This week, author Nick Hornby sees another of his books adapted for the big screen. That romantic comedy headlines the new releases hitting Blu-Ray and DVD. Today isn’t exactly a Red Letter Date in home video history, but there’s enough here to make the slate more than worthwhile. Take a gander below!
PICK OF THE WEEK
Nick Hornby often writes books that are perfectly suited to be made into films. “High Fidelity” is an absolute classic. “About a Boy” is too. There has been a misfire or two, but this one is not that. Armed with charming turns from Rose Byrne, Ethan Hawke, and Chris O’Dowd, this love triangle will undoubtedly make you smile. Plus, the music is catchy too. It’s a small scale Hornby success story. Richard Roeper had this to say, paying close attention to Byrne and Hawke:
Like Ethan Hawke, Rose Byrne is an actor who can do just about anything when given the opportunity.
“Juliet Naked” offers light charm. Depending on how often you watch the news, that could be just what the doctor ordered!
Special Features: Featurette
Total Box Office: $3,444,895
Major Awards: None yet
In honor of this week’s release of “Widows,” the pick today is going to be a previous outing from Steve McQueen. It’s “Shame,” the finest hour to date from Michael Fassbender. A heart wrenching character study, Fassbender and McQueen spare no feeling. They rip your emotions out in almost clinical fashion. It’s each of their best work so far. This is a bit from our rave at the time, here on the site:
Filmmaker Steve McQueen brings his artistic sensibilities to a tough story and makes something beautiful and haunting out of it.
McQueen is a director who makes it look easy. Get ready for his latest showcase by doubling back to one of his most powerful works!
OTHER FILMS BEING RELEASED
Here’s a look at what else is hitting shelves today, besides the Nick Hornby adaptation “Juliet Naked”:
A boy and his dog outing, only with a prehistoric type twist. In a way, this is the first boy and his dog tale. It even managed to find a bit of an audience. Not a big one, mind you, but enough of one to keep it from being a failure. Rolling Stone had this to say in their lightly positive take:
It’s the coming-of-Ice-Age parable you didn’t know you really needed.
Animal lovers might get a kick out of this one.
Box Office: $35,829,745 (and counting)
“The Children Act”
This English courtroom drama has an ace up its sleeve. The ace? Having the central role being played by Emma Thompson. She bites into a juicy part and just goes to town on it. The movie doesn’t always live up to her work, but she makes it a journey worth going on in the end. The Los Angeles Times praised it like so:
It’s always rewarding to watch Thompson bring her lucid wit and deep emotional reserves to bear on a meaty role.
If you see it, see it for Thompson. She’s outstanding.
Box Office: $513,381 (and counting)
“Long Strange Trip”
A documentary about The Grateful Dead, it only makes sense that this would be an epically long title. It seemed to be aimed at devoted Deadheads, but newbies won’t be lost either. It’s a huge time commitment, but docs like this often have a hypnotic quality to them. The Hollywood Reporter fell under its spell, as you can see below:
Although devoted Deadheads will be the prime target audience, Long Strange Trip also provides a detailed primer for curious rock fans who never bought into the cult around the band.
If you’re a Deadhead, this obviously will be your go to pick this week.
Box Office: $351,957
Giant sharks are almost always fun to see on the big screen. Throw in Jason Statham fighting one and that should be low art brilliance, right? Well, not so much. An expensive B movie is often unnecessary, and everything about this one is just that…unnecessary. It should have been so much better, especially since the book is so solid. Instead, it’s one of 2018’s worst. Here’s a bit from our pan here on the site:
Big, dumb, but not much fun. That would be a more accurate tagline for “The Meg,” a neutered would-be blockbuster.
Avoid it at all costs.
Box Office: $143,005,856
Mark Wahlberg and Peter Berg have been a great team of late. “Patriots Day” especially is a gem. Alas, this is their first true misfire together. A total misfire, this would be franchise started was dead on arrival. Our negative review on the site gets into why, including this bit:
Going from dramatic retellings of heroic events to fictional shoot em up, Berg and Wahlberg seem on autopilot. With spasmodic cinematography, a mean streak, bland characterization, and atrocious editing, you’d be right to expect more.
Box Office: $36,108,758
This quirky drama has an interesting pedigree. Written by the underrated Oren Moverman, it also gives Kelly Macdonald a plum lead role. Neither gets the attention they deserve, that goes without saying. That’s something many reviews hit on in their analysis. Variety was one, which said the following:
We should be grateful that it exists, if only because it affords a long-overdue leading role to Kelly Macdonald …
Box Office: $2,029,340
Special Criterion Collection Section
“Some Like It Hot”
For our one and only new Criterion release this week, we have another all time classic to discuss. “Some Like It Hot” is a Billy Wilder gem, featuring Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, and Marilyn Monroe at their best. If you haven’t seen this laugh riot yet, you owe it to yourself to rectify that. The Collection doesn’t mince words in their pitch, stating with clarity:
One of the most beloved films of all time, this sizzling masterpiece by Billy Wilder set a new standard for Hollywood comedy.
It’s a must own, plain and simple. Plus, it’s just a tremendously entertaining romp!
“The Crown: The Complete Second Season”
“Elementary: The Sixth Season”
“Narcos: The Complete Third Season”
“Preacher: Season Three”
“Scorpion: The Complete Series”
“Whose Line Is It Anyway?: The Complete First Season”