This week, Ben Affleck plays an unstoppable superhero…I mean an assassin, in one of the highlighted titles coming to Blu-ray and DVD. That film is today’s most interesting option, oddly enough. The slate also includes a few would-be awards players today, which only adds to the unusual-ness of it all. The top pick this time around is a mixed bag, that much is undeniable. Furthermore, it’s one that many have dismissed. Still, it has something to offer. The PICK OF THE WEEK is perhaps an unexpected one, but it will make sense in time. First, however, we must begin with a Vintage pick!
In honor of this week’s release of “The Book of Love” (formerly titled on the festival circuit “The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea”), it makes sense to cite a Jason Sudeikis film. The one getting the praise today is one that’s been mentioned here before. It’s “Sleeping with Other People,” a romantic dramedy from filmmaker Lesyle Headland that’s severely underrated. Alison Brie co-stars with Sudeikis in this brilliant little film. A bit from our review at the time:
It’s hard to make a film that deals frankly with sex and still goes for the funny bone or pulls at your heartstrings, but ‘Sleeping with Other People’ is that rare success.
Again, this is a special movie that doesn’t get the love it deserves. In addition, it’s just quality entertainment. Check it out!
Special Criterion Collection Section
“The 400 Blows”
An all-time great film gets the Criterion treatment, and rightly so. Master filmmaker François Truffaut left an indelible mark on cinema with this one. As Roger Ebert once wrote:
The later films have their own merits, and ‘Stolen Kisses’ is one of Truffaut’s best, but ‘The 400 Blows,’ with all its simplicity and feeling, is in a class by itself.
Not only is this a classic, but it’s a downright masterpiece as well.
“His Girl Friday”
Another classic movie comes to the collection today. In an out-and-out rave, Time Out says this about the film:
Perhaps the funniest, certainly the fastest talkie comedy ever made.
Plenty of you will be delighted to pick this one up, so definitely do!
Other Films Being Released
With only Affleck’s assassin movie to ever so slightly recommend, here now is a simple list of what else is hitting shelves today:
“The Birth of a Nation”
What a complicated film to discuss. Even without the controversy around Nate Parker, there’s a lot to unpack here. The movie went from Oscar frontrunner when it debuted at the Sundance Film Festival to being a box office failure and awards season also ran. What happened? Well, as we stated here in our review, it just wasn’t very good:
While the intentions are clearly labeled as noble, ‘The Birth of a Nation’ leaves an empty sack of emotion, resulting in one of the most blatant vanity pieces witnessed this year.
The Sundance overhype certainly hurt this flick. Furthermore, Parker did himself no favors. Basically, this is just one for the trivia books now.
Box Office: $15,861,566
The first of two Peter Berg titles in 2016 that featured Mark Wahlberg in a starring role, this is the less awards friendly one. Originally set to be a J.C. Chandor project, Berg eventually took over at the 11th hour. Most pundits ended up pleasantly surprised with how this one turned out in the end. From our site’s review of the movie:
While director Peter Berg doesn’t completely connect the dots, he promotes a tale of responsibility that will antagonize the wrath inside of all of us. ‘Deepwater Horizon’ rallies emotion in the wake of truth.
“Patriots Day” is the stronger film, but this is certainly one to consider picking up this week.
Box Office: $61,433,527
“Kevin Hart: What Now?”
A comedic concert film from actor/comedian Kevin Hart, this slightly underwhelmed during its theatrical run. Essentially, it seemed like he was trying too hard, as evidenced in this Variety take on the material:
A little of this is funny, but a lot of it raises the question: Why is the new king of comedy working so hard to grab and hold our attention? Is he secretly worried he’s going to lose it?
If you’re a Hart fan, this probably has plenty of appeal. If not, you likely need not apply.
Box Office: $23,591,043
This movie is one most folks don’t even know exists. The Wrap panned it pretty thoroughly, writing:
A spectacle without the spectacle, an autumnal, amorphous blockbuster that just sits there, suspended in mid-air, as you soak in its ceaseless banality.
Seems like an easy one to pass on.
Box Office: $3,818,664
“Broad City: Season Three”
“Homeland: The Complete Fifth Season”
“Mr. Robot: The Complete Second Season”
“Star Trek Enterprise: The Complete Series”
“The Story of God with Morgan Freeman: Season 1”
“Swamp People: Season 7”
PICK OF THE WEEK
Ben Affleck is making his bones as a superhero these days, but this odd genre piece has him playing an assassin. Affleck certainly holds it all together with a surprisingly strong performance. Furthermore, it gives this would-be action blockbuster some solid character study moments. You don’t always get that with offbeat assassin tales. Gavin O’Connor secretly has a drama within this action flick. This is part of our review from back during its opening weekend:
There’s about half to three quarters of a really solid movie to be found within ‘The Accountant.’ The rest is utterly ridiculous and almost unintentionally funny. It’s the type of film that will have a long life on cable, in particular on networks like TNT and USA.
The film isn’t especially good, but it’s strangely watchable. Affleck grounds it all as the accountant on the spectrum who also happens to be an ace assassin. If you’re looking for something in the realm of popcorn entertainment to check out, this is a worthwhile option.
Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: $86,067,647 (and counting)
Major Award: None