This week, one of the surprises of 2018 comes to Blu-Ray and DVD in “Searching.” An unexpectedly enthralling mystery, it easily leads the charge today. It’s a small and lacking slate, but this little gem saves the day. Read on for more!
PICK OF THE WEEK
Without question, this is one of the year’s most pleasant surprises. There were so many ways that “Searching” could have gone wrong. And yet, this goes so right. From the editing and visuals to John Cho‘s magnificent turn, it nearly all works. Cho especially rightly turned heads for this one. As exciting as it is, there’s also an undercurrent of emotion that really hits home. Here’s a bit from our rave review here on the site:
Before slightly getting too silly at the end, it’s an enthralling tale that brings out a surprising emotion. This is, under the radar, one of the better titles of the year.
“Searching” is a wonderfully compelling picture. It will upend all of your expectations. Pick it up and enjoy the surprise!
Special Features: Audio Commentary, Featurettes, and more
Total Box Office: $26,020,957
Major Awards: Nominated for Best Male Lead for John Cho at the 2018 Film Independent Spirit Awards
In honor of this week’s release of “Amazing Grace,” the pick for today will be another long-delayed film. It’s “Margaret,” which notoriously took almost a decade to reach screens. Kenneth Lonergan‘s epic is a cult classic, with ambition for days. Depending on the version you watch, you may be getting a compromised vision, but they all offer something wonderful. Our hugely positive review here on the site included the following bit:
It’s full of ideas and even more packed with emotion, making for an intense viewing experience.
Something to definitely revisit this week. As a bonus, here is a piece we did years back comparing the various versions of “Margaret” that exist.
OTHER FILMS BEING RELEASED
Here’s a look at what else is hitting shelves today, besides the one and only recommended title in “Searching”:
“The Little Stranger”
For his follow up to “Room,” filmmaker Lenny Abrahamson could have made just about anything. His choice? This oddly stuck up ghost story. Critics and audiences dismissed it, making for a flop. Abrahamson will recover, with this being merely a footnote in his career. That’s just how the cookie crumbles. Our mixed review here on the site had this to say:
It isn’t a bad movie. But it isn’t a great one either.
Box Office: $713,143
This documentary is one that definitely flew below the radar for almost the entire viewing public this year. A doc about movies and the love of cinema? That arguably should have found a larger audience. Those who saw it, however, we’re really fond of it. One such take came from The Hollywood Reporter, which had this to say about it:
Anyone who loves movies is bound to love Saving Brinton.
An interesting option for cinephiles.
Box Office: $56,218
Special Criterion Collection Section
“The Magnificent Ambersons”
For our first of two new Criterion release this week, we turn our attention to the legend that is Orson Welles. Specifically, to his follow up to “Citizen Kane.” How does one follow up arguably the greatest cinematic work of all time? In this case, it’s with a period piece centered on a rich family. What resulted was “The Magnificent Ambersons.” The Collection explains why this is such an essential work:
Orson Welles’s beautiful, nostalgia-suffused second feature—the subject of one of cinema’s greatest missing-footage tragedies—harks back to turn-of-the-twentieth-century Indianapolis, chronicling the inexorable decline of the fortunes of an affluent family.
Welles fans would do well to pick this up. Along with “Searching,” it’s the cream of the week’s crop!
The other title joining the Collection today comes from none other than musician David Byrne. Yes, he made a movie, one worthy of this citation too. The frontman for The Talking Heads only directed one thing, and this is it. Criterion feels strongly about it, as you can see in their sales pitch here:
Music icon David Byrne was inspired by tabloid headlines to make his sole foray into feature-film directing, an ode to the extraordinariness of ordinary American life and a distillation of what was in his own idiosyncratic mind.
This is a real curiosity, especially if you’re a Byrne fan!
ALSO OF NOTE
“Elf: Buddy’s Sing & Cheer Along Edition”
With the holiday season approaching, what could be better than a new Special Edition of the modern Christmas classic “Elf?” Well, a Singalong edition, of course! Yes, now you can watch Will Ferrell while also partake in the action. Especially for younger fans, they can sing when Ferrell’s Buddy sings, as well as see some of his best lines pop up on the screen. It’s a cute re-release that will make a great stocking stuffer!
Special Features: Alternate/Deleted Scenes, Sing and Cheer Edition, and more…
“Picnic at Hanging Rock”
“What I Like About You: The Complete Third Season”