New Blu-ray/DVD Releases (04/04/17) – A Rogue Star Wars Story and Grief in ‘Newtown’

This week, 2016’s best documentary in “Newtown” runs up against a Rogue blockbuster. They’re two of the most notable titles coming to Blu-ray and DVD today, making for a great top tier. The slate overall is pretty great, which should make for some good weekend home film viewing, should you choose to stay in. Check it out below!

PICK OF THE WEEK

Newtown

The best documentary of 2016 was also one of the hardest to watch. The Sandy Hook tragedy, in which 20-year-old Adam Lanza fatally shot 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School, will always loom large in our minds. The film, too, is absolutely devastating. One scene here in the doc featuring a law enforcement officer struggling to recount what he saw will absolutely wreck you. Variety had this to say about it:

Kim A. Snyder’s Sandy Hook documentary is an elegant, devastating portrait of a town in mourning.

“Newtown” won’t draw in the same audience as more crowd-pleasing fare, but it’s arguably a far more important picture. If you can take it, be sure to give it a shot. The film is tough, but more than worthwhile!

Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: $14,109
Major Awards: None

Recommended Movies

Paterson

Adam Driver turned in outstanding work in this tender character study from filmmaker Jim Jarmusch. Amazingly poetic, there’s almost a Bruce Springsteen song vibe to the proceedings. Poetic in both form and in feeling, this is a gentle movie that amassed a bit of an indie cult following during 2016. Here’s a bit from our review out of the New York Film Festival last year:

‘Paterson’ reflects the poetry found in life rather effectively. Jarmusch creates a very good film, with Driver elevating it to something great.

If you’re a fan of Driver or Jarmusch, “Paterson” is a must see.

Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: $2,114,806 (and counting)
Major Awards: None

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

This first Star Wars spinoff was far better than its troubled production history first suggested. “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” was always going to make tons of money, but the critical acclaim was a definite bonus. Here’s some of our very positive review on the site:

‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ successfully achieves everything it sets out to do. Action-packed and glorious in its engaging and oftentimes exotic dimensions of storytelling, it is absolutely stirring.

“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” is all the more impressive for being able to thread such a thin needle. In addition, it synchs up so perfectly with the main saga. It deserved every single bit of praise that it received. Just don’t expect a Rogue One sequel.

Special Features: Featurettes
Total Box Office: $531,712,496 (and counting)
Major Awards: Nominated for two Oscars at the Academy Awards

Youth in Oregon

A dramedy that played last year at the Tribeca Film Festival, this really flew under the radar. Frank Langella is terrific at the head of this ensemble, acing a tricky role. The Village Voice was one of the few places to see the true value of this flick, writing the following:

‘Oregon’ is more than a bittersweet look at a man deciding to end his life before he’s too invalid to have a say in the matter: It’s a study of how plain ol’ stubbornness can keep a family forever brimming with dysfunction.

Take a leap of faith with “Youth in Oregon” and check out this unique little movie!

Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: N/A
Major Awards: None

Vintage Viewing

In honor of this week’s release of “Going in Style,” the pick today is a previous directorial outing from Zach Braff. It’s “Wish I Was Here,” Braff’s sophomore feature. It was maligned for Braff’s use of Kickstarter, but it’s truly an underrated gem. Here’s a small taste of our rave review from a few years back:

This is an often hilarious and sometimes even profound dramedy.

“Going in Style” is not going to be “Rogue One” at the box office, but it could wind up a surprise hit. “Wish I Was Here” wasn’t “Garden State” in the least, but it’s a charming effort that deserves a second chance.

Other Films Being Released

Here’s a look at what else is hitting shelves today, besides the recommended quartet of “Newtown,” “Paterson,” “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” and “Youth in Oregon”:

Blue Gold: American Jeans

This documentary is, of all things, literally about blue jeans. And yet, it presents itself as a unique look at something almost no one thinks about on a day-to-day basis. It has managed to impress those who have seen it, as seen in this review here at Red Carpet Crash:
Watch the documentary for its novel topic, excellent narration, talented direction and successful cinematography.
The doc should fascinate those with a love of fashion but an interest in how clothes impact life, as opposed to the other way around.

The Book of Love

This dramedy played last year at Tribeca as well, though it was met with almost universal pans. It sports a 0 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, which is hard to pull off for a well-intentioned indie. Unfortunately, it just seemed to waste a talented cast. Still, that’s where it finds itself. What a pity. The Los Angeles Times had this dismissal of it to share with its readers:

For a film that’s trying very hard to make you feel, it sure leaves you cold.

Alas.

Box Office: N/A

Office Christmas Party

A bawdy comedy with a ton of comedic talent in the cast, this one probably should have wound up more satisfying. The Hollywood Reporter wasn’t particularly impressed, stating:

With all the sharp comic timing on hand, this party should feel lighter, swifter, more agile.

What a shame.

Box Office: $54,767,494

TV Releases

“The Best of Tim Conway”
“Desperate Housewives: The Complete Fifth Season”
“Diff’rent Strokes: The Complete Fifth Season”
“The Good Wife: The Complete Series”
“Lost: The Complete Fifth Season”
“Medium: The Complete Series”
“Vice Principals + Eastbound & Down: The First Seasons”

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

    Rogue One will clearly get most of the attention, but be sure to consider Newtown, Paterson, and Youth in Oregon as well.