New Blu-Ray/DVD Releases (06/13/17) – Another ‘LEGO’ Smash

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This week, one of the most entertaining films of 2017 so far in “The LEGO Batman Movie” hits Blu-Ray and DVD. Joining that fun movie are a few other noteworthy titles today, so we should dive right in!

PICK OF THE WEEK

The LEGO Batman Movie

There’s no reason a film spinning off a film that was itself based on a toy should have worked. Furthermore, Warner Brothers already has a cinematic Batman to play with. Yet, the end result was supremely charming. Will Arnett‘s take on the Dark Knight is an absolute riot. Both adults and children alike can get a lot out of this one. The same point was made in our highly positive review here on the site:

On the surface, it’s hard to find a more cravenly opportunistic project than “The LEGO Batman Movie.” After all, it’s not just a sequel to a wildly successful animated film that itself was based on a toy. It’s also a spin-off for perhaps the biggest superhero in pop culture. Money may be at the initial root of this movie’s existence, but “The LEGO Batman Movie” winds up being an absolute delight.

“The LEGO Batman Movie” is one of the most purely fun movies of the year right now. You can’t go wrong picking this one up. Enjoy!

Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: $175,750,384
Major Awards: None yet

Recommended Movies

Neruda

The “other” Pablo Larrain film last year is also an unconventional biopic. “Jackie” is vastly superior, but this experimental look at poet Pablo Neruda is a directorial calling card. Back at the New York Film Festival, we got a look at this one and put out this positive review here on the site:

The mark of a true auteur is when you watch a film of theirs and revel at how only they could have executed it in just that way. A prime example of this is Pablo Larraín‘s latest film, the pseudo biopic “Neruda.” As much a low-key thriller as a true look at the Chilean poet, this is an unusual work, one that’s still strangely compelling.

If you liked “Jackie” at all, take a look at “Neruda” for a whole different sort of work from Larrain.

Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: $939,101
Major Awards: Nominated for Best Foreign Language Feature at the Golden Globes

Table 19

A low key dramedy featuring a dynamite cast, this flew slightly under the radar earlier on this year. It’s not a terrific film, but the performances raise it up. Anna Kendrick in particular is really good, leading the ensemble group here. In addition, Craig Robinson continues to show some surprising dramatic chops. The Wrap had this to say about the flick:

For a good while, the film threatens to be as forced as an unwanted attendee, and as forgotten as the types of guests it focuses on, until it rallies toward the end with an easy sweetness and comedic warmth it had been lacking for too long.

Keep your expectations in check, but still, give “Table 19” a look.

Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: $3,614,896
Major Awards: None yet

Vintage Viewing

In honor of this week’s release of “Cars 3,” the pick today is one of Pixar’s biggest successes. It’s “WALL-E,” a daring risk that the studio should still be commended for undertaking. The movie is a masterpiece, plain and simple. Roger Ebert agreed, writing the following:

Pixar’s WALLE succeeds at being three things at once: an enthralling animated film, a visual wonderment and a decent science-fiction story.

Pixar is at the top of the animated game. While these LEGO movies are next in line, you really can’t beat “WALL-E” for top tier animation!

Other Films Being Released

Here’s a look at what else is hitting shelves today, besides the recommended trio of “The LEGO Batman Movie,” “Neruda,” and “Table 19”:

Bitter Harvest

A would be historical romantic epic, this fell flat on its face as one of the year’s worst so far. The AV Club took pity on it with a fairly restrained pan:

At least this cloying attempt to stir nationalist and diasporic pride is good for the occasional, inadvertent laugh.

Alas.

Box Office: $557,241

Chapter & Verse

This under-seen drama had its share of fans, including at Variety, where they had this to say:

Despite its familiarity, “Chapter & Verse” manages to make its material both fresh and authentic.

Give it a look if you’re curious.

Box Office: $84,147

John Wick: Chapter Two

The rare sequel that fans actually demanded, this action flick is a perfect series for star Keanu Reeves. In addition, this series is just over the top in all the right ways. Genre fans should be completely thrilled with it. TIME Magazine dug it, writing up this review:

The pleasures of John Wick: Chapter 2 may be even greater than those of its predecessor-itself a symphonic achievement in scrappy, balls-out, action filmmaking …

Fans of the first will rightly flock to this one. Plus, who doesn’t love Reeves kicking ass?

Box Office: $92,029,184

Mine

Armie Hammer turns in a top notch performance in this otherwise forgettable psychological thriller. The Hollywood Reporter agreed:

While the protagonist’s back-story is not sufficiently original to sustain tension throughout, Hammer’s committed performance keeps you watching …

If you see it, see it for Hammer.

Box Office: N/A

Special Criterion Collection Section

They Live By Night

The only release to get the Criterion treatment today is this noir. The Collection has this to say:

Legendary director Nicholas Ray began his career with this lyrical film noir, the first in a series of existential genre films overflowing with sympathy for America’s outcasts and underdogs

Give it a look!

TV Releases

“Aquarius: The Complete Second Season”
“Bones: Flesh & Bones Collection”
“The Borgias: The Complete Series Pack”
“Grimm: The Complete Collection”
“Hondo: The Complete Series”
“McCloud: Season One”
“Power: The Complete Third Season”
“Rockford Files: The Complete Collection”
“Shooter: Season One”
“South Park: The Complete Twentieth Season”
“The Vampire Diaries: The Complete Eighth & Final Season”
“The Vampire Diaries: The Complete Series”

Thoughts on what to watch this week on Blu-ray or DVD? Share them in the comments below!