This week, the brilliant yet divisive new installment of the “Star Wars” saga represents the cream of the Blu-Ray/DVD crop. There’s not a ton of new releases hitting shelves today, as most are smartly getting out of the blockbuster’s way. “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is a force to be reckoned with, after all. Still, there are other options, if space operas aren’t your thing. Take a look!
PICK OF THE WEEK
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”
Don’t let the internet ruin this one for you. The newest “Star Wars” outing, this is among the best installments from the franchise to date. Bold, exciting, and unafraid to take risks, it really was one of the most fun films of last year. Bravo to filmmaker Rian Johnson for pulling it off. Time Out explains just how much this was a success in their rave review:
“Rolling up with the kind of intergalactic swagger that gives us a cosmically infuriating phone prank within the first five minutes, Star Wars: The Last Jedi is a work of supreme confidence: witty, wild and free to roam unexplored territory.”
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” continued the strong run for the franchise since starting back up again a few years ago with “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Without question, “Star Wars” is alive and well folks. Pick it up and enjoy!
Special Features: Audio Commentary, Deleted Scenes, Featurettes, and more
Total Box Office: $619,967,829 (and counting)
Major Awards: Nominated for four Oscars at the Academy Awards
In honor of this week’s release of “Ready Player One,” the pick today is going to be another special effects bonanza from Steven Spielberg. Of course, the best of that bunch for Speilberg would be “Jurassic Park,” which re-wrote the rules of blockbuster effects. Much has been written about the franchise starter, so there’s little to add. It remains a bit of popcorn perfection. We can just take this bit from the New York Times review:
“Mr. Spielberg has great fun with every last growl and rumble signaling the approach of danger…”
“Jurassic Park” has a place in history just like “Star Wars” does. Before seeing Spielberg’s latest, double back to one of his classics.
OTHER FILMS BEING RELEASED
Here’s a look at what else is hitting shelves today, besides the sole recommended title “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”:
“Acts of Violence”
Another week, another throwaway Bruce Willis B movie. Aside from “Death Wish” a few weeks ago, Willis seems to be almost exclusively doing this sort of schlock. The Hollywood Reporter dismissed this one pretty succinctly in their shrug of a review:
“Acts of Violence evaporates from your mind while you’re watching it.”
At this point, should we expect anything else out of Willis?
Box Office: N/A
“The Last Movie Star”
Burt Reynolds hasn’t been given a leading man part in what feels like a generation. Arguably, you have to go back to “Boogie Nights” to really rave about a performance of his. Not everyone was fond of this character study, but Forbes was, writing:
“…a love letter to Reynolds that manages to adore him unsentimentally, understanding that revealing the flaws can result in a fuller, richer portrait”
If you’re a Reynolds fan, this is the best role he’s had in a long time.
Box Office: N/A
The latest from filmmaker Lynn Shelton is coming out in theaters at the same time as a home video release. That normally wouldn’t bode well for a movie, but reviews have been pretty strong. Over at indieWIRE, the acting was heavily praised, as you can see:
“Jay Duplass and Edie Falco anchor the movie with some of the very best performances in both of their careers.”
Shelton fans should seek this one out.
Box Office: N/A
Special Criterion Collection Section
“King of Jazz”
Our first Criterion release today is a relic from the days of Old Hollywood and extravagant movie musicals. If that’s your thing, you could be in for a treat here with this 1930 release. After all, these were a delight to scores of people back in the day. The Collection sells it to you like so:
“Made during the early years of the movie musical, this exuberant revue was one of the most extravagant, eclectic, and technically ambitious Hollywood productions of its day.”
Musical fans would do well to pick this one up!
“Women in Love”
Also joining the collection this week is this bit of insanity from notably filmmaker Ken Russell. Few were as out there as Russell, so know that going in. He starts at bizarre and goes from there. Criterion has fans of his, for sure, as you can see in their description of the movie:
“With this film, the audacious Ken Russell vaulted onto the international stage, drawing on the psychosexual radicalism of D. H. Lawrence’s classic novel to shatter taboos in his own time.”
If you’re curious about Russell, give this one a shot.
“The Americans: The Complete Fifth Season”
“Batman The Animated Series: Volume 2”
“Brokenwood Mysteries: Series 4”
“Legion: Season One”
“One Day at a Time: The Complete Second Season”
“The Outer Limits: Season 1”