This week, one of my favorite films of 2013 is the headliner of a rather decent slate of Blu-Ray and DVD releases. To me, it’s easily the best title coming out today and one of the better things to hit shelves in a few weeks. I’d imagine it’s not exactly an insanely popular one for you readers, or at least not as much as it is for me, but maybe this could be a top pick that you’re all willing to revisit based on my recommendation. It’s not the only worthwhile thing coming out this week, but in my eyes it’s heads and tails the best of the bunch. For my PICK OF THE WEEK, I went with one of the films that really impressed me last year while at the New York Film Festival. You’ll see the one I’m speaking of momentarily, but in the meantime, why don’t we hit up the Vintage section for a little bit?
In honor of this week’s release of Transcendence (which I see tomorrow evening, so look for a review in the next few days), my choice here is a pair of sports movies that I’ve recently recommended. One is a bit of cinematography by Wally Pfister, who sits in the director’s chair for Transcendence, and one is a good film made by a DP turned director. The former is Moneyball, while the latter is All the Right Moves. I’ve spoken about both recently, so I’ll just say that they’re flicks well worth checking out again over the weekend…
This one other title that I’m about to briefly discuss in a special light is solid enough and worth picking up, but it just couldn’t compare to my top choice in any significant way in my eyes, though many of you will disagree. Still, my thumb was up initially and is again here for this one now, so let’s talk about it a bit:
Even though I wasn’t wild about Judi Dench’s lead performance or the score that many went ape over, I still definitely enjoyed this flick, mostly for Steve Coogan’s contributions. The film deftly moves between comedy and drama with ease, and while it wasn’t an amazingly strong Best Picture nominee, it’s hardly the worst one that we’ve ever had. Especially if you like to collect Best Picture nominated movies like I do, this is one well worth picking up.
Special Features: Audio Commentary and some Featurettes
Total Box Office: $37,574,900 (and counting)
Major Awards: Nominated for Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Score at the Academy Awards
Other Films Being Released
Here now is just a fairly simple list of what else is hitting shelves on this particular day, sans my own personal recommendation. Behold them:
Better Living Through Chemistry
At one point this was an independent flick that a lot of folks were looking forward to. Then, we heard silence for a long time and then a tiny release last month. I’ll be checking it out this week, but my expectations will be fairly low…
Box Office: $75,143
This was one of the more disappointing films of 2013, it seems. What was once an outside the box awards contender became something almost worthy of mockery, not to mention a financial disappointment. I’m sure there’s still an audience for this one, but it’s definitely a smaller one than before.
Box Office: $7,018,189
An historical drama that very few people saw…myself included. I’ve heard decent things though, so perhaps this could be one to go out on a limb for? It may very well surprise you.
Box Office: $171,740
Date and Switch
I’d never even heard of this one, and judging by the box office cume, or lack thereof, I’m not alone. I’m sure the title alone will get it some business now, but I wouldn’t expect much.
Box Office: N/A
Another would be awards contender that just sort of came and went without a peep. Folks had seen this done before, and better, so there was simply no reason to see it again. I’m sure some will seek it out now, but it’s hardly essential viewing in any way.
Box Office: $258,656
Probably the least seen 2013 release to score an Academy Award nomination, this is a pretty dull look at a forbidden romance that Charles Dickens engaged in. As I wrote in this review from NYFF here, it just didn’t too very much for me. I stand by what I wrote, so it just is the sort of film that is what it is.
Box Office: $1,222,863 (and counting)
I missed this flick at Tribeca last year, but now that it finally is hitting home video, I’m game to check it out. Someone once called it a poor man’s Inception, and while I’m sure that’s not a great description, I’ll still pop it in sooner or later.
Box Office: N/A
The Nut Job
This bit of animation didn’t really interest critics much, but audiences seemed to find it solid enough, so there’s that. If you dug on it, it’s here now for you to add it to your collection…
Box Office: $63,799,508 (and counting)
One of 2014’s worst movies so far, at least to me, this is an unfunny and boring action comedy that did absolutely nothing for me. My review says it all right here, and hopefully you avoid this one like the plague. It’s just really badly done all around.
Box Office: $134,141,530 (and counting)
Anger Management: Volume Three
The Beverly Hillbillies: The Official Fourth Season
The Cosby Show: Seasons 3 & 4
Farscape: The Complete Season Four
Married… With Children: Seasons 3 & 4
Practice: The Final Season
PICK OF THE WEEK
Though it met with some level of disinterest after some terrific trailers, I was one of the few who really loved what Ben Stiller did here. This is a love letter to dreamers, essentially, and that was lost on a lot of viewers. He’s very good, the cinematography is beautiful, and it’s jus a lovely movie overall. I think perhaps cynicism just killed this one, and that’s a bummer to me. In another world, this flick is a Best Picture nominee. If you haven’t seen this film yet, take this opportunity and give it a shot. You might be pleasantly surprised…
Special Features: Deleted, Alternate and Extended Scenes, Behind the Scenes Featurettes, and more
Total Box Office: $58,236,838
Major Award: Cited as one of the Ten Best Films of 2013 by the National Board of Review
–What will you be watching this week? Discuss in the comments!