This week, a handful of 2018 awards season titles hit Blu-Ray and DVD. Chief among them is “Boy Erased,” “Suspiria,” and “The Wife.” Those three lead the way today, though there are a few other things hitting shelves as well. Let us dive in and take a look!
PICK OF THE WEEK
It was a bit shocking to see this prestige outing from Joel Edgerton ignored by the Academy. The subject matter, the cast, and the performances by the said cast are all things that Oscar gravitates towards. It even had a short-listed Original Song. Then, it wound up shut out. Regardless, Lucas Hedges and Nicole Kidman are incredibly compelling here in this emotional true-life tale. Clayton loved it at the Toronto International Film Festival, raving about it in the following manner:
An intimate and enthralling look into the internal conflict between religious standards and free-wielding choice, Joel Edgerton‘s deeply felt “Boy Erased” is an important and immersive experience
“Boy Erased” is the sort of drama that benefits from a second viewing. Even yours truly needed a revisit in order to really see it for what everyone else has.
Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: $6,788,692
Major Awards: Nominated for three Golden Globe Awards
In a few weeks, Glenn Close is probably going to win the Oscar for Best Actress. It’s a bit strange that it’ll be for this film, but better late than never, right? Close is a powerhouse in this character study, even when the narrative fails her. Without her, the movie wouldn’t work at all. She single-handedly keeps it afloat. Soon, she’ll have an Academy Award to show for it. This is a bit from our review right here on the site:
Without her, the movie would be chilly, self serious, and overly sure that it’s being clever, when in fact it’s not. With her, it’s a flawed character study with a leading central turn. She just manages to push it over the finish line.
“The Wife” is elevated by Close, no doubt about that. Pick it up, if for no other reason than to see the performance that’s finally going to get her recognized by the Academy.
Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: $8,706,510 (and counting)
Major Awards: Nominated for Best Actress (for Close) at the Academy Awards
In honor of this week’s release of “Miss Bala,” the pick today is going to be the directorial debut by filmmaker Catherine Hardwicke. It’s “Thirteen,” one of the most troubling coming of age stories ever. Holly Hunter, Nikki Reed, and Evan Rachel Wood are stunningly good here, bringing realism to what otherwise could have seemed melodramatic. Roger Ebert was very fond of it at the time, writing the following:
Sets a technical problem that seems insoluble, and meets it brilliantly, finding convincing performances from its teenage stars. showing a parent who is clueless but not uncaring, and a world outside that bedroom window that has big bad wolves.
Get ready for Hardwicke’s latest by revisiting this one!
OTHER FILMS BEING RELEASED
Here’s a look at what else is hitting shelves today, besides the recommended duo in “Boy Erased” and “The Wife”:
Gerard Butler makes some very strange choices. In a way, he’s become the poor man’s, Nic Cage. Unfortunately, he’s not nearly as interesting to watch, so far too often, you’re just puzzled by what he’s doing. This throwaway submarine film is yet another example of this. What he saw in the project, that escapes me. How Gary Oldman and company also came along for the ride? That baffles. IndieWire was decidedly not impressed, as you can see:
Even among Gerard Butler vehicles, this one sinks right to the bottom.
Chalk it up to another misfire for Butler.
Box Office: $15,767,460
“The Nutcracker and the Four Realms”
Disney suffered a rare misfire with this big-budget retelling of the classic story. Bright and garish, it also wound up being far too boring to capture much in the way of attention. In addition, Keira Knightley is let loose, chewing scenery in a way that never quite works. However, not everyone feels that way. Here on the site, even, we have an alternate take to share with you. Behold:
Overall, this is a film for families to enjoy. It doesn’t break new cinematic ground, and it might be nice to see the story moved into a more modern era. But its celebration of both science and art make it a worthwhile choice this season.
If that sounds up your alley, give it a shot.
Box Office: $54,858,851
This remake proved rather divisive last year. It never made sense as Luca Guadagnino’s follow up to “Call Me By Your Name,” but that’s hardly what split audiences and critics. The decidedly austere and dark version of the classic Giallo horror movie bears only a passing resemblance to the original. That can be a huge positive at times. Unfortunately, despite committed turns by Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton, and more, it becomes a slot to get through. Guadagnino’s epic running time and lack of focus keeps this from reaching its full potential. Our take on the site sums it up well, whether you love or hate it:
The term “arthouse film” was invented for the likes of Luca Guadagnino’s “Suspiria.”
It’s worth watching, just keep your expectations in check.
Box Office: $2,483,472
Special Criterion Collection Section
“In the Heat of the Night”
For our only Criterion release to discuss this week, we have a Best Picture winner. “In the Heat of the Night” won five Oscars, though it’s as well known for being a staple of Civil Rights era Hollywood cinema. Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger star, and while the latter won an Academy Award, the former has one of the most enduring quotes in movie history. The Collection pitches it to you like so:
Director Norman Jewison splices incisive social commentary into this thrilling police procedural with the help of Haskell Wexler’s vivid cinematography, Quincy Jones’s eclectic score, and two indelible lead performances—a career-defining display of seething indignation and moral authority from Poitier and an Oscar-winning master class in Method acting from Steiger.
Poitier fans, in particular, should make it their business to pick this one up!
“Ballers: The Complete Fourth Season”
“Crashing: The Complete Second Season”
“Kidding: Season One”