This week, the Marvel Cinematic Universe takes us to Wakanda with the top pick coming to Blu-Ray and DVD. Today we have another thin slate, so the Marvel offering “Black Panther” very much stands tall. Throw in the Vintage Pick being a comic book movie too, and the group is rather superhero centric. Both films are tremendous though (as is one of our TV releases), so it’s quality above quantity here.
PICK OF THE WEEK
Wakanda Forever! The Marvel Cinematic Universe went in a whole new direction here, winning over fans and gaining early Oscar buzz in the process. Ryan Coogler showed how you can make a deeply personal blockbuster for Marvel. The MCU is lucky to have him. Chadwick Boseman wears the crown well, while Michael B. Jordan is one of the best villains in recent comic book movie history. TIME Magazine raved in a very unique way:
Black Panther is set largely in Wakanda, with a detour to South Korea. Still, there’s no shaking the feeling that this is what America looks like when it’s allowed to be its truest, freest self. That’s a superhero challenge if ever there was one.
“Black Panther” has been holding on strong ever since February, showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, “Avengers: Infinity War” has renewed interest in heading back to Wakanda. Now, you can visit from the comfort of your own home.
Special Features: Audio Commentary, Deleted Scenes, Featurettes, and more
Total Box Office: $696,186,611 (and counting)
Major Awards: None yet
“And Then I Go”
This melodrama about a pair of bullied teens turning to violence is all too timely. Films of this ilk always have to walk a tightrope. This one managed to compel while never talking down about its subject matter. The Hollywood Reporter distilled it down to its essence in their review, writing the following:
A disturbing drama of teen disaffection, Vincent Grashaw’s feature provides an essential and insightful perspective that will resonate with audiences attuned to the challenges of adolescence.
“And Then I Go” won’t provide escapism to Wakanda, but it does address a real world concern in an effective way. “Black Panther” is better, but this is well worth seeking out as well.
Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: N/A
Major Awards: None yet
In honor of this week’s release of “Deadpool 2,” the pick today is rather obvious. Of course, it’s going to be “Deadpool.” The role Ryan Reynolds was born to play, this character was a breath of fresh air for the superhero genre. The sequel is excellent too, though the first one damn near scored some Academy Award nominations. Here is a bit from our rave review on the site:
Operating on a very specific wavelength, this is not just the most meta superhero film to date, it’s also one of the best.
Both films are terrific, as you can see in our rave reviews on the site (here is the new one). Be sure to revisit the first one before diving in to the second one this weekend!
OTHER FILMS BEING RELEASED
Here’s a look at what else is hitting shelves today, besides the highly recommended duo of “And Then I Go” and “Black Panther”:
This thriller is not the Desmond Tutu biopic that we may one day get. Forest Whitaker plays him opposite Eric Bana in one of those flicks that’s “based on real world events,” whatever that means. Reviews were mixed at best, with The Village Voice having this to say:
Unfortunately, this movie has so many damn things percolating all through it that it ultimately seems unfocused and painfully earnest.
Unless you’re a fan of Bana or Whitaker, this seems like nothing worth seeking out.
Box Office: N/A
Yet another faith based offering, this one attempts to be a big biblical epic, with poor results. Furthermore, for a purported family affair, it’s apparently incredibly violent. The Wrap mentions this in their pan of a review, stating:
The movie’s most interesting clashes aren’t between Samson and the Philistine royals, but between Pure Flix’s intent to create “clean” entertainment and the obvious bloodthirstiness of the source material.
Box Office: $4,719,928
Putting James McAvoy and Alicia Vikander in a Wim Wenders movie should be a recipe for awards contention. Instead, it has one of the lower Rotten Tomatoes scores of the year so far. Alas, this is what happens from time to time with talented people. Variety dismissed it for wasting the substantial talent in the following way:
Even two glamorous and well-matched stars of the moment can’t do much to undermine the Wenders meander.
Sounds like a waste of talent here.
Box Office: N/A
Special Criterion Collection Section
“The Other Side of Hope”
Our one and only new Criterion release this week is a rather recent film. It’s Aki Kaurismäki‘s Finnish comedy “The Other Side of Hope.” This is a political movie, but not in the way that you might expect. It tackles an issue in a very human way. The Collection makes the case for it like so:
This wry, melancholic comedy from Aki Kaurismäki, a response to the ongoing global refugee crisis, follows two people searching for a place to call home.
Kaurismäki fans should jump on this one!
“Masterpiece Mystery: Unforgotten Season 2”
“Rick and Morty: Season 3” *Joey’s Pick*
“The Shannara Chronicles: Season Two”
“Silent Witness: Season Five”