This week, a criminally underrated A24 drama in “Waves” hits Blu-ray and DVD. The horribly snubbed film leads the charge today, surrounded by a handful of other really interesting titles. Read on for more.
PICK OF THE WEEK
At the Telluride Film Festival, Trey Edward Shults‘ depiction of a Miami family blew the doors off of the fest. Shults’ filmmaking, the Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross score, the performances of Sterling K. Brown, Kelvin Harrison, Jr., and Taylor Russell, it all just meshes together to form something truly magical and special. Clayton was among those who were blown away at Telluride, writing the following in his rave review:
“Waves” is an engrossing experience. Admittedly emotionally draining, the audience is a better human for just taking the ride and experience with Shults and cast. Downright sensational.
“Waves” deserved a far better fate than it received. Shults and the movie should have been in deep awards consideration, but it was not to be. Today, however, you can dive in to one of 2019’s best films and see why so many of us have been singing its praises.
Special Features: Audio Commentary, Deleted Scenes, and More
Total Box Office: $1,658,790
Major Awards: Won Breakthrough Actor (for Taylor Russell) at the Gotham Awards
Justin Long is at his best when he’s made somewhat uncomfortable. The situations throughout this dramedy are prime material for Long’s wheelhouse, and he knocks it out of the park. Back at the Tribeca Film Festival last year, we filed this positive review, especially impressed with his turn:
Without question, the acting is what makes this movie what it is. Justin Long delivers a full bodied turn
“After Class” was initially known as “Safe Spaces” at Tribeca, but no matter the name, it’s still a quality Long flick. Give it a shot!
Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: N/A
Major Awards: None
In honor of this week’s release of “Birds of Prey,” the pick today will be a prior outing by Margot Robbie. No, it’s not “Suicide Squad,” so relax. It’s “I, Tonya,” the finest performance by Robbie to date. An unconventional biopic, she’s a revelation here. Clayton agreed out of the Middleburg Film Festival, as you can see below:
Robbie goes well beyond a surface impression as she penetrates the psyche of a doomed figure and makes you care.
Robbie is having the time of her life as Harley again. Prep for that with this strong turn of hers!
OTHER FILMS BEING RELEASED
Here’s a look at what else is hitting shelves today, besides the pair of recommended titles in “After Class,” and “Waves.”
A sequel to both the book and the movie “The Shining” (not to mention adapting the literary sequel of the same name) was always going to be a tricky proposition for “Doctor Sleep.” The fact that Stephen King himself was satisfied with this adaptation is truly something to take note of. Pundits were somewhat mixed on it, but largely came down like Rolling Stone did:
The sequel to Stanley Kubrick’s ‘The Shining’ relies way too much on borrowed inspiration and eventually runs out of steam. But this flawed hybrid of Kubrick and Stephen King still has the stuff to keep you up nights.
Any King fan should at least be a bit curious about this one.
Box Office: $31,581,712
“The Good Liar”
Pairing Ian McKellen with Helen Mirren was always going to result in something at least watchable. Early on, this con artist flick seemed poised to potentially be an Oscar caliber work. That wasn’t to be, sadly, as their efforts left something to be desired. The Hollywood Reporter sums it up well:
Square, tame and tidy as the London-area house kept by Mirren’s primly elegant, creamy-complexioned septuagenarian, The Good Liar is a work of skill but little spark.
If you’re looking just to watch McKellen and Mirren toy with each other, the option presents itself today.
Box Office: $17,156,058
“The House That Jack Built”
Oh boy. As always, Lars Von Trier has crafted an immensely controversial work. Incredibly disturbing at times. Oddly funny at others. Always self indulgent. In many ways, it’s the exact sort of movie Von Trier intended. Some folks will find it bizarrely fun, while others will be immediately horrified and put off. Variety actually found it at least partially worthwhile:
It’s halfway between a subversive good movie and a stunt. It’s designed to get under your skin, and does.
Adventurous viewers may want to give this one a shot.
Box Office: $258,106
The “twist” dominated the pre release buzz, though this romantic comedy is far less concerned with it than most were. Paul Feig and Emma Thompson really wanted to embrace the magic of Christmas, George Michael music, and falling in love. They’re not fully successful (depending on who you ask), but Karen would argue here on the site that they more than did their job:
Once the target audience gets past the idea that this isn’t the cookie cutter rom com they were expecting, “Last Christmas” will live on. It has the potential to be one we still turn to ten Christmases from now. Such is the magic of Paul Feig. He knows how to make movies that stay with us.
There are better rom-coms out there. Luckily, there are worse too, so make of that what you will.
Box Office: $35,150,750
This revenge tale is hard to sit through, presenting itself as a rather punishing experience. Beyond that, however, is another distinct work from promising filmmaker Jennifer Kent. At the Miami Film Festival, Alan saw this as another strong step in her burgeoning career, as you can see in his take below:
…an excellent sophomore outing for Kent and affirms her place as one of the most exciting filmmakers on the rise.
Another tough option, but one well worth checking out, if you think you can handle it.
Box Office: $400,209
“Keeping Faith: Series 2”