This week, we go from a decent release slate to a slightly below par one. Yes, while last week had us on the right track, today we come up a bit short. To be fair, I happen to be in the minority on some of the titles hitting Blu-Ray and DVD, but nothing really struck my fancy among the group. As such, my top pick is one I kind of have to hold my nose and go with. Yes, for my PICK OF THE WEEK I basically was torn between a small flick that slightly disappointed me and a would be Oscar contender that disappointed me. You’ll see which one I decided to give a small boost to in a moment, but first I have a special version of the Vintage picks, where I basically tell you what I wish was the top pick today. Take a look!
Normally, I have a choice that’s in honor of one of this week’s releases, but today I want to go in another direction. Yes, instead I’m citing an indie from late last year/early this year that barely was seen and was dumped earlier in 2015 on DVD with no buzz. It’s the coming of age story Ask Me Anything, which essentially felt to me like The Perks of Being a Wallflower as seen through a female and more sexualized perspective. In a way, it can also recall Men, Women & Children, which obviously was a plus to me as well. Britt Robertson stars and does a great job as the teenage protagonist, while Martin Sheen is phenomenal in a supporting role. Justin Long and Christian Slater also turn in solid work in small parts, but Robertson and Sheen just shine. There’s a bit of a twist ending too that makes you think. I’ll admit to being a bit stunned, which doesn’t happen very often. No one saw this flick, so do me a favor and check it out now…I think you’ll be surprised at how good it is.
Other Films Being Released
With only that one aforementioned film to recommend today (and barely, I might add), here now is a simple list of what else is hitting shelves on this day, sans my own recommendation or anything of the sort. Take a look:
Digging Up the Marrow
This weird sitting hybrid horror comedy is pretty damn meta, I must say. I usually like Adam Green films and while this one is no exception, it does seem a tad indulgent, as he gets to star as “himself”. If you want a back up option that isn’t my top pick or the more romantic other almost ran here, you certainly could do a lot worse.
Box Office: $10,969
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
After not having enjoyed any of the previous five movies in this franchise, I finally decided to not bother. These fantasy films just don’t entertain or interest me whatsoever, so what’s the point? If you’re a fan (cough, Mark Johnson, cough), don’t let me stop you, but I’m not going to help this one out. It’s a dead franchise, in my book at least.
Box Office: $255,043,150 (and counting)
Into the Woods
There are few things better than a really great musical, but unfortunately…this is far from one. A couple of songs worked and a few of the performances did as well, but for the most part, it just wound up pretty limp and a true letdown. I know there are some big backers of this musical here at the site, so again, don’t let me stop you. Once again though, I’m not going to be on that particular bandwagon. It’s better than Les Miserables though, I’ll certainly concede that much, but then again, we all know my feelings on that particular musical, so that’s not an amazingly high bar to clear.
Box Office: $127,746,251 (and counting)
A pretty harmless but still underwhelming flick, I had this to say when I reviewed the film (found right here) earlier this year: “Writer/director Kate Barker-Froyland certainly has her heart in the right place, no question there, but both the writing and the direction stays too often on just the surface level. Even the lead performance of Anne Hathaway, which is admittedly good, never gets into any real depth of character, which keeps the final product from being truly effective. Song One is always a pleasant movie, but it’s a fairly forgettable one, all the same. Hathaway does what she can in the main role, displaying solid chemistry with co-star Johnny Flynn, but this is a small film which always feels just a bit too small. There’s nothing overtly wrong with the flick, but it’s lacking in anything to get too excited about, at the same time.” You could do a lot worse for sure, but I just couldn’t bring myself to overtly give it an actual recommendation.
Box Office: $32,251
Diagnosis Murder: The Fifth Season
Diagnosis Murder: The Fourth Season
The Donna Reed Show: Season Two
Hell’s Kitchen: Season 9
Hell’s Kitchen: Season 10
Longmire: The Complete Third Season
The Mod Squad: The Complete First Season
The Mod Squad: The Complete Fourth Season
The Mod Squad: The Complete Second Season
The Mod Squad: The Complete Third Season
Mr. Bean: The Whole Bean
PICK OF THE WEEK
At one point, this seemed like an almost foregone conclusion for wins in basically all of the major Academy Award categories. By the end, that it managed three Oscar nominations in the technical fields was something of a win, since a large portion of pundits were underwhelmed by Angelina Jolie’s sophomore feature. She’s largely competent but unspectacular behind the camera, while this represents exciting young actor Jack O’Connell’s least interesting role to date. It’s very watchable and ends on an uplifting note, but it’s just so damn repetitive. Considering the week, the cinematography on display from Roger Deakins makes this worth checking out, but keep in mind that it’s not nearly as good as it probably should have been.
Special Features: Deleted Scenes, Featurettes, and more…
Total Box Office: $115,637,895 (and counting)
Major Award: Nominated for Best Cinematography, Best Sound Editing, and Best Sound Mixing at the Academy Awards
–What will you be watching this week? Discuss in the comments!