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New Blu-ray/DVD Releases (05/12/20) – Harley Quinn Kicks Ass

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This week, DC kicks some ass with “Birds of Prey (and The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn),” while Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen Poots reunite. Those two options lead the Blu-ray/DVD charge today. Read on for more.

PICK OF THE WEEK

Vivarium

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Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen Poots reunite after last year’s “The Art of Self-Defense” for something even darker. This science-fiction character study pulls no punches, but the duo is so talented, you never once ponder checking out. The Hollywood Reporter was very fond of it, putting forth the following:

It is a superior genre piece at heart, but elevated by its high-calibre leads Imogen Poots and Jesse Eisenberg, plus a script rich in political and cultural resonance.

Vivarium” goes to some dark places. Even when the film is uncomfortable to watch, Eisenberg and Poots are so good that you’re more than willing to go down the rabbit hole with them.

Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: N/A
Major Awards: None yet

RECOMMENDED MOVIE(S)

Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)

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Margot Robbie got her own star vehicle and wiped away the stench of “Suicide Squad” in one fell swoop. Her Harley Quinn was the only successful element of that film, so focusing on her character was the obvious way to go. The end result was an absolute blast, as Karen detailed in her review here on the site:

Harley Quinn is back and she’s ready to move on from the ultimate toxic relationship. DC’s latest comic flick, “Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)” is weird, wild, and so much fun.

Birds of Prey (and The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)” is a real good time. Colorful, vibrant, and full of energy, it’s hard to resist this one!

Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: $84,158,461
Major Awards: None yet

VINTAGE VIEWING

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For today’s Vintage pick, we’re paying tribute to science. Namely, sciencing the shit out of a problem. Yes, we’re talking about “The Martian,” Ridley Scott’s adaptation of the Andy Weir novel. Exciting, fun, smart, and impeccably well made, this ranks among the best studio tentpoles in some time. Our rave review here on the site said as much:

Armed with one of Matt Damon‘s best performances in a good long while, Scott and company made this an exciting, fun, moving, and scientifically fascinating adventure.

Support science and revisit this wonderful film!

OTHER FILMS BEING RELEASED

The Call of the Wild

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An adaptation of the classic Jack London novel, this adventure tale takes a more modern approach, rendering the canine companion to Harrison Ford with CGI. That met with a mixed response, but overall, this was given a mild thumbs up from the critical community. Take, for example, this review from Variety:
Much as I wish the filmmakers had put more trust in the organic heartbeat of their material, “The Call of the Wild” gets better as it goes along.
Certainly, something to consider this week!
Box Office: $62,342,368

Fantasy Island

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Blumhouse put forth this adaption of the television series, hoping for a new horror franchise. Instead, they generated some truly savage reviews. In fact, Rolling Stone gave out a rare zero-star rating. Here’s a bit from that pan of the reboot:

If crimes against cinema merited prosecution, Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island would go directly to death row. The only scary thing about this wussified, fright-free horrorshow is that it wants to spawn sequels. Stop it before it kills again.

It seems like a rare misfire for Blumhouse.

Box Office: $26,441,782

The Photograph

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The duo of Issa Rae and Lakeith Stanfield in a romance should be enough to generate major sparks. Unfortunately, that’s only sporadically true here. As seen in our review here on the site, the story itself wound up too generic to warrant a recommendation:

With moving performances and heartfelt recollections of passionate young love, “The Photograph” should sizzle instead of sputter to predictable results.

A romantic option for you lovers to consider today.

Box Office: $20,578,185

Special Criterion Collection Section

The Great Escape

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Our only Criterion option today is a true classic. “The Great Escape” is one of cinema’s great adventures, with Steve McQueen in a truly memorable role. Quentin Tarantino even went so far as to involve the film in a key sequence of “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood.” The Collection makes case for the movie like so:

The expert direction of John Sturges, eminently hummable Elmer Bernstein score, and rip-roaring stunts come together in what may just be the most spectacularly entertaining prison-break movie of all time, a rousing ode to the determination, camaraderie, and courage of everyday heroes.

A must-have for true film fans!

TV RELEASES

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

 

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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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Steven Prusakowski

It’s all about Harley Quinn and Eisenberg for me this week. Not really into CGI dogs.

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