New Blu-Ray/DVD Releases (06/05/18) – Ava DuVernay Goes Big Budget

This week, a number of diverse titles are coming to Blu-Ray and DVD. Unfortunately, none are particularly exciting. That being said, today does feature Ava DuVernay getting to helm a $100 million science fiction epic. That’s special, in and of itself, so there’s a strong hint about what the top pick will be. Read on to find out more…

PICK OF THE WEEK

A Wrinkle in Time

This would be blockbuster from Ava DuVernay did not manage to catch on in the way that Disney had hoped for. Still, it’s worth taking note of and citing today in this spot because of DuVernay. The mere fact that she earned this sort of a project is an objectively good thing for the business. Hollywood is slow to change, but giving $100 million+ budgets to other than just white men is going to be a good thing. Different voices and different perspectives benefit everyone. While this wasn’t “Selma,” it still had its fans. Most kind of halfheartedly acknowledged its benefits, like this take from indieWIRE, which included the following:

Perhaps this movie is so striking because it’s such a wonky and self-possessed experience, too much of its own thing to feel like it was tailor-made for anyone but the people who need it most.

A Wrinkle in Time” wouldn’t normally be a top pick. However, in a weaker slate like this, the “Ava DuVernay factor” gives it the edge.

Special Features: Audio Commentary, Deleted Scenes, Featurettes, and more
Total Box Office: $97,946,988 (and counting)
Major Awards: None yet

VINTAGE VIEWING

In honor of this week’s release of “Hearts Beat Loud,” the pick today is going to be filmmaker Brett Haley‘s last work. It’s “The Hero,” which featured an Oscar worthy turn from star Sam Elliott. Having given him a plum supporting turn in “I’ll See You In My Dreams,” Haley wrote Elliott a star vehicle, something he hadn’t had in decades. The result was a big hearted, emotional, funny, and nearly perfect character study. One of 2017’s very best films, it got constant acclaim from yours truly on the site last year. Included in that is this take from our rave review on the site:

With “The Hero,” both Elliott and Haley have achieved something special.

Look for more on “Hearts Beat Loud” later on this week, but for now, Haley’s last flick is a must see. If you haven’t seen that one yet, get on it ASAP!

OTHER FILMS BEING RELEASED

Here’s a look at what else is hitting shelves today, besides the recommended title “A Wrinkle in Time”:

Death Wish

What a poorly conceived remake. This is not the time to make a hero worship movie about a white male vigilante killing minorities. Tone deaf to a fault, it also wound up another recent throwaway Bruce Willis vehicle. It’s a shame too, since it’s helmed by Eli Roth, who is a talented filmmaker. Variety got to the root of the issue in their review, writing the following:

“Death Wish,” make no mistake, is a movie that has its heart in the wrong place.

Pass.

Box Office: $34,017,028

Every Day

This high concept romantic drama flew way below the radar. Considering the ambitious, almost sci-fi like premise, it was always going to either catch on in a big way or be ignored. So, this probably made sense. Still, there were plenty of admirers, including this take from The Wrap:

The story probably can’t help posing more questions than it could ever reasonably answer, and the great cast goes a long way toward smoothing out the creases.

Make of this one what you will.

Box Office: $6,102,076

Gringo

Star David Oyelowo did Oscar worthy work for the aforementioned Ava DuVernay with “Selma.” This satire isn’t going to get him that sort of acclaim. Thoroughly dismissed, this seems like a huge waste of the Oyelowo led cast. Entertainment Weekly made that exact point in their pan of a review, stating the following:

On their own, these are all people you’d gladly fork over $10 to watch. Unfortunately, together, in this frenetic, plate-spinning, south-of-the-border caper, they all look a bit lost.

A shame.

Box Office: $4,969,853

The Hurricane Heist

A wannabe “Fast and the Furious” knockoff, helmed by that franchise’s original director Rob Cohen, nobody cared about this spectacle. Apparently not even so bad, it’s good, this is just plain bad. At least, that’s the case Variety made in their review. They made their case just perfectly, as you can see:

If our divided country can’t come together over a movie this wonderfully terrible, what hope do we really have?

No thanks.

Box Office: $6,115,825

Thoroughbreds

Now, this is an interesting little title. Not quite a breakthrough indie flick, it still has found some hardcore fans. Pairing Olivia Cooke and Anya Taylor-Joy in anything would likely lead to something strong, but a pitch black comedy? Yes please. The Village Voice appreciated where this one went, writing:

You may surprise yourself … when, in the final scenes, you realize just how much horror this writer-director and his excellent cast have convinced you to roll with, maybe even to accept as justified.

Frankly, this is probably the week’s best bet, so keep it in mind. Had it not been for Ava DuVernay, it likely would have gotten that treatment.

Box Office: $2,830,775

TV RELEASES

“Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Complete Series”
“The Awesomes: The Complete Series”
“Family Matters: Seasons 1-4”
“The Flash: Complete Seasons 1-3”
“The Fresh Prince of Bel Air: Complete Seasons 4-6”
“Gotham: Complete Seasons 1-3”
“The Invaders: The Complete Series”
“The Last Ship: The Complete Fourth Season”
“South Park: The Complete Twenty-first Season”
“Supergirl: Complete 1st & 2nd Seasons”

THOUGHTS ON WHAT TO WATCH THIS WEEK ON BLU-RAY OR DVD? SHARE THEM IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!