All of the new DVD releases hit stores (and Netflix) on Tuesdays. So each week in What to Netflix: New DVD Tuesday, I'll sort through the best of the batch and tell you what to add to your queue.
Every time I revisit the trailer for The Departed, with Jack Nicholson's narration over the opening notes of "Gimme Shelter," I get the chills — not because this movie was disturbing, but because it was such a fun ride. The drama isn't terribly deep: A good cop (Leonardo DiCaprio) goes undercover with a mobster (Jack Nicholson), who has his own man (Matt Damon) inside the force. But the intricately woven plot and masterful performances, particularly by supporting cast members like Mark Wahlberg and Alec Baldwin, prove that Scorsese really does deserve the directing Oscar for this one.
Also, I highly recommend seeing the Hong Kong film trilogy on which the The Departed was based. If you haven't yet, you're in luck, because one of those films also releases on DVD this week, so
Though technically the second film in the trilogy by directors Andrew Lau and Alan Mak, Infernal Affairs 2 is a prequel whose plot provides most of the basis for The Departed, explaining how these two young men ended up in their respective undercover roles. I actually saw part two first, and it totally stands on its own even if you haven't seen the first Infernal Affairs. Like The Departed, this film oozes with intrigue, comic relief, and standout performances. And with its tendency toward melodrama, it pays homage to another example of great American cinema: The Godfather trilogy.