New Blu-Ray/DVD Releases (8/19/14)

sacrament_crop-1024x359This week, we have a rather substantial amount of things hitting shelves, highlighted by a few very interesting titles. All in all, it’s a pretty full slate of Blu-Ray/DVD releases today, so we won’t have any shortage of things to pick and sort through, that’s for certain. There are a few movies really worth mentioning here (including one I sadly didn’t get to in time), so the quality is high enough, while the quantity level is really here this week, in spades too. My top pick was between two very different flicks, due to having missed one of the other choices. For my PICK OF THE WEEK, I opted to go with the smaller and more independent title, which probably isn’t a surprise to many of you. We will get to that in a few though, I promise you. Now however’s the time for Vintage picks, so that’s what we’ll get into right now!

Vintage Viewing

letmeinposter07In honor of this week’s release of If I Stay (my review of which should be up later on this week…I see it tomorrow), I wanted to cite the best work of Chloe Grace Moretz’s career so far. It’s Let Me In, the rare remake that I find to be better than the original. A unique spin on the vampire tale, Moretz is terrific here, and her work alone makes it a must see. I’m sure many of you have seen it before (and if not, Matt Reeves directed it, which should help spur you along), but no matter what, it’s a perfect one to pop in this week…

Recommended Movies

The other title here that I’m about to discuss for a very brief moment certainly isn’t as good as my top choice at all, but it’s worthy enough of a small bit of discussion, so that’s what I’ll be doing now:

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

the_amazing_spider_man_2_banner_frontI know this wasn’t a sequel that many were fond of, but I found things to like about it. As I wrote in my review (found here) of it: “After feeling like one of the only ones on the planet who actually enjoyed The Amazing Spider-Man a few years ago, I went into The Amazing Spider-Man 2 basically expecting to finally see what everyone else was complaining about. Lo and behold, I more or less wound up feeling the same way about this one as I did the last one, only with less passion. When director Marc Webb is focused on the chemistry between Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, things are really good. It’s just when we have to watch Spider-Man do his thing that this becomes something far less special. Webb and his army of screenwriters have the Peter Parker/Gwen Stacy relationship down pat, but in their rush to set up an eventual Sinister Six film, they’re shortchanging the possibilities inherent in this series. While I definitely enjoyed The Amazing Spider-Man 2, it veered a bit close to Spider-Man 3 at times, at least in terms of the villain overload. Still, the spectacle of it all is impressive (especially in IMAX, which is how I was shown it) and there’s fun to be had with Spidey as a character“. It’s a soft recommendation, and even softer now since it’s faded from my memory, but a recommendation nonetheless…

Special Features: Audio Commentary, Deleted/Extended Scenes, and more…
Total Box Office: $202,853,933 (and counting)
Major Awards: None yet, though a technical citation isn’t out of the question

Other Films Being Released

Here now is a fairly simple list of just what else is hitting shelves on this particular day, sans my own personal recommendation. Behold:

Fading Gigolo

Despite a really amusing supporting performance by Woody Allen, I left this romantic dramedy a little disappointed. My review (found right here) had this to say: “If ever there was a movie that seems to have been perfectly suited to have been made by Woody Allen, it’s Fading Gigolo. In fact, Allen has a juicy supporting role here, so even though it’s a film that’s written, directed by, and starring John Turturro, you could easily be mistaken for thinking that this is a work of Allen’s. That being said, something is missing here, and I think it might be that little something extra that Allen brings to his work. That being said, this is a solid directorial outing from Turturro, but it feels almost like two movies in one, and the end result is neither element really satisfying as much as it should have. Turturro and Allen have excellent chemistry, while the supporting cast all seems to be having fun, but I wish that the screenplay was a bit tighter“. I came close to recommending this one anyway, so just consider it a worthy runner up of sorts!

Box Office: $3,769,873

Only-Lovers-Lefts-Alive-Poster-585x441-585x330Only Lovers Left Alive

I had really hoped to have gotten to watch this one in time, but fate conspired against me. First, I missed it at the New York Film Festival last year (on basically the one day that I couldn’t attend the fest). Then, I missed press screenings for it this year. Now, my Blu-Ray hasn’t arrived in time. Such as it is, you’ll have to stick with Robert’s unofficial recommendation of the unusual vampire romance as opposed to my official one. Had I seen it before writing this, we may very well have had a different top pick. Alas…

Box Office: $1,860,314 (and counting)

The Quiet Ones

Another flick that I wanted to have seen before doing this week’s column, even if I heard mixed things about this chiller. It has an old fashioned feel to it, which could make it stand out from the pack. If you’re a genre fan, I’m sure you’re at least interested in this one, and don’t let me stop you.

Box Office: $8,509,867

Toy Story of Terror!

Just because I know most of us at the site are Toy Story franchise fans, I wanted to mention that this was hitting shelves. I’m not sure it’s worth a purchase all on its own, but here it is anyhow. Make of it what you will…

Box Office: N/A

TV Releases

Boardwalk Empire: The Complete Fourth Season
The Good Wife: The Fifth Season
The Millers: The First Season
The Mindy Project: Season Two
NCIS: Los Angeles – The Fifth Season
NCIS: The 11th Season
Newhart: The Complete Fourth Season
Once Upon a Time: The Complete Third Season
Parenthood (2010): Season 5
Parks & Recreation: Season Six
Revolution: The Complete Second Season
Rosemary’s Baby

PICK OF THE WEEK

downloadThe Sacrament

A rather unsettling modern retelling of the Jonestown tragedy, filmmaker Ti West continues to show that he’s a budding horror master. With a who’s who cast of indie world names, he’s put familiar faces in a found footage type flick, which is a unique choice as well. Trust me, this movie isn’t perfect, but when put up against all of the other films this week, it does stand out. I’m not over the moon for this one, but I did like what I saw enough to recommend it, so you all should give it a look. Something tells me that you won’t regret it either.

Special Features: Audio Commentary, Featurettes, and more…
Total Box Office: $9,221 (and counting)
Major Award: None yet, and don’t expect any either

What will you be watching this week? Discuss in the comments!