star In this 1988 anti-apartheid drama.

New TV

“Orange Is the New Black”: The Complete Series (Lionsgate): The women-in-prison genre (to say nothing of Netflix’s pivot from DVDs-in-the-mail to streaming) got a jolt of modern energy when this show dropped. Quickly becoming appointment viewing, gathering awards and critical acclaim, it also gave a launch to stars like Uzo Aduba and Laverne Cox. Turning a usually grim, exploitive scenario into something funny and unexpectedly moving, “OITNB” burned bright for seven seasons and then bowed out. This box set delivers everything, including all the extras fans could want.

Also available:

“The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet”: Season 9 and Season 10 (both MPI Home Video): The ninth and 10th seasons (sold separately) of the groundbreaking 14-season-long family sitcom.

“City on a Hill”: The Complete Series (Showtime): Kevin Bacon and Aldis Hodge star in this three-season crime series based on a story by Ben Affleck and Chuck MacLean.

“Fear the Walking Dead”: The Complete Seventh Season (AMC): The zombie landscape becomes a post-nuclear atmosphere in this relentlessly grim season.

“Horimiya”: The Complete Season Limited Edition (Crunchyroll): Elaborate box set for this anime that comes with art cards, a book, an enamel pin and tons of bonus material.

“Kamen Rider Ryuki”: The Complete Series (Shout Factory): All 50 episodes from the 2002 installment (the 14th!) of the influential, long-running, ever-evolving, Japanese action series.

“Love After World Domination” / “The Slime Diaries” / “World Witches Take Off!” (Crunchyroll): Three complete seasons of three different anime series from Crunchyroll.

“Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin”: The Complete First Season (Warner Bros. Home Entertainment): The fourth “Pretty Little Liars” series focuses on a group of friends terrorized by someone holding them responsible for the sins of their mothers back in 1999.

“Super Sentai: Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger”: The Complete Series (Shout Factory): Delivering over 50 episodes on eight discs, this the complete Japanese series that gave birth to the Power Rangers.