New Blu-ray/DVD Releases (03/28/17) – Patriots, Priests, and Modern Women

This week, one of 2016’s most underrated films in “Patriots Day” hits Blu-ray and DVD, along with a host of other titles. They include Martin Scorsese‘s latest, a Harry Potter spinoff and much more. Plus, there’s even a really strong Vintage pick to check out. With a variety like this, let’s just dive right in!

PICK OF THE WEEK

Patriots Day

The Boston Marathon Bombing is turned into a riveting procedural in “Patriots Day,” the best film that Peter Berg has crafted to date. Mark Wahlberg is at the top of of his game here, while the final moments will leave you in tears. Oscar ignoring “Patriots Day” was one of the more puzzling elements of the 2016 awards season. The movie is just outstanding, from the acting to the editing to the score. Clayton had this to say in his rave review:

‘Patriots Day’ has lots to celebrate. An unblemished ensemble, partnered with a near perfect crafts team, makes for a pure sentimental outing at the movies.

“Patriots Day” deserved to have been noticed by the Academy. Instead, make it your business to pick this one up and revel in its effective storytelling.

Special Features: Featurettes
Total Box Office: $31,886,361
Major Awards: None

Recommended Movies

20th Century Women

This film contains perhaps the best ending of any 2016 release. Beyond that, it’s just a beautiful character study well worth cheering for. Mike Mills one ups himself after “Beginners” and gave star Annette Bening one of the best roles of her career so far. It’s tremendously good stuff. Clayton loved it as well, writing the following out of the New York Film Festival:

Clever and beautifully endearing, Mike Mills‘ beautiful portrait of five people in the late 1970s is one of the year’s most glamorous efforts. Vaunting an exceptional ensemble, Mills’ wistful and ingenious script stands tall above the competition.

The movie is terrific. Consider this a 1A and 1B situation with “Patriots Day” for top honors this week. In addition, that ending will leave you in tears.

Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: $5,598,948 (and counting)
Major Awards: Nominated for Best Original Screenplay at the Academy Awards

A Monster Calls

One of the more unusual awards contenders in some time, this coming-of-age story never really found an audience. Too adult for kids and too odd for more seasoned moviegoers, it fell short everywhere. That doesn’t mean the quality isn’t there, however. Here’s a bit from our review out of the Toronto Film Festival to prove it:

‘A Monster Calls’ undoubtedly wears its heart on its sleeve. In fact, it almost feels too tender-hearted and well-intentioned to criticize.

This isn’t an amazing film, but it’s a solid one that’s worthy of your attention.

Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: $3,740,823
Major Awards: None

Silence

Martin Scorsese finally got this passion project to the screen last year. The result? A film that audience members and pundits couldn’t quite agree on. Some of us found it lacking, while others thought it was an out and out masterpiece. Clayton was blown away by it in a profound way, joining the chorus in the latter category, writing:

‘Silence’ is imperative to our landscape. It is the crown jewel of Martin Scorsese’s modern career, and in time, could be the defining film that history will use to represent him – his magnum opus.

That high praise might not be shared by all of us, but ambitious filmmaking like this can lead to that sort of a response. Plus, if you’re a Scorsese fan, you should definitely check it out, if only to see what was on his mind all these years.

Special Features: Featurette
Total Box Office: $7,100,177
Major Awards: Nominated for Best Cinematography at the Academy Awards

Vintage Viewing

In honor of this week’s release of “Ghost in the Shell,” the pick today is going to be another stylish flick starring Scarlett Johansson. It’s “Under the Skin,” which really showcased the talented actress in a whole new way. She gives the performance of a lifetime as an alien experiencing our world. Furthermore, it’s unlike anything else you’ve ever seen, truly. Here’s some of our highly positive take on the film:

Prepare to see Scarlett Johansson as you’ve never seen her before folks, in more ways than one, too. With ‘Under the Skin,’ Johansson has given a tour de force performance, naked both emotionally and physically.

Johansson is special in this one. As a result, she’s found a newfound level of respect in her career. Before you see her new effort, make time for this one!

Other Films Being Released

Here’s a look at what else is hitting shelves today, besides the recommended quartet of “20th Century Women,” “A Monster Calls,” “Patriots Day” and “Silence”:

Arsenal

A throwaway crime movie starring the wasted pair of Nicolas Cage and John Cusack, this is nothing of any note. The New York Times was kinder than most in their review, stating:

Despite solid acting (including John Cusack as a plainclothes detective), ‘Arsenal’ is hobbled mainly by its director’s histrionic tendencies.

Moving on.

Box Office: N/A

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

The first film from the Potter universe to be recognized by Oscar (which is an interesting bit of trivia), this fantasy flick was a smash hit. In addition, the critical consensus was decently solid too, easily launching this franchise a second time. Our review on the site was mixed, stating the following:

There are a lot of things to like about ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.’ But, it is not quite as magical as the Harry Potter series from which it is derived.

If this is your thing, pick it up and enjoy!

Box Office: $233,985,873 (and counting)

A Tale of Love and Darkness

Natalie Portman directed this drama, which divided critics somewhat. Rolling Stone was a fan of it though, putting forth this bit:

Every frame of ‘A Tale of Love and Darkness’ reflects Natalie Portman’s passionate striving and her grieving heart.

If you love Portman, give this a shot.

Box Office: $572,212

Why Him?

A raunchy comedy with a heck of a good cast, this flick just never fully came together in a satisfying way. Entertainment Weekly summed it up well in their review, writing the following:

It all works in theory. But the execution’s off.

Alas.

Box Office: $60,323,786

Special Criterion Collection Section

Blow-Up

This 1966 classic joins the collection today. Criterion has this to say about it:

In 1966, Michelangelo Antonioni transplanted his existentialist ennui to the streets of swinging London for this international sensation, the Italian filmmaker’s first English-language feature.

Fans of Antonioni should certainly pick this one up!

TV Releases

“Agent Hamilton”
“Archer: The Complete Season Seven”
“The Dick Van Dyke Show Now In Living Color Volume 1”
“The Undertaker: Seasons 1 & 2”
“The Undertaker: Season 3”

Thoughts on what to watch this week on Blu-ray or DVD? Share them in the comments below!

About Joey Magidson

When he’s not obsessing over new Oscar predictions on a weekly basis, Joey is seeing between 300 and 350 movies a year. He views the best in order to properly analyze the awards race/season each year, but he also watches the worst for reasons he mostly sums up as "so you all don't have to". In his spare time, you can usually find him complaining about the Jets or the Mets. Still, he lives and dies by film. Joey's a voting member of Indiewire's Criticwire Network as well as the Internet Film Critics Association.
  • Joey Magidson

    It’s a really solid slate. Definitely something worth picking up for just about everyone!