This week, one of the most underrated films of 2017 comes to Blu-Ray and DVD in “Last Flag Flying.” The movie headlines a pretty small group of movies hitting shelves today. This unique little film was snubbed by the Academy, but one of the other high profile releases is currently basking in the afterglow of Oscar nominations. See below to find out which one!
PICK OF THE WEEK
“Last Flag Flying”
Richard Linklater brought his style of a hang-out movie to middle-aged characters in this adaptation of the book of the same name. Itself (as a novel) a sequel of sorts to “The Last Detail,” which fascinated folks before release, “Last Flag Flying” was sadly ignored in theaters. That’s a shame, as Steve Carell is amazing in one of the three central roles. Teamed with Bryan Cranston and Laurence Fishburne, Carell shines. The film is as funny as it is heartbreaking. Truly, it’s something special. Plus, Linklater fans should have eaten it up. In a perfect world, “Last Flag Flying” would have been an across the board Oscar player. Clayton was a big fan, raving about it here on the site back at the New York Film Festival:
Linklater creates his own type of war film, done in the mannerisms and dialogue we’ve come to expect from the iconic filmmaker. The final result stands tall as one of his finest works yet.
“Last Flag Flying” deserves to be discovered now that it’s out on Blu-Ray and DVD. For how snubbed it was during the season, it can now find its audience. Plus, it’s just quality cinema. Pick this one up and enjoy!
Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: $965,481
Major Awards: None yet
This Oscar-nominated foreign comedy is certainly an acquired taste. If you get on its vibe, however, you likely will have a great time with it. Up for Best Foreign Language Feature at the Academy Awards, it could even be in line to win the prize. Time Out was a fan of the movie, writing the following in its review:
If the film has any flaw, it could be that it juggles too many good ideas. But why complain about that?
Were it not for “Last Flag Flying” this week, “The Square” would certainly be the top pick. If you like weird flicks, this one should be for you!
Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: $1,360,807 (and counting)
Major Awards: Nominated for Best Foreign Language Feature at the Academy Awards
In honor of this week’s release of “A Fantastic Woman,” the pick today is going to be another Academy Award nominated foreign film. It’s “The Broken Circle Breakdown,” which is just a heart-wrenching movie. Additionally, it has an amazing soundtrack. Just try and watch the scene involving a rendition of If You Needed Me and try not to cry. You’ll fail. The AV Club had this to say:
Once viewers adjust to the cognitive dissonance between intense Flemish dialogue and English performances of country and bluegrass songs, The Broken Circle Breakdown is a film that will likely stick with them long after the credits roll.
It’s a good week for foreign cinema, so dive right in!
Other Films Being Released
Here’s a look at what else is hitting shelves today, besides the recommended duo of “Last Flag Flying” and “The Square”:
“Boo 2! A Madea Halloween”
This sequel from Tyler Perry certainly is trying to capitalize on the admittedly silly idea of putting Madea in a horror comedy. Terrible reviews suggest that a second bite at the apple was especially unnecessary. Here is a bit from the pan that The Hollywood Reporter put out:
In the end, the scariest thing about Boo 2! is the idea that A Madea Easter might be next.
Box Office: $47,319,572
“God’s Own Country”
BAFTA nominated, as well as a bit of a British Independent Film Awards mini-juggernaut, this romance is an independent flick with a nice little pedigree. As such, there’s probably an audience out there waiting for something like this. This our review found here on the site:
It’s incredibly refreshing to see a gay romance not revolve around societal pressures or tragedy.
Give it a shot if you like what you’ve read.
Box Office: $324,414 (and counting)
“Professor Marston & the Wonder Women”
An intriguing double feature with “Wonder Woman” (though a kinkier one, for sure), this biopic fell through the cracks at the end of the year. It’s not nearly as family friendly a tale as the superhero film, but this might be the more interesting take. Reviews were strong, including this one from Rolling Stone:
The story of the polyamorous trio who created D.C.’s iconic Amazonian hero doesn’t skimp on the kinky sex – or the sense of female empowerment. You’ll never look at Wonder Woman in the same way again.
One to certainly consider picking up if you’re a Wonder Woman fan…
Box Office: $1,584,759
Special Criterion Collection Section
Our first Criterion release today is one of two titles from German filmmaker G. W. Pabst (mentioned briefly by Michael Fassbender in “Inglourious Basterds“). This one is his take on the disaster film, based on an actual near calamitous event. Here’s what the collection had to say about it:
When a coal mine collapses on the frontier between Germany and France and traps a team of French miners, workers on both sides of the border spring into action, putting aside national prejudices and wartime grudges to launch a dangerous rescue operation.
If you’re curious about Pabst, consider this part of your crash course!
Our other release for the week to join the Collection is another film from none other than G. W. Pabst. This one is his war movie, which all auteurs eventually take a crack at. Criterion makes their sales pitch as such:
G. W. Pabst brought the war movie into a new era with his first sound film, a mercilessly realistic depiction of the nightmare that scarred a generation, in Germany and beyond.
Another Pabst film to potentially pick up…
“Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street: Season One”
“East West 101: Series 1”
“Masterpiece: Victoria Season 2”
“Ray Donovan: Season Five”