This week, one of the more compelling and underrated films of 2013 is hitting Blu-Ray/DVD, and it’s part of a decently diverse group of titles coming to store shelves as well, so there’s that too as a bit of a bonus. I’m not sure how many folks were as fond of my top pick as I was, but it was definitely a well received movie. Regardless, it’s not the only thing of note debuting today, so that’s a real plus. That being said, my PICK OF THE WEEK was a pretty easy choice for me to make considering the competition, and those of you who closely follow my writing should know that this particular movie is one I appreciate more than most, as mentioned above. It’s an Oscar nominee from last year, but it should have received more attention than it did. I’ll reveal the flick in question to you soon enough if you’re still in the dark about its identity (though you shouldn’t be), but until then, I’m going to kick off the column proper this week with my Vintage pick!
In honor of this week’s release of The Fault in Our Stars (my review will be up Thursday when the embargo lifts), I wanted to cite some of the top notch works from the folks involved in this one. The main one obviously is last year’s instant classic coming of age story The Spectacular Now, which also stars Shailene Woodley and was adapted by talented scribes Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, but it’s not the only one I wanted to mention. I also am recommending Neustadter and Weber’s prior flick (500) Days of Summer as well as director Josh Boone’s debut from last year Stuck in Love. All are terrific works, so whichever one you choose, you can’t go wrong. Hell, check them all out! They deserve a spin…
The other title here that I’m about to discuss for a brief moment isn’t anywhere as good as my top choice, but it’s still certainly worth a bit of discussion, so that’s what I’ll be doing now:
I’m always down for an Emile Hirsch movie, and this drama features a very nice performance from him to headline things. The film itself isn’t perfect, but I felt like the good definitely outweighed the bad. I said this in my review (which you can see here) of the flick: “I’ve long been a fan of Emile Hirsch, so pretty much anything he’s involved in I want to take a look at. His latest film The Motel Life is just one more example of a small project made even more worthwhile due to his presence. Teamed up with Stephen Dorff, Hirsch is very good here, doing some real quiet yet rather effective work in the film. The movie itself is far from perfect, but it’s the type of indie where you’re willing to deal with the bumps in the road because the overall product is solid enough to enjoy/recommend in my case“. It’s worth seeing for the performances, mainly from Hirsch…
Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: N/A
Major Awards: None
Other Films Being Released
Here now is just a pretty simple list of just what else is hitting shelves on this particular day, sans my own personal recommendation. Behold:
I can’t say that I’ve heard of this foreign action flick until today, and judging by the box office, I’m hardly the only one. If you want to try something random, feel free to check this one out. If not then, no harm, no foul.
Box Office: $2,734
In the Blood
You know exactly what you’re getting when you watch a Gina Carano action movie, and this is basically just that. You aren’t getting the art of Steven Soderbergh that you got with Haywire, but John Stockwell and company do a solid enough job here. It’s a B movie, but one that many of you will enjoy if you give it a shot…
Box Office: N/A
Parts Per Billion
This end of the world ensemble sci-fi drama is a bit of a mixed bag, but it’s not without its redeeming qualities. It’s different enough that it stands out from the pack, but not quite enough that it deserves an overt recommendation. You definitely could do worse though, so there’s that.
Box Office: N/A
This remake was better than it probably had any right to be, though it’s still a bit on the disappointing side. The PG-13 rating really hindered this one, especially since there was such potential with updating this material. It’s far from bad, as I say in this review right here, but it could have been something else.
Box Office: $58,607,007
This dramedy is another mixed bag of sorts. There’s a lot of decent stuff out today not quite deserving of a recommendation, and that includes this one. Like I said above, this is another example of a flick that’s better than some of the options this week, but not as good as the top tier ones.
Box Office: N/A
Son of God
It surprised me that people paid good money to watch something they basically already could have seen on television for free, but I won’t judge. You already know if this is of any interest to you, so make your choice and go with it. I won’t stand in your way at all.
Box Office: $59,696,176 (and counting)
The Adventures of Batman: The Complete Series
Falling Skies: The Complete Third Season
Pretty Little Liars: The Complete Fourth Season
True Blood: The Complete Sixth Season
Workaholics: Season Four
PICK OF THE WEEK
I love a good war movie, but it’s rare that one can move me to tears. This one did though, and I was blown away by it. This is what I had to say in my rave review (found here) back during the awards season of 2013: “For most of the two-hour plus running time of Peter Berg‘s true life war tale Lone Survivor, the film is content to simply be a very good action flick with a slightly deeper emotional underpinning than you’re expecting. It’s easily Berg’s best work to date, but you never quite understand why folks have raved. Then, the final sequence and then end credits begin, and you’re reduced to tears almost immediately, and you understand. This movie is actually a tear-jerker, and an earned one at that. Yes, Berg is manipulating a bit in adapting former SEAL Marcus Luttrell‘s memoir, but after what you’ve gone through, it just works. The quartet of Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, and Ben Foster are all very good as the soldiers caught up in a deadly battle, so there’s top-notch acting on display too. They convince you of their brotherhood, so when the bullets start flying in an intense battle sequence that’s incredibly tough to sit through (in a powerful way) you really care about their lives“. I stand by those words and highly recommend that you pick this one up…
Special Features: Various Making Of Featurettes
Total Box Office: $125,095,601
Major Award: Nominated for Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing at the Academy Awards
–What will you be watching this week? Discuss in the comments!