This week, one of the most underrated films of the first half of 2013 hits shelves on Blu-Ray and DVD, along with an interesting enough slate of other titles. There’s also a flick I really wished I had seen, but the Labor Day holiday delayed delivery of it, so I wasn’t able to get to it in time. Overall, the crop of movies coming out today isn’t bad at all, but it’s pretty top heavy, I must say that. My top pick is top notch though, so it’s far from a total loss. Anyway, for my PICK OF THE WEEK, I went with a unique sports drama that satisfies way more than I think many were expecting it to. I’ll get to that one in a few, but right now…it’s Vintage pick time!
In honor of this week’s release of Last Days in Vietnam, I wanted to cite a few of my favorite films about that particular conflict (a dozen, in fact). They would be, in alphabetical order: Apocalypse Now, Born on the Fourth of July, Casualties of War, The Deer Hunter, First Blood (yes, I count it), Forrest Gump (another one I’m counting), Full Metal Jacket, Good Morning Vietnam, Hamburger Hill, Platoon, Rescue Dawn, and We Were Soldiers. Especially with the Oliver Stone ones, you really can’t go wrong, though I’m also rather partial to We Were Soldiers as well. Take a glimpse at one or two, especially if you haven’t seen any of them.
The other title here that I’m going to discuss for a rather 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 right now:
Back when I saw this movie at the most recent Tribeca Film Festival (my review can be found here), I wrote the following: “At this point, I basically think I know what I’m getting myself into when I sit down to watch a new Kelly Reichart movie, and I don’t mean that as a bad thing either, just a fact of the matter. Night Moves is possibly her most mainstream outing yet (or at least close to it), though in no way is it a multiplex sort of film. This drama/thriller hybrid is a real slow burn, almost to the point where it suffers, at least in terms of pacing. Especially in a festival environment like I saw it at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival, you really want a briskly paced flick if possible. That being said, Reichart again fills her movie with top notch performances, this time from the likes of Jesse Eisenberg and Dakota Fanning, both of whom get to stretch a bit as actors. They help keep you interested while the plot sometimes progresses at a snail’s pace. The second half of the film is much different than the first half, so depending on your tastes, you’ll either really like or really dislike where Reichart takes the story. For me, both sections were flawed yet effective enough to result in a final product that I can actually recommend without much hesitation.” Especially if you like Reichart, this is one to check out for sure…
Special Features: Theatrical Trailer
Total Box Office: $261,445 (and counting)
Major Awards: None yet, and don’t expect any outside of perhaps the Independent Spirit Awards
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:
Cabin Fever: Patient Zero
I liked the original Cabin Fever, but this sequel (which got a token theatrical release) just isn’t very good at all. The acting is fairly terrible, and while the gore is solid, this really only will appeal to hardcore genre fans. Outside of them, I doubt any of you should bother…
Box Office: N/A
Even though I’m pretty sure this documentary is preaching to the choir, it’s still one I would have liked to have seen for myself. Alas, I missed it during its theatrical run, though I might catch up with it soon. As such, I can’t speak for it firsthand, but if you’re politically minded, it could be worth checking out.
Box Office: $153,908
For No Good Reason
Another documentary I missed, this one struck me in trailers as kind of a glorified special feature, but I could be wrong. Something tells me that the lack of much in the way of a box office haul informs how urgent it was as a theatrical experience. Still, it doesn’t look bad at all, so there’s that…
Box Office: $67,421 (and counting)
From the Rough
I know absolutely nothing about this sports drama and there’s no box office numbers available, so I think that says something. If you’re interested in this one, I won’t stop you, but there’s a sports film that I can recommend below, so stay tuned perhaps?
Box Office: N/A
Mom’s Night Out
This comedy got pretty savage reviews when it hit theaters recently, so I haven’t been in any hurry to give it a shot. If you disagree with the masses, don’t let me stop you though, even if I’m not sure why this is the bridge you’d want to die on. Anywho…
Box Office: $10,429,707
I was really bummed that I wasn’t able to get my copy of this spoof comedy in time before writing this article. I’m not a huge fan of David Wain’s Wet Hot American Summer, but the concept here had my attention. Reviews were pretty good for the movie, so perhaps this is another option to consider. I just can’t go out and overtly recommend it to you right now. I’m going to be watching it this week though, so maybe you’ll join me for that experience?
Box Office: N/A
Benson: Seasons 1 & 2
Bonanza: The Official Seventh Season
Chicago Fire: Season Two
Chicago P.D.: Season One
The Dick Van Dyke Show: Classic Halloween Episodes
Doctor Who: Series Four, Part Two
Grey’s Anatomy: Complete Tenth Season
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: The Complete Season 9
Lovejoy: The Complete Season Two
New Girl: The Complete Third Season
The Originals: The Complete First Season
Person of Interest: The Complete Third Season
Soap: Seasons 1 & 2
What’s Happening: Seasons 1 & 2
PICK OF THE WEEK
As a sports fan and a draft nut in particular, I was always pretty interested in this film. I wrote a rave review (which you can read right here) in which I had, among other things, this to say: “I’m a real sucker for the NFL Draft. The annual event has to be boring as all hell for anyone not obsessed with it, but for someone like me (and I suspect my colleague Mark Johnson feels similarly), it’s a must watch. So, I went into Draft Day with a mix of anticipation and trepidation. Luckily, Ivan Reitman‘s film is fantastically entertaining and moreover will appeal just as strongly to folks like Mark and myself as it will to audiences who wouldn’t know the difference between the NFL Draft and a draft beer. Certainly, putting sports movie legend Kevin Costner in the lead role was a coup, as he projects that same charisma and masculinity off the field and in the front office as he did while portraying athletes. Reitman also has a real strong script on his hands from Rajiv Joseph and Scott Rothman, so the bones were there for a solid flick. Even if some of the secondary characters are a bit underwritten (cough, Jennifer Garner, cough), the cast all still pull off strong and charismatic performances, shielding that issue somewhat. Draft Day was always going to be right up my alley, so I’m thrilled to report that not only did it satisfy me in a big way, it’s very likely to satisfy you all as well…” I think I liked this one more than anyone else, but I’ve already revisited it once and it really holds up. With football kicking off in a few days, this is a perfect film to watch while you wait for everything to get underway (J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets!) on Thursday/Sunday, depending on your team.
Special Features: Audio Commentary, Deleted Scenes, Making Of, and more…
Total Box Office: $28,842,237
Major Award: None yet, and rather sadly I don’t expect any for this one either
–What will you be watching this week? Discuss in the comments!