This week, it almost seems like studios are racing to get some of their films from August out onto Blu-Ray and DVD in time for the holiday shopping season. 4 major releases from that month are hitting shelves today, and one of them will be my top choice. One is also damn near the worst film I’ve seen all year, so we have quite the dichotomy here in the column. Overall it’s a slightly above average week, but nothing to write home about in any major way. For my PICK OF THE WEEK, I lacked one movie to really get excited about, so I went with the one I simply felt most comfortable choosing. It’s a would be Oscar contender that wound up being positioned more as popcorn entertainment than anything else (something I’ll be bringing up again in the Vintage section later with my selection there). The flick in question? Well, it’s none other than:
John Hillcoat is certainly not the first filmmaker you associate with mainstream August entertainment, but his crime drama about bootleggers wound up being set up that way, to only modest success. While it’s not the awards player some hoped it would be, there’s no denying that it’s entertaining overall. The cast is solid, and if I find myself preferring the other collaboration between Jessica Chastain and Jason Clarke that I recently reviewed here, well, there’s no shame in being second place in comparison to that one. Here though, it’s the top choice and well worth picking up!
-On the flip side, The Apparition comes out today. I rarely hate a movie as much as I hated this one. My review of it (found here) was pretty scathing, and even though I tend to shy away from hyperbole in negativity, it was apt there. Steer as clear away from this one as you can. It’s terrible and inept on just about every level, plain and simple.
-This week also brings the release of ParaNorman, which was widely admired upon release but sadly missed by me, along with the unnecessary sequels Men In Black 3 and Step Up: Revolution. I saw the former, but not the latter, even though the experience was just as empty either way. The other titles in play are the apocalyptic sci-fi flick The Day and the remake Sparkle, neither of which I’ve yet seen. I can’t personally recommend any of these, but if something jumps out at you, feel free to grab it…
-My Vintage pick, in honor of this week’s release of Killing Them Softly (found here), is another future cult classic that wound up being sold more for its entertainment than its awards worthiness. I’m talking of course about Drive, and especially when my top pick this week is Lawless, a film in a similar boat, how could I not find an excuse to wax poetic a bit more about this amazing Nicolas Winding Refn/Ryan Gosling film? It was my #1 film of 2011 and it’s easily as good as anything I’ve seen this year as well. Cooler than cool and the perfect mix of style and substance, I know it’s a movie I’m going to be re-watching time and time again for years to come. You really don’t need a reason to watch this one again, but since Andrew Dominik’s new collaboration with Brad Pitt has some similarities, this is the perfect time to sit down for another go around with the Driver. I know I never regret a viewing of this film, and for good reason too. It’s a classic in the making and a vital piece of modern cinema. Gosling and Winding Refn were at the top of their game, and Dominik/Pitt aren’t far behind here…
-What will you be watching on Blu-Ray/DVD this week? Discuss in the comments!
Tags: blu ray, DVD, Joey's DVD Column, Joey's DVD Picks of the Week, joeys dvd pick of the week, weekly DVD column