This week, it’s pretty slim pickings when it comes to new releases hitting Blu-Ray and DVD. That is, the quantity is there, but the quality? Not so much. In fact, nothing today is especially worthy of a recommendation, but if you look deep enough, there’s something. Some weeks, it’s an embarrassment of riches. Other weeks, this is just what you get. As such, we can double down on Vintage picks to make up for it!
PICK OF THE WEEK
Without much to fawn over, the top pick is one of the titles to have played at the Tribeca Film Festival last year. Luckily, it’s one of the few this week to actually have positive reviews. Buoyed by strong performances from Jon Bernthal and Christopher Abbott, it’s an independent thriller that managed to have its share of fans on the circuit. Variety was one such fan, writing the following in their review of the movie:
Part neo-noir, part latter-day Western, this exceptional indie thriller delivers well-acted character insights amid its shadowy, small-town Alaskan setting.
“Sweet Virginia” is the type of small scale thriller that should play well at home. If you’re looking for a Blu-Ray to own today, this is your best bet.
Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: $11,089
Major Awards: None yet
With the rough slate today, we have multiple Vintage picks to share. First, in honor of this week’s release of “Chappaquiddick,” the pick today is another top notch turn by Bruce Dern. It’s “Nebraska,” the Alexander Payne film that contained Dern’s finest hour. He’s given a rare lead role and blew the doors off of it. The entire movie is wonderful too. In his review back at the New York Film Festival, Clayton rightly raved about Dern’s work:
Bruce Dern is perfectly used and exquisitely raw presenting the actor’s best outing of his career. As the co-anchor of the story, Dern is finally given a chance to show what Hollywood has missed out on for over fifty years.
The other Vintage selection comes in honor of “You Were Never Really Here,” which is easily one of 2018’s best. The pick to coincide with this one is fairly obvious too. It’s “Drive,” a similarly indie take on what could just be a genre outing. Incredibly cool, featuring a restrained turn by Ryan Gosling (Joaquin Phoenix does the honors in the other film), it’s just a cinephile’s joy to witness. In addition, it’s a riveting action flick. Here’s a bit from our four star review on the site at the time of release:
The film is absolutely beautiful, both in its quiet moments and in the times when blood is shed.
Both are well worth picking up on Blu-Ray or revisiting before the two new movies hit theaters on Friday!
OTHER FILMS BEING RELEASED
Here’s a look at what else is hitting Blu-Ray shelves today, besides the sole recommended title “Sweet Virginia”:
Brie Larson stars in this would be romantic musical that will hardly be remembered when she gets her late career tribute. Only seeing the light of day because of Larson’s Ap-list status, this sat on shelves for half a decade. The Village Voice posits that the only real interesting part of the flick is that it actually exists. They wrote:
Watching it is something like watching a play’s first full dress rehearsal or a gangly baby deer’s initial efforts to stand, where it’s the effort that’s more engaging than the achievement itself.
Hardcore Larson fans need only apply here.
Box Office: N/A
Setting a film inside of a submarine can be a tricky proposition. You need filmmaking vision to work within its confines. Unfortunately, that’s not the case here. Frankly, the movie ended up on the boring side. The Los Angeles Times agreed, as they had this to say about it:
A grim thriller that isn’t as compelling as it might have been in stronger hands.
Alas. This could have, and arguably, should have, been better.
Box Office: N/A
A poorly reviewed comedy, this did not manage to catch on with audiences either. Even with the comedic talents of Ed Helms and Owen Wilson, the film fell really flat. Variety was not a fan, arguing in their take on things that it couldn’t even snatch the low hanging fruit:
A limply spritzing fountain of unconvincing (and unfunny) tricks out of the how-to-write-a-comedy-hit manual.
Sounds like a disappointment to me.
Box Office: $17,501,244
A Golden Globe nominee in Best Foreign Language Feature, this Estonian period drama is finally coming to home video. Foreign sports dramas are few and far between, for what that’s worth. Time Out was one of the outlets to give it a positive write up, stating the following:
‘School of Rock’ with swords.
If you’re curious about it, give it a shot perhaps?
Box Office: $95,952
“Insidious: The Last Key”
This franchise has run out of gas a long time ago, but that doesn’t stop the sequels from being churned out. Only being made for financial gain, this installment was critically fanned yet financially successful. So, expect more of these. New York Magazine/Vulture was not a fan, putting forth this bit in their pan:
The fourth installment of Leigh Whannell’s ghost-and-mediums horror series wraps up its own free-association illogic with an impenetrable tangle of woo-woo spirit-world mechanics and lingo.
No thanks. One was enough here for this franchise.
Box Office: $67,347,895
Nicolas Cage in a barely seen thriller? This is shocking to you all, I know. Oddly, Cage was slightly praised for this one, separating it from the pack a bit. That being said, it still seemed to fall short. Essentially, it’s more throwaway work by the actor. The Hollywood Reporter shrugged it off, writing:
Even the actors’ fine efforts cannot rescue Looking Glass from terminal murkiness.
Only the biggest of Cage fans should seek this one out.
Box Office: N/A
An 80’s set period comedy, this should have caught on more than it did, considering how nostalgia is all the rage. The fact that it failed is actually quite the indictment. Patricia Arquette appears to be wasted here, and that’s a real shame. Variety was mostly indifferent to it, as you can see below in this bit from their review:
It’s not without its charms; they just tend to be suffocated by bad wig jokes, distracting wardrobe choices and Craig Wedren’s invasively cutesy score
Box Office: $12,847
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