This week, the epic conclusion to the Skywalker Saga comes to Blu-ray and DVD. Along with “Star Wars,” a small assortment of other titles hit virtual shelves (real shelves being closed, currently) today. Read on for more.
PICK OF THE WEEK
“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”
The “Star Wars” Saga came to a conclusion with this final episode. J.J. Abrams returned and more or less ignored Rian Johnson‘s contribution to the franchise, for better or worse. A case of big highs and big lows, many were let down, but almost everyone was glad that we wrapped up a generation’s worth of “Star Wars.” Rolling Stone did a pretty solid job summing it all up, with a positive spin, no less:
OK, the final episode isn’t perfect. You’ll nitpick it forever with your friends. But that’s the point. Star Wars isn’t a movie, it’s family. We’re that close to it. And the in-fighting about what it does right and wrong is as crucial as the love.
“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” finished a story, that’s for sure. Maybe it’s not how many expected/hoped, but it’s an ending. For all of its flaws, there’s still plenty of fun to be had.
Special Features: Featurettes
Total Box Office: $515,202,542
Major Awards: Nominated for three Oscars, including Best Original Score, at the Academy Awards
We’re once again looking at a timely Vintage pick today. The one next up for consideration? It’s “Right At Your Door,” a quarantine film that hits very close to home. Sure, there’s no dirty bombs outside, but staying indoors is currently the only way to stay fully safe. BBC hits the nail on the head:
It’s an impressive, if relentlessly depressing, piece of work.
A dark option to consider this week…
OTHER FILMS BEING RELEASED
Here’s a look at what else is hitting shelves today, besides the sole recommended title in “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.”
“The Current War”
Once upon a time, this historical drama seemed like a surefire Academy Award player. Then, delays, a new cut, second release, and overall indifference doomed it. Mostly, instead of making the battle between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse captivating, the film wound up just being bland. The Wrap finds a good way to explain why it fell so flat:
It all leaves a weirdly bitter taste, one that suggests it’s less cool to want to leave a legacy of good deeds than it is to be famous for being first.
Given the subject matter, it was fair to expect a bit more.
Box Office: $5,979,540
“Standing Up, Falling Down”
Billy Crystal gives one of his best performances in this independent dramedy. This three dimensional character is a far cry from what we’ve seen him play over the years. Variety was fond of the movie, overall:
If “Standing Up” consistently feels familiar, it nevertheless resists emphasizing the more broadly comedic or maudlin elements you might expect.
Crystal fans should enjoy this one.
Box Office: N/A
Special Criterion Collection Section
“The Prince of Tides”
The first of two options coming to Criterion today is Barbara Streisand‘s sophomore feature behind the camera. “The Prince of Tides” confirmed her filmmaking talents, while also presenting comedian George Carlin with a chance to take on a serious cinematic role. The Collection has this to say about it:
Nominated for seven Academy Awards, including best picture and best actor for Nolte’s soulful performance, The Prince of Tides is a life-affirming tale of healing and renewal from a triple-threat filmmaker with a keen and humane insight into her characters’ sorrows, joys, and yearnings.
Definitely something to consider this week!
The second choice joining the Collection this week is a 1936 effort from James Whale. Best known for his horror offerings, this is a rich exploration of America. To say the least, it’s a different classic from a master storyteller. Criterion describes the picture to you like so:
Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II’s immortal musical adaptation of Edna Ferber’s sprawling novel receives its most faithful and enduring cinematic treatment under the elegant direction of James Whale.
Another one to contemplate, for sure!
“Mr. Robot: The Complete Fourth Season”
“Mr. Robot: The Complete Series”
“The Purge: Season Two”