This week, one of the highest grossing films of all time comes to Blu-Ray and DVD. Yes, it’s another Marvel Cinematic Universe outing. This time around, it’s the hotly anticipated new “Avengers” movie, one that fully showcased Thanos at long last. It stands tall today among all other releases hitting shelves. Plus, it’s the only thing worth embracing in this slate. Read on for more!
PICK OF THE WEEK
“Avengers: Infinity War”
We finally found out why Thanos was to be so feared. This culmination of everything the MCU built towards managed to satisfy in a major way. Every character is given their due, while the ending was legitimately shocking. We’ll see what happens in the sequel, when presumably the Mad Titan will be defeated, but for now, it was all incredibly bold and well done. Clayton was a big fan, putting forth this statement in his rave review:
In many aspects, this is a remarkable film and the best that the MCU has offered yet.
“Avengers: Infinity War” truly was a cinematic event. Thanos instantly became an iconic villain, not just for Marvel, but for film in general. Pick it up and revisit one of 2018’s biggest flicks.
Special Features: Audio Commentary, Deleted Scenes, Featurettes, and more
Total Box Office: $678,405,681 (and counting)
Major Awards: None yet
In honor of this week’s release of “Blaze,” the pick today is going to be a previous directorial effort from Ethan Hawke. It’s “Seymour: An Introduction,” his tender documentary from a few years ago. Hawke literally introduces us to pianist Seymour Bernstein and presents him as a guru of sorts. It’s truly compelling stuff. Here’s a taste from our New York Film Festival review, right here on the site:
Hawke is clearly in awe of this man, though you’ll be hard pressed not to be as well when all is said and done.
Hawke’s latest is excellent (our Sundance review is here), making for a fascinating combination with his doc. They’re a far cry from Thanos and his snap, that’s for sure. Check both out this week!
OTHER FILMS BEING RELEASED
Here’s a look at what else is hitting shelves today, besides the recommended “Avengers: Infinity War,” as if Thanos snapped all other high quality titles out of existence:
Dean Devlin probably should have stuck to producing. His early collaborations with Roland Emmerich were summer movie staples. Now? He’s trafficking in schlock. A low rent home invasion thriller is a far cry from invading aliens and “Godzilla.” Devlin would be more at home with Thanos and The Avengers, but this is where he resides now. The Wrap wasn’t a fan, as you can see here:
A thief breaks into the house of a serial killer. He doesn’t know what to do next, and neither does the movie.
Box Office: 3,435,047
The latest from acclaimed filmmaker Michael Haneke is one of his rare efforts that didn’t catch fire. No one hated it, but very few found time to make much of a fuss about it. The New Yorker, in particular, found it to be rather lacking. This is a small part of what they had to say:
The result lacks the tenacious bite of [Haneke’s] finest work, and one can think of more difficult targets for his unerring aim than the moral indifference of the rich.
Haneke can be a divisive force, so consider this more divisive than usual.
Box Office: $301,718
“How to Talk to Girls at Parties”
A year or so ago, this effort from John Cameron Mitchell was all the rage. Then, it was met with a cool reception at the Cannes Film Festival. That very much took the wind out of its sails. A24 has way more hits than misses, but this was one of the latter. The Hollywood Reporter really dismissed it, which you can see a bit of here:
There’s too little narrative cohesion or persuasive subtext to make this much more than a low-budget folly that’s outre without always being terribly interesting.
Sounds like a disappointment.
Box Office: $84,809
“The Only Living Boy in New York”
This coming of age dramedy was supposed to make a return to small scale directing for Marc Webb. Alas, it made no impact last year, and has taken its sweet time coming to home video. Well…it’s here. Clayton found some things to like here, though not quite enough to recommend. From his review back at the time of release:
While “The Only Living Boy in New York” missteps greatly, there’s some enjoyment to endure.
Make of this what you will.
Box Office: $624,332
“Shock and Awe”
Rob Reiner used to be one of the most reliably strong directors in Hollywood. Now, he’s searching for a hit. This angry new effort has passion behind it, but no form to hold it together. It all makes for something more watchable than usual, but still incredibly flawed. Our mixed, at best, review on the site had this to say:
Reiner is clearly passionate about the material, but he can’t translate that to the screen.
Die hard Reiner fans only need apply here.
Box Office: $77,980
“The Yellow Birds”
Once thought of as a potential Oscar player, this war drama struggled to find an audience, or any real support at all. Any rumors of Jennifer Aniston making up for her “Cake” Best Actress snub turned out to be just that. Nothing much came from this one. Variety took it to task like so:
In almost every crucial way, “The Yellow Birds” is a flat and listless piece of moviemaking, a monotonous indie dirge that will probably end up fighting hard to win even a tiny audience.
Box Office: N/A
Special Criterion Collection Section
“The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez”
Our only new Criterion release this week is this passion project of sorts from actor Edward James Olmos. It’s an important film, even if you may not currently be aware of that. The movie will clearly benefit from this treatment. The Collection has this to say in their sales pitch:
Forced to run from the Texas Rangers after a heated misunderstanding leads to the death of a lawman, Mexican American farmer Gregorio Cortez sets off in desperate flight, evading a massive manhunt on horseback for days. Producer-star Edward James Olmos, seeking to shed new light on a historical incident that had been enshrined in a corrido (folk song), enlisted director Robert M. Young, a longtime practitioner of socially engaged realism, to helm this trailblazing independent film, a landmark of Chicano cinema.
Besides Thanos, this is a curiosity to consider giving a shot to this week!
“The Blacklist: The Complete Fifth Season”
“Mr. Mercedes: Season One”
“Here and Now: The Complete First Season”
“Arrow: The Complete Sixth Season”