This week, more of 2016’s best and most honored come to Blu-ray and DVD. The main trio today are all Academy Award-nominated films, so you know it’s a high-profile slate. In addition, Criterion is putting out one of the main inspirations for “La La Land.” Check out what’s coming to Blu-ray and DVD today, below:
PICK OF THE WEEK
The best foreign release of 2016 was also nearly an Oscar winner. The Academy nominated “Toni Erdmann” in Best Foreign Language Feature, and rightly so. It contains the single funniest scene of last year, bar none. Awards Circuit’s Mark Johnson saw it at the Telluride Film Festival and enjoyed it, for the most part, writing the following:
‘Toni Erdmann’ is an odd and hilarious film, with obscene and tawdry slapstick.
Divisive to some, this is still a unique movie that’s well worth seeking out!
Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: $1,440,377 (and counting)
Major Awards: Nominated for Best Foreign Language Feature at the Academy Awards
For a brief moment, this true-life crowd-pleaser nearly made a play for a surprise Best Picture win. Nominated for three Academy Awards, “Hidden Figures” also made a ton of bank. By the end of the season, getting that Best Picture nomination went from a long shot to a foregone conclusion. Nearly everyone who saw it really dug it, including our Editor-in-Chief Clayton Davis, who put forward this review on the site:
‘Hidden Figures’ is a faithful and truly beautiful portrait of our country’s consistent gloss over the racial tensions that have divided and continue to plague the fabric of our existence.
There’s much to like about this one, so even if the Academy didn’t give it any wins, their embracement is still enough to make it easy to recommend.
Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: $168,286,064 (and counting)
Major Awards: Nominated for three Academy Awards, including Best Picture
The Weinstein Company again found an irresistible product to feed to Academy voters. This drama hit almost all of the right buttons. The film – including its ending and obvious play for tears – is incredibly effective. Clayton found much to like when he saw and reviewed it out of the Middleburg Film Festival last fall:
‘Lion’ is a compelling piece of entertainment – energetic, absorbing and robustly constructed.
Harvey Weinstein retains his magic Oscars touch.
Special Features: Deleted Scenes
Total Box Office: $51,375,398 (and counting)
Major Awards: Nominated for six Oscars at the Academy Awards, including Best Picture
In honor of this week’s release of “The Lost City of Z,” the pick today is going to be a previous effort from filmmaker James Gray. It’s “Two Lovers,” which might very well be his masterpiece. Tremendously acted, heartbreaking and mature, it’s nearly perfect cinema. The Hollywood Reporter was fond of it as well, writing the following:
A throwback to the days when love in the movies involved the mind as well as the heart.
Gray’s new movie is quite good as well, and might even be able to grab the attention of the Academy. In the meantime, check out one of his previous efforts.
Other Films Being Released
Here’s a look at what else is hitting shelves today, besides the recommended trio of “Hidden Figures,” “Lion” and “Toni Erdmann”:
“The Bye Bye Man”
A long-delayed horror title, this sort of came and went without much fuss. Rolling Stone shrugged it off as such:
There may be worse horror films than ‘The Bye Bye Man’ this year, but there will be none that shows more contempt for its intended audience.
Seems like one to just move along quickly from.
Box Office: $22,395,806
It’s not every day that a studio announces they’ve got a loser on their hands well in advance of release. This, however, was a special animal. And yet, the occasional review was kind, including this one on our site:
‘Monster Trucks’ is better than it has any right to be, even when the silliness threatens to spill into absurdity.
Make of that what you will.
Box Office: $33,370,166
“War on Everyone”
An action comedy of sorts that met with a strangely mixed reception, considering the filmmaker. John Michael McDonagh was feted heavily for “The Guard” and “Calvary,” but this one did not receive such acclaim. In fact, some pundits really disliked it. Entertainment Weekly was one that didn’t care much for it, writing:
Crass, senseless, and relentlessly talky, ‘War on Everyone’ mostly seems like a movie at war with itself.
What a shame, considering the talent involved.
Box Office: N/A
A solid drama featuring J.K. Simmons, this sort of slipped below the radar. The Los Angeles Times was one outlet that shined a light, though, stating:
It’s an often tender, affecting film that slowly creeps up on you – then completely takes hold.
If you like Simmons, this could be another one to consider.
Box Office: $60,298
Special Criterion Collection Section
“The Umbrellas of Cherbourg”
The first of two releases today by filmmaker Jacques Demy to get the Criterion treatment, this was partly the inspiration for “La La Land.” Here’s a bit from their site:
The angelically beautiful Catherine Deneuve was launched to stardom by this dazzling musical heart-tugger from Jacques Demy.
If you loved Damien Chazelle’s musical, check this one out to see some of where his spark of genius came from.
“The Young Girls of Rochefort”
The other Demy title joining the collection is this one, which Criterion writes about as such:
Jacques Demy followed up ‘The Umbrellas of Cherbourg’ with another musical about missed connections and second chances, this one a more effervescent confection.
Take a look!
“Father Knows Best: Season Five”
“Mars: Season One”
“Silicon Valley: The Complete Third Season”
“The Story of God with Morgan Freeman: Season Two”
“Top Gear: Complete Season 23”
“Veep: The Complete Fifth Season”