This week, a cult classic returns with a would be awards player and blockbuster in “Blade Runner 2049.” That’s the cream of the Blu-Ray/DVD crop today. There are other titles of note hitting shelves, including one of 2017’s worst films, but the aforementioned sequel is the one to focus on. Here we go!

PICK OF THE WEEK

Blade Runner 2049

This long delayed sequel managed to do something difficult. It honored the original while going in a completely new direction. Harrison Ford returns to one of his iconic roles, Ryan Gosling is fantastic, and Denis Villeneuve continues to showcase directorial skills that few others possess. Simply put, it was, against all odds, essential cinema. “Blade Runner 2049” stands on its own two feet. Clayton was a fan, preferring it to the original, as he wrote here in his review on the site:

Denis Villeneuve‘s outstanding interpretation of a troubling story is one of the year’s most vibrant movie experiences.

“Blade Runner 2049” is about as ambitious as tentpole cinema can get. It’s a must own!

Special Features: Featurettes
Total Box Office: $91,847,732 (and counting)
Major Awards: Nominated for seven BAFTA Film Awards

Vintage Viewing

In honor of this week’s release of “The Final Year,” the pick today is another political documentary that had some incredible access. It’s “The War Room,” which is the gold standard when it comes to docs about politics. That one follows the Bill Clinton election campaign, as opposed to the Barack Obama foreign policy team. Both are tremendous though. Entertainment Weekly had this to say about the older one:

The War Room is a giddy celebration of clean tricks.

“The Final Year” is incredible, so don’t miss it!

Other Films Being Released

Here’s a look at what else is hitting shelves today, besides the recommended title “Blade Runner 2049”:

9/11

Sigh. Has any film plot in recent memory sounded like worse of an idea as this one? Seriously. It’s stunning that anyone funded it. Plus, the fact that actors and actresses chose to appear in it. The Hollywood Reporter rather savagely panned it in their review, stating:

Proves so exploitative that its end credits’ dedication to the victims and first responders feels tawdry.

Why would anyone bother?

Box Office: $170,000

Happy Death Day

Another Jason Blum success story, this horror take on “Groundhog Day” has made a pretty penny at the box office. As an added bonus, reviews have been pretty solid too. Variety gave it a passing grade in their write up, remarking:

“Happy Death Day” is “Groundhog Day” dipped in blood, and if the movie isn’t all that clever, it’s just clever enough to get by.

If you normally dig Blumhouse flicks, perhaps give this one a shot…

Box Office: $55,683,845

Loving Vincent

This animated Academy Award contender takes Vincent van Gogh and avoids just making a paint by numbers (no pun intended) biopic. In addition, it’s one of 2017’s most beautiful movies. Time Out praised it heavily in their review, including the following statement:

Part mystery, part visual experiment, ‘Loving Vincent’ is a reverent ode to the 19th century painter Vincent van Gogh.

Likely about to be an Oscar nominee, this pays to go seek out. Consider it a strong second option, in addition to “Blade Runner 2049.”

Box Office: $6,436,225 (and counting)

The Snowman

Mister Police, they gave you all the clues…that this would be one of 2017’s very worst films. Michael Fassbender plays Harry Hole (it sounds like porn, but it’s not) in a mystery where every single moment works to make you think it was a comedy. It’s not though, fueling the ineptness. That doesn’t even take into account what Val Kilmer is doing in it. Buzzfeed News ran down the litany of offenses in their review (mainly just in the form of bullet points about it’s terribleness), including this bit:

… the movie itself is an inept misfire – the kind of entrancing train wreck that makes you long for a behind-the-scene tell-all to explain what, exactly, went so wrong.

Stay far away from this one. You’ve been warned. Even editor Thelma Schoonmaker couldn’t save this mess.

Box Office: $6,700,035

Special Criterion Collection Section

I, Daniel Blake

Our only Criterion release today is this very recent Ken Loach drama. A critical favorite back in 2016, it’s high praise for a new release to debut in this format. That should tell you a lot about the quality of the movie here. This film wowed at the Cannes Film Festival, making the sales pitch by the Collection fairly easy:

An urgent response to the political realities of con­­tem­porary Britain, this bracing drama from celebrated filmmaker Ken Loach takes a hard look at bureaucratic injustice and ineptitude through the eyes of an unassuming working-class hero.

If you like Loach, this is one to definitely pick up!

TV Releases

“Better Call Saul: Season Three”
“Commander: The Complete Series”
“Outlander: Season 1 – The Ultimate Collection”
“S.W.A.T.: The Complete Series”
“Trial & Error: The Complete First Season”

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