This week, “Trolls: World Tour,” the sequel to the 2016 hit animated film “Trolls,” sings its way on to Blu-ray and DVD. The best of a small handful of options, it also represents the highest-profile option today.
PICK OF THE WEEK
This sequel to “Trolls” managed to take the franchise in an interesting new direction. Without the backing of a hit song like the original had, this one adds more high profile cast members like Sam Rockwell to the mix that already includes Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake. It’s high energy work, to say the least. The AV Club had this to say:
Whether it’s Sam Rockwell doing a down-home drawl or Anna Kendrick singing a few bars of a troll-centric riff on “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” Trolls World Tour throws everything at its disposal into the air.
“Trolls: World Tour” is designed for kids, but adults won’t feel beaten over the head by the garish colors and humor. It represents solid fun for the whole family.
Special Features: Dance Party Mode, Deleted Scenes, and more
Total Box Office: N/A
Major Awards: None yet
For this week’s Vintage pick, we’re throwing the focus to ACCA 1990, which nomination voting is currently underway. The pick is “Pump Up the Volume,” which features an iconic Christian Slater turn. His portrait of teenage angst as well as rebellion is instantly relatable. Even 30 years later, this still resonates in a major way. Time Out raved about Slater’s work in the movie, in addition to the musical choices:
The perfectly cast Slater effectively propels the film, his intensity and dry delivery giving it a definite edge, as does a soundtrack which includes Ice T, Concrete Blonde and the Cowboy Junkies.
Before you vote in ACCA, be sure to check this one out!
OTHER FILMS BEING RELEASED
This melodrama from William Nicholson is flawed, yet impossible to ignore. In particular, the acting from Annette Bening and Bill Nighy overcome whatever narrative missteps are taken. Rolling Stone agreed, especially in regards to Bening and Nighy:
Indelible and infuriating in equal measure, filmmaker William Nicholson’s anatomy of his parents’ own broken marriage rides high on superb performances from Annette Bening and Bill Nighy and raw emotions that cut deep
If you’re a fan of Bening, it might be worth a look today.
Ever been curious about the origins of the Punch and Judy puppet shows? If so, this very dark look at the creators of the art form is up your alley. Featuring impressive work from Mia Wasikowska, it’s very much a love it or hate it proposition. IndieWire was far more in the former camp, as you can see below:
“Judy and Punch” feeds on the comic violence that has always informed this material, and finds any number of amusing ways to weaponize it against the irredeemable puppetmaster who’s due to become the butt of his own joke.
Something else to consider this week.
A documentary on the dangers of gerrymandering, it’s hard to find a political issue more insidious than this one. “Slay the Dragon” won’t necessarily teach you anything new about gerrymandering if you watch the news, but it does hammer home just how important rolling back partisan shenanigans are. Variety was over the moon for this doc:
“Slay the Dragon” is the most important political film of the year, and it may prove to be one of the key political films of the decade.
Non-fiction fans and political junkies should give this one a look.
Box Office: N/A
Sorry We Missed You
Ken Loach‘s latest melodrama seeks to break your heart, but it never quite makes it to that point. Instead, you’re left with a dour and punishing experience that never finds an angle to effectively deliver this depression. Our review out of Film Fest 919 dives deeper into the misery porn that is “Sorry We Missed You.” Here’s a bit from that pan:
What’s the difference between Ken Loach and Bruce Springsteen? Both are poets of the working class, albeit on different continents, but only the latter sees hope in their plights…“Sorry We Missed You” is misery porn, plain and simple. Loach, to again compare him to Springsteen, doubles down on pain, as opposed to finding some measure of grace.
Loach fans may want to give this one a look, regardless.
Box Office: $28,273
Special Criterion Collection Section
Our one and only Criterion option today is this 1953 adaptation of the H.G. Wells literary classic. Updated for the Cold War era, this take on the material is captivating, even if it doesn’t have the modern visual effects that more recent updates have utilized. The Collection pitches “The War of the Worlds” to you like so:
Emblazoned with iconographic images of 1950s science fiction, The War of the Worlds is both an influential triumph of visual imagination and a still-disquieting document of the wonder and terror of the atomic age.
Science fiction fans should definitely give it a look!