This week, actor and filmmaker Emilio Estevez sees his latest movie available on the shelf. Yes, “The Public” leads the way during a light slate of new Blu-Ray/DVD releases. Luckily, this little-seen flick is among the very best works of 2019 so far. Read on for more.
PICK OF THE WEEK
An underrated actor turned filmmaker, Emilio Estevez has worn his heart on his sleeve throughout his work. Nowhere is that more evident than in his third, directorial feature, a passionate civics lesson that mixes anger and entertainment in equal measure. Estevez amasses a terrific cast and expertly pulls at heartstrings, while never diluting into emotional manipulation. The New York Times was taken by his work:
Estevez does an elegant job with this setup, creating a low-key, uncondescending portrait of lives on the edge.
“The Public” is one of the year’s best films, though sadly also one of its most under-seen. Those looking for an indie gem would do well to seek it out.
Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: $573,503
Major Awards: None yet
In honor of this week’s release of “Midsommar,” the pick today is going to be another horrific look at a cult-like group. It’s “The Sacrament,” a fright flick from Ti West. Though not trafficking in strictly the same territory, there’s enough here to remind audiences of the terror that fanaticism can bring about. Variety found it to be compelling and unsettling, in equal measure:
Purists might insist isn’t horror in the strictest sense, though this slow-burning investigation of unseemly goings-on at a rural Christian commune is frightening in any genre language.
Some unconventional horror to embrace this week.
OTHER FILMS BEING RELEASED
Here’s a look at what else is hitting shelves today, besides the sole recommended title in Estevez’s “The Public”:
“An Acceptable Loss”
This political thriller lives and dies due to the performances of Jamie Lee Curtis and Tika Sumpter. The former does her best Dick Cheney impression, while the latter believably plays someone caught in an impossible situation. Richard Roeper enjoyed both of their turns:
Tika Sumpter demonstrates the screen presence of a true star, and Jamie Lee Curtis creates a monster so terrifying she’d have Michael Myers turning tail and running away.
Curtis fans, especially, will embrace the role she’s given to play here.
Box Office: $32,427
“The Best of Enemies”
Sam Rockwell, yet again, plays a racist in this unlikely true story. Here, he spars with Taraji P. Henson in a film that was immediately given the “Green Book” light label. Reelviews was among the outlets that found that to be a compliment, not a critique:
While The Best of Enemies may be met by stinging criticism from the far left and far right (for different reasons), those with centrist leanings will appreciate it for what it is (as opposed to for what it isn’t).
Henson vs. Rockwell is a match anyone who appreciates good acting will at least have to be curious about.
Box Office: $10,205,616
A legal drama/character study with timely implications, there’s a lot of emotional color within this selection. The desire to do right by Dreamers is implicit in every frame of this film. The Wrap found much to like here:
Is at its strongest when focusing on the experiences of Judy’s clients, and watching the emotional weight on their shoulders slide off as they open up to her.
Those interested in a timely immigration tale should keep this one in mind.
Box Office: $78,935
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