This week, the most recent Best Picture winner comes to Blu-Ray and DVD. Yes, for better or worse, it’s “Green Book” leading the charge today. With a less than stellar slate, it’s the best option we have. Read on for more…
PICK OF THE WEEK
In a bit of an upset, this buddy comedy pulled out the Oscar for Best Picture. Peter Farrelly‘s road movie was a hit with audiences and Academy Award voters, if not quite as popular on Film Twitter. Regardless, Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen delivered strong work in an effort that is as old fashioned as it is hard to resist. From the Hamptons International Film Festival, here is our rave:
“Green Book” is an absolute crowd-pleaser from start to finish, hitting all the right notes along the way. It’s the type of feel-good movie people refer to when they say, “they don’t make ’em like that anymore”
“Green Book” proved to be way more divisive than expected. Still, if you remove controversy, overhype, and politics from the equation, it’s a solid crowdpleaser. For this week, it’s also your best bet.
Special Features: Featurettes
Total Box Office: $80,140,871 (and counting)
Major Awards: Won Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (for Ali), and Best Original Screenplay at the Academy Awards
“Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes”
This documentary on the former Fox News chairman Roger Ailes is equally horrifying and illuminating. A monster who was actually taken down by the #MeToo movement, tracing his rise and fall made for a compelling movie. Our take from the New York Film Festival included this bit about the doc:
The dumpster fire that is the modern political discourse can be directly linked to the rise of Roger Ailes. The former Fox News chairman went from daytime talk show producer to Richard Nixon‘s media guru, which got him his foot in the door. From there, he went on to change the world. The effect of that is the focus of “Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes,” a documentary with a lot to say.
Doc/political junkies should give “Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes” a chance. It won’t leave you on a high note, but it’s certainly important work to take in.
Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: $38,510
Major Awards: None yet
“Then Come You”
A younger skewing romance, Asa Butterfield and Maisie Williams share some very nice chemistry here. They’re traversing well worn territory as they fall in love before the inevitable tragedy, but the good easily outweighs the bad. Film Threat had this positive take about the love story:
[It] has a little of every romantic film that you’ve seen in the past two decades, and even though it’s not quite original, it still is a good film that will give you a lump in your throat.
“Then Came You” doesn’t reinvent the wheel. However, it does turn on the charm enough to work. For that reason, it’s worth giving a look to.
Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: N/A
Major Awards: None yet
In honor of this week’s release of “Five Feet Apart,” the pick today is obviously going to be another YA romance tinged with disease. It’s, of course, “The Fault in Our Stars,” which is an underrated gem. Few romantic tales have made as many cry, while making major bank at the box office, as this one. Our rave review here on the site had this to say about it:
Tenderly directed by Josh Boone, expertly adapted by supremely talented scribes Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, and brilliantly acted by Shailene Woodley, this is a very special movie, full of emotion but also plenty of humor and joy as well.
Prep for this doomed teenage romance by revisiting one of the best we’ve had in years!
OTHER FILMS BEING RELEASED
Here’s a look at what else is hitting shelves today, besides the recommended trio of “Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes,” “Green Book,” and “Then Came You”:
“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald”
A sequel to “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” reviews of this “Harry Potter” spinoff were largely pans. The franchise sure appears to be out of gas. Chiefly, the consensus was that it ended up being bloated and unworthy of the investment it asked of its audience. Variety dismissed it as such:
“Fantastic Beasts” assumes a similar level of engagement with its swollen dramatis personae, without allowing the time or putting in the work to earn it.
Unless you’re a huge Potter fan, this series seems to have run out of steam.
Box Office: $159,555,901
This would be noir was so poorly received even its own director has disowned it. Amber Heard and Billy Bob Thornton should have fired their agents for agreeing to appear in this. Ineptly mounted and hard to comprehend, it’s a complete and total disaster. From our absolute pan of a review here on the site:
One of 2018’s very worst movies, it should have stayed on the shelf where it belonged. It’s barely watchable and is a black mark on the resumes of everyone in this cast.
Avoid this one at all costs.
Box Office: $252,676
An expensive flop for Peter Jackson and company, this high concept effort did not find a willing crowd in theaters. In fact, Jackson’s niche documentary effort last year has made more money at the box office, if you can believe it. The Hollywood Reporter had this to say:
Certainly lavish and expensive looking but never thoroughly locks in to capture the imagination or sweep you off to a new world where you particularly want to spend time.
Box Office: $15,951,040
Undeniably stylish but equally off-putting, Christopher Abbott and Mia Wasikowska are certainly game for this bizarre effort. Unfortunately, the longer it goes on, the less enjoyable and weirder it gets. Your mileage may vary, but yours truly was not a fan. The A.V. Club agreed, as you can see below:
After a briefly discombobulating fake-out twist, Piercing can’t seem to figure out how to advance or complicate its sick-joke premise.
This is definitely not for everyone. Whether it’s for you or not, that’s up to you and your taste for dark cinema.
Box Office: $15,856
This drama, also starring Abbott, along with Jason Mitchell, largely flew below the radar when it opened late last year. For those who saw it, the ones who skipped it apparently missed out. Entertainment Weekly certainly found plenty to like about it:
A tense social satire that speaks to its moment even if it ends with a fizzle instead of the cathartic gut-punch you’re waiting for.
Another one to consider this week!
Box Office: $21,456
Special Criterion Collection Section
“The Kid Brother”
The first of two new Criterion releases to discuss this week is a Harold Lloyd western movie. The silent era comedian has a definite following, if one that’s less heralded than some other silent film stars. The Collection wants to give him his due, however. Their pitch to you goes like this:
Silent-comedy legend Harold Lloyd goes west in this irresistible blend of action, romance, and slapstick invention.
If you love Lloyd, this is something to consider acquiring!
“The Magic Flute”
Our other title joining the Collection today is another effort from the master filmmaker Ingmar Bergman. A mainstay for this company, if you’re into his work, this should be a must have. The Criterion write-up for this one is an interesting one, indeed:
This scintillating screen version of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s beloved opera showcases Ingmar Bergman’s deep knowledge of music and gift for expressing it cinematically.
Bergman fans should definitely pick this one up!
“Alice: The Complete Ninth Season”
“The Last Ship: The Complete Fifth Season”
“The Last Ship: The Complete Series”