This week, Keanu Reeves‘ latest “John Wick” outing leads the charge of new Blu-Ray/DVD releases. Joining the professional killer/dog lover are an independent dramedy, a Disney reimagining, and a zombie comedy, making for quite the eclectic slate today. Read on for more.
PICK OF THE WEEK
“John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum”
This was never meant to become a franchise for Keanu Reeves, yet here we are. In fact, the third time is the charm for this series, as it truly finds its footing. Operatic in its violence, stylish in its visual palate, and creative in its choreography, the “John Wick” empire is in fine form. Rolling Stone was blown away:
You can wait around and hope for a bigger, badder burst of action fireworks than John Wick 3, but you’d be kidding yourself. The wow factor is off the charts.
“John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum” is one of the best action films in some time. For the first act alone, it’s a must own for fans of the genre!
Special Features: Featurettes
Total Box Office: $170,943,407 (and counting)
Major Awards: None yet
Jim Gaffigan is a revelation here in Miranda Bailey‘s indie dramedy, capturing emotions in a way that’s downright stupendous. Leaning into both comedy as well as the damage that lies can do, Bailey and Gaffigan create something truly memorable. Our review right here on the site had exactly that to say:
Armed with a quietly evocative 1990’s setting, strong work from Jim Gaffigan, and an acknowledgment that characters meant to be cared about are objectively bad people, there’s more going on here than meets the eye.
“Being Frank” will allow you to see Gaffigan in a whole new light. He’s never been better. Give it a shot and you’ll likely be blown away by his work.
Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: $67,343
Major Awards: None yet
In honor of this week’s release of “The Goldfinch,” the pick today is going to be a previous Ansel Elgort outing. It’s “The Fault in Our Stars,” which helped make Elgort a bit of a teen heartthrob. Here, he teams with Shailene Woodley for the adaptation of John Green‘s bestselling tearjerker, capturing a complex character with ease. From our rave review here on the site:
So much could have been melodramatic and annoying, but that’s all avoided here.
Definitely one to revisit this week in preparation for Elogrt’s latest!
OTHER FILMS BEING RELEASED
Here’s a look at what else is hitting shelves today, besides the two recommended titles in “Being Frank” and “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum.”
Disney brings one of their most acclaimed animated works to the live action world here, with largely positive results. Will Smith taking over for Robin Williams as Genie is stunt casting, but other than that, it looks and feels like the story everyone fell in love with. Variety enjoyed seeing Guy Ritchie take on the classic tale:
Ritchie’s style embraces the kind of expressionism needed to pull off such a fanciful tale.
As far as these remakes go, it’s one of Disney’s best so far.
Box Office: $354,530,286 (and counting)
“The Dead Don’t Die”
Zombies by way of Jim Jarmusch‘s very specific cinematic eye? That sounds like a mashup with the potential for greatness. That wasn’t the case, as it debuted to middling reviews at the Cannes Film Festival, but the movie should appeal to the filmmaker’s small yet loyal core of followers. The Hollywood Reporter chimed in with the following:
The dead don’t die, and neither does the zombie genre, with Jim Jarmusch’s slim but fun hipster take on the format’s familiar tropes.
Jarmusch fans should seek this one out.
Box Office: $6,563,605
Special Criterion Collection Section
“The Cloud-Capped Star”
The one and only option coming to Criterion today is this 1960 Indian offering. Vintage cinema from India is few and far between among the classics, so this release from Bengali director Ritwik Ghatak is definitely serving an educational purpose. The Collection pitches it to audiences like so:
Experimenting with off-balance compositions, discontinuous editing, and a densely layered soundtrack, Ghatak devised an intellectually ambitious and emotionally devastating new shape for the melodrama, lamenting the tragedies of Indian history and the inequities of traditional gender roles while blazing a formal trail for the generations of Indian filmmakers who have followed him.
Certainly one for international film lovers to consider this week!
Also Of Note
Film fans looking for an interesting new book to pick up would do well to give a read to “Cult Filmmakers: 50 Movie Mavericks You Need to Know” by Ian Haydn Smith. Featuring pieces on the aforementioned Jarmusch, not to mention the varied likes of Darren Aronofsky, Kathryn Bigelow, David Lynch, and Quentin Tarantino, it’s something any cinephile would do well to add to their shelf!
“The Alienist: The Complete First Season”
“American Dad: Volume 14”
“Jetsons: The Complete Series”
“Supernatural: The Complete Fourteenth Season”
“This is Us: The Complete Third Season”