This week, the masses can finally see the film that Terry Gilliam almost never got to make. His quixotic passion project, “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote,” leads the charge of new Blu-Ray and DVD releases. There are plenty of other movies joining the slate today as well, including “A Star Is Born.” Read on for more.
PICK OF THE WEEK
“The Man Who Killed Don Quixote”
Terry Gilliam has spent decades attempting to get this movie off the ground. The production was so cursed that a full documentary called “Lost in La Mancha” was created to chronicle the various efforts and tribulations. The film clearly shows signs of compromise, though that’s to be expected. More charmingly, Gilliam’s spirit still imbues every frame. It’s not difficult to see why he obsessed over getting it to the finish line. Among his recent output, it stands tall, with fine work from Adam Driver and Jonathan Pryce, to boot. Rolling Stone agreed:
The end result is messy, ragged, uneven, all over the place. But it’s also the single best Gilliam film to hit theaters in 20 years.
“The Man Who Killed Don Quixote” is a compromised vision, though one with more than enough charm to warrant a recommendation. Terry Gilliam fans especially will relish the opportunity to dive in and finally lay eyes on the work.
Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: $373,658 (and counting)
Major Awards: None yet
Once considered a potential Oscar vehicle for Kristen Stewart, a festival run last year was not kind to this pseudo biopic of an imaginary person. Stewart and co-star Laura Dern were praised, however, and that’s where this movie earns its stripes. Regardless of awards viability, the film showcases two wonderful actresses at the top of their respective games. The New York Times had this to say:
Anchored by its two excellent leads, the movie is sympathetic and, for the most part, unsentimental.
“JT LeRoy” is worth seeing for Dern and Stewart, both of whom give committed performances. Take the Academy Award buzz out of your head and it’s an easy character study to appreciate.
Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: N/A
Major Awards: None yet
In honor of this week’s release of “The Secret Life of Pets 2,” the pick today is the film that caused the very existence. “The Secret Life of Pets” is an animated family offering with oodles of cute moments. Frankly, how it took years to see a cartoon with this specific gimmick is mind boggling. Christy Lemire sums it up perfectly, writing:
It is an incredibly simple yet irresistible idea for a movie. It’s also exactly what you think it’s going to be — no more, no less.
Prep for the sequel by revisiting this charming first installment today!
OTHER FILMS BEING RELEASED
Here’s a look at what else is hitting shelves today, besides the two recommended titles in “JT LeRoy” and “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote”:
Julianne Moore again turns in strong work here, fueling filmmaker Sebastián Lelio‘s remake of his own original, “Gloria.” The rare independent work to actually do some nice little business at the box office, A24 found a receptive audience for this enjoyable romantic drama. Time Out was quite taken by Moore:
It really should be a Marvel-level event that Gloria Bell sees Moore adding to her L.A. pantheon in a major way. Don’t let the movie’s deceptively banal title fool you — this is as complete and full-bodied a performance as you’re likely to see all year.
Moore easily makes this one to seek out. She breathes new life into Lelio’s film, making “Gloria Bell” one of the indie hits of the first half of 2019.
Box Office: $5,611,123
Actor and filmmaker Vincent D’Onofrio heads west for a surprisingly star filled, small scale period piece. Dane DeHaan, Ethan Hawke, and Chris Pratt relish the opportunity to play old west characters, while D’Onofrio shows a keen eye behind the camera. From Variety:
Ethan Hawke and Dane DeHaan ride tall in Vincent D’Onofrio’s fresh take on the saga of Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid.
Western fans may well enjoy the low key new take on the story of Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid.
Box Office: $1,508,593
“Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral”
Purported to be the last rodeo for Madea, the seminal creation from filmmaker Tyler Perry, this comedy earned a strong box office haul. At the same time, it wasn’t a smash for Perry, suggesting that perhaps it’s time to move on from the character. Rolling Stone certainly would be in favor of that, as you can see:
It’s lights out for Madea as Tyler Perry ends the drag reign of his most beloved comic creation. This is the 11th and final film in the Madea franchise, and it’s a slack, formless, monotonous mess. And yet Madea still gets in her licks. Your call.
You already know if this is for you or not.
Box Office: $73,257,045
Special Criterion Collection Section
“A Film Trilogy by Ingmar Bergman”
The option coming to Criterion today is a trio of films by the legendary Ingmar Bergman. Between 1961 and 1963, Bergman released “Through a Glass Darkly,” “Winter Light,” and “The Silence.” In subsequent years, this back to back to back work has come to be known as a trilogy, exploring the director’s thematic obsessions. The Collection hits on that in their sales pitch:
Drawing on Bergman’s own upbringing and ongoing spiritual crises, the films of the trilogy examine the necessity of religion and question the promise of faith.
Bergman completists would do well to pick this one up!
ALSO OF NOTE
“A Star Is Born: Encore Edition”
Today, a special Encore Edition of last year’s Academy Award winning release “A Star Is Born” comes to Blu-Ray as well. This re-release includes 12 new minutes added in to the movie, highlighting more of the music that moved so many. Bradley Cooper‘s directorial debut received tons of praise upon debut, on our site, and beyond. Rightfully so, too. This new version just adds to the pleasure. As a reminder, Buzzfeed wants you to know that Cooper’s film is a full meal:
This movie has everything: a swept-off-your-feet romantic fantasy, an underdog-makes-good journey, a wrenching substance abuse drama, and an industry cautionary tale combined.
If you loved “A Star is Born” last year, from Lady Gaga on down, this is a must own!
Special Features: Additional 12 minutes of footage
“Lost In Space (2018): The Complete First Season”
“Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan: Season One”
“The Venture Bros.: Season Seven”