This week, a groundbreaking romantic comedy highlights the new releases coming to Blu-Ray and DVD. Depictions of cinematic love are commonplace during our slates, but today’s one is truly noteworthy. Read on to see why…
PICK OF THE WEEK
One day, it won’t be noteworthy at all that this romantic comedy centered around a homosexual love story. Frankly, it shouldn’t matter. In fact, the mere fact that it matters at all in 2018 is a little sad. Still, Hollywood should be making this sort of film more often, so this could be the first of many. The movie itself is exactly what you expect from a rom com, just with two teen boys. It’s a coming of age tale that’s reflective of how many teenagers realistically come of age. Our own review here at the site had this to say:
Greg Berlanti’s “Love, Simon” is an adorable teen romance that enthusiastically defies the status quo.
“Love, Simon” is another success from Greg Berlanti, as well as another calling card for star Nick Robinson. Rom com fans should pick this one up and embrace its message of inclusion and love.
Special Features: Deleted Scenes, Featurettes, and more
Total Box Office: $40,823,927
Major Awards: None yet
In honor of this week’s release of “Incredibles 2,” the pick today is obviously going to be Brad Bird‘s original. Yes, it’s “The Incredibles,” one of Pixar’s very best efforts. Furthermore, it happens to be one of the better superhero movies of all time. The film stands tall in both categories. None other than Roger Ebert raved about it at the time, writing the following:
Here’s another example of Pixar’s mastery of popular animation.
Prepare for the sequel by checking out the first one!
OTHER FILMS BEING RELEASED
Here’s a look at what else is hitting shelves today, besides the sole recommended title “Love, Simon”:
“I Can Only Imagine”
Another faith based feature, though this one did happen to catch on with audiences in a big way. Now, that doesn’t mean the quality is any better than usual, though in this case, the Rotten Tomatoes score at least was solid. Still, the same complaints remain. The Hollywood Reporter sums it up well:
Like so many faith-based efforts, I Can Only Imagine suffers from a terminal case of self-importance.
Box Office: $83,256,976 (and counting)
This nominee for Best Foreign Language Feature at the Oscars is another example of punishing Russian cinema. For some, these works are among the best international efforts of any given year. For others, they’re borderline unwatchable. The truth, as is always the case, probably rests somewhere in between. Our own review out of AFI Fest was on the negative side, stating:
Cold and lifeless are the most apt words to describe “Loveless”
You already know if this one is for you or not.
Box Office: $566,356
“An Ordinary Man”
Ben Kingsley is an incredibly talented actor. Too often, however, he seems to be a poor choice of material. Here, he at least gets a bigger role than usual. Still, it’s not on par with his talents as an actor. The Los Angeles Times had this to say about the movie in question:
Kingsley is certainly committed to the arc of tough guy stripped bare, but his gifts aren’t served well by an artificially studious attempt at applying Understanding 101 logic to a perpetrator of atrocities.
Alas. Another misfire for Kingsley.
Box Office: N/A
This animated sequel also happens to be a satirization of Sherlock Holmes. Sound appealing? Not according to the reviews. Another franchise that’s clearly run out of steam, it seems. Variety found it to be a waste of time. At least, that’s what one can take from their review, which includes this bit:
No one’s bothered to figure what this movie has to offer beyond terrifically tactile stone figures going through the motions of what might be called Generic Animated Action Rescue Plot …
Box Office: $43,135,692 (and counting)
“The Strangers: Prey at Night”
A long in development sequel to “The Strangers” probably came around far too late to be a hit. That seemed to be the general consensus, at least. Go figure, the rare horror flick to immediately capitalize with a sequel. The review from Time Out actually had that exact complaint mentioned above. Check it out:
In a moment when horror movies like Get Out and the forthcoming Hereditary earn praise for their adventurousness, these retro scares feel especially out of touch.
Only fans of the original need apply here.
Box Office: $24,586,708
This origin story for Lara Croft fell well short of its goals. The character is a strong one, prime for a kick ass female empowerment story. The film scored with Alicia Vikander in the role, but dropped the ball on everything else. It’s really a shame too, as it could have been the best video game movie yet. Alas. This is from our review, here on the site:
The reboot of “Tomb Raider” hits on its casting with Alicia Vikander, yet surrounds her with an inferior product.
Best to wait and see if a sequel manages to put the franchise on track.
Box Office: $57,421,715
Special Criterion Collection Section
“Manila in the Claws of Light”
Our only new Criterion release this week is this 1975 work out of the Philippines. From filmmaker Lino Brocka, it’s a groundbreaking docudrama, offering up a look at Manila during the 70’s. This is what the Collection has to say, as they sell the flick to all of you:
Lino Brocka achieved international acclaim with this candid portrait of 1970s Manila, a breakout example of the more serious-minded filmmaking the director had turned to after building a career on mainstream movies he described as “soaps.”
Criterion devotees should give this one a shot!
“Living Single: The Complete Fifth Season”
“One Day at a Time: The Complete Third Season”
“Orange Is the New Black: Season Five”
“Portlandia: Season Eight”
“Power: The Complete Fourth Season”
“Step by Step: The Complete First Season”
“Suits: Season Seven”
“The Office: Seasons 6-9”
“Will & Grace (The Revival): Season One”