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New Blu-ray/DVD Releases (04/28/20) – ‘The Assistant’ Deeply Disturbs

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This week, a wholly unsettling character study in “The Assistant” leads the way of new Blu-ray and DVD options. It’s a thin week, though the top title is admittedly a really strong, if disturbing, pick. Read on for more.

PICK OF THE WEEK

“The Assistant”

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Julia Garner stuns in this day-in-the-life look at an employee of a movie mogul who greatly resembles the former head of The Weinstein Company. Her work grounds the film and is our entry point, as she suffers through indignity after indignity. Clayton was quite moved by this one last year at the Telluride Film Festival:

The Assistant” packs a lot in its small package but presents itself as a larger than life, and eye-opening look into an industry that you can love, but are utterly ignorant to its demons.

“The Assistant” won’t be for everyone. However, if you can stomach the nature of the work, this is something to definitely seek out.

Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: $1,100,313
Major Awards: None yet

VINTAGE VIEWING

Michael Fassbender Steve Jobs Movie 2015

For today’s Vintage pick, the work of writer Aaron Sorkin is again feted. It’s “Steve Jobs,” the Danny Boyle-directed biopic of the Apple innovator. A phenomenal ensemble, led by a riveting Michael Fassbender as Jobs, digs into Sorkin’s dialogue and has a real ball with it. Here’s a bit from our rave review back at the time:

Though perhaps less quotable than some of his other works, Aaron Sorkin is still at the top of his game here…He took Walter Isaacson‘s highly regarded biography of Jobs and elevates it to the level of poetry at times.

When in doubt, revisit some sparkling Sorkin dialogue!

OTHER FILMS BEING RELEASED

Here’s a look at what else is hitting shelves today, besides the sole recommended title, “The Assistant.”

“Guns Akimbo”

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This would-be action satire completely misses the mark. Throw in the fact that the filmmaker was involved in some very questionable behavior on social media in the lead up to the film’s release, alongside the lack of quality, and there are plenty of reasons to skip this one. The Hollywood Reporter had this to say:

It’s somehow exhausting but not exhilarating, a non-stop chase scene that would be a good deal more fun if not getting caught seemed even like a one-in-a-million prospect.

Hard pass.

Box Office: N/A

“The Rhythm Section”

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Director Reed Moreno and star Blake Lively making a spy thriller was a terrific pairing. Unfortunately, a flawed screenplay does them both in. Rolling Stone dismisses the movie like so:

Blake Lively tries hard as a woman hellbent on vengeance, but grinding monotony is the real killer in this formulaic action thriller that leaps off the cliff of cliche into the valley of banality.

Unfortunately, this talented duo should have crafted something less uneven than this.

Box Office: $5,437,971

Special Criterion Collection Section

“The Grand Budapest Hotel”

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Our first of two Criterion options today is this beloved recent Wes Anderson effort. “The Grand Budapest Hotel” saw Anderson finally fully accepted by the Academy, while combining with star Ralph Fiennes for something truly memorable. The Collection makes the, admittedly easy, sales pitch like so:

Meticulously designed, The Grand Budapest Hotel is a breathless picaresque and a poignant paean to friendship and the grandeur of a vanished world, performed with panache by an all-star ensemble that includes F. Murray Abraham, Adrien Brody, Saoirse Ronan, Willem Dafoe, Jude Law, Harvey Keitel, Jeff Goldblum, Mathieu Amalric, Tilda Swinton, and Bill Murray.

Anderson fans will definitely want to pick this one up!

“Me and You and Everyone We Know”

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The other title joining the Collection this week is Miranda July‘s “Me and You and Everyone We Know.” Starring alongside John Hawkes, this was, in many ways, July’s big breakthrough on the independent cinema scene. Criterion has this to say about the work:

Playful and profoundly transgressive, Me and You and Everyone We Know is a poetic look at the tortuous routes we take to intimacy in an isolating world, and the moments of magic and redemption that unite us.

Another strong option to consider!

TV RELEASES

“Arrow: The Complete Series”
“Arrow: The Complete Eighth Season”
“Room 222: Season Two”

Thoughts on what to watch this week on Blu-ray or DVD? Share them in the comments below!

What do you think?

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Written by Joey Magidson

When he’s not obsessing over new Oscar predictions on a weekly basis, Joey is seeing between 300 and 350 movies a year. He views the best in order to properly analyze the awards race/season each year, but he also watches the worst for reasons he mostly sums up as "so you all don't have to". In his spare time, you can usually find him complaining about the Jets or the Mets. Still, he lives and dies by film. Joey's a voting member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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Joey Magidson

The Assistant is a tough movie, but one well worth checking out.

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