This week, Barry Jenkins‘ most recent Academy Award winner “If Beale Street Could Talk” leads the charge of new Blu-Ray/DVD releases. Along with this prestige picture, “Aquaman” splashes down to rake in more money. Read on for more…
PICK OF THE WEEK
“If Beale Street Could Talk”
Regina King won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her pivotal role in Jenkins’ latest. A lyrical and poetic adaptation of James Baldwin‘s novel, this love story featured tremendous acting, cinematography, direction, and another haunting score from Nicholas Britell. Nobody raved about this one more than Clayton, stating the following with authority in his New York Film Festival review:
“If Beale Street Could Talk” is righteous. Worthy of any and every accolade that will be thrown its way.
“If Beale Street Could Talk” is another powerful effort from Jenkins. If you somehow missed it in the run-up to the Oscars, now is your chance to correct that error!
Special Features: Audio Commentary, Deleted Scenes, and a Featurette
Total Box Office: $14,864,584 (and counting)
Major Awards: Won Best Supporting Actress (for King) at the Academy Awards
One of the nominees for Best Foreign Language Feature at the Academy Awards, Nadine Labaki‘s film is an intense experience. She’s unsparing in how she depicts this tale, though it’s ultimately incredibly worthwhile. Just know it’s going to take a toll on you, especially if you have children. Variety was fond of this one, putting forth the following take:
While this is unquestionably an issue film, it tackles its subject with intelligence and heart.
“Capernaum” isn’t an easy watch. At the same time, it’s essential viewing. Be sure to give it a look!
Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: $1,539,836 (and counting)
Major Awards: Nominated for Best Foreign Language Feature at the Academy Awards
“Stan & Ollie”
A pleasant story of love between friends, Steve Coogan and especially John C. Reilly is tremendous here as the comedy team Laurel and Hardy. It’s a fairly low-key film, but one that offers up a solid amount of charm in the process. Clayton was big on this movie as well, raving about it here out of the Middleburg Film Festival:
Immaculately constructed, “Stan & Ollie” assembles a multitude of laughs, while not holding back to bring out a few tears.
“Stan & Ollie” lives and dies with its acting. Coogan and Reilly make this an effort worth taking a look at.
Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: $5,358,868 (and counting)
Major Awards: Nominated for Best Actor in a Musical/Comedy (for Reilly) at the Golden Globe Awards
In honor of this week’s release of “The Beach Bum,” the pick for today is going to be a previous effort from filmmaker Harmony Korine. It’s “Spring Breakers,” a breakthrough effort from Korine. Notable for its gonzo James Franco performance, this experiment is an absolute blast. From our take right here on the site:
All in all, Spring Breakers is a heck of a lot of fun to watch and represents the closest thing we’ll likely ever get to an accessible Harmony Korine film.
Prepare for more Korine related insanity this weekend! If nothing else, “The Beach Bum” could pair with “Spring Breakers” as a debauched double feature.
OTHER FILMS BEING RELEASED
Here’s a look at what else is hitting shelves today, besides the recommended trio of “Capernaum,” “If Beale Street Could Talk,” and “Stan & Ollie”:
DC is finally figuring out how to have fun. Getting away from the dark and gritty has been good for these characters, especially since James Wan and company lean in and embrace the ridiculousness of Arthur Curry. With a game performance from Jason Momoa, this is a real step in the right direction for the DCEU, if it even still exists. Our take here on the site had this to say:
Because it is entertaining, “Aquaman” can rest comfortably as the second best film in the DCEU. Considering the bar set by Patty Jenkins and “Wonder Woman,” that is not a bad place to be. But also considering the bar set by Zack Snyder and the rest of the Justice League, second place isn’t really that hard to achieve.
It’s fun to watch, plain and simple. The film is still uneven, but if you’re just looking for mindless entertainment, you could do worse.
Box Office: $334,548,294 (and counting)
“King of Thieves”
This heist tale wastes an incredibly good cast, one led by the always reliable Michael Caine. Crime stories need to invest you in the criminals and this one never comes close to doing so. The Hollywood Reporter had this shrug of a review:
King of Thieves really should have delivered way more cinematic swag than it does.
It’s a very disappointing effort, to be sure.
Box Office: $7,518
Jennifer Lopez stars in this romantic comedy that didn’t quite set the box office on fire. How you’ll feel about this one depends on how you usually feel about comedies starring Lopez. Our mixed review here on the site opens with the following:
Let’s get a couple of things straight about “Second Act.” First, it’s exactly what you would expect from a light-hearted comedy starring Jennifer Lopez. Second, it’s exactly what you would expect from a light-hearted comedy starring Jennifer Lopez.
Make of that what you will. You can do better this week, but you certainly can do worse as well. If you’re a Lopez fan, it’ll scratch that itch, at least.
Box Office: $39,282,227
Special Criterion Collection Section
“I Wanna Hold Your Hand”
The first of two brand new Criterion releases to discuss this week is an early work from Robert Zemeckis. It looks at the weekend where The Beatles hit American shores, hinting at the nostalgia that the filmmaker would end up winning Oscars for capturing. The Collection pitches it to you like so:
With this rollicking first feature, director Robert Zemeckis and cowriter Bob Gale established themselves as a filmmaking team par excellence, adept at mining America’s cultural memory for comedy and adventure with a winning mixture of sweet nostalgia and playful irreverence.
Zemeckis fans should definitely pick this one up!
Our one other title joining the Collection today is a recent release. This drama, the feature debut of filmmaker Carlos Reygadas, definitely made an impression on the powers that be at Criterion. They have this to say about the work:
A work of soaring ambition and startling visual poetry, Japón is an existential journey through uncharted cinematic territory that established the singular voice of its director.
Another work to consider today!
“Midnight, Texas: Season Two”
“The Wayans Bros.: The Complete Fifth Season”