This week, one of the most underrated films of 2019 in “The Art of Self-Defense” comes to Blu-Ray/DVD. This razor sharp work leads the charge with ease. What else is joining it on store shelves today? Read on to find out.
PICK OF THE WEEK
“The Art of Self-Defense”
A criminally overlooked movie earlier this year, Jesse Eisenberg and Alessandro Nivola are terrific, channeling filmmaker Riley Stearns‘ pitch black energy for a brilliant look at toxic masculinity. Full of dark laughter, unexpected events, and a unique tone, this is a special work. Our rave review here on the site included this eye-catching bit:
“The Art of Self-Defense” is the best skewering of masculinity since “Fight Club.” The depiction here of how absurd extreme behavior is truly resonates.
“The Art of Self-Defense” could go down as a modern classic. Most of you didn’t see it in theaters, so now that it’s available to own, it’s an absolute must see!
Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: $2,410,914
Major Awards: None yet
In honor of this week’s release of “Jojo Rabbit,” the pick today is going to be a previous satire involving Nazis. It’s “The Producers,” from the legendary Mel Brooks. The 1968 classic is an Oscar winner and set the stage for just how razor sharp a satirical takedown of horrible figures could be. Trust in Roger Ebert and his four star review at the time:
This is one of the funniest movies ever made.
Taika Waititi‘s latest is deeply indebted to Brooks. Re-visit the latter before checking out the former!
OTHER FILMS BEING RELEASED
Here’s a look at what else is hitting shelves today, besides the sole recommended title in “The Art of Self-Defense.”
“3 From Hell”
Filmmaker Rob Zombie wraps up his self-made horror franchise with this new look at the killer Firefly clan. “3 From Hell” follows “House of 1000 Corpses” and “The Devil’s Rejects” in not being for the easily disturbed. The Playlist sums it up nicely:
Rob Zombie gives fans exactly what they want in this brutally offensive finale.
If you’ve enjoyed Zombie’s previous Firefly adventures, this one could be worth a look.
Box Office: $1,809,226
Sometimes, it pays not to hide from critics. Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with 82% of the reviews being positive, it’s bizarre that this gator genre effort didn’t screen early for critics. Then again, our own review on the site was more mixed, though it included this bit, which might inadvertently intrigue folks:
The movie looks and feels like a rejected animatronic segment of the Universal Studios Backlot tour.
Creature feature fans should check this one out!
Box Office: $39,014,193
Buddy comedies mainly need to be well cast. Here, Dave Bautista and Kumail Nanjiani more than fit that bill. So, if the action and comedy here are somewhat middling, the leads do a lot of the heavy lifting. This review here on the site confirms that much:
Kumail Nanjiani and Dave Bautista play well together in this comedy that is more amusing than truly funny.
This is the mainstream comedy option this week, and it’s hardly a bad one too.
Box Office: $22,370,452
Special Criterion Collection Section
The one and only option coming to Criterion today is this 1922 Danish silent film from Benjamin Christensen. It might be a hard sell on the surface, but one look at what this movie is about should show you why it’s getting this sort of treatment. The Collection has this to say in its sales pitch:
Grave robbing, torture, possessed nuns, and a satanic Sabbath: Benjamin Christensen’s legendary silent film uses a series of dramatic vignettes to explore the scientific hypothesis that the witches of the Middle Ages and early modern era suffered from the same ills as psychiatric patients diagnosed with hysteria in the film’s own time. Far from a dry dissertation on the topic, the film itself is a witches’ brew of the scary, the gross, and the darkly humorous.
Trust in the Criterion Collection and embrace this one!
“Doctor Who: Jon Pertwee Complete Season Four”
“Librarians: The Complete Series”
“Mom: The Complete Sixth Season”
“Supernatural: Seasons 6-10”
“Twin Peaks: The Complete Television Collection”
“Ultraman: The Complete Series”