New Blu-Ray/DVD Releases (08/01/17) – Anne Hathaway Goes ‘Colossal’ and TV’s ‘Big Little Lies’

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This week, cult favorite in the making “Colossal” comes to Blu-Ray and DVD, along with only a few other things of note. Today’s assortment leaves a lot to be desired, so there’s a clear cut top choice. Sometimes that’s the case. In this case, it’s a recommendation by proxy. You’ll see why shortly. As always with groupings like this, we just roll with the punches. We’ve done it before. We can do it again. Onward!

PICK OF THE WEEK

Colossal

To some, this is among the best films of 2017 so far. To others, including yours truly, it’s a flawed yet unique work worthy of respect. An interesting failure, through and through. To be sure, Anne Hathaway is great, as is Jason Sudeikis. The concept is fantastic. The execution? Well, that leaves a bit to be desired. Furthermore, the decision to explain things somewhat doesn’t work. That being said, that’s a minority opinion. Our own review here at the site was very positive. Here’s a taste:

There’s something about “Colossal” that is made for cult fandom. It takes a movie star previously thought of as safe and reinvents her in a monster movie. Add in a whopping of off-kilter humor and interesting layers of gender politics, and you have “Colossal.”

“Colossal” stands out from the crowd, that’s for sure. Plus, with a weak slate like we have today, it’s the best bet. Give it a shot.

Special Features: Deleted Scene
Total Box Office: $3,029,287 (and counting)
Major Awards: None yet

Vintage Viewing

This week, we’re going to do things a little differently. I lost my grandfather over the weekend, and those of you who have been readers of the site for years will know that he loved movies. He was also for years basically my stand in for the average Academy member. As such, my tribute to him is going to be a few recommendations to honor him. One, obviously, has to be “Marty,” since that was his name. Martin Unger, in case you were wondering. Back to the film. It’s a classic, so if you haven’t seen it, get on it. In addition, Ernest Borgnine is phenomenal.

The other recommendation today will be anything Mel Brooks related, as he was probably his favorite filmmaker. Especially if you opt for “Blazing Saddles” or “Young Frankenstein,” you’ll be watching something that always made him laugh. If Brooks had Gene Wilder involved, my grandfather was delighted. Plus, they’re both all time great comedies. You shouldn’t need a reason to revisit them, but here’s one anyway. Hopefully you watch at least one at some point this week. Rest in peace Pop. I miss you.

Other Films Being Released

Here’s a look at what else is hitting shelves today, besides “Colossal”:

The Circle

This long delayed adaptation of the Dave Eggers book apparently wasted a ton of talent. James Ponsoldt behind the camera? Check. Tom Hanks in front of it? Check. Additionally, a premise ripe with promise. And yet, a major disappointment. Once upon a time, this had awards aspirations. Now, it just hopes to avoid Razzie attention. A review here on the site says as much:

Ultimately, “The Circle” never grapples with the ethical concerns Millennials face beyond quick reactionary moments. Instead, The Circle’s “Internet” is a nefarious means to an end.

What a shame. Expectations were high here. “Colossal” isn’t perfect either, but the flaws are far less pronounced. That separates the recommended one from the pack.

Box Office: $20,497,844 (and counting)

Going in Style

Zach Braff‘s remake of the original caper comedy had a hell of a cast. Alan Arkin, Michael Caine, and Morgan Freeman are always compelling, so watching them try to rob a bank is no exception. The original has its charms. This one doubles down on acting charisma to satisfy its audience. Time Out was amused enough by it:

All three stars deliver exactly what you expect from them — nothing more, nothing new — but their onscreen familiarity is a strange comfort in itself.

This isn’t high art, that’s for sure. Still, it’s good for a chuckle. Plus, it’s Braff’s third directorial outing. Fans of his should take note. In addition, fans of the veteran acting trio have comfort food here.

Box Office: $45,018,541

The Lovers

An adult character study. That’s rare these days. It shouldn’t be, but it is. Sad to say. That’s another story though, for another time. In addition, this is a rare Tracy Letts leading man turn. Here’s what a review of ours on the site had to say about this one:

“The Lovers” isn’t going to be your saucy date night out. It’s a nice film that seems almost tailor-made for someone to watch on Netflix in bed after a long day.

Keep your expectations low and you might enjoy.

Box Office: $2,194,521 (and counting)

Sleight

This low budget offering from Jason Blum and company never really caught on after a Sundance Film Festival debut. His company specializes in easier sells, simply put. Reviews were solid though, including this one from The Hollywood Reporter:

Magic tricks become shorthand for the power of personal transformation in JD Dillard’s modestly scaled thriller that’s equally an accessible domestic drama.

Genre fans could be interested, at the very least. Besides that, Blum’s fans have a smaller option than usual to indulge in.

Box Office: $3,930,990

Wakefield

Bryan Cranston gets a rare leading role here, though for some, the film wasn’t strong enough to support his work. Reviews overall were mixed to positive. Our take from last year’s Telluride Film Festival was on the positive side:

“Wakefield” is quirky and fun once you allow yourself to get past the self-centered titular character, and Cranston fans will certainly want to seek it out whenever they can find it.

Seems like Cranston fans mainly need apply here. If you’re one of them, it’s a must see.

Box Office: $262,599 (and counting)

TV Releases

“The Best of Harvey Korman”
“Big Little Lies: Season One”
“Crashing: The Complete First Season”
“Fortitude: Season 2”
“He’s With Me: Seasons 1 & 2”
“Secret World Of Alex Mack: Complete Series”

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

  • farmer6

    thanks for your thoughts.

    most disappointing to us about “the circle” was its misleading promotion. the film (as opposed to the novel) is not a “suspense thriller”; it’s a coming of age drama.

    also disappointing has been the attention-challenged critical response. we watched it a second time, with no pre-conceptions. it’s a good, entertaining, although a bit elliptical, film, whose subject (target) is the growing sub-culture of people beholden to their gadgets (and the entities that control them), ready to zing at a moment’s notice.

    now that worldwide box office has grown and the film apparently has earned a profit, i hope more people see it on blue ray/dvd, without the promotional or critical background noise. it’s “warnings” are actually pretty significant, even if many viewers are a bit defensive about them. and, as even some of the harshest critics acknowledge, some of the performances are very fine.

    • Joey Magidson

      Duly noted.