This week, the current incarnation of the “X-Men” franchise comes to a close with “Dark Phoenix.” But the top pick hitting Blu-Ray/DVD is a smaller and more musical option. What might that be? Read on to find out.
PICK OF THE WEEK
Tales of would-be country singers have long been a staple of cinema. Though a small scale installment into that genre, this coming of age story makes its bones through Jessie Buckley‘s lovely performance. Taking a tough character and making her compelling yet intentionally unlikable is quite the task, which she pulls off with ease. Our review here on the site hit on that particular point:
It says quite a bit about Jessie Buckley’s performance that she’s able to make this prickly character so lovable.
“Wild Rose” sings because of Buckley’s work. Her turn stands at the forefront of the film’s successes. Anyone looking for quality acting would do well to give this one a shot today.
Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: $1,635,117
Major Awards: None yet
In honor of this week’s release of “Ad Astra,” the pick today is going to be a previous James Gray effort. It’s “Two Lovers,” Gray’s most romantic movie. Spoiled by Joaquin Phoenix‘s performance art antics in the run up to release, the film is an unseen gem, full of heartbreak and passion. Phoenix, along with Gwyneth Paltrow and Vinessa Shaw, are superb. Roger Ebert agreed:
A film of unusual perception, played at perfect pitch by Phoenix, Shaw, Paltrow and the other actors. It is calm and mature. It understands these characters. It doesn’t juggle them for melodrama, but looks inside.
Today is the perfect day to give into Gray’s most underrated picture!
OTHER FILMS BEING RELEASED
Here’s a look at what else is hitting shelves today, besides the sole recommended title in “Wild Rose.”
This satirization of battle-rap and modern day culture in general almost dares audiences to be offended. That sort of provocation can alienate viewers, but at least among critics, it was more than appreciated. Time Out had this to say:
Bodied is a deliriously rude provocation, maybe the most daring race-related movie since Spike Lee’s Bamboozled.
Satire lovers should take a look here.
Box Office: $113,956
A long shelved biopic of controversial filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini, this Abel Ferrera movie finally saw the light of day earlier this year. Notable mainly for a quality performance from Willem Dafoe, it will ultimately appeal mostly to those who are intrigued by the final days of the notorious director. Here’s a bit from our take back at the New York Film Festival in 2014:
The best part of this film is Willem Dafoe, along with the operatic soundtrack. Dafoe looks the part of the director and is very committed to the role.
As a curiosity, at least, there’s merit to this option.
Box Office: $30,757
“X-Men: Dark Phoenix”
The X-Men franchise is no more. Once the crown jewel of comic book cinema, the X-Men were sold off to Disney and returned to Marvel when The Mouse acquired 20th Century Fox. The series went out with a whimper as opposed to a bang, but some were still compelled. Our own review right here on the site was one such example:
If this is truly the X-Men’s last stand — as seen through the creative lenses of 20th Century Fox — then Kinberg has given them a fitting sendoff.
Pour one out for the Fox version of the X-Men.
Box Office: $65,845,974
Special Criterion Collection Section
The first option coming to Criterion today is this final Ernst Lubitsch film. Satirizing the English class system with the trappings of a comedy of manners, Lubitsch went out with one of his most interesting works. The Collection sells it you all like so:
Sending up British class hierarchy with Lubitsch’s famously light touch, Cluny Brown is a topsy-turvy farce that says nuts to the squirrels and squirrels to the nuts.
A true find for cinephiles!
The other title joining the Collection this week is John Waters‘ experimental “Polyester.” Opting to intrigue viewers with smells (not of the pleasant sort), only Waters could pull off something as bizarre as this. Criterion says the same:
Enhanced with Odorama™ technology that enables you to scratch and sniff along with Francine, Polyester is one of Waters’ most hilarious inventions, replete with stomach-churning smells, sadistic nuns, AA meetings, and foot stomping galore.
Waters fans should definitely check this one out!
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