New Blu-Ray/DVD Releases (02/05/19) – Avenging ‘Widows’ And Much More

This week, “Widows” comes charging along as one of the high profile new releases on Blu-Ray and DVD. It’s joined today by a rather strong assortment of other titles. This is one of those slates where there’s literally something for everyone. Read on below for details!

PICK OF THE WEEK

Widows

Despite a complete lack of attention from the Academy, this Steve McQueen action outing is one of the better films of 2018. Crafted with care, it shows how strong genre work can be when you have superior talent in front of and behind the camera. Clayton was a big fan of this one at the Toronto International Film Festival, filing this rave review:

Galloping on a taut script by Gillian Flynn, “Widows” is a highly entertaining, suspense thriller that is magnified by its performances and technical vibrations by its stellar crew.

“Widows” is impeccably made and a stirring showcase for the Viola Davis led cast. In addition, Elizabeth Debicki gives one of the most underrated supporting turns of 2018.. Even with a strong slate of options this week, you can’t do better than this one!

Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: $42,366,843 (and counting)
Major Awards: Nominated for Best Actress (for Davis) at the BAFTA Awards

RECOMMENDED MOVIES

Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch

This reimagining of the classic story by Dr. Seuss doesn’t try to outdo its predecessor. Instead, it simply attempts to entertain by being an Illumination Entertainment take on the character. To that end, it succeeds. Our review here on the site wasn’t a rave, but it spoke to how heartwarming the film still managed to be:

For all that makes “The Grinch” redundant, there’s enough that still warms the heart. Illumination’s animation makes every shot light up the screen like a house full of Christmas lights.

Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch” also marks the directorial debut of Kevin Smith‘s longtime producer Scott Mosier. It’s well worth a look for anyone curious what Mosier brings to the table…

Special Features: Featurettes, Mini-Movies, and More
Total Box Office: $270,425,640 (and counting)
Major Awards: None yet

The Long Dumb Road

One of last year’s funniest comedies, this road trip tale features a turn by Jason Mantzoukas that’s a force of nature. Not just content to be a laugh riot, however, this comedy also introduces an intriguing amount of darkness and discomfort to the mix. It’s incredibly underrated and an undiscovered gem from 2018. New York Magazine/Vulture agreed as you can see below:

Mantzoukas brilliantly juggles all the different forces of Richard’s personality so that we never quite know what to make of this guy, which in turn means that we never quite know what will happen next with him and Nat.

The Long Dumb Road” deserved a better fate. Now that it’s available at home, definitely give it a shot!

Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: $4,667
Major Awards: None yet

A Private War

Rosamund Pike gave one of her best performances to date in this biopic of slain journalist Marie Colvin. She dives into this character in a way that completely engages. There are occasional narrative shortcomings, but Pike is always there to guide you through any rough patches. Clayton was fond of this one at the Middleburg Film Festival, putting forth the following take:

Holding it all together, Pike’s performance is enough to recommended the film to anyone who wants to see prime examples of a dedicated actress and a heartbreaking story that is still occurring today.

A Private War” never quite caught on as an awards player. However, as a tribute to a journalist, it’s something of high value. Give it a look and see why.

Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: $1,633,208
Major Awards: Nominated for Best Actress (for Pike) at the Golden Globe Awards

The Sisters Brothers

Caught in a tonal no man’s land, this western never caught on. Expensive independent fare always lands with a louder thud when it’s not financially successful, and this was no exception. At the same time though, the filmmaking from Jacques Audiard is so gorgeous and the performances so interesting, it has lingered for those who actually gave it a chance. Rolling Stone was a big fan, as you can see below:

A knockout, one-of-a-kind western from French director Jacques Audiard in which odd-bird frontier hitmen are played by Joaquin Phoenix and a hot-damn he’s great John C. Reilly. Saddle up.

The Sisters Brothers” is odd enough that there’s no obvious audience. However, if you’re in the mood for a unique indie, this is a hard one to pass up.

Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: $3,143,056
Major Awards: Won Best Director (for Audiard) at the Venice Film Festival

VINTAGE VIEWING

In honor of this week’s release of “Cold Pursuit,” the pick today is going to be another Liam Neeson snow picture. While the upcoming endeavor is laced with black comedy, our choice is deathly serious. It’s “The Grey,” which is Neeson’s grittiest action outing. The “Taken” franchise is more popular, but this is his best kick-ass work. Our highly positive review here on the site from back in the day says as much:

Incredibly bleak but undeniably powerful, ‘The Grey’ is a tough picture to sit through, but a rewarding one, especially in terms of Liam Neeson’s terrific lead performance.

Neeson’s latest is one of the year’s best so far. Prep for it with this other gem from his filmography!

OTHER FILMS BEING RELEASED

Here’s a look at what else is hitting shelves today, besides the recommended grouping of “Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch,” “The Long Dumb Road,” “A Private War,” “The Sisters Brothers” and “Widows”:

The Cloverfield Paradox

During last year’s Super Bowl, the surprise announcement that “The Cloverfield Paradox” was hitting Netflix that night was a big deal. Unfortunately, it was also lipstick on a pig. The franchise offering ended up on the streaming service because, well, it was a crummy film. Our pan here on the site says the same:

It’s a shame the film turns out so bland when there’s so much talent in front and behind the camera.

It’s right there on Netflix if you want, so no thanks to this on Blu-Ray/DVD.

Box Office: N/A

The Girl in the Spider’s Web

Go figure, removing David Fincher and Rooney Mara from a franchise keeps people away. Claire Foy in the Lisbeth Salander role is strong casting, but this always seemed like a failure in the making. That’s just what happened too, as audiences were not in the mood to see a new take on the character. Variety was not fond of this movie, writing the following:

It was probably inevitable that Hollywood would neuter the best elements of Stieg Larsson’s “Millennium” franchise, but did the producers really need to shift it into a commonplace cross between a superhero flick and James Bond?

Stick with the Fincher effort.

Box Office: $14,841,338

Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer

Never heard of this one? You’re not alone. Despite making a few bucks, this conservative leaning courtroom drama has almost no name recognition. Apparently, there’s not a lot of quality to speak of either, which makes sense. The Los Angeles Times shrugged this one off like so:

The film never loses sight of the choir to which it is plainly preaching.

Hard pass.

Box Office: $3,679,893

The Guilty

An Oscar contender until the last moment for Best Foreign Language Feature, this claustrophobic thriller damn near became an Oscar nominee. Despite the Academy Award snub, it’s still a really well-made genre offering that gives you plenty to chew on. Our positive take here on the site says the following:

With its smartly manipulative screenplay, intimate closeup cinematography and Moller’s assured direction, “The Guilty” is as probing as any courtroom drama.

Another one to consider today!

Box Office: $207,140

Special Criterion Collection Section

Shame

For our sole Criterion release to discuss this week, we have an Ingmar Bergman classic coming your way. Starring Max von Sydow and Liv Ullmann, it’s one of Bergman’s darker efforts, which is really saying something. The Collection sells this devastating picture to you like so:

Directed by Ingmar Bergman, Shame (Skammen) is at once an examination of the violent legacy of World War II and a scathing response to the escalation of the conflict in Vietnam.

If you’re a Bergman fan, this is one not to miss!

TV RELEASES

“The Americans: The Complete Series”
“Arrested Development: Seasons 1-4”
“The Deuce: The Complete Second Season”
“Lost in Space: The Complete Adventures”

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