This week, a bloody good time comes to Blu-ray and DVD in “Ready or Not,” a horror/comedy hybrid from the summer. It’s the clear cut top choice today, even before you take into account the limited options, though television fans have something noteworthy to consider as well. Read on for more.
PICK OF THE WEEK
“Ready or Not”
This hybrid movie is an incredibly large amount of fun. Fox Searchlight positioned this as summer counter-programming, potentially limiting its audience. Still, those who saw this were treated to a black comedy mixed with horror, alongside a star-making turn from Samara Weaving. Karen had this rave to share here on the site:
It is possible to watch “Ready or Not” and see only an uncomfortably funny movie that relishes in blood and guts. But it would be unfortunate to overlook this examination of what it means to be family and the toll it can take when one fails to live up to expectations.
“Ready or Not” deserved to be a big hit. It seems now destined to be a cult classic, instead. One look at it will let you know why this was such a critically acclaimed summer flick earlier this year.
Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: $28,714,231
Major Awards: None yet
In honor of this week’s release of “The Aeronauts,” the pick today will be a prior collaboration between stars Felicity Jones and Eddie Redmayne. It’s “The Theory of Everything,” the film which got both of them Academy Award nominations. Redmayne won the Oscar for Best Actor, too, portraying Stephen Hawking. From one of our reviews here on the site, back in the run up to its release:
Acting just with his face in small tics and movements, Eddie Redmayne communicates incredibly effectively, doing absolutely brilliant work. As much as he is perfect here, Felicity Jones isn’t far behind. This is a wonderful performance as well, showcasing all of the strength from the traditional “supportive wife” role but with almost none of the cliches.
Jones and Redmayne reunite this week in “The Aeronauts.” Revisit their first team-up in preparation.
OTHER FILMS BEING RELEASED
Here’s a look at what else is hitting shelves today, besides the sole recommended title in “Ready or Not”.
An independent drama trafficking in the same type of kid friendship moments that “It” pulled from, this tale found much less success. Stephen King looms large over this indie, even if there’s nothing really supernatural to be found. Think his more grounded efforts. Variety agreed, as you can see below:
Kevin McMullin channels the feel of Stephen King’s ‘Stand by Me,’ along with various noir-toned ’80s films, in this coming-of-age thriller.
Box Office: N/A
A pair of strong performances are left adrift here in this crime drama. Jai Courtney and Nat Wolff are powerfully believable in this story of siblings on opposite ends of the law. What starts out with promise gradually gets more and more ridiculous, before ending in a manner that boggles the mind. The Wrap doubles down on this take:
Courtney and Wolff are acting their asses off in this movie, but hardly anyone is helping them.
Box Office: N/A
Special Criterion Collection Section
“The Story of Temple Drake”
Our first option coming to Criterion today is a melodrama from before the days of the Hayes Code. It’s “The Story of Temple Drake,” based on a novel by William Faulkner and starring Miriam Hopkins. The Collection pitches it to you like so:
Steeped in southern-gothic shadows by influential cinematographer Karl Struss and shot through with moral ambiguity, The Story of Temple Drake is a harrowing vision of sin and salvation that boasts an astonishing lead performance from the fiery Hopkins, whose passage through the stations of terror, trauma, and redemption is a true tour de force of screen acting.
Anyone curious about what cinema before the Hayes Code was like might want to check this one out.
“Tunes of Glory”
The other choice joining the Collection this week is an Alec Guinness drama, though one that’s rather under-seen. “Tunes of Glory” teams him with John Mills and represents one of Guinness’ finest hours. Criterion certainly is of the same mind:
Based on the novel by James Kennaway and featuring flawless performances by Guinness and Mills, Tunes of Glory uses the rigid stratification of military life to comment on the institutional contradictions and class hierarchies of English society, making for an unexpectedly moving drama.
Guinness fans would do well to give this one a shot!
ALSO OF NOTE
“Game of Thrones: The Complete Series”
For those of you can’t get enough “Game of Thrones” and are mourning the show’s end, HBO has you covered. The complete series hits Blu-ray today in a special box set that’s a true must-have for fans. There’s also a special Collector’s Edition with even more goodies, but the opportunity to watch the program in high definition like this is a real treat for anyone who loved the adaptation of George R.R. Martin‘s books!
“The Simpsons: The Complete Nineteenth Season”
“Teen Titans: The Complete Series”