This week, young ones with adult-like intelligence come hot and heavy among the new Blu-Ray and DVD releases. There’s the melodrama “Gifted,” as well as the animated “The Boss Baby” to contend with. They’re thematically paired today, but hardly the only things hitting. In fact, at least one other release is of note, and it’s a would be blockbuster. Let’s see what else is coming to shelves below…
PICK OF THE WEEK
Director Marc Webb manages to overcome cliche after cliche in effectively telling this story. A large part has to do with the performances from Chris Evans and Mckenna Grace. They’re both strong in a movie obsessed with getting you to tear up. Also, Webb expertly uses music to bring out emotions. Throughout, its heart is in the right place. Here’s what we had to say in our “Gifted” review here at the site:
Without question, you’ve seen something like “Gifted” before. In fact, the plot developments in the film are almost entirely predictable. This drama doesn’t miss a single cliche in the book, but at the same time, it handles them nearly perfectly. That makes for a surprisingly good movie, one that’s in no way original, but still manages to place a well-timed lump or two in your throat.
“Gifted” isn’t a rousing success, but it does work more often than it doesn’t. If it sounds like your sort of thing, give it a shot. In addition, if you want to see Evans do something non-superhero-related, this should be up your alley.
Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: $24,717,703 (and counting)
Major Awards: None yet
In honor of this week’s release of “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power,” the pick today is as clear as day. It’s “An Inconvenient Truth,” the Academy Award-winning documentary. Al Gore terrified us in this doc, laying out a future that he hoped we could avoid. The former Vice President helped score a well-deserved Oscar for the picture. Back at the time, Rolling Stone raved about it, stating:
It grabs you like a thriller with an ending that will haunt your dreams.
Both the new documentary and the previous installment are incredibly timely. Watch one in preparation for the other.
Other Films Being Released
Here’s a look at what else is hitting shelves today, besides “Gifted”:
“The Boss Baby”
One of the year’s very worst releases, this wastes the voice of Alec Baldwin and insults the intelligence of all who view it. Here’s a bit from our pan of a review at the site:
Piecing together the logic of “The Boss Baby” is an absolute fool’s errand. Still, it’s better than actually following the plot of this cartoon, one that consistently lowers your expectations. Between the occasionally double edged humor that teeters on the edge of filth and the paper thin premise, there’s almost nothing here of worth.
Avoid this one at all costs. Furthermore, just pretend it doesn’t exist. Watch “Gifted” instead. Go for a walk. Do anything else, really. Just don’t bother with “The Boss Baby.”
Box Office: $174,319,686 (and counting)
“Ghost in the Shell”
Scarlett Johansson is wasted in this expensive boondoggle meant to launch a new franchise. Visually interesting but whitewashed and derivative, it’s a clear misfire. Hopes were high for this one initially. That makes the failure all the more frustrating. Plus, its failure again put the brakes on a live action “Akira.” Alas. The Hollywood Reporter had this to say about it:
A heavily computer-generated enterprise with more body than brains, more visuals than ideas, as if the original movie’s hard drive had been wiped clean of all that was dark, poetic and mystifying.
A real disappointment.
Box Office: $40,563,557
This throwaway thriller came and went pretty quickly. The AV Club dismissed it in a review thusly:
With its formulaic story and hackneyed dialogue, all there is to do in between moments of self-aware outrageousness is admire the decor …
Pass. Hard pass, in fact.
Box Office: $11,368,012
Special Criterion Collection Section
“Lost in America”
This week’s new Criterion entry is Albert Brooks‘ terrific satire. Here’s a bit from the Collection about the film:
In this hysterical satire of Reagan-era values, written and directed by Albert Brooks, a successful Los Angeles advertising executive (Brooks) and his wife (Julie Hagerty) decide to quit their jobs, buy a Winnebago, and follow their Easy Rider fantasies of freedom and the open road.
If you enjoy Brooks and his work, definitely pick this one up. You won’t regret it!
“Diff’rent Strokes: The Complete Sixth Season”
“Duck Dynasty: Season 11”
“Emerald City: Season One”
“Girls: The Complete Sixth Season”
“Pretty Little Liars: The Complete Series”
“Pretty Little Liars: The Complete Seventh and Final Season”