New Blu-Ray/DVD Releases (08/06/19) – ‘Pokemon’ And ‘Plus One’

This week, Pokémon fans who “gotta catch ’em all” can catch “Pokémon: Detective Pikachu” as it leads the charge of new Blu-Ray/DVD releases. It’s hardly the only title of note though, as this is one of the fuller slates in some time, including a charming romantic comedy in “Plus One.” Read on for more.

PICK OF THE WEEK

“Plus One”

This romantic comedy played at the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year. Honing in on how awkward and grueling wedding season can be for single people, it’s quite perceptive. The film follows Ben (Jack Quaid) and Alice (Maya Erskine) as they endeavor to attend a slew of summer nuptials as each other’s dates. But will their feelings grow beyond their platonic friendship? From our festival review back in the spring:

The inherent discomfort of being single at a wedding courses through the veins of “Plus One.”

“Plus One” is a real charmer. Anyone looking for an under-the-radar romantic comedy would do well to say “I do” to this feature.

Special Features: Deleted and Extended Scenes
Total Box Office: N/A
Major Awards: None yet

RECOMMENDED MOVIE(S)

“Amazing Grace”

A music documentary about Aretha Franklin, this is a concert film unlike any other. Long thought to be lost, the documentary made its way to theaters last year and shed light on a pivotal moment in the esteemed singer’s career. Rolling Stone loved it:

The voice of Aretha Franklin is touched by God. And the glory is all there in this landmark concert film of her 1972 gospel shows, long delayed by technical problems. They say good things are worth waiting for. This shining light of a film proves it.
If you love Franklin’s music, this is a must-see documentary.

Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: $4,450,456
Major Awards: None

VINTAGE VIEWING

In honor of this week’s release of “The Peanut Butter Falcon,” the pick today is going to be another road trip tale starring Bruce Dern. It’s “Nebraska,” Alexander Payne‘s second feature in the sub-genre. Hardly the crowd pleaser that this week’s new release is, it’s still tremendous, with an Oscar Nominated performance from Dern (he has a small, but pivotal, role in “The Peanut Butter Falcon” coming to theaters as well). We were a huge fan, writing the following here:

Bruce Dern is perfectly used and exquisitely raw presenting the actor’s best outing of his career.

Check out Dern’s most recent, Oscar-nominated role with this throwback.

OTHER FILMS BEING RELEASED

Here’s a look at what else is hitting shelves today, besides the pair of recommended titles in “Amazing Grace” and “Plus One”:

“Charlie Says”

The second of three Charles Manson related titles in 2019 (sandwiched between “The Haunting of Sharon Tate” and “Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood“), this character study from Mary Harron is extremely introspective and psychological. It’s the details that shine hree, which The A.V. Club hit on in their review:

Harron does a good job of conveying both the late-’60s period and the surreal surroundings of the Spahn Ranch where Manson and his followers made their home.
Those curious about Manson/The Manson Family will likely learn from this entry.

Box Office: $40,685

“The Command”

Dramatizations of true life tragedies often spur immediate, guttural reactions. While there’s little of that to find in this account of the Kursk disaster, it’s tension and strong performances carry the film to reach a slowly earned catharsis. The Hollywood Reporter gave a lukewarm endorsement, but an endorsement nonetheless:

A competent, by-the-numbers action melodrama…

Docudrama enthusiasts have something to consider here.

Box Office: N/A

“The Curse of La Llorona”

PG-13 horror can seem rather chaste in 2019, with edgy art house frights ruling the theaters. Still, there’s a place in the cinematic world for something slightly tamer like this. Vulture was impressed by how scary the recent entry into The Conjuring Universe turned out to be:

It is a terrifically scary movie that I wish were more haunting.
Though not on the same level as previous entries to the franchise, this is still a fright flick worth seeking out for a spooky night in.

Box Office: $54,733,739

“Donnybrook”

A bleak thriller that dares audiences to turn away, this indie will test your patience. Those willing to brace themselves for some real brutality will find powerhouse acting from Jamie Bell, Frank Grillo, and Margaret Qualley. The review from IndieWire struggled with just that:

While the movie develops a gripping and purposeful arc as it builds to the final act confrontation, the humorless aura has a tendency to stifle its characters’ humanity by drowning them in desperation.
If you can stomach the dark atmosphere, this could prove a solid choice.

Box Office: $26,284

“Pokémon: Detective Pikachu”

Pokémon has been having a resurgence lately, and this film really does help bring it back to the mainstream. In no small part, that’s due to having Ryan Reynolds as the voice of the titular creature. The New York Post had a great time with it:

Who would have thought that one of the most enjoyable buddy-cop movies of 2019 would star a Pokémon?

If you dig on Pokémon, this is certainly for you!

Box Office: $143,918,451 (and counting)

“Poms”

Comedies about the older population have long been part of mainstream Hollywood. And with a slew of recent entries the likes of “Book Club” and “Going In Style,” this entry is just the latest example of a continuing trend. Our review had a lighthearted take right here on the site:

“Poms” unfolds into an entertaining romp, but it never goes beyond simply pleasant and fun.

Those looking for a quick laugh can do a lot worse than this one today.

Box Office: $13,631,124

“The Souvenir”

This coming of age drama from filmmaker Joanna Hogg has been lauded as career defining for the director. The film’s young star, Honor Swinton-Byrne, turns in an astounding first performance. Her work enthralled critics earlier this year. One such such review to rave about the burgeoning talent was from Time Out, putting forth the following:

To watch Swinton-Byrne’s 24-year-old Julie — angelically innocent, soft in voice, curious, a touch embarrassed by her Knightsbridge privilege — is to make the kind of immediate heart-to-heart connection with an actor that only the movies can broker.
Swinton-Byrne alone makes this one worth watching!

Box Office: $1,036,737

“Tolkien”

A biopic of “The Lord of the Rings” author J.R.R. Tolkien, this initially felt ripe for Oscar consideration. The final product didn’t necessarily suggest that, however, but as an old fashioned drama and standard biopic, the film still offers something for history and Tolkien fans. The Hollywood Reporter found enough to like, especially in Nicholas Hoult‘s performance:

Handsomely made in the customarily fastidious style of most period biographical dramas, Tolkien is strongly served by Hoult…
Hoult and Tolkien fans should take note.

Box Office: $4,535,154

Special Criterion Collection Section

“An Angel at My Table”

The only option coming to Criterion today is this 1990 feature from acclaimed filmmaker Jane Campion. A tribute to New Zealand author Janet Frame, this is the movie likely most closely associated with her homeland. The Collection goes to bat for it like so:

With An Angel at My Table, Academy Award–winning filmmaker Jane Campion brought to the screen the harrowing autobiography of Janet Frame, New Zealand’s most distinguished author.

Something to definitely consider picking up this week, especially if you’re a Campion fan!

TV RELEASES

“The Good Doctor: Season Two”
“Strike Back: Cinemax Season Six”
“Trinity Blood: The Complete Series”

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

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