New Blu-ray/DVD Releases (04/18/17) – M. Night and McDonald’s

This week, McDonald’s gets the cinematic treatment in one of the top titles coming to Blu-ray and DVD. Along with the first hit in a while from M. Night Shyamalan, we have a unique little slate to dive into today. Take a gander below!

PICK OF THE WEEK

The Founder

It was quite a shame what happened with this very solid biopic. The Weinstein Company just couldn’t figure out a plan of attack, reducing a nomination-worthy performance by Michael Keaton into an also-ran. This tale of how Ray Kroc came to “found” McDonald’s was bungled by Harvey Weinstein. In the end, time will be kind to this one. Rolling Stone was similarly a fan, writing:

How is Michael Keaton’s performance as McDonald’s self-proclaimed founder Ray Kroc? I gotta say, I’m lovin’ it. Keaton makes this electrifying take on the godfather of fast-food resonate for the scary here and now.

If the origin of McDonald’s compels you at all, or if you love character studies, this one is for you.

Special Features: Behind the Scenes
Total Box Office: $12,778,096 (and counting)
Major Awards: None

Recommended Movie(s)

Before the Flood

A powerful documentary on climate change from Leonardo DiCaprio and director Fisher Stevens. This plea for action was barely released and played on television, but that doesn’t take anything away from it. It was one of the best docs of 2016, bar none. Here’s a bit from our review found right here on the site:

Far from a celebrity joy ride around the world – the film’s considerable carbon footprint is offset by a voluntary tax – DiCaprio displays an undeniable passion for the issue at hand.

This is the exact opposite of McDonald’s food: It doesn’t go down easy, but it’s quite good for you. Furthermore, it’s just plain important. Make time for this doc!

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

Vintage Viewing

In honor of this week’s release of “Free Fire,” today’s pick is sort of a cinematic cousin to this one. It’s “Reservoir Dogs,” which shares one very key element with Ben Wheatley‘s film. Quentin Tarantino‘s debut has had tons written about it, but while “Pulp Fiction” is the one that launched 1000 imitators, this is the one that Wheatley must love. The Los Angeles Times raved about it once upon a time, writing:

Tarantino’s palpable enthusiasm, his unapologetic passion for what he’s created, reinvigorates this venerable plot and, mayhem aside, makes it involving for longer than you might suspect.

If you like the end of Tarantino’s flick, you’ll love this new one from Wheatley! Plus, it’s just strong all around.

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Other Films Being Released

Here’s a look at what else is hitting shelves today, besides the recommended duo of “Before the Flood” and “The Founder”:

Ocean Waves

This animated tale from Studio Ghibli received almost no buzz, and yet, it received solid reviews. One such review came from indieWIRE, which stated:

Spreads its paper-thin story across a stodgy 72 minutes, but there’s a warmth to it that prevents the film from ever feeling as two-dimensional as it looks on screen.

If you’re into their work, seek this one out.

Box Office: $83,962

Punching Henry

An indie follow-up/sequel to “Punching the Clown,” nobody saw this flick. The pundits who did, however, dug it, including this take from Variety:

Sharply observed and understatedly amusing …

Take a look.

Box Office: N/A

Sleepless

A throwaway action flick that was dumped earlier this year, everyone basically treated it as such. The Hollywood Reporter had this to say:

Never rising above the level of generic B-movie, ‘Sleepless’ represents the sort of disposable fare typically dropped into theaters in January.

Pass.

Box Office: $20,783,704

Split

The latest from M. Night Shyamalan was a surprise smash hit, crossing the $100 million mark with ease. Some have even tried to make the long shot case that star James McAvoy will be remembered come awards season. That’s far too high praise for an overrated film, but it goes to show how much people like this filmmaker when he’s on. Here’s what The Associated Press had to say about this one:

‘Split’ isn’t a disaster; it’s just all over the place and not nearly as effective as it should be for something with such a good premise and performances.

To again use McDonald’s as an analogy, this is cinematic junk food. Make of that what you will.

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Box Office: $137,818,960 (and counting)

Special Criterion Collection Section

Buena Vista Social Club

First up today getting the Criterion treatment is this beloved documentary. Here’s a bit from the distributor:

Traveling from the streets of Havana to the stage of Carnegie Hall, this revelatory documentary captures a forgotten generation of Cuba’s brightest musical talents as they enjoy an unexpected encounter with world fame.

COPY CODE SNIPPET

Give this one a look. It’s really top notch.

Woman of the Year

The other movie joining the collection this week is this star-studded affair. Here’s a taste from Criterion‘s site:

George Stevens’s ‘Woman of the Year,’ conceived to build on the smashing comeback Katharine Hepburn had made in ‘The Philadelphia Story,’ marked the beginning of the personal and professional union between Hepburn and Spencer Tracy.

Another fine selection!

TV Releases

“Hawaii Five-O: The Complete Original Series”
“John Lewis: Get in the Way”
“Killjoys: Season Two”

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

    I’ve long been more lukewarm on Split than most, but Before the Flood and The Founder are solid options for sure.