This week, one of my absolute favorite films of 2013 headlines a decent enough slate of Blu-Ray and DVD releases. It’s easily the best title coming out today and one of the best things to hit shelves in some time, honestly. I’d imagine it’s a popular one for you the reader as well, so this should be a top pick that you’re all on board with for a change. It’s not the only worthwhile thing coming out this week, but it’s heads and tails the best of the bunch. The next few weeks are littered with top notch movies being released, many of which are Best Picture nominees, so it’s a fruitful time for the column. For now though, we’ll focus on today, and one flick in particular. For my PICK OF THE WEEK, I went with one of the films that blew me away most last year while on the festival circuit. You’ll see the one I mean momentarily, but in the meantime, why don’t we hit up the Vintage section for a bit?
In honor of this week’s release of Enemy (which I saw and found fairly intriguing, though frustrating as well. I won’t be reviewing it, but I might be up for a debate of sorts with my colleague who is later on this week), my choice here is the other collaboration between star Jake Gyllenhaal and filmmaker Denis Villenueve. It’s Prisoners, and I just recently cited it a few months ago, so I won’t go deep into it, but I will say once again that it’s a fantastic child abduction thriller. I prefer it to the low budget psychological thriller hitting theaters this weekend, though both are worth seeing. If you missed this bigger one last year, now’s the time to revisit it…
This other title that I’m about to briefly discuss is solid enough and worth picking up, but it just couldn’t compare to my top choice in any way. Still, my thumb is up here for this one, so let’s discuss it a bit now:
Easy Money: Hard to Kill
A satisfying little crime flick, I found more than enough things to like here in order to recommend it, though it’s the type of movie that likely will play better on DVD anyhow, so it’s all the more solid a recommendation here now. You can see my fuller thoughts in this review right here, but if you want a little brains to go with your action, you can do a lot worse than this film. It’s a bit different and well worth picking up this week…
Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: N/A
Major Awards: None
Other Films Being Released
Here now is just a simple list of what else is hitting shelves on this particular day, just sans my own personal recommendation. Behold them:
The Book Thief
A disappointingly bland would be Oscar player, this war drama somehow managed to bungle an almost surefire awards bait premise. You can see exactly why in my review here, but while it’s not exactly a bad movie, it’s not really a good one either, so you can safely skip it…
Box Office: $21,345,525 (and counting)
I know nothing about this new Jean-Claude Van Damme flick, but honestly…since it’s a Jean-Claude Van Damme title, doesn’t that say everything that we need to know about it? I think so, at least.
Box Office: N/A
I missed this action movie in theaters, but I heard that it’s not nearly as out there as it probably should have been. Still, it’s Jason Statham against James Franco, so that counts for something, right?
Box Office: $20,158,898
Another title I know nothing out, this suspense film barely seems to be on anybody’s radar, so make of that what you will. I’m not likely to check it out, but perhaps you will? If so, let me know how it turns out…
Box Office: N/A
Boy was this would be awards player another disappointment. The acting is solid, but frankly…it’s just plain boring, up to and including the let down of an ending. Removed from awards consideration, maybe it’s more passable, but I couldn’t help but feel that everyone involved more or less wasted their time on this one.
Box Office: $11,330,849
The Patience Stone
This foreign melodrama was just too damn slow for me. I reviewed it here and stand by my initial thoughts, though I will slightly quantify it by saying that if you watch it at home with the pause button handy, it might be easier to sit through…might be.
Box Office: $148,671
Farscape: The Complete Season Three
Rogue: The Complete First Season
Siberia: Season 1
Trinity: The Complete First Season
PICK OF THE WEEK
Inside Llewyn Davis
I’ve been upfront about not really digging the work of Joel and Ethan Coen to date, with few exceptions…well, it turns out I was just waiting for them to tackle the New York folk scene. Easily my favorite Coen Brothers movie to date, it also features an absolutely brilliant performance by Oscar Isaac. I raved about the film in my review right here, but I’ll quote myself briefly to show you just how much I loved it: “Inside Llewyn Davis is a beautiful, funny, sad, and ultimately haunting look at a struggling artist, amazingly captured in one of the performances of the year by Oscar Isaac. He’s perfect in the role, well deserving of every bit of acclaim that he’s been given…”. I could go on, but this heartbreaking flick deserves to be seen, plain and simple. It’s a crime that it wasn’t nominated for Best Picture or a bigger financial success in theaters, so now’s you’re opportunity to discover it if you somehow missed it last year. If so, don’t pass up one of 2013’s best again. I can’t recommend it enough to you!
Special Features: A Featurette…
Total Box Office: $13,214,255 (and counting)
Major Award: Nominated for Best Cinematography and Best Sound Mixing at the Academy Awards…
–What will you be watching this week? Discuss in the comments!