Today's DVDs & Blu-rays: Rectify and An Insider's Look at Art

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.


, a Sundance Channel series that hits shelves as a DVD release today isn't easy to like. More importantly, it's impossible not to like. It's gritty and raw, often unpleasant ... and wonderful.

From the producers of Breaking Bad, the first season of Rectify follows Daniel Holden (stoically and unknowable as played by Aden Young), newly released from prison after spending 20 years on death row for supposedly raping and killing his girlfriend while he was still a teen. His younger sister, Amatha (wonderfully complicated as played by Abigail Spencer) and his mother are the only ones happy to see him home. The rest of the family runs the gamut from outright hostile to carefully and cautious. The townsfolk are mostly in the outright hostile camp, with the majority wanting to see him dead or at least run out of town.

The story moves along with Daniel resisting contemporary technology, shunning cell phones and iPads for a more familiar cassette player and dusty collection of mix tapes while his family, the victim's family, interested lawyers and legal officials try to figure out what to do with the not-officially-guilty-but-maybe-not innocent Daniel.

Clayne Crawford plays Ted, Daniel's selfish, manipulating step-brother. It would be easy to write him off as a one note character, and to a point, he is, but Crawford is too skilled to miss any chance to show us otherwise. When Daniel begins discussing his being gang raped in prison, Ted stays with him, in the moment and open to Daniel's unnerving honesty.

There are six episodes in the release, with a healthy selection of extras, including behind the scenes, meet-the-cast and on the set featurettes.

One word of caution about Rectify - don't watch it all in one sitting. You need a bit of time to digest Daniel's re-acclimation to life on the outside.

Also on our watch list today is the Athena release

Understanding Art, Hidden Lives of Masterpieces,

with a look at all the dirt -- literally -- and inside stories about restoration, alteration, protection and recycling of masterworks at the Louvre. Originally designed as a documentation of several

journees d'etude

or study dates with curators, scientists and restoration experts coming together to view and discuss some of the Louvre's most important holdings (removed from their frames and in natural light), the films eventually became a television series.

Understanding Art

takes at-home viewers along for the ride as the experts examine, argue and discover previously unknown, or at least unconfirmed, information about the individual works.

Art lovers will enjoy the up-close examination of familiar masterpieces and titillating stories about the truth behind how they were made, what they meant to the artists painting them and what they've come to mean to modern audiences.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.