This week, we hold steady both in terms of quality as well as quantity when it comes to Blu-Ray/DVD releases, which makes for a solid enough slate. There’s only one film to recommend today, but that happens to be a really strong one, which evens things out. That top pick may be one I didn’t have a choice about, but it’s one I really support. That’s what counts for me, anyway. For my PICK OF THE WEEK, I went for a World War II flick that’s mostly been forgotten about by now, or at least overshadowed by a recent and more modern war drama. You’ll see which one I picked soon enough folks, but right now, it’s time for my Vintage picks!
In honor of this week’s release of Amira & Sam (my review of which should be up in the next day or so), I wanted to cite a performance of Martin Starr’s. Today, I opted to go with Adventureland, a favorite of mine in this section. I’ve spoken highly of Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart before, but Starr’s supporting turn nearly steals the film. He’s excellent in his new movie, which represents a starring role for him, though I’ll tackle that later on this week. Right now, pop in this underrated gem and enjoy. It only gets better as the years. Soon, it’ll be acknowledged as the classic that it truly is…
Films Being Released
With only one film to recommend, here now is just a list of just what else is hitting shelves today, sans my own personal recommendation. Behold:
Before I Go to Sleep
I figured that this was kind of a clunker, going by the lack of attention paid to it, and I haven’t heard anything to the contrary. The cast is certainly good, but it appears like nothing worth making much of a fuss over. Essentially, the choice is yours, but you won’t find me making any passionate cases for or against it.
Box Office: $3,242,457
The Book of Life
This animated flick probably just missed out on a Best Animated Feature nomination, though since I didn’t see it I can’t speak for whether that was a snub or not. I’ll attempt to get around to it in the next week or so, in an effort to make that determination, at least. If you’re a fan though, by all means pick it up.
Box Office: $50,000,318 (and counting)
The Color of Time
I wasn’t particularly fond of this experimental little film, partially from the mind of James Franco, but it has a hell of a cast. In addition to Franco, Zach Braff, Jessica Chastain, and Mila Kunis appear, among others. It’s a slog to sit through, but if you’re a hardcore fan of someone in the cast, perhaps you’ll make the effort anyway?
Box Office: N/A
Days and Nights
To be quite honest, this dramedy is one I haven’t really even heard of until today. The cast is solid, I’ll give it that. At the same time though, having not seen it, I can’t vouch for its ultimate quality, one way or another. Alas.
Box Office: $8,647
A fairly disappointing mess, this should have been much better than it turned out to ultimately be. In my still somewhat generous review (found here), I wrote the following:
“There’s a really good movie buried somewhere within The Judge, I’m sure of that. There’s plenty of enjoyment in watching Robert Downey Jr. spar with Robert Duvall, but you often wish the situations they were in happened to be different…or at least more clever. Co-writer/director David Dobkin is transitioning from broad/raunchy comedy to earnest adult drama here, so you can kind of understand why the tone is sometimes off. There are some legitimately effective emotional scenes, but there’s also a fairly graphic defecation scene and a subplot about incest that comes to a rather troubling conclusion. Those elements would have been less glaring in one of Dobkin’s comedies, but in this would be prestige drama it just doesn’t fly. Downey Jr. and Duvall give this some heft and the intentions here are good, but the earnestness and slickness don’t make for a mix that goes down well.”
If you haven’t seen it and need to see Duvall’s Academy Award nominated performance, that’s a decent reason, but otherwise…this one can wait. At the very least, it’s not getting a recommendation from me. You can do with it what you will, though.
Box Office: $47,119,388
The second Katie Holmes starring title to get a release this week, it’s sadly another one that I’ve yet to lay eyes on. I haven’t heard much about it either, so I simply can’t vouch for it. At the same time, I can’t accuse it of being trash, however, so there’s that at least.
Box Office: N/A
My Old Lady
I didn’t see this one, but any film that stars Kevin Kline and Maggie Smith has my attention, that much is certain. I’m going to do my best to check it out, so perhaps you’ll join me in that endeavor? You might wind up surprising yourself.
Box Office: $4,013,786
As a short film, this sometimes clever little thriller would have been a real peach. As a feature length outing though, it comes up just a little bit short. I enjoyed the concept, but the execution got old before too long had passed. If you’re looking for a second choice today, this could be it, but I still won’t be overtly recommending it either.
Box Office: $1,750
Our obligatory horror release for the week, it’s another that I didn’t peep out, so I’m flying blind here. I’m sure genre hounds might be inclined to give it a shot, but aside from that, I don’t really have anything to add here.
Box Office: $1,169,603
Downton Abbey: Season 5
The Equalizer: The Complete Season Three
Lupin the 3rd: Napoleon’s Dictionary
Maison Close: Season One
PICK OF THE WEEK
When filmmaker David Ayer isn’t looking to just engage in genre filmmaking, he has the capacity to really impress. I’m a huge fan of his cop movie End of Watch, and here he turns his attention to the second World War, quite effectively too. Brad Pitt is very good and the grit of war is conveyed with aplomb. Things get a little bit macho at times, but overall it’s still a really successful flick. If you didn’t see it, I highly recommend checking it out. It’s far better than American Sniper, I’ll say that. Here’s hoping that Ayer takes this confident outing and knocks Suicide Squad out of the park next. I’m anxiously awaiting it.
Special Features: Deleted and Extended Scenes, plus more…
Total Box Office: $85,817,906 (and counting)
Major Award: None
–What will you be watching this week? Discuss in the comments!