This week, one of the absolute funniest films of 2014 so far hits shelves on Blu-Ray and DVD, along with, well…not much else of note, both in terms of quality and quantity. There’s not an overt dearth of titles, don’t get me wrong, but in my eyes the quality level isn’t too high. Overall, the crop of movies coming out today aren’t particularly bad, but it’s mostly helped out due to my top pick. That particular flick manages to carry the day in a big way. For my PICK OF THE WEEK, I went with a blockbuster comedy that managed to be much more popular and amusing than I think most folks were expecting it to be. I’ll get to that one in a few moments, but right now…it’s Vintage pick time for us here!
In honor of this week’s release of Two Night Stand (my review of which should be up as you’re reading this), I wanted to cite a film that I referenced while discussing the new release. It’s About Last Night…, the 80’s romantic dramedy that has a bit in common with this new release to me. It’s a touch dated, but also sort of timeless in a way as well, if that makes sense. If you haven’t seen this one (or have just seen the recent remake), be sure to give it a shot. It’s unique…
(Other) Films Being Released
With nothing to recommend at all besides my top pick, here now is just a pretty simple list of what else is hitting shelves on this particular day, sans my own personal recommendation or the like. Behold:
I didn’t get a chance to see this foreign drama, but I have heard good things about it. I do hope to get around to it soon, especially since it could be in play for some awards, but it’ll have to at least wait until the New York Film Festival ends. At the same time though, if you’re looking for a second option today, this could be the one…
Box Office: $3,698,434 (and counting)
I’m not sure how wild I am overall with this movie, but I’m quite fond of the gut punch ending that it contains. I know Joseph wasn’t big on it, and while I was higher on it than he was, I don’t know that my thumb would have been up. As such, I’m not overtly recommending it, but I do think that it’s worth seeing at some point. If nothing else, I’d love to discuss the conclusion of the film with others. It’s divisive, but it really worked for me in a big way.
Box Office: $1,114,423
I really admired some of the things in this movie, but the package on the whole left me wanting a bit more. I wrote the following in this review, found here, when I first saw it. I said this: “…you really can’t get too deeply into this movie without changing the viewing experience. That being said, it’s not an overtly satisfying movie either, so there’s that. Co-writer/director William Eubank certainly has a vision and he’s able to pull off an impressive amount of technical wonders on a shoestring budget, but his ideas seem a touch half baked at times. Eubank is sort of a poor man’s Neill Blomkamp right now, though The Signal is a pale imitation of something like District 9. He’s got potential though, I’ll give him that. Had his script been tighter and the performances by the likes of Brenton Thwaites and Laurence Fishburne been a little more supervised, it’s possible that he could have had something here. I’m definitely curious to see where Eubank decides to take his career next, but The Signal has to be reported as an interesting failure in the end. There are strong moments, but they don’t add up to enough in my eyes.” Sci-fi fans might want to experiment with this one, but keep your expectations in check.
Box Office: $600,896
Very Good Girls
This was one of the more disappointing films that I saw this summer. In a review you can read right here, I wrote this: “A movie that had all the ingredients to be really interesting but seems content to just skirt by, Very Good Girls is a slight disappointment on almost all fronts. That being said, it’s not unenjoyable or poorly done, you’re just consistently aware how much better it could have been. Well respected long time screenwriter Naomi Foner makes her directorial debut here and it’s hard to figure out why this was the one she needed to direct. Her script pales in comparison to her previous work like Running On Empty, while the top notch cast that she assembled has very little to do. Aside from a very nice soundtrack (all of the music was done by Jenny Lewis), you wish there was more on all accounts here in this film. Dakota Fanning and Elizabeth Olsen are solid, but they’re characters are underwritten, while all of the other supporting players are barely there. Coming of age stories about teenagers looking to lose their virginities are nothing new, but you can still put a unique spin on them, regardless of if you go for comedy or drama with the premise. Here though, it’s hardly the road less traveled for the flick. Very Good Girls has some strong moments, but the final product is a disappointment, so it’s not the type of movie I can recommend.” I wouldn’t say avoid it, but keep in mind that this isn’t anything to write home about, at all…
Box Office: $6,940
The 100: The Complete First Season
Brooklyn 99: Season One
Defiance: Season Two
How I Met Your Mother: The Complete Season 9
How I Met Your Mother: The Whole Story (Joey’s Pick)
Key & Peele: Season Three
L.A. Law: Season Three
Law & Order Special Victims Unit: Season 15
Modern Family: The Complete Fifth Season
Mom: The Complete First Season
Nashville: The Complete Second Season
Necessary Roughness: Season Three
Reign: The Complete First Season
Scandal: The Complete Third Season
PICK OF THE WEEK
I usually like Seth Rogen comedies, but his schtick has begun to wear thin for some people, so the level to which this romp was embraced surprised me a bit. It’s worth that sort of praise though, as I said in this review here, when I stated: “There haven’t been too many overtly hilarious comedies so far in 2014, but we’ve finally got one with Neighbors. Director Nicholas Stoller isn’t particularly aiming for anything too deep here, but he is aiming to make you laugh, and boy does he succeed here. Pitting Seth Rogen against Zac Efron (along with giving Rogen a bit of a role reversal) is a stroke of brilliance, leading to some very memorably funny scenes. This is a hard R comedy that not only earns the rating, but likely wouldn’t be as good of a film without it.” It’s not high art folks, but it’s really funny, so I definitely recommend picking it up…
Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: $150,086,800
Major Award: None yet, and aside from potentially a Golden Globe nomination, don’t expect anything
–What will you be watching this week? Discuss in the comments!