New Blu-Ray/DVD Releases (10/14/14)

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X-Men-Days-of-Future-Past-bannerThis week, a very solid summer blockbuster leads the charge of new Blu-Ray/DVD releases that are coming to store shelves. Sadly, there isn’t a whole lot else hitting today, which is somewhat of a bummer since I’m not quite as over the moon about the top pick as others were, but hey…life in this column goes on anyway. For my PICK OF THE WEEK, I pretty much had no choice but to cite an admittedly very entertaining superhero prequel/reboot/sequel/whatever it is. You’ll see what I’m talking about momentarily, but I do want to stress that I have an excellent Vintage pick to give you this week, so we can start there now…

Vintage Viewing

End of Watch movieIn honor of this week’s release of Fury (which I saw last week and really liked a whole lot), I wanted to cite David Ayer’s other “prestige” film. It’s End of Watch, a modern classic in my mind, for many a reason. Honestly, let me just pull from my initial four star review (found here) of the movie:

Every once in a while, a film sneaks up on you and absolutely knocks your socks off. It’s hardly a rare occurrence these days, especially for me, but it’s happened again with ‘End of Watch’, a cop movie that I believe will go down as filmmaker David Ayer’s masterpiece. Now, I should mention that I have a very personal connection to this film. You see, I spent a very brief period as a New York City Police Officer. It turned out not to be a job that I wanted to keep and I resigned from the department, but I actually took the oath and was in the Academy. That gives me a bit of an inside baseball look at a movie of this ilk, and wow did Ayer get it right. Flawlessly made, tremendously acted by his cast, including stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena, intense and funny in all the right ways, and emotionally gut wrenching…

I haven’t had it in me to revisit it quite yet, but this week might be the time when I finally give it another look. I hope you all do the same as well.

Other Films Being Released

With only the one film to recommend, here now is a simple list of what else is hitting shelves on this day, sans my own personal recommendation or anything of that sort. Behold:

Beneath the Harvest Sky

Here is a movie that I found myself wanting to like more than I did. In my review (found right here) I wrote the following:

…Documentarians turned narrative filmmakers Aron Gaudet and Gita Pullapilly are certainly able to evoke a realistic mood and some nice performances from their cast (particularly leads Emory Cohen and Callan McAuliffe), but they never quite made the story interesting enough to want to follow for almost two hours. This is the sort of movie that can sustain interest if it doesn’t overstay its welcome, and that happened in a big way here. The film is at least 15 minutes too long, if not more, and that winds up hurting it in such a way that I ultimately wasn’t able to recommend it. This teen centric drama/coming of age story with some thriller aspects does have some solid things to offer, but it doesn’t distinguish itself as anything overtly worth seeking out. It’s a flick that is impossible to hate but frankly a bit hard to like. A little bit of it goes a long way, and there’s more than a little bit on display. Beneath the Harvest Sky is interesting at times, but frankly just not interesting enough.

You can certainly do worse than this one today, but you can also do better as well.

Box Office: $34,768

Chinese Puzzle

This foreign flick is, quite frankly, one I’ve barely even heard of, so you can imagine it didn’t have a huge reach. As such, I can’t say anything about if it’s worth picking up or not. You’ll just have to use your own best judgment when it comes to this one. I have faith in you…

Box Office: $338,523

fortbliss_aFort Bliss

Here’s one that I regret not having gotten the chance to see. At one early point it was rumored that Michelle Monaghan was potentially a Best Actress contender for this movie, so while that’s obviously not happening anymore, I do still want to take a look and see what this one is all about. Hopefully, I’ll be checking it out soon…perhaps you will too?

Box Office: N/A

Mr. Peabody and Sherman

I can’t say that I was interested in this bit of animation at all, so I probably won’t wind up seeing it unless it appears likely to score a Best Animated Feature nomination at the Oscars. If it seems close to an Oscar nomination, I’ll pop it in. Until then, I’m okay missing out on it. If you want to check it out though, don’t let me stop you.

Box Office: $111,506,430

Persecuted

A religious thriller that I was sent a copy of but haven’t watched (for obvious reasons), I can only imagine that this would have gotten my goat, as it were. In short, this has a very specific audience, so if you think you fit its target demographic, chance are you might be fond of what this is offering. If not, save yourself the annoyance…

Box Office: $1,558,836

Venus in Fur

The latest from Roman Polanski was one I didn’t care much for when I saw it at the Tribeca Film Festival. It’s not terrible, to be fair, but it’s one of the filmmaker’s most uninspired efforts in some time. You can do a lot better than this, so there’s no real reason to check it out.

Box Office: $342,183

Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger

Another one that I haven’t actually seen yet, this documentary is one that I’m actually pretty interested in. Hopefully I’ll get around to seeing before the end of the month, but who knows? If you’re a doc fan and interested in the Whitey Bulger story, this is potentially one to look into.

Box Office: $75,881

TV Releases

2 Broke Girls: The Complete Third Season
Courage the Cowardly Dog: Season 2
Dracula: Season One
Fargo: The Complete First Season
Hostages: The Complete Series
How I Met Your Mother: The Whole Story (Joey’s Pick)*
The Man Show: Season One/Two/Three/Four
Mr. Peabody & Sherman: The Complete Collection
Penny Dreadful: The Complete First Season
Star Wars Rebels: Spark of Rebellion
Two and a Half Men: The Complete Eleventh Season

PICK OF THE WEEK

X-Men: Days of Future Past

X-Men-FutPast-McAvoyXfaceI’ve never been a really big fan of this franchise, but I’ve also found most of the entries to be solid enough, so this big new one just continues that trend. There’s plenty to like, including one spectacular sequence involving a new mutant, but it’s also fairly unwieldy and sometimes appears to be going through the motions. I’m curious to see where the franchise goes next, so in that regard it certainly succeeds. With a weaker week like this one, popcorn entertainment like this can look mighty good, so definitely consider picking this one up.

Special Features: Deleted Scenes and more…
Total Box Office: $233,921,534
Major Award: None yet, but it certainly could contend for a technical citation or two

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