This week, a dog movie will make you cry and a number of wannabe Academy Award players will make you wonder what might have been. Those are the highlights coming to Blu-Ray and DVD today. It’s a mediocre slate, though one with more than its fair share of variety. Read on for more!

PICK OF THE WEEK

A Dog’s Way Home

Fair warning: if you love dogs, this canine adventure will make you cry. Seriously. Dog movies often do this, but this one, in particular, is almost “Marley and Me” level tears. Is it manipulative? Sure. But the manipulation 100% works. The tears come hot and heavy. That’s a compliment too. Variety had this to say:

This family-friendly adventure, reminiscent of ‘The Incredible Journey,’ follows a tried-and-true but heartwarming path.

A Dog’s Way Home” will give your emotions a workout. If you think you can handle it, this is worth a look.

Special Features: Deleted Scenes, Featurettes, and more
Total Box Office: $42,004,346
Major Awards: None yet

RECOMMENDED MOVIE(S)

On the Basis of Sex

Once upon a time, this Ruth Bader Ginsburg biopic was seen as a major Academy Award frontrunner. Unfortunately, the tale never quite took off. Well made and inspiring in the end, part of the issue is Armie Hammer outshone star, Felicity Jones. When Marty Ginsburg is more interesting at times than RBG herself, that’s an issue. Not a huge one, but part of why it fell short of Oscar expectations. Entertainment Weekly put forth this take:

A suitably inspiring biopic despite its narrative unevenness and occasional reliance on schmaltz…

On the Basis of Sex” works best when removed from awards consideration. Without that baggage, it’s a solid, if old fashioned, biopic about an important modern figure.

Special Features: Featurettes
Total Box Office: $24,622,687
Major Awards: None

VINTAGE VIEWING

In honor of this week’s release of “Mary Magdalene,” the pick today is none other than a prior pairing between Rooney Mara and Joaquin Phoenix. Yes, it’s “her,” one of the best films of the past decade. Spike Jonze created a masterpiece, with Phoenix breaking your heart and Mara part of an ace supporting cast. Here’s a small bit from our out and out rave here on the site:

Jonze has crafted something…amazing here. It’s a magical miracle of a movie in every single way.

Be sure to revisit “her” ASAP!

OTHER FILMS BEING RELEASED

Here’s a look at what else is hitting shelves today, besides the recommended duo of “A Dog’s Way Home” and “On the Basis of Sex”:

Berlin, I Love You

The latest in this anthology series is incredibly uninspiring. Further evidence that the concept has run out of steam, so much of this would be romance falls flat. Not one storyline ever captures your attention. The Wrap was very unimpressed:

It’s important to stress that these storylines simply happen and don’t actually unfold. In other words, scenes aren’t allowed to breathe or to be processed. They merely arise.

The franchise has run its course.

Box Office: N/A

Holmes & Watson

A comedy misfire from Will Ferrell, this latest pairing with John C. Reilly just did not land at all. One of Ferrell’s worst-reviewed outings, it inspired some out and out scathing reviews. For example, Rolling Stone absolutely hated it, as you can see below:

It’s so painfully unfunny we’re not sure it can legally be called a comedy.

This is a severe disappointment, plain and simple. Ferrell and Reilly are capable of so much better. Audiences and critics just did not want to see them play Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, at all.

Box Office: $30,573,626

Mirai

A nominee for Best Animated Feature at the Oscars, this GKIDS offering just couldn’t compete with the bigger animation outings of last year. That doesn’t take away from its quality but speaks more to its competition. The Hollywood Reporter enjoyed it, as seen in this simple take:

A sweet child’s-eye view of the world.

GKIDS fans should definitely pick this one up!

Box Office: $812,794

Welcome to Marwen

For months, we wondered what to make of Robert Zemeckis‘ latest dramatization of a well-regarded documentary. Could it contend for Academy Award recognition? In short, no. Despite some interesting visual effects, the heart and soul of the project gets largely buried. From our negative review here on the site:

A good tearjerker is hiding within “Welcome to Marwen,” buried beneath technological quirk and poor pacing. Robert Zemeckis, in turning the documentary “Marwencol” into a feature film, has focused on all the wrong aspects.

What a missed opportunity.

Box Office: $10,763,520

Special Criterion Collection Section

Night on Earth

Interestingly, both of the two new Criterion releases to discuss this week are works from Jim Jarmusch. This anthology tale is one of Jarmusch’s most purely entertaining offerings to date. The Collection pitches it to you in the following manner:

Five cities. Five taxicabs. A multitude of strangers in the night. Jim Jarmusch assembled an extraordinary international cast of actors (including Gena Rowlands, Winona Ryder, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Béatrice Dalle, and Roberto Benigni) for this quintet of transitory tales of urban displacement and existential angst, all staged as encounters between cabbies and their fares. Spanning time zones, continents, and languages, Night on Earth winds its course through scenes of uproarious comedy, nocturnal poetry, and somber fatalism, set to a moody soundtrack by Tom Waits.

Jarmusch fans should definitely pick this one up!

Stranger Than Paradise

Our other Jarmusch title joining the Collection today is the film that really made him a name to follow on the indie scene. Without this work, we likely wouldn’t have the filmmaker as the respected figure he is today. This is what Criterion has to say about it:

With this breakout film, Jim Jarmusch established himself as one of the most exciting voices in the burgeoning independent-film scene, a road-movie poet with an affinity for Americana at its most offbeat.

Another work of his to consider today!

TV RELEASES

“Bancroft”
“Dirty John”
“Double Dragon Animated Series: The Complete Series”
“Masterpiece: Mrs. Wilson”
“Project Blue Book: Season One”
“Ray Donovan: Season Six”

THOUGHTS ON WHAT TO WATCH THIS WEEK ON BLU-RAY OR DVD? SHARE THEM IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!

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