This week, some obscure character named Han Solo gets a film of his own, while Mackenzie Davis gets a starring vehicle. They represent the highlights coming to Blu-Ray and DVD today. It’s a top heavy list, as we’ve been seeing a lot of lately, but there’s some quantity here as well. Time to dive in!
PICK OF THE WEEK
“Izzy Gets The F*ck Across Town”
Mackenzie Davis finally gets a film to full on lead with this punk rock dramedy. Davis is terrific here, rising above a film that occasionally goes in strange directions. Without her, it would have been an interesting failure. With her, it’s a small scale winner. Davis had a terrific one two punch this year with the film in question, as well as with “Tully.” She’s truly having a moment. This is what we said about the movie in our positive review here on the site:
Mackenzie Davis has never been better than she is here. Paired with her tremendous turn in “Tully” earlier in the year, 2018 is showcasing her skills like never before.
“Izzy Gets The F*ck Across Town” showcases Davis in just the right way. If you’re a fan of her, this is one to give a shot to.
Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: $20,208
Major Awards: None yet
“Solo: A Star Wars Story”
Is this film fairly unnecessary? Yes. Is it also pretty fun? Yes. This prequel answers questions we never needed answers to, while also crafting an enjoyable “Star Wars” adventure. The less it actually focuses on who Han Solo is, the better. The more the movie gets into what Han Solo does, adventure-wise, then it’s on firm ground. Remove all the controversy, the 11th-hour change to Ron Howard as director, etc. As a middle of the road “Star Wars” flick, it works. Plus, Donald Glover as Lando rules. Clayton was mixed in his review, which you can see a positive bit from here:
“Solo: A Star Wars Story” has the makings of a rewatchable and enjoyable flick for a popcorn night.
“Solo: A Star Wars Story” is still a real curiosity. It’s especially worth diving into these special features. Some of the deleted scenes actually would have been better served playing in the film. Pick up the Blu-Ray and see for yourself…
Special Features: Deleted Scenes, Featurettes, and more
Total Box Office: $213,767,512
Major Awards: None yet
In honor of this week’s release of “All About Nina,” the pick today will be another tremendous outing from star Mary Elizabeth Winstead. It’s “Smashed,” which marked the first time yours truly pushed her for Oscar attention. Her turn as an alcoholic was a real breakthrough. Her new flick is her best work to date, but this isn’t far off. Here is a bit from our rave at the time of release:
Of course, the main selling point and asset for James Ponsoldt’s flick is the nomination worthy lead performance by Mary Elizabeth Winstead. She’s absolutely captivating here, doing work way above and beyond that of her already solid resume.
Make it your business to see “All About Nina” on Friday. Winstead is Academy Award worthy.
OTHER FILMS BEING RELEASED
Here’s a look at what else is hitting shelves today, besides the two recommended titles in “Izzy Gets The F*ck Across Town” and “Solo: A Star Wars Story”:
Oh boy. Where to start with this one? Not content to just a terrible biopic. Not just a poor decision by John Travolta, this mob story also took the Donald Trump route in regard to critics. The powers that be went after those who panned the movie, saying it’s somehow an us against them the situation. Instead, this is just a terrible flick, worthy of all insults hurled its way. You don’t get a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes by accident. The Hollywood Reporter sums it up well:
The film is pretty terrible: poorly written, devoid of tension, ridiculous in spots and just plain dull in others.
A must miss.
Box Office: $4,343,227
“Hot Summer Nights”
Timothee Chalamet and Maika Monroe co-starring in a movie that no one has heard of? That seems unlikely, but here we are. This 1990’s set drama apparently has style to burn, but ultimately came up short, quality wise. Alas, as Chalamet and Monroe probably deserved better. Entertainment Weekly wasn’t a fan of the flick, writing the following:
Essentially a humid, fantastically soundtracked pile of screenwriting clichés about a disaffected teen discovering sex, drugs, and trouble one Cape Cod summer circa 1991.
Hardcore Chalamet lovers only need apply here.
Box Office: N/A
“Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich”
One of the weirder films of the year, and that’s putting it mildly. Seriously, you can barely explain what this one is about. A B-movie from the word go, it’s as out there as it gets. This franchise has literally had a dozen entries before this one, but you don’t need to be familiar. Essentially, it’s evil Nazi puppets on a rampage. You probably already know if this is for you or not. Personally, it’s fun, if a bit too ridiculous to fully work. Believe it or not, this got pretty decent reviews overall. Time Out had this to say in their thumbs uptake:
The Littlest Reich is no Shoah but it does play around in the slop of real-life genocide and that makes it strangely transgressive. If you’re in the right mood — not too self-serious — you’ll get off on its vengeful payback.
Those of you in the mood for something different might want to check this out.
Box Office: N/A
This new interpretation of the classic story did not really manage to connect with audiences. In fact, one can argue that it wound up trying to mainstream itself too much. As you can see in this review from The New Yorker, that’s part of why it fell short. It’s not bad, mind you. Just…not what it should have been. Anyway, take a look:
They have pruned, or purged, the drama until it runs just over an hour and a half, and, in so doing, mislaid its nervous languor.
This should have been better.
Box Office: $1,252,960
A movie based on a commercial starring NBA star Kyrie Irving. Executives greenlit that. That’s where we are in 2018. This basketball comedy comes from some rather craven beginnings. That being said, it apparently turned out better than you could have expected., from Irving on down Still, it’s not good enough to recommend. Variety had this to say about it:
“Uncle Drew” may be tired, but it shows that one’s fundamental love for the game never gets old.
Box Office: $42,469,946
Special Criterion Collection Section
Our first of two new Criterion releases to talk about this week is this sophomore outing from Andrei Tarkovsky. The Russian master filmmaker has a lot of options to choose from, but this is the current one that The Criterion Collection is swooning over. Rightly so, too. This is what the Collection has to say in their sales pitch:
Tracing the life of a renowned icon painter, the second feature by Andrei Tarkovsky vividly conjures the murky world of medieval Russia.
If you want some early Tarkovsky in your life, pick this one up!
“A Raisin in the Sun”
The other new addition to the Collection today is a classic big-screen telling of a classic Broadway show. Sidney Poitier took his stage role to cinemas and blew us away. Seriously, this is a classic for a reason. Criterion goes all out in explaining why this is something truly special, as you can see below:
Lorraine Hansberry’s immortal A Raisin in the Sun was the first play by a black woman to be performed on Broadway. Two years later, the production came to the screen, directed by Daniel Petrie. The original stars—including Sidney Poitier and Ruby Dee—reprise their roles as members of an African American family living in a cramped Chicago apartment, in this deeply resonant tale of dreams deferred.
This is a must own!
“9-1-1: The Complete First Season”
“Billions: Season Three”
“DC’s Legends of Tomorrow: The Complete Third Season”
“Dynasty (2017): Season One”
“The Gifted: Season One”
“Perfect Strangers: The Complete Fifth Season”