New Blu-Ray/DVD Releases (10/02/18) – Ben Foster and ‘Three Identical Strangers’

This week, one of the best documentaries of the year, as well as one of Ben Foster‘s best performances, lead the Blu-Ray/DVD charge. Both are hoping for some Oscar love, as well as your hard earned time and money. Luckily, both are incredibly deserving of both. Plus, today features some other worthwhile titles. It’s a really strong slate. So, let’s get down to brass tacks!

PICK OF THE WEEK

Three Identical Strangers

A stunning documentary with a genuine shock to it, this is a rare beast. Initially a simple and even upbeat story about discovering long lost twin brothers, things take a turn. The doc sneaks up on you and goes to parts of society that you’ll never expect. We cryptically raved about it here on the site like so:

“Three Identical Strangers” unearths a popular human interest story from the 80s and follows it down a deep, dark rabbit hole. What starts out as charming goes to unexpected places that stick with you long after the credits roll.

Three Identical Strangers” works best the less you know going in. Give it a shot and be stunned by what you discover…

Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: $12,222,555 (and counting)
Major Awards: None yet

RECOMMENDED MOVIES

The King

Eugene Jarecki‘s documentary about Elvis Presley is not just about the star musician. It’s also very much about the country at the time, as well as where it has gone since then. Jarecki looks at Elvis and America as linked forever. This doc is another strong one this week, making it a slate full of high quality non fiction cinema. Our positive review here on the site said the following:

Elvis is clearly used as a metaphor by Jarecki. Undeniably progressive in his approach and his politics, the filmmaker still crafts a compelling portrait that reaches beyond simply ideology.

The King” is a doc that asks a lot of questions. It doesn’t always have answers, but it’s a fascinating ride. Paired with “Three Identical Strangers,” it makes for a compelling double feature.

Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: $259,291 (and counting)
Major Awards: None yet

Leave No Trace

What a lovely movie this is. Ben Foster is as good as he’s ever been here in Debra Granik‘s latest work. His nearly silent turn is just stunning. We spoke to Foster (here) about the film, as well as Granik (here), and they both explained what made this passion project so necessary to make. The effect is clear to see on the screen. Our rave review here on the site praised Foster like so:

Ben Foster has rarely been better than he is here. In “Leave No Trace” he gives an often silent performance, one that requires his soulful eyes to do a lot of the work.

Leave No Trace” is a little flick. At the same time, it’s one that leaves a big impact on you. Pick it up and discover why this is so special. In addition, it’s a 1A/1B situation with “Three Identical Strangers” today, which is high praise…

Special Features: Deleted Scenes, Featurettes, and more
Total Box Office: $6,041,036 (and counting)
Major Awards: None yet

Sicario: Day of the Soldado

This sequel should have been terrible. The three most highly praised creatives involved in the first one did not return. Somehow, even without Emily Blunt, Roger Deakins, and Denis Villeneuve, this still works. Having Josh Brolin, Benicio del Toro, and Taylor Sheridan back for more certainly helps. That trio was able to save the day and make this worthwhile. We said as much in our review here on the site:

All in all, “Sicario: Day of the Soldado” is the rare unnecessary sequel that still carves out a niche for itself.

Sicario: Day of the Soldado” is a welcome change of pace from craven cash grabs. If you liked the first one, grab this one and continue the story!

Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: $50,072,235
Major Awards: None yet

VINTAGE VIEWING

In honor of this week’s release of “A Star Is Born,” the pick today is going to be another moment in the sun for Bradley Cooper. This time, however, it’ll be an underrated performance of his. It’s “The Place Beyond the Pines,” which was one of his most internal turns. His work opposite Ryan Gosling was quietly stunning. In our rave review of the flick, here is what we said about Cooper’s performance:

Cooper is nearly as good here as he was in Silver Linings Playbook (2012), though this is a very different part. Much of his role is internalized, something I wasn’t sure he could pull off. Without spoiling things, the way his character evolves is one of the best parts of the flick.

Cooper’s directorial debut is about to make all the money. Prep yourself for it thusly.

OTHER FILMS BEING RELEASED

Here’s a look at what else is hitting shelves today, besides the quartet of recommended titles in “The King,” “Leave No Trace,” “Three Identical Strangers,” and “Sicario: Day of the Soldado”:

Blue Iguana

Sam Rockwell is normally incredibly reliable. That makes this utter misfire even more puzzling. Had he not been in it, fresh off of his Oscar win, it probably would have barely been released. It’s a total throwaway of a crime flick. This was a bit from our pan of a review that was posted here on the site:

“Blue Iguana” seems like a film out of time. It’s one of those movies where the filmmaker thinks they’re making the next “Pulp Fiction.” Overly stylized, self-congratulatory, and incapable of drawing you in, it’s a chore to sit through.

Even hardcore Rockwell fans need not apply.

Box Office: N/A

Breath

Simon Baker‘s directorial debut is a coming of age drama that definitely flew below the radar. Despite not having much of a presence, profile wise, critics were mostly kind to this one. In fact, some were quite fond of it. In his review over at Rolling Stone, Peter Travers had the following to put forward into the discourse:

Star Simon Baker, in a solid directing debut, blends surfing and coming-of-age elements into film of moments that don’t always tie together. But when they do – oh, how they soar.

Make of this one what you will.

Box Office: $37,108

The Catcher was a Spy

This drama was an unfortunate letdown. Paul Rudd playing a baseball player turned secret agent during World War II? That sounds utterly fantastic. Alas, the end result here was just way too uneven to recommend. To use a silly pun, it makes too many errors to win the game. In our mixed review on the site, more puns are let loose. Behold here:

…a great leading man turn by Paul Rudd is stranded on the bases. The rest of the team just can’t drive him in, to use another baseball metaphor. What a shame too, as the film had the potential to be a home run.

If you love Rudd, you might want to give it a look. Just keep your expectations in check.

Box Office: $712,438 (and counting)

The First Purge

Has this franchise finally come to an end? Going the prequel route suggests that it might be. Jason Blum has made a ton of money off of this series, but it’s never been of any quality. The concept is admittedly solid, while the promotional material for the sequels has been great. The movies themselves? Crap. This latest one was no different. Our pan here at the site sums it up this way:

The premise has more than been exhausted.

Box Office: $69,086,325

Special Criterion Collection Section

The Naked Prey

Our only new Criterion release to talk about this week is release from the mid 1960’s. You might not have heard of it, but the good folks at Criterion seem to love it. That counts for something, as you must know by now. Filmmaker Cornel Wilde could become your next great discovery. Why not, right? This is how the Collection makes their sales pitch:

Distinguished by vivid widescreen camera work and unflinchingly ferocious action sequences, The Naked Prey is both a propulsive, stripped-to-the-bone narrative and a meditation on the concept of civilization.

Give it a look!

TV RELEASES

Barry: The Complete First Season

Worth an extra mention today is that “Barry” is hitting shelves. This HBO series is a cut above, in multiple ways. Bill Hader is great, the concept is original, and it’s really its own unique beast. Plus, it’s the vehicle that got Henry Winkler an Emmy at long last. That alone is worthy of some praise. This is what we had to say about the show here on the site:

“Barry” may sound like a ridiculous premise on its face. Frankly, it is. Yet the combination of actors and actresses assembled here works incredibly well.

Pick it up and enjoy!

“The Big Bang Theory: Seasons 6-10”
“Courage the Cowardly Dog: The Complete Series”
“Doctor Who: The Complete Matt Smith Years”
“Doctor Who: The Complete Peter Capaldi Years”
“Good Witch: Season 4”
“The Mary Tyler Moore Show: The Complete Series”
“The Originals: The Complete Series”
“Reba: The Complete Series”
“The Resident: Season One”
“Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In: The Complete Series”
“Vikings: Season 5, Volume 1”

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