This week, a couple of smaller and more unique films are coming to Blu-Ray/DVD, and they’re just part of a rather diverse group of titles hitting shelves in total. I’ve got multiple movies to recommend, and even one or two without my recommendation that I still find to be above average. As can be the case from time to time, I’m sure many of you are expecting/will be expecting a different top pick than the one I’m citing, but hey…once again, it’s my column. The runner ups this week will be popular flicks for some, but they’re second banana in my eyes. For my PICK OF THE WEEK, I opted to go with a small character study that really interested me when I first saw it. We’ll get to that particular title in question shortly, but since I’m keeping it fairly short and simple here, why don’t we move on now to the Vintage section and press on from there…
In honor of this week’s release of Begin Again (my near rave review of which you can see here), I wanted to cite John Carney’s calling card to date. Of course, it’s Once, a film I’ve highlighted here more than once. I really don’t need to sell you all on it again, but since I want you to see Carney’s latest, it doesn’t hurt to remind you of his talents with this one. Come on, you know the opening bars to Falling Slowly are starting to dance around your head now, so just give in and pop it in this week. You’ll be glad that you did, I can almost assure you of that.
The other titles I’m about to discuss here for a moment aren’t as good as my top choice, but they still deserve to be discussed, so that’s what I’ll be doing right now:
I’m in the odd position of finding this film somewhat overrated but still feeling like I should recommend it. Some on the site are wild about it, but while I really liked Jake Gyllenhaal’s performance(s), I found it to be a much ado about very little, especially with that “shocking” ending. It also has the disadvantage of playing into a phobia of mine, so while I’m sure I’ll never ever watch it again, I do think it’s worth checking out if you missed it in theaters. The discussions afterward about this thriller at least will be fairly compelling, if nothing else.
Special Features: A Making Of
Total Box Office: $1,008,726
Major Awards: None yet, and don’t bet on many
Wolf Creek 2
I was a big fan of the first film in this now franchise, especially considering the artistic nature of what could have otherwise been a generic horror flick. This new one is a bit more run of the mill, but it still has a uniqueness to it that makes it worthwhile. Unless you’re cool with gore you likely won’t dig on this one, but horror aficionados will probably appreciate what’s on display here.
Special Features: Deleted Scenes and a Making Of
Total Box Office: N/A
Major Awards: None yet, and there won’t be any
Other Films Being Released
Here now is just a pretty simple list of what else is hitting shelves on this particular day, sans my recommendation. Behold:
300: Rise of an Empire
A rather pointless sequel to a movie I didn’t much like in the first place, this ranks among the worst films I’ve seen in 2014 to date. My review right here gets into why, but I don’t want to say much more about this one other than to urge you to avoid it. It’s not worth your time, plain and simple.
Box Office: $106,580,051
I haven’t been able to see this one yet, but it’s a crime drama with a top notch cast that I’d heard decent things about. At some point I’ll make time to pop it in, but for now, it’s one I can’t say anything about, good or bad. You’ll have to simply decide for yourself…
Box Office: $42,472
Up until today I was barely aware that this flick existed, even though it’s currently playing in theaters as well. That’s not particularly a good sign, though I can’t say for sure. You’re on your own with this one too folks.
Box Office: $98,939 (and counting)
This horror movie came and went without much of a trace, despite a solid cast that should have led to at least an attempt at cashing in at the box office. Alas, it was not to be. I suppose now is when it’ll have a chance to make its mark for genre fans…
Box Office: $1,189,612
A very decent dramatization of a true story, this is a crime film with a bit of personality to it. I found it to be too slow to recommend, but you really could do a lot worse this week than this one, let me tell you. If you’re willing to be patient, this is another one to consider grabbing.
Box Office: $208,693
This foreign film barely got a release (just look at the box office), so I don’t have much to say about it. Basically, it’s just there, unlikely to be seen by many, though ultimately who knows?
Box Office: $2,311
I missed this one in theaters, and judging by the savage reviews, I did myself a favor too. It seems like a film only to be seen ironically, and life is too short for that sort of a thing, so do yourself a favor and just move along here…
Box Office: $12,600,231
Duck Dynasty: Season 5
Masters of Sex: Season One
NYPD Blue: Season 6
Witches of East End: The Complete First Season
PICK OF THE WEEK
Some Velvet Morning
It saddens me that this return to form for Neil LaBute (who I had a great interview with…you can read that right here) was basically unseen by anyone. As I wrote in my review here, it deserved better. Here’s a sample:
“Some Velvet Morning is a dark, grim, chamber piece melodrama with some black comedy elements that has almost all of the hallmarks of the work that LaBute made a name for himself with. Now, whether or not that’s a good thing depends on who you are, but for me, this a welcome return to form for a distinctive filmmaking voice. Armed with a pair of top notch performances from Alice Eve and Stanley Tucci, LaBute focuses in on the acting and dialogue, making sure this is clearly a verbal sparring match. At the same time though, he expands this just enough so while you could clearly see it would have worked as a play, it never feels like one. The use of one house as basically a set is very well done too, as LaBute features space in an interesting way”.
That sums it up for me. You should make a point of checking this one out…
Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: $6,420
Major Award: None so far
–What will you be watching this week? Discuss in the comments!