This week, one of the most amusing installments in the Marvel Cinematic Universe comes to Blu-Ray and DVD. The “Ant-Man” movies have always been the lighter segments of the MCU, with that especially being the case this most recent time around. With a relatively light slate today, it easily takes the top spot. Read on for more!
PICK OF THE WEEK
“Ant-Man and the Wasp”
Marvel has turned their Ant-Man character into their most overtly comedic character (give or take the latest incarnation of Thor). Having Paul Rudd in the role certainly doesn’t hurt. Moreover, having this series feature smaller stakes pays dividends too. It can be a fun and silly caper, only tangentially feeding into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The addition of Evangeline Lilly as an equally strong character is tremendous too. That gives this one an added layer. The Hollywood Reporter had this to say about it:
This latest entry in the unstoppable Marvel Studios takeover of the world is probably the most amusing film the company has made since the Kevin Feige reign began a decade ago.
“Ant-Man and the Wasp” manages to solidify the character’s place in the MCU. If you dug the first one, you’ll love this one too. Plus, you’ll want to dive into the special features of this Blu-Ray, if only to seek some hints about the future of the universe!
Special Features: Deleted Scenes, Featurettes, and more
Total Box Office: $216,519,500 (and counting)
Major Awards: None yet
In honor of this week’s release of “Wildlife,” the pick for today will be the prior cinematic collaboration between Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan. It’s “Ruby Sparks,” an absolute gem (excuse the pun) of a movie. Dano and Kazan’s performances are tremendous, her script is phenomenal, and the filmmaking from Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris shines. The film is an underrated masterpiece, in many ways. Here’s a bit from our four star rave here on the site, explaining some of the love:
From the stellar direction by Dayton and Faris to the brilliant script by Kazan to the performances by Kazan and Paul Dano, nearly everything about this movie is flawless. Equal parts humorous, heartbreaking, and heartwarming, this has something for everyone. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll be moved.
“Wildlife” is one of the best films of 2018, so make sure to check it out this weekend. In addition, dive back to “Ruby Sparks” and see the pair creatively in action!
OTHER FILMS BEING RELEASED
Here’s a look at what else is hitting shelves today, besides the one recommended title in “Ant-Man and the Wasp”:
Danny McBride is about to see his “Halloween” sequel open massively this weekend. At the same time, this unusual little film comes to Blu-Ray. It’s uneven, to be sure, but McBride turns in some strong work. Aside from his earlier, more serious turns for David Gordon Green (like “All the Real Girls“), this is one of his best performances. Reviews were mixed, but the Los Angeles Times dug it. Here’s a sample from their review:
Danny McBride is at his funniest and scariest in “Arizona,” a darkly comic film noir that works well as both a violent thriller and as a ruthless satire of over-extended American dreamers.
If you like McBride and want something a bit different, this is worth giving a shot.
Box Office: N/A
A really good cast couldn’t save this indie film from slipping completely below the radar earlier this year. Vera Farmiga and Christopher Plummer? That should be enough, regardless of the material. And yet, it falls just a little bit short. What a shame, in the end. The Hollywood Reporter put forward this shrug of a take:
A fantastic cast doing fine work can’t make this feel-good hokum believable, and most viewers who walk away satisfied are those who’d happily watch any new Plummer vehicle, just to celebrate the actor’s enduring vitality and charm.
Box Office: $703,438
Documentary sequels are rare. Especially when the original wasn’t a huge hit, it’s downright unheard of. And yet, here we are with a follow up to “The Queen of Versailles.” Reviews were mixed for this one, but there were some definite fans. One such positive review is found right here on the site, which states the following:
The film bogs down at points, but always finds ways to bring audiences back into the action. In fact, the film rises to its highest points when it moves away from the sensational displays of wealth.
Make of this one what you will.
Box Office: $237,709
“Unfriended: Dark Web”
This quickie horror sequel continues the franchise’s unique premise. Unfortunately, the much better “Searching” this year showed how to use the concept to its full extent. Genre films set within computer screens are tough to pull off, so this is an example of it missing the mark. The New Yorker had this to say:
It adds up to little, despite a fine Hitchcockian twist of a single transgression leading inevitably to doom.
Stick with “Searching.”
Box Office: $8,783,985
A documentary biopic of sorts, centering on singer Whitney Houston, this was a pretty high profile picture earlier in the year. Kevin Macdonald‘s doc actually managed to contain real revelations about her, which is stunning. How often does that happen? In addition, this film has some of the best reviews of the year. Entertainment Weekly had this rave of a review to contribute:
Whitney feels like the kind of film anyone who cared at all about her should see: the fullest portrait yet – if one that will always, inevitably fall short – of a singular artist and human being who may have eluded understanding in the end.
Definitely another option to consider this week!
Box Office: $3,026,351
Special Criterion Collection Section
For our one and only new Criterion release this week, we turn our attention to a fun classic. How many films can boast a creative force that includes Hal Ashby, Warren Beatty, Julie Christie, Lee Grant, Goldie Hawn, and Robert Towne? It’s truly a special movie, while also being a great time capsule of 1975. This is what the Collection had to say in their effort to sell you on the flick:
Beatty dreamed up the project, cowrote the script with Robert Towne, and enlisted Hal Ashby as director, and the resulting carousel of doomed relationships is an essential seventies farce, a sharp look back at the sexual politics and self-absorption of the preceding decade.
This is a real must own!
“The Affair: Season Four”
“Ash vs. Evil Dead: The Complete Series”
“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: The Complete Third Season”