New Blu-Ray/DVD Releases (03/05/19) – ‘Favourite’ Actresses and More ‘Creed’

This week, a stacked slate comes to Blu-Ray and DVD. In fact, over a half dozen strong options are hitting shelves today. Leading the way are a “Creed” sequel and one of our most recent Academy Award winners. Read on for more!

PICK OF THE WEEK

Creed II

A phenomenal sequel, not only does this continue the story of Adonis Creed, it gives even more layers to Rocky Balboa. The way this one intertwines aspects of numerous previous installments of the franchise, notably “Rocky IV,” is deftly handled. As was the case last time, Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone are brilliant. Clayton loved it too, raving about it like so here on the site:

“Creed II” has heart, massive, large amounts of it.

Creed II” is far better than anyone was expecting. If you enjoyed “Creed” or the “Rocky” franchise in general, this is one not to miss!

Special Features: Deleted Scenes, Featurettes, and more
Total Box Office: $115,696,014 (and counting)
Major Awards: None

RECOMMENDED MOVIES

Ben Is Back

The father/son duo of Peter Hedges and Lucas Hedges teamed up for an emotional powerhouse here, with Julia Roberts also turning in phenomenal work. She has a monologue in a mall food court that’s among the most satisfying sequences in any 2018 film. The second half is messy, but the first half is terrific, more than earning its keep. Rolling Stone was very fond of the central performances:

Julia Roberts and Lucas Hedges pour their hearts and souls into the unflinching and unforgettable addiction drama about a mother who can’t quite trust the son she loves.

Ben Is Back” had awards-worthy work from Hedges and Roberts. If you want to see one of the most unfairly ignored films of last year, you should pick this one up.

Special Features: Featurettes
Total Box Office: $3,703,184
Major Awards: None

The Favourite

This Oscar winner from Yorgos Lanthimos was not only beautifully shot, but absolutely hilarious to boot. Olivia Colman deserves her golden statue, while Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz are just as good. The trio made for one of the most enjoyable ensembles of 2018. Clayton was fond of what Lanthimos delivered here, penning this take out of the New York Film Festival:

His signature deadpan deliveries and uniquely rich directions are on full display with his new period piece “The Favourite.”

The Favourite” finally brought Lanthimos’ particular brand of quirk to a wider audience. If you missed it in theaters, you should give it a shot and see why the Academy tapped Colman for the upset win.

Special Features: Deleted Scenes, Featurettes, and more
Total Box Office: $32,595,039 (and counting)
Major Awards: Won Best Actress (for Colman) at the Academy Awards

Instant Family

Sometimes, shameless emotional manipulation by a studio movie pays off. This comedy desperately wants to get tears out of you in the third act. Despite seeing it coming a mile away, it works. That’s a credit to the actual emotion and likability it engenders within you. Our positive review here on the site had this to say:

While it’s being an amiable comedy, it’s preparing to get you right in the feels by the end.

Instant Family” hits the right beats and almost undoubtedly will make you cry. It’s not a downer though, which makes it an excellent option for families this week!

Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: $67,363,237
Major Awards: None

The Standoff at Sparrow Creek

One of 2019’s best films so far, it’s also a rare starring role for James Badge Dale. A talky thriller, it builds to a climax that you’ll never see coming. An ending this good makes you want to watch it all over again to see if it holds up. Trust me, it does. This is a small scale gem. New York Magazine/Vulture had this to say:

It’s an effective little thriller whose occasional flaws come mostly as a result of its considerable virtues, so you roll with it.

The Standoff at Sparrow Creek” flew under the radar earlier this year. Now that it’s out on Blu-Ray, make it your business to seek it out. You won’t regret it!

Special Features: Featurette
Total Box Office: N/A
Major Awards: None yet

VINTAGE VIEWING

In honor of this week’s release of “Captain Marvel,” the pick today is going to be another Marvel Cinematic Universe effort that doesn’t just star another white dude. It’s, obviously, “Black Panther,” the MCU’s biggest hit. A newly minted below the line Oscar winner and Best Picture nominee, it’s gone above and beyond for superhero efforts. Richard Roeper fell for this one, putting forth the following in his wave:

Black Panther is one of the best superhero movies of the century.

As you prep for Carol Danvers, revisit our recent adventure with King T’Challa!

OTHER FILMS BEING RELEASED

Here’s a look at what else is hitting shelves today, besides the recommended quintet of “Ben Is Back,” “Creed II,” “The Favourite,” “Instant Family,” and “The Standoff at Sparrow Creek”:

Burning

A favorite among the film festival circuit, this foreign offering also became a rallying cry for Steven Yeun in Supporting Actor races. They fell short, but it still left a mark. Even here on the site, we raved about it, as you can see below:

Grappling with class frustration, unrequited desire, and existentialism, Chang-dong’s slow-burn thriller has more on its mind than surface pretense suggests.

Definitely another option to consider this week!

Box Office: $711,195

The Clovehitch Killer

This serial killer tale is as much a character study as it is a horror movie. There’s a slow burn on display here, though for yours truly, the burn was far too slow to work. Some critics agreed, while others still were able to look past that and see its other qualities. Entertainment Weekly, for example, found enough to like:

Unlike so many recent horror movies, The Clovehitch Killer is patient with its thrills, almost excruciatingly so.

You can definitely do worse today. However, you can also do better.

Box Office: $8,208

Don’t Go

Psychological thrillers with a supernatural twist have a tough needle to thread. Despite nice work from Stephen Dorff, this particular movie is not able to thread the needle. It’s low-key and atmospheric, but never quite adds up to enough. Our negative review here on the site goes into the details:

Opting more for mystery and suspense than horror, the film takes too deliberate a path and leaves too much unsaid.

It’s nothing to go out of your way for.

Box Office: N/A

Free Solo

The Oscar winner for Best Documentary Feature is best seen on a big screen. However, now that it’s coming to Blu-Ray and DVD, that’s not going to be an option much longer. Still, the impressive nature of what the filmmakers behind “Meru” captured can not be diminished. Our rave review right here on the site makes that exact point:

Their new film ratchets up the tension and anxiety, crafting an even more impressive feature than their debut collaboration.

One more to consider this week!

Box Office: $16,583,681 (and counting)

The Mercy

Colin Firth and Rachel Weisz in a true story about an unsolved mystery? That should be awards bait and a must-see, right? Well, not quite. Firth is fine here in this biopic, but it just is going through the motions. It’s as paint by numbers as a drama based on a true life event can be. The Hollywood Reporter had this to say in their shrug of a take:

Uninspired biopic sheds little light on unfathomable maritime mystery.

You can safely pass on this one.

Box Office: $28,497

The Vanishing

Another slow burn to discuss today. Gerard Butler and Peter Mullan star here, which is a pairing that suggests some intensity. Especially for Butler, it marks a return to more serious acting for him. The Hollywood Reporter praised him in their review, as you can see:

Fine performances and eerie atmospherics enhance this slow burner.

If the cast intrigues you, perhaps give it a shot?

Box Office: N/A

Vox Lux

One of 2018’s most divisive movies, Natalie Portman plays a pop star with a connection to mass shootings. A provocative premise, to be sure. Reactions were all over the place. For those looking for a positive take, one of the bigger raves was found right here on the site. The review stated, in part, the following analysis of the material:

With extremely dark, topical subject matter as its jumping point, the message is clear: there’s no escaping the lingering carnage of the past.

Some of you will love this one. Some of you will hate it. Only one way to find out where you land though…

Box Office: $727,119

TV RELEASES

“Fear the Walking Dead: The Complete Fourth Season”
“Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper: Season Two”
“House of Cards: The Complete Sixth and Final Season”
“Krypton: The Complete First Season”

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

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