This week, Adam Sandler‘s career-best performance in “Uncut Gems” is easily the top option coming to Blu-ray and DVD. A few other 2019 releases are joining it today, including a huge awards player, but Sandler’s film stands tall. Read on for more.
PICK OF THE WEEK
Adam Sandler paired with filmmakers Josh Safdie and Benny Safdie for this impeccably crafted character study/thriller. In a perfect world, Sandler would not just have become an Oscar nominee for this turn, he would have heavily contended in Best Actor for the Academy Award win. He’s just that good. Mark was a huge fan, putting forth the following rave here on the site:
Gritty, tenacious, chaotic, and manic as hell, “Uncut Gems” is a vigorous and electrifying midnight panic attack that burrows layers and layers under your skin. It is The Safdie Brother’s most accomplished film to date,
“Uncut Gems” would still be incredible if it was just about Sandler. However, the Safdie brothers make this such an intense experience that it’s impossible to resist. Pick it up and enjoy the anxiety!
Special Features: Featurette
Total Box Office: $50,004,879
Major Awards: Won Best Actor (for Sandler) at the Film Independent Spirit Awards
This fictionalized drama about the downfall of Roger Ailes has a ton of quality performances within it. Charlize Theron disappears into the role of Megyn Kelly, while Margot Robbie is best in show as the made up character who is a central figure in bringing down John Lithgow‘s Ailes. The Hollywood Reporter had this to say:
A smart, snappy depiction of the Fox News ogre getting his comeuppance.
“Bombshell” probably could have benefited from more of a female eye behind the camera. That flaw aside, this is still an essential work with some tremendous acting, making it well worth checking out. Keep in mind, however, that it proved divisive, with some vocal detractors, as our review here by Karen pointed out.
Special Features: Making Of Documentary
Total Box Office: $31,762,808
Major Awards: Won Best Makeup & Hairstyling at the Academy Awards
In honor of this week’s release of “Never Rarely Sometimes Always,” the pick today is going to be a very different film about teenage pregnancy. It’s “Juno,” the Oscar-winning Sundance dramedy that charmed so many. Ellen Page‘s performance, Jason Reitman‘s direction, and Diablo Cody‘s screenplay all were rightly fully nominated, with Cody taking home the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. Roger Ebert was an early backer of this one, raving:
A fresh, quirky, unusually intelligent comedy about a 16-year-old girl who wins our hearts in the first scene.
The titles couldn’t be more different, but both are phenomenal, as well as both being Sundance alums.
OTHER FILMS BEING RELEASED
Here’s a look at what else is hitting shelves today, besides the two recommended titles in “Bombshell” and “Uncut Gems.”
A reboot of the television show and film series, Elizabeth Banks brings a sense of fun to the project, but not enough meat on its bones. Aside from a committed and gonzo turn from Kristen Stewart, you’re left wanting more. Time Out was let down:
For all of its #MeToo heavy lifting, though, the film still doesn’t work, mainly for the same reasons as before: Constructed as symbols (not human beings), these characters have too much spy stuff to do and yet, not quite enough.
Box Office: $17,803,077
“Spies in Disguise”
This animated title flew below the radar when it wasn’t included as one of the main contenders for the Best Animated Feature Oscar. That Academy Award snub is part of why it didn’t get enough eyeballs. Still, Entertainment Weekly was rather charmed:
It’s a proud piece of family entertainment with a good heart, an eye for inventive action, and a delightfully wacky sense of humor.
Box Office: $66,645,714 (and counting)
Special Criterion Collection Section
The one and only option coming to Criterion today is this 1969 documentary co-directed by Albert Maysles and David Maysles. Centered on bible salesmen, it’s a very unique portrait of America, that’s for sure. Moreover, it’s a landmark achievement in the documentary world. The Collection pitches it to you like so:
This radically influential portrait of American dreams and disillusionment from Direct Cinema pioneers David Maysles, Albert Maysles, and Charlotte Zwerin captures, with indelible humanity, the worlds of four dogged door-to-door Bible salesmen as they travel from Boston to Florida on a seemingly futile quest to sell luxury editions of the Good Book to working-class Catholics. A vivid evocation of midcentury malaise that unfolds against a backdrop of cheap motels, smoky diners, and suburban living rooms, Salesman assumes poignant dimensions as it uncovers the way its subjects’ fast-talking bravado masks frustration, disappointment, and despair.
Documentary fans would do well to give this one a shot!
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