This week, two of the Oscar nominees for Best Picture highlight the films coming to Blu-Ray and DVD. They join another Academy Award nominee is giving today’s slate a golden shine. With such quality, we can just jump right in and discuss all of the quality cinema hitting shelves!
PICK OF THE WEEK
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Potentially our next Best Picture winner, this film emerged with raves from the fall festival circuit. As it grew closer to becoming one of the top Oscar nominees, dissenters began making their voice known. Undoubtedly divisive, yours truly still finds the movie to be among the ten best of 2017. Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell both deserve the statues they’re about to win, while Woody Harrelson was excellent as well. Kudos to filmmaker Martin McDonagh. Here’s a bit from Clayton’s rave review out of the Middleburg Film Festival:
“A savagely amusing experience, McDonagh’s film maintains its comic balance, and after beats of jokes and humor, manages to get an emotional reaction from its viewers.”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” is one of the nominees that could end up performing the best on Sunday. Despite some controversy, this remains one of 2017’s best movies. Pick it up and see why the Academy is such a fan!
Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: $50,152,203 (and counting)
Major Awards: Nominated for seven Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Actress (McDormand), and Best Supporting Actor (Harrelson and Rockwell) at the Academy Awards
The best animated film of 2017 is another smash hit for Pixar. Blending music, family, death, and Mexican culture, the company broke new ground. Personally, this movie absolutely wrecked me in third act. Seriously, tears flowed and yours truly was a complete mess. Not since “Toy Story 3” has that happened. Clayton loved it too, raving in his review, a bit of which you can find below:
“A marvelously crafted and meticulous film that matches its story with unbelievable animation.”
“Coco” is in the rare company of only a few nominees with a slam dunk win coming this weekend. It’s going to take Best Animated Feature at the Oscars. Pixar fans should grab it and add it to their collection!
Special Features: Audio Commentary, Featurettes, and more
Total Box Office: $208,032,413 (and counting)
Major Awards: Nominated for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song at the Academy Awards
Gary Oldman is only a few days away from winning the Oscar for Best Actor, finally getting that trophy on his mantle. He’s terrific in this Winston Churchill biopic from Joe Wright. A perfect companion piece with fellow nominee “Dunkirk,” there’s a lot to like here. Oldman obviously leads the way with his disappearing into the lead role. Mark summed it up well at the Telluride Film Festival, writing the following in his review:
““Darkest Hour” is a masterwork, and Oldman gives an undeniably tour-de-force performance. He is simply astonishing. Oscar beckons.”
“Darkest Hour” has something in common with its fellow nominees this week, specifically “Coco,” in that it’s winning a prize during the telecast. Oldman will win, and it’s hard to argue with that victory. If you love the actor, you owe it to yourself to grab this movie!
Special Features: Audio Commentary
Total Box Office: $54,465,467 (and counting)
Major Awards: Nominated for six Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actor (Oldman), at the Academy Awards
In honor of this week’s release of “Red Sparrow,” the pick today is going to be a better Jennifer Lawrence vehicle. Furthermore, it’s going to be one from last year, namely “mother!,” her divisive collaboration with Darren Aronofsky. Lawrence is asked to do things she’s never done before, letting loose with something absolutely riveting. Nothing else out there is like it. Clayton joins me in loving the work, putting forth the following in his review:
“One of the most disturbing, and mind shattering experiences in years, Darren Aronofsky‘s newest psychological thriller “mother!” is a merciless and chilling device.”
Lawrence is the best part of “Red Sparrow,” as you saw in our review. She’s better in her Aronofsky pairing though, so give that one a look this week instead…
OTHER FILMS BEING RELEASED
Here’s a look at what else is hitting shelves today, besides the highly recommended trio of “Coco,” “Darkest Hour,” and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”:
“78/52: Hitchcock’s Shower Scene”
A documentary all about the most iconic scene in “Psycho,” this is a cinephile’s wet dream. Focusing all in on just one moment in a film is slightly obsessive, so this won’t be for everyone. If you think you’ll appreciate it, you probably will. Time Out did, and said so in their review:
“Alexandre O. Philippe’s close reading of the Psycho shower scene is as refreshingly fun and perceptive as his documentary’s name (referring to Alfred Hitchcock’s 78 camera setups and 52 edits over three violent minutes) is eggheaded and clinical.”
“Psycho” fans should definitely grab this one.
Box Office: $37,664
Oh Al Pacino, has it come to this? Starring in barely release B-level procedurals? Apparently so. This got completely panned by critics, who have no time for Pacino making this little of an effort. The Village Voice had a negative review that summed it up pretty well:
“You may not take a single frame of this movie seriously, especially whenever Pacino is shuffling around, waving a gun and talking like he’s desperately in need of a mint julep.”
Box Office: N/A
“Just Getting Started”
Filmmaker Ron Shelton has made some classic sports movies in the past. This attempt at a comedy starring Morgan Freeman however, is no classic. In fact, it was considered one of the worst films of last year. The AV Club had no time for this one, panning it quite simply:
“Dramatically and comically impotent.”
Box Office: $6,069,605
“Murder on the Orient Express”
What would have been the worst of the Academy Award nominees, had it not been snubbed in the technical categories, this unnecessary remake is just that. Unnecessary from start to finish, it’s competent enough but never gives you a reason for its existence. Clayton was gentle in his negative review on the site, writing the following:
“Kenneth Branagh‘s attempt to bring the classic to our modern society fails to find a natural rhythm…”
What a waste of money and talent.
Box Office: $102,816,689 (and counting)
Special Criterion Collection Section
Our only new Criterion release for the week is an Oscar winner, appropriately for this time of year. In fact, it’s a Best Picture winner. Furthermore, it’s likely an under-seen one too, so kudos to Criterion for selecting this title. Here’s a bit from the Collection about this film:
“In the early 1960s, at the height of the British New Wave, director Tony Richardson and playwright John Osborne set out for more fanciful territory than the gritty realism of the movement they’d helped establish.”
Academy Award historians would do right to pick this one up!
“Diff’rent Strokes: The Complete Seventh Season”
“Green Acres: The Complete Fifth Season”
“MacGyver: Season One”