New Blu-Ray/DVD Releases (07/17/18) – A Trio of First Half Highlights

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This week, three of the year’s best films coming to Blu-Ray and DVD. This trio of quality movies would compete in any slate for top honors, so this is a real good grouping. In fact, they’re not even the only recommended titles. From Wes Anderson to Joaquin Phoenix, there’s something for everyone. We haven’t had quality and quantity like this at the top in some time, so let us get going without delay!

PICK OF THE WEEK

You Were Never Really Here

The combination of filmmaker Lynne Ramsay and star Joaquin Phoenix made for something truly memorable here. Unusual, violent, and deeply idiosyncratic, the work stands out. In the same way “Drive” played with genre conventions, so too does this film. It’s dark and grungy, but also oddly beautiful. Our rave review on the site said the following:

This film burns slowly. Danger always lurks just off to the side.

You Were Never Really Here” is one of 2018’s best and most offbeat titles. It’s not for everyone, but it’s one of the ten best of the year so far for a reason. Pick it up and see why!

Special Features: Trailers
Total Box Office: $2,528,078
Major Awards: None yet

RECOMMENDED MOVIES

Disobedience

Passion runs deep in this romantic drama. Rachel McAdams and Rachel Weisz have never been better than they are here, playing a pair of forbidden lovers. Those two performances, plus some wonderful cinematography, make this a movie that you can lust over. The emotions on display are truly overwhelming. Back at the Tribeca Film Festival, Clayton raved about it like so:

“Disobedience” packs a punch and not one that you are fully expecting.

Without question, “Disobedience” overcomes simple definitions. It has to be seen in order to be fully appreciated. Plus, it’s also one of the year’s best, so it’s a real easy recommendation.

Special Features: None
Total Box Office: $3,480,702
Major Awards: None yet

I Feel Pretty

Amy Schumer makes another bid for broader stardom with this comedy about body positivity and self love. Met with mixed reviews, Schumer herself seemed like a target for some. Our thumbs up review on the site saw things in a different manner. Here’s a sample:

A likable comedy that’s also a commentary on the relationship between looks and self-esteem, its timeliness can’t be ignored.

I Feel Pretty” isn’t on the same level as the big trio this week, but it certainly has its charms. Schumer fans especially will dig it.

Special Features: Deleted Scenes
Total Box Office: $48,795,601
Major Awards: None yet

Isle of Dogs

The newest Wes Anderson stop motion feature is another delight, which says something considering yours truly is not a big fan of the filmmaker. A tribute to canines, you’re likely to smile from start to finish with this one. Variety agreed, praising it heavily in their review, as you can see:

Say “Isle of Dogs” fast and it comes out sounding an awful lot like “I Love Dogs” – which makes sense, since that’s pretty much the chief takeaway from Wes Anderson’s delightful new animated feature.

Isle of Dogs” is an accessible Anderson title. That may throw off his hardcore acolytes, but for the rest of us, it makes for a great time.

Special Features: Featurettes
Total Box Office: $31,945,934 (and counting)
Major Awards: None yet

VINTAGE VIEWING

In honor of this week’s release of “The Equalizer 2,” the pick today is going to be the film that gave Denzel Washington his first franchise. It’s, of course, “The Equalizer.” Getting to see Washington kick ass and take names made for a good time at the movies. Our positive review on the site from back when it hit theaters says as much:

There’s an inherently pleasing nature to watching Denzel essentially be a superhero crossed with Robin Hood, so despite the lack of tension, there’s fun to be had.

Our review of “The Equalizer 2” will be up soon, but be sure to check out the first one this week. It pairs really well with the highlighted trio today!

OTHER FILMS BEING RELEASED

Here’s a look at what else is hitting shelves today, besides the recommended trio of titles “Disobedience,” “Isle of Dogs,” and “You Were Never Really Here,” plus “I Feel Pretty” as well:

Rampage

Dwayne Johnson attempted to make a winner out of a video game adaptation. The thing is, he picked a game with no plot. The result? Another middling effort, at best. Alas. IndieWIRE was not a fan of this one in the least. This bit from their pan of a review helps to explain why:

No satisfying action beats, no memorable images, and so little to say that it’s virtually impossible to say anything about it in return. It’s not a movie for critics, that much is clear. The problem is that it’s not for anyone else, either.

Johnson fans or lovers of the game only need apply here.

Box Office: $99,133,659 (and counting)

Super Troopers 2

This long-awaited sequel to the cult classic didn’t catch on like the first one did. Still, it made a few bucks, so it was hardly a box office flop. At the same time, shouldn’t the aims have been higher, almost 20 years later? Entertainment Weekly was underwhelmed by the effort put forth, writing up the following:

You’d think with 17 years at their disposal these guys would be able to come up with some jokes that weren’t so half-baked and dumb. Alas, this is low-hanging fruit all the way.

Those of you who dug the original installment are the folks who should give this one a look.

Box Office: $30,617,396

Traffik

A thriller that attempts to also have a message, this flick had one thing going for it. What is that, you ask? Well, Paula Patton, of course. Aside from her, however, this had very little to offer. The Hollywood Reporter agreed with this analysis, as you can see from their take:

While Patton almost single-handedly makes you want to take the film a little more seriously than is in any way warranted, it’s impossible to do so on any level…

Patton deserved better.

Box Office: $9,186,156

Truth or Dare

The latest Blumhouse release to hit home video is this horror offering. Producer Jason Blum tends to work with volume, choosing quantity over quality with these sorts of things, so it’s no surprise that this was poorly received. Time Out wasn’t interested in playing the game, as you can see here:

Those brief bits of digitally inserted spookiness are the only glints of interest in a plot that otherwise makes more Mexican border crossings (it’s where the game starts) than an alarmist Trump speech.

Pass.

Box Office: $40,717,020

Special Criterion Collection Section

sex, lies, and videotape

Our one and only new Criterion release this week is this breakthrough for filmmaker Steven Soderbergh. His debut feature, it launched him as an auteur to watch out for. Unlike anything else in the marketplace, it really caught fire as something new and very different. The Collection pitches it as such:

With his provocative feature debut, twenty-six-year-old Steven Soderbergh trained his focus on the complexities of human intimacy and deception in the modern age.

Soderbergh fans should definitely pick this one up!

TV RELEASES

“The Expanse: Season Three”
“Last Man Standing: The Complete Fifth Season”
“Last Man Standing: The Complete Sixth Season”
“The Mick: The Complete First Season”
“The Mick: The Complete Second Season”
“Top Gear: From A to Z”

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