This week, fans of Lady Gaga and Melissa McCarthy can prep for their upcoming Oscar appearance with the new releases hitting Blu-Ray and DVD. Yes, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” and “A Star Is Born” are among today’s choice picks. The slate is a small one, but still one of the more rock solid ones of late. Read on for more!
PICK OF THE WEEK
“A Star Is Born”
The best film of 2018, Bradley Cooper‘s directorial debut is a masterwork. Far more than just a studio remake, this is heartbreaking, beautifully acted, and full of incredible music. Cooper and Lady Gaga makes for a phenomenal romantic pair, while Sam Elliott steals his scenes. All three were deservedly cited by the Academy, with Cooper and Gaga getting multiple Oscar nods. Clayton loved it too at the Toronto International Film Festival, as you can see below:
“A Star is Born” is a remarkable and stunning achievement pairing together two of the year’s most breathtaking performances in Cooper and Grammy Award winner Lady Gaga. Its highs are SO high that it has undoubtedly made its mark on the film year.
“A Star Is Born” is an all-timer. It sounds great, it looks great (especially in 4K), and is a must own. Regardless of what happens at the Academy Awards, it’s a winner in our book!
Special Features: Featurettes and Performances/Songs Not Seen In The Film
Total Box Office: $209,221,688 (and counting)
Major Awards: Nominated for eight Oscars at the Academy Awards, including Best Picture
“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Richard E. Grant and Melissa McCarthy were rightly nominated by the Academy for their work in this crime dramedy. Marielle Heller’s sophomore effort is wickedly enjoyable, buoyed by those two performances. The melancholy found just beneath the surface of the comedy helps to set it apart. Mark saw it at the Telluride Film Festival and enjoyed it, writing:
“Can You Ever Forgive Me?” is a most pleasant surprise, a caustically witty entry…that acts as part buddy-film, a part allegory on loneliness.
“Can You Ever Forgive Me?” has a lot to offer. For Grant and McCarthy alone, it’s one to pick up and fully embrace!
Special Features: Audio Commentary and Deleted Scenes
Total Box Office: $8,586,944 (and counting)
Major Awards: Nominated for three Oscars at the Academy Awards
This hybrid war film and horror offering was once upon a time thought to be another of the “Cloverfield” spinoffs. That wasn’t the case, obviously, but it didn’t suffer at all from that. In fact, it might have been better off. Mixing monsters and World War II oddly meshed together rather well. Our positive take here on the site had this to say:
High art, it is not, but a fun time at the movies? That’s certainly the case.
“Overlord” is genre fun, plain and simple. As long as you’re in the mood for it, it’s something you can easily enjoy.
Special Features: Featurettes
Total Box Office: $21,704,844
Major Awards: None
In honor of this week’s release of “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World,” the pick today is going to be the one that started it all. Yes, it’s “How to Train Your Dragon,” the OG offering from this franchise. Now a trilogy, the original has more than its fair share of fans. Almost unanimously loved, even Roger Ebert gave a thumbs up, as you can see below:
It devotes a great deal of time to aerial battles between tamed dragons and evil ones, and not much to character or story development. But it’s bright, good-looking and has high energy.
Get ready for the series to end by revisiting how it all began!
OTHER FILMS BEING RELEASED
Here’s a look at what else is hitting shelves today, besides the recommended trio of “Can You Ever Forgive Me?,” “Overlord,” and “A Star Is Born”:
“The Last Race”
This documentary on a Long Island racetrack is a niche offering. If you’re not into racing, it has its charms, but the real appeal is in if you have a connection to this culture. If so, you may be in for a small scale treat. The Hollywood Reporter chimed in with the following:
The film will likely endure as a testament to the resilience of a community dedicated to long-established racing traditions.
If you’re into racing, it’s one to consider this week!
Box Office: $11,947
“Maria By Callas: In Her Own Words”
Another doc, this one is a look at the life of the famous American/Greek opera singer who gives the film its title. Allowing Callas a platform helps to separate this non-fiction offering from a lot of similar efforts. Rolling Stone included the following in their review:
Here’s the intimate, unabashedly reverential new documentary that gives legendary diva Maria Callas the encore she deserves. And in her own voice. Fasten your seatbelts.
Callas fans should definitely make time for this one today.
Box Office: $1,267,301
Did we really need another “Robin Hood” film? Judging by the box office take, the obvious answer is a resounding no. Despite a solid cast that includes Taron Egerton, Jamie Foxx, and Ben Mendelsohn, this has absolutely nothing of note to offer audiences. As such, it was ignored and became a flop. The Wrap dismisses it like so:
Reboots and remakes are meant to introduce a new audience to a classic tale with fresh ideas and storylines that make the story relevant to modern audiences. “Robin Hood” doesn’t even try.
This is nothing special, so it really doesn’t need your time. If you’re a fan of the character, maybe consider it? Otherwise, move along.
Box Office: $30,824,628
Special Criterion Collection Section
“Death in Venice”
The one and only new Criterion releases to discuss this week is an Italian offering from the early 1970’s. Considered an all-time great literary adaptation, Luchino Visconti took a Thomas Mann story and crafted cinematic gold out of it. The Collection pitches it to you like so:
Based on the classic novella by Thomas Mann, this late-career masterpiece from Luchino Visconti is a meditation on the nature of art, the allure of beauty, and the inescapability of death.
Give it a shot!
“Damages: The Complete Series”
“Doctor Who: Christmas Special 2018”